August 1, 2002
MODERATOR: We have our 2000 champion here to talk about the tournament in general.
LORIE KANE: Glad I am back in Columbus. Since Wendy's has come on board with sponsorship, it's definitely upped the whole atmosphere with the tournament. The change in venue, I think the people here in Tartan Fields are really excited to have us. I know the tour is happy. I know Wendy's is happy with the headquarters being here in Dublin. So I think it's a real good fit.
I originally wasn't playing up until a couple weeks ago. I'm glad I had a change of heart because I feel much better about being here.
Q. Why did you change your mind?
LORIE KANE: That's a good question. Wendy's should have been on my schedule right from the beginning. The reason I wasn't coming was because the British is next week and I was planning to take my mum and dad over. They've never been to Scotland. We discussed playing some golf in Scotland prior to the British.
I felt an obligation to the tournament, being a past champion, to be quite honest with you, that I needed to come and support an event that was doing everything, moving in the right direction, with a great title sponsor like Wendy's. The potential for this tournament to grow is great. I just felt a responsibility as a past champion, you know, to play.
The conversation I had with my dad just went, "I don't want to go and play early in Scotland when you should be playing in a tournament that you've won." That was the long and short of it.
Q. The feeling at the start of the week was that this would be a more difficult test than New Albany. What I've been hearing after some of the players have had a chance to play practice rounds is they think they can score here because you can hit the driver on a lot of holes and set up short approach shots to the greens. What's your feeling about the course after playing a couple practice rounds?
LORIE KANE: I'd have to agree a little bit. The fairways are very geneous. But I also thought the fairways were generous at New Albany.
You're going to have some shorter approach shots, but the greens here are going to be the difference. And I don't believe that you're going to have a lot of -- you know, by the end of the weekend, I think they're going to firm up a little bit more.
The slopes, even with -- you might have an eight, nine or pitching wedge in your hand and the greens run away from you. You have to hit it very good to get it close. You know, they're rolling great, which is awesome. You know, there will be birdies made, no doubt. I just don't know how low we'll go here.
Q. If we get rain, as expected tomorrow, that's going to soften the greens, but it will also make for longer approaches. How do you see the rain affecting the course, if we get it?
LORIE KANE: I played nine holes on Tuesday late afternoon. I thought that the course was pretty wet, and had a pretty good rain Monday night. The fairways are a little bit drier today. But it will play longer, and that's going to be longer clubs into the greens.
The scoring, you know, I'll be interested. I can't honestly pick a number for you. I'm going to personally go out and try to make as many birdies as can I and see how that works out. But I think it will be a good test to go.
Q. Do you think it caters to the long hitters? When I say the long hitters on this tour, who comes to mind?
LORIE KANE: In this field this week, well, Michelle McGann hits it a ton. I think that this type of course can play into her hands. Juli is here. Any time Juli is in the field, you have to be cautious of her. I hit a lot of fairways. I can stretch it out there when I need to.
I think as wide as the fairways are, and if it plays longer, you still have to be -- you know, it's better to be on the right side of the fairway going into the green. I'm going to pick No. 11 for you. It's a very narrow green. I'll tell you, the test is going to be the par 3s. They're very short, narrow, narrow greens, you know, from front to back. A lot of width, a lot of width (laughter).
Q. I know there's a tendency to concentrate on your game and how you're playing. Can you take me through how you look at that relative to who else is in the field? You're aware of who is here, who is not here. How you could do in this tournament, part of it is how you're playing, but part of it is also who is here. How do you balance those two things as you assess the field?
LORIE KANE: Well, any week, you know, if you're not here to tee it up to win, then you shouldn't be here. That's my goal, is to come and play the best I can with the goal to win the tournament.
You know, obviously you look at the field. We are shy of a few named players. But we also have a very strong field in that we have Juli Inkster, US Open champion; Gloria Park won last week; Mi Hyun Kim won the week before. Any time Rosie Jones is in the field, you know she's going to be a fighter. I think we've got a good field.
