Ryann O'Toole (Saturday AM Flash)


By USGA
July 9, 2011

Q. You started your round at which hole today? 

RYANN O'TOOLE:  Hole 6.  Yeah, and 2 over for the round, even for the day.

Q.  How was it out there, getting up early and the quick turnaround?  Talk about that.  

RYANN O'TOOLE:  I said to my caddie right before I teed off, My body is tired.  I think I had six hours of sleep, just enough to kind of get yourself ‑‑ just tell yourself one hour and then you'll be done and go take a nap and hang out.

We're not going to be going out till this afternoon, so we'll have time.

Q.  People talk about a long day, but in college you were playing 36‑hole rounds.  

RYANN O'TOOLE:  No, in college they got rid of it.  When I went into school they got rid of the 36‑hole tournaments.  Only time we ever played 36 was whether you made it match play in amateur events and you made it down to like Sweet 16, Top 8, or for U.S. Open qualifier.

I mean, and half the time I'm thinking when they have the qualifier, God, why are they doing 36 in one day?  Well, it pays off.

Q.  Now, are you a full exempt status? 

RYANN O'TOOLE:  No, I took seventh on the Money List on the Futures Tour last year, my first year out, and then I played my first event in Alabama and got into the reshuffle.

So that put me up on the list as far as conditional status goes.  I've just been trying to climb the Money List now.

Q.  You've won three times on the Futures Tour.  

RYANN O'TOOLE:  Right.

Q.  Talk about winning and what that does for you? 

RYANN O'TOOLE:  I think winning kind of propels you.  It kind of just gives you the confidence that need to move on.  For me, it's always been a building block.  So I played college; college was a growing period for me; Futures Tour; then it's like, okay, I learned to win out here.  I know I can compete and being on top out here.  It's time to go to the next level.  I felt like I didn't skip anything.

So winning out there just kind of shows you, okay, this is the feeling, this is what it takes.  You know, now it's ‑‑ the last few events that I've played on the LPGA this year ‑ I've played five or four, so this will be my fifth ‑ it's just, you know, what's the difference?  What does it take to win out here?  What mistakes can't you make?  You know, how do you have to handle the situation?

Learning how the field moves on the Saturday and Sunday and, you know, when can you make a move?  So it's just different things that you have to kind of figure out.

Q.  What's the biggest difference between Futures Tour and the LPGA? 

RYANN O'TOOLE:  Um, I think the Futures Tour is very top‑heavy as far as ‑‑ I mean, the percentage is a lot smaller than out here.  There is a lot of great players out there, but it's night and day between those that finish top 20 and those that miss the cut.

I think, you know, out here you have a lot of girls that are all playing at the same level, and you have, you know, 70 girls that can shoot low any time.

So I think that that's a huge difference.  Not only that, is the top 30 in the world, you can guarantee great rounds out of 'em.

Q.  Are you surprised where you are on the leaderboard? 

RYANN O'TOOLE:  No.  I know that I work hard and that I've, you know, come a long way in my game.  I knew that this course coming out here on Monday and Tuesday just set up great for me, and that all I could really do is keep my nerves under control and just play my game.

I think by doing that, I'm ‑‑ you know, I'm bummed that I'm ‑‑ my coach is on the bag, he just says, he's like, You're tied for third.  Like, relax.  I'm like, No, I want to be No. 1.

So I'm a little angry that I let some go, but there's still two rounds left.

Q.  You made a bogey on your first hole today.  

RYANN O'TOOLE:  No, I started on 6.  I parred 6; birdied 7; parred 8 and 9.  But I had a three‑footer on 6 for birdie and a five‑footer on 8 for birdie that I missed both.  And I three‑putted No. 9, but...  My putt on 9 was quite snakey, so I'm gonna let that one go.

Q.  How did The Big Break affect your career?  Good, bad, indifferent? 

RYANN O'TOOLE:  I think The Big Break was a great experience.  I try to actually tell a lot of girls, Do it.  Sign up of it.  It's two weeks of your life that actually will end up changing it.

Not only does it provide you fans that come out and support you and know your face.  And I think, you know, as a rookie and trying to get your name out there ‑ especially when you're around Paula Creamer, Yani, all the crowd's cheering their name, but when they recognize you and ask for your autograph, it just kind of builds you up, you know, and makes you feel important.

The Big Break also just taught you how to hit shots in a moment.  I mean, perfect example.  When you get called off to go back out, it's like, Hey, I remember this.  I mean, I warmed up on The Big Break, had to sit for 45 minutes until the camera crew got ready, and then I got to hit one shot.

So it's just how do you handle situations where you go from resting to I have to perform.

Q.  How far along in the show did you get?  I mean, were you...  

RYANN O'TOOLE:  I only made it halfway through.  I mean, I kind of look at it like that show Survivor where not always the best player makes it.  But it's a game.  You know, things happen.  It's golf, so...

Q.  They shot it in 2009? 

RYANN O'TOOLE:  Last year.  2010.

Q.  Did you make some friends out of that whole experience? 

RYANN O'TOOLE:  I knew half of them, and then the other half I didn't know I did make some good friends.  We keep in contact, we joke a lot.

To be honest, I never watched the show before, and once I was on it, I watched it.  Then I have had friends since been on it, and this one coming up they just announced, I have a couple friends on that.

So I'm curious to watch, because you know all the secrets behind the scenes now.  It's just fun.  Something different.

Q.  Did you make any enemies? 

RYANN O'TOOLE:  No, I didn't make any enemies.  I don't think I came off as ‑‑ I'm gonna say the mean person.  I was just a little competitive.  So it worked.

Q.  As opposed to someone who has played in the Women's Open before and can say, Okay, now I know who you to deal with this experience, I can handle it.  Do you think that's an accurate statement? 

RYANN O'TOOLE:  Um, yeah, I mean, I think for me it's a big learning experience rather than someone who has been out here for a few years and feels the pressure and knows what it takes.

But at the same time, you listen and collect from what people have said.  You learn from other tournaments.  I mean, pressure is pressure.  I mean, it might be a little bit greater.  It's definitely calmed down.  I can't tell you how it's gonna feel on the last round.

But at the same time, you're giving it all you got and you're taking one shot at a time, and I think you're only going to hinder yourself if you let the stuff that doesn't matter get to you.

I mean, there are a few times out there I look at my caddie and I'm like, All right, I don't have good thoughts going into this hole.  Can you redirect me?  Something like that.  Just trying to regurgitate every thought that comes off my head to get it out and open.  It helped.  I ended up stuffing it or making the putt.

So there are certain ways you can really learn.  It's just ‑‑ I think ‑‑ Amy Alcott called me the other night and left a message.  I have to call her back this afternoon.  I think she wanted to give me insight.  I'm curious what she wants to tell me, and especially being a veteran and having won and all her great success.  I'm kind of excited to hear what she kinda has to say.

Q.  What's your relationship with her? 

RYANN O'TOOLE:  She plays out at Riviera County Club.  I live only a couple miles from there.  I play out there a couple times a year.  I met her a couple months ago.  I've seen her out there a few times.  We chatted a couple months ago and told her my status and where I'm playing out here and trying to make it.

So I was surprised when I got a note on my locker saying that she called and wishing me luck and to give her a call back.  Shows that she is watching and she cares for the rookies, which is cool.

                       

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