June 7, 2019
Q. Very hot start, birdie-birdie-eagle. You're 4-under after three; what do you tell yourself at that point?
KRISTEN GILLMAN: Yeah, I think that kind of took some pressure off for the rest of the day, but I told myself don't let up, even though it's hard whenever you get 4-under after three holes to kind of cruise after that. But I tried my best to keep focusing on every shot and hit the best shot I can.
Q. This week we've seen Maria Fassi and Jennifer Kupcho starting their regular LPGA Tour seasons as rookies. What have you learned thus far in your rookie season that you could share with them?
KRISTEN GILLMAN: I learned to just go out there and play your game. So many of us have so many different types of games out here, and so just kind of stick to what got you here and you're here for a reason, so just keep playing your game and just don't try to overdo something that you don't have.
Q. With your amateur record, incredible resume as an amateur, is it tough to manage expectations?
KRISTEN GILLMAN: I think it definitely is tough to manage expectations, but then again, I feel like at the same time, I think it's more hard expectations I put on myself rather than other people put on me, but I'm still going out there, my goal this season is to try to have as much fun as I can and go out there and enjoy every round and enjoy every moment.
Q. You're 7-under on your first round for this tournament. How were you feeling out there on the course?
KRISTEN GILLMAN: Yeah, I definitely got off to a good start. I was 4-under through three, so I just tried to keep it steady after that and focus on every shot and try to hit the best shot I could and enjoy the fun, so it was a fun round out there.
Q. You did get off to quite a hot start, especially on that third hole with that eagle. Take us through what the strategy was when you approached that.
KRISTEN GILLMAN: Yeah, for the first two holes I just wanted to get off to a good start, so I birdied both of those, and then I came to the par-5 and I had 196 left for my second shot, so it was a perfect 3-hybrid for me. I told my caddie I was going to play at the middle of the green, but then over it I was like, no, I think this feels comfortable, I'm just going to go right at it, so I hit it like three feet short, so it was a good shot there.
Q. You were playing in a group with Lexi Thompson and the defending champion, Annie Park. What did that do for your confidence, and were you feeding off of what they were doing out there on the course?
KRISTEN GILLMAN: Yeah, all of us played so well, and there's so many fans out there, and so I think it definitely helped us having those fans and just us playing well. I think we fed off each other, and we all had good rounds today.
Q. What's it going to take for you to keep charging up the leaderboard?
KRISTEN GILLMAN: I think just try to whenever I leave the golf course, just try not to focus on golf and just try to have fun with my friends, and so as long as I can keep my mind off of golf whenever I'm not here, then I think I'll be able to play well.
Q. Let's talk about your start. You were 4-under through three. How does that feel?
KRISTEN GILLMAN: I don't know if I've ever been 4-under through three. That could be the first time I've ever been.
Q. You said you wanted to make sure you birdied 1 and 2. What were the putts there like? How long were the putts?
KRISTEN GILLMAN: The first one I only had like four feet, and then the second hole I had about six, seven feet, and so yeah, I hit pretty good shots into both of those, so I think that kind of set the tone for the day.
Q. What did you hit into the par-5, No. 3?
KRISTEN GILLMAN: Yeah, I hit a good drive down there. I tried to go down the right so I was hitting downgrain, so I could get some extra roll. I had 196 to the flag, and it was my perfect 3-hybrid. The pin was set up well for me, so I just went straight at the pin and hit it about three feet short, so had an easy eagle putt there.
Q. The rest of the day, how did you feel you managed your game?
KRISTEN GILLMAN: Yeah, I think I played well for the rest of the round. I definitely left some holes out here that you should birdie, I definitely probably missed, like on 16 I hit the pin with my wedge shot. Who knows if I would have birdied that or not. But then 17 I didn't hit that good a wedge shot into it, either. Still definitely room for improvement, but that start definitely helped with the round.
Q. I heard you say that you like to get away from golf once you leave the course. How do you do that today? Do you have any plans?
KRISTEN GILLMAN: Yeah, me and Lauren Stephenson, Jennifer Kupcho, Virginia, our whole college crew, since it's our first tournament out, we're all going to hang out tonight and go to dinner so people that are in the early waves have some time. I think just hanging out with them is going to help, and I don't know, just being out here with your friends is fun.
Q. You're a Duke person?
KRISTEN GILLMAN: No, I went to Alabama.
Q. How do you feel going into tomorrow?
KRISTEN GILLMAN: Yeah, I think as long as I just keep playing the game I have been -- I've been working hard last week through my off week. I was definitely motivated out there not playing in the U.S. Open and being at home. As long as I can just not try to focus on scores or the leaderboard and just kind of focus on playing the best I can, I think I'll be able to get a good round in.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports