March 25, 2000
RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIFORNIA
LAURA NEAL: Welcome, Aree Wongluekiet, who shot a 68 today, which is the second lowest
round ever by an amateur at The Nabisco Championship. Congratulations. She's at 2-under
for the tournament, and we'll go ahead and go over her score card and then open it up for
AREE WONGLUEKIET: My birdie at No. 4, I hit an 8-iron into the green and had like, I
think a 6-footer for birdie; made that. No. 7, I hit quite a good drive down the middle
and -- let's see, I think an 8-iron to the -- I think to about four feet and made the
putt. No. 9, I hit a 3-wood down the middle then 7-wood, something like that, and then a
pitching wedge, I think, yeah. No. 12, I hit the drive a little bit to the -- no, I hit it
in the middle, and then had a very good 7-iron to just try and cut it back there and
stopped like -- I had a 3-footer for birdie; made that. No bogeys.
Q. Aree, was this -- considering everything, was this your best day of golf, and if it
wasn't, what was your other good day of golf?
AREE WONGLUEKIET: I don't remember all my days of golfing, but this is definitely one
of them. I had a great time out there today, and had lots of fun and hit lots of fairways
and greens and made some putts. I was quite happy with the way I played today.
Q. Just wondering about on No. 9, how close did you hit it on No. 9?
AREE WONGLUEKIET: I think a 3-footer.
Q. Aree, you said your goal coming in was to make the cut. You've obviously done that;
so now what's your goal?
AREE WONGLUEKIET: The best ever finish by an amateur is fourth, so I'll try and beat
that tomorrow, but try not to worry too much about it, just go out there and try and play
my game. This course requires hitting a lot of fairways and greens, and I'll be happy if
some putts just drop for me.
Q. Aree, when I told my producer in New York about your fantastic performance today, he
said, "Oh my God, Tigress Woods," how do you like being compared to a fellow
American of Thai decent?
AREE WONGLUEKIET: I think Tiger Woods is definitely the greatest player, and I'm quite
happy that he compared me to Tiger. I think that's great.
Q. Aree, how much can you attribute the David Leadbetter Academy to some of the success
AREE WONGLUEKIET: The David Leadbetter Academy has definitely prepared me well for this
event. There's a lot of things, a lot of ingredients that make it possible, nutrition,
physical, mental, a lot of aspects of the game, short game and swings, just about
everything. So, yeah, I was well-prepared for this tournament.
Q. It doesn't appear that you've had much of an adjustment problem from junior golf to
what amounts to professional golf. Could you talk with us a little bit about what it's
like to be out there playing inside the ropes with the greatest players of the world at
AREE WONGLUEKIET: I'm very happy and pleased, and I feel that it is an honor to be able
to compete with the greatest players in the game. And I had a lot of fun this week, and,
you know, just looking forward to tomorrow. And the difference, if you're asking about the
difference between junior golf to professional, if I go inside the ropes, every tournament
is the same; I'm still playing golf. I always try my best, and, you know, see whatever
Q. Now that you've been -- now that you've been out here for a couple days and this is
kind of sinking in, what's it like for you at night? Do you find anything is different?
Are you having trouble sleeping? Are you up earlier than unusual? How is your body
reacting? How are you feeling?
AREE WONGLUEKIET: I don't really have trouble sleeping. My sister and my brother relax
me a lot. You know, we have a lot of fun, and when we're off the golf course, we try not
to think and say too much about golf; try and get away from that a little bit. And just
sometimes we just, you know, watch TV or play some -- do some homework and stuff like
Q. If someone had said to you a week ago that after three round of the Nabisco you
would be in fifth place, what would you have told that person? Would you have told him
that he would be totally nuts?
AREE WONGLUEKIET: Probably. But, yeah, I'm playing very well this week, and, you know,
like I said, I'm very happy with the way I'm playing right now. Yeah, you could say that.
Q. Aree, are you going to be doing any homework tonight? What's the status of your
homework? Do you think you're going to putt it off for the weekend?
AREE WONGLUEKIET: Yeah, I think I'll have a break from it tonight. Maybe try to find
something else to do and relax a little bit.
Q. Will you be working on something this afternoon for your game to improve for
tomorrow, anything you didn't like about today's round?
