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April 6, 2024

Hannah Darling

Augusta, Georgia, USA

Quick Quotes

Q. How would you describe your round? It seemed like you had opportunities, the putts didn't fall, and it had to be frustrating. How did you kind of go through it?

HANNAH DARLING: Yeah, I had a lot of fun firstly. I would love to go back out there and do it all over again. Today was a great day.

I feel like I played a lot better than my score. Obviously I just shot level-par, but I played a lot better than that, I feel like. I just had a few putts that just didn't drop.

Again, a great round and some great momentum to kind of kick off for the next few weeks.

Q. I thought one of the cool moments was on 18, you bring out a wood, probably don't hit it how you wanted to, and you had to pick up the tee and smile like, well, I guess that's just how the day. Can you kind of take me through that drive?

HANNAH DARLING: Yes, it was an awful golf shot, but me and my caddie have just had so much fun this week. Look, good shot, bad shot, great shot, whatever it is, we're having fun.

Didn't quite hit it the way we wanted to, but it's just one of those where you've got to laugh it off because it's not something we normally do. I feel like just laugh it off, and at the end of the day, get over it. I tried to make par and kind of give a good chance, but, yeah, happy with the finish.

Q. Just walking around, it just seemed like there was a big Hannah fan group all around. Who's in attendance today?

HANNAH DARLING: We're in Gamecock country right now, so we had all the Gamecock fans out here. The whole South Carolina women's golf team is out here as well, bar one. It's just a lot of fun having these people here. I have my family here, and then I also have my overseas family here, in terms of our team and stuff like that.

I just couldn't be more grateful for these people coming out today. It was great to see them along the sides of the fairway.

Q. Did your parents come out each of the last two years for this event too?

HANNAH DARLING: Yes, all the years I've played. My dad wasn't able to come out for the first one, but yeah, other than that, they've been here for all of them, which has been really special.

Q. How much do they mean -- because I can't imagine you see them very often. How often do you see them a year, and the times you do, how cool is that for you?

HANNAH DARLING: I see them at Christmas and during the summer. Other than that, I probably see them once or twice a year outside of that, which it's hard being away from family and being away from home is hard. I've definitely learnt to adjust to it and get used to it.

But when they're able to make the trip and come over here, it's amazing. I love seeing them.

Q. How long are they in America for?

HANNAH DARLING: They leave tomorrow unfortunately.

Q. How do you propel -- obviously you had the win at Darius Rucker, and it seems like these past couple months you've been playing fantastic. What kind of flipped for you that you're saying just so good this last little bit?

HANNAH DARLING: I think just almost trying to hit the reset button after last fall almost. I'd had a few semesters at South Carolina that I hadn't been quite happy enough with the performances. So I just really tried to use the off-season last year to put in work in areas that I feel like were letting me down a little bit, one of those being kind of mental sort of stuff as well.

So I've done some great work with my psychologist back home. Then also my coach, Ian Muir, he was able to come over for a weekend of training, about three weeks before the Darius. So we were kind of using the Darius and then also this event right here as kind of our two peak weeks. I feel like, based on that, we've done a great job.

Q. How much did his impact over here help you with your swing, but how much did it help you mentally?

HANNAH DARLING: It helped a lot mentally. I think the one thing is we do some great work at Christmas, but the weather back home isn't quite good enough to be able to get the work in that we would like to. So we try to do as much as we can at Christmas, then we thought let's catch up a few months after that when my game is going to be almost on a tail end of the work we've done at Christmas.

So we were able to pick up from there and do some great work. Again, it wasn't really like we changed anything. We were just tightening up some screws here and there. The work we did then has, yeah, definitely benefited my performance since.

Q. When did he come over?

HANNAH DARLING: The third week of February, I'm going to say.

Q. Not too long ago?

HANNAH DARLING: Not too long ago. I feel like that's one of, if not the main reason I was able to win the Darius.

Q. What's next for you? What does the next couple months look like?

HANNAH DARLING: We travel to SECs on Wednesday. First of all, I've got a few exams on Monday and Tuesday at school that I was missing this he can woo.

So we go to SECs next week. Then we've got finals a few weeks after that. Then we go into postseason events with Regionals and Nationals. Our team at South Carolina, we're in a really good place right now. So I'm really excited to see what the next few months hold.

Q. You could possibly qualify again for this event next year?

HANNAH DARLING: Yes. If everything goes to plan, I'll be playing here next year.

Q. Do you take anything new each year? Obviously you want to win the event. Do you take something from this week?

HANNAH DARLING: Yes, 100 percent. I think I take -- I think everyone somewhat looks at Champions Retreat as, I would say, maybe the harder course, especially the way they conditioned it on Thursday, it definitely played as the harder course. I'm not saying that out here is particularly easy.

So I think, to me, I just proved to myself that I can go put a really low score out there at Champions Retreat. I've put myself in a position that I've not been in for a while. I've not led a tournament for a while. There's emotions that you don't feel for a while that are kind of a little bit new. You dust off the cobwebs and stuff.

But I loved being in that position, and I loved being out here today with somewhat of a chance, and I can't wait to be in that position again.

Q. When you put yourself on stages like this event, like the LPGA tour, do you kind of let your mind think about what you could be like as a professional and when that time might be coming?

HANNAH DARLING: I think I've said this quite a few times this week, but for me, I know that I play my best when I'm really present, and I know I play my worst and I'm thinking about the future or results or external factors that don't quite influence me. Right now I feel like I'm in a really good head space where I'm focused on here and now and what's in my bubble.

Whatever happens in the next few years or whatever happens in the next few months, I'm going to be happy because I'm controlling what I'm doing right now.

Q. That's an incredibly mature mindset. Could you have done that -- like the Hannah a year ago, how is it different than the Hannah we see right here?

HANNAH DARLING: I think someone asked me that question the other day, and they asked how I had matured and what ways I've matured, and I would say that's how I matured. As I said, I was in a lower point mentally a year ago, and that's how my results weren't coming almost.

I feel like, when you're not playing your best, all you can think about is not playing well and results not being there. Actually flipping it on the other side and just being worried about here and now and the process and all those things, that's what's got me to here. It's going to be a really big thing for me to just keep remembering that going forward.

Q. Would you say the change is that you're more process driven than results driven?

HANNAH DARLING: I would say I'm more present. I would say it's more result -- not results, process, present, those sorts of things. And controlling the things that I can control.

Today on 6 I hit the pin, and it clicked into the bunker. It would have been a great wedge shot. At that moment, it was almost kind of the same as the tee shot on 18. I just laughed it off. We were like the golf gods are going to have to pay me back somehow. That might not be today, but it might be in the next few months.

Yeah, again, you can get really annoyed in that moment and let it affect you for the rest of the day, or you can laugh it off and make birdie at the next because I knew that I deserved that.

Q. I know you were hoping to watch some basketball last night. Did you get to watch any of the game?

HANNAH DARLING: I did not. One of the people working out here was able to kind of keep feeding me the score at the event. I knew we were like one up after halftime, which was a little tight.

I saw the highlights, and we absolutely dominated in that second half. I can't wait to watch the final and hopefully watch our women's basketball team get a National Championship.

Q. Did you get to break out your fishing pole this week?

HANNAH DARLING: Sadly not. It's been a busy week. I think it's like you do so much and it's such a great week and we get so many opportunities to do things this week, it's like any time you do get, you just lay in a bed trying to recover somehow.

But, yeah, I can't wait to get back to the fishing stuff when I'm back in Columbia.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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