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July 31, 2019

Mel Reid

Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

THE MODERATOR: Welcome, Mel. You've come by car from Geneva to get here. Tell us a little bit, you started the year a little bit slow and then you somehow have turned it around and had an amazing finish at the KPMG a month ago. Can you talk a little bit about how your season started after moving to America and everything?

MEL REID: Yeah, I mean, obviously my life changed a lot this year. I made a decision to move to America, came out of a long-term relationship. Me and Jorge have only been working together for six months, so that was relatively new. I changed my trainer, changed my caddie. So yeah, I kind of changed everything. So I knew it was going to take kind of a while to adapt and for things to kind of all fall back together into kind of place. You know, I knew really me playing well at the start of the season was probably going to be a bit lucky, if anything, so yeah, it was nice to kind of come into a little bit of form middle of the season.

I felt for the first time the week before KPMG at Grand Rapids that my swing was actually free. I felt like all the -- I had kind of -- I absolutely busted my ass this winter, like really have worked the hardest I've worked by a country mile.

To kind of see the work that me and Jorge had done and to change my body shape slightly with my trainer Ken, to kind of see that freed up a little bit in Grand Rapids and take that into the following week at KPMG was a huge relief really, because I've gone from struggling to keep my card to being completely free not just until the end of this year but for next year, as well. It was just nice to see all that hard work finally, finally pay off.

THE MODERATOR: How did you keep patient during the first six months?

MEL REID: I've got to give credit to Jorge, really, and the rest of my team in a sense because it's very easy to -- when things aren't going well to get distracted and to lose kind of faith in what you're doing. But they kind of reminded me to -- simple, take a little time, but you have to trust the process. We've made big changes to make big differences.

So yeah, I've got to credit them, really. Jorge has obviously been a huge impact the last year and a half, and my new trainer Ken is by far the best trainer I've ever had, and obviously I trust myself as an athlete, so it's very important for me to have my body in a good shape.

Yeah, I mean, that was it, really. They just kind of kept me focusing on what we're trying to achieve here and that it's going to take some time, that I've just got to keep doing the hard work and it will pay off.

THE MODERATOR: Last time we were here at Woburn you made the cut but had four rounds in the 70s. Have you prepared any differently this year?

MEL REID: Not really. I mean, I made a mistake last year at the British Open. I definitely practised too much. I think I did 20 hours in two days of practice. I took it a lot easier this year. So hopefully that's going to make a difference. I obviously saw the course yesterday. The course is playing long. It's definitely playing longer than last time we were here, which I'm all up for. I think that's how a major championship should be. It should be a good test of golf, and the course is in immaculate condition. I'm really impressed with the condition of it.

Yeah, I've done things slightly different. I've rented an apartment and I've invited my friends to stay with me, which is the first time I've done that. I kind of at KPMG had really good people around me, and I noticed a difference, so I've kind of -- instead of me just staying on my own, I've kind of had people that I trust around me that aren't going to distract me away from golf, so that was also a big decision that I made this year.

THE MODERATOR: On the course, what particular holes do you think they've changed for the better?

MEL REID: Yesterday obviously it was not great weather, but 18 is certainly playing longer. You know, we played the par-5, is it No. 7, we played that into wind, and I would say I carry it one of the longer players in the air with a driver, and I only carried that fairway by 20 yards yesterday on a par-5.

Yeah, I mean, it's just longer. The par-3s are very, very solid. A lot of par-4s, 16 is a very, very par-4 now. No. 1 I think they must have moved back. I know it was windy yesterday, but I hit 7-iron in there yesterday. Yeah, I think the length of it is probably the main difference that you can see.

Q. Can you tell us about your routing to get here if you were on a long drive from Geneva?
MEL REID: Yeah, so actually I had a flight back at 7:00. Obviously we got delayed. Luckily my dad was out there with me, so he drives everywhere. He's a nutter.

So he drove over, and the original plan was my caddie and him were going to drive back. They'd take my golf clubs, but obviously with the whole carnage of flights and everyone getting cancelled, I was like, I'll just jump in with you and drive with you. So me and him just kind of split the driving and ended up to be a good decision that we didn't put the bag on the back road, and we got back I think, in 11 hours. We kind of bummed it a bit. So we got back about 6:00 a.m. on Monday and then I got here Monday night.

Q. Is that in any way, shape or form kind of unsettling for this week? Obviously it's back-to-back majors, so to have that in the middle of it all, as well?
MEL REID: I mean, it didn't help, you've got to get on with it, haven't you. You can't control the uncontrollables. I mean, back-to-back majors is obviously extremely unusual. It would have been ideal if it started on a Wednesday last week so that players would have an extra day for kind of things that you can't control like what happens. But you don't know that's going to happen. So you just -- I kind of feel like I made the right decision going with my dad and driving. I felt fine. I kind of worked out on Monday, saw my physio first thing Tuesday morning, so everything is fine with me. I don't feel like it's hindered me at all.

Q. Lots of talk this week about the Solheim Cup. How much is that on your mind and how do you assess your position?
MEL REID: Yeah, no one has mentioned Solheim Cup to me at all the last couple months. Look, obviously I've got two big weeks this week. I don't want to just play well to get in Solheim Cup, I want to play well for my own thing. If I play well these next few weeks, I feel like that will take care of itself. Obviously everybody is asking me about it. I don't know, obviously I feel like I've come into some form the last six, seven weeks, which is what you want when a Solheim Cup is in four or five weeks. So I'd say I'm probably one of the more informed European players, which hopefully is giving Beanie more of a headache than what she's already got.

