April 1, 2021
Rancho Mirage, California, USA
Mission Hills Country Club
Q. Leona, let's start off with the day, 5-under, only one blemish on the scorecard, solid round. How did it feel out there?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, played great. Hit the ball solidly off the tee, which setup of a lot of nice irons into the greens. Feel like i got off to a nice. It was nice to start birdie, birdie and get some momentum heading into the rounds. Yeah, I played really, really solid.
Q. Birdies at 1, 2, 9, 12, 15, and 18, so birdied three of the par-5s. What was it about them that had your eye today?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I mean, I been working really hard on my wedges, so relying on them. Got close to 2, so nearly chipped in for eagle there and hit the flag on 11 and the ball came off the green.
So one of those days where I felt maybe wasn't my day. But, yeah, it was nice to bounce back, and was really tempted to go for 18 in two. It was right on the limit of a 9-wood for me and my caddie, Gary, said no. So laid up with a wedge and hit lob wedge on the green, and nice to finish with a birdie.
Q. Maybe something you'll try for tomorrow morning? I would imagine in different conditions it might play a little different.
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I mean, we talked about it, kind of maybe going in with a 6-iron or less into that green. They're just so firm in the afternoon and there is nothing stopping it there. Like I said, I been working hard on my wedges, so trying to play to the strengths as well.
If the number is right when we get there tomorrow, we'll see where the pin is and what's happening. Yeah, I mean, it's still a lot of risk there considering how the greens are so firm.
Q. Over the last three rounds here combined 12-under par; pretty solid. What is about the Dinah Shore course here that is really getting your game kind of together?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I mean, I finished strong over the weekend last year, which was nice. Yeah, I came here for the first time as an amateur when I was still in college, and it's just a fun place to be. Great golf course.
It's a really good test. You got to drive the ball well. Hit your irons in the right places. And then there is lots of slopes and subtleties to the greens. They're rolling really well, so you have to stroke it on a good line.
I've been playing well the last few weeks. Got off to a really nice start this season, and trying to build on that momentum. It's nice to come back to a course that I've been to before and I did well on last year.
Q. Seems like this course specifically the more you get a look at it, some of the people who really understand it play really well on it.
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I think there are a few sort of tee shots that when I first got here didn't really suit my eye. I added some yardage over the winter as well. It's interesting to see some of the numbers into greens we had last year compared to this year. It definitely helps going in with that little bit of a shorter clubs into the greens, especially when they're so firm.
Helps the ball stop and you can get close to some of the pins rather than having to play a little bit more conservative like I have in the past.
Q. What did you do to add some length?
LEONA MAGUIRE: A lot of gym work and just some speed work with my coach. Changed to a new Ping driver, the new 425. Yeah, just swung it that a little bit faster and it's making a difference. Changed shafts on my irons as well. Back to graphite, graphite, KBS shaft. It's going a little bit higher into these greens, which again, just makes everything a little bit easier, which is nice.
Q. Yeah, no Bryson protein drinks or anything like that?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I mean, there was plenty of protein and all that. Kinetica is one of my sponsors, sports nutrition company, so they definitely helped me this winter as well.
Q. They had you ready and raring to go. Game plan tomorrow? With the cooler conditions in the morning how do you attack the course?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I mean, same thing. Try to drive the ball in the fairway as much as possible. Really helps coming off the fairways trying to get it to stop. Imagine it might play a touch longer in the morning. Again, try and give myself as many chances as I can and hopefully can hole some putts.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports