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July 30, 2011

Caroline Masson


THE MODERATOR: Good evening, all. We have Caroline Masson, the championship leader, after 54 holes on 15-under par 201, having just scored a 68 to give her a two-shot lead going into the final round. Congratulations. Could you tell us how you enjoyed your round today.
CAROLINE MASSON: I did enjoy it. I mean, I was quite nervous at the beginning, made bogey on the 1st hole but then birdied the 2nd, so I felt really confident after that. I hit some really good shots out there, made some putts, and yeah, just enjoyed the gallery and my game. It was a very nice day out there.
THE MODERATOR: Did you think the course was playing a little bit harder today?
CAROLINE MASSON: I think so. I think the pins were much tougher today. I mean, there was some wind out there, which didn't make it easy, but I mean, especially the pins were difficult, so that's probably why the scores weren't as good as they have been.
THE MODERATOR: I think this is only your second major championship.
THE MODERATOR: What does it feel like to be leading going into the final round?
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, I don't know. Really, really good, of course, but I can't really believe it. I'm just trying to enjoy every moment and just realise what's happening. Yeah, it's a strange feeling right now.

Q. When you finished last night did you just relax? Did you manage to sleep last night?
CAROLINE MASSON: I slept really, really well last night. I mean, we just had some trouble finding some food. All the restaurants were closed or they didn't have any food anywhere because it was really quite late. But once I was in my bed I was quite tired because it was an exhausting day. I slept really, really well, and yeah, been really good so far.

Q. Were you aware of what Yani Tseng was doing?
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, I mean, I was watching the leaderboard so I knew what she was doing. I was playing so well, I just tried to concentrate on my golf and was confident out there. I always feel better if I know what everyone else is doing, but I was in the lead by quite a few shots at some moments, so that gave me even more confidence, I guess.

Q. I bumped into quite a few Germans from the federation, your brethren, also the Popov family. Were you aware that there were quite a few Germans supporting you out there?
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, I mean, the Popovs were supporting me the whole way, always watched my rounds. There were quite a few Germans out there. I just heard it. They were trying to speak German to me and everything. It was nice to have some German support out there, but all the spectators were great and supported us really well, so it was just a nice day out there.

Q. Can you just talk about playing with Yani tomorrow?
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, very excited already. She's the best player in the world, and she proved that the last years and played so well in pretty much every major tournament. I'm very excited, and I'm really looking forward to meeting her and playing with her, and I'm pretty sure I can learn a lot from her tomorrow.

Q. How much do you know about Yani? Is there anything she does that impresses you? She's also looking forward to meeting you and would like to make friends with you.
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, I mean, I don't know her personally, but I know she's a very nice girl. Obviously her golf is amazing. She hits it very good, very far. I mean, most important, she's a nice girl and she's always friendly to everyone. I really like that about her. Yeah, I think it's going to be a fun round tomorrow.

Q. When you arrived here at the start of the week, what was your expectation?
CAROLINE MASSON: I didn't really know. I mean, I played really bad last year and just knew that I was playing well. I played well the whole year, and I just said, okay, I want to make the cut, maybe a top 20 would be a good finish but just see how the course is, see how I actually hit it here. I didn't have too many expectations, I was just thinking let's see what's going to happen.

Q. Just looking at your record, you have obviously played well this year. But this is a huge jump up. Is there any explanation for it do you think?
CAROLINE MASSON: I don't know, it's just coming together. You know, I hit the ball very well all the time, and then my short game wasn't as good or my putting didn't really work. So it's just all coming together right now, and I have been making mistakes. I keep out of trouble here, which is very important.
I was actually waiting for that moment, not especially at the British Open, but just to have it all come together and really play well and maybe win a tournament. It's just unbelievable that it's happening this week.

Q. This would be a good one to win.
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, absolutely, no doubt.

Q. Up until this week what's the most exciting or the best thing that's happened in your golfing career, before this week?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, I mean, I had some really nice moments as an amateur. We won the team championship and all that stuff. That's really emotional moments. I finished second before in Mallorca, which was a bit disappointing but still a good result. But nothing compares to this. It's just a huge step really and great fun.

Q. Will you have any of your family here tomorrow watching you?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, my brother is here with me the whole week. I don't know, I don't think my parents are going to come. They would love to probably, but I didn't really talk to them yet. Maybe they'll just come tomorrow, I have no idea. But it's really nice having my brother here because we hardly see each other and we enjoy spending time together, and he's a great support for me.

