Nicole Castrale (Flash)

July 8, 2012



Q.  What are your overall thoughts of this week?

NICOLE CASTRALE:  It was a good week.  It was a good test of golf.  It was nice to kind of be back in position to have a good week.  It's been a couple of years, so it was fun.

Q.  Talk about these couple of years, having shoulder surgery and the birth of your daughter.

NICOLE CASTRALE:  No.  It's been good.  I really just haven't played much.  I mean I played seven events in '10 and seven events last year.  None of it was really golf‑related.  It was other circumstances.

 So no, it's just good to just kind of get back, and it was nice to play with Paula today because we're good friends.

Q.  How have you been able to play so well?  Is it the new vibe having your husband and the caddie and having her and your mom here baby‑sitting?

 NICOLE CASTRALE:  Craig's caddied for me for almost nine years.  I'm just very blessed and fortunate mom is out here to travel with us and take care of little Eleni so it's been wonderful.

Q.  This national championship is kind of becoming a Korean championship to win.  They have dominated this event over the last five years.  Is that going to kind of generate some momentum among American golfers to maybe take this thing back?

NICOLE CASTRALE:  I would say we're doing our best.  They're just outplaying us.  They're good.

You know, I don't know.  They just seem to shoot the lowest score after 72 holes.  Our Americans are very strong, so you know, I'm not sure what it is.

Q.  Could you talk about the experience here at Kohler, including the course and just your experience in Sheboygan County.

NICOLE CASTRALE:  Yeah.  You know, it's funny, this was actually my very first U.S. Open in '98.  I was 19.  So it definitely looks different coming back now at 33 and being a pro.  So you know, it's a great city.  They are very welcoming to us.  It's fun.  It's a great golf town, great fans.  Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Kohler for letting us play their venue.

 Q.  What's been the biggest difference between '98 and playing here this week?

 NICOLE CASTRALE:  Funny, in '98 I was 19, my first Open, and I called my golf coach at the time on Monday, and I was like, oh, it's not that bad.  Rough's not that high.  Golf course isn't that tough.  Yeah, it got handed to me, you know, come Thursday or Friday.  I was just young.

 She's new at this.

 Q.  How do you feel just overall about having a pretty good week and a decent finish?

NICOLE CASTRALE:  No.  I think I'm in 8, so any time you finish Top 10 at a major.  It's just good for me to get back into it and hit golf shots.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous coming down the stretch the last few holes.  I haven't been there in a major since '09.  So it's good.  Glad to be back.

Q.  Do you feel less stress being a new mom now that your priorities have changed out on the course?  Are you less stressed?

NICOLE CASTRALE:  I would say I've always been pretty mellow.  But I mean it's wonderful.  We look at pictures of her in our yardage book all day and we look at the watch and try to figure out what she's doing right now or if she's sleeping or napping or playing.  So it's just fun.  It's the best experience ever.



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