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September 4, 2016

Caroline Masson

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

THE MODERATOR: We welcome into the media center the 2016 champion of the Manulife LPGA Classic, Caroline Masson, first-ever win. Tell me what that feels like right now.

CAROLINE MASSON: It's hard to believe. I mean it really is. Obviously I was in a good position coming into today, and I was thinking, well, if I can shoot a really good round, I might have a chance, but I was totally not expecting it. I got off to a really bad start. I doubled the first hole and from then on just kind of, well, there's no pressure. You don't have to feel any pressure to win or do anything. Just keep making birdies, and that's what I did all day. I tried to stay relaxed out there, enjoy it. It's such a beautiful day and such a beautiful golf course. I just really tried to have a good time with my caddy, Danny. And yeah, it's unbelievable that it really worked out in the end.

THE MODERATOR: So you were playing your game after starting with that bogey. And even Minjee came off the green and said I don't even know the first time she had par. How fun was it playing with her and when you're in that position where you're making birdies on multiple holes? What was going through your mind then?

CAROLINE MASSON: I thought it was great playing with her. She had a great day. She played great. She could have made a few more birdies if her putter was a little hotter. And I think she kind of pushed me that way a little bit. I doubled the first, and then I made three birdies in a row, which was just awesome to get into a little bit of a rhythm and see some putts go in. So it was huge for me to obviously make that birdie on the second hole, make that putt and then really the four next holes, tried to make birdies, and we birdied a lot of the same holes at the beginning, I felt like, and kind of kept pushing each other. And I mean I didn't try to play her in Match Play or anything like that, but I knew that if I could shoot a little better than Minjee, I would have a good chance in the end and I think that's exactly what happened.

THE MODERATOR: How about the feeling of being on the ^ putting green and just waiting to see if you're going to be in a playoff or what's going to happen? What's that like?

CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, it's a funny feeling. I really expected her to make a birdie. I was going to be prepared to may more golf, and I think that was a good attitude. It took forever, it felt like. Just waiting, hanging around, trying to keep loose, not think about it. But yeah, I just tried to hit a few putts to distract myself from the situation. And you're never hoping for anything bad to happen, but obviously I was just not really watching. I just heard the reaction, and then when I figured that she didn't make birdie on the last, it was just, yeah, definitely worth it.

THE MODERATOR: And now you're covered in beer.

CAROLINE MASSON: Now I'm covered in beer. I think they picked beer because I'm German. They figured I could take it.

THE MODERATOR: I'll open it up for questions.

Q. First of all, congratulations. I was wondering, how does it feel to be showered in beer? I've never had that happen to me.
CAROLINE MASSON: It's pretty sticky, and they had a lot of beer. I wish my shower was just a regular shower, but maybe I'm going to have that in a few minutes. No, it's a great feeling. I appreciate the girls coming out and congratulating. I prefer the beer over the water I think.

Q. Did you see them waiting for you?
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, I did, but you know, it's a little weird situation, just waiting. And I didn't know how to feel, you know, obviously happy with my round and happy with a great result either way, but at the same time I just didn't want to think about too much really. I mean it's kind of really a blank out there. Just waiting and see what's going to happen. So yeah, but I realized they were waiting, and I really appreciate that first of all, congratulations again.

Q. You made the cut in the last two tournaments, but I think you missed five or six cuts before that. I'm just wondering, I know every golfer and every athlete feels they can win, but did you realistically think you could win the tournament when it started on Thursday?
CAROLINE MASSON: I always know that I can win a tournament on the LPGA. I obviously also know that a lot of things have to go right for that. Golf is a funny game, and I was a little streaky this year. I played a lot of great golf, and I missed a lot of cuts and most of them actually by one shot which was really disappointing. It was a really frustrating period this year. And you know, it's all about just keep working and believing that you can do it, and that's what I did and that's what my team helped me with. My parents who are always so supportive and my boyfriend, Jason, who is caddying out here, they all believe in me, so I believe in myself, too. I came here with a great attitude, and I think the mental side of the game is the most important. It's very hard to force yourself to be good, though. And I just came in; I was super relaxed. I'm going home to Germany tonight, hopefully if I catch my flight and play in Germany next week. So it was just a fun week, on a great golf course that I like; I played well here last year, so good memories and I felt like this just suits me, and I like it out here. So overall I felt super comfortable, and I did believe that I would have a chance to win, but obviously a lot of things have to go my way.

Q. And then on a related question, I counted I think this is your 107th start on the LPGA Tour.
CAROLINE MASSON: I didn't count. I don't know.

Q. Yeah, it is your 107th from what I could figure out. And you've had success, 1.4 million close to in career earnings. And you finished second I think once before, maybe a couple of times. Was there ever a time where you think is this ever going to happen I'm going to win? Did you ever get those doubts?
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah. I mean that's obviously the ultimate goal to win out here. This is my seventh year overall. I've won on the Ladies European Tour in my third year. It took me a while to win there. And I just really felt like I came out here four years ago and had to almost start all over again, because the level of play is so much higher than over there. And I felt like I really improved every year and that I was getting closer. You know, sometimes results don't show that, or it's not progressive. You know, it doesn't always go one way, but overall I felt like my game's been very consistent this year. My golf swing is starting to be a little more consistent, and I always did believe that I could pull it off, but again, you never know what's going to happen. But yeah, I'm just -- people told me, hey it will happen, it will get easier than you think, and I guess it was one of those weeks where a lot of things went my way and I just took advantage of that.

