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August 23, 2011

Lorie Kane


THE MODERATOR: All right. We'd like to welcome Lorie Kane into the interview room. Thank you for joining us today. First off, back home in Canada, how nice is it for you to come back to this event?
LORIE KANE: Oh, well, I don't think there's real good words to describe what it's like to be able to come home and showcase another part of our great country to the best women golfers in the world.
CN does a great job of hosting us; and I got to play the course today, so it's going to be a good test.
THE MODERATOR: I know it's been a long time since a Canadian has won.
LORIE KANE: Uh-huh. 1973 to be exact.
THE MODERATOR: You know that well. But when look at the state of the game in Canada and a lot of these young Canadian golfers that are coming out, too, kind of what are your thoughts on that?
LORIE KANE: Well, I played a practice round today with two of our Team Canada players, Jessica and Nicole Vandermade.
Nicole is -- well first of all, Jessica qualified here by winning one of the CN Tour events which I think is a great feat as an amateur. And Nicole I've been watching for the last couple of years, and I think that she's somebody definitely on my radar that has length and strength, and she basically hits it like a guy and is going to I think progress very quickly. I think her plan is to finish school this year, but I think the state of our game in Canada is very good.
THE MODERATOR: And just some initial thoughts on the golf course from having played it.
LORIE KANE: Well, quite a bit different from when I was here for the media day, maybe that was the end of May, first of June. You guys were here. I can't remember.
Yeah, it's in great shape, and I know you've had a bunch of rain maybe last night or the night before. So I'm looking for it to dry out, get firm, fast. I originally had said to some girls that it wasn't a bomber's paradise, and if it stays soft, it's going to become a bomber's paradise. But I think into the greens is where golf tournaments are won or lost, and I think you're going to have to position yourself that if you get above the hole on the front nine you can be in trouble, and the same applies really to the back, but I think they're a little more subtle on the back.
But no, I think it's going to be a great test of golf and it should be. It's our national open, and we just need to get a Canadian past the finish line.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Lorie?

Q. In your role now as a Canadian winner on the Tour playing with those two young girls today, what sort of questions do they ask you out there about getting in the winner's circle like you did four times and coming close on a number of other occasions?
LORIE KANE: We just talked kind of generally as to what their next -- the process that they're going to be going through. They're both seniors in university and getting ready to decide where they want to go.
We had another Canadian in the group today, Jessica's caddy, Fred Franklin, who by far is one of the best players I think I've ever watched hit a golf ball. And he's the assistant coach I think in Colorado where Jessica goes to school.
So you know, when you have somebody like that in the group, he brought -- we were talking, you know, how he had played as a professional and how you kind of take that next step in the game.
And you know, frankly I'm here to encourage them because I was really lucky that I had a lot of help from a lot of different people; and they asked to play a practice round with me, which was quite flattering. And you know, come Thursday we're competitors, but I'm going to give back as much as I have taken from the game for sure.

Q. I would like to know how does it feel knowing that such young players are looking up to you?
LORIE KANE: It's great. Someone's in the room here, Dawn Coe-Jones that once said to me, coming home and playing Canada is like having an extra club in your bag, so embrace it. Because for a while I didn't embrace it. I was very nervous to come home and play because the expectations not only for myself but for what other people want for us. Of course we want a Canadian to win. And I didn't handle that burden very well. Now I embrace it.
So Dawn gave me lots of hope, so I'm giving back to the younger players, and yes, I'll say it again, it was very flattering to get a call from Brent to say could you or would you be interested in playing a practice round with Jessica, and Nicole just happened to be on the tee today, and I said come play with us. We had fun.

Q. Do you feel that there's any more pressure being a Canadian and playing here?
LORIE KANE: There's pressure every week. And it's the pressure that you put on yourself. We're here for one reason and that's to be the best that we can be, and if a win comes with that, great.
You know, I'd be lying if I told you that I wasn't thinking that I would very much like to win because that's why I'm here. To hoist the CN Canadian Women's trophy would be fantastic, and I think -- you know, it's Tuesday. I've got to ease my way into the week, ease my way into Thursday, Friday, Saturday and see what's in store for Sunday.

Q. Lorie, Michelle Wie was in here before. When she was 15 it looked like she was going to dominate golf and now she's 21 and she's doing okay but not dominating golf. Do you think that she will at some point in the next few years become what people thought she would be for the last decade?
LORIE KANE: How does one answer that question? I'm going to tell you Michelle's probably one of the most talented golfers I've ever seen. I had the opportunity to play in a practice round with her at Carnoustie. When Michelle decides that she really wants to be a winner in this game, I don't think there's going to be any stopping her.
I don't know that Michelle is quite there yet because it's a process. She is 21. She started playing competitive golf with us when she was 15. I remember playing in a tournament with her in Columbus, Ohio and she was hitting her 5-wood past my driver, and I thought, wow.
But it's not about hitting the ball. It's about scoring. It's about playing the game. It's about learning to play the game. And you know, if Tiger says he needs rest, well, then Michelle probably needs more competition. And the more she plays, the more confident she's going to become. And then she's going to get tired of being 10th, 15th, 20, whatever and she's going to win. And she'll win a lot.

Q. Lorie, I know you've been on the forefront as far as the status of this event over the years and it's lost the major label. Do you see the day coming back, is the fight continuing to get it back to where it belongs?
LORIE KANE: That's another good question, Randy. First and foremost, this is probably the best tournament on tour that we're involved with. The U.S. Open is the U.S. Open. But this national championship, what CN does for the players, bringing us the great facilities across the country, the purse size, everything has major status. Golf Canada's involvement makes it even -- it's our national championship.
Adding that major status to it, you know, I know how I feel about it. I have lobbied hard and it's really out of my control as to where it goes from there. I don't know what more we can do.
And you know, as a member of the tour, I'll be honest with you, I was a little bit hurt when the Evian was given major status and we weren't, because I felt that we had done everything that we needed to do over the last number of years. When du Maurier left, I don't believe that the tournament changed. Maybe a tiny bit, but it has been elevated.
So yeah, but the nuts and bolts of it are this. You've got the strongest field of the year on a great golf course with a big purse with a sponsor who loves women's golf, and more importantly a sponsor who is dedicated to leaving something behind, and that's the Miracle Match. And this year we have two hospitals that are going to benefit greatly from that. So is it a major? Sure it is.

Q. And just your thoughts on Canada getting a second LPGA Tour event starting next year. What does that say for the LPGA Tour and what does it say for women's golf in this country at the professional level?
LORIE KANE: I think it's very exciting. You know, we're in a situation in the U. S. where it's tough to find the corporate dollars to host us. You know, when Dawn and I were -- when I was first on tour, and Dawn, you can speak to this, too, we had 40 events to play in. And now, if I was a rookie looking at the schedule, I'd be thinking, wow, how many I going to get competition and competitive experience with the small schedule we have.
So when Waterloo was named to the schedule, it was like, great. You know, we're a big country. I think we can handle two LPGA tournaments. I think that area of Ontario is a hot bed for golf, and obviously Manulife is excited about having the event and being a part of it. So you know, I don't think it has any effect on this event. In fact, I think it elevates women's golf in this country.
THE MODERATOR: Any more questions for Lorie? Okay. Thanks.
LORIE KANE: Guys, I say this every time I come in here. We can't tell the story without your help, so thank you very much.

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