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August 11, 2017

Albane Valenzuela

San Diego, California

Q. Your brother mentioned a putt on the third hole, one that kind of dove in the hole. Was that a key one early for you?
ALBANE VALENZUELA: Yeah, that was great. She made a very good putt on 1, and she gave me that hole, and on 2. Yeah, 3, when you make such long putts, it just gives you momentum, and it just feels great to make that kind of putt in match play. It gives you more energy. But then she bounced back with another birdie on 4, so it was just like back and forth. But I think the first seven holes we were both playing really good golf, and it was a tough match. Robynn is a really good player, so I knew I had to make some of those putts if she was making them, as well.

Q. How long do you think that putt was on 3?
ALBANE VALENZUELA: I don't know. It felt really long, though. Yeah, it's hard to -- probably 15, 20 meters.

Q. This is your brother's second time on the bag, second tournament on the bag?

Q. How are you guys progressing as a caddie-player relationship?
ALBANE VALENZUELA: It's great. The good thing is we have kind of the same distance, so that's also good for him because he can kind of relate to my game. I mean, he's been watching me play for so many years now. I felt very confident having him on the bag, and so, yeah, it's just great. He makes me laugh and just makes me very relaxed, and he's very on top of everything. He gets on the hole and just measures everything, and he's very disciplined. He's a great caddie. Anyone on the LPGA could hire him. He's good to hire.

Q. When did he start caddying for you this week, all week?
ALBANE VALENZUELA: Yeah, all week.

Q. Stroke play, too?
ALBANE VALENZUELA: Yeah, it was kind of the deal. He couldn't caddie at the Olympics because he was too small, and he was really bummed. So I told him, well, next summer you'll caddie for me both Europeans and U.S. Am. So that was kind of the thing. But even before that, he never even tried, so we really started with two big tournaments. That was the first time.

Q. And he's how old?
ALBANE VALENZUELA: He's going to turn 16.

Q. So he's 15 now?

Q. He was with you at the Olympics, he was just saying how impressed he was with how you handled all that. How much did that help you grow as a person and a golfer, to go through that experience there?
ALBANE VALENZUELA: Yeah, I mean, definitely when you play such big events, it helps you with pressure and just how to deal with that kind of events, that type of courses. Just playing under very, very difficult conditions. Playing in majors before also helped me getting ready for the Olympics. But it just showed me that I have to stay very patient, very relaxed. I'm grateful to be in that kind of position still at 18, 19. It's just having fun, and it definitely helped me golf and just be prepared for that kind of championship.

Q. Do you feel less pressure here or less nerves because you've played so many majors and so many big events, or does it not make a difference?
ALBANE VALENZUELA: I mean, I'm not like super nervous type of person, and especially in match play. You really just can only think about your match. You never know how it goes. I've been four down and came back, and I've been four up. You never know until you shake hands. You can't think too much forward, so I think that also takes some pressure off. It forces you to stay in the present, so I think that helps me. But obviously when you have to make those good putts, you always feel a little nervous. That's normal. If I wasn't nervous a little bit, I wouldn't be a human.

Q. Were you sort of feeling her pain a bit with the blister?
ALBANE VALENZUELA: Yeah, you don't want this to happen to anyone. You want her to also be in her best shape. It makes the match even more fun. It's not fun to see someone hurt or anything.

Q. What hole did that first flare up with her? Was she limping from the start?
ALBANE VALENZUELA: Yeah, I think it started like on I'd say 6. Yeah, I think 7 like really got bad for her.

Q. You had a close call at the European Am. We learn a lot from close calls and tough losses. What did you learn from that experience?
ALBANE VALENZUELA: I learned that I can win or lose with seven shots ahead or behind. You know, I know now I can win if I'm seven shots back, but I also know I can lose. I think I put maybe too much pressure on myself. I had a bad round of golf. It was just kind of bad circumstances let's say, and bad rounds happen. But I still had a very good tournament. Now that I look back at it, I'm like, well, you played really good golf. I'm still second runner-up at the European championship. If someone told me the me before you'd be runner up, I'd sign. You'd take that kind of performance. You obviously want to win, but I know I'm really close to winning a big one, so that just gives me also confidence for coming into this week. I know I'm capable of winning and just playing my best game.

Q. You'll be playing a Southern Cal golfer tomorrow and your dad went to UCLA, right? Is that going to give you a little more motivation?
ALBANE VALENZUELA: Yeah, maybe, at least for him. Lilia is such a great player. I got to play with her several times. She won four times this year in college golf, so it'll be a really tough one. Obviously everyone that makes it to the semis played really well the previous matches, so it's going to be a tough one, and we'll just see how it goes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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