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July 5, 2018

Katherine Kirk

Oneida, Wisconsin

THE MODERATOR: It's less than 24 hours since we last had Katherine Kirk in the media center here at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic.

You just lit up the golf course this morning. Tell us about your round.

KATHERINE KIRK: Well, obviously I know you can go low out there, so, yeah, stepping on to the first tee today I just said, Let's play aggressively and go make as many birdies as possible.

Yeah, thankful it worked out.

THE MODERATOR: Did you have a number in mind when you stepped on the golf course this morning?

KATHERINE KIRK: No, not at all. But, I mean, having shot 9-under last year, and I knew the conditions were going to be perfect in morning, the greens were perfect. I knew someone could probably go close though that.

So I got off to a hot start. Yeah, just tried to keep the pedal down on the back nine.

THE MODERATOR: It's been a while since you've defended a title. Is this about a good of a start you could ask for?

KATHERINE KIRK: Oh, yeah. This is actually my best round ever professionally. It's kind of weird, because I had my worst round professionally last Friday at KPMG.

So for all those golf fans, there is hope.

THE MODERATOR: All right. We'll get started with questions.

Q. Yesterday you talked so much about just confidence coming into this tournament. Can you talk about just how different it was for you to have all this buildup, and instead of maybe letting that intimidate you or get in your head, to use that as motivation and go out and attack the course today?
KATHERINE KIRK: Yeah, it's kind of interesting. I think I told you guys yesterday I had no expectations to win obviously. Obviously there are good vibes here and I have a lot of confidence on this golf course. Just suits my eye.

So with that being said though, you can only play one hole at time. That's all I did today. I just stayed in the moment. Yeah, just really happy that I putted well and made a lot of birdies. Off to a good start.

Yeah, it's a marathon; it's not a sprint. It's going to take another three really good rounds to be in contention on Sunday.

THE MODERATOR: Tell us about having your husband here today. You were telling me before he wasn't here last year for the win, but he was here today.

KATHERINE KIRK: Yeah, so our friends give him grief actually because usually when he shows up I don't play as well. So, yeah, they've got no opportunity to barbeque him today because he's been here since Tuesday night, so I'm really glad.

But, yeah, he was here at the start of the week last year, Monday/Tuesday, and then had to go home and work and go on a guys' golf trip. He was wanting to come in for the final round last year, but everyone was like, No, stay away; stay away; leave her alone.

Yeah, I'm glad he's here and we get to experience the week. He's enjoying it so far. Obviously, yeah, learning about the Oneida Tribe and the Oneida Nation and just getting some good Green Bay hospitality.

Yeah, I'm glad he's here.

Q. You said this course suits your eye. Can you explain that a little bit? Why does this suit your eye and your game?
KATHERINE KIRK: Partly because it's generous off the tee. I've never been a very straight driver of the golf ball. I don't know. Just reminds me of some courses back in Kansas.

Obviously, yeah, got some good shots in mind from last year. Yeah, it's a pretty golf course. There are lots of easy targets to pick; greens are perfect.

So, yeah, it's a fun golf course to play.

Q. Obviously you had a really good round today. Do you think you might change approach on some holes tomorrow at all?
KATHERINE KIRK: No. I mean, obviously the hole locations will change so I'll look at those with my caddie in the morning. We actually looked at some of the hole locations today because we get paint marks out there. The greens are perfect right now. I mean, you can throw darts at them.

I'll try and play aggressively tomorrow. I think our conditions are going to be good tomorrow afternoon, which will bode more good golf scores. It's just going to be a matter of keeping the pedal down.

Game plan won't change a whole lot. Off the tee I'm pretty content with how all that is. It's just a matter of, yeah, getting good numbers and being aggressive on your approach shots.

Q. Hey, Katherine, you mentioned today was your best professional round and last week you mentioned it was your worst. How does that work? When you come here, like what brings out the best when maybe you were just coming off the worst?
KATHERINE KIRK: Well, I mean, there's kind of a human element in there, right? Golf is funny. When you've played it as long as I have professionally you realize, Hey, some days will be good and some will be bad.

I did get really frustrated on Saturday on the range when I was trying to work on a new swing thought. Not a new one, but an exaggeration I should say. I felt really good at the end of Saturday and told myself, Hey, listen, you've played well up in Green Bay. You know how to score around there. Just go do it. Like it's not the rocket science.

So, yeah, just mentally always have to say, Hey, it's a new day. Let's go get it. Yeah, I played horribly on Friday, but that's Friday. It's gone. I can learn from it and just put it behind me.

Q. There are some pretty big names still to come out on the course today. Curious, when you have an early tee time like you had today taking that lead into the clubhouse, what do you do you with the rest of your day? Do you sit around and watch and see who else creeps up on that leaderboard, or do you just try to get away from it all?
KATHERINE KIRK: Well, one of my good friends out here, Amy Olson, she and her husband are going to play pickleball this afternoon and I've never done it. I'm kind of thinking I might drag Tom along and we might go try a new sport.

We might watch a little bit of the coverage on TV later, but I'm expecting there will be some low numbers out there this afternoon. Yeah, it's exciting for golf. Yeah, it's always better when there is a bunched leaderboard. I hope there is a, yeah, a good number of scores out there this afternoon.

Yeah, keep pushing me.

Q. What does it do for you to start birdie, birdie, birdie? Then to follow up, what does it do to birdie 18 to get to 10-under?
KATHERINE KIRK: Yeah, it's always nice to start birdie, birdie, birdie. Then in your head you're going, Okay, I'm hitting it well, I'm putting well, let's see if we can keep this going.

Surprisingly I didn't birdie the par-5, what is it, 13. But you know there are plenty of opportunities out there, so it's just a matter of staying patient and focused and aggressive.

When I turned 7-under I wasn't really thinking a whole lot about score. I knew I had a good front nine, but I know that I can't get ahead of myself because it usually go AWOL.

Yeah, just kept the pedal down as best I could. Yeah, really nice to finish with a tap-in birdie on the last. That's a tough par-5 if you make to a three-shot hole. I was fortunate I hit a good wedge shot into about three, four inches and had a tap-in. Kind of a nice way to finish the round.

THE MODERATOR: Any other questions for Katherine? Okay, keep it going. Thanks for joining us.


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