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Golf - 26. February 2008.

Quotes from Lorena, Annika, Suzann and Se-Ri in Singapore

28/02/2008 Press Conference Quotes

Lorena Ochoa

I'm honoured to participate in the HSBC Women's Champions. It's a great event. I got here on Sunday and I already went to the course to practice and it's in fantastic condition.

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It's very important for women's golf, for the LPGA I am sure it's going to be a fantastic tournament and I can't wait to start playing.

Thank you for having us and thank you HSBC for your support.

Having the best players in the world… that's everything. I feel very lucky to be here and to be part of the LPGA. The course is going to be a good challenge, especially the last five holes. It's going to be an exciting tournament for me, for everybody.

The LPGA is very international. It has so many different players from so many different countries. I am very proud to be Mexican and represent my country. Being here for the first time in Singapore is great. I will try to win the tournament.

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Annika Sorenstam

It's a great honour to be here this week. I've had the opportunity to come to Singapore a few times and I must say it's a special place. I can't think of a more fitting way to have HSBC - such a global company – together with the LPGA with all the global players and IMG – also a global company – to participate in this event. It's really exciting to be here.

We've talked about a strong field. I would agree. It's a fantastic field. We have the best women's golfers in the world. It's a tribute to HSBC. We're thankful for your support. We want to grow worldwide. It's really an honour to be here. I'm looking forward to a competitive week. Tanah Merah's a great golf course; I've had the chance to play there two times. It's challenging, but I think it's fair. So I think we're going to see some great golf from everybody.

I think it's wonderful for women's golf that we have the chance to showcase the best we have and I can't think of a better place than here. We're starting the season off strong and setting the tone for the rest of the year.

(Asked of the importance of having a sister event to the HSBC Champions in Shanghai)

It's a great opportunity. HSBC's been a great sponsor for us and I know for the men they've had these great tournaments around the world, so we can show the men. (Laughter). We'll play the best we can. Golf is such a great game when everybody can play together. I think the men can learn a lot from us this week.

Se Ri Pak

I really am honoured to be here. This is a great country and HSBC is a great sponsor. This is a great experience for us: great weather, great golf course, great people, great country, great sponsor for the LPGA. I don't think we need anything more.

(On having such a big event in Asia)

I'm really proud of being an Asian. It's not just Koreans, there's Thailand, the Chinese, Japanese all other countries. Basically, this has only become possible in the last couple of years. The Asians have such great talent.

Suzann Pettersen

It's fantastic to be back in Singapore. I've been looking forward to coming back and playing in the HSBC Women's Champions. It's probably the strongest field ever in Asia. It's an honour to be here.

Asia's been pretty good to me, at least last year (2 wins). I'll see if I can continue the little stretch I have here. You're playing here among the best golfers in the world. There are so many more good golfers coming up. To be a part of what's going on in women's golf right now is truly a lot of fun.

I think the LPGA is a global tour and it's important that we go around the world and show the world our skills. To be here in Singapore, which is in the centre of Asia, it just great to be here and I think this is the place to be for the HSBC Women's Champions.


Q&As

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To Lorena: Can you tell us what you have been doing for the last few weeks and how closely you were watching what Annika was doing in Hawaii?

Lorena: I was on the beach while Annika was winning at the beach too. (Laughter)

I always follow the LPGA when I'm not playing. Great players like to win, so it's no surprise. (To Annika) Congratulations on that first win. I didn't play the first two tournaments because I needed to spend more time at home and get prepared and be more ready.

So here I am. I feel ready. I think it's going to be a great year for the both of us. We both want to be in first place.

To Annika: How important is it for you to get that number one ranking back again?

Annika: Of course I would love to do that. I think it's going to take a lot for me to do that this year. Lorena had a great year last year and so did Suzann. I have a lot of catching up to do. I'm just going to take one step at a time. I felt the win in Hawaii was a good step to take and now I'm looking forward to the rest of the season. Hopefully I can continue playing the way I have for the past two weeks, but it's a long way to go. It's funny. There are so many hungry players out there. You have Lorena who wants to stay on top, you have Suzann who wants to get to the number one spot and you have me to return there. Then you have all the young ones, and Se Ri. It's a great time to be part of the LPGA and I think you're going to see some great golf this year. There's definitely some friendly, respectful rivalries out there and it's a pleasure to be part of it.

To Suzann: You shot a final round 66 at the weekend in Hawaii, do you think you're coming into this event on form?

Suzann: It seems like I'm a slow starter, but I finally got the round I was looking for. The last couple of weeks went fairly well in Hawaii, so I'm coming here with quite a good feel and my game has been building up. This is kind of my first big one (tournament) and I feel good.

To Suzann: What do you think you did to have such a fantastic year in 2007 and how are you looking fitness-wise for 2008?

Suzann: Right now I'm as fit as I can be. I'm trying to stay on top of my health. I've been part of a period where my body wouldn't cooperate and that's not a fun thing, so I'm trying to do whatever I can to make sure I'm fit and healthy. That's my first priority.

Last year was my first healthy year back from being injured a couple of times and I think that was a big part of getting some consistency and being able to play every week without any aches and pains.

Golf is a funny game. You just have to try to make it as easy as possible. From the beginning it's a difficult game. The easier you can make it the better. Last year was fantastic. I won once and from my first win I got a run. It was just a lot of fun.

To Lorena: What was your gut reaction when Annika won that first event (the SBS Open). Was it "Oh maaaan, she's back", or was it "Yes, she's back. Bring it on!"

Lorena: I knew she was going to win. I don't mean I knew she was going to win the first one of the year, but she was starting to get healthy at the end of last year and she's been practicing strong for the last three or four months. We all know she's a champion and she likes to win. It was not a surprise and I'm happy for her. What is more surprising is she has 70 wins and I think I only have 17. So I'm a little behind. So… congratulations (to Annika). It should be a fun year.

To Se Ri: How much longer do you intend to keep playing? And tell us a bit about Ji Yai Shin?

Se Ri: I'm not sure how long it's going to be. I've been working for nine years to catch up with Annika. I'm going to keep playing as long as I love to (play).

(On Shin) She's a great player. She's 19 and she's got great talent. She works so hard and her game is very consistent. I played with her a couple of times last year she looks really great. She's a really strong. She's known as the best player for the future. She's the future for golf in Korea.

To Lorena: It's your first time here… what do you think your chances are and how do you think you'll adapt to the local conditions?

Lorena: Well, I love playing in warm weather. Mexico is about the same, where I live in Guadalajara. I played 18 holes on Sunday, which has helped me to learn the course. The conditions, when we tee off on Thursday, will be the same for all the players. I know they are the best players in the world, but I think I'm ready for anything.

We need to be really careful on the greens. For sure that's the biggest challenge of the course. I've been trying to get comfortable with the speed and making sure how much they break.

To Annika: How would you compare the way you feel know compared to how you felt last year?

Annika: There is definitely a spring in the step. A year ago I felt great I wasn't aware of any injury. I was diagnosed with my neck injury in April. What happened in between I'd like to forget about.

Now I'm working out hard and playing and practicing as hard as I can. I feel healthy and I'm excited about this year.

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