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August 19, 2015

Alena Sharp

Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada

Q. Happy to be joined in the media center by Alena Sharp. How does it feel to be back in Canada for your National Championship?
ALENA SHARP: It's always a great week to come back to Canada no matter where we are. I feel very welcomed. From Ontario, but when we play in B.C. or Alberta or Quebec, I feel like I'm at home, so it's nice to be home.

THE MODERATOR: Big week for Canadian golf with Brooke obviously winning in Portland and getting membership. She said you've been an important aspect to her on Tour. What have you done to kind of mentor her?

ALENA SHARP: Well, we've gotten to become pretty good friends over the last year, and I've helped her a little bit with course management stuff, like giving her tips on some of the greens and some of the courses where she had to Monday qualify. Like in Texas, she didn't get to see the course, so I kind of gave her the layout. I'm sure my tips were wrong because the course was soft this year, but we've built a friendship that way. We play practice rounds together, and she's kind of pushed me to play better.

Being around her, it's like I see how I was when I was 17. I didn't think as much, so I'm getting back into that, and I think everybody goes into that in their career where they come out fearless, and they get a little older and there is a lot of stuff going on and then you want to be a kid again. Being around Brooke has really brought that out in me, and she's made me play better. So it's a great friendship that we have.

Q. How have you noticed her grow up from her first event out here to now being a full-time member?
ALENA SHARP: I think she's very mature to begin with, and I think that just growing up as a player maybe she just felt more confidence, had more experience being in contention to win, because she's been in contention so many times this year. It was nice to see her get it done in Portland. All those other experiences probably helped her play very solidly on the weekend.

Q. I believe right now you fall comfortably within the top 60 for the Olympics. Just wondering what that would mean to you? Is it front of mind right now? Just how exciting it would be, and also its benefit for women's golf?
ALENA SHARP: Well, it's kind of in the back of my mind because it's still a year away, a lot of golf is to be played. I could still get passed. I'm just trying to take it one week at a time out here. If I do well, I'll keep moving up on the Rolex Rankings. I had a big jump last week, and it means a lot for me to be able to play, because four years from now I'm going to be 38.

There are a lot of young players coming up. I don't want to retire. I want to keep playing and be competitive, so you just never know what's going to happen. I have a really good shot of making the team. Would love to be there with Brooke, I think we'd be a great duo out there in Rio. I guess as the year goes on, it's more in the forefront of my mind.

Then having the Olympics have golf, I think it's a great thing to be able to be a part of. I'm sure most of the LPGA players would say the same thing, that to represent your country is something that you always want to do.

Q. Brooke's win has brought some attention to Canadian women's golf. Do you feel that we're sort of entering a new era here? There seems to be a lot of young Canadian women coming up. You look at the Symetra Tour week to week and you see a lot of Canadian flags on the leaderboard. Are you pretty confident you're going to have some more Canadian company on the LPGA Tour in the not too distant future?
ALENA SHARP: I really hope so. A couple years ago there were seven of us on Tour. Not so many this year, but I this think that Golf Canada is doing a great job in promoting junior golf and amateur golf. They have a great coach and a great program for them, and I think it's really helping their games.

I'd love to see more Canadians out on Tour. It's nice to see the Canadian flags up anywhere you look. And even this year the men have been playing well too. So it's nice that Canada is getting back on the map of golf.

Q. Looking ahead to this week, what are your thoughts on the course in general, and how do you plan on to attack it?
ALENA SHARP: Well, it's actually because we're in kind of the same situation as Portland, weather-wise, it's dry, same conditions. So maybe not as firm on the greens, but definitely playing for some run out. Want to be below most of the pins here, because being above it is very difficult to attack birdies. Some holes not so much driver, but definitely use my length to my advantage and have wedges into these greens so I can actually stop the ball close to the pin.

Q. You're on some good form lately coming off that solid week in Portland. What would it mean to you to add another Canadian victory?
ALENA SHARP: If it's Sunday night and we're doing a press conference, I don't know, I'd be speechless. It would be amazing to do that. It's only Wednesday. I'll just take it one day at a time, and I'd love to be on those last nine holes and have a chance to win.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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