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May 10, 2024

Madelene Sagstrom

Clifton, New Jersey, USA

Upper Montclair Country Club

Quick Quotes

Q. Really not sure what golf course you were playing today, but figured it out out there. Great round; 6-under. Just walk us through your day out there.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: I started off -- I felt really good on the range. I was hitting the ball really nice. I've been working hard. Like I said yesterday, my coach Hans is here and I've really been finding some things over the last few days.

I missed a few shots yesterday with some kind of softer wedges that we worked on after the round. I got one on 4 and hit it beautifully. I was like, wow, okay, I got this today.

I was striking it well. It was tricky because it's cool, a little gusty from time to time, and then we really got lucky because it wasn't that much rain until probably last four holes.

I grinded hard. I made a big mistake on 10 by leaving it in the fairway bunker. Trying not to hit it fat in the water meant I thinned it into the lip; not great.

It's one of those like you're going to make mistakes. It was just a bit unfortunate happening when I was having momentum. Got it back quickly hit a good drive on 11, great second shot on 11, and a good putt.

The eagle on 12 is a little bit of a bonus. It was nice to get it back quickly and get into momentum again.

Q. How have you managed to eagle 12 both days?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: I figured it was Aon Risk/Reward, so I need to step up my game here. I need to get those numbers down.

No, I mean, it suits my eye. Like I love a reachable par-5. You kind of have to hit the fairway. Got away with it today being in the first cut. You can kind of go for it from there.

I didn't try to go right of the flag, but it ended up right of the flag. I think when you play well and take enough margins on the right side, sometimes you get away with half-bad shots.

I'm putting well, so the putter is always good when you're rolling in putts on par-5s.

Q. How do you manage that when it's so wet and so rainy and water on the greens and all that with your putting?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: I knew from the start. Actually knew from yesterday. Had really good pace on the ball. I think that's what really helped me. I only putted one bad putt the past two days pace-wise.

Knowing that I can just hit it and I know it's going to be probably within three feet no matter what I do is really nice. So then I could really focus on my lines.

I think that pace is such an important part of putting, and it's normally when you don't putt very well that's what you lose first.

I've been really trusting that and we been doing some good work. I've been working hard on seeing my ball roll end over end, and it's rolling really nicely. You see some dropping and your confidence goes through the roof and you just keep going.

It's like, okay, I'm going to keep doing that.

Q. You said how much you like this course. You even surprised that even today you had the good round? I think it's a low round of the day in these conditions.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: I think good memories and good momentum is kind of key, and then when you have something that like hits you in the face like I did on 10, and then it's like, how do I get back from here? How do I not falling into a bad tumble?

I really know in the past that I might get frustrated and like, oh, you were playing so well and you did this, da, da, da, da, da. But I was like, no, I'm playing well, so get back to just keep playing well and it's going to figure itself out.

It helps me that greens are quite soft. You can really stop it. The rough is extremely thick and wet though so it was really, really tricky. I had one on 16 and I was like, this looks pretty good. I think I can get this up on the green. I was like, nope. It was really, really wet.

You have to hit the fairways. That's No. 1 key out here. If you miss too many fairways it gets really, really hard. If you can do -- make ups and downs when you miss the greens that's really momentum key, like that's how you keep going.

But probably my putting is really what's making me play really well here this week.

Q. You've been in this position before at this course. How do you finish?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: I think just keep doing what I'm doing. It's easy to sit and say, but I know from both from my past experiences this year in Asia I started trying really, really hard. I started wanting to play even better.

So I just going to try to keep doing what I've been doing. Not try harder. If anything, try less and just really trust my body, trust myself, trust Shane, which I maybe not always do.

But just really kind of keep doing what we been doing. I'm doing good things. I wouldn't be in this position if I wasn't.

Q. You look at the leaderboard and you see you're on top and then you see Rose, and Nelly is creeping up very quickly. Do you like this position where you are kind of the unknown for the crowd?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: I hope I'm not that unknown. I've been out here for a while now. Probably on the veteran side. This the position everyone wants to be in. You want to be up on the leaderboard. You want to play against the best players. You want your game to be the best every week. If not, be considered one of the best players in the world.

These are the reasons I play. This is what everyone is trying to do. It's a good position to be in.

Q. I know you're going to stick to the same game plan. Heading into the weekend, a little bit softer out there. Going to be able to attack. Do you get a little more aggressive or do you take your lessons from Asia and try to let it come to you?

MADELENE SAGSTROM: We been very good at -- Shane and I've been very good at judging when to be aggressive on the course. Like there has been some tough pins. Like on 18 today. I didn't hit it very close but I knew that if I just get it anywhere on this green I have a chance to make birdie because I'm putting so well and my speed is good, and I lipped out for birdie.

That just settles me a little bit so when I don't have those perfect numbers and the pins are really tight and tucked I can be a little bit more defensive and still know I have a chance.

I think sometimes it's easy to get greedy and try to hit it closer and closer, but since I feel so comfortable with my putting, I'm just going to take a bit more margins when I need to and be aggressive when I have the perfect number and perfect chances. It's a situation-to-situation thing.

Q. Obviously here at the Founders Cup. We are celebrating our Founders, couple of our Pioneers, Pat Bradley, Beth Daniel. What have they meant to you growing up watching, playing the game? And if not those two, especially Annika? Talk about what kind of role model or influence she's had on you.

MADELENE SAGSTROM: I think the reason -- I mean, if it wasn't for the Founders we wouldn't be here at all. They're the reason that I can play golf for a living and that I can even dream about playing golf for a living. We have everything to thank them for and the generations past us.

For us it's really important to do a good job for the generations to come. Annika especially, I mean, she's probably the one that I can relate the most to. We've become really good friends. I consider her a close friend the mine. We hang out a lot. I know the family super, super really.

It's one of those things. It's like if you would've ever told me that I can speed dial Annika on my phone I would be like, no. She's been so influential in my life.

First it was mostly golf and now her whole business mindset, what she does, her family mindset, it's just very inspiring and something I'm trying to -- I'm trying to have a small part of her golf career. If I can have a little bit like that.

And then just trying to be -- she's such a good human being. She super nice. Just happy to have her in my ball court.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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