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July 7, 2011

Amy Anderson


THE MODERATOR: Through 13 holes, 2-under par, Amy Anderson.

Q. You're going to be the first day leader of the U.S. Women's Open. How do you feel about that?
AMY ANDERSON: Well, it's pretty exciting. I wasn't expecting it. I was pretty nervous on the first tee this morning and then settled down. I hit my first drive really good, and that helped me calm down a little bit.
Yeah, first day leader, that's way more than I could have really imagined.

Q. How does this course compare in the environment here with what you're used to playing or other courses you've played?
AMY ANDERSON: It's a lot different. I never really played around the mountains. The greens to me were really tricky. I had my brother on the bag. He's caddying for me. He's figuring 'em out pretty well, and that's helped a ton.
I'm putting pretty well, and I missed just one fairway. I think I missed two greens. So it's just everything is pretty solid.

Q. What's your brother's name?

Q. He's caddied for you several times. Is he starting to get to know your game a lot better and be a lot more help?
AMY ANDERSON: I think he knows it a little better than I do. No, he's got it figured out. Honestly, he just tells me what to do and I do it.

Q. Your golf season in North Dakota cannot be very long in college. Can you just sort of give us a timetable of when you play, when you can't play?
AMY ANDERSON: Yeah, it depends on the year, but generally I'm out there -- this year it took about middle of May before I could practice outside consistently.
We're usually done by November. Sometimes we're done in October.

Q. How do you keep sharp?
AMY ANDERSON: Oh, we have an indoor facility. It's basically a 60-yard range. I hit balls in there, basically fine tune my swing.
Then when it comes to summer I'm just outside practicing my short game as much as I can.

Q. Did you consider the idea of going south for college golf?
AMY ANDERSON: Not really. I basically wanted to stay near my swing coach and near my family. I graduated at 16, so I wasn't too keen on the idea of leaving home right away. I knew I was going to go to North Dakota State.

Q. How far is that from your home?
AMY ANDERSON: It's about 20 minutes. It's really close.

Q. How do you think this stoppage affects the momentum?
AMY ANDERSON: You know what? Actually, I like the rain because it's gonna soften the course, make it a little easier to score. Yeah, the momentum, it does certainly slow that down.
I wanted to keep going - at least wanted to finish out my putting on hole 13 - but I guess you can't really control the weather. I'm gonna go out there and just pretend I'm starting on hole 1, I guess, tomorrow.

Q. Were you surprised they called it for the rest of the day?
AMY ANDERSON: I was. I mean, it really doesn't look that bad out here. I was surprised at that. It will be nice just to go home and relax, though.

Q. In the wintertime does your team go down to Florida? Can you play on real golf courses between November and May?
AMY ANDERSON: Between November and February I'm just indoors on turf, and then we start traveling with tournaments and stuff to Arizona, Florida, different places.
But it's a huge adjustment.

Q. I'm sure you're used to playing in all kinds of weather. This probably doesn't phase you.
AMY ANDERSON: Well, the weather wasn't even that bad; it was just the lightning. Not getting any rain here really.

Q. What's it like in the clubhouse locker room after they called the weather and everyone is in there? Are people anxious? Frustrated? How would you describe it?
AMY ANDERSON: It's just a zoo. Everybody wants to get out and finish, especially the people that maybe had one hole left. They will come out here tomorrow at 7:45, and may not get to start their next round.
It kind of throws -- I guess it's not very good for them.

Q. What did you do to pass the time away?
AMY ANDERSON: Um, I basically just hung out with my family, my coach, some friends that are down here from North Dakota. I just sat and ate.

Q. How many people are here?
AMY ANDERSON: I'd say probably like 20 or 30 people from North Dakota.

Q. You're not going to be on the favorites list. Does that help maybe relieve the pressure?
AMY ANDERSON: Yeah. I like being the underdog. It's a position I'm really comfortable with. I mean, to me, I don't expect to go out and win this or continue playing like this.
I mean, I'm gonna try and work as hard as I can to do that, but I'm just going out there and having fun. This is an awesome experience that it's once in a lifetime.

Q. Can you tell us about some of your best holes.
AMY ANDERSON: Well, hole 5 I had a 6-iron in, and I stuck it to about three inches. That was great for the momentum.
And then hole 9 I had about 90 yards in and put it to about a foot and a half.

Q. How long was the first one, the approach shot?
AMY ANDERSON: The first one was about 167 yards, if I remember right.

Q. You got a birdie putt on 12 when you get back?
AMY ANDERSON: On 13. I have about a 15-footer for birdie.

Q. (Off microphone.)
AMY ANDERSON: I hit a 6-iron. I hit seven 6-irons today, so that's the club.

Q. Do you have any heroes in North Dakota? The Byrums from there, or are they're from South Dakota?
AMY ANDERSON: I don't really know. You know, at my club, Mike Podolak, he's a USGA champion, so he's kind of a guy to look up to.
As far as women's golf, there really isn't anybody who's done anything. And so for me, my heros were the people I saw on TV.

