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ABERDEEN STANDARD INVESTMENTS LADIES SCOTTISH OPEN


August 12, 2020


Gemma Dryburgh


North Berwick, Scotland, UK

The Renaissance Club

Press Conference


THE MODERATOR: Gemma has come out of lockdown winning two of the Rose Ladies Series and also getting her first Top-10 in America. How did you manage to come out of lockdown in such good form and get off to such a fast start?

GEMMA DRYBURGH: Yeah, well, I think the Rose Series really helped me. Obviously getting into competition again after lockdown, getting me sharp and just getting my game in good nick. I think that really helped me going into the LPGA Drive on Tournament, and just had a really strong start. Obviously my best finish on the LPGA, so that was pretty special.

THE MODERATOR: And were you able to play golf for the first ten weeks, or how did your lockdown happen in terms of did you have time off?

GEMMA DRYBURGH: Yeah, so the way was lockdown in England, we had seven weeks, the golf courses were closed and I set up a net in my back garden on -- I've got a football goal, with just a duvet sheet behind the goal, and then it moved to a proper net.

So I kind of hit in there every day, and then we had kind of a straight putting mat, so I kind of did that and did a future thing game with my dad in the garden and kept things ticking over a bit and had a few FaceTime lessons with my coach. But yeah, also took a bit of time off which was nice. It was nice to be in one place in the same bed for longer than a week, not having to pack a suitcase every day, every week. It was actually quite nice in a way.

THE MODERATOR: Obviously a formula that worked for you. How are you finding the course since you got out there and had a couple practise rounds.

GEMMA DRYBURGH: Yeah, it's looking really good. The rough's up compared to last year. It's looking a lat narrower, which hopefully will suit me and the greens are much firmer than last year, so hopefully it stays that way. I quite like that.

And yeah, it's looking really, really good. There are a few trees that have been chopped down, so it has a different look, a bit more linksy, I would say, so yeah, really liking the course.

THE MODERATOR: Have you played here a lot other than the tournament?

GEMMA DRYBURGH: Just last year. I haven't played there before.

Q. Just wondered, were you aware of the weather last night in Edinburgh in the hotel? What did you make of what was going on last night?

GEMMA DRYBURGH: I got off the course, I was off late last night and got off just in time before the storm came. Not sure how much rain the course actually got because when we were driving back into Edinburg, it was still raining, and I know it depends where you are whether you get the rain. I haven't obviously been on the course yet. After this, I'm going to go out and see if the course changed at all from yesterday, but I'm sure it drains very well.

Q. Rather has obviously played a big part in this event, Dundonald, and then last year obviously. You and I have talked about that before. Go back to that Friday and the whole emotions that you went through that day.

GEMMA DRYBURGH: Yeah, I actually have a vivid memory of seeing you after I finished. I shot 1-under that day, and the crazy weather we had in the morning. I must have been close to first off last year as well, so played the whole round in that tough weather, and probably I think it's one of my best rounds of my career to be honest, shooting 1-under in that weather. And then coming off, about a half hour, 45 minutes later, they are all taken off the course.

I remember going for a nap that afternoon and looking outside the window, idyllic weather, no wind, nice and sunny, and yeah, ended up missing the cut by one. So yeah, I was really, really gutted after playing so well and then missing it.

Yeah, I can't remember the amount of shots that were different between the waves, but yeah, I think it was 300 shots different or something different. Hopefully I'm on the right side of the draw this year.

Q. A goal in the back garden, who does that belong to? Do you practise your belly kick?

GEMMA DRYBURGH: I got that for one of my birthdays years ago. I love football. I used to play when I was growing up and had to stop eventually when I was 15 when I moved to America. Always had a goal in the garden. Loved to play a bit of football. But yeah, it came in handy for both football and golf.

Q. Can I also ask you about the trip to the States. How difficult was that logistically with quarantines and stuff like that?

GEMMA DRYBURGH: Yeah, I had to go over -- it was a little shame because I missed the next two Rose Series events because of the quarantine. Went over two Mondays before, stayed with my college roommates parent just outside Detroit. So it was about an hour and a half drive from where we played in Toledo so that was quite handy. Stayed there for two weeks.

We were able to practise which was quite good, because if you weren't able to practise, you'd have to go over a good three or four weeks before, so that was good at least.

The Friday before the tournament started they lifted the quarantine, so in hindsight, I wouldn't have had to do it. Yeah, hindsight is a great thing, so had to do it in the end.

Q. You've got an early start tomorrow morning. Are you a morning person or do you shudder when you get that kind of tee time? And no spectators; as a Scot, I suspect you'd like to have support, but might mean a little less pressure on. You how do you weigh those two things up?

GEMMA DRYBURGH: Yeah, so I'd say to be honest I'm not a morning person. So I think tomorrow works out, I'm going to have to wake up at half three because it's a 45-minute drive and I have to stretch and all that and eat breakfast. It's going to be an early, middle-of-the-night start. Once I'm up and on the course, I'm sure I'll be fine and I think take advantage of the hopefully calm conditions that early in the morning.

And second question, about the fans, yeah, it's going to be a shame not to have the crowds and the Scottish crowd and the support and my family as well usually come to watch. I think at the same time, usually The Scottish Open you kind of put more pressure on yourself to play well in front of the crowds and stuff.

So I guess that will be nice not to have that pressure, but that kind of swings in roundabouts because you'd like to have the crowds and support and your family as well, but it will be a mixture, really.

Q. A lot's gone on behind the scenes to make they haven't happen. Can you talk through some of the safety protocols, how different they are to what you've experienced in Ohio? And obviously this event marks the return of international sport to Scotland. How does it feel to be part of that and how important is that for the country?

GEMMA DRYBURGH: Yeah, I think it's amazing the event has gone ahead and all the work that's gone into it, you can really see it. It's definitely a lot more strict than last week in Ohio, which I think is a really good thing. Last week we were able to stay wherever we wanted. We were supposed to stay by ourselves, but we could stay at any hotel or anything.

So I think it's good that we are in a bubble hotel this week so we know where everyone's been and we can kind of control that that that way.

Yeah, I think it's just a lot stricter this week, which I think is good. Not to say it was a free-for-all last week at all, but I think the protocols this week are really good.

And yeah, it's just amazing for Scotland to have a women's event going ahead and hopefully the TV ratings will go way up, get some women's sport on the TV and in Scotland, as well. Be a good advert for Scottish tourism hopefully.

Q. On the back of your wins in the Rose Series, your profile's been raised considerably. How determined are you these next two weeks to really use that as a springboard for a couple of really good performances?

GEMMA DRYBURGH: Yeah, really motivated. Got good opportunity these next two weeks, first British Open next week, playing in Scotland, as well.

I think it's a really good opportunity for me to kind of even raise my profile even more, and hopefully get into the majors, as well, that are coming up, ANA and KPMG and also improve my World Ranking, as well, so lots to play for.

THE MODERATOR: What's been the key to making this jump in your confidence and your game?

GEMMA DRYBURGH: Well, a mixture of things. My putting's improved a lot. I've worked with Nick Soto on my putting. Also started AimPoint at the start of this year, and that's been a real big boost for me. Just reading the greens better, and just kind of things clicking with my swing with my coach. I've had the same coach since I was about 12, so he knows me very well and just things seem to be clicking at the moment.

Yeah, just kind of growing in confidence, really.

Q. With Martin's first question, you didn't mention the spectacular storm last night. Did you see it or did you sleep all the way through it? If so, you're very lucky.

GEMMA DRYBURGH: Yeah, I just heard it just before I went to sleep, but thankfully I'm quite a deep sleeper, so I was able to sleep quite well. I think it went on through the night, as well, I heard.

Q. You must have been the only one who did that.

GEMMA DRYBURGH: (Laughs)

THE MODERATOR: The thing is, the Americans I work with were quite blasť about the level of the storm, because they obviously have hurricanes in Florida. But Gemma, probably having been in America, is a bit blasť about it.

GEMMA DRYBURGH: Yeah, true. We don't really get storms here, but in America we're quite used to it.

THE MODERATOR: The girls on our media team were a bit startled by how excited we were by it.

Any other questions? Thanks so much and good luck this week.

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