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August 22, 2012

Brooke Henderson

Augusta James

Jisoo Keel

Brittany Marchand

Christine Wong


THE MODERATOR:テつ Good morning.テつ Welcome to our first interview session of the day.テつ Happy to be joined by members of Team Canada, both our national squad and our development squad.テつ Let me introduce our guests this morning.テつ We'll start on the far left, Brittany Marchand from Orangeville, Ontario.テつ She is the 2012 Ontario Women's Amateur champion, and she is headed into her junior season at NorthCarolina State University.
Next to her, her teammate Augusta James from Bath, Ontario.テつ We've got Christine Wong who is from Richmond, B.C.テつ She is headed into her senior year at San Diego State University.テつ She's the 2012 B.C. Women's champion, and the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year.
We have Jisoo Keel from Coquitlam, B.C.テつ She was the low amateur last year at the Canadian Women's Open and she's headed to Stanford University next fall.テつ
And we have Brooke Henderson from Smith Falls, Ontario.テつ Brooke is the 2012 Royal Cup Canadian Junior Girl's champion.テつ She is the 2012 Ontario Junior Girl's champion, and she is making her debut here, first appearance at the CN Canadian Women's Open.
Now I'll start with Brittany.テつ Quick question for you to get things started.テつ You had a tremendous season down at N.C. State.テつ You're now their career medalist leader and have three career wins in collegiate golf.テつ Your confidence must be sky high right now heading into this experience here.テつ Your first LPGA Tour event here at the CN Canadian Women's Open?
BRITTANY MARCHAND:テつ Yeah, I've had a very good year, good summer.テつ My game has come a long way starting in the beginning of the spring coming to now, so I have a lot of confidence going into this event.テつ I feel ready.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Augusta, same question.テつ Just a tremendous year for you in terms of making that transition to collegiate golf.テつ You came out as the ACC Freshman of the Year this year.テつ Lot of Canadian content down at NC State.テつ How has that helped you make that transition from collegiate golf to the NCAA?
AUGUSTA JAMES:テつ First off, the coaches were really easy to get to know and they made me part of the family really quickly.テつ But having Brittany down there to show me the ropes on everything from applying to schools to a typical day that I would be expecting,テつ having Vivian down there as well, she came in as a freshman with me, so that just made it a lot easier to transition to school.テつ It didn't feel like a stressful time at all.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Christine, being from Richmond, this is essentially a home game for you.テつ Your excitement level right now must be off the charts in terms of this terrific opportunity for you.テつ So talk a little bit about that.
CHRISTINE WONG:テつ Yeah, this is my second home tournament.テつ Because the first CN event we had in Richmond.テつ It's really exciting.テつ It's not too often you get to play in a tournament on home turf.テつ It's good that I have friends and family come out and support me, so it will be fun.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Jisoo, for you, this is a home game.テつ This is your home club.テつ This must be, again, just tremendously exciting to have this opportunity to get to showcase your talent on a course you know so very well.
JISOO KEEL:テつ Yeah, the Vancouver Golf Club graciously offered me playing privileges for the year, and I really wanted to take full advantage of that opportunity.テつ I'm really grateful for them for giving me that option.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Brooke, you're the youngest player ever to compete in this tournament.テつ Just like the rest of the girls that say how excited they are.テつ In your case I know you mentioned a player that you look up to is Morgan Pressel.テつ We have 48 of the top 50 players here this week, including Morgan.テつ How excited are you to get this going and tee it up against essentially someone you've looked up to all those years in addition to all these other LPGA professionals?
BROOKE HENDERSON:テつ I'm so excited.テつ I'm looking forward to the week.テつ Morgan Pressel, I've always looked up to and she's been a great role model for me.テつ I was hitting balls on the range next to her yesterday and she introduced herself.テつ I was very excited to get to meet her.テつ Really looking forward to the week and hopefully I'll play well.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Thank you.テつ Questions?

Q.テつ Brooke, do you feel younger than everyone else or does this kind of seem normal that you're here?
BROOKE HENDERSON:テつ It just seems normal.テつ I know there is a great field of competitors, and I just want to play my game and see if I can play well this week.テつ My age doesn't really bother me.

Q.テつ You've obviously played a lot against older girls as well.テつ Is there a difference to you when you're playing in your own age group versus playing in an open field event where they're women?
BROOKE HENDERSON:テつ Not really.テつ I just try to go out every week and play the best I can and continue to improve and get better.

Q.テつ Christine, how many times have you played this course?
CHRISTINE WONG:テつ I've actually played it way back in junior golf when we had inter club, so it's been a few years.テつ They've made changes to the course.テつ So the course isn't really‑‑ for the length, and the par‑3s and the different greens.テつ Overall, it's been a few years.

Q.テつ What do you make of it with the front and back being so different?
CHRISTINE WONG:テつ The front I noticed the greens were a lot firmer and responds a lot faster than the back nine just because of the environment I guess the front nine is more open and the back nine is more closed off, and the hilliness of the course.

Q.テつ Will there be less pressure than there was playing at Richmond?
CHRISTINE WONG:テつ There's always going to be a little pressure.テつ But every week will be different.テつ Just try to play your game and enjoy every moment of it.テつ It's an experience for all of us.テつ We're so happy to be here.

Q.テつ Jisoo, how many times have you played the course now?
JISOO KEEL:テつ I've been traveling a lot throughout the year, so I haven't had an opportunity to go out on the course every day or as much as I'd like.テつ But the fast few weeks I've been going out every day.テつ The front nine and the back nine, because I don't want to play 18 and get myself tired out for this tournament.

Q.テつ Eagle Ridge, is that where you go to high school?
JISOO KEEL:テつ I go to Glen Eagle.

Q.テつ Just playing in your hometown at an event like this, what's that mean to you?
JISOO KEEL:テつ It's kind of weird, actually because my friends never actually watch me play golf because I'm all over the country or all over the state playing golf.テつ But they're really excited to come out and really excited for them to come watch me, also, my parents are here, so I'm really excited.

Q.テつ You're a fan of Morgan too, are you?

Q.テつ You got to play with her last year?
JISOO KEEL:テつ Yeah, I got the opportunity to play with her in the third round.

Q.テつ What was that like?
JISOO KEEL:テつ Awesome.テつ I was not playing as well as I'd like, but she was so nice.テつ She was very humble, and I really like her and look up to her.
THE MODERATOR:テつ Ladies, what do you think is the biggest difference right now between your games and the players who are out here on the LPGA Tour?テつ Maybe we'll start down at that end.
BRITTANY MARCHAND:テつ Not a whole lot.テつ I think we're really not that far off from the pros.テつ I mean if you look at the field there is obviously the top few who are the best in the world, and I think we are at the same level as a huge percentage of the players here.テつ I think this is a lot of mental game, short game, things that they have experience with on this length of course and this level of difficulty.テつ They have a lot more experience over us.
But I think the more we get to play an event like this and the bigger events like the U.S. Amateur and stuff like that, we start getting the experience to play with them as well.
GOLFER:テつ I think Brittany said it really well, the only major difference that all of us hope to make that transition into is making this a career after school and getting to play and practice as your job instead of having to do both, school and golf.
I think like Brittany said, it's more experience and a little bit of an advantage and stuff.
GOLFER:テつ I agree with them.テつ But there is not really that much difference where they definitely have more experience on it, a longer course.テつ So the level of difficulty is different than college golf.テつ We usually play 6100 to 6200 yards in college or and this is 6600 or something like that.テつ So we're definitely using longer clubs and trying to reach the green, it definitely shows how well your short game is.
So it's all an experience for us.テつ We'll just enjoy this week, I think.
JISOO KEEL:テつ I think our game is really close to being on par with the Tour girls.テつ The biggest difference I think is their experience with pro tournaments and the media and how they handle the pressure.テつ Hopefully I'll get better at that.
GOLFER:テつ I believe if we improve our mental game and keep getting more consistent in all aspects of our game, in a few years we could play on the LPGA Tour and hopefully get some career wins.

