Interview With 2013 WAPL Champion Lauren Diaz-Yi

June 22, 2013

Q. We have our winner of the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship here, Lauren Diaz‑Yi.  Today you beat Doris Chen, 10 & 9, which is the largest margin of victory in the championship’s history.  Give us a couple of quick comments about winning this championship.

LAUREN DIAZ‑YI:  Winning this championship really means a lot to me.  It's my first real big win, and for it to be a USGA title just tops it off.  I love all the USGA events, and it's really a joy just to play them.

Q.  Your consistency out there today really seemed to be a big factor.  You were like 1‑over in the morning and Doris was 9‑over, and it seemed like it continued in the afternoon.  Just talk about consistently grinding out a lot of pars.  You made a lot of clutch four‑ or five‑footers for par.  Talk about your play on the greens today.

LAUREN DIAZ‑YI:  Today my distance control on like the long lag putts, they were kind of lacking a little bit compared to earlier this week.  Doris had fantastic speed control on those putts, and I knew she was just going to nestle those close to the hole for easy pars, and I would have to convert my three‑, four‑footers.

I knew that putting on these greens was going to be a factor with these tricky pin placements today.  I mean, literally everything was tucked.  If you don't play from the fairway in the right position, you'll be having a tough up‑and‑down.  Getting up‑and‑down and making those crucial putts to stay alive is ‑‑ I knew it was key today.  So I really worked on my putting a lot, especially within five feet, because in the end that's really what saved me today.

Q.  Last night you said you were going to come out with nothing to lose.  You're facing a girl who's won an NCAA championship last month, she's ranked 33rd in the world, has qualified for another Women's Open, has won a USGA championship.  Were you pretty relaxed when you got out to the golf course this morning?  Did the nerves kick in at all?  You seemed pretty comfortable out there from start to finish.

LAUREN DIAZ‑YI:  I think when I started playing I was fine, but when I woke up this morning I was just like really ‑‑ like slightly nauseous.  I was like, what's going on, maybe the nerves are kicking in.  But when I was warming up I was just trying to stay focused, have a good rhythm to my swing, nothing technical, just play my own game and just work on my own stuff, and it worked out there.

My caddie helped me keep calm.  He was always telling me you've got this, you've got this, you can do this, and so I think having that positive reinforcement really helped a lot for me.

Q.  How well did you sleep last night?

LAUREN DIAZ‑YI:  Terrible.

Q.  Really?

LAUREN DIAZ-YI: Absolutely terrible.  I mean, since I think it was quarters, I was sleeping terrible.  I think also partially because I was going to bed really early, like 9:00, like 9:30, so I was waking up at like 2:00 a.m. in the morning, 4:00 a.m. in the morning.  So I was like, what's going on.  Last night I had a lot of dreams, though, a lot of crazy thoughts going through my head.  I don't think I've had that much thought in my head for a golf tournament in a while.

Q.  Were they dreams of hoisting a trophy or were they dreams of something non-golf related?‑

LAUREN DIAZ‑YI:  No, they were like during the round, like grueling it out.  I was like, ‘oh, my gosh, this better not be that tough, I'm so tired already just being in this dream.’  But yeah, I just tried to have a positive outlook and really just play my own game, not put too much pressure on myself, because like you said, I really had nothing to lose.


Q.  I think you told me on Thursday night you thought your ball flight really helped you out in the wind.  Did it stay that way today?

LAUREN DIAZ‑YI:  Yeah, it did, especially on the drives.  Second 18 the wind was really gusting up, clubbing up a lot more than earlier this morning, and I think just keeping my ball in play with the driver rather than having it like rocket in the air helped a lot, because I like to keep it low, and when you play a Pub Links they always choose the windy locations, so you've got to make sure your game is on top in that department.

Q.  What did you find out about yourself this week?  Obviously you've been in the quarterfinals of the Girls' Junior but now you took it all the way to the championship and beat some good players along the way and beat a really good player in the final.

LAUREN DIAZ‑YI:  I think the most thing I learned is that if I'm patient with myself and I pace myself, I can really perform and be however good I think I should be.  Like I said, like those ‑‑ within five feet, those are so crucial, and I don't think I've ever made that many clutch inside‑five‑foot putts that actually mattered in my life of golf.  So I think just knowing that if I'm calm, I'll be able to get as far as I want to.  That's just having a positive outlook and just being as relaxed as possible without any stress or pressure.

