May 24, 2023
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Q. All right, here with the first winner of the day, Lauren Coughlin. Lauren, kind of put your foot on the gas and really never let up. Take me through the mindset getting ready for match one.
LAUREN COUGHLIN: Yeah, it was just kind of -- it was the first time I played match play since college so I was really excited about it. I love match play. It's really just you and your opponent. There is really no one else that you have to worry about, and so I really like that. It kind of takes a lot of the pressure off.
But, yeah, I mean, I was just pretty carefree, excited to be here. Second time in Vegas, so just was really happy to be here.
Q. I remember your first time in Vegas was for what exactly?
LAUREN COUGHLIN: Yeah, the last February I came here for the Metallica concert Allegiant and it was awesome.
Q. Going back to the golf a little bit, what was just setting up so well for you at Shadow Creek? Where do you think it really suits your gam?
LAUREN COUGHLIN: Yeah, the greens are super firm and you kind of have to play a lot of the slopes and get really creative.
Just firing at pins doesn't work. You have to really try to think your way around where you want to land it, and not just land there, but execute it. Not just pick the right spot, but execute it as well.
So I really like that. I think it suits me very well. Distance control is one of my strengths. I hit a lot of fairways, too. While it's pretty wide open, you still have to kind of pick your spots even off the tee, too.
So I just thought it kind of suited me really well.
Q. You were 6-up through seven holes. How much confidence were you feeling before you made that turn?
LAUREN COUGHLIN: Yeah, I mean, I think I was like 3-under through 7 or something like that, which I was pretty excited about.
Yeah, I don't know. Just was clicking. I hit some really good shots to start. Made a couple putts as well. Andrea wasn't hitting it all that well to start.
I mean, I hit some really, really good shots, too.
Q. Congratulations, Lauren.
LAUREN COUGHLIN: Thanks.
Q. Can you talk to me a little bit about -- obviously you want to get off to a good start, but when your opponent is not playing well, how do you not feel bad for someone like that? This is your peer and your friend.
LAUREN COUGHLIN: Yeah, no, it was definitely tough. Like it's a weird thing because you want to win and I'm a competitor, but at the same time I know how that feels.
So just trying not to be mean about it is my easiest way. When she hits a good shot, make sure I tell her, good shot and stuff like that.
I think it was more I was playing really well too. Wasn't necessarily she was playing bad, per se.
LAUREN COUGHLIN: But, yeah, it was definitely a little bit of a thing where like, oh, I don't want to -- at the same time, I want to win and I want to win by a lot, but at the same time, I know how that feels so I'm empathetic to it.
Q. You mentioned you haven't played match play since college.
LAUREN COUGHLIN: Uh-huh.
Q. Obviously you were looking forward to this because of that reason.
LAUREN COUGHLIN: Exactly. It was one of my big goals this season at the start of the year was to get into this event and qualify for this event.
I was really excited -- I played pretty well at Founders to kind of ensure that I was going to get in it.
Yeah, so I've always loved match play, even in high school. I'm from Virginia, and we would play -- Virginia versus Maryland would do matches Virginia and Maryland would team up against the Carolinas and play matches against them. I always loved T it. Was a big goal of mine every summer to play in those.
Match play is so fun, so...
Q. I don't know if you're aware, but last year, of the quarterfinalists, five of the eight went onto become first-time winners later in the year. Do things like that creep into your mind as you're playing well, or do you just try and focus on the match at hand?
LAUREN COUGHLIN: Yeah, my husband kind of like talked to me about it last night. You really only have to beat seven people this week, which when you put it like that it's kind of crazy.
Again, like a normal event you're thinking about you have to beat 143 other people and this is completely different. You're only playing against your one opponent, and so it's -- yeah, it's just really fun.
No, but -- no, to answer your question, I don't think I would've known that unless you said it. (Laughter.) But that's awesome.
Q. Beat one of them today. Having a win in the books, does it change strategy tomorrow or Friday, or you just want to win them all?
LAUREN COUGHLIN: Yeah, just want to win as many as I can, so...
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