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March 26, 2000

Aree Wongluekiet


Q. You were saying how much you were looking forward to playing with Karrie Webb because she was your favorite golfer. What was it like out there when you were actually playing with her?

AREE WONGLUEKIET: I had a lot of fun and it's been a great experience and great honor to get to play with her.

Q. She said that you were leaving her notes in the locker room. What did you say with those notes?

AREE WONGLUEKIET: Not much because we had conflicting tee times. I just said, "Hi, looking forward to playing with you some day," stuff like that.

Q. When was your first conversation?

AREE WONGLUEKIET: I remember talking to her but not exactly which hole. Yeah, we had a conversation here and there.

Q. Did you feel differently today on the course than you had in previous days, and how did you feel you played today?

AREE WONGLUEKIET: I didn't quite feel different today. Just went out there and tried -- just played my game and tried my best, but pretty much the same. My goal was to try to hit as many fairways and greens as I can. And, you know, I felt like I hit the ball a little bit better yesterday, but I'm still quite happy with the results.

Q. Could we get your reaction to the penalty, and any details you can give us. Obviously, you were surprised, but have you ever had anything like this happen to you before?

AREE WONGLUEKIET: No, I did not. This is the first time something like this ever happened to me. But apparently I was setting up for the ball and took a couple of practice swings, and then when I looked at the hole, you know, apparently I think when I was doing my forward press. The ball moved one-eighth of an inch. And, you know, I didn't see that, but the TV did. So, you know -- and I didn't replace it, so there was a two-stroke penalty.

Q. Can you talk about what this experience is like for you playing this week and what you got out of it as far as learning what it's like to be out on this tour?

AREE WONGLUEKIET: I learned the importance of being consistent and hitting a lot of fairways and greens and just being patient, very patient on the golf course. You know, I have to keep staying in there.

Q. Do you feel like the penalty, since you're a victim of being a celebrity on TV, like you played so well you got the penalty, do you feel that way at all?

AREE WONGLUEKIET: I'm not very disappointed about that penalty because I didn't really see it. It's just one of those things that happened to you and you didn't notice it and the TV did.

Q. Besides your schoolwork and practicing golf, what else did you do during the course of the day? Is it just golf, golf and more golf?

AREE WONGLUEKIET: Not really. There's breaks, and go to school in the morning, come back, have lunch with your friends, and then go out there and have an afternoon of golf and just, you know, sometimes -- I like to go fishing and, you know, ride my bike with my sister. You know, sometimes I go to the mall and watch movies and stuff like that. We try and have a balanced ...

Q. Back to your experience on playing in the final group of the day, did Karrie or Dottie give you any encouragement or support or say something like, "Stick with it, kid, because you're going to be a major star some day?"

AREE WONGLUEKIET: That's what they pretty much said after the round. Both of them said something like that, and -- not quite during the round because you know we were all focusing on our games. So, yeah, they said a couple things after the round.

Q. How many LPGA events do you think you'll be playing in the year? There's some concern that there could be some negative effects if you play out here too much?

AREE WONGLUEKIET: Not much. I'll be sticking with the Junior circuit. Also, playing with the amateur circuit, I'll play the U.S. Amateur, AJGA, and I might try a couple of LPGA tournaments here and there, but not too much.

Q. Along that line, how do you think it's going to be when you go to a junior golf tournament after you've been here? Is it going to be exciting for you or not?

AREE WONGLUEKIET: I think it will be the same. It's still a golf tournament and, you know, I'll treat it the same way as I treated this tournament and every other tournament. When I'm out there, you know, I don't think about anything else but just trying my best and, you know, hitting golf shots.

Q. Here you are at 13, having no problem with a major. When I was 13, I was having major problems. What's it feel like, all this media attention here? Is it scary? Is it fun? What's it like?

AREE WONGLUEKIET: I think it's fun. I feel like I've worked hard and deserve it. You know, it's fun signing autographs and talking to the people and stuff like that. I enjoy it.

Q. You said you'll treat the Junior tournaments the same as did you before, but how do you think the other competitors will treat you? Do you think they will look at you any differently knowing that you played in the big-time now?

AREE WONGLUEKIET: I'm not sure. You'll have to ask them. But hopefully they will treat me the same way.

Q. (Inaudible)?

AREE WONGLUEKIET: My dad started playing first and then my brother picked up a club, and then I tagged along and started going to the golf courses and picking up golf clubs, around 7 1/2.

Q. I understand you have made a couple of hole-in-ones yourself, but what was your reaction when you saw one out there today?

AREE WONGLUEKIET: I think it is very great. She's a great iron player, I think. It's amazing how well she hits the ball, and that one went in the hole.

Q. Have you had a chance to understand what you've learned by watching Karrie up close today?

AREE WONGLUEKIET: She has a tremendous amount of patience and persistence, and, you know, she never gives up out there. Just sticking to her game and stuff like that.

Q. What do you think you need to play as well as Karrie some day?

AREE WONGLUEKIET: A lot more experience. I'll take a lot away from this tournament, and that's a good stepping stone for me. Just a lot more experience and just getting to play different courses, different tournaments, you know, like competing out here against the best players. On No. 2, I hit it up there with a gap wedge to around six feet and I think I made the putt for birdie. Then I bogeyed the 3rd hole from pushing the drive to the right side and having to punch out of the rough and pitched it a little short and didn't make the putt. The par 3, I hit my iron shot to the right a little bit, of the green and was in the thick stuff in the rough, and just cut it a bit too good and it flew over the pin. Didn't make it coming back. No. 8, birdied No. 8, which is a par 3. Made a long left-to-right putt across the green, and I think it was on the fringe. Yeah, I had a very good putt. I don't know how far it was. I think it was around a 20-footer or something like that, but I'm not sure. Bogeyed 12. 14, that hole was the penalty. The ball moved one-eighth of an inch. I didn't replace it and incurred a two-stroke penalty. That's it.

End of FastScripts...

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