AREE WONGLUEKIET: Not really, but I will try and reinforce it, go out there and hit a
couple balls and putt a few and chip a few around the greens and stuff like that.
Q. Aree, were you ever in danger of making a bogey today?
AREE WONGLUEKIET: Yeah, every single hole. (Laughter.) That's always a possibility, but
if you go in the rough, you have to punch out, you know, trying to get yourself in the
best position to try and make par from there, and I think I did that for -- what hole was
that -- I think No. 13.
Q. And the other question is: Have you played any holes differently today than you have
the first two days have you learned anything and played the course differently?
AREE WONGLUEKIET: I have adjusted to a couple of changes, but pretty much stuck to my
game plan, and, you know, just trying to play the way I've been playing the first couple
of rounds. Seems to be working quite well right now.
Q. We would like to know how you played 13 today, please.
AREE WONGLUEKIET: 13, hit a drive out a little right and got stuck behind the trees and
couldn't go for the green; so I punched out with a gap wedge to the fairway to around 75
yards and just pitched it up there about 12 feet past the hole and made the putt coming
Q. What have you found was the most difficult or the most challenging thing out here in
these last few days?
AREE WONGLUEKIET: Definitely the rough. If you're in the rough, it's very hard to make
-- to get it -- to play it out of there, to go for the greens. Pretty much if you get in
one, you have it punch out to the fairway and try and make par from there.
Q. How do you deal with the nerves before a shot?
AREE WONGLUEKIET: I was nervous on the first couple of holes today, but after around,
two holes, I felt quite comfortable. I just focus on my game, basically. And how do I cope
with it? I do a lot of deep breaths on the course and, you know, just focus.
Q. How big a help has Gary been to you this week, and in what way?
AREE WONGLUEKIET: Gary has been a very -- has been a great help. He was doing quite a
good job today. He gives me -- just plays quite the safe side of the greens and gives me
good yardages. He's very relaxed when he's out there. So, yeah, he's a good caddie.
Q. Aree, what is your schedule going to be like the rest of the summer?
AREE WONGLUEKIET: Pardon?
Q. Your schedule after this, what tournaments will you be playing in the rest of the
AREE WONGLUEKIET: I might try and qualify for an LPGA tournament in Georgia, but I'm
not sure. But I think after that, I'm going to come out here to California and play in the
Rolex Championship for juniors and some of the AJGA tournaments; so I'm going to try to
qualify for the Open.
Q. Aree, how come -- how come we don't make you nervous? I mean, these are a lot of
questions for a young girl to answer, and there's TV cameras and people asking for
autographs. Is this fun? What are you thinking about with all of us sitting out here?
AREE WONGLUEKIET: I enjoy the attention, I think. I think it's positive. And I'm having
fun, and I'm quite -- quite used to, you know, TV cameras and stuff like that. I was quite
nervous at first, but it's better now.
Q. Would you change positions with your sister right now?
AREE WONGLUEKIET: You might want to ask her that, but probably not.
Q. I don't think you went through the 18th, could you just tell us what clubs you
played and how far that third shot was?
AREE WONGLUEKIET: 18, I pushed it a bit right, was in the rough, and 3-wood. And then
punched out with a 4-iron to the fairway. Had around 188 to the pin, I think. And, you
know, it was just an easy 7-wood from there; soft one to up behind the green.
Q. In the newspaper they said that the only way to tell the difference between you and
your sister was you wear the sunglasses on the back of your hat and she wears them on the
front of her hat. Are there any other differences?
AREE WONGLUEKIET: I think we look very different. I think our faces are different, and
the way we walk and speak and stuff like that. I think we are very different. But for
someone who has not seen us very often, I think it's quite difficult to tell. But my good
friends have no problem telling us apart.
Q. Aree, do you think you can catch Karrie Webb tomorrow?
AREE WONGLUEKIET: Karrie? I'll try, but probably not.
Q. There's a lot of glitter to a tournament like this for women golfers. It's something
that could distract you. You don't appear to be distracted by anything that's going an
around you. If that's true, how did you keep your mind focused on golf?
AREE WONGLUEKIET: Just when I'm out there on the golf course inside the ropes, I don't
think about anything else except, you know, the next shot and focusing. I take a lot of
deep breaths out there and just keep focusing out there. You know, you just have to keep
End of FastScripts