July 14, 2021
Midland, Michigan, USA
Midland Country Club
Q. You're the morning leaders; walk us through the morning round.
LAUREN STEPHENSON: Well, it was just a fun day. We started off the first hole on a good note. She had a good up-and-down, so it kind of eased us right in, but I feel like we just tried to have fun and we made zero bogeys in alternate-shot, which I feel like on your own is impressive, but doing that in alternate-shot is pretty great.
Q. What's the key to doing that? That's really impressive.
JILLIAN HOLLIS: I think they had some good momentum early, like Lauren said. We made a good up-and-down on the first hole and then I hit it pretty close on the second from where we were, and she chipped in on the third hole off the green.
We were like, okay, if we miss greens, we'll just chip them in or chip them close, and I think Lauren said we only missed like three greens today.
I think we just -- it's fun. We're good friends, so it was a lot of fun for us.
Q. Speaking of good friends, on Friday we have walk-up songs and someone has picked a Queen number out. Can you walk us through the story of how that came about?
JILLIAN HOLLIS: I mean, we were trying to think of a song all week and couldn't really -- we had a bunch, maybe some weren't crowd friendly, so we thought that the Queen song would be fitting.
Q. And it's "You're My Best Friend" right?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: Yeah, we're besties, so it fit really well.
Q. How does your strategy change as you move from alternate-shot into best ball?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: I don't think that it really changes too much. Out there today we both just kind of did our own things over each shot. I feel like tomorrow we'll both play our own game and just try to make more birdies versus today.
JILLIAN HOLLIS: Yeah, definitely. It'll be fun.
Q. Who was even and who was odd?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: I was even, she was odd.
Q. Did you think much about that or was that just a coin flip for you?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: We kind of thought about it a little bit. My caddie had kind of said like he thought I should play evens, but we didn't think it was too big of a deal.
And then I made a hole-in-one in the practice round on 18, so I was like, I think I'm committing to the evens.
JILLIAN HOLLIS: After she made that, I was like, all right, Lauren is playing evens. It's decided.
Q. What day did you make the 1?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: On Monday.
Q. What did you hit in?
LAUREN STEPHENSON: I hit a 9.
JILLIAN HOLLIS: And it was her birthday on Tuesday, so she's having a great week.
Q. Jillian, your games have been on slightly different trajectories. You played really well a couple years ago and then the pandemic hit and you've struggled a little bit and now you're on the way back. Lauren, you have really been on an upward trajectory this year. How have your games come together this week?
JILLIAN HOLLIS: I think I've been playing better lately, been definitely hitting it better and just trying to relax and remember playing well. And just kind of got to have a short memory out here I think for sure. But I think playing today, it's so fun. Like we had such a great time, I forgot we were playing a tournament for a little bit there.
I think definitely like we feed off of each other, and just being good friends, I think alternate-shot you need to have a little bit of friendship going on to play well alternate-shot together for sure.
LAUREN STEPHENSON: Yeah, I think today like we just trusted each other. I never thought like, oh, if I put her in a bad place she can't get up-and-down or something, so it kind of takes the pressure off. I knew if I hit it close, I knew she was going to make the putt.
Or first hole I missed the green and she chipped it to like a foot. It's nice knowing your partner has your back, and it just takes all the pressure off.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports