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July 29, 2011

Caroline Masson


THE MODERATOR: Good evening, all. We have Caroline Masson in with a 65, 7-under par leading to a one-shot lead in the championship. How does it feel to be leading the Ricoh British Open?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, awesome. Unbelievable right now. Of course I didn't expect to lead at any time here, but I just had two great days and I'm very happy about playing so well and leading it now.

Q. What has gone so well for you so far?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, everything was just really solid. I mean, I hit the fairways, I hit the greens, hit some really close, made some putts. Hardly made any mistakes, so I think that was just the key the last two days.

Q. Have you led an LET event before?
CAROLINE MASSON: No, I don't think so.

Q. Good one to start with?
CAROLINE MASSON: Pretty good, yeah.

Q. I see your father is a tennis professional. Is he a well-known figure in Germany?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, no, he's just a local tennis coach and doing some stuff with the different teams from different countries and Germany. But he's been a good tennis player, didn't make his -- turn pro or anything, but yeah.

Q. Can you tell us about yourself?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, I'm 22, was born in Gladbeck, kind of a small city near Düsseldorf. What else? I have a brother who's here with me this week, very nice support, so yeah.

Q. Are you still coached by Guenter Kessler, and can you tell us what you've been working on coming into this championship?
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, I still am. I'm with Guenter Kessler, who's Martin Kaymer's coach, as well, and I've worked with him for I think 10 or 11 years now. It's worked pretty well and we're just trying to prepare for British Open conditions, so tried to hit some low balls, and that was pretty much it. I saw him for two weeks before I came here, and we worked on these things, just keep the ball low, and he gave me some tips. What was probably most important, he told me some stuff Martin told him about his British Open and his attitude and all that. You really have to like links golf and accept whatever comes, whatever conditions you have, and I think that helped me quite a lot.

Q. You must have had some idea you were playing quite well coming into here because you've had a run of pretty good results on Tour, haven't you.
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, I'm playing really well this year, had a couple of top tens, a second place, and I've hit the ball really well the whole year. Right now it feels like it's all coming together. I'm putting well, my short game is all right, and I'm just not in trouble very much on this golf course. Yeah, it feels really, really good right now.

Q. Have you played much links golf in the past?
CAROLINE MASSON: I don't want to say much because we have no links courses in Germany. I played the British Am, of course, and I played last year at Birkdale. Not very good, but it was a very good experience. I was playing some links courses and I have some experience, I think, but probably not as much as the local players.

Q. Were you made to play tennis as a youngster?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, I was starting playing tennis -- I was playing tennis I think until I was about 14, 15, just because it's a great sport for kids to run. My dad didn't make me to play, but he like me to. And yeah, I could always do what I wanted. My parents played golf a little bit, my grandfather, they took me to the golf course, and I picked it up and started liking it when I was about 10 or 11, and yeah, just worked really well. I got better and just chose it over tennis then.

Q. Had you ever played Carnoustie before this week?

Q. Had you seen it on TV in Open Championships?
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, a little bit. I mean, of course you remember Van de Velde, in golf history. I had some pictures in my mind, but I haven't played the course. I was just trying to focus on the practice rounds, just play the course and see how it is, and it's been good to me so far.

Q. Have you spent some time at Oklahoma State?

Q. Can you just tell us a bit about that? You didn't come across Rickie Fowler?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, yeah, Rickie was there and Peter Uihlein was there and Caroline Hedwall was there. So there were some really good players when I was playing for Oklahoma State. It was a really good time. It was just one year because of different things coming together where I didn't stay, but it's a great experience over there. College golf is really good to learn and make a lot of experience and meet great people. So it was a wonderful experience for me, but one year was enough.

Q. (No microphone.)
CAROLINE MASSON: No, not right now, no.

Q. Any idea what you might do to while away the time tomorrow?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, I have some experience in entertaining myself before the round. I started at 3.30 today. I don't know, just get some sleep, just sleep in, and I don't know, maybe Facebook. But just try and entertain myself a little bit.

Q. How do you think you'll feel tomorrow, nervous, confident?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, definitely nervous. I think when you're leading the British Open and playing in the last group you have to be nervous. That's just part of everything. But I'm confident in my game, and I just hope to play like I've played the last two days. I'll just try to enjoy it and really enjoy this moment in my career. I think just go out there and have fun is the most important thing for me tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much indeed, and well done.

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