You know, could it be better? Yeah. But every week is like that, I think.
Q. From the same standpoint, is it an advantage to get another round in or another tournament in before you go overseas and play in a major?
LORIE KANE: I like to play the week before a major. I also like to play a lot. I find that I play better the more I play. And as we're heading into hockey season, I even play better (laughter). The fall is always a good time for me, late summer/fall. I'm looking to get rolling.
You know, the British is going to be totally different. I mean, it could snow over there. Avari (phonetic) says they've gotten more rain in one day than they have all summer. We're in the heat this week, we're in terrible weather the next week. I don't really know.
I'm here to play as many tournaments the rest of the season.
Q. Have you either this week or in Hawaii had any contact, dealings, practice rounds with Michelle Wei? What can you say about a 12-year-old in the field?
LORIE KANE: I haven't played with Michelle, but I have had some conversation with she and her parents. She's a very tall girl. My question to myself, everyone else: Has she stopped growing? She's going to be a strong young lady. I think she's a very determined young woman that wants to play golf.
You know, it's nice to have her in the field. I'm sure it will bring out some more young kids to watch, and I think that's a positive thing for not only this tournament but the LPGA.
I was only allowed to join my club when I was 12. I couldn't join my club until I was 12, so I was could go a lot of junior clinics. I wasn't breaking, you know, 80 (laughter). In fact, I think I remember hitting the pin on the 9th hole for like a 75. That's nine holes, not 18.
Q. You brought up hockey. Question is, have you been to a Blue Jackets game? I think you were at a pre-season game a couple years ago. Have you been back during the winter?
LORIE KANE: No, I haven't, but I hope to be . I said this last year. If David gets called up this winter, I'll be up to watch him.
LORIE KANE: I couldn't get here because we were somewhere else. If it happens again this winter, which I know it will, I'm going to be a thorn in Doug's rear-end for a while (laughter). He's spending money. He's going to get you guys a good team.
LORIE KANE: We better be a positive. He's one of the smartest men in hockey. He'll like that.
Q. You talked about your early success. You had a couple Top 4 finishes early. You haven't finished as high. Is it a factor of the weather? How has your game changed from early onto now?
LORIE KANE: I went through a little bit of a lull April and May where I wasn't playing. I was playing a week, taking a week off. I've been on a pretty good fitness program. I think the combination of everything, I kind of lost my timing. Like I said earlier, my timing is built on the more I play. So I'm feeling really comfortable with the way I'm swinging now.
Last week, you know, I didn't have a great finish, but in Saturday's round I played 15 holes very well and three not well. On the weekend, on Sunday, I had a good finish.
I'm going to use that to carry through for this week.
Q. You mentioned some of the greens are thin front to back. Do you have any problem or beef with them, particularly 2 and 8? Is 8 a par 3 as you're playing it?
LORIE KANE: Yes.
Q. Those two, are they fair enough front to back width-wise? How is it set up with those greens, particularly on those holes?
LORIE KANE: Well, we're definitely playing right at the back of the line in the ProAm, which we normally do. If we move up the tee a little bit, you know, it's going to be -- the 8th hole -- I'm trying to think. 17th green, there's -- 14, is that a par 3? No, 15. 15 is one green that comes to mind off the bat that it's very sloped. But I think there's a couple of pin placements there. It requires you to hit a good shot.
One on the Front 9 -- it's a long day, I'm not remembering the holes. It's a short, downhill hole.
LORIE KANE: You're right. That's a tough green to hold. Steve hit pitching wedge over the back. I hit a little 8-iron, thinking I was fine. I pitched it back.
It's going to require some thought, but that's the way it's supposed to be.
LORIE KANE: No. I think there's lots of good pin placements. Our officials will do their best in setting it up well for us.
MODERATOR: Thank you.
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