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May 23, 2016

Virginia Elena Carta

Eugene, Oregon

THE MODERATOR: Next up is our individual champion, Virginia Elena Carta from Duke University, who had an NCAA record 16-under par 272-over the four days here in Eugene. Virginia, talk a little bit about the four days here and just your experience overall.

VIRGINIA ELENA CARTA: I mean, of course this experience was just awesome and great. My long game was really, really good the first three days. Today I struggled a little bit because I was really nervous, but my putter has always been with me and made the difference. I scored really well because I was making a lot of putts. I'm really excited. I still can't believe I won. I'm so proud of also the team, and I want to say also thanks to the team and the coaches. They are just great, both Coach and John. They are awesome.

Q. Talk a little bit about shooting 16-under, NCAA record. Did you have a goal coming in, a number that you were trying to post?
VIRGINIA ELENA CARTA: So honestly, coming in I didn't want to think about any number, but I thought the winner would have won with 16-under, which is pretty weird. But I didn't think it would have been me. But it just happened.

And to shoot 16-under, today I was relaxed, and my shirt has the No. 13 because I'm not (inaudible) but it was this course that I started with today, so I was just relaxed because I was looking at my shirt and it reminded me that anyways I played good the first three days, so it didn't really matter how I played today. I was excited anyways.

Q. Was it hard to play with that big of a lead?

Q. Or is it easy?
VIRGINIA ELENA CARTA: Yeah, it was, because all the good players are out on the course with you, and you don't really know how they're going to play. You can just like think about yourself and think about playing good. But I knew I still had to play good to maintain the lead.

It's hard because you never know, and you don't have to think that you already won, especially that was the key, just keep doing my thing and keep focusing on fairways and greens and never think about the score.

Q. I'm assuming this is the best you've ever played in your life for four days in a row?

Q. As just a freshman, what does this mean for you?
VIRGINIA ELENA CARTA: It means a lot. As I said, I would have never thought to win this tournament, especially as a freshman. Now my expectations are going to be high. But I mean, it has been a great year. I've been working really hard also with the team, and we've been working so much, so I'm just excited that the work paid off and that my putter finally worked, too.

Q. Before the round you were on the phone with your mom. What kind of words did you get from her before the round?
VIRGINIA ELENA CARTA: She was just telling me to have rhythm and be really relaxed and calm no matter how I played, but I played really good these past three days, so I had to be happy with that, and if I stayed calm and relaxed, I would have won. It's always nice to talk to my mom and my dad before the round.

Q. (No microphone.)
VIRGINIA ELENA CARTA: My mom has been visiting me, not during the tournament, though. When I played in Italy, my mom sees me playing golf, but my dad hates golf, so...

Q. (No microphone) how much did that relax you?
VIRGINIA ELENA CARTA: Well, she told me to breathe, breathe as much as possible, and to be as relaxed as possible with all the cameras around me. I tried to breathe today, but it was pretty tough. It's nice because she has been like -- she told me exactly what also John and Coach were telling me, so just kind of -- just the same things. And Amanda is for sure a great role model and great inspiration. I met her in February, and she gave me a lot of energy and just seeing her and -- gave me energy to be better, and I tried to work harder to be like her. I'm just happy and excited she's here this week.

Q. (No microphone)?
VIRGINIA ELENA CARTA: No, my dad has -- I think he hates golf just because he has never played it. I'm not sure why he does. Just like probably not practicing it. Otherwise if you practice it, you're going to love it.

Q. What's the mindset for you as you go into tomorrow? Obviously winning the individual title, put that in the backseat, and now you go for team play tomorrow. What's the mindset going into that?
VIRGINIA ELENA CARTA: I'm really, really focused right now on tomorrow already. Honestly yesterday night I was more relaxed thinking about going into match play than thinking about going into today, so I'm really ready and excited for the team to play tomorrow. I can't wait.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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