December 9, 2020
Houston, Texas, USA
Champions Golf Club
Q. The first question is how is your game at this moment, and how did you prepare for this championship?
GABRIELA RUFFELS: Yeah, the game is feeling good. I've been able to get some starts, which has been nice, since our college fall season was canceled. So I've been able to play in the Symetra TOUR Championship and then the Pelican LPGA, and I've just been in Orlando practicing for the past couple weeks.
Q. How does it feel to be playing a major in December, and how happy are you to be back playing in major championship?
GABRIELA RUFFELS: Yeah, it's definitely different. I've been waiting a while to play in this U.S. Open, considering it was last year that I earned my spot at the U.S. Am. So it's fun to finally be able to be here, and it's cool in December. It feels Christmassy. I love Christmas. It's my favorite season, and they've done a great job inside with all the Christmas decorations. It's a little cooler than probably what's normal in Houston, but yeah, excited to get it going.
Q. From a mental standpoint, having played in all these USGA championships and all the different things that you've played in, has that helped you mentally when you get to this point?
GABRIELA RUFFELS: Yes, I think for sure. I didn't even realize, but someone asked me yesterday, but this is my fifth USGA championship in the space of maybe like two or three years, so it's pretty cool. I love USGA championships. I feel like they do such a good job, and it's always one of the players' most favorite events because the hospitality is so great, and the courses, they make them amazing. It's always nice to be at a USGA event.
Q. The other thing that's different here is the first two days you're going to be playing two courses. How is that going to be for you, and also what are the differences in the two courses that you've seen so far?
GABRIELA RUFFELS: Yeah, I mean, I don't think I've ever really done this before, so it's been kind of a challenge to kind of work out when you're going to practice on one, what time you kind of put to each course. I feel like the Cypress course is a lot longer. Greens are bigger. And Jackrabbit, the greens are smaller. It's more tree-lined, and I feel like it's a little bit trickier around the greens if you miss them.
Two great courses, and it's going to be two great tests.
Q. What do you think is going to be a good week for you here, and are you ready to contend?
GABRIELA RUFFELS: Yeah, I mean, I don't really set goals or whatever. I just try to go out there and do your best because I feel like that's all you can do. I'm excited to be here. I definitely feel like I'm more comfortable around this kind of field because I've had the experience of playing in LPGA Tour events and the past couple majors, the British Open and the ANA. I feel like each time I play against this field I'm getting more and more comfortable, so just try and go do my best, and we'll see.
Q. There are 24 amateurs here; do we think we're at a point now where amateurs are more ready to play in these kind of events?
GABRIELA RUFFELS: Oh, yeah, for sure, and I've thought that for a long time. I came to the U.S. Open last year and there were, I think, around the same number of amateurs, and even playing these LPGA Tour events, I don't feel like it's much different to playing against the top amateurs in the world. That's what I've noticed.
The amateurs, I feel like they're getting better and better, and it's really cool to see that there's so many this week.
Q. You're probably not in awe of anyone anymore, but is there still someone out here that maybe, wow, I can't believe I'm playing in the same championship as them?
GABRIELA RUFFELS: I feel like all the top players that you see on TV, it's super cool. I've had like a surreal moment at the Pelican LPGA last week. I'm like, wow, you're really here, you're really playing against the best players in the world. You just watch them on TV all the time and then you're kind of in the mix with them, and it was really cool.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports