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August 12, 2008

Lorie Kane


ASHLEY CUSHMAN: Lorie, thanks for joining us today. As we were just talk about, this is kind of your home event here in your home country with a great feel. Just talk about playing here this week in Ottawa.
LORIE KANE: Well, me personally, I'm very excited to be back in Canada. Our nation's capital is a lovely place to be. You get Mother Nature to not dump any more rain on us and we'll be all set.
We've got a strong field with a tremendous title sponsor in CN, obviously somebody that I have a great relationship with. So we're looking forward to a good week.
ASHLEY CUSHMAN: I know you were just talking about your relationship with CN. Can you talk about the role they have played being a central figure putting this tournament on annually.
LORIE KANE: Well, they currently came in when we felt that -- and actually, in 2000 we were sitting right here in Ottawa at the Royal Ottawa trying to determine whether or not women's golf in Canada would continue.
At that time, the RCGA was lucky and fortunate to find somebody in a bank in Montreal. And then their term was up and we found ourselves yet again in a position, women's golf, particularly LPGA professional golf that something had to happen.
Then the team of Hunter Harrison and CN rolled in and have done nothing but elevate women's golf, and also leave great legacies behind in the communities that they play in.
This year with CN and the Miracle Match things are going to be -- we're going to leave some significant funds. It's great.
ASHLEY CUSHMAN: Questions for Lorie.

Q. I was speaking with Alena about some of little differences you experience here versus other LPGA Tour events that sort of make this a major/non-major event. Could you sort of highlight those things from your different experiences around the continent.
LORIE KANE: Well, probably can start with the fact that I just introduced myself to two Ontario police officers who will be escorting me around the golf course for the rest of week. That doesn't happen. Not that I don't feel safe in my own country, but it's really nice to have two good looking guys to hang out with.
What's also different is that we have lots of great fans, good media attention, and just the support of the nation in wanting one of us to host the trophy on Sunday.

Q. (No microphone.)
LORIE KANE: I think that significance, you make a good point. What CN is trying to do and the RCGA is to try to move this tournament around the country and showcase different parts of our country. We play at very prestigious golf courses, and we're here at the Ottawa Hunt where they're celebrating their 100th birthday.
I had a walk on Saturday and Sunday of a golf course and played nine yesterday, and it's in excellent shape. I think it's going to be a really good test. We get the greens to firm up a little bit, and I think with that breeze out there right now things are good.
Yeah, it's an unofficial, non, whatever you want to call it. It's our national championship. It's our Open, and it has significant impact on our tour.
CN as the title sponsor has invested largely in the purse, and next your when we play we'll play for $500,000 more. So that just indicates where they're going and what they see as a good vision for us to be involved with them.

Q. I was speaking to Natalie Gulbis' caddie, Greg, today, and I was asking him to ballpark park a winning score based on the course set up right now. He told me definitely single digits. Just wondering if you've got a prediction, and what are some of the obstacles out there that are going to keep the score down?
LORIE KANE: I think if it stays soft then it's going to play a little bit longer. If the greens stay soft, by the end of the week they're going to get beat up. It's a cross section of Poana and Bent grass.
Single digits, I never pick a number, to be honest with you. I go out and try to make as many birdies as I possibly can. You need to stay in the fairway. Even if you miss a green, it's not a definite up and down. The rough is like this long.
It's an open championship, so it's very much set up like a major.

