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August 1, 2021

Pajaree Anannarukarn

Northern Ireland

Galgorm Castle & Massereene Golf Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Good evening from Northern Ireland, and good afternoon to all of you out there. Thank you for joining the ISPS Handa World Invitational champion's press conference with Pajaree Anannarukarn, a Rolex first-time winner on the LPGA. What does win No. 1 in your LPGA Tour career mean to you?

PAJAREE ANANNARUKARN: I want to say thank you to everyone for all the support and all the lovely messages that they've sent throughout the week, and obviously really I can't believe I finally pulled it out, and just really thankful for everything.

Q. You had a mile of putts in the playoff it seemed. You win it with two pars. Take us through the length of the putts that you had on the first playoff hole as well as the second playoff hole and what it was like standing over those in that moment.

PAJAREE ANANNARUKARN: So I kind of gave myself quite a difficult -- well, the pin position obviously was really tough pin position, and I had a long distance going into the green on the third shot on the first playoff hole. I'm actually really glad that I hit the green on that one but left myself about like 60 feet, like about 60-feet putt. And yeah, just really happy that I made that two-putt.

On to the second playoff, it went even longer than I expected. A little -- I wouldn't say upset, but just wish I could give myself a shorter birdie putt, but then it happened.

Yeah, it's about 20 yards putt from there, 25, 30 yards putt from there, but really glad I made that putt again.

Q. You had a hiccup on No. 6; can you walk us through what happened there and how you had the mindset and the composure to come back from that?

PAJAREE ANANNARUKARN: I think I just used the short-term memory. Obviously I tried to forget what happened and moving on to the next shot. I was just kind of a bit upset I messed up a little that I did not get that ball up because I played a provisional ball just to check, but we ended up found the ball, and then I kind of went on that.

I shouldn't -- it's just a learning experience for me, as well, but yeah, like I said, just kind of trying to forget everything and keep moving on to the next shot.

Q. How do you calm yourself in a situation like that?

PAJAREE ANANNARUKARN: Honestly I just kind of tell myself that I've been hitting it well, putting it well. I wouldn't let that shot, just one shot take me down or anything. Just kind of going to keep doing my best, and I believe that I will keep hitting it well and making more putts out there.

Q. Speaking of making putts, you had the eight- and nine-footer in the playoff. What were you thinking as you stood over both of those?

PAJAREE ANANNARUKARN: Trying to make it, of course. But yeah, I just -- honestly just really go back to my routine, try to stay focused and committed to the given line and really trust that I can make those.

Q. I know you write "good luck" on your golf ball. At what point today did you feel luckiest?

PAJAREE ANANNARUKARN: Yes, definitely. I just feel like I always want to look at something, especially at a golf ball, that I always put good luck on it just to see some positive things. I feel like everything I went through today and especially on hole 6, I think I was really lucky, lucky enough that I was able to do this win, pull out this win.

Q. What does it mean to you to have your first career victory in the same season as Ariya and Moriya, your idols, won as well?

PAJAREE ANANNARUKARN: It's special, honestly. I'm really happy for them that they won the Dow event, and it was, again, an amazing event, very fun event. I played good golf there, and I just didn't expect to win this week, honestly. I wanted to do my best and give myself some chances, and yes, I did it, so really, really special.

Q. What was running through your head as your dad picked you up after you won?

PAJAREE ANANNARUKARN: It was a special moment, I mean, to be able to celebrate with him. He's always been by my side along the way from the very beginning of my career, and just to be able to share it with him was very, very special.

Q. You're the fifth Thai player to win in LPGA history. What does it mean to now be part of your country's history in the LPGA's lore?

PAJAREE ANANNARUKARN: Yeah, it's a great honor to be able to be representing Thailand and also winning out here. It's definitely a dream come true to be able to achieve this.

Q. Can you take us through when you were a little girl dreaming of moments like this one? What would you tell your younger self about this moment?

PAJAREE ANANNARUKARN: I think just to enjoy golf more. Sometimes we took it for granted. We forget to enjoy it. We were too intense sometimes. But I would tell myself to enjoy it more. Golf is a fun sport, and I am very lucky enough to be able to do what I love and to have it as my job, honestly, and to be able to be here on the LPGA Tour, it's a great, great accomplishment.

Q. You write "good luck" on your golf ball. Any coincidence that your first career LPGA Tour win is in Ireland, Northern Ireland with the luck of the Irish?

PAJAREE ANANNARUKARN: Well, as you mentioned, yes, maybe. Maybe something special about it. Yeah, I never thought of it, but now that you brought that up, maybe, yeah.

Q. What is your schedule look like for the next few weeks? We have the final major championship of the 2021 golf season just a few weeks away, a week off this week, and then the Scottish and the British. Take us through your travel plans, your practice plans to get ready for a major which it seems like you're in great form for.

PAJAREE ANANNARUKARN: So I will be taking this week off and will be preparing for the Scottish Open and British Open in two weeks.

Q. You were in position to win at Dow and then you ended up playing with the winner at Evian. How did those experiences lead you to where you are right now?

PAJAREE ANANNARUKARN: I think it's just everything that I've learned especially from my rookie year or even the beginning of the year and especially last week, I think everything add up in helping me grow and to be where I am today. Obviously I've learned a lot playing in major events, what I need to work on and what I should be doing better and things that I didn't do well. It's just a learning experience, and I think I was able to improve on that.

Q. How long have you written "good luck" on your golf ball for? When did you start that?

PAJAREE ANANNARUKARN: I think that was when I was 12. Pretty sure it's 12 or 13. Playing a golf tournament I was trying to figure out what I should draw or mark, but then I actually like write a lot on my golf ball, even drawing, and then my dad is just like, oh, maybe it's too much and you wouldn't be able to see the white ball, and it's harder to see, harder to find when it's in the rough or something like that, so I was like, okay, I'll keep it simple but I'll keep the good luck sign on it and my name.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you everyone for joining us. Pajaree, congratulations on your first career LPGA Tour win. Enjoy it and we'll see you in Scotland.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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