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June 9, 2005

Laura Diaz


Q. We've got co leader, Laura Diaz, here in the interview room, 5 under par 67, let's start off with your scorecard.

(Scorecard done.)

Q. 5 under par 67, you're tied for the lead after the first round, you've got to be happy with your position right now.

LAURA DIAZ: Yeah. You know, anytime you can go out and throw a lot of birdies up there, it's always nice. I felt like my putter was my friend today. I think it was really just a special honor to be able to play with Karrie Webb on the day she officially got into the Hall of Fame.

I have been saying that she's been in the Hall of Fame for the last three, or four years now, but to actually be with her on the day she's officially a member is a great honor, and I think Meg and I really enjoyed having that honor.

Q. Questions?


Q. You have had physical problems. Where is that at, this stage right now?

LAURA DIAZ: Physical problems? Yeah, I had ankle surgery about a year and a half ago, and I'm all recovered from that, so I'm good. Mentally, now that might be another story.

Q. Are the scores lower here than you thought they would be?

LAURA DIAZ: Are scores low? I got to be honest with you, I don't know what the scores are. I don't really have time to look at the board there. I know there is a few 5 unders, right? I don't know how else it breaks down. It's a very challenging golf course, and I'm very happy with how I played out there today, and I hope in the next three days I can go out and make just as many birdies, if not more.

Q. How did the rain delay affect your round? It looked like you were on a roll. Did the course change much when you went back out there?

LAURA DIAZ: Like I said, I think it affected me in a good way. I had a 6 footer on 14 for birdie. I think they squeegeed our area, which kind of smoothed out the ground a little more and helped me, if anything. It didn't disrupt me at all. It wasn't a long enough delay to cause a big problem with anybody, I don't think.

Q. What are the keys to success in continuing your string here?

LAURA DIAZ: Fairways, greens, making putts, and managing to get it up and down. The rough is really thick out there. I thought that Karrie and Meg hit some really phenomenal chips out there today, and it just shocked me because the chips I had, I wasn't able to hit or execute as well as they did, so I think that's a big key to how you're chipping because if you can get it up and down, you can still score out there.

Q. Your highest finish was third at the Nabisco. Is there something about the Majors that brings your focus out?

LAURA DIAZ: I don't think so. I hope I'm just as focused every week. Some weeks the putts fall and some weeks they don't, and I'm hoping that this is the week where they fall all week long.

Q. You have been playing well all year. Is there any certain reason or is it just kind of you finally are healthy?

LAURA DIAZ: I am healthy, but I haven't been playing that great lately. I started the year really well, but in the last few weeks it hasn't been a huge success on my part, but, actually, just recently my instructor and I, Ron Philo, worked on my alignment. I think that's helping me a little. I'm more square to my target and I think I'm swinging at it a little better.

Of course, being healthy is always a bonus. I think playing injured was really hard. I was able to battle through that the last couple of years and I hope that everything is on the rise.

Q. Did you get a sense of how much this meant to Karrie Webb, playing today and getting into the Hall of Fame, and did that kind of inspire you in any way to play better at all?

LAURA DIAZ: She's an inspiration, period. Being able to achieve the success she's done in such a short period of time, if that doesn't inspire you, I don't know what does. I think that it was an emotional day for her for sure, because it's a great honor. I think it was probably more of an honor to be there to be part of it.

I don't think she's out there thinking about it, this is the day. She achieved it such a long time ago. Today is just the date in which she was officially a member, but it's a great honor, and she is definitely an inspiration.

Q. Given the success you have had in the past Solheim Cup teams and such, how hard was the recovery from the surgery and trying to play through the injuries, how frustrating was it?

LAURA DIAZ: It's frustrating. I think I'm lucky enough to be able to play the sport that I love and have a career doing what I love doing, and when you're injured, you don't realize how much pain you're in at the time and how much it really is setting you back physically and mentally, I think.

I think it's a bigger mental block than it is a physical limitation. It's been hard to kind of regroup and get going again, but I'm extremely happy that I had the surgery. If I had to do it over again, probably would do the same thing, play right through the injury, and not that that's the wisest decision that one would make, but I think that's the nature of all of us out here.

We're all fierce competitors and don't ever want to give up. So, if it taught me one thing, it definitely taught me to battle harder, but when you're in pain, you probably should just stop.

I did a little more damage and maybe made my recovery time a little longer, but, you know, I think it's always hard when you have had some success and then you get injured, or you don't get injured, and you have some success, and you don't play well for a few weeks, it's hard mentally. It's important to keep your mental game as positive as you can, have a good support system.

Q. When did you feel that you were recovered fully from the surgery?

LAURA DIAZ: Probably the tail end of last year. Not so much physically, I think that was a little sooner, but mentally, I think it took me to the tail end of last year to kind of get back to where I was in the previous year or years, so it was probably a good eight months after surgery, nine months.

Q. What exactly was the injury?

LAURA DIAZ: I had four tears in my tendon and a torn ligament in my left ankle.

Q. Annika is at 4 under. Do you try to put that out of your mind totally or can you not do that, given her record?

LAURA DIAZ: There's nothing I can do about how Annika plays. She's a phenomenal player. She has proven herself time and time again, but all I can do is go out and try to make as many birdies as I can make. I think if we could control her, we would. But we can't, so I think all of us are out there trying to play our best, and I know she's doing the same. So, that's about all I can say about that.

Q. Page 23 in a Bob Rotella book?

LAURA DIAZ: No, but I don't know what else to say. I can't sit there and wish bad on her or wish she makes more putts so I make more putts. I hope she plays better, because the better she plays, the more birdies I want to make. The better Natalie plays, the better Karrie wants to play. The good thing about it out here is golf is an individual sport, but you get motivated by watching the putts go in the hole, and I think that when you see birdies going up on the board, if you see them, that's inspiring to you to go out there and roll it in yourself.

Q. Speaking of putts going in the hole, you seem to be putting real well right now. Is there something going on that's changed or are you just

LAURA DIAZ: Well, I worked on my alignment in my whole game in Corning, and I am trying to aim a little more precisely in my putting than I have in the past. It worked a few times out there today, and it didn't work a few times. I had quite a few missed opportunities as well. I'm happy with how I'm putting, and I hope I can continue it throughout the rest of the week.

Q. Any more questions? All right. Thanks a lot, Laura. Congratulations.

End of FastScripts.

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