December 11, 2020
Houston, Texas, USA
Champions Golf Club
Q. Great playing today, 3-under 68 on the Cypress course. That gets you to 3-under par for this championship. If you just had to sum up your second round today, how would you do that?
KAITLYN PAPP: I think I kind of did the same thing as I did yesterday. I just tried to stay patient. I didn't hit it perfect out there by any means, but I just tried to keep myself in it and give myself as many birdie opportunities as possible, which is hard to do out here.
Q. Birdie opportunities, three of them coming on your back nine, a closing 32, back-to-back 17 and 18. What does that do for your confidence heading into round 3?
KAITLYN PAPP: Coming in I knew I was doing pretty well with the cut line, so I just wanted to just finish the round and do the best I could, and I chipped in on 17, which was really exciting, and then I was able to make my putt on 18. It was definitely a good confidence booster going into the weekend.
Q. Playing in your second U.S. Women's Open as an amateur. What does it mean to be this high up the leaderboard with just 36 holes left to play?
KAITLYN PAPP: It means a lot. This is my first cut I've played in a major, so I'm just really happy I accomplished that goal this year, and to be in the top 10 or top 5, I'm not sure where I'm at, it really means a lot.
Q. You have your assistant coach at the University of Texas on your bag this week. What does she mean to you as there as you guys navigate both of these golf courses?
KAITLYN PAPP: Kate has been great. She literally knows everyone out here, so it's been pretty cool to watch her and see all the friends she has out here, and she gives really good advice on the golf course and knows my game really well, so we work really well together.
Q. How do you prepare for the closing two rounds?
KAITLYN PAPP: I just kind of have to refresh my brain. I know I'm excited about making the cut, and then just kind of try to repeat how I've been playing tomorrow and Sunday.
Q. There are seven amateurs who have made the cut, and it could go as high as nine.
KAITLYN PAPP: Wow.
Q. What is it about the amateur game now that puts you on a par with the best in the world?
KAITLYN PAPP: I think a lot of it has to do with college golf. I feel like college golf really prepares us for the next level and to play well in championships like this, and also internationally for the girls who are coming from overseas, there's been a lot of playing opportunities. I feel like with this whole COVID year we've all had the chance to get better at our golf games.
Q. Do you think the fact that there aren't -- you've played in another Open, so the fact that there aren't galleries here is an advantage to the amateurs?
KAITLYN PAPP: Maybe. I mean, even with the crowds, I just try to tune them out. I mean, it's fun and exciting to have fans out, but I just try to focus on my golf game. But honestly with the no crowds, it feels just like a college tournament.
Q. Is there any part of your game that you look around and say, man, I've got to get better at this to compete, or is it a situation where you're like, I'm pretty good at all aspects here?
KAITLYN PAPP: I feel like the past two days I've proven to myself that I belong here and I've worked hard on distance off the tee and just trying to be more consistent with my irons, so I feel like it's paying off here at Champions.
Q. After two rounds, seven Texans in the field. Looks like you're going to have the best score of all of them. How does that make you feel?
KAITLYN PAPP: That's crazy. That's a cool stat. There's a lot of great players from Texas like Stacy and Angela and Cheyenne, Kristen, just to name a few, so it would mean a lot to be playing among those players.
Q. What did you think the biggest difference between the two courses was?
KAITLYN PAPP: I thought they played pretty similar. You have to hit it straight off the tee and get the best angles you can into the greens. I think Cypress the greens are much larger than at Jackrabbit, so it kind of makes you have to concentrate more on which parts of the greens you want to hit it on.
Q. You were here about three weeks ago to practice; is that correct?
KAITLYN PAPP: Yes, I came about a month after with Kristen Gillman.
Q. Did you play both courses then?
KAITLYN PAPP: Yeah, we played both courses then, just to get a feel of the lines off the tees and stuff.
Q. Do you feel like that was pretty helpful?
KAITLYN PAPP: Yeah, for sure. It was nice because we're local -- we're from Austin like two and a half hours away, so getting the opportunity to come out for a couple days and just get some of the lines down kind of helps us get more comfortable.
Q. You and Kristen have been friends for a while?
KAITLYN PAPP: Yeah, we were on the same high school golf team in Austin, so I think we both felt more comfortable with the lines out here.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports