May 29, 2021
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Q. Joined by Sophia Popov, winner over Inbee Park to advance to the Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play quarterfinals. You were 1-down going into 18 and you stuffed it close. Take us through that hole and the approach.
SOPHIA POPOV: Yeah, you know, I had just come -- okay, so going back to 16, I am on 16 and we were all square, and I hit a great shot on 17 that I thought was perfect and ended up short; I made bogey and I'm 1-down.
But I kind of -- I had a pretty good feeling about my game. I said, you know what? If I can hit a good drive I'll have a short iron in. I smoked my drive down there, which is great. That was step one.
Then I had 152 to the pin. Correct me if I'm wrong, Mikey, but I think 152 to the pin and was perfect 9-iron distance for me. Landed a couple short, came up the ridge, and came back down and it was good. So probably the ideal scenario in that moment.
Q. You take out Inbee on the second playoff hole, the par-4 11th. Emotion of beating the queen and take us through the final hole.
SOPHIA POPOV: Yeah, you know, we actually -- we just had a great match the whole day. She was just being her, playing super solid. Every good birdie look she had she made, and I knew that was going to be the case.
So I just had to hang in there. I was hitting it great all day. If anything, I missed a couple putts that could have gone in, so I knew I was right there.
And then I hit my second shot in the bunker on 10 and I said, if you can get up and down here you're good with your wedges so you have a chance on 11. Yeah, stuffed it on 11 and I made that to win the match.
It's been -- it's honestly been a nice reprieve because I've played with her a few times now over the last few months and she's been kicking my butt. I kind of had it, so I was -- it was my time this time.
Q. I saw you hand in hand with a couple young girls as you were walking by. Who was out watching?
SOPHIA POPOV: Yeah, my nieces came. I'm very close to my family. My brother came with his wife and my three nieces, and two of them are old enough to understand what's going on, they're three and five. They're pretty much what I play for. When I'm home they're everything to me.
You know, first time they came and watched me, so it's been pretty nice. They're my lucky charms. And I know they really want to go to the pool now, but I really want to have them with me.
Q. Tell them Aunt Sofia has one more match to win today.
SOPHIA POPOV: Yeah. I'm going to tell them the scenario, and if I'm lucky they might come walk a few holes.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports