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June 8, 2017

Alena Sharp

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Q. Talk about that round. Almost eagle there to close it out.
ALENA SHARP: Yeah, it was steady all day. I played really well on the back nine. Started with a bogey and just didn't let it get me. Made an eagle on 12 to get back into red numbers right away.

Just made a lot of key putts today, and that kept me going. I made a lot of 6- to 10- footers, which is what I've been working on, so it's nice to see the results come early in the tournament.

Q. How great is it to get an opening 6-under to set yourself up really well for the rest of the week?
ALENA SHARP: Well, the conditions are perfect and we're playing the ball up, so I knew the scores were going to be low today, because you have a perfect lie if you hit the fairway.

I knew I need to do shoot a low round. But you don't really want to think about a score in your mind. The way I'm hitting it I knew I was going to have a lot of chances, and I took advantage the par-5s. I was 5-under on those, so that really helped me out.

Q. I know you get asked this all the time, but how much do you enjoy this tournament? It's almost home for you. You get all the Canadian fans.
ALENA SHARP: I always love playing in Canada. It's nice to be right here in my own backyard basically and have my family come out and watch me. It's not often that I get my whole family to come out and watch at one time, so it's really nice to have their support.

Q. Be a shame if this tournament doesn't come back next year.
ALENA SHARP: I hope maybe we can find a different sponsor, because it's great for the area. I know it does a lot for the community in bringing in tourism. The people here are great to us as players, volunteers and fans.

So let's keep or fingers crossed and hopefully we'll be back next year.

Q. What was the game plan coming into today?
ALENA SHARP: Well, keep it in the fairway for sure, because the rough is pretty thick this year because of all the rain.

But it's playing a little different than last year: It's a little softer, so kind of had to change a little bit of clubs off the tee. Like for instance No. 7 I was hitting like a hybrid there last year and now I hit a driver today.

Standing on the tee you're like, Okay, don't want to hit this through. It wasn't even close to going through. So just little things like that have been different, but really just the greens are a little bit softer so I wanted to take advantage of my length and how high I hit it and just be really aggressive.

I did that.

Q. You started on 10 with a bogey. Were you thinking, Uh-oh? You mentally strong enough to say, Hey, it's the first hole?
ALENA SHARP: Yeah, I knew there was going to be a lot of chance out here today to make birdies. The par-5s, I can get to most of them in two.

I figured if I could shake that off -- and I did. I didn't let it get me and I made a good putt for bogey actually. Could have been a double to start.

You have to shake it off. It's the first hole of 72.

Q. Talk about the eagle on 13. You went that stretch of 5-under for five holes. What about the eagle?
ALENA SHARP: Hit a great drive on 12 and hit a 6-iron to 15 feet and read the putt nicely and went right in the hole. It was nice to make a putt early to get going.

Then birdied the next hole and then birdied the following hole after that and next par-5. I was on a nice run. It was just easy. Felt really simple.

Q. You had a Top 5 finish in Hawaii, the Lotte Championship. Since then it's been a bit -- I think top 20 or 30. So this is nice to come back and start off here with a good round, I imagine.
ALENA SHARP: Yeah, I've been playing really. I mean, it's the nature of the beast. In Kingsmill I played really well and just didn't get a lot out of my rounds. I hit good shots that I had like 25-footers.

Here you can go after it and get close to the pins. I know the course well enough. I've been playing well this whole year, so, you know, the course, if it suits your eye, you just feel a little bit more comfortable on it. You know which way the putts are going. It's easier reading the greens when you've been here for so many years.

Q. Great weather today. Supposed to continue to be great. As you said, the course is a bit soft, especially on the greens. Is it going to take a really low score to win this thing?
ALENA SHARP: I think depending on the wind. I think it's going to be a low score, but it's going to firm up as the days go on if the heat comes like they're predicting it. And if we get a little bit of wind it will dry things out. I don't think they're going to put a lot of water on the course anymore.

As the days go on it'll get tougher.

Q. When you were first getting into the sport, was there a specific tournament or moment that really made you want to become a pro golfer?
ALENA SHARP: I feel like when I first started playing I wasn't -- I was playing hockey, soccer. I wasn't really like all in in golf.

Then when I was 15, 16 I won my first Ontario Junior. Then when I that happened, I thought, Okay, well, I'm get, better at this game and liking it more. Maybe I can get a scholarship. All my friends were a little bit older and going away on scholarships.

Once I did that, I thought, Okay, let's see how we do. By my last year as a first-team all-American -- and I knew my second year in college that I wanted to give pro a try. You know, try it for five years, and if I don't make it, then do something else.

I made it on my third try at Q-School and haven't looked back.

I think I that moment when I won the Ontario junior when he was 15 or 16, that's when I first started thinking I could do this for a living.

Q. Have you made any changes this season? You mentioned you feel like you're playing some of your best golf. Have you changed anything in regards to your mental approach to the game?
ALENA SHARP: Trying to be less hard on myself and putting a little bit less pressure on myself. When I do make a mistake, kind of just be a little bit more empathetic instead of, Why did you do that? You know, mentally being negative towards myself doesn't help me. I guess I've learned that over the years.

So I am definitely doing that much better. Just really staying positive in general. I feel like when you have positive vibes you get the good bounces and you get the putts slipping in.

So just taking that outlook. If I am tired I am going to have to take a week off. When I get tired I get grumpy. You just have to listen to yourself. Definitely my mindset is much month more the positive, upbeat side this year.

Obviously helps to have a good start, too.

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