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August 10, 2017

Isabella Fierro

San Diego, California

Q. Talk about the match and how it went.
ISABELLA FIERRO: I mean, Haley is a great player, and actually she done a really good job in the U.S. Girls' a couple weeks ago, and I knew she was really confident in her game and everything, but it's match play, and the best players in the world are playing here. Today I was feeling really, really happy in like the past days, and I'm really enjoying this. Having the coach on my bag, he is helping me with a lot of things. Actually I hit great shots today, and I think I'll take that with me tonight.

Q. She was talking about the fact that that was the difficult part for her is when she would hit it close, you would hit it close, too, that you were just really hard. Did it feel that way to you?
ISABELLA FIERRO: I mean, as I told you, it's match play, so you can put it closer but maybe I can miss a putt and maybe she can make it. You need to play smart sometimes, and I think my coach helped me a lot in that stuff and in the game plan, I think. Right now it's working for me, so yeah.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about your up bringing in Mexico? Where did you grow up, what area?
ISABELLA FIERRO: Yeah, so I was born in Mérida, Yucatán. That is in the south of Mexico, and when I was a month, I moved to Playa del Carmen, that's a little island, and I lived there 14 years, and two years ago, I just moved to Mérida again, and right now I'm doing -- I'm going to be a junior, and I verbally committed to Oklahoma State and I'm going in two years.

Q. Growing up in Mexico, what were your golf opportunities in those places where you lived?
ISABELLA FIERRO: I mean, the good thing is that I always had my parents' support. My dad always wants my siblings and me to do a sport and do it well, and thank God he helped me a lot during my career and everything. I thank to him a lot and my mom, also. He has done a lot of sacrifices for me. He has left my little brother and my sister to come here with me in the tournaments, and that's really important for me.

In the national team, they actually -- they actually do a really, really good job, and the players from Mexico right now, they're really, really solid. Right now we have, I think, four players in college that we are in the national squad. I mean, Mexico has a great level.

Q. Lorena's influence on you, what has it been, and have you had a relationship with her in some way?
ISABELLA FIERRO: Yeah, I mean, my coach, Rafael, is also her coach. I ask her a lot of questions, and how was the Tour, and right now she's in the Hall of Fame, and that's great. Rafael, like for example, we were walking on the golf course, and I was asking him a lot of questions about Lorena. It's not the fact that I want to be like her. It's really tough to be like her, but I want the same path. I want to be in the Tour. I want to win a lot of tournaments and majors, and I just asked Rafael a lot of questions and then I can ask her a lot of questions.

I mean, she was, I think, on the same path as I can right now, and it feels great.

Q. What's Rafael's last name?

Q. How long has he been your coach?
ISABELLA FIERRO: For nine years now.

Q. He coached Lorena?

Q. How did you come into contact with him?
ISABELLA FIERRO: I mean, I don't remember my age exactly, but I was playing the Callaway in San Diego, and I remember he was looking at me with sunglasses, and he was like standing on the green. I knew who he was, and I was like, dad, come on, this is Rafael Alarcon, I want to talk to him, and he was like, no. And then Rafael and my dad started talking, and we had a connection at the time, and yeah, it's working right now.

Q. When did you start playing in Junior World?
ISABELLA FIERRO: I actually started when I was five or six. I won that event two years in a row when I was six or seven. Yeah, two years in a row I won that one.

Q. Have you been going back since? Has it been a while since you played?
ISABELLA FIERRO: Yeah, I played like two years ago, I think, and actually Haley was in the top three, and I was in the top 5. Yeah, I played in the North Course in Torrey Pines, so I think it was two years ago, yeah.

Q. So is it nice to be back in San Diego? Do you always enjoy being here?
ISABELLA FIERRO: Yeah, the weather is perfect. Every single time it's perfect, and I'm enjoying this a lot.

