June 1, 2023
Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
Liberty National Golf Club
Q. All right, here with Lauren Hartlage, our clubhouse leader at the moment at 7-under today. Big round for you. What was the best part of your game out there this morning?
LAUREN HARTLAGE: Yeah, I mean, it started off really well. I eagled the first hole. Hit it to a foot and tapped in for eagle, so getting off to a really good start always helps.
I was just hitting my driver great. I think I hit almost every fairway, and out here getting yourself in a good position, the greens are pretty receptive, so it's getting yourself in the fairway, and I gave myself a lot of good birdie chances.
Q. Liberty National, certainly a new course and an iconic one for the LPGA. How excited are you to just tee it up here on this course this week and how does it suit your game?
LAUREN HARTLAGE: Yeah, I was so excited when they announced this new event. I was really hoping I was going to be able to play, and once I got in, I was so excited to come here and take the ferry ride and just be in New York City, not somewhere I've been very often.
And this historic venue, the views are awesome, course is great. Everything about this tournament is such a fun experience, so being able to play well here is just a lot of fun.
Q. And does this course suit your game particularly in any way you think?
LAUREN HARTLAGE: Yeah, I think so. I think just being good off the tee, like I said. And I'm hitting my driver well, so I think it gives me some good opportunities. I've been putting well the last couple weeks, so it's been nice to see it all come together.
Q. Career low round for you today. What have you been working on? I know ball striking was a little bit kind of skizzy in the beginning of the season, but what have you found that's really worked?
LAUREN HARTLAGE: Yeah, honestly it's funny, because last week playing in Vegas, I was 0-3. You know, couldn't hit a fairway, and then you go the next week and work on some things at the beginning of the week and turn it all around.
So with golf, it's just you got to stay patient and positive, and that's kind of what I've been doing.
Q. What does that tell you about where your game is headed that you pulled that kind of round out here? Granted, it's a scorable golf course, but can be pretty tough out there.
LAUREN HARTLAGE: Yeah, the wind can pick up and get a little tricky. It's nice to see that hard work pay off. Staying patient is a big key for me, because like we said, golf is so up and down. You can get yourself in bad positions or good positions, so just kind of giving myself these opportunities and being in contention is a lot of fun.
Q. I have to ask about it: New caddie on bag this week.
LAUREN HARTLAGE: Yes.
Q. Michael Reed. What caused that change and how well did to work out there with him on the bag?
LAUREN HARTLAGE: Yeah, this is the second week. Brought someone from home. We grew up playing golf at the same course at home together. Just called him.
Yeah, having a familiar face, someone -- he's a really great green reader, which has been really helpful, and we kind of know each other really well.
It's been a comfortable and fun having him on the bag.
Q. Can you talk about how your year has gone so far? And then today was a great round.
LAUREN HARTLAGE: Uh-huh, definitely. I got off to a pretty good start. Finished really well in Hawai'i, which gave me some good status moving forward.
Feel like I hadn't been playing quite as well the last couple weeks, but working with the new swing coach and getting some good swing changes going, which has been really helpful.
Kind of nice to see that work paying off this week.
Q. How do you approach three more rounds? Do you say, okay, great round; good start; forget about it? Or do you say, just build off it?
LAUREN HARTLAGE: Yeah, I think building off the round is going to be really helpful, and just kind of continuing to do my same game plan that I always do. Just kind of giving myself some good opportunities and seeing what happens.
Q. I mean, a lot of what has been written this week has to deal with Rose coming on the Tour. Do you sit there and go, I don't mind playing under the radar?
LAUREN HARTLAGE: Yeah, I feel like no one really expects me to be at the top, and it's kind of fun just being able to just play with some of the best in the world and see how I rank. Just kind of giving myself some opportunities, because we're all really good golf experiences kind of anyone can win a tournament.
It's kind of nice to just play well. Yeah.
Fastscripts by ASAP Sports...
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports