2021 AIG Women’s Open – Media Day 2
The 2021 ANA Inspiration champion, Patty Tavatanakit of Thailand, told assembled reporters that she was “excited” to play Carnoustie and had been working with her coach to refine her unflappable short game in preparation for links golf. In addition to fine-tuning her short game, she has been working on controlling her trajectory – being able to work the ball in windy conditions so that she can play shots in which the ball moves in certain directions with the appropriate spin needed.
“I feel like this is the most excited I've been to play an event just because I played in it last year, my first time playing links, and just being in Europe and play. You know, I went back, I didn't do so well last year, and I told my coach, I want to be better hitting these shots and be better around the green. I developed a lot in terms of working my game to fit in the course conditions to play in the wind and to control my flight. I'm just looking forward to playing this week. Had a really good practise in the wind last week, too. So, coming into this week, I feel like I'm a little bit more prepared than last year.”
As for Carnoustie, Tavatanakit was quite open with her thoughts, noting that the course demands not only good shot making, but a realistic set of expectations. The nature of links golf is such that weather plays a disproportionate role compared to the other Major Championships. While the weather outlook for the four days is relatively stable, a shift in the wind direction, bringing a ‘fret’ in off the North Sea can wreak havoc on the players unfortunate enough to be out on the course.
“It's pretty narrow. You've got to hit it pretty solid. I feel like it's a ball-striking course. If you get your way around the green, just keep hitting fairways and greens, you're going to be in a good position. I feel like I was trying to be perfect too much (last year), and you know, you can't really be like that on links course. You've just got to be yourself and just embrace all chances and play, play like you own the course. Be brave and just no fear, and just play, and you know, if you hit one bad shot, you've got to take your medicine and good hit the next one. Keep hitting shot after shot, just basically be present and hope for the best.”
England’s Georgia Hall, the 2018 Women’s Open champion, probably best summed up the nature of links golf and the impact that the weather can have on the competition when she said that the course plays a like a completely different golf course. In competitive golf, its difficult to create those kinds of practice conditions, where club selections can vary by 2-3 clubs or more. At Carnoustie with the challenges that it presents the golfer under benign conditions, one can only imagine how high the scores would be.
“I played 18 holes today and it was a lot different golf course than yesterday, just based on the wind. I think every day is going to be different, and that’s what it should be, you know, British Open.”
As for the state of Hall’s game, she is coming into the event with some good form, having finished the Amundi Evian Championship with a share of 6th place, while finishing with a share of 14th place at the ISPS Handa event in Northern, Ireland. Having grown up in England, she has had a chance to play plenty of links style golf and can be a very strong player, particularly with a home crowd. In fact, there will be at least 15-players from the U.K. that will be playing in the event and that should generate some excitement from the spectators.
“I mean, I’m playing well coming into this week. I’ve had a run of a lot of golf but also good results. Also, a lot of players especially from Britain, England, playing well and playing in this event so hopefully we’ll have the home crowd behind us.”
The AIG Women’s Open starts Thursday morning with the first tee time at 6:30 a.m. local time (British Standard Time).
Hall tees off at 11:54 a.m. along with Megan Khang of the United States and Louise Duncan, an amateur from Scotland.
The ANA champion, Patty Tavatanakit goes out with Danielle Kang (USA) and A Lim Kim of South Korea at 7:47 a.m.