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June 6, 2018

Joanna Coe

Galloway, New Jersey

Q. Start out with the qualifier the other day. Can you just tell us a little bit about how you played and the day over there?
JOANNA COE: Sure, uh-huh. So, I mean, I couldn't ask for a better day. I mean, the conditions were just perfect. The greens were really soft so you could shoot at pins if you were in the right spots.

I was at a place with my swing where I hit it really well off the tee. If it wasn't a perfect strike, the miss was good, good enough, and I wasn't in the fescue at all. That's the key of Seaview Bay, is to avoid that fescue.

So I was able to, you know, give myself some good chances and capitalize on a few of them. Felt nice to be back competing here.

Q. You've been working on something in your game that's led to a score like that?
JOANNA COE: Well, first, I mean, it was a crazy winter. I had this emergency appendectomy so I couldn't swing or work out for a while. Kind of threw me off a little bit. I was playing really well before that.

I'm working full time, so it's a really tough balance to work on your game, teach, work a ton of hours a week, and work out, all that kind of stuff. So my swing got a little off, but short game was like better than ever. My wedge game, my mentality, the stability in my life, like everything is better than ever. I just needed to fix my tee shots really.

So my swing coach came down to Baltimore and we worked for like five hours and it just worked. Thank goodness. That's what I needed. So, yeah.

Q. What are you doing full time?
JOANNA COE: So I'm at Baltimore Country Club. I'm a golf professional there, junior golf director, and I teach. Now I'm a PGA Class A member, so after I stopped playing the Symetra Tour, I joined BCC and started the route to membership.

There is an accelerated route for former tour pros, so I was eligible for that. I got everything done in a year, which is great. Not only gives you great educational opportunities and a lot of connections, but there is a ton to play in in this section in the national events. Now there is a Women's PGA Cup, so, you know, I aspire to be on that team.

And then I got into KPMG because of it. It was a great route.

Q. You're in this year's KPMG?
JOANNA COE: I am. So playing two LPGA events this month. It's like I'm back on tour.

Q. Is there a qualifier for that?
JOANNA COE: Yes. So the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional National Championship was, what, the first week of September? Something like that.

And female PGA members are now eligible to play in that since the LPGA and the PGA of America have a relationship. It didn't used to be like that. Only a couple years ago.

And then the top eight at that event qualify for KPMG, I came in solo second. So I've known about this for a long time, so I treated the Monday as a prep for KPMG. Just kind of worked out.

Q. When did you know that it was time to take the step from touring Pro to club pro?
JOANNA COE: You know, I think that last Q-School when, you know, it's five rounds, you play decent, you don't make it, and you just get this mentality about yourself that -- first time in my life I just wasn't super confident. I needed a change; I needed stability.

I wanted to be in one spot for more than a couple days at time. Just to go back to somewhat of a quote/unquote normal life. But I love competing. There is nothing more I love in this world. I just needed that stability and I just knew it.

I feel like at that age everyone out here kind of starts figuring out, Okay, what's next? I knew I always wanted to go into teaching. It was either going to be college coaching or teaching. Luckily I had a lot of knowledge and background in teaching, so it was a very easy transition.

Q. What Q-School was that?
JOANNA COE: I guess it was, what, three years ago? That one.

Q. 2015?
JOANNA COE: Probably, yeah.

Q. Baltimore Country Club was your first job as a club professional?
JOANNA COE: Yes, uh-huh. You know, I've worked in pro shops at the Blue Heron Pines; my sister used to work here. I've worked in pro shops before, so it's not the first time I ever worked at a club. Never a high-end club, elite club like that.

You know, it was interesting. I didn't think I really got the job, because I wasn't a PGA professional. I had no experience running my own junior golf department.

But they went with someone that kind of brought that X factor. So they took a little leap of faith and it worked out. I've grown the program threefold for the junior golf program at BCC. Started with like 110 kids and now its 275.

So it's been the best thing after tour golf that I could have asked for.

Q. You mentioned that things are better than ever except for the swing, which you fixed. Is that because of the stability that you have there?
JOANNA COE: It is, uh-huh. It is. I'm happy. I mean, the members at the club, no matter what, if I shoot 82 or 62, they still love me. I'm in a good place with relationships off the course with my family.

Then to know that all of this is just bonus, it just takes all the pressure off. It's a really good feeling. All of a sudden you get your confidence back.

Because, now, shooting 72 at home feels great; when you go out here, it's not that good, you know? Once in a while I can still throw a little 68 in there and get the pep in your step back.

Yeah, the stability was key. Everyone asked me at home, You just going to go back and leave us? Go back on tour? Who knows if I do great, but there is no plan to just all of a sudden give that up.

Because I have that is why I'm playing well, uh-huh.

Q. What did you shoot Monday?

Q. Little 68.
JOANNA COE: Yep, yep.

Q. Did you remember everything about Seaview when you came down?
JOANNA COE: Of course. I didn't even do a practice round. I taught from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 something on Sunday and drove two and a half hours. Got to my neighbor's house. She's like an aunt to me because my mom moved to Charlotte. We had dinner and I went to bed. Got here like an hour and a half before my time.

