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June 3, 2022

Mina Harigae

Southern Pines, North Carolina, USA

Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club

Quick Quotes

Q. Mina Harigae, 2-under 69. Can you talk us through your round today?

MINA HARIGAE: Today was fun, but stressful for sure. A little more stressful today for sure, and things got a little shaky there, but I was really happy with the way I hung in there and made some good birdies coming in.

Q. Did the course play differently for you today than yesterday?

MINA HARIGAE: It did. Since it was the morning fairways were a little softer, greens were a little softer, so my drives weren't going as far and I had a little longer clubs in, but my -- the golf ball was able to hold better too, so it was all right out there.

Q. You've been playing championship golf on a high level for 20 years, for a long time. How did that prepare you for the patience that you need to have on this course?

MINA HARIGAE: Yeah, I think it's just experience. Every time that I'm doing well in a tournament, especially in a major championship, I just draw on from each experience. Today even when things weren't going great I hit some not-great shots, but I was really able to keep myself calm and just try to be really level-headed out there, and I was doing a lot better with it.

Q. Mina, it wasn't that long ago that you were having kind of a crisis of confidence. We got through the pandemic; you go out to Arizona; you win all those Cactus events; and you have been on an upward trajectory ever since. How are you different now than you were during that time?

MINA HARIGAE: I think I'm just a completely different person and golfer in general. I'm hitting a lot more greens now. I've always generally been a pretty good driver of the golf ball, but it's my irons that have really taken care of where I'm going with my game.

Putting too. I've been making a lot more putts. I'm way more confident with it.

I think just as a person I'm much more mature. It took me a little bit, but I feel like I'm a lot more mature than I was in my 20s.

Q. What do you think you can attribute that to? Was it just the number of birthdays, or was there a process you went through?

MINA HARIGAE: I think it's the people I surrounded myself with. I went back to my old swing coach that knows me best. I met my fiance, Travis. He has a great killer athlete mentality. He kind of brought me back to how I was in my amateur golf days. More of that kind of mentality.

Just surrounding myself with people that are really good for me.

Q. For those that may not know you, who is Travis?

MINA HARIGAE: Travis Kreiter, my fiance and caddie as well. He has been caddying for me over four years now.

Q. Have you let yourself think about how cool it will be to go back to the Monterey Peninsula in Pebble Beach next year, and can you recommend any good sushi restaurants in the area?

MINA HARIGAE: I think about it all the time returning to Pebble Beach for the Women's U.S. Open. That's my dream tournament for sure. I'm so proud to be from there.

I think there's a pretty good sushi restaurant there. My parents own and operate a Japanese restaurant. My dad is the sushi chef and my mom is the kitchen chef, so hopefully my friends will go there when we play this next year.

Q. Mina, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think you've ever led a tournament -- a round of a tournament coming in. I might be wrong on that, but now you may have a chance to be leading two rounds at the biggest stage in the world. First of all, what does that feel like, and, secondly, is that also added pressure?

MINA HARIGAE: Last year at the AIG at Carnoustie I was tied for the lead going into Saturday, and that definitely was different then, and I think I'm going to draw from that experience.

I feel a little better today, tomorrow. I feel like I have more -- the better tools to navigate these new experiences, so, yeah, I think just trying to be calm, just go about my day.

It's a tough course. It's a U.S. Open. You're going to get good breaks; you're going to get bad breaks. Just trying to be happy overall.

Q. Mina, can you give us an example in your 20s where you weren't as mature? What does that look like?

MINA HARIGAE: I would say if things weren't going my way on the golf course or, say, like today, if I hit a bad shot or I make a bogey, even though I'm still doing just fine, I probably wouldn't have handled it very well.

I probably would have gotten really upset or it probably would have affected me the next one to even three holes. I think I'm doing a lot better with that.

Q. Have you worked with a mental coach, or is that Travis?

MINA HARIGAE: I have a mental coach as well. Her name is Dawn Woodard. She's a great amateur player too.

Q. Yes, we know Dawn.

MINA HARIGAE: She's great. She's definitely helped me a lot, and Travis helps me a lot.

Q. Who is your team, if you could just tell us the rest of your team.

MINA HARIGAE: My swing coach is Jeff Fisher; he is out in Arizona, so I see him all the time, and I even practice at his golf course when I'm home just to get away from things.

My agent, Alex Guerrero. He is awesome, and John Van Dyke. He is co--agent.

Travis Kreiter is my caddie and fiance. He jockeys me around the golf course.

If I'm blanking. Oh, Dawn Woodard, my mental coach. She's with -- her thing is called Judgment Matters. Yeah, that's the core of my team.

Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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