May 24, 2023
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Q. All right, here with Marina Alex, taking it all 18; 2-up over Lucy Li. Just walk me through how you're feeling after the first day.
MARINA ALEX: Yeah, it was not my best display of golf, so to get a win was kind of a really big deal. I didn't have any birdies at all. She conceded the last putt. I was probably in there about ten, twelve feet and she had already missed her birdie putt so she conceded the two-putt, which was nice of her.
And so it was just a bit of a grind. I'm not sure. She said she got in Monday and I don't know how much she was able to see the golf course today, so I felt like I got a little bit of a break on that.
I feel like if she had seen the course a little bit more and probably might have been a much different outcome on the match. So just kind of take whatever luck I can get on there.
And, yeah, I got a lot of little things to work on if I want to get out of -- continue on and advance past this group.
Q. This group, definitely a challenging one. At one point starting the day 1-up, going back and forth with Lucy.
MARINA ALEX: Uh-huh.
Q. Where did you feel it swing in your favor?
MARINA ALEX: Yeah, you know, I made a terrible bogey on a hole that she made an unbelievable par on, on I want to say it was 6 or 7, the par-5.
Q. That tied up?
MARINA ALEX: Yeah, that ended up tying it up. That was a -- in my mind I'm looking at, okay, I'm going to make birdie or a par, and she may make par or bogey because she had to take a drop from an unplayable lie.
And so that was where I got -- again, match play, you get a little too far ahead of yourself and it turned into a really poor three-putt on my end and ended up loss of hole.
She made two birdies after that and I was like -- next thing I know I was 2-down going into the turn. I was like, okay. But that's match play. I stayed patient. She made a couple mistakes, and where she made mistakes I was able to make pars and that kind of levelled us back out.
The course is really difficult so any birdies are great out here. There are probably more bogeys than birdies on most of the matches, like probably especially in the first day, just getting accustomed to the conditions, how firm the greens are.
You have to hit really, really great tee shots and iron shots, because if you're a little off the rough on an odd angle or not on the green or off the green in the wrong place, the up and downs become really challenging.
It is a really good golf course, so I've got to kind of reign it in a little bit here, but I haven't played the last two years so this is like my first competitive round on it. I definitely learned a lot.
Q. That's one of the things I was going to ask you about. First time here?
MARINA ALEX: Yeah.
Q. What made you decide to add it to your schedule this time?
MARINA ALEX: You know, I love match play, and I think just the shift in the U.S. Open not backing into this event, I was definitely really eager to play. You have to prepare yourself for a really long stretch of golf. You get through the group, but then if you're playing well, you're possibly playing 36 holes a day.
So it is, it's pretty taxing on the body. To back that into a major championship is kind of a little difficult to justify if I'm being honest.
And you're always trying to prepare to win a tournament. You're not preparing to play three rounds and go home. So for me, it just at that point in time just didn't seem like physically I was going to be able to manage that and then go to the U.S. Open and feel ready for both.
So I'm happy that this isn't backing into a major because I've really wanted to play. Shadow is awesome. I'm hoping that this will kind of be like not up against a major moving forward because I think it's a really fantastic tournament.
Q. Then two quick other things: I know you obviously would love to have a nice easy match.
MARINA ALEX: Nothing is ever easy. (Laughter.)
Q. Do you think there is benefits for the rest of the week having to see all 18 holes...
MARINA ALEX: Definitely. I made a putting change, a really big one coming into this stretch, so new technique, new putter, and I have not used it in competition.
So I had a lot of putts that I needed to make from like four so six feet that were really important. That's just like really good building for me. Like regardless of the outcome of the week, it's definitely good to like put that kind of stuff to the test and see how it pans out.
And so just got to keep feeling confident with that.
Q. And then obviously match play you're kind of on the fringe looking in on Solheim Cup team right now.
MARINA ALEX: Yeah.
Q. Is that in the back of your mind this week?
MARINA ALEX: Yeah, I'm trying to put it out of the back of my mind and just go out and play some golf. There is a lot of golf between now and then.
Obviously a good showing here helps because -- I mean, it's a match play format obviously, Solheim, but you're working with a partner and then playing individual singles matches. It is a different dynamic, alternate shot, best ball. It's not quite the same.
But the heat of match play is important to practice. The energy that you're feeling on every hole and every shot, they are individually very important when it comes down to it, each putt and each shot that you're hitting towards the end.
So good to practice a little bit of that pressure.
Q. And Stacy is here this week.
MARINA ALEX: Yes, she is.
Q. When you see her in the locker room, are you just going to remind her that you got one in the...
MARINA ALEX: She's captaining very well. She's studying probably every one of our moves. I'm not overly worried about what she's seeing and not seeing at this point. She's got all seeing eyes.
I'm sure she's got to figured out.
Q. Great. Thank you.
MARINA ALEX: Uh-huh.
Q. One more from me before we wrap.
MARINA ALEX: Sure.
Q. You talk about that putting change. Is that what you take away and work on going into the next few days of pool play?
MARINA ALEX: Yeah, honestly, my ball striking was not the best either. I think in order to win more matches and get going along in this, you have to have a total game out here.
So I need to hit better approach shots than I have, and if I can do that and get a few more shots on the green a little bit closer than I have, like then great. I feel like it's so quick to be playing defense out here and not offense, so if I can improve my ball striking and get a little bit more offensive, that would be wonderful.
For now I'm going to take what I got and roll with it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports