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July 21, 2023

Elizabeth Szokol

Cheyenne Knight

Midland, Michigan, USA

Midland Country Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Here with Team Elizabethan Knights. Elizabeth Szokol, Cheyenne Knight here with us. Just a fantastic round. What was going on there today, ladies? Finding birdies on maybe the hardest format out here, the alternate shot. Just tell us what was working so well?

ELIZABETH SZOKOL: We both putted really well. We gave each other a lot of chances. Tuesday night before the tournament started we were both, like, let's just go into tomorrow alternate shot and just have fun. I think last year in the first round we were nervous going into it, and we just threw it all out there and said, let's go have a good time.

And I think after getting that first round under our belts, we played solid today and gave each other a lot of good opportunities, and we both made a ton of putts.

THE MODERATOR: What did you, Cheyenne, learn, take away from the first round here of foursomes that maybe you guys discussed, strategized going into today?

CHEYENNE KNIGHT: Yeah, on this day last year I think we shot about 4-under. So you try not to psych yourself out with alternate shot because it is such a hard format.

But I think we told each other yesterday you can make birdies in alternate shot. I think you just kind of have to have the mindset like you can make birdies and just try to be aggressive and fearless rather than try not to make a mistake.

Yeah, we didn't really make many mistakes, like, on a few holes when we were out of position. I think there was only maybe three holes we were out of position, and we recovered well.

Yeah, just one bogey on the card, but we were making a lot of birdies. I didn't know how low we were going.

Elizabeth is such a great player, and it's just really fun to play with her. We've never been paired together in a normal LPGA round, so I feel like we just soak it up even more.

Yeah, we just gave each other a lot of opportunities. Got off to a really start; 2-under after three. That kind of set the tone for the day.

THE MODERATOR: I remember last year you guys played really well here. What sort of memories, strategies do you remember from last year that have helped you throughout the week?

ELIZABETH SZOKOL: I think last year just really made us more comfortable. We were ready for the format, and we're just really good friends. Easy to talk it through.

Such a good year last year. We finished fourth, so great memories from that and just building off of that for this week.


Q. What's the feeling, Cheyenne? You guys are at the top of the leaderboard on 18. You know what it means. You get an extra stroke if you can hit that birdie. What's the feeling whether it's a momentum feeling? What's the feeling of knowing that, look, you guys are up. This pushes a little bit closer to where you want to be, and then you sink it. What's that feeling like for you?

CHEYENNE KNIGHT: I didn't really know where we were. I knew we were playing well. I didn't know if we were in the lead or not.

But, I mean, Elizabeth hit such a great shot in there, I thought it would be so cool to just end with a birdie. We kind of lost our streak for a little bit on 17 after the par.

No, it's great. I think you've got to go low tomorrow, and I think when you kind of think too much about the result, it doesn't really do too much for you. Kind of process over result.

I think that's what we're going to just do tomorrow. Yeah, we're in the lead, but I mean, just keep trying to make birdies, give ourselves chances, stay patient, and be where your feet are and go from there.

Q. I've been asking a few of the other pros about the walk-up music. It's more of a baseball thing. What was the name of your song, and who came up with Elizabethan Knights as your team name?

ELIZABETH SZOKOL: So we had the same team name last year. I can't remember if it was one of our boyfriends or a family member that came up with it, but just blended my first name and Cheyenne's last name together.

Kind of going with that theme, this year we went with the "Game of Thrones" theme song, so kind of staying in the medieval times sort of thing. I'm not sure if the crowd quite got it.

CHEYENNE KNIGHT: I don't know if they got it, but that's fine. Her boyfriend came up with it.

So we did kind of a medieval bar song last year, but I thought "Game of Thrones." I've watched "Game of Thrones," so we kind of went with that.

ELIZABETH SZOKOL: We're just having fun with it.

Q. How does that set the vibe or the tone? All of the other pros I talk to say this is really the only course that does that. How does that kind of set the mood when you are walking off bumping your head or whatever, getting into that medieval type of mode on 18? How does that kind of impact you guys as you are making big putts?

ELIZABETH SZOKOL: I think all day we were just really trying to have fun. We were just walking down the fairways and chatting. Like Cheyenne said, we've never actually played together in an official tournament round except for this tournament.

So we're good friends. We were just having fun. I think we just kept going with that walking up to 18 green.

Q. At what point in the first round did you guys just start feeling comfortable knowing you were going to go on a run here like you did in the second and third round?

CHEYENNE KNIGHT: In alternate shot?

Q. Yeah.

CHEYENNE KNIGHT: Oh, gosh. I think alternate shot is just hard, but we were not making any mistakes; or if we were out of position, we would recover from it.

I think kind of like the good start we got off to really set the tone, and I think after we parred 9 and 10, I think we were just telling each other just give yourself an opportunity every hole for birdie, because that's really all you can do is just give yourself a look.

You can't control if you make birdies or not, but just try to make the best shot that you can. Then we kind of started getting some going. Yeah, it was just fun.

She made a great putt on 16. Hit a great shot on 17. It was just super fun. It's just such a fun format.

Q. Coming out of this round you come out now with a three-stroke lead. What is kind of the mindset going into the final round knowing you have a little bit of cushion?

ELIZABETH SZOKOL: I think we're just going to stick to our game plan, and with two balls on the green tomorrow and two chances for birdie is what we're really thinking.

That's what we thought in the round yesterday, and I think two putts at it to see how many birdies we can get and go from there.

CHEYENNE KNIGHT: Yeah, you can't control what the other people are doing, and in this format you can, yeah, make a lot of birdies. So we can only control what we can.

Yeah, two balls on the green every hole, just looks at birdie, and just have fun and just enjoy it. Not think too much about the result.

THE MODERATOR: Last question from me because I've been going through just to confirm it, and this was the 54-hole scoring record here. Also, I believe it's also our 18-hole foursome scoring record. How does it feel just to have your name in the record book here at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational?

ELIZABETH SZOKOL: It's so awesome. We love this event. It's so fun that Dow does this for us. It's such a unique format, and this is the only event we get to play this year. It's amazing to be in the record books at this event.

CHEYENNE KNIGHT: Yeah, exactly. It's such a fun event. I feel like we look forward to it every year. It's so unique.

Just Dow continually trying to make this event better and just for LPGA is just incredible. Yeah, I mean, I had no idea what we were shooting today, so it's pretty cool to have our names sketched in there.

This is probably a round I'll never forget, so it's a lot of fun.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, ladies.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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