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March 29, 2018

Jessica Korda

Rancho Mirage, California

Q. How about eight birdies on the day for Jessica Korda, especially that big one on 18 after bogeying 16 and 17. How does that momentum help you go into tomorrow finishing strong?
JESSICA KORDA: It's great. A couple of weird shots there, especially on 17. I was not aiming anywhere near where I hit it, and couldn't have gotten more unlucky, I would almost say. That was such a bad, bad position to be in.

But I'm really happy with how I handled today, stayed calm, and always a fun pairing with Lydia. So I really enjoyed myself out there.

Q. Your surgery that you had in the beginning of the year was well domed, your headaches that you incurred and your quick recovery, already a winner so far this season. For those of us that don't understand what it's like to be a professional athlete and deal with pain, like Tiger Woods has talked about, how much did that affect you not only on the golf course, but as far as your preparation?
JESSICA KORDA: I honestly didn't realize how much it affected me until I got the surgery done. I'm just a happier person now. I wake up, no headaches, and it just puts a totally different pressure on you. You almost wake up upset instead of wake up happy. Now I get to wake up pain-free every day.

Q. What stood out about the round today?
JESSICA KORDA: Well, it helps when you hit it to about two feet on the first hole, and then you have a two-putt for birdie on the second hole. Then I made a nice one on three. I just had good speed today and putts were dropping, which was nice. Lydia started to drop some putts which is always good to try to feed off of each other. Yeah, just had a good day.

Q. What did you hit into 1 from two feet?
JESSICA KORDA: I had a pitching wedge.

Q. Can you talk about 9, hitting driver again?
JESSICA KORDA: It was fun. We were talking about it the whole time. Like 248 front, and I was like it's first cut. It's kind of teed up. I was like why not do it? I'm 4-under par. I was like worst case, I make par. So we kept going back and forth. Lay-up, don't lay-up. And I was like, you know what? If I was like 1 or 2-over, maybe I'd lay-up and think about it. But I was like let's go. And I hit it so good. I actually caught way more air than I expected.

But that's kind of what I'm just trying to do is have fun out there, hit shots that normally I would probably not hit in a tournament.

Q. Is that the second time in competition?
JESSICA KORDA: Third, yeah.

Q. Was there one at Kia?
JESSICA KORDA: No, I didn't play Kia. I did it twice at Founders.

Q. When you start as fast as you did, and you get where under par early, mentally do you have to do anything to stay focused and keep from thinking, hey, I could really shoot a low number here?
JESSICA KORDA: No, I was just one shot at a time. As cliché as that is, that's exactly how you have to think about it. One shot at a time, and that's exactly what Collin and I did today. Just concentrated one shot at a time.

Q. Talk about trying to keep distractions at a minimum at the majors; you obviously must have done that well today. How did you do that?
JESSICA KORDA: Well, I mean, I had a totally new dynamic this morning where I had to think about what time I need to get up to make sure that I took Charlie out to go to the bathroom and make sure he had enough time to eat, and I had enough time to eat. I was like, what time do I need to get up? But it's so nice to have a puppy with you to distract you.

Q. What kind of puppy is it?
JESSICA KORDA: He's a mini Goldendoodle. He's so cute.

Q. How good did 18 feel when you hit that putt? You're a fan favorite out here, safe to say.
JESSICA KORDA: Yeah, it's awesome. I was super surprised it didn't spin back. Every year that shot always spins back and this time it just sat there. So I was like, okay, I guess I have to make a putt. But it was really nice. It was a really fast putt, and I was just trying to get it close almost.

Q. Is this the first time your dad's watched you play in person this year?

Q. What did he say to you about the round?
JESSICA KORDA: Nothing, not yet. He was kind of like I think I missed a putt on 13, and he was just like, "Your tempo got a little off," and I was like, "Thanks, Dad."

But I always appreciate it. I think he was happy with the way I played because on the golf course he was like, come on, let's go. Just super positive. So good. It's only Thursday, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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