Q. What's your brother's name?

Q. Older or younger than you?
CAROLINE MASSON: He's two years younger, he's 20.

Q. Have you had any contact with Martin Kaymer or any text messages or emails?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, not yet. I don't know if he's following it. I think so. He's a really nice guy. Maybe he's going to send me a message, maybe not, but I know that he's following me a bit. Yeah, we'll see, I don't know.

Q. The advice you got from your coach from Martin about links golf, is there anything specific that you have used today or the last three days?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, it's more like the mental side that you just accept whatever is coming, the conditions, and you just -- that you're prepared for bad bounces or maybe an unlucky shot or whatever. But Martin loves links golf and loves this -- I don't know, loves this kind of golf. I was thinking about that a little more. Sometimes I'm getting mad when I get a bad bounce or whatever, so I think that helped me a bit to stay calm on the course and just accept whatever is coming.

Q. Could you tell us about your caddie? I was asked for his name.
CAROLINE MASSON: His name is Martin Ridley. He's from England. We started working together in September last year. He was caddying for Bettina Hauert, a very good player before, a German player, and yes, it's really going well. Our first finish was third, I think, so it was going well from the beginning, and we just really have a good time out there.

Q. You're a member of the same golf club as Sandra Gal; is that correct?

Q. Which one is that?
CAROLINE MASSON: Golf Club Hubbelrath in German. It's in Düsseldorf. It's a big club in Düsseldorf. We played together in our German team championships. It's just very nice to see her sometimes. Not very often, because she's playing in the States. But nice to see her, nice to talk to her, yeah.

Q. German golf, it looks like Sandra Gal stepped up this year and obviously Martin Kaymer, and after Bernhard Langer, there was a drought going, and all of a sudden Martin Kaymer came up and Sandra Gal and you. Looks like quality rather than quantity out there. Tell us a little bit about German golf, the situation right now.
CAROLINE MASSON: I think the Federation does a really good job. That's why right now is the moment that there are more players coming and turning pro and playing really well because they have really good national coaches, national teams, and quite a bit of manager support. I think that's really important, and there are just more and more good amateurs coming, boys and girls, and it's unfortunate we don't have that many players on the men's or the women's tours because they somehow don't want to turn pro or don't dare to, I don't know why. But I think that's going to change in the near future. We have really good amateurs out there, so I'm looking forward to the next years to see who turns pro and who's playing really well.
THE MODERATOR: Could we get the details of the birdies and the couple of bogeys, please?
CAROLINE MASSON: Yes, of course. 1, hit a really bad tee shot there but hit the green, three-putted unfortunately, but just not an easy start. I felt a bit nervous.

Q. What was the distance of your three-putt?
CAROLINE MASSON: About 12 metres, something like that.
The birdie, I hit about two metres there, really good shot in there, 5-iron.
Then on 5, 4-iron in there, pretty tough hole today with the pin, I think. Pin was in the back, and made a really good putt like down the right. That was a pretty good putt. That was about three metres maybe.
6, I hit the green in two and just two-putted for birdie from about 10 metres. I hit a 4-iron.
11, I hit a very good second shot, again, about two metres maybe, pretty straight putt there. That was an 8-iron.
14, put it in the bunker on the right side. That was not a really tough bunker shot but still a long one, so not really easy. It was like about three metres short probably, made that putt.
17, hit the green again in two, two-putted from 10 metres probably.
Bogey on 18, just hit a -- I had some really, really high tee shots and that was one of them, and then I had a really long shot in, hit a 3-iron and hit that in the bunker. Bunker shot wasn't easy, but I was happy to actually make bogey there.

Q. You probably walked off thinking that was a good bogey?
CAROLINE MASSON: That was a good bogey, yeah. The bunker shot wasn't too bad actually. But it's just fine. As I said, I just made some mistakes out there, and to get away with a bogey, I think especially in that situation, I have to be happy.

Q. Do you support a specific football club or players?
CAROLINE MASSON: That's a good question. Yeah, Schalke 04. Well, it's an okay football club in Germany. The stadium is about five minutes from where I grew up, Schalke. That's where Raul is right now. It's just a good German club. They did really good in the championship last year, so that was awesome. Yeah, just really into it.
I mean, I'm not there very often because obviously don't really have the time, but if I get the chance to see a game, I just go to the stadium. It's just a family thing. I mean, my brother's a fan, my dad, yeah. You just have to be a Schalke fan if you grow up there.

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