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August 1, 2019

Ashleigh Buhai

Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

Q. Brilliant round to kick off the week, 65. What was the key out there?
ASHLEIGH BUHAI: Thanks very much. I struck the ball great today. I feel I've been playing pretty steadily the last two, three weeks, and it was just a case of trying to hold it together, and I did that today. I holed a lot of good putts, as well. Everything was just coming into place.

Q. Did you have a good feeling straight out of the gate starting out?
ASHLEIGH BUHAI: Yeah, I lipped out on my first hole for birdie, holed a good putt on my second, and the third I actually hit it in the right rough, had to punch it out, but a good bounce, rolled up to like four-foot, so we'll take that one. And then just really steady.

Q. A lot of players are saying this golf course is playing long, just over 300 yards longer than it was in 2016. For you as you sort of analyse after your opening round, what do you need to do particularly well around here to post low numbers?
ASHLEIGH BUHAI: You've got to keep it in the fairway, obviously. I thought the course plays shorter in my practice rounds. Maybe I didn't feel as intimidated. Yesterday I played in that wind, and it was (indiscernible). But I made a bogey, had to take an unplayable on 11, but managed to settle myself with three birdies coming in.

Q. Season to this point, pretty steady stuff for you. What were you feeling heading in given that form and for this final push in a major this year?
ASHLEIGH BUHAI: Yeah, I feel I've been playing really steady. My coach came out to the KPMG and I missed the cut there, but I felt I was playing good, and then kind of just felt everything was getting a little better every week. My short game has been really solid, and it's saved me when it's needed to without hitting greens, and today I hit the greens and I rolled in the putts, so it's good.

Q. You seem quite a mature sort of low-key -- are you keeping things in check right now? Obviously fantastic start. How do you just reflect on that and keep it steady -- obviously great start but a long way to go.
ASHLEIGH BUHAI: Yeah, there's a long way to go. Obviously in my last few tournaments I've had three good rounds and one not so good round, so I'm hoping this is the week I can do four good rounds. The last few weeks I have been just trying to stay mellow and keep everything in check, and it seems to be helping.

Q. Really solid stuff out there, great week to start the week. How do you reflect on that opening round?
ASHLEIGH BUHAI: Obviously I'm really chuffed to get in at 7-under. I hit a bit of a wobble in the middle of my round, and to finish with three birdies and come in strong -- I had a goal when I saw the lead was 6 to get to 7, so I holed like a 30-footer on the 16th hole and that got me to 7, so very happy.

Q. You came straight out fighting, a couple of birdies over the first three holes and that was really solid. That set you up well for the rest of the round?
ASHLEIGH BUHAI: Yeah, definitely. I felt I've been swinging it well, I'm hitting the target and into the zones that my coach and I talk about, and holing some really good putts. I'm feeling really confident with the putter, and it's been good the last few weeks, and today I managed to just hit a few more greens and rolled in the putts.

Q. It has been a pretty intense couple of weeks. It was a solid week last week for you at the Evian, coming straight off the back of that here. How do you manage the schedule over these couple of weeks and keep momentum going and build on today?
ASHLEIGH BUHAI: Yeah, it's been a long stretch. I did eight weeks in a row and took one week off before Evian, and then obviously last week Evian was playing super tough I found. The rough if you missed the fairways, it was brutal. I played very steady, and I brought that game into here. The driving, it's a little bit easier this week, so it's a little more forgiving, and you can still make a score if you miss the fairway, so I was really happy with the way I got around today.

Q. The course has been wet, playing a little longer, but it seems to suit your game.
ASHLEIGH BUHAI: Yeah, I mean, I think what was good today is yesterday I played in the practice round and the wind was like 30 K's an hour, and I was like, whoa, this is brutal, but then today was perfect golfing conditions, everything you wanted, soft greens, hardly in the wind and you could throw it at the pin. Although you're hitting longer clubs in, the greens are receptive, so it was at least easier to get it closer.

Q. When is the last time you led a tournament?
ASHLEIGH BUHAI: I don't know, I think -- I might have led in Greenville like two years ago, LPGA event, but I don't know to be honest.

Q. And did you take any lessons from that?
ASHLEIGH BUHAI: Yeah, I mean, it's just a case of getting in the same position. Greenville was a super low-scoring course. Today it played very soft so you could fire at the pins even though it was longer clubs. But still, you had to make sure you kept it on the right side of the flags. The greens were really quick down and you could be aggressive putting back up to the pins. So I think that's what I also did well today is I had a lot of uphill putts.

Q. You're saying that you felt like your coach had turned things around at the KPMG. Is there anything he worked on in particular?
ASHLEIGH BUHAI: Not really. I felt like I'd been swinging it good for a while, I just wasn't getting the results I wanted to, so three good rounds, one bad round, or one good round to make the cut and miss it. So it was just not putting everything together. I felt we did a lot of good work on my short game that week, so that's what saved me, and I think it's making the difference, when I've missed the greens, I'm making good up-and-downs.

Q. It's made you feel more confident?
ASHLEIGH BUHAI: Very much, yeah. Very confident, and I think the last few weeks I've just been trying to be a lot calmer, and when I've felt the pressure under the gun, I've just tried to stay a lot calmer and have some better thoughts, and it seems to be working.

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