July 31, 2020
Toledo, Ohio, USA
Q. Lee-Anne, I just broke it to you just off camera, but you are one off the lead currently, especially thanks to that eagle in your second to the last hole.
Take us through your first round here?
LEE-ANNE PACE: Eagle? I didn't make eagle. Yeah, I laid up.
Yeah, I started well actually. Hit it a little fat on the 1st hole in the water and I was like, Okay, that's fine. Whatever. I haven't played for a while.
Then just started making birdies. I putted really well. Didn't miss a lot of fairways. I think I maybe missed only one fairway, which on this course makes it a lot easier to hit the greens.
Really, really tough to hold it on the greens, so you really got to think about it and land it in the right spot; sometimes you get a little bit of bounce.
I so guess a bit of skill and a bit luck both at the same time, yeah.
Q. If I remember reading correctly, last year you said you were going to spend some time away from the U.S. based events here. What was the change in decision on that?
LEE-ANNE PACE: I was actually wanting to have a baby, so that was planned to happen in April, and then obviously with the COVID we didn't go ahead with that.
But, yeah, so then we're sitting at home and we were like, Why not? Let's have a go. I was never supposed to get into the events anyway with my status, and then we said, Ah, we're bored. Let's go play a bit of golf.
Q. Did you put down the clubs for a little bit and when this opened up you realized you had to get back into a competitive mindset?
LEE-ANNE PACE: Yes and no. I really didn't play a lot of golf. I think I played twice with my friends. I really didn't think I was going to come back. Just last minute I saw I was in the event and I was like, Oh. Guess we're going. Do we quarantine? Let's think about this.
The timeline was very on top of each other, so, yeah I didn't really play. I practiced last week and this week. I'm just as surprised as you.
LEE-ANNE PACE: Yeah, and I've got my friend on the bag. She's awesome. She plays on the European Tour. It's just a lot of fun. There is no expectation, no pressure. In the past I had to play, and now I feel like I want to play. I'm out here to have a bit of fun. Yeah, it's been great.
Q. Overall thoughts on the course?
LEE-ANNE PACE: It's different. First time I've played here. It's immaculate. The greens are so smooth. If you hit a good putt, it's definitely going in. They are tricky, though. You got to be in the right place. You got to be short of them. Tricky pins today as well, so if you're long, you're dead. So we played for short. That was the game plan anyway this week.
But all in all, a really nice course. I think Solheim Cup is going to be interesting. It's risk/reward. If you golf with the driver, then you can -- some of those sort of downhill you can hit it in the water or you can have a really short shot and make a birdie.
Interesting course, yeah.
Q. Speaking of risk/reward...
LEE-ANNE PACE: Really got to bring that up? (Laughter.)
Q. Apparently the money that was supposed to go for this year's race is being used for this tournament.
LEE-ANNE PACE: Yeah, yeah, I heard that.
Q. That's kind of cool, right?
LEE-ANNE PACE: It's kind of a weird coincidence, yeah.
Q. I mean, everyone is benefitting from it.
LEE-ANNE PACE: Yeah, of course. No, I think it's a really good thing that they're doing. Obviously this year is so mixed up. At least they're still giving us the money and we can have an extra tournament and get ready for the season, so that's awesome.
Q. There are no leaderboards out here. Will you look at your phone?
LEE-ANNE PACE: Oh, no.
Q. At any point?
LEE-ANNE PACE: No, I wouldn't do that. That feels weird anyway to me, right, to look at your phone on the golf course?
Q. With so many risk/reward holes, though.
LEE-ANNE PACE: No, no. Don't think so. I was really in the -- not zone, but just taking one shot at a time because of difficulty of the course. It's literally one shot at a time, because can go wrong and can also go right. Yeah, worked out I guess.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports