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July 12, 2018

Trish Johnson

Chicago, Illinois

Q. Talk a little bit about the feeling teeing it up today at this type of event.
TRISH JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, it was great. The fact that I think the USGA haven't put any ropes out makes a very sort of intimate atmosphere if you like. Yeah, I was fairly nervous on the first tee. It was mighty nice, they kept us there forever. I think we were about five or six minutes late teeing off, I don't know. Yeah, so 20-minute wait or so on the first tee. It was quite nerve-racking to be honest. But yeah, I played okay. No more than okay today. Hit good shots, hit bad shots, putted okay. Short game was good, got up-and-down a couple of times from really tough positions.

But it was a -- yeah, it's getting tricky because it's so bouncy and the greens were getting very, very dry to say the least, very quick. It's playing very short, but even though it was playing short, it's still not easy to get near flag because it's so bouncy, so you've got to be careful.

Q. What do you think it takes to kind of play well out here specifically at Chicago Golf Club?
TRISH JOHNSON: Just hit the ball straight. Don't hit it off line. Hit it off line, you're up the Suwannee without a paddle. Otherwise you've got decent chances. As I say, there's a lot of tricky shots. I know the Americans call it a links course. It's not a links course at all except it has features of links in it, but it's not like you can just hit a low runner up because you get these huge, great big slopes, which you don't tend to have on links courses, in all honesty. It's a beautiful course. It's lovely. But it's one of those, especially when you're on the greens and they get quick and it's that windy, if you lose your concentration for a second -- perfect example -- I didn't lose my concentration, but the pin on 10, where they put the pin on 10 today, a little bit dodgy, but me and Alfie were both on the back of the green. I said to my caddie, I can't keep this on the green. There's no way of keeping this on the green because the higher up I play it, the higher it's coming down with the more speed, it's going to run past the flag, and then there's another one, you're going to be in the bunker. We both putted off the green into the bunker. Fortunately I got up-and-down. But you just have to not get annoyed about it and sort of take it that you hit your first shot sort of poorly.

So it's tricky. But I mean, there are so many birdie chances out there, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to make loads of birdies. It's a challenge, yeah.

Q. It was obviously a celebration here Tuesday night, but as soon as you tee it up, it's a competition.
TRISH JOHNSON: Oh, absolutely it is.

Q. What's your mindset going into tomorrow?
TRISH JOHNSON: Just play better than today. I don't know -- I saw them watering the first green. I hope they're going to do that every day because the afternoon is going to be incredibly tricky. And if the greens are -- they were pretty firm and crusty when we were out there, and we were second out. Yeah, just more of the same. One shot at a time -- I know it's cliché, but actually I managed to do it in Seattle a couple weeks ago literally one shot at a time, which takes a lot of pressure off. If you -- it sounds easy to do, but it really isn't because your natural instinct is to think about what's ahead, the holes in the future. But if you can just play one shot at a time and just play that to the best of your ability, then it really does make it -- you're hitting 40-odd golf shots and hopefully about 28 putts. Really if you break it down, it's not that difficult. It's not that easy, obviously. But if you can do that, it does take a lot of pressure off, and I managed to do it again today. I don't think I got angry at anything because I played every shot to the best of my ability. It might have been rubbish, but in that precise moment it was the best shot I could hit. I didn't hit a bad shot because of a bad shot I'd hit or something like that. So yeah.

Q. You mentioned Seattle where you won by five strokes, played very well. When you come here, what's different about this atmosphere as opposed to that?
TRISH JOHNSON: Well, this is the first ever Senior Women's Open, and everybody wants to win it. Not that everybody doesn't want to win the Seattle tournament, and that was fantastic. It's just -- it's a U.S. Open. My sort of pressure, I suppose for me, is that I won the first Senior LPGA Championship, so I'm the only one that can win them both at the same time, the first one. So that would be quite something. I'm not thinking that far ahead. That's the other thing. It's four rounds walking, which is not something you do on The Legends Tour. It's hot, and it's going to get hotter, so you might be -- it might be about stamina to be honest. That might be how it works out, it's going to be tough.

Q. Is there any way to compare this course to the Pete Dye course you won on at French Lick?
TRISH JOHNSON: No, not really, because French Lick you've got to drive the ball really well, and if you drive it really well, you'll have a lot of -- but French Lick is harder than this course, if this was soft, but it's not. So it kind of -- but there's no real comparison. The fairways here are a lot wider. French Lick aren't at all. You can hardly see any of them. But French Lick is one of those that when I first got there, I just sort of looked and thought, esthetically, it's gorgeous. It's absolutely stunning. This is a typical sort of -- in all honesty, it's a typical U.S. Open golf course. Obviously playing shorter because we're seniors, but it is a typical -- I don't think you'll see anybody hitting the ball on the run like Phil did, but honestly, there's a couple -- the one on 10, you know? Hit that, and it's in the bunker.

Q. Pat Bradley did the same thing. Amy Alcott, too. She putted it from behind the flag and ended up in the front bunker.
TRISH JOHNSON: Yeah, you can't stop it. If you're behind that flag, you cannot stop it. You've either got to be short or to the side. It's impossible if you're behind it. It's not that easy, and it was into the wind at the time, and that's why -- me and Alfie both hit kind of extra clubs and pulled it, so it wasn't ideal. But no, it's going to be a great week, a long week, and I think that's -- you need to get a lot of rest and just accept that there will be bad shots. Probably anyone that keeps double off their card has a great chance of winning.

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