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March 25, 2021

Sophia Popov

Carlsbad, California, USA

Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club

Quick Quotes

Q. Seven birdies today to shoot 4-under par. Any of them stand out?

SOPHIA POPOV: It was -- I almost can't tell you because they were mixed in with some bogeys at the beginning. It was a total roller coaster ride.

The one that stands out is I made a longer putt on 11, the par-3 to go 4-under at that point, and I just kind of kept it rolling, because I made a good birdie on No. 10, reached it in two, and made a two-putt for birdie.

So I just kind of was in a pretty good flow right there, so I would say the one on 11.

Q. How did the round kind of flow for you? It started off a little rainy, periods of dryness, maybe a little not quite sun, but at least you could see the clouds more clearly.

SOPHIA POPOV: I haven't seen the sun in a while. It was kind of brutal. We had -- the back nine was pretty rainy and windy; the front nine was kind of a roller coaster back and forth, birdie, bogey, birdie, bogey.

So just tried to find my footing a little bit out there I think, and then starting on like 8 I kind of got in a little bit of a flow and started making some more birdies and going a little bit lower under par.

And so the back nine was very consistent. I made one or two mistakes that were kind of a little unnecessary, but other than that, it was just very solid and bringing home 4-under.

Q. Remind you of any particular win of your career out here?

SOPHIA POPOV: The one and only. (Laughter.) Definitely wasn't like this during the Cactus Tour. No, the British was like this, but I told Kim and who else did I play with? No, I'm kidding. I just told Hannah I think with four holes to go, It's weird because I think it was not as cold at the British. This might have been colder. You don't have that really heavy rain and kind of really cold dampness, the marine layer.

So at the British I could kind of dry off every now and then, but today it sat on you. It was definitely very cold. But I had my mittens. I was well-prepared. So I got through it pretty well.

Q. How are the greens in the afternoon?

SOPHIA POPOV: Not easy. I mean, it's poa. It's tough to begin with even if you have the first tee time out. They got fairly bumpy. I had a couple putts where I wasn't sure whether it was me or the green, and I try to ignore those.

You kind of have to give the putts a little bit of speed. The birdie putts I made all had a little bit of pace, but at the same time, you don't want to leave yourself three or four footers because the later in the day the tougher those get.

So I just -- you know, I kind of try to keep a positive mindset about them. I try to ignore the bumps that are in there and how fast they are and just kind of keep a good mental attitude.

Q. Absolutely. You played at USC. Did you ever play here during your time there?

SOPHIA POPOV: You know, I didn't. I came out here to watch girls while I was at USC. Lizette had already graduated so I came out to watch her and couple times and some of the other SC graduates that were out here. Belen was out here at that time.

So honestly, I would just watch the rounds, but I never played myself, no.

Q. Nice. What's it like just to be here and compete? I know your first full year really back as a member on the LPGA after your win last year.

SOPHIA POPOV: It's really nice. I mean, it's kind of nice to be back in Southern Cal. Two out of my five college wins came in San Diego and so I like it here. It's really nice. And I have a different kind of I think attitude I'm playing with, different type of pressure that I'm playing with, one that I like a lot more than the previous years I was around here and trying to Monday Q in or playing on conditional status.

It's just really nice and I'm enjoying myself out there even if it's a day like this.

Q. Sunny San Diego, no way.

SOPHIA POPOV: I know, what? This doesn't happen here.

Q. Until today. The LPGA is in town.

SOPHIA POPOV: Until the LPGA is in town and it's our first round. Yeah, but it's okay.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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