May 25, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
THE MODERATOR: All right, welcome back to the media center for the Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play hosted by Shadow Creek here with our final press conference of the day. Glad to be joined Anna Nordqvist. Anna, you've had a long day out on the golf course, but it's got to be a long and beautiful day here at Shadow Creek. What are your feelings after stepping off this course?
ANNA NORDQVIST: I love Shadow Creek and I been fortunate to play these time before this week as part of being an MGM ambassador. When I heard we were coming here I was excited because I know how hard it is to get out here, and for us to even just play golf on this golf course all week, it's quite a treat.
Great golf course. Greens are really firm, so it's going to play pretty hard. But love it for match play. I think we're all going to have a great week ahead.
THE MODERATOR: That's a common theme we're hearing, that this sets up really well for match play because it's such a difficult course. You clearly have a great history with match play. How excited are you not to only be playing Shadow Creek, but bringing match play back to the LPGA schedule?
ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, been a couple years since we had the at match play, and I loved it back then. Playing a lot of match play growing up and also with Solheim Cup and International Crown, just such a unique format, and we embrace the moments we do get to play it.
I think this golf course is good for match play because it's such a fine line. You can hit good shots, and if it just kicks over the green just slightly you can be dead.
So just greens being a little bit firmer I feel like sometimes it's going to be hard to even two-putt some of the greens. So I think it could be some really exciting matches, and especially with the last couple holes.
15, great hole there over the water.
16, long par-5.
17, short power there three, but you really have to be on your number or you're going to pray that you have a full club in there.
And then 18, if you hit a good drive and you bounce it all the way to the bottom you have, I mean, a mid-iron into that hole.
So just anything can happen, and I think that's why it's been such a positive response on this golf course this week.
Q. What's the different mindset from a regular stroke play week coming into match play? We understand the differences in playing. How is it your mind has to work differently on match play weeks?
ANNA NORDQVIST: You know, obviously you have to adjust a little bit. I mean, you have a bad hole and the next one you can have a good hole. There really aren't the many consequences other than losing a hole, and just knowing that you have holes ahead. I think if it would be stroke play on this golf course it would like a totally different story. I think you would probably play a little bit more conservative putting yourself in some spots.
I think in match play you have to attack some pins, and depends on a little bit what your opponent does. I think in general match play at least for me brings out a little bit more the aggressiveness in me that I probably wish I had a little bit more from week to week.
So that's why I enjoy it a lot.
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Got news this morning that Mollie Marcoux Samaan is the new commissioner of the LPGA. Where were you when you found that out, and how did you react?
ANNA NORDQVIST: I was excited. I don't know really anything about her. We all got emails this morning that it was going to be released today. Haven't seen any press conference or really any statements from her. We knew this was coming. I been a huge fan of Mike Whan for everything he's done, and I know he's leaving LPGA in a good place.
I trust the board made a good decision. I think we're all excited for good times ahead.
Q. Curious how much you think all your match play experience is going to help this week. You're in a pod with the No. 1 player in the world, but she stood here two hours ago and said she hates match play.
ANNA NORDQVIST: That's good to know.
Q. Does that affect how you approach matches?
ANNA NORDQVIST: No. I think -- I mean, there is going to be a lot of tough players this week. Yeah, I have Jin Young Ko in the group and I know she's a very good player. And even she probably hasn't played as much, I guess as much match play as some of the other ones of us, especially I feel like a lot of the European players and the American players.
But she -- even if someone says they don't like match play, they're all very consistent and good players, so I'm sure they'll still bring it. But I know I have a tough group. I just have to go in with the mindset of trying to win every match that I have ahead of me.
And with match play I think the beauty is you just never know what's going to happen. You know there will be a lot of upsets this week and you know you can never count out your opponent because it just -- everyone is only one shot away from turning a match around, from gaining a little bit of momentum.
Q. Given match play and Solheim, how much the crowds matter at Solheim and given what we saw at PGA this weekend, how does it feel to be back out here with no spectators?
ANNA NORDQVIST: I don't quite think it's fair to compare like a regular tour event or if it's the match play event or maybe even not a major to a Solheim Cup, because Solheim Cup is just different with the atmosphere and the way they kind of bring in the fans, and with kind of the atmosphere and how loud they are and stuff like that.
Definitely miss the fans a little bit. Probably a little bit more for like adrenaline. Just feeling a little bit more look a tour event sometimes. But I know they have started letting a few more people and I know there will be some more people next week, so I really -- I mean, I really enjoy starting to see stuff go back to normal.
Certainly seeing Phil and what happened there on 18 was pretty cool. Don't know how COVID friendly it was for some of the rest of the world knowing we were just in Asia and really couldn't do anything.
But it is exciting, and I feel like during the COVID it's been a lot of good exposure for golf. Even if fans haven't been able to go on site, I don't know if the interest is kind of gained, so I think once things are starting to go back to normal we might even see more fans.
I know a lot of people have been watching women's golf and I think that's awesome, but hopefully we can have a little bit more fans and -- because I know that brings out the best in a lot of us.
Q. You mentioned Phil and certainly the security aside, just the scene and his win on Sunday had to be inspirational to any golf at any point of their career. What are your thoughts on his win and what he accomplished?
ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, I think what was the most inspirational about his win is the fact that he hasn't won a major in a while. I mean, he's been around for a long time. A lot us what happened him growing up playing, and you can kind of follow his hard work over the years and how he just never stops grinding.
And to see that finally pay off, it's pretty awesome. Like you said, I never stopped believing in myself. I didn't necessarily knew it was going to happen, but just the fact to believe in yourself, there is just no age to the game.
Golf ball doesn't know how old you are. I feel like it's a big inspiration. You just never know when the next good thing is ahead of you.
THE MODERATOR: You certainly had that yourself with the gap before your years of victory before getting your win at the Evian Championship. I don't quite know what I'm trying to say, but it shows that, you're right, golf is for everyone. It doesn't matter how old you are or where you are in your career, it's always potentially there for you.
ANNA NORDQVIST: I think it's easy to just count -- I mean count your success in wins. Most pole people probably don't understand how competitive it is out here and how hard it is to win, and even some weeks where you might feel like you play really good, someone is going to play better and there is nothing you can do about it.
Because I feel like a lot of people kind of judge you just based on result and they don't know what's going on. You can have a good stretch where you play a lot of good golf, but it's -- it just doesn't lead to victory.
So I think as a player you got to put that in perspective. And like for me, I feel like I did a lot of good things maybe leading up to Evian and then end up winning Evian, was close to a U.S. Open the year before. Just got to keep working because you just never know when your hard work is going to pay off.
Q. Golf is always evolving with technology. Do you consider yourself more of -- do you like the technology, old fashioned golfer, or maybe somewhat of a balance in there?
ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, like I think it's obviously a different generation coming out now. Look, I started when I was 13, and if I started today I feel like I would be way behind. Also the way technology has changed the game and the way teaching has improved and how players or kids train speed from five years old or six years old. Like it's just different era.
And I feel like it's not fair for me to compare myself. Everyone is hitting it so far now coming out now, and I when I grew up it was all about hitting it straight. We didn't have lasers when we practiced, so you were stepping off from hundred yards because you wanted to work on your hundred yard shots.
So I feel like it's obviously a lot easier these days because you have a lot more like available to you. I went to Arizona State and I thought we had an amazing facility and all the practice facilities we needed, and then now they have the BIRD with crazy technology and everything they need.
It's like everything, you know, is like -- the opportunity are all around this generation, so that's why you see a lot of good golfers coming up, and I'm very impressed.
Q. If it you could share three keys of success to the junior golfers, the next generation for golf, and keys to success you might think about for life.
ANNA NORDQVIST: Three keys, I think it's playing golf your way. I'm not one of the longest players, but I found success in -- through consistency and good iron play, hitting a lot of greens, fairways.
Maybe long hitter can go for everything and rely on good short game, but just play golf your way. Something I always believed in. Enjoying what you do. If you're not enjoying the ground from a day today like I probably wouldn't pick up golf, because it's going to drive you crazy at times. It's also going to be the most rewarding sport you'll have play.
And also just enjoy the game. Try to have friends. The people I met through golf over the years, like I don't -- like I don't know what I would be without those people, and just been very fortunate to have friends all over the world. It's just something I never thought of growing up. It's quite a special place to be living your dream and traveling the world.
THE MODERATOR: Absolutely. It's opened a lot of doors. I am going to close with one question. I wanted to give a mention to Bank of Hope. You're a Bank of Hope champion having won the Founders Cup a few years ago, Bank of Hope our title sponsor this week. With them and MGM stepping up to start the tour in what has been a rough last year, just talk a little bit about what it means to you and your fellow players to have these big organizations supporting women's golf at such an important time for it.
ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, think MGM Resorts stepping in and creating this tournament, putting it back on the schedule for three years, and Bank of Hope coming back and supporting women's golf, Shadow Creek, I mean, it just keeps getting better and better. It's quite amazing.
I love Vegas, and my coach been here the last couple years, it's a special place to come. I don't think they could have picked a better spot for a match play tournament, so we're obviously very grateful for everyone who made this tournament happen.
THE MODERATOR: Awesome. Well thanks so much, Anna. Good luck this week.
ANNA NORDQVIST: Thank you.
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