Q.  How much do you think this will help you when you go to Virginia in the fall and start playing against really good competition?  Your teammate was out here this week playing.  Talk a little bit about going forward how much this will help you prepare for college.

LAUREN DIAZ‑YI:  I think it helps a lot because it gives me some confidence knowing that I can best the best of the players out in the golfing world, and I think just having that positive outlook and knowing that I am up there with the rest of the top players and just keep working on my game, just grinding it out there and just keep focused on what I need to do, and I think that'll push me to the top in college golf.

Q.  You made two birdies today coming into the day.  Did you think that that would be enough to win this thing?

LAUREN DIAZ‑YI:  Honestly, I thought that was plenty with these pins today.  They were tucked in places that you wouldn't believe, and the greens, they definitely rolled them and cut them, somehow like super fast, and I think par was good enough today.  I mean, you're having 40‑, 50‑footers, trying to two‑putt for par on these greens that are just absolutely fast.  You've got breaks here and there; sometimes you can't see them.

But I think two birdies was more than plenty.  I knew under wasn't going to be something you had to strive for today with these winds and these pin placements.  But I think today, I just wanted to ‑‑ fairway, green, two‑putt par and just get out of there, like don't even think about trying to make birdie because then you're just trying too hard.  And I think just like striving for the par is just good enough. 

Q.  It seemed like you did that today.  You were only 1‑over for the morning round and then I think you had a couple bogeys in the next nine, but Doris was 14‑over for the day.  This is a girl who was 8‑under on Monday and Tuesday.

LAUREN DIAZ‑YI:  Yeah, I was shocked about how Doris played.  She's a fantastic player.  I think that maybe like she was tired ‑‑ I don't know.

Q.  She said she was tired.

LAUREN DIAZ‑YI:  She looked a little tired.  But yeah, I think, you know, Doris wasn't her full self today.  I think if she was playing that 8‑under round like she did earlier this week, I think it would have been an even tougher match.  But I had a lot of fun playing today.  It was good.  She made me really grind it out there and make those clutch putts.

Q.  What was your toughest day here?

LAUREN DIAZ‑YI:  I think probably my match with Ericka Schneider.  I think that was my round of 32.  Yeah, I was 3 & 2.  That was what I needed to shoot under to win the match.  She was 2‑up on me in the first, I think, four holes.  She was just making those long birdie putts, and I just tried to make my pars and make my birdies while I can.  Yeah, she was definitely a tough match, and I really enjoyed playing with her.  But that was really the only match that I felt like I had pressure to really perform because if I didn't shoot under I wasn't going to win.  So that worked out well.

Q.  The rest of your summer is what?  Women's Am obviously now.

LAUREN DIAZ‑YI:  I'm going to go up to Canada for the Canadian women's Am.

Q.  Where is that at?

LAUREN DIAZ‑YI:  That's in Quebec, like Club de golf Beloeil Quebec or something like that, and then I'll be going to the North and South Amateur down in Pinehurst, so I'll look forward to that.

Q.  So you're seeing a lot of different golf courses this summer; you're going to go to the Country Club of Charleston.


Q.  What was the key for you making sure that you had the stamina and the energy to play?  You talked about Doris was tired today.  What was the key for you through the course of the week to keep yourself up?

LAUREN DIAZ‑YI:  I just made sure I was hydrated.  That was so important for me, like drinking lots of water, getting a fresh new bottle on every hole.  Drinking a lot of Gatorade, I had like the little Gatorade gummies that really helped me a lot.  My teammate Briana, she actually dehydrated in her round of, what was it, quarters, I think, but she wasn't eating, she wasn't drinking from what I hear.  So that's going to kill you out here with all this heat and playing 36 holes a day.  So I just made sure that I was eating, I was drinking a lot, and just like getting those electrolytes.  Yeah.

Q.  Congratulations on a wonderful week, and we'll see you down the line at the Women's Amateur, and obviously next year at the last Pub Links.

LAUREN DIAZ‑YI:  Thank you so much.

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