Q. Have you had any of these moments this week, sort of awe moments where you're right next to one of those people or anything like that?
AMY ANDERSON: Yeah, when I got here I think last week on Thursday, Suzann Pettersen was playing right behind me. I was like, Okay, this is for real, you know.

Q. Is your hometown pronounced Oxbow?
AMY ANDERSON: Yeah, Oxbow.

Q. Tell us about it.
AMY ANDERSON: It's a town of about 300. Basically just a golf course with no houses. No gas station, no grocery store, nothing too glamourous.
But Fargo is a pretty decent-sized town, and that's just 10 minutes away.

Q. Is it an 18-hole course?

Q. Did you play other sports in high school?
AMY ANDERSON: I didn't, no.

Q. You've played some good golf in your young life. What's your aspirations? Do you picture yourself winning this tournament one day, even if it's not this year?
AMY ANDERSON: I would love to, of course. I'm just going to keep working as hard as I can. Eventually when I graduate I'd love to turn pro.
But that's one of those things where because golf is so finicky, it's hard to tell this early whether or not that will work.

Q. You mentioned people you watched on TV that you looked up to. Any players in particular you looked up to?
AMY ANDERSON: The biggest one was Suzann Pettersen, and of course Annika. I haven't met Annika, but I'd love to. Cristie Kerr, all the players that, you know, obviously work really hard at this have been good role models.

Q. You mentioned the 60-yard indoor bubble facility. Are there months that you actually don't even hit at all, the worst of the winter?
AMY ANDERSON: Yeah, I actually take a break in basically November and December, and then I start hitting again in the first of the year.
But it's not because of the weather. It's just because I need a break mentally.

Q. How many clubs can you hit in that facility, one?
AMY ANDERSON: No, I hit everything, and then there's just a net in back of it where it flies into. I find it really good because there are flags up there and strings that I'll aim at, and I can really fine tune my swing with that.

Q. So the break works out too? That keeps you fresh?
AMY ANDERSON: I love it. When the spring comes I'm ready to go. I'm really excited.

Q. How long a stretch is it before you -- when you do not get to hit on grass?
AMY ANDERSON: Um, it's about four months, and then once we do start hitting, it's actually in Arizona or Florida. It's not in North Dakota.

Q. What are you majoring in?
AMY ANDERSON: Accounting.

Q. Do you have a certain routine you go through? Do you have any superstitions before each round?
AMY ANDERSON: No superstitions. I just go to the range about an hour before I tee off, practice a little bit, go to the putting green.
Pretty much the same as most players.

Q. What was the hardest hole for you so far today?
AMY ANDERSON: Today on hole 6 I missed the fairway and I had to punch out, and then I got up-and-down for par. I'd say the hardest hole on the course is hole 11, because it's playing so long and it's difficult to hold the green.
So I was very happy to get away with par there.

Q. At any point did you look up and see your name atop the U.S. Open leaderboard?
AMY ANDERSON: As I was walking up hole 7 I did. That was surreal. My brother and I joked, like, well, somebody better get a picture of that. It's not gonna be up there for very long. It's going to be up there all night, so I'm excited.

Q. What's your best round?
AMY ANDERSON: Best round in competition was 66. That was at Deacons Lodge in Minnesota. Just a junior event.

Q. Is your brother older?
AMY ANDERSON: He's 19 months older.

Q. What's his best round?
AMY ANDERSON: I don't know. I don't know.

Q. Tell me, how many holes did you get through today?
AMY ANDERSON: I'm on the 13th green.

Q. And I understand it's going well out there. What's working well for you?
AMY ANDERSON: You know what? I'm just hitting the ball well. I missed one fairway and two greens through 13 holes. I'm hitting it right where I want to. That's helping a lot. The greens are slower than they were. That makes the putting easier.

Q. Anything else you found working well that's not working well for other people out there? What do you see they're struggling with that you're doing well?
AMY ANDERSON: I really think it's hitting the fairways. If you get off the fairway here you're going to have thick lies you can't get out.
If you are hitting the fairways, you are a hitting the greens, it's going to be good.

Q. How is the course set up for you?
AMY ANDERSON: It's good. It's long, so I have a lot of hybrids and longer irons into the greens. If you're hitting those straight, that's fine.

Q. Any local knowledge helping you out on the putting or anything?
AMY ANDERSON: You know, we got here over a week ago, and so my brother who is caddying for me has really charted out the greens and figured out how they're rolling.
He takes care of all that and I do what he tells me to.

Q. Good luck in the rest of your round.
AMY ANDERSON: Thank you.

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