Q. What would it mean for you to win for your country as much as for yourself?
ISABELLA FIERRO: Oh, my gosh. I mean, winning this is just like a major for amateur level, and winning this, it gets me in LPGA events, and that's my dream as an amateur is to play an LPGA event. It would give me a lot of confidence, and I mean, I don't have the words to explain how I feel.

Q. Do you have memories of watching Lorena on TV, and what stands out about when you watched her?
ISABELLA FIERRO: Yeah, well, actually I saw her like on the TV when she was pro a lot of times. I never missed a tournament when she was playing, and what I admired of her was she was all the time with a smile. She was really, really happy all the time. I don't know if when she missed a shot, but she was really happy, and she treated like the other people -- for example, the volunteers and everyone so good that you will feel like you will remember those kind of players, not the ones that are like angry and just like moody, you know. So I mean, that's what I remember more about her. She was so good in the short game. Like she was so, so good.

Q. I asked you earlier, but I didn't follow up. Have you met her?

Q. How much have you spoken to her? What's she said to you about golf?
ISABELLA FIERRO: Yeah, we actually text a lot, and when I go to Guadalajara. That is where my coach -- right now Lorena is in Mexico City, but she used to live in Guadalajara, so she goes a lot there. So when I go there sometimes Rafael will call her and we meet. It's so nice. Yeah, it's nice.

Q. So she treats you like a little sister?
ISABELLA FIERRO: Yeah, I still -- like I still look at her like my idol. It's just unbelievable, yeah.

Q. So she probably does a lot of the talking and you do the listening?
ISABELLA FIERRO: Yeah, yeah. I think that's it, yeah.

Q. You've won the women's North and South this year?

Q. You were the first Mexican champion of that; that's one of the biggest amateur events in the country. How much do you think that prepared you for something like this?
ISABELLA FIERRO: Actually it gave me a lot of confidence coming here because it was also a match play event, stroke and then match. This is a new event, and this has a new field and everything and the best players in the world are here. It gave me confidence, but this is like a new tournament, and I just kind of not get distracted about that.

Q. Did you realize you're exempt now for next year to this event?

Q. Yeah, you don't have to qualify.
ISABELLA FIERRO: Oh, okay, that's nice. I didn't know that.

Q. People usually like to hear that.
ISABELLA FIERRO: That's nice. I'm happy, yeah.

Q. I just noticed looking at the photos all week, you're such a photogenic golfer. You seem to have these great reactions. Have you always been that way?
ISABELLA FIERRO: Yeah, I'm Mexican, and I think Latinos in general, we're like that. We're really emotional, and I say a couple putts, "vamos," that is "come on" in Spanish, and I like to enjoy every single shot, and I don't know, it's just like -- I've always been that way.

Q. Someone pointed out to me this week you're in Faces in the Crowd in Sports Illustrated. Did you know that?
ISABELLA FIERRO: No, I didn't know.

Q. In Sports Illustrated the magazine, they have a page of weekly images of athletes from all kinds of different sports. You'll have to look it up. Someone from Pinehurst actually sent it my way, like hey, you have a player in your field this week that's in Sports Illustrated Faces in the Crowd. I don't know how familiar you are with Sports Illustrated, but it's a big deal to be in that.
ISABELLA FIERRO: Wow, that's nice.

Q. Going back to the emotions, do you find sometimes you have to rein in the emotion, kind of dial back the emotion when you get a little bit too fired up?
ISABELLA FIERRO: Yeah, and of course when I hit a bad shot, I need to just stay calm because I don't want to be just like angry because then I know it's really difficult to change from -- we call, my coach and me call it channel 1 and channel 2. Channel 2 it's like all the bad emotions and negative and everything, and channel 1 is just like everything positive and good. So when I'm in channel 2, like sometimes they change, it's so difficult. I mean, if I had like a sad face or you get angry -- you can get angry for just like 20 seconds, and when you're on the next tee, you need to be totally different. When I have good shots, it's like, okay, nice, and just in the moment, and then just move on. It's the same with bad shots. That's always been me, and I mean, that helps me a lot when I play golf in general.

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