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July 12, 2022

Marina Alex

Karrie Webb

Midland, Michigan, USA

Midland Country Club

Press Conference


THE MODERATOR: Welcome back inside the virtual media center here at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. I am pleased to be joined by Marina Alex and Karrie Webb.

Is there a team name that's been formed that we don't know about?

MARINA ALEX: Yes, we are Team Karma. It's a combination of our names, so K-A-R-M-A.

THE MODERATOR: And who came up with that one?

MARINA ALEX: I actually did after a lot of deliberating other names, which I will not disclose.

KARRIE WEBB: There's a few R-rated ones.

MARINA ALEX: They're a little inappropriate, but funny.

KARRIE WEBB: Yes, they were. They were funny.

MARINA ALEX: Not PG though.

THE MODERATOR: As we can see from the two of you, Marina, I talked with you at ShopRite, but the formation of this partnership, how did it come to be and what kind of led to the decision of asking a friend like Karrie?

MARINA ALEX: You know, I've been really lucky the last I would say like four to five years getting to know Karrie a lot more living in South Florida. Played a lot of golf together, a lot of mutual friends, and I just love playing her.

She was one of my idols and role models growing up watching golf. I know she doesn't like when I talk about that, but, no, she's one of the first females that I watched on TV that I was just like, totally enamored by.

I just wanted to be as good as her. I finally got the courage to ask her when we got done playing Boca this year because I knew she'd be playing a little bit more and I thought maybe she would want to play some this season, so it worked out.

THE MODERATOR: Karrie, when you heard about this event and you heard the invitation from Marina, what was it like for you and what went on in your mind to prepare for that?

KARRIE WEBB: Well, I had played here in 2019 with Mariajo Uribe, so I knew how much fun the event was. I had planned in 2020 to play with Sarah Jane Smith, so it's definitely for me at this stage of my career, I'm looking to enjoy my golf a lot more than possibly I did in the middle of my career.

But when Marina asked me, we do play a lot of golf together and we are good friends, and I knew we'd have a fun week together, so it just motivated me to keep my game a little bit more sharp than I probably have been keeping it in the last couple years.

THE MODERATOR: Karrie, you've talked about at the other events we've seen you this year, you don't just enter to enter, you're in it to win and be competitive. How is it gearing up this week, but also for the next week, as well?

KARRIE WEBB: Well, it's been good. I can't say I've enjoyed practicing in the heat of the Florida summer, but no, it's been good. It's always -- it's good feelings to go back to something that you're familiar with, the routines of practicing and getting ready for an event.

I was really looking forward to this week and making my debut with the old ladies next week. That'll be fun. The field has so many people I haven't seen for a really long time, so I'm really looking forward to catching up with a lot of those people.

Q. Marina, to be playing alongside Karrie, have you guys talked about any sort of strategy leading into this week or about as you've kind of prepared for Midland Country Club?

MARINA ALEX: Yeah, we practiced a little bit together last week and played practice round yesterday. We're pretty familiar with each other's games just from playing enough golf. I think we have a decent strategy on who's playing what holes and we're going to figure out which ball or one ball or two balls we're going to play with or alternate for the alternate-shot.

She is playing next week and I'm going to Evian, so I think it's important that we are comfortable as we can be with playing that alternate-shot format and preserving what we are comfortable in doing and being able to take that into a tournament.

Q. Do you guys play as partners at all in South Florida?

KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, in a foursome we might pair up. And we did on Friday actually.

MARINA ALEX: Yeah, it was riveting. Made a couple of birdies.

KARRIE WEBB: Just a couple of young guys. Yeah we were saving our birdies for this week.

MARINA ALEX: Yeah, I think we parred them to oblivion. It was very hot. I think everyone had heat stroke by the middle of the back nine.

Q. Karrie, you talked a little bit about how you were enjoying the game a little more now than perhaps you did earlier in your career. What's is difference in your mindset when you get inside the ropes?

KARRIE WEBB: I just think -- I mean, I can't have the expectations of myself as I once did because it's not what I'm doing week in and week out. I think I'm a little bit easier on myself. It's not to say that I'm any less competitive. Like I want Marina and I to play really well this week and I practiced like in preparation for that.