Q.テつ For those who played last year's Canadian Open, what do you think has changed about your game and that you've learned from that experience?
JISOO KEEL:テつ Last year was pretty important tournament for me, I guess, because it was my debut LPGA start.テつ I really do think that tournament finishing high up in that tournament really helped my game improve and I really do think that experience helped me get into the U.S. Open this year.テつ I'll take that experience coming into this week.
GOLFER:テつ Last year I didn't play quite as well as I had hoped, but I felt like I still played pretty decent.テつ I didn't make the cut though.テつ I think taking the experience from that week to this week is just how to mentally approach it a little bit better.
I've seen all this once before now, so it's not as whirlwind as it was last year.テつ Mentally approaching the golf course and mentally approaching how to deal with the field.

Q.テつ Brooke, what is your approach here to your first LPGA tournament?
BROOKE HENDERSON:テつ I'm just really looking forward to the week and want to stick to the game plan that I've come up with after looking at the course the last few days.テつ Really looking forward to the experience and want to take all the experience with me for future years.

Q.テつ What goes through your mind when you think that you're the youngest player to ever play in this tournament?
BROOKE HENDERSON:テつ It's definitely pretty awesome, especially when you look at all the great players on the LPGA Tour now and all the great players that have come before me.テつ But just like you said, really looking forward to the week and hopefully play well.

Q.テつ You've all had a busy summer pretty much and you go back to school to mention the length of the course.テつ I'm wondering how much fatigue is going to come into play over the next few days?
GOLFER:テつ Most of us played for at least 7 weeks in a row this summer.テつ Obviously, we're going to get a little home sick and miss our friends and our family.テつ But the girls that are in college right now are a little more used to being away from home and traveling a lot since they have a very busy schedule in college.
This is my second year on the National Team program, so I got a lot more used to being away from home and all the stresses of travel.テつ So we're all used to it now.

Q.テつ You have new national coaches this year.テつ Talk about how their experience and what they've taught you and what you've learned this week, the advice they've given you to be able to play this event well?
GOLFER:テつ I have to say good things about them.テつ But I've learned so many different aspects of my game and about myself and how to do things better and how to always improve.テつ You're never not going to learn something from them.テつ They're always saying something.
Every day I learned a new shot or tip or advice from them.テつ They've been really supportive and awesome.
GOLFER:テつ Yeah, Tristan and Anne, I've known Anne a lot longer than I've known Tristan.テつ But having D.I. and Rob, they're great coaches.テつ But having new ones presented a lot more opportunities to learn and grow.
Like Christine said, we were literally learning a new shot every week we stepped out there to try to battle the conditions of the week instead of fighting against it kind of thing.

Q.テつ Do you ever get any confusion or confliction between your college coaches or the coaches of your National Team?テつ How does that balance out?
GOLFER:テつ Brit and I have the same college coach, Paige Marsh.テつ Last year worked out really well.テつ This year, same thing.テつ It's pretty seamless.テつ They communicate well with each other.テつ And Paige understands this is an awesome opportunity for us to be here and has no problem letting us go whatsoever.
BROOKE HENDERSON:テつ Same with my coach, Leslie Spalding.テつ She's really open.テつ She loves the fact that I'm on the National Team.テつ She's so open to the fact of opportunities coming to me.テつ Whatever can help my game, she'll support it.

Q.テつ The dynamics of the team, you have Ontario, B.C. players.テつ Is there a friendly rivalry when you get together?
GOLFER:テつ I think there is.テつ But it's always going to be between Ontario and B.C.
But I think our camaraderie on the team is unreal.テつ I don't think you'll ever find a closer team than us.テつ Also, you're close to your college team as well, but it's good to have girls on your team, so you can always learn from them and have fun with them.テつ It's not always just about golf.テつ We have fun doing other things too.

Q.テつ Brooke, Michelle Wie said yesterday if she could give you any kind of advice at your age, it would be to soak in the experience of this particular event.テつ Do you feel like you've started that?テつ Do you feel there have been some nerves you're always smiling on the course, so it seems that that's a good thing.
BROOKE HENDERSON:テつ Yeah, I'm trying to soak everything in and take the experience with me for future years.テつ Yeah, a little bit of nerves, but I'm just really excited to be here and can't wait to start playing tomorrow.

Q.テつ What do you expect of yourself out there?
BROOKE HENDERSON:テつ I just want to play my game and stick to the game plan I've set.テつ I look forward to the next few days and hopefully to play well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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