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July 25, 2008

Helen Alfredsson


THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, a tournament record, 9 under 63. This also ties your personal record, does it not?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Yes, it does in a tournament, yeah.
THE MODERATOR: That's quite the accomplishment. Can you talk about that especially being the champion here in '94 and '98 at the Evian Masters.
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Of course I'd rather have this not happen any other place. I've loved this place since I was here the first time in '94. I've been lucky enough to come here every year since is. It feels very special to be able to do it here.
THE MODERATOR: What does it mean to go from 40th in your first round, as your round was progressing, did you get ahead of yourself? What were you thinking when you went four birdies on the front?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: I'm 43. Don't you think I've learned anything in these years (laughing). No, I don't think I did today, which maybe was the key. I had a wonderful group with Mhairi and Sherri. We laughed a lot, and we talked a lot. It was really nice.
And you just play, and you make a putt and you move on. All of a sudden, oops. It's kind of nice.
THE MODERATOR: Quite the oops. We'll take questions for Helen.

Q. Were you aware going around that the record was in sight?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: No, I had no idea. I didn't know until somebody told me on 18. Maybe that's better.

Q. All you've achieved, do you still get a little bit of the nerves or think about it in the last two or three holes?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Yeah, no. I didn't really, you know, have nervousness. But I felt I had a good focus, not overfocused. Just you know hit the shots the way I wanted it, and I was lucky enough to make the putt.

Q. The second shot to 18, to be aggressive?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: No, I knew I was going to go for it. I didn't want to get (imitating chicken) from my caddie or my playing partner. So I thought I'd go for it.

Q. You had some problems on 12, especially yesterday. What is going on with this hole?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: I have no idea. I don't know. I've never been on the right before, so I have no idea why. But I was lucky to make a par yesterday, so...

Q. Yesterday?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Yesterday is yesterday. I had a 7 yesterday, but that's over, isn't it?

Q. How do you compare this record round with the fourth round of the U.S. Open?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Oh, this year you mean?

Q. Yes.
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, I wasn't really playing that stellar in the U.S. Open on the last days, except the last nine maybe. But it was new to be there in that position. But it was fun, especially the last two holes, to make some good shots and good putts that I haven't made in a long time. To do it under pressure, I think that's what we strive for. It's horrible when you're there. But it's really nice when you're done.
It's a little different to go down 8, you know, in the last round to a round where you're just trying to put yourself in a good position for maybe the weekend and for the tournament. So it's a little different pressure, I think, in how you feel. You know, I'm very happy now and I was happy then.

Q. The U.S. Open is great. Don't like to say it's a revival, but your game's obviously very good at the moment. Is there any key to it?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Yeah, I'm healthy. I don't think I've been healthy for 15 years. According to the doctors, I had my hamstring detached for 11 years. Looking back and the way my right arm feels, I must have had the other one for 6 or 7 years. You know, my herniated disk and I lost all my feel and strength. That really had come to an end last year.
And it's very strenuous to work every day and workout and try to get better and you see absolutely no results. When I didn't have any strength in my right arm, you adjust.
That is one of the good and bad things about athletes. You're fighting very hard to reach a point. And you go through adversity. Particularly injuries, you're not always going to feel perfect.
But now I've had some good workouts and some good health in the winter. And so some of the practice that I've put in is sort of paying off. I feel like it's a little bit more the same every day.
The last few years, every day has been different. It's hard to get any kind of confidence when I every day feels totally different.

Q. Has your swing changed at all? That you are now healthy?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: I hope it has changed with the way it was. But, you know, obviously, I was trying to get a swing that was more functional and being stronger than the right side it was hard in the beginning because I was not hitting it very good. So, just trying to get back on swinging naturally and feeling both sides. So hopefully it has changed some.

Q. You have been hitting the ball really well this year. You said at Interlachen it had been a long time since you had been in that position. Do you feel comfortable in that position now? Do you feel like that part of it is back?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: I don't know. It comes down to when you feel like the game is all right, it's easier to feel confident. But I think you're always going to have the nerves. Talking to my husband he says, Don't worry, it's going to get worse by the years. That was encouraging, because I'm heading in the other direction.
You know, I don't know. I think having gone through all the adversity I think you're enjoying it in a different way. It's at the very end of my career. I'm just happy that I can enjoy a game that's given me so much and not just headache and tears maybe. You know, agony. But just to come out and maybe a couple of years left and actually hit the ball pretty decent.

Q. That's what I wanted to ask. Do you enjoy it more now do you think?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, I mean, we always say why are you playing well? Because you're having fun. Well, chicken or the leg. Of course you're having fun because you're playing well.
I've never minded and any of the players don't mind to work hard. But it's very hard when you don't see any light at the end of the tunnel. You just keep working and working. You pretty much stay on the same spot.
So, of course, it's nice to hit some shots and make some putts. I just take it a little bit lighter, as light as I can take something.

Q. Your results in 2007 were bad results, so-called bad results in 2007 were more physical or Solheim Cups?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: No, Solheim Cup was a very interesting time. I really enjoyed being there and seeing on the other side. I learned a lot. I always enjoyed doing other things. That's really fit very nicely, because I really couldn't play more.
Then I went back to the doctor and they didn't think I should be playing anymore. I didn't even argue about that because of the way I felt. But then it fit well and I had the Solheim. So it all sort of worked out.

Q. I don't think you should be talking about the retirement side, but you keep coming back to that. You know, I'm 43, et cetera. What is it that you're looking forward to? You're looking forward to continue playing now that you're feeling good, playing well, good results like today?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, I'm getting tired too, you know. But then there are other things I like to do. I like to put my time into other things. I can't be 60 trying to do something else.
But I think everything has its time. I was talking to Annika about that. I have some great friends that are retired. I think you know when it's time. And a lot of times when I feel like I love to play, but the traveling gets to you and being away and so forth.
So, you know, I think it's not that many more years. I think, well, time will tell. You'll know exactly when it's time.

Q. I was going to say. Because the three Swedish, the connection yesterday and everything, did you talk with Annika about that?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Yeah, I asked her also, Do you feel -- I don't know what the word is in English, but I said, Do you feel like good about it? Or do you feel sad?

Q. Anxious or sad?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Yeah, not sad, but a little bit kind of bittersweet, and she said no. Ever since she took the decision, it's become clearer and clearer. And I said that's funny. That's like when my husband quit he said it was just the right thing to do. There was never a question not to.
And I think all my friends that are athlete that have quit or retired, they all say the same thing.

Q. Any thoughts on what the future might hold there? What you would want to do?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: You know, I think like we all say the game has given us so much. I started a foundation in Sweden about leadership, because I was very lucky to have very good leaders. Knowing that I was always the one that pushed every bit of luck or pushed every rule there was, but I got a chance.
And I think sometimes today those kids don't get a chance, and I would like them to have a chance. So that's where my heart goes, and we've done a few things with kids and just having kids and sports, period.

Q. So that's something you would want to put time into?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Oh, absolutely.

Q. Did watching Greg Norman give you inspiration last week? You could have another ten years or more?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: No, thank you. No more ten years. No ten years. Well, if you can come out like he did - take ten years off and then come out - yeah, maybe that would be the melody. Then you can say well, I've still got it. Then go home and do whatever he's doing - I don't know -course designing or whatever.
No, not really. But I think it's fun. I said to all the girls that said congratulations, I said yeah, that was one for the old bags. It's kind of nice. Everybody is so young. I walk around with a girl that is my step-daughter's age, and you just want to tell them to behave. Tell them what to do.

Q. Coming back to the 63, that was another big event?

Q. What do you remember about that one?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, that's a very bittersweet moment. But the funny thing is I was not playing well. I was not hitting the ball well. So it was so horrible to go into the press room and sit there and knowing that if I continue that kind of game that I had, and I had no chance, it was never going to work.
To make a putt, if I would have putted the opposite direction the ball still would have gone in. It was very tough sometimes. You know it just happens.
Of course it was fun to have it at the time. But it was not that great of a feeling. This one I played better to shoot the 63 than I did then.
THE MODERATOR: Can we go over your scorecard really quick? That might take a few minutes as far as the club and how far your putts were?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: I don't have my yardage. What do I have there? I think I had a 9-iron to about 3 feet.
THE MODERATOR: Okay, on number 4.
HELEN ALFREDSSON: I had a 9-iron to about 5 feet.
HELEN ALFREDSSON: 6, there was 12 feet with an 8-iron.
HELEN ALFREDSSON: I hit a bunker shot to probably about 12 feet also.
HELEN ALFREDSSON: I hit a 9-iron to 5 feet.
HELEN ALFREDSSON: 11, 4 feet with the 58-degree wedge.
HELEN ALFREDSSON: 5-iron to about 3 feet.
HELEN ALFREDSSON: 15, 58-degree to 4 feet.
HELEN ALFREDSSON: 18, that was probably about 7 feet, 8 feet, and from the bunker, greenside bunker.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, ask congratulations, Helen.

End of FastScripts

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