But at the end of the day, I'm not going to value myself worth based on how I play this week, and I did that a lot in the height of my career. I think that's really the difference.

Even just playing a practice round yesterday it was just nice to be out walking inside the ropes and with a couple of good friends and having a laugh and playing a practice round.

Q. You have the senior LPGA Championship coming up, Marina, you've got majors two of the next three weeks. How nice is it to come into an environment where it's a little bit more relaxed?

MARINA ALEX: Yeah, it is. Obviously we do want to play well and we're going to be in go-mode once we get out there tomorrow, but it is a different format.

Just I've played twice. Last year I played with Jaye Marie, and then previous time, I think in 2020, I played with Brittany Lang. It's just different. You can't always carry maybe some of your frustrations or whatever if you're not having like a great day out there with you because you do have a partner, so you kind of have to be mindful of how you are.

I think it kind of forces everyone to just kind of ease off a little bit on their expectation levels and how they kind of act on the golf course.

Overall, everyone that's played this and groups I've played with, everyone is just having a good time.

Q. Marina, do you remember the first time you met Karrie?

MARINA ALEX: The first time I met Karrie, I don't know actually.

KARRIE WEBB: Don't ask me that. I remember the first time we played was in Singapore, right? I mean Malaysia.

MARINA ALEX: Actually we did play together at the Canadian Open and I was a rookie and I was terrified I was playing with her. I do remember shooting 42 for the first nine holes. It was like the third round and you shot like 66, I think. Mikey was still caddying for you.

That might have been the first time we actually met-met. Yeah, didn't log that in the memory book at all. Malaysia. Malaysia we did play together. I think that was the same year or maybe the following Asia series sometime in 2014 or 2015.

Q. When did you become friends?

MARINA ALEX: I just think through like we had mutual friends in Alison Walshe, Meaghan Francella, everyone kind of hanging out in South Florida, Jupiter. Karrie lives in Boynton. Just playing golf. You always are used to having a couple -- like a small little CME, post-CME off-season gatherings that we would have, so I went to a couple of those. There would be just like players and even a couple caddies and staff, like physios and whoever.

Yeah, it's just kind of developed from there.

Q. Karrie, I'm curious if you could -- we asked Annika this question in a previous press conference. Just what the rivalry was like, what you remember the rivalry being like for you two, and what you anticipate it will feel like next week.

KARRIE WEBB: Well, I haven't really thought about next week. I think it'll be a lot less than it was possibly 20 years ago.

I don't know. I think Annika and I tried to downplay the rivalry a little bit, even though I think it truly existed. We probably should have played on it a little bit more.

Without a doubt, we motivated one another to be better, and often some of my best rounds were when I was paired with her just because of that and wanting to be better than she is.

I think the weird thing is, though, there wasn't many Sunday rounds that we were paired together in the final round. We might have been going back and forth on the leaderboard somewhere in the same event, but we rarely were paired together in the last round of a tournament.

If it's more than five times I'd be surprised. It's funny, when you think of a rivalry you think of two people going head-to-head in front of one another, and although we played plenty of Thursday-Friday rounds together, we rarely played together on a Sunday.

Q. When you say you played it down and maybe you shouldn't have played it down, why did you play it down, and why do you think you shouldn't have?

KARRIE WEBB: Well, I think why we shouldn't have, I think it probably would have made for better publicity for the LPGA, but I was also -- I think in a rivalry there's a good guy and a bad guy, and I was having my own struggles with the media at the time, so I knew who the bad guy would probably be made out to be, so I think that's why I played it down.

Q. I know you said you hadn't thought much about next week, but are you looking forward to potentially going head-to-head against Annika on a Sunday?

KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, I'm looking forward to next week. I've talked about playing on The Legends Tour for a couple of years now since I've been eligible to, so I'm really looking forward to that.

From what I've heard about any of the events, it's a lot of good mates catching up and having a good time. Obviously there is that competition aspect to it, and Annika being there obviously does -- it does bring out an attention to the event, which I think is great.

Yeah, it would be fun if both of us were playing really well and are paired together on Sunday.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you guys for coming in, and best of luck this week.

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