But I know this golf course. I had to execute, but, I mean, no one knows this course more than myself and my coach, Bruce, who caddied for me.

Q. Do you have any expectations for Friday?
JOANNA COE: I don't. That's what's great, you know? I had no expectations for Monday. I knew that I was prepared. I did the Open qualifier a few weeks ago and I really knew I wasn't prepared. It's been rough winter and it was a rough spring. You just don't get the reps that you used to get.

But I've worked my tail off the last four, five weeks and I knew I was prepared. Still, I don't have expectations. As long as I feel ready I can do it.

But, no, zero.

Q. When was your surgery?
JOANNA COE: Late January.

Q. So you were prohibited from hitting balls for how long?
JOANNA COE: I could start chipping and putting after a couple weeks, but just felt like this weird cramp that I couldn't -- they said, Just don't push it. You'll know when you're ready.

I went to the Super Bowl instead. I'm a huge Eagles fan, and made a bucket list dream come true. You know, it ended up being all right. (Laughter.) I didn't lift my suitcase; my sister did.

Q. Nice. Was it just you and your sister or your whole family?
JOANNA COE: Yep. No, me and my sister. Sister trip.

Q. You didn't mind the cold weather after the result?
JOANNA COE: I mean, it was the coldest weekend in my life, but it was so worth it. It was just a winter wonderland, football mania. It was great.

Q. When were you able to hit balls again full out?
JOANNA COE: I guess the end of February.

Q. Uh-huh.
JOANNA COE: Trying to think. Yeah. But the winter was so bad I didn't get outside. We have an indoor facility but there is nothing like seeing the ball flight. I was on TrackMan and recording myself.

Then it was, what, March and April, and March was awful. It's been raining like crazy, so it's really not that many times I've been outside. May I even somehow avoided the rainy weather and worked really hard.

Q. How do you compare the reward of sort of teaching to playing?
JOANNA COE: Right. That's a good question. I love teaching. Like there is nothing better than working with someone who's a 12 handicap and they're making tremendous strides and hitting shots they've never hit before.

I get texts all the time, Oh my gosh, I putted so well today. Oh my gosh, I can actually hit a bunker shot. It's so much fun.

But competing gives me that extra high, you know? Like there is nothing better than Monday night just feeling like you're on the top of the world, even though you're like, Okay, I just won a little Monday qualifier.

That's what sports does, competing does for me, and I love it. So it's great; just different.

Q. Can you take anything out of your past experiences here that you're going to maybe -- something you did differently? Maybe something you learned because you're at different place in your life now that you're going to take into Friday, different from when you teed it up here when you were younger?
JOANNA COE: You know, I think when I was younger I don't think I was ready. I don't. I think you play well throughout college and amateur golf and get thrown into this pro situation.

I had no idea what I was doing, what I was up for. To make a pro debut in your hometown, I mean, that was...

Q. Can be daunting.
JOANNA COE: Oh, totally. It was fun, but not the right choice, you know? How am I supposed to know? You're just getting thrown into it. It's not like I come from a golf family where you know what to expect.

So you just get thrown into it. It's fine. It makes you stronger. I have a ton of memories out there, good and bad. I've been everywhere or I've been in the fairway. Like every hole I can tell you I've either made triple or I've made an eagle. So I feel like I've done it all.

As you get older, it's just more about a walk in the park. Like I played a few holes with Anna Nordqvist yesterday and my heart was the same. Back in the day I would've been freaking out.

Yeah, just the whole -- it's an overwhelming situation when you're 21 years old. Now they're all my friends. They're like, Jo, welcome back. It's nice to see you. I feel like it's this loving family, but back then you're just star struck. You don't know a single person.

Yeah, it's very intimidating.

Q. How old are you now?
JOANNA COE: 28. I feel like a veteran. I played the Open qualifier with Yu Liu I think her name was. I'm like, How old are you? She's like, 22. She's been on tour for five years and she's 22. I was like, Wow, okay.

Q. Other than playing in the tournament itself, what's your experience at Seaview been like?
JOANNA COE: Playing or like what do you mean? The whole facility?

Q. Like you know the golf course from playing. Did you play here growing up?
JOANNA COE: Yes, yeah. I'm from 15 minutes away.

Q. So this is like the course you grew up playing on?
JOANNA COE: Right. So we played junior tournaments here, high school matches; I actually lost to Marina Alex in the state championship here by one shot when we were, what, 15, 16 years old or something.

Yeah, I've been here a million times and played great or I've played terrible. That's how it is out there.

Q. Forgive me for not knowing, you had surgery for what?
JOANNA COE: When I was on tour?

Q. It was recently?
JOANNA COE: I had an emergency appendectomy. It was just sudden, not expected. I had plans to play in Florida in a couple events and had to withdraw. It was just an unexpected weird thing in your abdomen when you're twisting and working and all that.

Yeah, I think it affected me a little bit more than I thought it would. I was in a really good place with my swing, but, you know, that's life.

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