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July 14, 2022

Sophia Popov

Anne Van Dam

Midland, Michigan, USA

Midland Country Club

Quick Quotes

Q. Here with Team Pop Dam Bottles. I love the smiles on both of your faces. Here we are back. Second appearance for the two of you at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. Anne, I will start with you. Take me through what this day was like for the two of you?

ANNE van DAM: It was a lot of fun. Even yesterday I felt like we played really well and deserved a few more birdies out there.

But today, yeah, we just played our own game. We filled up each other really well. We both had a few bogey holes, but then the other came in clutch. Overall very steady. We both played great. Sophia holed some amazing putts.

Luckily, crazy with 9-under we still left a few outs there, which is so fun in this format.

Q. It's interesting to say, but this is one of those days where we see lower scores everywhere, Sophia. For you and Anne, where do you see your games complementing each other is this year?

SOPHIA POPOV: I honestly today was quite perfect in that sense. I started off really hot. I was making a lot of putts on the front nine, especially some longer ones.

But I kind of had the freedom to putt because she was striking it really well too. So we kind of gave ourselves a lot of holes where we had two chances.

Then on the back nine she hit a couple close and made some clutch birdies down the stretch. One or two holes where I was a little bit out she kind of played her game, and vice versa.

I think it's just perfect. I'm obviously not quite as long, so I think for us it gives us the opportunity to be sometimes a little bit more aggressive on her side sometimes while I just kind of just keep hitting driver because there's no other option.

Yeah, I think we just complemented each other very well the last two days.

Q. Anne, how long have you been waiting for this tournament? I feel like every time I see Sophia Instagram it or tweet about it, she's super excited. How excited have you been to get back out here to this event?

ANNE van DAM: Super excited. Unfortunately, we have our Dutch Open this week on the Ladies European Tour, and I told them at the beginning of this year this week I'm playing the Dow with Sophia, so don't plan it this week, and they planned it exactly this week.

Yeah, for me there was not a single reason to not play here. It's just such a fun event. Yeah, if you can play with your best friend and just have fun out there, yeah, it's just something to look forward to all week -- all year. Now that the week is here, yeah, we're just having a lot of fun.

Yeah, luckily, we have two more days to hopefully lift a trophy up here.

Q. Sophia, what did you two take away from your performance last year as you guys prepared for this year?

SOPHIA POPOV: I think last year we played fairly well, but we just didn't score I think as low as we could have. We actually finished strong last year just to make the cut because scoring was a little bit lower than this year.

I think this year the one thing that we changed a little bit strategically was that we just -- like I said earlier on, obviously she's a longer hitter and she can be more aggressive, but it doesn't mean she has to be more aggressive.

I think if you can give yourself a lot of -- like both are in the fairway, two wedge shots in, rather than, okay, one going for it and maybe being out of the hole. I think we just gave ourselves a lot of opportunities and looks at birdies; whereas last year I think sometimes we were a little bit too aggressive where we shouldn't have been.

I think the foursome, so the alternate shot, I think we played very similar to last year, and that's also been working really well too.

Q. Anne, I know the friendship on and off the course. We can see it through, whether it's on the course or off the course. What will you two take away from the last two days as you head into foursomes again tomorrow?

ANNE van DAM: Honestly, we just trust each other through thick and thin. I think that gives you so much freedom when you play.

I don't care if she's going to hit it in the water or in the hole. Obviously, I would rather her play well, but yeah, I think from both sides, we just don't feel any pressure from each other.

Yeah, we're always super supportive towards each other. Golf, you go through up and downs. Yeah, Sophia has been one of those girls that's always been there through all of them.

If you get the chances like this to play together, it's just memories forever for sure.

Q. I love that. Great job today, guys. Best of luck tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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