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May 29, 2015

Alena Sharp


Q.テつ Pretty solid opening round out there to start?
ALENA SHARP:テつ Yeah.テつ I started off with two bogeys and I was like, oh, this is not the greatest start, but I had to stay patient because I knew that the par‑5s were all reachable for me today, and I just knew that I could make up some birdies and got it back to even and then chipped in on 9.テつ So that just kind of gave me momentum for the Back 9.

Q.テつ Is that the key out here?テつ I know a lot of people say that you can catch a bogey pretty quick, but you can also catch some birdies pretty quickly, too.
ALENA SHARP:テつ Yeah.テつ I mean if you drive it well, the greens are so small, so if you hit a lot of greens, you're going to have a lot of chances at birdie.テつ Yeah, for sure.

Q.テつ Telling me that you might be playing for someone today.テつ You marked your ball a certain way.テつ Could you tell me a little bit about that?
ALENA SHARP:テつ Yeah.テつ Well, this is my tenth year on tour, and my Toledo family, their daughter, which she basically is my little sister.テつ I have two sisters, but she's like my little sister.テつ She got into a car accident on Sunday, a head‑on collision, and she's not doing well.テつ She's in the neuro ICU, and she has brain damage, and obviously she hasn't woken up yet.
So it's just been catching up with them every day, and she's in my thoughts.テつ It's just perspective.テつ You know, it's just a game.テつ It's not really life or death.テつ You know, people are hurt and sick and injured, and I just have more perspective this week, because they're like my second family.テつ They take good care of me.テつ They come to see tournaments.テつ I mean they're just always there for me, like my parents are.

Q.テつ How long have you stayed with them?テつ How many years?
ALENA SHARP:テつ 10 years.テつ This is my tenth year on tour.

Q.テつ Wow, ten years in a row?
ALENA SHARP:テつ Yeah.テつ And they come up to like‑‑ they usually come to Manulife, and they came to Rochester.テつ They've been to Corning.テつ They came to Michigan last year, and they've come to some of the U.S. Opens.テつ So they're always around.

Q.テつ Right.テつ How often does that happen where the girls get to know a family like that and stay in touch with them for so long?テつ I know Karrie's had a family that's been out here for like 14 of her 41 wins over 20 years.テつ Is this the only family you're in touch with kind of like that?
ALENA SHARP:テつ No.テつ I stayed Portland, the Smiths, I stay with them.テつ This is going to be my tenth year as well.テつ But the other tournaments, they've gone away.テつ But yeah, I went a lot of private housing in my rookie year.テつ And then the ones that I stayed at, if we're still playing at those events, I try and stay with them every year.
It's almost‑‑ you know, you build a relationship, and they're part of your close family, and it's like out here on the LPGA, we're all family, and the host families that you have and, I don't know, we just grow really close.テつ We keep in touch over the off season.テつ And like Erin, the one who got into the accident, she was my standard bearer at Toledo for so many years.テつ They would set it up so she could be in my group.

Q.テつ Okay.テつ How old is she?
ALENA SHARP:テつ She's 19.テつ I've known her since she was 9.

Q.テつ Right.テつ Right.テつ What did you mark your ball?
ALENA SHARP:テつ I just put her initials on it.

Q.テつ What were her initials?

Q.テつ Seeing Brooke out here, changing the subject a little bit, but Brooke had a 3‑under today, another good round.テつ I know you're close with her and tight with her.テつ Is it cool to see a leaderboard with two Canadian flags up there?
ALENA SHARP:テつ Yeah.テつ I mean she's amazing.テつ She just comes out, she doesn't have a lot of knowledge of the courses and she's just killing it.テつ It's awesome to see her doing that well.テつ And she's a great kid.テつ She's so humble.テつ She doesn't act her age.テつ That's for sure.

Q.テつ She doesn't.テつ What impresses you the most about her game?テつ Just seems every week since she started‑‑
ALENA SHARP:テつ She's always got the pedal down.テつ She's aggressive and she sticks with her game plan.テつ She doesn't let people get in her way, and she's a good putter, and she hits the ball really well, and she hits it long for her size.テつ So I mean those are all great things to have going for you, and I know she's very confident right now because she's been playing really well, and you just ride that wave.

Q.テつ Good week in Dallas, missed cut last week, but where is your game at right now?
ALENA SHARP:テつ It's getting better.テつ I played well in Dallas and then I had a week off and I didn't play so well in Kingsmill.テつ I don't know.テつ I'm still just working on tempo.テつ Like tempo needs to be more consistent.テつ That's basically the things that I'm working on right now.
And my putting.テつ My putting has hurt me a lot this year, but it's starting to come around, and today was a really good putting day for me.テつ I made a lot of putts.テつ I feel like Erin was here helping me lift those putts in that were on the edge.

Q.テつ Did you have a lot of those out there today?
ALENA SHARP:テつ Quite a few.テつ Quite a few, yeah.

Q.テつ Is putting, I don't want to say less important here, but is it‑‑ I don't know, with the poa annua greens, I know people talk about it bounces so much.テつ Is it almost a little more luck involved?
ALENA SHARP:テつ I mean you're going to miss some because it's going to bounce off line and you're going to make some because it's going to bounce in the hole.テつ So you can't let it bug you because everybody's gotta do it, deal with it.

Q.テつ How much would a win mean this week or even Top 5 this week with what you're playing for?
ALENA SHARP:テつ Oh, huge.テつ I mean starting these three weeks, next week is Manulife.テつ That's a huge tournament for me.テつ I grew up about an hour from there.テつ So a win would be amazing.テつ It's day one, just take it one day at a time, one shot at a time.

Q.テつ What was Erin's name and how often did you get to keep in touch with her before this happened?
ALENA SHARP:テつ We keep in touch‑‑ I mean I keep in touch with her mom, Tammy, like she always writes me.テつ And Erin just started college, so she's been busy doing that.テつ But we text every once in a while and use Twitter and Facebook.

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