But there's a lot of good players that are either in the team or knocking on the door of it. We'll see. We'll see obviously in a couple weeks if I'm not in any pick, but I feel like if I'm going to play well the next few weeks, then it kind of takes care of itself.

Q. When you were grinding 20 hours in two days, what were you trying to find?
MEL REID: I don't know. Jorge is a workaholic. I've never known somebody to work as hard as him. Obviously it was kind of a new relationship at that point, so I wanted to learn as much as possible. He doesn't stop, unless you tell him to. So now I understand him a lot better now. I actually spoke to Carlota about it because I feel like she's very similar to me in kind of the way she practises and the way that her personality is a bit more laid back than some of these other players, and she's like, you've just got to tell him to stop. So I kind of did. I was like, that was too much. He's like, I agree, but I can't -- he finds it very difficult to stop unless I stop. He wants the best for his players. But if I'm asking for more information, he's going to give me more information. That's his job, really.

This year has been completely different. He's been completely opposite with me, which is amazing. He'll look at me sometimes and be like, listen, you're good, you don't need anymore. You're good. It's about learning how people work and how people react to things. Like I said, it was just quite new in the relationship. But I don't want to spend 20 hours with him anymore in two days.

Q. You've known Charley for a while. How do you think this golf course, her home course, suits her game and how do you think she handles the pressure of being here?
MEL REID: I think any golf course suits her game. She's a great player. I played with her the last round at Evian. Obviously I've played a lot of golf with her. She's obviously a very, very good player.

I think this week is probably -- everyone has so many high expectations for her, but I think this is probably the toughest week that she ever had because of the expectations and because it is her home golf course. At the end of the day, it's a major championship. There's a lot of good players here, and obviously it would be incredible if she won here, but she's got a lot of other stuff going on that is added pressure this week for her.

So out of all the players in the field, this is probably the hardest for her. But yeah, I mean, I've always been impressed with Charley. She's always had the game and obviously spent a bit of time with her. Obviously I'm competitive, but I do hope she plays well this week and she obviously represents Woburn, so it would be nice for her to play well this week.

Q. How important was the large purse increase here, and what are your hopes that it leads to?
MEL REID: I mean, obviously it's nice. I think that AIG has come in the first year and increased the prize fund a lot as a sponsor. We need more companies like that that believe in women's golf. We've had a lot -- I think the LPGA is in a very fortunate position that we've had a lot of prize funds go up, which is great, but that's what we want. We want to be playing for money, a lot of money, and it's never going to be the same as the men. But we're being realistic here. But it shows that they respect women's golf.

I think that's kind of the big thing here is you see the Tour trucks this week. There's a couple more Tour trucks here than there is usually, because again, I think it's because a few players, including myself, have been outspoken about manufacturers not being as respectful to the women's game as they should be. You know, I feel like they have a responsibility, and it's nice for them to be here to support such a big tournament like this and to support women's golf.

Q. You spoke about having a new trainer. Can you talk about the importance of health and well-being to you as a professional athlete?
MEL REID: Yeah, I mean, I think it's huge. I think obviously golf is a non-contact sport, but the amount of pressure that we put on our bodies, on our backs, on our wrist, it's huge. And golf is -- I feel like golf is over-practised personally. I feel like we over-train and over-practise compared to most sports. For me it obviously depends on your body type. Some players don't, but I need to because I'm not built for power, I'm built for running a long distance. I have just a good engine. But I need to build muscle to be able to hold positions. It also makes me feel good. I don't feel good if I don't work out.

I think especially for women, I think it's hugely important, honestly. We travel so much, we're on planes constantly, we're constantly doing something. Nutrition and fitness for me is one of the most important things.

Q. And also, how do you concentrate on mental health in terms of keeping your head?
MEL REID: Yeah, I don't know really. I think that it's -- I think the older you get and the more -- like the more you kind of figure out what works for you, every player is different, obviously. It even varies week to week. Some weeks I like to stay on my own, some weeks I like to have a house with a lot of people.

Yeah, I mean, I think it's mainly about not getting distracted. I kind of try and go off social media a little bit during big tournaments. I don't particularly like to scroll through like Twitter or Instagram or anything like that. It's honestly just about keeping yourself happy. If you want to go out with your friends and have dinner, go out with your friends and have dinner. If you don't, you don't. You've just got to understand your body, understand the way that you're feeling and kind of trust that and trust that you know yourself better than anyone.

Q. Have you gotten any closer to finding something to go on your hat?
MEL REID: I don't know. I don't know. No, so I'll still be wearing a blank hat until something pops up. But yeah, no.

Q. During your time as a pro, can you remember a moment when the English game was as strong as it is now? And what would be your best guess as to how many player from England would make the Solheim Cup team?
MEL REID: I think the English golf is in great shape right now. You know, obviously you've got Charley and Georgia, see how Jodi plays this week, obviously Bronte, I've known Bronte for a lot of years, pretty tight with Bronte. She's a little firecracker. It looks like she's going to be on the team, and I think she's going to be one of the best additions to the team.

So yeah, I mean, I've never seen English golf this strong. I think it's great. I mean, hopefully we're going to have maybe four, maybe five girls on that team from England, which is pretty amazing, really. So yeah, I mean, that just goes to show that the English girls are doing something right. We're not quite sure what it is, but yeah, I mean, I think English golf right now is the strongest I've ever seen it.

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