Q. Congratulations, first off. Can you explain the whole caddy thing here? Your boyfriend was your caddy last year. Now you've got Danny Sharp, who of course, caddied for Lorie Kane. How did that relationship happen?
CAROLINE MASSON: Jason's been caddying for me a while, almost three years, and we've had a second place finish, it worked pretty good. But obviously it's not easy to spend that much time with your boyfriend. We travel together, we're on the golf course, good times or bad times, you have to get along in them. And we always say that if we have a feeling that it's not productive or it's not working well anymore, that, you know, we're grown up enough to say let's split and you caddy for somebody else, and that's what happened. And he's been caddying for Haru Nomura, who's won two times on the LPGA since then. They won in Korea last year as well. I mean I'm happy that finally it worked out for me, too, because he was getting all the success there. And I'm super lucky to have Danny caddy for me, and I was obviously looking for an experienced caddy. He's seen it all with Lorie. He's seen the bad and he's seen the good, and he's a very experienced and calm guy, and I think that's exactly what I needed because I'm an emotional player and person, and you know, he definitely, yeah, just doesn't matter if it's going bad or good. You know, you can't really tell with him, and that helps me a lot to just stay calm, keep a little more relaxed on the course, and I trusted him today. That's what Jason told me, he said, hey, you got Danny, he's done it a few times; just trust him and he'll maybe get you over the finish line, and I think that's what he did, and I'm super happy that he chose to caddy for me at the beginning of the year, and I'm so happy that we can win out here.

Q. And I saw you texting right after you found out you won. Who were you texting?
CAROLINE MASSON: Jason, my family. I didn't get the chance to really reply to too many people, but I was checking ought the messages and the phone calls. And yeah, it's just fun to see how many people, even in Germany and I think it's in the middle of the night right now, you know, are following. And you don't realize they're always following, when you're just playing average, you don't hear from a lot of people, but obviously it's fun to see how many people really follow and support me back home, too, and that's just great to see.

Q. Congratulations, Caroline.

Q. Do we know if it was German beer that was poured?
CAROLINE MASSON: I didn't it, but it's still okay. That's good. Canadian beer.

Q. Obviously your round could have had a different ending after that double bogey on 1. How did you stay calm there and just push on and push through?
CAROLINE MASSON: I didn't really have a choice, did I? I mean you feel like you're out of it already after one hole, and the only thing I was thinking about is I've been in this situation before, you know, be kind of close and then mess up a little bit. And I just figured, okay, there's only one way and that's to go forward and try to make some birdies. And obviously the conditions were perfect. I mean the weather was great. The golf course was fantastic, and I know there are a lot of birdie opportunities out there. And you know, that's what I just tried to remember, hey, you know, double bogey, okay, but you can make a lot of birdies. So I guess that's what I did today. I don't even know how many I made, but a lot. I don't know. 10. 7? I don't know. But yeah, a lot of birdies. So you know, just really tried to go forward, make birdies, you know, get my way back into contention and just see what happens, and I didn't really believe at that point that I would have a chance to win. I was thinking somebody was going to go really low. So I thought I was too far behind, but yeah, very happy to see that it worked out.

Q. I'm just wondering if you will go to Evian immediately or when do you leave, and are you going somewhere else over in Europe besides Evian?
CAROLINE MASSON: I'm actually going to play next week in Germany. The Ladies European Tour has a tournament in Germany. It's the Ladies European Masters, and it's going to be on my home course, and I'm super excited to go back home, obviously see my family, see friends. A lot of people are going to come out and support me. It's been a tournament that's been close to my heart. I've played the last few years when it took place in England, and obviously now coming to my home course, there was no question that I was going to play. It's a lot of golf right now obviously with the Olympics and these two weeks in Canada, Germany and then Evian and Asia after that. But it's definitely worth it. And you know, I'm just super pumped to go home. It's been a long stretch in the U. S., and spend a week in Germany, Evian and then have another off week back home where I can relax a little bit. So yeah, I think that's helped me this week, too, just knowing, okay, you're going to go home in a week, just enjoy this week, have fun, and I think that was my attitude out on the golf course, and it really helped me this week.

Q. What's the reception normally like when you go back to Germany and play in front of the home crowd and what do you think it'll be like now that you are a winner on the LPGA?
CAROLINE MASSON: It's very hard to tell because, you know, unfortunately golf is just not that big yet in Germany. Nobody had the opportunity to see this, unfortunately. So yeah, I mean it's going to be huge, obviously, going back and playing next week. I think it's probably the promoter's biggest dream come true that I could win this week and come home and play next week. So I think it's going to be a lot of fun and people are going to be very excited. But I obviously wish a lot more Germans could see it and have a chance to watch the LPGA, a lot more girls to have a chance to watch the LPGA. And maybe this is a little start to change that in the future.

THE MODERATOR: We're going to have to introduce you as an LPGA champion now. Congratulations again, 2016 Manulife LPGA classic champion, Caroline Masson.


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