February 3, 2022
For Myers, Florida, USA
Crown Colony Golf & Country Club
Q. All right, here with Leona Maguire. Leona, take me through this 6-under day.
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, got off to a little bit of a slow start, or slower than I would've liked, but I think the back nine is playing tougher this week, so it was nice to turn at 2-under. Made a good birdie on 18 to sort of get the round going again and just finished really strong.
Gave myself a lot of chances on the short holes. My wedged were really good, so that helped a lot. Hit two of the par-5s in two as well on the front side, so yeah, pretty stress-free birdies on those.
And then just solid. Hit a lot more greens today than I did last week. Something I struggled -- I didn't really feel that comfortable last week; a lot more comfortable today. Drove the ball a lot better.
Q. You are one of the few birdies I've seen so far on No. 13, which is the risk-reward challenge hole I believe this week.
LEONA MAGUIRE: Oh.
Q. What is it about that hole and what did you see in that hole and what worked so well for you?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, it was playing a little bit into the wind. They moved the tee up which was a little bit -- that stretch was playing tough. I'd just come off a bogey on 12, the Par-5, which was annoying, so just hit really nice wind shot we had been practicing from last week. Hit it to about three, four feet there and sort of rolled it in to get myself back on track, which was nice.
Q. What happened with that bogey? You call it annoying.
LEONA MAGUIRE: I hit a bad drive, not a great second shot, not a great third shot, and not a great putt, so it just -- it was too many bad shots on one hole.
Hit it into the greenside bunker, and yeah, other than that, played the par-5s well, so we'll forget about that one.
Q. Talk us about your five birdies I'm counting in your last six holes. What was going so well for you in that stretch?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I mean, on No. 4 I think it was, nearly holed out there. Hit it to a couple inches there.
And then hit the par-5 in two on 5.
Hit a good shot into 6; didn't quite make that one.
And then holed a really nice putt on 7.
8, hit a really nice wedge shot. It was playing downwind, sort of tucked it on, hit driver there, got it down closer to the green, and a nice wedge shot in there.
And then 18 just front edge of the green and two-putted for birdie, which was a nice way to finish.
Q. After a little bit of a tougher front nine for you, what was it like to have that kind of confidence on your back nine?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I felt like I started doing really well. Struggled a lot on left-to-right winds last week and there were a lot them today, so managed that a lot better.
And just overall felt more comfortable getting sort of back into the swing of things.
Q. You've always had kind of a natural penetrating ball flight, which makes you a great wind player. I think you went through some swing changes to try to get longer. Do you have any trouble going back to hitting that wind shot that you were so natural with before?
LEONA MAGUIRE: No. I mean, we spent quite a while last week working on those wind shots, especially with the shorter irons, sort of flighting them in, and did a lot of that today's well. Just trying to take the spin off the ball really.
As I got a little bit longer last year and switched to the new iron shafts my ball flight went up. We switched back to slightly more tip shaft this year and the ball flight has come down a little bit, which is definitely nice.
I have a 6-hybrid in the bag and a 9-wood in the bag, which in this wind isn't exactly ideal, so I had to manufacture a few shots with those. But the sort of wedge shots flighted and the short irons flighted were really nice.
Q. In the wind it's always you have to be patient. There is some flags you just don't want to go at. Your experience playing in this the wind, particularly at home, has that been a big help?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah. Like I said, it's patience. It was patience last week, too, Saturday, Sunday in particular.
These greens, they're deceptively tricky. There is some run-offs. They're a lot faster than last week, so you kind of -- you have to pay attention where you're leaving the ball as well.
You want to try and stay below the hole, and that can be tricky in these winds. So it's just a case of taking your pars on some of the tougher holes and trying to take advantage of those shorter holes, those par-5s that were downwind today, and take your chance where you get them.
Q. There is a balance though, because you're in a 54-hole event. Host people will say, Jee this is a sprint, not a marathon. How do you balance having to be patient with the fact that you don't want to have so many holes left?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, I mean, again, you don't want to force anything. You just want to take your chances where you get them. I was fortunate enough to have quite a few chances today, and for the most part took them.
It's easy to say I was patient when things were going well. It's not quite as easy when things aren't going well. Yeah, I mean, fairways, greens, and these greens are running really well, so you hit good putts and they're staying online, which is nice.
Q. What will you take away from this first day heading into tomorrow knowing this is only a three-round event?
LEONA MAGUIRE: Yeah, more of the same, I think. Bit by bit feeling a bit more comfortable. Hit a few shots on the range, hit some putts, and take it easy for the afternoon. It's pretty draining in these conditions.
Last week this wind and today in this wind you just have to kind of conserve that energy, too.
Q. I feel like wherever we go the wind follows.
LEONA MAGUIRE: I'm not complaining.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports