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October 26, 2008

Helen Alfredsson


THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, what a wonderful round. You had a four-shot leading coming into the 18, you must have felt quite comfortable coming home.
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, I didn't know until I was at 18. It's always nice because 18 was a tough hole today.
THE MODERATOR: Did you watch the leaderboard at all.
HELEN ALFREDSSON: I did just to sort of see how everybody was doing. I thought it was more even today but I knew it played tough.

Q. Can you talk about how important it was to off so quickly, you had six birdies in the first ten holes, what was going on there?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, first hole was probably about four meters, which is about 12 feet, so it was a good putt. And I was very happy, because it played long today. I had a 4-iron for my second shot.
On the second hole, I made quite a long putt.
So I got a very good start, and I did so yesterday, but I didn't bring it any further. But I kept playing well and I kept giving myself chances, and so it was nice to finish in the first nine 5-under I think and then I birdied 10; I only had about five feet, so it was a good 8-iron.
Then I didn't birdie until 14, and that was another 8-iron to about four feet. So it was nice to continue to make some birdies today.

Q. Coming into the last hole, you were a bit short into the green with your second shot. Were you a bit tight with the chipping, and then ending up with a bogey, were you still pretty comfortable with that two- or three-shot lead?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: I had birdied 17 and I was third at that point and I saw the leaderboard and the closest one was at 9, so I was four at that point. So I didn't have huge pressure on me for the chip shot but it still was not a great shot, the chip shot; it was short.
But it was nice to be on 18 and have a four-shot lead, yeah.

Q. To what do you attribute your longevity? You've been around, 15 years, at least that much, and you've won twice this year and are beating these young players. What keeps you motivated and what keeps you on your game?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, I haven't really been having much success the last few years. But I think one of my keys, that everybody should be in life, I've tried to stay fit all my life. I've had some injuries, but I always worked out and stayed pretty strong.
This year I felt really good. I had an injury last year, and all of a sudden all of the practice that I put into my game this year paid off. It's different when you're injured and you keep practicing, but you don't see any results.
I just love to play. I love to compete. It's like a love/hate relationship here. You love it when you finish, but when you are in the middle of it, you know, I think as an athlete, no matter what sport, to compete, that's what we love to do.

Q. How do you attribute, when Yani came up and gave you a hug and congratulated you on a great win, you said, "How come you didn't beat the grandma." So is the LPGA going to be more for the younger generation, or players like yourself in their 30s and 40s still have a great chance to keep making more accomplishments?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, I think just having all of these young players, like Yani is one of the really good young players. She's very impressive. And I think it's fun to compete with them.
You know, I think they get a little bit more frustrated if you out-drive them. I happened to out-drive Yani last week. She had to check twice if it was true. Of course, I had to tell her that it was true.
I think when you compete, you play golf. Age, you don't always think about it. But the diversity on our tour, on the LPGA, it's so great. You have people, girls from everywhere. Shanshan is a wonderful girl from China that you should be very proud of. It keeps everybody young. It keeps everybody competitive. You know, they don't want to get beat by us, because we are so old, and we still want to beat them, because they are so young. (Laughter).

Q. With a big check and this wonderful trophy, are you planning on buying any gifts from Hainan or China to bring home?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, we already have been buying stuff. We've already been downtown.
Yeah, I've bought some stuff from here, and it's my first time, and hopefully it' not my only time. But it's nice to bring back some memories, and of course all my friends wanted some things, too, and my sister. They wanted some things from China.

Q. Can you tell us, what does it feel like to be inside the people's carrier?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, it was very interesting. It was nice. I love to experience new things, and it's nice to be a part of I know a big tradition for the Chinese people. I guess I just miss my husband. (Laughter).

Q. How will you celebrate tonight, anything special?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Of course, champagne perhaps. We leave early tomorrow but of course we will probably try to do something at the hotel, probably on me.

Q. After the first round you were 2-under and Laura Diaz was 9-under, seven-shot difference and only a three-day tournament. Did you still feel like you could catch up after the first day?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, you never know. I've played golf for so many years now, I think sometimes when you have a 9-under, it's such a tremendous score from Laura obviously. And sometimes it's hard to follow that up the next day, because you feel like when you shoot the 9-under, usually it feels quite easy, because you're just making putts, and you don't realize how easy it is and then you get a little frustrated.
It is three days and I think you've just got to plug along. The pressure is on her early, but of course it's always hard when you look at it, seven shots.

Q. Can you give us from your past memories, how many tournaments you've come from behind making up a big deficit?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: The second time I won Evian, I came back from seven shot the last day.

Q. What did you shoot in the last round?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: I shot 64. I won it three times; that was the second.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit more about, Annika will be stepping away at the end of the season, and you've been playing for a long time and you've seen her join the LPGA and now she's stepping away; can you tell us about your feelings?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Well, I think obviously she put the bar quite high. She came out and obviously was very, very successful and kept it very impressively for a long time.
I think it has triggered the level of play on the LPGA Tour to a different height. I think we have a lot of very good players right now which is very fun. We have obviously Morgan Pressel that won last week. We have Paula Creamer. We have Yani, which is a wonderful person. We have Lorena Ochoa which is the new No. 1, which is absolutely delightful.
She put the standard to a very high level and I think that people are trying to continue that. I think that she will probably be missed, but we all know how sport is; you're always looking for the next star, and we have plenty of them.

Q. (Regarding flying).
HELEN ALFREDSSON: That was many years ago, dear. That was in '83. I think I always love to try different things. I realized that I loved to play golf. I think the difference with doing something like that is you don't decide; somebody else decides. In sport, you decide what you want to do. You put in your work and you take something out of it.
It was a fun experience. I realized golf was something that I wanted to do. I like to have a good memory in my life, and that's one of them.

Q. You're senior to Annika; any thoughts on how long you intend to play? You're not the oldest players on the Tour, there are much older --
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Thank you very much. (Laughter)

Q. Can you talk about how much longer you might play?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: No, it's within the very near future. I love to play but the travelling and all that, it's making it harder and harder. Maybe a year, max, max, two. But I have Juli Inkster in front of me. I'm hanging onto her. (Laughing).

Q. You saw Yani won the LPGA McDonald's Championship and Shanshan also played very well the last few months. Can you see a little bit the Chinese players and Taiwan will be similar to what happened the last few years with Korean players?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: Oh, absolutely. I'm so happy I'm not going to be on Tour when all of the Chinese girls come around; I'll be retired.
Absolutely. They have a great work ethic and obviously I think it's great that they have seen the Korean girls be very successful. It seems like China, you have a lot of very good athletes, and you know how to produce athletes in this country.
So it's just a matter of time I think before we see the Chinese girls are coming over.

Q. (Were you looking at the leaderboard)?
HELEN ALFREDSSON: I think when I started so quickly, I came on the board quite quickly, and so I was ten and the leader was 11.
It's hard to think too much on a win today like this because a lot of things can happen and you really have to focus on the game. And then I saw, I think it was on 12, that was the next time I saw, and I was 11, and I think Diaz or Stupples was 10. And then obviously a lot of things happened until 18.
But it's good that we don't have that many score boards, because you actually concentrate better on the game than keep looking at whatever everybody else is doing.

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