December 12, 2020
Houston, Texas, USA
Champions Golf Club
Q. Definitely tough conditions out there for everyone today but it really seemed like you battled and you're in great shape. Talk us through where you kind of are mentally?
KAITLYN PAPP: I feel like mentally I'm proud of myself for staying patient today, I didn't play as well as I wanted to and so I think heading into tomorrow I'm going to go hit a few balls on the range and just see what tomorrow brings me.
Q. What were your expectations coming into the week?
KAITLYN PAPP: I had a feeling it was going to play long, I knew Houston has had a lot of rain recently and I came out about a month ago, so I knew hitting my long irons well and my driver well and lag putt really well was going to pay off this week.
Q. How do you battle expectations? You're entering the final round of a major and you're in third place right now.
KAITLYN PAPP: I try not to set expectations for myself, especially this week. I just try to do the best I can on the golf course with what I have that week and just try to be myself the whole time and just kind of block everything out of what's going on around me.
Q. Do you like tough conditions, do you feel like that brings the best out in you?
KAITLYN PAPP: I think so because I think when the conditions get tough you really have to be mentally strong and you can't let yourself complain, no matter how bad it is. So I think tomorrow everyone's going to just have to do a good job of being tough and staying patient.
Q. What's the best piece of advice or thing that Kate said to you today out there?
KAITLYN PAPP: All day she told me to stay patient because today definitely required patience. Because I didn't hit it as well as I wanted to and I think that really helped me finish well on 18.
Q. The coverage today it looked like a couple of times she talked you out of going for some pins. Hit it over here and take your medicine and it looked like that was a really good strategy.
KAITLYN PAPP: Yeah, I think a lot of the pins today you really could not go for. Just because they were so tucked. So you had to kind of play to the bigger part of the greens. So I think that was just trying to play smart golf.
Q. Does that come naturally to you or was it good to have her out there to remind you?
KAITLYN PAPP: I think it kind of comes naturally to me, I try to play smart golf and not overly aggressive, but Kate and I see eye to eye on a lot of things so I think it was just good validation for me.
Q. Even though there weren't any fans out there did you still feel like it was the weekend at a major, like did you feel, still feel a lot of pressure?
KAITLYN PAPP: I didn't really feel pressure, but I definitely felt kind of a hometown crowd. There's a lot of Longhorns in the houses, everyone is in their back yards watching, and I had my family out so I didn't really feel pressure, I just kind of felt like home.
Q. There were an awful lot of people following you, given that there are no fans and was that sort of weird at first?
KAITLYN PAPP: I mean I had a feeling that there would be a lot of cameras in our group, but I didn't expect there to be that many people, considering there's no fans, but it was a pleasant surprise.
Q. What did you learn just playing with Shibuno, like is there something that -- I know you're concentrating on your game -- but is there something that struck you about her, whether it's her demeanor or her anything?
KAITLYN PAPP: Her demeanor was great. She was really neutral the whole day, never got too high or too low, depending upon how she did on a certain hole. So I think that's what impressed me the most about playing with her.
Q. And how do you develop patience when you're so young? If you had patience you wouldn't be this good right now.
KAITLYN PAPP: I think I just have to convince myself that that's my only option if I want to try to play the best golf I can.
Q. How long did you live in Japan?
KAITLYN PAPP: I lived there for four years. We moved there in 2003, I believe, and then left in 2007.
Q. So how old were you in 2003?
KAITLYN PAPP: I think I had just turned five.
Q. And that's where you first picked up a golf club?
KAITLYN PAPP: Yes, that's where I first played golf.
Q. Did you communicate with Shibuno at all today about Japan?
KAITLYN PAPP: Not really. I wanted to, but I was just kind of focused on what I was doing, but, yeah, I did want to talk about Japan a little bit.
Q. Do you speak Japanese?
KAITLYN PAPP: I remember a few words.
Q. Have you been back since?
KAITLYN PAPP: I played in a Toyota World Junior Cup twice in high school, so those are the only times I've been back.
Q. Do you remember or have your parents told you how big golf, women's golf is in Japan do you have any sense of it?
KAITLYN PAPP: When I was that age, no, I didn't even think about tournaments until I was probably 10 years old and living in Japan. So I didn't really focus much on golf there, it was just kind of more like a, I played here and there and just for fun.
Q. What's your first memory of watching this championship?
KAITLYN PAPP: I would have to say when Paula Creamer won in 2010. I think that's my first memory of watching the U.S. Open on TV.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports