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May 28, 2021

Sophia Popov

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Shadow Creek

Quick Quotes

Q. Sophia Popov, 6&5 winner today over Sung Hyun Park. You never trailed today. Pretty dominant. Take us through what it was like to put together that performance.

SOPHIA POPOV: Yeah, today was very solid right off the bat. You know, I won the first hole and I kind of never looked back. Ball striking was very good today. I putted well. I made all the putts that I had to make and definitely made a few more birdies than yesterday, so that helped.

Q. Group 15 winner. Obviously business still to go, but to come out of group stage has to be somewhat of a win.

SOPHIA POPOV: Yeah, definitely. I think that's the first goal, to make it out of the group phase, you know, make it to the weekend and I got -- I took care of business in that way.

Definitely now looking forward to what's next.

Q. I heard you talking a little bit back here, but can you talk about Shadow Creek as a venue and match play as a format, how excited you are to be at both?

SOPHIA POPOV: Yeah, obviously Shadow Creek is an incredible place. I watched the guys play here in the last year and it's amazing. You don't really feel like you're in Vegas. You don't have a desert-y feel. It's very green. Just really cool golf holes, and I think it suits match play exceptionally well because you just -- you know, you never know.

Like anything can happen at any point just because the greens are so firm. You need to hit the right spots on the greens. Need to miss the greens on the right sides. So I just think it makes it very, very interesting, especially for match play.

Q. And I was wondering if you could think back, Memorial Day weekend a year ago, what you were doing and where you were and how your life has just completely changed over the past year.

SOPHIA POPOV: You know, I can't remember where I was Memorial Day weekend last year, but it definitely has been a crazy roller coaster since then. Obviously I won the British shortly after, and never knew what was going to come my way the end of last year and the beginning of this year.

It's just been, you know, exciting for me. I've just been playing good golf since then. You know, really, really can't remember where I was that day, but it's been quite nice since then.

Q. Do you feel comfortable out here now? Do you feel like this is your home and this is where you belong?

SOPHIA POPOV: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I kind of felt that previously even to winning the British, but I think it was always tough because it was such an up and down. I would get into events and I wouldn't get into events of go back to Q-School. Now I've just finally settled and I feel comfortable. I feel like I can just go out and have a good time and really enjoy it and take everything in knowing every round that I play now it's not going to determine what happens the rest of the year or next year.

So that's a really nice feeling to have.

Q. And then have a good time, can you have a good time playing Inbee tomorrow?

SOPHIA POPOV: Yeah. You know, I think I can have a good time playing Inbee tomorrow. I think she's obviously a really good player, but I've played with her a lot over the last few months. Maybe I got to know her game fairly well.

So, you know, it's match play. Anything can happen. I've been striking it really solid the last few days so I have to keep doing what I'm doing. I can only focus on my own game.

Q. And then assuming you can beat Inbee -- I don't want to get ahead of yourself -- but do you feel like there might be a letdown because that's going to be the best player you'll see or is this just match play and you got to take it a hole at a time?

SOPHIA POPOV: It's just match play. You take it one match at a time. Every player here can win the tournament at the end of the week. Just take it match by match and player by player.

Q. Looks like, not officially yet, but Inbee looks like your opponent. You played with her a lot this year. I'm trying to remember exactly when. Can you recall?

SOPHIA POPOV: So I played with her in Singapore. That's the most recent time we played together, after the first two days, so on the third day we played together. As well as at Kia in third round.

So, yeah, I've played with her a couple times, maybe two or even three times this year. Yeah, it's more than ever before.

Q. Have you learned anything from her or learned anything about yourself playing with her?

SOPHIA POPOV: Yeah, I think every time I play with her I'm starting to get more comfortable and manage to play my own game. I think it's very tough. She's very solid. She's someone who doesn't make a lot of mistakes and probably the most even-keeled player out here emotionally.

So a lot of things that I look up to and that I would love to, you know, do myself, I guess, or be able to replicate.

But at the same time, I kind of know what my strengths are and I know the part of the game that I can possibly beat her in.

Q. I think it's a little more humid out here today; obviously warmer over the weekend. How does Sophia Popov with the potential for two matches each day stay hydrated and rested?

SOPHIA POPOV: You know, I feel like in Singapore and Thailand I got a good feel for playing in the heat and humidity. Hydration is important. I drank a lot of water. I take a lot of electrolytes and try to eat even though it's so hot and you're not hungry.

You got to snack ever couple holes just to make sure you stay focused and your brain is functioning properly. But, yeah, it's definitely something that my caddie is on top of and I'm on top of his hydration, so something we I guess feed off each other.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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