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September 10, 2020

Madelene Sagstrom

Rancho Mirage, California, USA

Mission Hills Country Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Happy to be here with co-leader Madelene Sagström who just finished up a great round of 5-under 67. It's your first round in the 60s here at the ANA Inspiration and your third appearance. How are you feeling right now? It was a pretty successful day on the golf course for you.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Yeah, I'm very excited. It was a lot of fun out there. It's definitely tougher, I would say, than some previous years. But it also fits my game very well. It's changed to Bermuda. I love that. I've been playing in Florida for a while so I can really read the greens well, and that's kind of where I've been taking advantage today. I think going out and hitting fairways and greens was the game plan. I hit some fairways but a bunch of greens, and just getting on the surface just helps you get into momentum and get some good scores out there.

THE MODERATOR: Not quite as many fairways hit as you'd like, I believe; stats are showing that you hit six fairways, but particularly right there at the end with that incredibly difficult-looking lie, they kept commenting on the broadcast, I believe it was on the final hole, you couldn't even see the ball. What is it like out there with the rough grown up so much, and then the difficulty of getting out of that?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Well, I think it's a different kind of shot that we don't play all year-round, and you really have to be straight over the ball to be able to find it. But I think it really just comes down to commitment and staying -- committing to the shot and hopefully it turns out well. And I think that just -- if you count it right and hit a good shot hopefully it should turn out okay. That was my game plan all day, and I got away with a few in the rough, so I had a birdie opportunity on the last even from that nasty lie. So I was still very happy with that and just took advantage of that chance to just get it up on the green.

THE MODERATOR: You had your big first breakthrough win earlier this year at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio. Do you look back at that or have you started to move on a little bit as you make your way further into the 2020 season?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Golf is so up and down and I'm coming off a rough few couple months starting up again, and I think just finding my way back into my rhythm and my game has been my priority, so right now I'm just happy to be under par and shooting some good scores, and I'm excited for what the weekend holds. I know what it feels like to be in those groups, so I'm hoping to be in contention when the weekend comes.

Q. What exactly were you trying to do with that shot on 9? How were you trying to play it?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: I was trying to land it about 10 yards short of the upslope in front of the green and roll it up there. I was saying, long is better than short, so I was trying to get up on the green, if anything a little bit over the green so I had a chip shot coming back rather than short-siding myself a bit. It came out pretty well actually. I was very happy that it stayed on the green.

Q. And the club on 8?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: The club on 8, it was a 7-iron, and then a very well-read putt.

Q. How does it feel to know that this was the cool day?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Well, I think still this is cooler than I had in my mind. When we got here it was 122, so it was really, really nasty when we got in Sunday and it was really hot, so taking advantage of it when you can and walking under your umbrella and drinking a lot of water. We all knew it was going to be hot, so it was just preserving energy and staying hydrated. I think that's the key.

Q. What's the toughest rough you've ever played out of?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Ooh, good question. I think that any kind of major rough -- I remember U.S. Open at Shoal Creek was some really thick rough, too. It's just kind of one of those little dead unpredictable shots come out, that's when it gets tricky, and I think that here you can catch a good lie, you can catch a really nasty lie, and it just depends on where in the rough you hit it. It can be really unpredictable here, and it's more about catching a good shot out of there, but it's also quite grainy short of the green, so sometimes you don't get the roll-out and sometimes you do. Staying in the fairway is the preferred answer to that, but if you get in the rough, just figure it out and move on.

Q. I wanted to ask you about 18 if I could, as well. What are your thoughts on the wall on 18, and how does it impact how you'll play that hole when the tees are moved up?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: Well, I was actually thinking about what 18 would be like without the bleachers because visually that is just a protector for most of us just knowing -- I know there's water behind it and I don't think that would visually be a very nice shot to go for in two. I don't really know the reasoning for the thing, but I'm kind of happy it's there if I want to go for it in two, to be honest.

Q. Did it surprise you that it was there?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: A little bit. It surprised me a little bit, but it looks good for the sponsors and stuff to have their logos on there, so I'm happy it's there for both the sponsors and my own going-into sake.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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