May 12, 2022
Clifton, New Jersey, USA
Upper Montclair Country Club
Q. Here with Sanna Nuutinen. What a round. Had an eagle on 2. Had five, six birdies. What did you find out there with your game today that worked so well?
SANNA NUUTINEN: So I got my putter finally going. I've been losing a lot of money the past few weeks just because of my putting, so, yeah, my caddie and I worked hard on it, both green-reading and the technique.
We had a nice video call with my coach just last week, and I changed a lot of stuff in my setup and in my putting stroke. So whatever happens this week, I'm really proud of myself and my caddie and my coach.
Q. It's a good confidence booster. You had a bogey in the first hole, but backed it up with that eagle. Walk me through what happened on 2.
SANNA NUUTINEN: On 2, yeah, I had a nice little cut driver. Nice cut drive. The pin was tucked back right. My caddie wanted me to hit a little less club, but I was, like, no, I'm going to take a 3-wood and grip down and hit a little nice cut to that pin. I could just see that shot. So I went with that. It was absolutely pumped. It was a nice tap-in eagle.
Q. You started on the back today. Had, what, four birdies, one bogey. Is there something you like in particular on the back side? Looking at this golf course, it doesn't seem to have a lot of teeth in it.
SANNA NUUTINEN: To be honest, I can't even remember what was going on really because I was so going through my little routine. To be honest, I didn't feel like it was the best -- my ball-striking wasn't the best.
The past few weeks where I said I've been struggling with putting, I've been hitting the ball beautiful. Today I was kind of struggling a little bit with that, so it's funny how this game works.
Q. What have you found in your ball-striking? You only played three events. You're an LPGA rookie. What did you find with your ball-striking. You said you've been hitting the ball really well. What's been working?
SANNA NUUTINEN: What's been working? Again, my caddie and I have worked hard. It's a lot to do with my setup, actually. As boring as it might sound, but when I address the ball really well, when I'm well-aligned, we kind of tweaked my grip a little bit, so when I just feel really comfortable over the ball, I'll just absolutely rip it. It often goes pretty straight. That's one thing I work hard on: My setup, my grip, my basics.
Q. I know you put a lot in the LET. Fourth event as a rookie. Do you feel more settled now that you've had four events?
SANNA NUUTINEN: Not yet. It's still tough. I find it a lot different. I played on the European Tour, and the Ladies Access Tour for six, seven years. Coming to here I didn't know it was going to be this big of a transition.
The courses are different. The greens are different. The greens are really consistent. They're always fast and undulating. So I haven't been used to that. That's one of the reasons we've been working so hard because I feel like I'm so far behind. I have to work hard to catch these girls, but it's still tough.
I'm looking forward to the later half of the season. Probably by that time I feel more comfortable, get to know more people here. Yeah.
Q. How gratifying is it? 5-under 67 is a good start to this tournament? How good is it to see that hard work pay off?
SANNA NUUTINEN: It feels good. Like I said, no matter what happens, I'm so happy how my process is going and how the hard work pays off, and, yeah, it's a good confidence-builder. I know I'm doing the right stuff, so I'll just keep doing what I'm doing, and I'll be fine. I'll be just fine.
Q. I love that. For the first round, we have three days left out here. It's early. What have you learned about the golf course? What positives will you be carry from your game with you into the rest of the week?
SANNA NUUTINEN: This golf course is great. I love it. I'm from Finland, so from Northern Europe, so coming from the L.A. swing to here it's been a bit chilly in the mornings. I like it.
Q. You mentioned improving your putting and the greens being fast here. Has the green speed helped you, you think today with your putting?
SANNA NUUTINEN: Yes, definitely. The little changes we did on my stroke for putting and my setup in putting helps me to release the putter better, so it also helps with the speed control because if you want to make a putt, then there's a lot of break, so it's a combination of good speed and good line, so if one of them is off, you're probably not going to make it. I'm trying to work hard on my pace every day and then with the technique, so I can start the ball where I want to.
Q. Tomorrow you might have a wetter morning. You might be a little more wet. Are you thinking about that?
SANNA NUUTINEN: Yeah, it might be a bit chilly and wet in the morning. Yeah, definitely just bring another gear, like more layers. The colder it is, the better for me because I'm used to that. (Laughing).
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports