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CN CANADIAN WOMEN'S OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP


August 22, 2012


Lorie Kane


COQUITLAM, BRITISH COLUMBIA

THE MODERATOR:  I'd like to welcome Lorie Kane into the interview room.  Thank you so much for joining us today, and welcome home to Canada.  I'm sure it's an exciting week for you and maybe even a busy one.  What has this week been like for you and how nice is it to be back home here in Canada?
LORIE KANE:  It's always great to be in Canada on the other coast.  I can't get any further from my home of Prince Edward Island.  But it's been a great week.  We flew up on the charter from Portland with the 72 players that were on the charter from Portland, so that was great to get in Sunday night.
I had an opportunity‑‑ it's been a long time since I've played in a Monday Pro‑Am.¬† I played with Karen Phillips from CN, and some guests of hers.¬† So it was a good opportunity to see the golf course.¬† Being CN's ambassador, it was a great time to spend some valuable time on the golf course with some of their great customers.
THE MODERATOR:¬† The LPGA now has quite a few Canadian players, including rookies, Maude‑Aimee Leblanc and Rebecca Lee‑Bentham, and the 14‑year‑old that is in the field this week.¬† We've also added a tournament in Canada.¬† So tell us how exciting it is to see these young players and see the game of golf grow in Canada?
LORIE KANE:¬† It's very important.¬† Behind us are two people, game Gail Graham and Dawn Coe‑Jones who are going to cover the golf this week for CBC.¬† When I was a rookie, I looked up to both of them to kind of get a feel for what it would be like to be a member of the Tour.¬† I've tried to extend that same hand to the younger players that are coming up.
Elena has been a member for the last seven years, I think, Elena's been on Tour.¬† Maude‑Aimee Leblanc unfortunately has a back injury that's going to keep her out of this tournament and the rest of the season.¬† And she has‑‑ I was able to play one round with her in March at our tournament in Phoenix, and she totally amazed me.¬† I said this kid is going to do well out here.¬† She's powerful.¬† So now we just need to get her healthy.
Canadian Women's Golf has always been strong.  I think it shows with an added event that there is definite interest in women's golf in this country.  Both will leave great impact in the community with the charitable dollars that will be raised.  And the CN Miracle Match is basically what we're here for.
We love to play golf as women.  The LPGA Tour does a great job of presenting the golf side.  But at the end of the day, the charity is what it's about, and the Miracle Match and money that will be raised for this week and the B.C. Children's Foundation will be amazing.
THE MODERATOR:  In your role as a winner, a Canadian winner on Tour, have any of those girls come up to you and asked for advice on having success on the Tour?
LORIE KANE:  That's a good question.  I wasn't afraid to ask Don or Gail, but I find some of the younger players are a little nervous and shy to come and approach me.  I consider myself one of the more approachable people, or I hope I am.  So I have been lending a hand.  Rebecca Lee is somebody I've been told needs to take a break.  If I practiced as much as she did, I would retire by now because she wears me out.  On the practice tee all day long.
But we have a lot of talent.¬† I think the younger players need to know what it takes to be out here week‑in and week out.¬† It's a grind.¬† It can be a grind.¬† You can also make it fun.¬† We're in one of the most beautiful cities we have to offer here. So we should be out, play our golf, get our practice done, and then enjoy the scenery.

Q.  Can we get your reaction to Augusta National finally getting some lady members in earlier this week?  And can you retell that story about your first trip to Augusta?
LORIE KANE:  That was fun.  Let me start with the first trip to Augusta.  It would have been in 1997 and we had just played Myrtle Beach, and we were driving to Atlanta to play.  I had had a good week in Myrtle Beach.  And Danny Sharps was my caddie and we traveled together.  He said, we're going to go to Augusta.  And I said, well, we can't go to Augusta.  You have to know somebody to get in the gate.  He said, nope, we're going to drive up to the gate.  You're going to tell them who you are and we'll take it from there.  And I said like they're going to know who I am. 
Well, we drove up to the gate, talked to the security guard.¬† The security guard called down to the golf shop.¬† Mr.Spense is the director of golf.¬† Answered the phone and said, ¬ďoh, hi, Lori.¬† Nice to chat with you.¬† I see you had a good week last week,¬Ē and I was just floored that he even knew who I was.
So he invited us down to see the golf shop.  I'm sitting in my Ford Explorer and I look to realize I have jeans on.  So Danny was driving, so I jumped in the back seat of the truck and quickly changed out of my jeans into a respectable pair of golf shorts and called my dad at the same time to say, dad, I'm on Magnolia Lane, driving down Magnolia lane to head to the golf shop to buy you a shirt from this golf course.
To answer the second part of the question, it's time.  I've been always a true believer that clubs have their rules.  It wasn't that we as women could not play the golf course, because we could play the golf course.  The fact is they have seen the light that women are moving up in the business world and running great companies.  Condoleezza Rice has done wonderful things for the United States and deserves to be a member of Augusta.
I don't know much about the other woman that has been given a membership, but it's a start.  Probably well overdue.

Q.  You've been out here a long time and seen some peaks and valleys, I would imagine, as far as the LPGA tournament.  Where do you see the Tour now?  Do you see it in a good place, heading in the right direction?
LORIE KANE:¬† Absolutely.¬† I think Commissioner Whan has done a fabulous job of making us part of the team.¬† Giving players and making players realize that we're a company, and we're only as good as we put forward.¬† I think our product, the brand couldn't be any stronger.¬† I think we're getting ‑‑ the economy's getting better, some might say it is still is, but I think people are seeing value in the LPGA.¬† As a result of that, I think our tournaments are getting stronger.¬† We have two great events here in this country.

Q.  Under previous management, the diversity of the Tour, and the racial ethnic diversity of the Tour was seen by some as a negative.  Now it seems that's been turned into a positive.  Would awe agree?
LORIE KANE: ¬†Absolutely, just look at this city.¬† I've always said, and I don't understand marketing sometimes.¬† But I know that with the Korean population we have on Tour, those kids find places to eat Korean food in every city and state we travel to.¬† We need to go out and encourage those Korean people who may be Canadian‑Korean, American‑Korean, Korean, Korean to come out and watch us, because they support one another.
The diversity of this Tour is I think, exciting.  Our country is a diverse country.  So it should be a positive, for sure.

Q.¬† Have you met the 14‑year‑old girl from Ontario who has qualified?¬† What do you think of a 14‑year‑old playing in this event and qualifying to do it?
LORIE KANE:  I've been following her.  I have not met her.  Brooke is her name.  I have not met Brooke, but like I said, I have followed the CN Tour, so I knew that she was successful in winning an event to earn the right to play here.  And I think it's great.  I think it's encouraging for other kids to come along and follow.  To know that there are things to do, places to play to grow the game.  I think CN has done a good job and golf Canada.  She's a member of Team Canada I believe, so that's all good.

Q.  How good were you when you were 14?  (Indiscernible)?
LORIE KANE:¬† Yes, I was, Don.¬† How good was I when I was 14?¬† Probably not good enough to be playing on the Canadian Women's Open.¬† Yeah, no.¬† I mean, today we did the future links program on our third hole, and there was a 12‑year‑old, Olivia, who is from Ontario who came out here to play in the drive, chip and putt challenge.¬† I said, "How old are you?"¬† She said, "I'm 12."¬† I said, "How long have you been playing golf?"¬† She said, "six years."¬† And I was like holy smokes.¬† They're getting younger and younger and younger, but that's great because they're going to stay with the game, I hope, for a long time.

Q.  Your game in particular kind of under the radar had a pretty good year.  How much of that do you attribute to the fact that you might be as strong as you've ever been in your career?
LORIE KANE:  I attribute a lot to it.  Not only physically, but I feel really good about where I am right now.  I'm enjoying every bit of golf that I can play and every day that I'm above ground.  I feel very fortunate that I can still play.
I've put in some hard work over the last number of years.  This didn't happen overnight.  I've got a good team of people around me, good support from home.  I've been able to be home this summer for a little bit.  Life's way too short to be sweating the small stuff.  I think it's taken me a while to realize that.  So I'm enjoying the process, and whatever that process is, I'll tee it up tomorrow and know that I'll give it all I've got to be the best I can be and smile and giggle and get it done.

Q.  If Brooke was to walk up to you and ask for one piece of advice, what would that advice be?
LORIE KANE:  To enjoy the experience of this week, to just be yourself, to play the game like obviously she's capable of, and not get caught up in all of the other things, which at 15 I don't think she will.  But she's obviously quite competitive, and that is a positive.  For the future, I think she needs to take every opportunity she can.
I'm a true proponent that school is a good direction to go in, because what you learn at school, you can't learn out here.  Growing up on the road is not easy.  I think both Don and Gail went to Lamar, right?  And graduated.  And I think there is a lot to be said for that.
I didn't play college golf.  That is one thing that I would have loved to have done.  So if Brooke has an opportunity to do that kind of stuff, I would tell her, go that direction.  The Tour is only going to get stronger in the next five to ten years.  The younger player needs to go somewhere else to get experience, and then be ready for all it takes to be a professional golfer.

Q.  With all the strength of the Canadian golfers and the young ones coming up, is there a passing of the baton happening?  Do you feel that?  I know Elena's been in the middle of your age and their age.  Do you feel like it's now starting to turn to the point where Canada's going to start looking at the young ones?
LORIE KANE:  I'm not letting go of the baton (laughing).  I'm going to make a hell of an anchor, and I am not letting go.  Did I answer that?  All right.

Q.  You're at 99 Top 10 finishes.  How important would it be to get to that round number of a hundred?
LORIE KANE:  99's not a bad number.  Gretzky was 99 for a long time.  Had a little bit of success.  I don't want the next one to just be a Top 10.  My goal is to get in the winner's circle, and that's what I'm striving to do.

Q.  Just in terms of pure distance off the tee, we watched you hit a couple of drives today.  Are you as long if not longer than you've ever been?
LORIE KANE:¬† I'm longer.¬† I think it's a combination of a bunch of stuff though.¬† I think technology‑‑ distance comes from, obviously, your fundamentals, but I think driver shaft, the combinations.¬† I'm playing with the Tailor Made Burner, which is the Whitehead Burner, but I think it's a series behind.¬† But the combination we put together is really good.¬† And I play the Bridgestone golf ball, which, for me is ten yards further than any of the other balls I've tested.
Then to add on top of that the stability and the strength that I've gotten with the help of Sean Foley and Danny, it's made a difference for me.

Q.  Can you talk about what it means to have a chance to play in Canada here and what a good result in this tournament would mean to you?
LORIE KANE:  Any opportunity that we get to come home and play is huge.  I definitely want to take advantage of the Canadian fans, the support I get from CN, to put the best game I can forward.
Having said that, tomorrow is another day.  Today was good.  I felt great on the golf course.  I'm going to tee it up tomorrow with Brittany Lang and Michelle Wie, which will be an exciting group to be with.  I'm going to go out and play the best I can.  It is really awesome to have the support that I get when I do come home.  So everything is good.

Q.  Players have been saying all week long that there are two unique nines on this course.  One shorter, hilly, the other a little longer.  Other than yourself, of course, who do you pick to win this week?  Who does it play strengths to or does it?
LORIE KANE:¬† Like most weeks, it's going to come down to putting and positioning of your ball on the green.¬† When we played here in '91, the nines were reversed.¬† So I think‑‑ it's my feeling that the back nine is maybe the more scoreable nine based on the green.¬† The complexes aren't as severely sloped.
We've got an awful lot of very good golf strikers, and I've been playing a lot of golf lately with Inbee Park.  And Inbee is just tactical.  Boom, boom, and putts very well.  So a player like Inbee.  I mean, I could go down the list.
I don't think that length is the real key here.¬† A couple of the par‑5s, possibly.¬† But I think it's all positioning.¬† The fairways are pretty generous in spots, but, again, you have to‑‑ it's all about what you're coming into the greens.¬† Granted, I'm going to contradict myself, because maybe length is key, because the shorter you have to go on the greens, the better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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