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July 22, 2023

Cheyenne Knight

Elizabeth Szokol

Midland, Michigan, USA

Midland Country Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Welcome, everybody, to the media center here at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. I'm happy to introduce our 2023 champions, Elizabeth Szokol and Cheyenne Knight, our team the Elizabethan Knights. What a day for you.

Liz, I'll start with you, as you're the newest to this. Your first win ever and alongside one of your good friends. Just take us through this moment and what it means to you.

ELIZABETH SZOKOL: It's amazing to get my first win. It's something I've been working for a long time, and it's so tough to win out here. Everyone is such a great player.

So to finally do that, and it's even better with Cheyenne by my side. We've been talking about this event all year. And since our good finish last year, we couldn't wait to get back, and to actually win is pretty amazing.

THE MODERATOR: Cheyenne, it's been a while since you won in your rookie season, so another win for you and also alongside Elizabeth. Tell us what this means to you.

CHEYENNE KNIGHT: It's funny. Elizabeth told me on 18, she said, Thanks for waiting for me to win this year.

Yeah, I think I've had a few close calls this year. I've been in contention a few times, and I really haven't handled the pressure. Kind of let it get to me a little bit.

We kind of joked at the beginning of the week. We were, like, Why not win?

Honestly, Elizabeth, we've been friends for such a long time. I couldn't have asked for anything better than to get the win with her, and it's such a fun event.

You know, we're normally just kind of by ourselves out there, so to have someone so fun and positive and kind of keep it light is just incredible.

THE MODERATOR: How happy are you for Liz here getting her first win on the LPGA Tour?

CHEYENNE KNIGHT: Honestly Elizabeth shows so much adversity and resiliency. She's battled a few injuries and had a really great year in 2021 and kind of had an injury that didn't allow her to play.

So just everything that she does to, I don't know, kind of grind through it is just incredible. I'm so happy for her.


CHEYENNE KNIGHT: First win is just -- I mean, she can always say you're an LPGA winner, and that's all that we strive for is to win events out here, and it's really hard to win.

We started with a three-shot lead, but it's really hard to win out here when everyone is chasing you and especially in this format.

She was so clutch today. Made so many good putts and really handled everything that was thrown at her. She's just incredible.

THE MODERATOR: Elizabeth, Cheyenne just spoke of feeling the pressure in this position. I'm wondering if you felt any pressure today and how good it is to have a teammate to rely on when you are sort of feeling that way?

ELIZABETH SZOKOL: Definitely. There was a lot of pressure. Starting the day with the three-shot lead was a great thing, but everyone was chasing us.

In this format there are a lot of birdies, and Matilda and Kelly were playing great and started off really well. So it was definitely some pressure there.

Cheyenne made some amazing putts coming in. I feel like we just were chatting down the fairways the whole day and trying to keep it light. It was great to have her by my side for the win.

THE MODERATOR: I asked you earlier, but can you walk us through what you think was the top shot of the day, the shot that really solidified your win?

ELIZABETH SZOKOL: It was definitely on 17. Matilda made about a 15-foot putt for birdie, so Cheyenne had I think 6, 7 feet for birdie and made it, which sent us to 18 with a one-shot lead, which was a huge putt. That was definitely the shot of the day.

THE MODERATOR: Speaking of 18 green, I was nervous. What was sort of going through your guys' head in that moment? Matilda has a big putt. What were you thinking, feeling?

ELIZABETH SZOKOL: I don't think we could look at each other. I think we were just looking away. It was out of our hands, so we were just looking away and waiting.

She hit a really good putt that just slid right by the edge. We did all we could, and we were just waiting to see, which was a bit stressful having it out of our hands.

I think we were just looking away. Didn't even look at each other and waited to see what happened.

THE MODERATOR: Cheyenne, when you did look at each other, what were you feeling when you realized you had won together?

CHEYENNE KNIGHT: Relief (laughing), but just, I don't know, pure joy I would say. You're expecting Matilda to make that putt, and when it slid by the edge, it was just, like, whoa, we did it.

It was hard going to the rain delay, two-shot lead coming back, and it evaporated really quickly. It was just surreal. It was, like, wow, we did it. We've been out here all day, but we did it. So it was just, yeah, pure joy.

THE MODERATOR: As you mentioned feeling relief and as you mentioned you having been close to wins before this season, how much relief do you feel just having a win and especially heading into the next major using this week as a test for then?

CHEYENNE KNIGHT: Yeah, I think being in contention, you can't compare to it. You can't really duplicate it in practice. You can't really duplicate it any other way. It kind of just exposes you. You are on that stage.

So all the clutch shots that we both hit down the stretch, I feel like you can learn on. Learn from those experiences but also lean on those going into the next stretch.

Big stretch coming up. Two majors and kind of a big chunk of the year, so I think it gives us both a lot of confidence going into next week and just we can handle those situations.

We played really great golf this week, so I think it will suit us well coming up.

THE MODERATOR: Elizabeth, how do you feel about the major coming up and the state of your game after a win here?

ELIZABETH SZOKOL: It's great to get the win and having more confidence going into next week. I've had a little bit of a roller coaster year, and I was really looking forward to this event to play the best ball format and alternate shot and just see where my game was at.

So definitely have some confidence from this and looking forward to the next few weeks.

THE MODERATOR: You had a great start to this season too, if I remember. A really good finish at HSBC?


THE MODERATOR: How did that experience help you today?

ELIZABETH SZOKOL: Definitely. I think I just try to remind myself that I've been in this position even though it hasn't been for a little while, and Cheyenne has been in the position a lot. So I think just learning from that and building from that and trying to feel as comfortable in the moment.

THE MODERATOR: Obviously a little bit a rain delay today. How did that sort of affect your mindset, you guys, going into sort of the last couple of holes there?

CHEYENNE KNIGHT: It was kind of a bummer, to be honest with you. Elizabeth just made a great putt on 12 to give us a two-shot lead. Even though this is stroke play, it's very match play kind of oriented.

Yeah, it was just weird. I mean, we played fine coming back, but they just came out really hot. So, you know, you just kind of have to make the most of it. Of course, we would have loved to have just kind of keep riding that momentum.

I think it's just kind of like some adversity. You just kind of have to deal with it. Yeah, we were ready to go when we came back out and hit some good shots.

It all worked out in the end, but kind of a bummer we had to go in.

THE MODERATOR: Last question here. You guys have played here three times now. How much are you looking forward to returning to the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational for a fourth time and this time as the defending champions?

ELIZABETH SZOKOL: I know I can't wait. I think we talked about being partners maybe in January coming off the good finish last year. I was looking forward to it all year.

It's just such a unique format, and Dow does such an amazing job, and getting to play with one of my best friends is amazing, so I can't wait to come back next year.

CHEYENNE KNIGHT: Yeah, Dow just does so much for the LPGA and just continues to, I don't know, put up a great purse. Just the whole tournament experience is just so incredible.

I've never played with Elizabeth in a tournament round on the LPGA, so I just love playing with her any time I get.

Yeah, just to have our name etched in this tournament's history kind of forever is really special. Yeah, just can't wait to come back next year and defend.

I think we got alternate shot figured out (laughing), and that's the hardest format. I can't wait. We had so much fun with our caddies, Chad and Sara. It was just a really great time.

THE MODERATOR: Well, maybe Golf Channel will feature you together at some point.

ELIZABETH SZOKOL: Yeah, come on. Let's go.


THE MODERATOR: Thank you so much, ladies. Congratulations.

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