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September 21, 2016

Ellen Port

Nashville, Tennessee

Q. Well, on your 55th birthday you get to the championship match for a chance to go for your seventh USGA championship.
ELLEN PORT: Yes. That's special.

Q. If you win tomorrow, you're in company with Carol (ph) and Joanne Gunderson. Carol would be the only other person that would be ahead of you.

Q. Thoughts on just having that chance to go for...
ELLEN PORT: Well, that's not my thoughts right now. It's finding how to hit a wedge the right distance on these greens is what I'm really thinking about.

I'm not really going to think about -- even entertain that question. Next question? (Laughter.)

Q. You won today. I guess you made a big putt on 15. May have been the turning point.
ELLEN PORT: Yeah, 15 was big. That squared the match. She made a great shot on 14 out of the rough, you know, when she had a very hard shot. We both kind of had moments.

Yeah, but that was nice because I kind of gave one away on 10 with a wedge in my hand from 110 yards. I was still trying not to think about that.

That was big. It was a huge, breaking putt. I really rolled it close a lot all day. I felt like I had the reads right and I was just off with the speed a little. It was really nice to see one go in.

Q. You were down I think early, weren't you?
ELLEN PORT: Yeah. I don't even remember, to be honest with you. I think I lost -- I lost the 2nd hole off the bat. She got up and down; I didn't.

Then 3 was actually an interesting hole. I decided the best thing to do was to aim for the bunker, because I've played that hole terribly. I finally got a par on that hole when it looked like I was out of the hole because I pulled a drive and I had mud on my ball and didn't have a shot.

It was kind of that kind of match. When one of us looked like we were out -- she's a fighter, I'm a fighter, so it was a really good match.

Q. Right. You've only played her once before and she beat you in the '09 Mid.
ELLEN PORT: Yeah. Yeah, and I know I didn't play very well when we played last time. I still haven't really hit the ball -- not really played -- my A-Game hasn't shown up. I've had moments just been kind of inconsistent. I put the ball in play pretty well but I haven't been as sharp with a lot of my iron play, which is usually what's really good.

But my putting has been decent. Haven't made a lot of unforced errors. But I've got room to improve.

Q. You've won every match. The bottom line you is don't have to shoot 65 to win a match.
ELLEN PORT: Yeah, no. I mean, I kind of balance it out. I think I've been pretty consistently mediocre. (Laughter.)

I mean, but when you get to match play, you just have to never give up and be very patient. Like I said, Laura is a competitor and she played really well. I am really disappointed that it ended with the little lip out. I really didn't want to hit that hybrid on the next hole either, so I don't think either one...

Q. You've played so many USGA championships.

Q. Does experience at some point take over for you?
ELLEN PORT: Well, I think it does. I think the fact that I know that I've won, I think I remember when I wondered if I could do it.

But it's just that kind of experience factor comes as never give up and give in. Make shots and fight through it.

So I think just the match play mentality, I seem to be very good at that. I think that that has served me well over the years. I love competing. I think it's kind of amateur golf at its best.

Hopefully I have a little experience to draw on, but that doesn't win matches. You still have to hit the golf shots. I'm really not 100% happy the way I'm hitting it.

Q. You're also familiar with the arena, the pressure, what goes through your head.
ELLEN PORT: Yes, yes.

Q. Dealing with your mind. You get to this level and you're thinking about a chance to win, not many players put themselves in this position.
ELLEN PORT: Yes, exactly. Exactly. And not to ever think that you're -- one thing I never think I am out of a hole. Laura played 17. Missed the green and off that tight lie put it beautifully up there.

So I think just really expecting -- I know everybody in here is really good players -- that they're going to hit great shots and that I have to just try to outlast them and, you know, make good decisions.

I mean, in between clubs a lot today so it was a little frustrating, but this is a tough golf course. You hit a shot short and sometimes it runs and sometimes it sits.

So it's a very challenging golf course.

Q. Fun nine questions with you. Favorite club?
ELLEN PORT: Before this tournament or after this tournament?

Q. Favorite club in the bag?
ELLEN PORT: My putter.

Q. Most memorable golf experience?
ELLEN PORT: All my Curtis Cups, national championships.

Q. Who influenced you the most?
ELLEN PORT: My husband.

Q. Who would round out your dream foursome, you and three others?
ELLEN PORT: My son, my husband, and my daughter.

Q. Okay. That's okay. What's on your golf bucket list?
ELLEN PORT: Pebble Beach.

Q. Playing it?

Q. Ever played it?
ELLEN PORT: Uh-huh, and Augusta.

Q. Okay. Played Augusta?

Q. What's on your nongolf bucket list?
ELLEN PORT: D3 national championship for Washington University.

Q. What's the latest book you've read?
ELLEN PORT: No, that should be my bucket list. That's really what I want.

What is what.

Q. Latest book you've read?
ELLEN PORT: Organize Your Tomorrow Today.

Q. Who wrote that?
ELLEN PORT: Jason Selk. I love you Jason Selk.

Q. Favorite movie?
ELLEN PORT: Oh, It's a Wonderful Life and -- it's a tie -- Sound of Music.

Q. Most embarrassing moment you've ever had on or off the golf course?
ELLEN PORT: Most embarrassing moment? I can't even be embarrassed when I top balls anymore because I do that all the time.

Oh, I think it's when I -- I can't remember. I don't know. I don't get embarrassed because I'm just an embarrassment sometimes. Nothing will surprise me. I don't get embarrassed.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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