December 17, 2020
Naples, Florida, USA
TiburÃ³n Golf Club
Q. What a great first round here in Naples, Florida. When may I ask did the momentum start kicking in for you today? You had a birdie early in the round.
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, actually that was good momentum. I putted it from off the green and went in, so that was actually a nice birdie. That was a bonus.
And then, yeah, just played pretty solid. Made a couple birdies. Kind of got lucky on 9. I think we hit too much club, the ball went over the green, and I think we're pretty lucky with the bogey there.
Yeah, it's been a funny round. The back nine went really well. Holed out, made a putt, few putts for birdie, and just a pretty crazy day, to be honest with you.
But I'll take it.
Q. I think you're being too modest. You had an eagle on 13. Tell us about how that eagle happened.
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, it was pretty cool. I had a pretty good number for a 9-iron, a little downwind, and kind of hit the shot I wanted and it pitched on top and just released a little bit. I kind of wasn't really looking anymore because I thought it was good, but I didn't realize it would go in.
Yeah, there were a couple people up by the green, which was nice. Started cheering and, yeah, definitely obviously a great bonus. It was a good shot, so nice to see something like that go in. Yeah, you can never expect it.
I holed out in the pro-am on Tuesday as well. So I'm hoping that they come in three this week. (Laughter.)
Q. Speaking of your pro-am and the practice rounds that you were able to get in, what has the course condition been like in this week? Does it change much throughout the day?
CAROLINE MASSON: No, not so much. It's been kind of soft from the start. I think we're used to playing this golf course a little bit firmer, especially the greens. I think that makes a pretty big difference. Probably shows in the scores. Probably a little bit better than normal.
You can really try to go at the pins, ball stops pretty good on the greens. So everybody I think I can be a little bit more aggressive this week.
Q. You've been having a pretty good year with a lot of top 10, 15 finishes. What would you say is the strongest part of your game and has it changed throughout the year?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, to be really honest, obviously it's been a strange year for everybody, but golf-wise for me as well. My strength has always been my iron play, and I'm not very happy with that this year.
I've like in the past always had good stats when it comes to greens in regulation, and they've been way, way, way worse than my worst year so far.
So it's funny, but it's golf. I think putting overall has been a lot better, making up for some of the ball striking that's not as good as I am maybe used to.
So just kind of fits for 2020 that my game seemed kind of off in some parts and really good in other parts that I'm not used to. So you know what? I'll just take it. I will be patient. It's been different for everybody, and overall I'm just happy to be out here playing.
Been a decent year on the course, and obviously trying to finish it off well.
Q. Just thoughts on Lexi's play, and also when someone is playing well and you're playing with them, does that give you something to follow or shoot at?
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, it's always nice to have good momentum in the group, I guess. It's funny. I've played with her a couple times here. I think I played with her the year she won a few years back. Everybody knows she likes this golf course. She's from Florida and she knows how to play on these courses.
Yeah, I think she played really well. She hit a lot of 3-woods. She doesn't need driver. Good for her. I do. (Laughter.) But she hit some great shots, she putted really, really well, and that's what you got to do to shoot low.
But, yeah, been fun to play with her and Janet today. It's been a fun, easygoing group. Yeah, it's always nice when the whole group does pretty well.
Q. The Player of the Year race is particularly interesting this year with it being so few tournaments in a COVID year. Do you like the points system for Player of the Year? Do you think it should be a vote?
CAROLINE MASSON: That's a good question. You know, I've never been in the race for Player of the Year so I'm not that familiar with it. (Laughter.)
Hopefully that changes next year. You know it's a good question, because maybe it should be a vote. I think that players have a pretty good idea who did something special that year.
You can't always measure with points maybe. I mean, there are certain things that maybe stick out for players where maybe the player with the most points wouldn't win but somebody that in our eyes has done something special would win.
I think that obviously this year with Sophia Popov winning the Women's Open British Open, that's an interesting question. Yeah, I wouldn't be opposed to having a vote on that.
Q. We've been talking so much about it being the end of the year, which means Christmas. What would you say is the your biggest Christmas wish this year?
CAROLINE MASSON: Biggest Christmas wish is that we can all go back to normal as soon as possible obviously. I think we're all -- it's been a rough year for so many people. We're lucky to be out here playing golf. It's not been that bad for us personally.
I think overall, you know, it's been a sad year and people have been struggling. I just hope that we can find some joy maybe in Christmas. Hopefully as many people as possible can get together with friends and family during Christmas.
I know that's something that makes me happy, and I know, for example, in German that lockdown is strict and people can't get together. So I am just hoping that that changes to where at least people can do stuff that just cheers them up a little bit.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports