April 28, 2021
Republic of Singapore
Sentosa Golf Club
THE MODERATOR: Patty, thank you for joining us. Was this your first 18 holes here at Sentosa Golf Club?
PATTY TAVATANAKIT: No, I played here probably three years ago for the Asian Pacific amateur, so I've played the course, but it's the first time playing 18 holes pro-am walking.
Q. In this heat it's definitely different. What has this been like coming here to Singapore? You're one of two rookies in the field this week, so what has this experience been like, and what is it like adjusting to not only these temperatures but also these COVID protocols, as well?
PATTY TAVATANAKIT: You know, I'm just really glad that we're all back in Asia and playing again, obviously. I haven't been in Asia at all since the pandemic. Love Singapore, always love visiting, I just wish we could do more things outside the hotel, but we're not allowed to due to the restriction right now, which is fine, but I always enjoy coming here and playing golf here. The course is in great condition, and everyone is just so welcoming.
Really appreciate all the work that the tournament staff and HSBC and all the sponsors that put everything together this week. I can't imagine how hard it must be.
Q. We were able to see you for a little bit in LA, but I know it was the first tournament back after your ANA Inspiration win, and now as you said it's your first time back in Asia since winning, since becoming a major champion. As you've kind of reflected over the past couple weeks, what has it been like for you adjusting now to someone who can call themselves a major champion?
PATTY TAVATANAKIT: Yeah, there's a little bit more attention given towards me. Obviously I feel like I've got to manage my time a little better now, coming to press conferences and stuff. It's just a little bit more tiring I would say like preparing for tournaments and stuff. You kind of have to work your way around that a little bit and manage your time a little better, and I feel like I did that pretty well this week so far.
I'm sure it's hard for every player, too, with the jet lag, but I'm holding up pretty good.
Q. I know you missed the cut in LA but you talked about how you were able to go back to Orlando and work with your coach. How much did that help as you geared toward these international trips to Singapore and then Thailand next week?
PATTY TAVATANAKIT: So I didn't really kind of open up to even my coach or anything or anyone about that I really wasn't ready for LA. I just felt like I had to be there just because I went to school there and I was a member at Wilshire last year. They gave me an honorary membership. If I don't show up, it doesn't look good. That's why I went.
But knowing deep down that I wasn't kind of ready to go back, I was still pretty exhausted from everything, and I feel like when I was back home, I didn't really get like good rest. I was out practicing a lot. I feel like I needed to practice more now that I've won, and I wanted to keep going forward. With everyone wanting to talk to me, it just felt a little bit overwhelming during the two weeks off, even though it was two weeks, it was a lot, but it was just a tiring two weeks like mentally, too, and physically I was trying to keep things off of my mind and just ended up being at the course for 10 hours, which is probably not a good thing to do during weeks off.
I'm really glad I went home Thursday night, took a redeye back to Orlando, and I got to see my coach for a little bit, and we talked on the phone before I booked my flight, like I really want to go home, I don't want to be here. It's a little bit distracting, and I just want to be back where everyone treated me kind of a little bit more normal.
So decided to go back. I had some quality time with my coach and with my friends there and my boyfriend, so it was nice and relaxing, and I really think it was much needed.
I feel really rested, too, for some reason, even though I traveled like a whole day the next two days.
Q. Did it come as a surprise to you that it was a little overwhelming? I feel like when we saw you at ANA you were cool, calm and collected. Was it a surprise when it felt overwhelming, and what kind of mindset are you in as you take on Singh more this week now that you've had that quality time with your coaches, friends and your support system?
PATTY TAVATANAKIT: Yeah, it was overwhelming to the point where I didn't know that it was overwhelming because I had never really experienced that, and now like looking back, yeah, I was like really overwhelmed by the attention I got because I'm not really used to having to give so much energy to a lot of people, but I feel like going through that, I'm learning a little bit more. I tend to say yes to someone who matters or like some more important stuff, which I told my agent and my manager that like I don't have enough energy to give to everyone.
But taking on this week, I feel like everyone has been treating me so nice, and for some reason I'm just really happy to be here. I always love coming here, and it's a great feeling. A lot of gratitude going on. The whole thing, how hard it is to have a tournament here and everyone being able to put it together, I just feel so grateful to be here. It's not easy, I know that for a fact, like coming in through the immigration process and everything. It's tough, and getting through all that, I'm just really excited to play.
Q. Were you able to talk to Pia and Lynn before you came to Singapore? I know they've given you great nuggets of advice. Were you able to talk with them when you went back to Orlando?
PATTY TAVATANAKIT: Yes, I talked to them after ANA. I didn't really touch base with them for LA, but they sent me nice emails and I told them what's going on and stuff, and I just feel like mainly mentally I'm at a good state. But I'll probably touch base with them this week. I just didn't really do that in LA because I was just like, oh, my God, I don't want to talk to anyone right now, even my coach. I feel like I was kind of distanced from my support system a little bit there just because I just wanted to take some time to myself.
But I will definitely reach out to them, yeah.
Q. You mentioned you were here three years ago participating as an amateur in the Women's Asian Pacific Amateur. What's it like to return as an LPGA Tour professional and do you think of that time fondly and do you remember those kind of experiences?
PATTY TAVATANAKIT: I did. I remembered really vividly, especially the back nine. I played the front nine today, I was like, wait, I don't remember this much. You're kind of playing, you're like, okay, the layout is coming back into my head a little bit. I had a lot of great memories at that event. I feel like it was a major event for an amateur, like played to qualify for the British Open -- basically all the majors for the LPGA, and coming here I feel like I also had a lot of attention because I was one of the top players at the time. I think I was second in the world, which it was a fond memory, and you get to learn how to do all the press conferences there. I had my parents here last time I was here, and we were able to go around, so it was really, really fun, and we did a lot of fun things, ate a lot of great food and had a lot of friends here. It was really fun.
Q. I know there have been some changes to the course since the last time you were here in Sentosa. How do you think it's going to fit with your game with the way you are as a player today compared to the way you were three years ago?
PATTY TAVATANAKIT: Yes, I feel like I've matured a lot as a player. You know to any courses there's ways to attack it; there's ways to play around it. Mainly I just want to go out there and play smart. I really like the golf course. I don't remember how different they were, and I don't really recognize the changes that they did, but I really like how the course is playing. Some holes are long, some holes are gettable, some holes are short. Just the whole vibe itself, it's been really good.
Q. This is the jump start of an Asia Swing that we have not been back, and not a lot of players understand the heat that they are about to intake the next couple days and also in Thailand. Being a Thai native yourself, do you think that comes as an advantage to knowing how to operate under these type of conditions?
PATTY TAVATANAKIT: I think there's some toughness in me, but I'm not going to lie, I've been spoiled with LA weather ever since I went to college, and then I've been in Orlando, but now looking back, like man, it wasn't this hot. Like it wasn't this muggy, just because we've been having really nice weather during fall and winter.
But you know, I mean, if it's hot, you go anywhere else it's going to be fine. I just feel like it's another practice two weeks in really tough conditions, especially with weather, to go back in the States and play nicely with the nice weather, breathable.
Q. It's nice to see you again, especially when I also experienced the way you played when you were a junior in Asia, as well. You said earlier that you are a major winner now, but how big is the learning experience that you're expecting now that you're a major champion?
PATTY TAVATANAKIT: You know, definitely I feel like you go to tournaments and you're just a little different now. Obviously have to take a different approach. There's always something new about that. Always got to learn how to manage yourself, manage your time and manage your practice. I think that's something I am still learning, and I don't know when it will be like, okay, this is how I'm going to do it. Like I'm still learning almost every week.
Q. You've been playing for a while now. What is that one piece of advice that someone gave you that has stuck with you, especially when you're competing?
PATTY TAVATANAKIT: I would say when my coach Grant Waite was on the bag, I learned a lot from that, and I feel like I grew so much and I actually learned how to play under pressure, be in contention and finally close it out myself. At ANA he always told me that a par or a bogey doesn't really mean anything in a round of golf because you play the golf course, it will open up to you, just a matter of time, and it's a tough sport. You've got to be really patient with that. I feel like I just learned a lot from the first two events he caddied for me. I played really nicely, finished fifth and 14th, which is unlike anything I had experienced last year in my rookie year. I was out there barely making cuts, and a transition to out there being in contention and actually like trying to win tournaments, I feel like just all the time me and Grant spend time on the course and especially when he caddied for me was really helped me become a better player and a better competitor.
Q. What did you get up to during quarantine? Are you into movies or Netflix or anything like that?
PATTY TAVATANAKIT: Yeah, actually I watched the whole Avengers movies in order. We did Harry Potter, as well. We had this program, workout program, where it was six days a week for eight weeks, so I was really tired all the time and barely had time to golf. What else? Did a lot of lake stuff. Obviously we're in Florida. Learned how to get up on a wakeboard and did a bunch of knee board and tubing. A lot of fun stuff, just regular Floridian style quarantine.
Q. This week the theme is game changers here at the HSBC Women's World Championship. In your time on Tour even though you are still technically a rookie, and I think I'm going to know the answer to this one, but what would you consider a game-changing moment for your career on Tour?
PATTY TAVATANAKIT: I mean, definitely winning the ANA Inspiration. That was a game-changing moment I feel like and a life-changing moment, as well. I feel like when I was there this week I didn't really know what I did or exactly like the whole thing that was happening. That's why I was in like a shock basically the whole time. I remember the drive back to LA that night was like, what just happened still, and still a couple of days after that. But it was definitely game-changing and life-changing.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you everyone for your patience and holding on and thank you, Patty, for joining us.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports