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June 29, 2008

Helen Alfredsson



Q. Congratulations.

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Thank you. Thank you. I feel great right now, actually. What a day.

Q. (Inaudible.)

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Oh. That completes it? No, it was a tough day. It was nice, you know, I lost a few shots there early. Of course I three-putted, what, five times? Just not very good. Some of them were outside.

But it was -- the only thing was you saw that it was a tough day, because everybody was losing shots. Of course except the one I play with. But, you know, it was just a grinding day, just fighting on every single shot. And it's nice that it's over. I'm getting too old for this. (Laughter).

Q. It's interesting that you're one of the more experienced players in your early 40s.

HELEN ALFREDSSON: I haven't really been in this situation, and I hit a lot of wacky shots in the last few years. And I haven't been under this kind of pressure in so long. I finished second two years ago in Dubai, but it was just after the season kind of was over.

And this is real and here you are, you know, you don't want to -- it's nice to test yourself that you still sort of can stand the pressure a little bit.

Q. Do you feel the pressure more on the long game or on the greens?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, you know what? It's about making the putts, you know, because you know you're going to hit some shots and leave yourself some long putts or chip up. It's always going to come down to the putts. Of course it's very important to hit the fairways and hit the greens. But the putts is where all the difference is.

Q. (Inaudible.)

HELEN ALFREDSSON: She played fantastic. I was very impressed with her composure. She was very calm. Never changed anything. And really that's very impressive for a 19 year old, I think.

And that is really what is the key in a tournament like this, just to keep on plugging along, like it was the first day, even though, of course, everyone says pretend like it's the first day of any tournament. Whoever can do that my hat's off. But I was very impressed with her game. She's going to win a lot more.

Q. She's pretty serene, and I wouldn't necessarily describe you as serene.

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Really? Well, I had to be, you know. I was probably a little bit more serene than I've been in a long time. Maybe God gave me some patience, I don't know. It's been in there a long time. But of course, you know, I have to be me and she has to be her. I'm a little bit more animated, probably. And she is not. And I think the worst is trying to imitate somebody at this stage.

It's nice to play with her. She was very solid. It kind of translates into your game. When you go on the last day in the U.S. Open, somebody plugs along, it's harder when somebody is everywhere, it kind of gets a little distracting.

Q. You had the wind in your face the second shot?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Yeah, but we were down at the bottom.

Q. Did you think that was going to turn things around?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: I was hoping to, but of course I blubbered again with a bloody three-putt. It was nice, I had a great drive. I had a 5-wood in. I left myself pretty much, what, 12 yards, and couldn't -- two putts. I was pretty distraught. But I saved a good par on the next. It was a little bit up-and-down, which was kind of stressful.

Q. (Inaudible.)

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Yeah, that was the one, because it's hard -- you shouldn't, but you cannot count on that. And I figured, okay, back to five. And you plug along. And of course that eagle did help a lot to sort of get through the last few holes.

Q. (Inaudible.)

HELEN ALFREDSSON: They moved up the tees again. I wanted to hit my driver a little bit on the right side to get down in the gully there. I hit it left. I was very fortunate to have a good lie and I had a rescue. I was hoping that it was going to bounce up. I didn't even see where it finished. I saw something at the very back of the green and I thought, well, that's all right. And then I came up and it was like five feet. That's always a nice present.

Q. If you look at your game this entire week, what is the most -- what pleases you most about it?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, the way I've been hitting my driver in the past years I've been so errant, because it's hard in the U.S. Open, if you don't hit your driver well you're struggling so hard because the roughs are tough, and you can hardly get there on the second shot.

To put myself in a good position, like on 18, just be able to hit the shots I want, take it down the left and let the wind bring it. It's a nice feeling, it's a calming feeling when you can hit the drives where you want and at least that's not your headache.

Q. That was good ball-striking, that's what you like about the Open?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Yeah, I do love that about the Open. You need to have the whole game here. You need to have drives. You need to have good shots. You need to have good strategy. And we probably did a couple of bad decisions today, but it's hard to win it, it is so windy.

It is so easy an afterthought to say I should have hit that club. But at the time you took the club that you thought was right, but it's harder with the wind. No, I love the U.S. Open for that, it's not just about putting.

Q. (Inaudible.)

HELEN ALFREDSSON: She's been a great player, and she's been very steady. She's one of the Koreans that I know the name of, so -- there's so many of them, we're trying to remember all these names.

But, no, they are really nice, and so I knew she was a very solid player.

Q. Have you played with her before?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: I don't think so.

Q. Have you beaten yourself up after the '94 Open? You played so well and then didn't have the good final round, did it take a while to get over that --

HELEN ALFREDSSON: What's very funny about that, when I shot 63, I never played well that first day. It was very hard to go into the media and say I didn't play well. I putted like a dream. I could have putted backwards and still have made it. I never felt like I had the game. Of course it's devastating, because hopefully you hope you can find the game for the rest of the week.

But I think what really helped me that I was in the same position in the tournament in Boston the following week and I was leading and won that. And sort of gained some shots even, I think I made 4-under on the back nine. It helped me a little bit to know that I could stand the pressure. If I would have plummeted the same way there, I think that would have been very tough.

Q. (Inaudible.)

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Did I hear about it? Did anybody not hear? Yeah, I think we all heard, except the deaf people, I guess.

Q. On which holes was the club selection the hardest?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, I think the par-3s, like 13, you know, because it was swirling and the number was 193. And sometimes, when you hit them short here, they roll up. You can hit a club and it rolls up when you hit it on the green. I hit a 4-iron and I thought it was going to be good and it rolled off the back and I didn't get it up-and-down. And I hate to be long into the wind because you're standing with a tough chip downwind coming back. But I think those are the -- the par-3s was probably some of the toughest shots.

Q. (Inaudible.)

HELEN ALFREDSSON: I think I've done what I needed for the Solheim Cup, actually. I don't know, I'll see how I feel. It's a very draining week. It's a wonderful experience, and I've been there, obviously, and it's really one of the most fun tournaments we have. So maybe we can try to come over here and finally get that win on American soil. That would be nice to finish a career with that.

Q. What's this mean for your career?

HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, I think I'm very much at the end of my career, so I don't know what it means. It's very nice to come back after a bunch of years that you struggled. And I feel a lot better in my body and all my injuries are sort of gone. And all the practice I put in has given me results that I hit the shots that I want. That's been very nice.

It was very frustrating to keep practicing and keep practicing and every day felt different and every day was something new. So the practice that I tried to do never gave results.

Q. (Inaudible.)

HELEN ALFREDSSON: I have no idea. I would like to go home right now. But I'm sure I'll feel better -- feel a lot different tomorrow.

End of FastScripts

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