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Lorena Ochoa

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Q: Have you been working hard this off-season?

I've been working a lot here. I don't think you can slow down. The competition is so tough. I'm doing pretty much the same as I did last year. It worked and there's no reason to change. I've been doing a little more working out; lifting more weights so I can be a little stronger. Hopefully that helps me to perform better.

 

It's like any pre-season. You need to fine tune. I've been making a few changes     in my back swing, to make sure I can create a hard swing and have a little more control of it at the bottom. That's going well.

 

I also changed my putter. I have a new putter. It's called the (Ping) Piper. I think that's going to help my stroke to be better. You know with all those changes I'm excited and I can't wait to see the results out on the course.

 

Q: Does the new putter work for you?

Yes. I think one of the things I have more room to improve is my putting. Just because of what I said and the way I stroke (the ball) I know for sure I can improve on that. The new putter is a little bigger and a little shorter. I just need to be a little bit better reading the lines. It will help me with my backswing and in that way I can just be more accurate with my putting and hopefully make more birdies.

 

Q: Some people were saying that in the second half of the year a little bit of a head movement crept into your putting stroke. Did you agree with that?

I move my head while I'm swinging. It's something I've been doing forever, since I started playing. I'm not worried about my head – that's not something that I need to change – it's more about the line and the stroke.

 

Q: Was putting the main reason that wins weren't so frequent in the second half of the year?

No, no. I think I was very tired. It was more than that. I was very tired. I was exhausted. I played well early and I had a lot of expectation and a lot of pressure from the media and a lot of things to do with my sponsors outside the course. That was very tough and I just couldn't handle it anymore. I just couldn't do it anymore. I'm hoping it will be a better year this year; a bit more balanced, rest when I need to rest and try to take it easy outside the course. Hopefully those things will improve.

 

Q: Unfortunately I know personally about family tragedies (Lorena had two bereavements last year)… it teaches you many things, but it can surprise you when it catches up with you can't it?

You know… it's just one of those things and you learn from the experience and then you go from there. You never know what's going to happen, so I'm making sure this year I'm well prepared and I'm going to do better (laughs).

 

Q: Looking at this season, it's especially exciting for the Singapore fans because two of them – Yani Tseng and Ji-Yai Shin are young Asian girls.

All of them are very young and they're not afraid. They're very aggressive. But I never think of them. I just play for me, rather than think of them, because there's always somebody who is going to give you a hard time (laughs).

 

Q: Paula's been around so long, we forget how young she is… but last year she jumped to a new level didn't she?

I think so. I think she gained more confidence. I think she's understanding her game more. Experience is better for her and now she's been playing for a few more years. You can see it in the way she plays and the way she talks, the way she handles herself in the last few holes. But, like I say, they're all good players.

 

Q: You know the answer to the next question better than anybody else in the world… what do you have to do to score well on the Tanah Merah CC Garden course?

The HSBC Women's Champions was a spectacular week and I think last year I took advantage of the par fives. I think I was really good on the par fives. I had a lot of eagle chances, although I don't think I made any eagles (note: she didn't. 23 birdies and 3 bogies).

 

I think my putter was really good. From the pre-season it was really good. I had a lot of practice. My putting went down later in the year, but early in the year I was making everything! Those things are the keys.

 

You've got to have the distance and I think this year I'm hitting my driver a little farther and I think it's very important to have the distance, to be aggressive and go for it.

 

I think I'm hitting (driver) about five yards further and my irons are three to four yards further. All of that will make things easier. 

 

 

 

Interview by Tim Maitland
Photos by Getty Images

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