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March 7, 2024

Sarah Schmelzel

Hainan Island, Republic of China

Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Course

Press Conference

Q. Would you like to talk about the first round? Any good thoughts? Any advantage and any space to improve?

SARAH SCHMELZEL: Yeah, we had a bit of an advantage this morning. There wasn't much wind when I played. My front nine was the back, so that was nice to get off to a little bit of a hot start on that side. Didn't have many conditions to contend with.

When we made the turn, it got a little more difficult with the wind picking up with just a few harder holes on that side. So just try to keep managing my game the best I can.

Q. So we also mentioned that you did very well in Singapore last week. Any secret to doing so well these two weeks?

SARAH SCHMELZEL: Yeah, like I said, I think I've just been managing my game really well, trying to rest when I feel like I need to rest instead of overworking. Also on the golf course trying to be myself as much as I can, not push too hard, and accept what I have that day and go play with it.

Q. Wondering is this your first time in champion a and what do you think makes the difference competing in China compared to other countries?

SARAH SCHMELZEL: I played in Shanghai 2019, my rookie year, and it's my first time to Blue Bay. It's just different courses when we come to have play in Asia, just a little bit different landscape, grasses. We play in the wind here, which is fun.

It's just exciting to be able to travel the world and see new things and meet new people. I really have enjoyed my time in Blue Bay so far.

Q. One more question. Do you have a favorite Chinese cuisine?

SARAH SCHMELZEL: Oh, I was actually just telling Lucy Li last night I don't think I've actually had very authentic Chinese food. I'm hoping this week I can go try something.

Q. So you have been in the tour for years. (Regarding first win on the tour.)

SARAH SCHMELZEL: Yeah, definitely. You know, it's just a learning experience every day, every week just trying to grow on the last five years that I've had and trying to take every day and grow each day that I've played this year, just trying to put the puzzle pieces together.

I feel like I'm taking the right steps and it's all just a matter of time when it happens and comes to fruition.

Q. After the first round how do you figure out the most difficult hole in the 18 holes and any suggestion for Chinese junior player?

SARAH SCHMELZEL: Yes, definitely. It was really fun getting to play with an amateur today. Just really cool to see how young the talent is now and everyone is so good in the women's game and it's getting so competitive very early.

You know, I think as a junior I was pretty hard on myself, not really super aware of how much of a process this is. So any advice I could give is to just stick with the process. Every day is a new day to learn and get better, and as long as you're trying to put one foot in front of the other and get that 1% better, that's all you can really do.

Q. So another question. (Indiscernible.)

SARAH SCHMELZEL: Sorry, ask me again.

Q. (Indiscernible.)

SARAH SCHMELZEL: Yeah, no, it was definitely the tale of two nines. The front nine didn't have much wind. If you had a wedge you were pretty much aiming right at the pin; whereas on the back nine if you had a wedge you had a downslope that maybe the pin was right over and you couldn't necessarily go right at it because the wind might take it past the hole and over the green.

So it was definitely more challenging on our back nine. All three of us in my group noticed that and had to play towards the bigger side of the green and give ourself a good look at two-putts. I think that playing more towards the afternoon that is gonna be kind of what happens the rest of the week.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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