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December 9, 2009

Naela Al Attar


Q. We are very interested in you because you're from Egypt obviously, and we don't have any Egyptian golfers on the LET. How did you find playing today?
NAELA AL ATTAR: It's so much fun. I didn't score as good as I wanted, of course, but this is my first professional event and it was so exciting for me. And with all of the girls on The European Tour, it's just amazing to be out here in this prestigious field of great players.
And the golf course is amazing and it's so challenging. That's what I enjoyed about it. It's very challenging and enjoyable and the greens are fast, and they give you the best challenge to focus. It's really amazing to be here, and I feel very fortunate to be the first representing Egypt and playing with all of the great players.

Q. So you played on the FUTURES Tour in America?
NAELA AL ATTAR: Yes, did. I went to the Q-School. I haven't played as much events as I wanted, but I'm still going back to playing on mini-tours, like the Cactus Tour, and just have all next year for practise and putting myself out there in competition. And hopefully next year, I will keep going and hopefully I'll go back to Q-School for The European Tour.

Q. So what are your hopes for tomorrow? Do you feel that you can make the cut, or what's the plan?
NAELA AL ATTAR: Today wasn't very good. I just lost so many strokes. I just enjoy being here, and I feel like it's my lesson and all learning, and hopefully tomorrow I will do the best I can.

Q. How did you get into playing golf? It's not so popular for women in Egypt, I assume?
NAELA AL ATTAR: My home club is in Alexandria, Egypt and it is over 100 years old. During the British colonisation they built it.

Q. What's it called?
NAELA AL ATTAR: Alexandria Sporting Club. That's where I learned. When I first started golf there, there were only three golf courses, about you now there are more than 32 golf courses.

Q. In Egypt?
NAELA AL ATTAR: Yes. And I played amateur events in Europe, also, just for practise. I learned when I was five years old when my dad introduced me to the game and I loved it ever since.
I have a sister that's 28 and she plays golf. She's really good, but she's an engineer and she is more focused on work and she doesn't play golf much.

Q. How old are you?

Q. And you would like to do this as a career?
NAELA AL ATTAR: Definitely, I love it.

Q. Have you been training in America?
NAELA AL ATTAR: Yeah, I went to the Golf Academy of America to study golf course management and to be a golf instructor, and I graduated in April. And since then, I've been playing to play tournaments and practicing and working with a golf instructor. His name is Michael Flannigan, and he has been helping me for the last two months and a half.

Q. With a lot of Asians, the Koreans, Michelle Wie, is it motivating?
NAELA AL ATTAR: It's definitely motivating. I love to score as good as I can or as I did today, but it's just the beginning of the journey, and I'm ready to take it on. It's very exciting. It's very exciting to be here.

Q. But it has nothing to do with your score --
NAELA AL ATTAR: My short game wasn't that good and those are like the fastest greens I've ever played on. When I played in California or Egypt, the greens are not very fast. So it was a challenge coping with the greens, and I didn't do a good job on the greens today.
But I practise on the greens today and hopefully tomorrow I will do better.

Q. Have you had a chance to speak to Michelle Wie and Laura Davies?
NAELA AL ATTAR: Actually the first one I saw when I came on the practise tee on Monday actually as I entered the clubhouse was Michelle Wie, the first one. So I said, "Hi, I'm very happy to meet you." Because she's very good; she's younger than me and she just hits the ball really good. It's very exciting to be playing in the same tournament where she is. And of course, Laura Davies, Catriona Matthews and all of those big names, it's very nice to be playing around them.

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