October 8, 2020
Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, USA
Aronimink Golf Club
THE MODERATOR: It's a beast of a course out there; probably not the round you were looking for, but still, what are your thoughts on coming here to Aronimink?
LAURA DAVIES: Oh, I love it. I mean, I've actually played pretty well today. The worst tee shot I hit was up the last, and very unlucky I was in a hole so I made a bogey there, but apart from the par-3s and four three-putts, tee to green was really solid, so I'm very pleased. But obviously 5-over is no good; I've got to battle to make the cut tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: Still you're out here grinding away. What have you seen this tournament and the LPGA develop from since you won it in '94 and '96?
LAURA DAVIES: Oh, I don't think you can recognize it. It was great fun at DuPont when it was the McDonald's Championship when I won it a couple of times, but it's moved on. It's moved up a notch. The golf courses we're playing now, obviously this week, the ones we've played the last few years since it's become the KPMG, it has moved up a level, and it's so well run, and I don't think anyone could not enjoy playing in this event.
THE MODERATOR: It's also a great time right now for English ladies' golf with the wins from Mel and from Georgia and Charley playing well. What does it mean to you to see these golfers coming up behind you following in your footsteps?
LAURA DAVIES: Well, they're my friends so it's great to see your friends win. Mel has been a long time coming. We all know the story where she struggled for a bit there for a while, but she's proving now, hopefully she's going to kick on from this, as well, and not just make this a one win, make it the first of many on the LPGA. And Georgia, you know, great win over there in Portland and backed up her British Open from a couple of years ago. Charley has had a few wins, so it's nice. There's some other young girls over on the European Tour, English girls, that might make the grade over here, so it's good times at the moment for English golf, women's golf.
Q. Laura, I covered just about every one of your tournaments at DuPont and you were always like the one to beat there. What are your memories of playing there, the crowds and just the atmosphere there?
LAURA DAVIES: Well, I think you just said it, the crowds. They were absolutely enormous. I nearly killed someone on the 9th one year, hit a snap-hook 2-iron my second shot into 9 and sent someone to hospital. But they were, they were deep, they were 10, 12 deep following the last groups and I was lucky enough to be in the last groups quite a few times around there. That's the one thing about this week, this would be a great course for the galleries and you could have lots of people out here, as well. It would be great, so that's disappointing for the players. But yeah, McDonald's was great times.
Q. Generally a sport gets more interest when there's a player that's on top and everybody kind of recognizes them and they kind of transcend the sport. Do you think that's necessary for this Tour to move up to the next level?
LAURA DAVIES: Well, we've had a great run of really top players. Annika obviously stood out, Webby stood out, Lorena stood out for their run and before that there were more players, but right now there's so many good players at the same time all competing at the very top level. It would be very hard for any of them to distance themselves.
I know some get on a little run, win maybe a couple of majors in a short space of time and get that buffer at the top of the World Rankings, but I just think there's too many good ones now for anyone to dominate. It's like the men's, now Tiger is not dominating it changes a lot now, and I just think that there's so many more players that contend week in, week out, so it's tough.
Q. Do you think that means the sport -- even though the sport will be done well because of all those good players, for it to take that next jump for people that aren't followers of golf to follow the LPGA Tour or the PGA TOUR, would we need somebody that's up there that everybody can recognize?
LAURA DAVIES: Well, I think obviously it's always nice when you've got your marquee player, but we've got marquee players, and that's -- not unfortunately, it's good for the game that someone isn't actually dominating it because you do get golf where players dominate for quite a long period of time, so I don't dislike this. I don't think you have to hang your hat on any one player. We've got lots of them from lots of different countries, as well. So I don't think it's a bad thing at all.
Q. An unusual situation on Sunday in that the leaders won't be teeing off last; do you remember a situation like that in previous years on Tour? How might that be different for a player?
LAURA DAVIES: I haven't seen that. So the tee times, the leaders are not going off last is what you're saying? Evian Masters I remember doing that. I ended up winning the Evian Masters one year on the 9th green because they had to change it round because we'd had bad weather, so it's happened before, and it's definitely not ideal.
I'm not sure how that's going to work out if someone makes a run and they're finishing on the 9th. Again, it could happen if the field is bunched up. I don't know why -- obviously time, that's why they're doing that, but hopefully it won't pull up any surprises and make things a little bit awkward towards the end. Someone has got to win it. Someone is going to hoist that trophy.
Q. What's your favorite aspect of this golf course?
LAURA DAVIES: I just love all of it. The generous fairways, but if you miss them you're in trouble. The bunkering is fantastic off the tee and around the green. The sand in the bunkers is great because we were complaining, why can't we have bunkers like this every week because they're overfilled on Tour like you can't believe, and these ones are absolutely perfect. I haven't heard any complaints apart from I can't putt the greens. I've putted so badly today.
Q. I imagine that year is the only tournament you won on the 9th green. Were you near the lead or did you make a big run on the final day?
LAURA DAVIES: I can't remember the exact circumstances. I won by five in the end and I was leading, so I don't really know, maybe we had to play -- maybe I had a really good third round and we'd had to tee off on that morning and you stayed in your groups in position and I'd made a big run through the field. Maybe that's what happened.
No, it seems weird because the 9th at Evian is out in the middle of nowhere, as well, so it was like a couple of dogs out there barking at me and that was about it. But I won, so you don't really -- if you win, you don't really care.
Q. As someone who appreciates golf history, do you feel the history and tradition at a golf course like this?
LAURA DAVIES: Oh, most certainly, yeah. That's what I said earlier, this is the -- the whole tournament has been lifted up because of the great venues we're playing now. From what I've heard, some of the ones coming up in the future, we're not going downhill at all, we're just going up and up and up. Yeah, I remember seeing Justin when I think the AT&T here a few years back, and I thought that 18th was a really tight hole. On TV it looks really tight. I missed the fairway today, but it looks different on TV. Yeah, I remember see Justin win and I think he lost a playoff here, as well, so yeah, no, it's nice. It's nice to play courses that the guys play because you know they play the real quality courses.
Q. Obviously length is a big thing on the men's Tour. Do you think it's ever going to get to that situation out here?
LAURA DAVIES: Well, the courses I -- obviously I'm getting older and I'm getting a bit shorter, so I'm finding the courses longer and longer. Now, whether that's setup, whether that's my game is obviously not as good as it used to be, but I've hit a lot of long irons out there today and in the last few tournaments I've played in. I think you're going to see the Lexis and the Brittany Lincicomes and Ariya Jutanugarns of the world, they're going to be the ones that do better and better now because I do think the courses are being set up longer. I don't know that that's a good thing, but it's certainly happening.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports