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June 8, 2018

Laura Diaz

Galloway, New Jersey

Q. Great round. Talk about the circumstances to get here this week.
LAURA DIAZ: Well, I was coming up to play the pro-ams and decided I would enter and see if I would get in; I wasn't in. I signed up to play the Monday qualifier, but by Saturday I had gotten in the tournament.

So we drove up Sunday in the pouring down rain. I played a practice round Monday and pro-am Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

Q. How much competitive golf have you played this year to this point?
LAURA DIAZ: None. No, that's not true. I played the U.S. Open qualifier like two weeks ago I guess, two, three weeks ago. That would be it.

Q. Having said that, what's your reaction to being the clubhouse leader at this point?
LAURA DIAZ: Well, one, we're early in the day, so not thinking that will be the lead at the end of the day.

But, you know, regardless of the lead, not the lead, I'm very happy with how I played. It's more special because I have my son with me. I was great. He wasn't nervous. He was perfect. So it's a calming influence. I think I spent more time worrying about him.

But it's just a lot of fun. I think the last few years have been hard, so came out with a little bit different perspective last year and just tried to play a little bit more relaxed.

Q. What's his name and how old is he?
LAURA DIAZ: He's Cooper and he's 12.

Q. How would you assess his performance out there?
LAURA DIAZ: I would say a 95. Room for improvement. Remembering to clean my ball, which I just spit on all day. So that's it.

Q. Did you feel good right from the start?
LAURA DIAZ: No. Oh, my gosh. I didn't feel good at all the whole day.

No, I mean, obviously nerves are very present, but I think that I'm not the first to say that the day that I come to the first tee and I'm not nervous, then that's the day I shouldn't play.

You know, there was a little bit in the last few years that they really seemed to get to me more, so I think my biggest challenge is figuring out how to not let them get to me. He's a huge asset in that because I can focus more on him than me.

Q. What made you put him on the bag today?
LAURA DIAZ: Well, we tried it last year. And not knowing whether or not I was going to get in or not, I have a caddie who has caddie for me the last few years, Pete, and he's awesome. But I didn't want him to wait for me, so I said to Cooper, Listen, it's a flat golf course. The weather should be perfect.

He tried to caddie in Wisconsin last year and it was 95 degrees, 100% humidity, a real estate property, so long walks between tees and greens. After an 18 hole practice round he was like, Mom, I can't do this. He was just honest about it.

He's grown about four inches since last year and is playing a little bit more golf. TaylorMade was nice enough to send a bag that's comfortable for him to carry.

Didn't complain not one time.

Q. What was it like to get your competitive juices going again on a regular LPGA event?
LAURA DIAZ: I think I got a little taste at the Open. I kind of surprised myself at the Open qualifier. It's great. I think it's always fun to compete. I definitely miss it.

But I really enjoy watching my son and my eight-year-old daughter compete at their stuff, too. Lilly swims and she plays soccer and Cooper plays baseball and golf and basketball. I think I get a lot of competitive juices out at their stuff.

But it's always fun to compete.

Q. Have you been involved in golf when you're not competing, like maybe just hitting balls or...
LAURA DIAZ: I'm his assistant coach for his golf team, his JV, and then I practice. We're a member of Forsyth Country Club, so it's right down the street from us. So I go out there and whip around, you know, a two-hour 18-hole round, and then play with them.

Q. What's the name of Cooper's cool?
LAURA DIAZ: St. Leo's Catholic School.

Q. So you're JV coach at St. Leo's? We can say that?

Q. What's town is that in?
LAURA DIAZ: Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Q. Oh, you're down in North Carolina?

Q. In Winston-Salem?
LAURA DIAZ: In Winston-Salem, yeah.

Q. You were in New York for a while.
LAURA DIAZ: I grew up in New York and moved to Amelia Island, Florida. When I went to Wake my parents moved to Amelia Island. And then six years ago we moved back to Winston-Salem so my husband, Kevin, could be the assistant women's golf coach at Wake Forest, and he left that a year and a half ago to work for (indiscernible.)

Q. Oh, okay. (Regarding fans.)
LAURA DIAZ: My mom and dad are both here, and, well, great family friend came out. He housed me when I was 16, and so he's watched me play for -- let's not talk about it -- but a long time.

And then a family here that we've become close to were out. So they were all out.

Q. You're now 40?
LAURA DIAZ: 43. Thank you. That was very nice.

Q. Rookie year was the '99, so we tried to do the math ut I wasn't very good at math anyway.
LAURA DIAZ: Rookie year on the LPGA, yeah; turned pro in '97. It's been a long ride.

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