Q. What do you need to turn things around for yourself? Maybe if you can kind of just walk us through what have been the drawbacks in your game going back maybe a couple years now.
LORIE KANE: I knew you were going to ask that question. You know, there really hasn't been -- I can't pinpoint exactly where things went wrong. In fact, I think things are very good. The strange thing about golf is at the end of the day when you add up the score -- if I can use a quote I heard from David Duvall when he was at British at the Men's Open, he said, "I'm in a position now. I'm not surprised I'm here. Everyone else is surprised I'm here, but I'm not." He said, "Because the score indicates how things have been going, I'm playing better than my scores are showing."
We have had some issues at home that in 43 years I haven't lost anybody, and in the last year I've lost three.
ASHLEY CUSHMAN: Sorry to hear about that, Lorie.
LORIE KANE: Okay. Anyway, that's not an excuse to play poor golf. It's just been tough on the home front, but things are really good. If you came out and watched me hit the ball you'd say, Wow.
If you saw me putt the ball you would say I'm on the high side of the hole and sooner or later. If I could convince them to make the cup this much bigger we'd be all set.
I apologize for crying, but, no, I'm in a good position. I'm very fortunate to have had the success I've had, and I'm by no means anywhere near finishing my career out here.
I know I can win, and Danny and I have put in lots of hours and lots of time. You know, I think it's a balance for me. I spent three good weeks at home with my family and have come to the realization that life goes on regardless of how your golf game is.
I'll get up tomorrow and come out here and smile and sign autographs and be proud to be a Canadian and proud to be here.
We will tee it up Thursday and see what happens.

Q. Being here and being Canadian, and you get it every year, has anything changed about that every year and pressure, or are you more ready for it or accepting or everything that comes with it?
LORIE KANE: I think I've learned over the years to embrace it a little bit more than maybe -- not fearing. Fearing is probably the wrong word, but the anxiety that comes with other people's expectations.
In 2000 I had won my first tournament prior to coming here, and I signed every autograph and did every interview and ran out of gas on Sunday.
I know that I learned from that experience, and I'm here again, like all the Canadians. There would be nothing more exciting than to have a Canadian win this tournament.
But I've learned to embrace it. My family will be arriving today, my mom and dad, and they haven't been to many of these events. With all that's gone on, we're going to have a hell of a week.

Q. What do you see in Michelle Wie's future? Do you see her settling into this tour eventually?
LORIE KANE: I sure hope so. Michelle is a very talented young athlete that has unbelievable potential. It's unfortunate the way things have gone for Michelle in the last little while, but Michelle is a talent. We need that talent on our tour. She brings a lot of people out to watch her.
You know, I hope for Michelle that she can continue being a kid at Stanford and I'll be selfish to say a good and important part of our tour.

Q. One of the themes this week seems to be the end of an era with Lisa and Dawn. As you look to the other existing talent right now, we have just got Alena as a regular. I'm wondering if you're satisfied with where we stand in professional golf, or are you a little bit concerned that there are going to be those idols that you've all had?
LORIE KANE: Well, I think our numbers are definitely down. When I look back as to who I looked to, there was Dawn, Lisa, Gail. There seemed to be more of us, Barb Bunkowski.
Now we're kind of falling back. But that doesn't necessarily mean that golf is weak in the country, because I don't believe it is. The CN Tour has some great young players, particular amateurs seem to be doing very well in that.
The national team program that the RCGA has I think is continuing to show promise. I still think it needs to be more worked on more across the country. I think there are areas -- I think we answered this question at the Invitational here.
The question was asked, What do we have to do? I said, well, I think it's some responsibility to the media and some to the athletes, and definitely the responsibility of the RCGA.
No matter where those kids are, where they're playing, that every score they shoot be posted so that you can -- we only seem to recognize when somebody does something nationally.
This country is so massive that there are good things happening in other provinces. Good things happening in Quebec. Quebec probably supports their athletes better than anywhere else in this country.
You can go right across the board. So we always hear about Ontario and BC, and I know there's good golf being played in all the other provinces. I think if we keep encouraging kids. I mean, obviously education is important because there are an awful lot of kids going to American colleges.
I'm surprised when I look at the list of athletes because I don't know them. I think, Wow! But then it comes down to the athletes. Are they wanting and willing to put in the work to become a professional golfer?
Not everyone wants to be out here. What we can do is on encourage them and bring them along. The programs that the RCGA has I believe will help do that.

Q. Did you get a chance to play with some of the young players?
LORIE KANE: I'm looking forward to meeting them. If there's somebody out there right now that wants to play nine holes, I'm going to tee off. Yeah, I do think that I need to get to know those young players a little bit better and extend the arm that was extended to me, you know, and to be a mentor if I can be.

End of FastScripts

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