Report by Tim Maitland
You have both the Hall of Fame badge and your own brand's logo on your bag this year. I imagine you're very proud of both?
This is about timing. I was thinking about what I could do for my career and I decided on having my own clothing for the first time. We play golf for at least 360 days, and we know the uniform you have to wear on the golf course. We were testing it, working out which were the best. This golf game is unbelievable. Everyone loves it. Of course it's kind of stressful as a job, but it's a fun sport and graceful.
This is part of my sister Yoo Ri and my dream. My sister has been trying so hard to become a designer and suddenly she's becoming popular so it seemed like a good idea to get into golf wear.
We've started testing and it's getting popular. People recognized it and people loved it and other designers were calling her, so we decided to bring it out in public.
So now, it's pretty soon actually. We'll probably start this summer at the latest. I'm going to have the clothing for sale on the market. We're kind of rushing it and it's pretty hard to do that. We've been making clothes just for me and this is a little harder.
How's your shoulder?
The shoulders good; better than the last time I was playing. It's not really 100 per cent but it's getting there. I keep practicing and using it which is slowly healing it.
Just in time for the HSBC Women's Champions next week?
I'm looking forward to it. It would probably be a good time to get my game started for the HSBC. I'm looking forward to it and I hope to have a great week. This week (The Fields Open) is probably going to be like a warm up. Hopefully next week is going to be the one.
There are a lot of exciting things happening for women's golf in Asia aren't there? All the great young Koreans, there's the excitement in Japan about Momoko Ueda and then China has its new young players too.
It is an exciting time. I don't know if that's anything to do with me, but hopefully I'm the one that started it. Good things are happening. We don't have the best conditions to practice and play golf, but with talent we can show them.
Do share any of the excitement about Lorena and Annika finally meeting when they're both at their best?
Definitely! This is a new season. Every year the game is improving. Annika suddenly come out winning. Am I excited? Yes I am!
Is your shoulder strong enough for you to come out winning?
Oh yeah. It's not a big problem. It's not a big deal. I feel great. I'm very excited because I can get back to my game. I've been slowly getting better. The off season was short but I had a quality winter; a lot of workouts and practice.
What goals and targets have you set yourself this year?
I'm looking for my career Grand Slam. I've been planning for 10 years but it wouldn't happen – hopefully this year. Just the one, but it always gives me a hard time. Hopefully it'll be this year.
Is that something that would make your career complete or have you just made it your next goal?
I've set it as my next goal. Hopefully in 08 I'll play better than 07. I'm always setting my goals so high my expectation was winning as many as I could but I guess that doesn't happen in golf. Sometimes you just give yourself more pressure. This year I'm setting my goals to finish in as many tournaments as I can in the top 10 and at least play better than in 07. That'll make things a lot more simple for me. I'm still trying to have a good year though.
Did you feel like you put yourself under too much pressure?
I used to, but not last year. I had two years of downhill. The one giving the pressure was me setting my goals too high and my expectations were so high every week and I was making little mistakes and was never able to take victory. Of course you're going to miss sometimes, but I was like "why? Why miss? I practiced that shot!" Everything became so tight and pressured and I had a two year gap before I realized it's not the end of the world.
You seem to have made your life a lot simpler and happier.
That's my plan. I'm enjoying it. Golf courses, lovely weather in great places; this is my job and I love it. I'm still here... there isn't another thing I can do better than this!
And you've had such a great career; it's not as if you have to prove anything.
Exactly! Exactly! I just want to enjoy my golf and maybe have an even better career. I know I have so many wins from 10 years ago, but starting 08 I may be a different person, a different player and probably a different career.
You're still hungry?
Oh yeah! Always! I've never been full (laughs).
– but the sailors praise the new boats
Photo Credit: Dario Belingheri/Bettini Photo
photo David Cannon/Getty images