USGA WOMEN'S STATE TEAM
2015 USGA Women's State Team: Georgia Post-Championship Interview September 12, 2015 | Cape Girardeau, Mo.

Q. Ladies, congratulations.  How are you feeling right now?  Is it overwhelming?

MARGARET SHIRLEY:  We feel darned good.  It's always a dream to win a USGA championship, and to be able to win it as a team is really, really special, to be able to share it with these girls is extraordinary.

BELINDA MARSH:  Today was a roller coaster.  It was up and down and all over the place, and I was so proud of these guys for hanging in there when they thought they were down, and they didn't give it away and hung in there.

EMILIE MEASON:  Yeah, the same thing.  It was a tough day out there.  The wind was really blowing, and it just shows how good of a team we are because we all fought until the bitter end.

Q.  That was a really clutch birdie there on the 17th hole.  Can you just talk about what you were thinking about when you made that?

LAUREN LIGHTFRITZ:  I just wanted to stay determined and do something for the team because my past two scores didn't count, so I fought to stay focused and was able to put it together.

MARGARET SHIRLEY:  I saw her little fist pump there, and I was like, all right, all right, that's good.

Q.  Was it a team goal to have every score count at some point throughout the week?

MARGARET SHIRLEY:  I mean, I think you always think like that, but I mean, we're a team regardless of whose scores count.  We know how great of a team we have.

BELINDA MARSH:  And we knew that the third score might be the one, so every score counts. 

Q.  So what else were you guys thinking about?  You had a pretty ‑‑ you were three strokes back?

MARGARET SHIRLEY:  Yeah, we were three strokes, and then I know, I think, Emilie had some birdies starting out, but it was a tough day.  This wind was swirling all day.  Sometimes you'd throw it up and pick your club and it would switch on you.  You just knew you had to grind all day and never give up, and here we are.

Q.  Just talk about having to play with Florida today.  You were chasing them all week, they were the leaders all week, and today actually playing with them in the same group, what was that like?

MARGARET SHIRLEY:  I mean, it was intense.  They kept with us the entire day, and I guess it was good for us to kind of see where we stood.  But I played with Meghan, and Meghan is a great player, and all of the Florida players are good and struggled a bit.  They struggled a little bit, but it was good to play against some competitive people, and it only made us stronger.

EMILIE MEASON:  I think being able to see that while we were struggling a little bit, so were they, and I think that helps knowing you're not the only ones struggling.  It definitely helped out.

Q.  You work in the golf industry, correct?  So what lessons did you learn from this championship that you'll bring back with you to your job and to Atlanta junior golf?

MARGARET SHIRLEY:  How to set up a golf course really hard, I guess, how to set up hole locations difficult.  I mean, going back home, I know the juniors enjoyed seeing my U.S. Mid‑Am trophy in the office.  I think it was inspiring for them.

Q.  How was your experience at this course?

MARGARET SHIRLEY:  It's a fantastic golf course.  And my perspective is totally different than theirs.  It's just a beautifully laid‑out course, the natural grasses.  It's just a pretty golf course, but it is a tough golf course, and it's one that if you make small mistakes, you're going to pay big time for it, and that's what made me so proud of these girls today.  The wind was just swirling everywhere, and it made little mistakes come up, but they hung in there.

Q.  I was about to say, Missouri weather can change pretty quickly within a day, much less day‑to‑day.  How does that affect you guys on the golf course, having to deal with ‑‑ it was windy, it started to rain a little bit?  It was crazy weather throughout the week.

LAUREN LIGHTFRITZ:  I know for me, I started off pretty strong and had a couple birdies, and then on 7 I had a little bit of a hiccup.  But one thing that I focused on on 8 was being able to calm myself down and focus on one shot at a time.  That was just something ‑‑ I mean, there was so much going on at the time.  The wind was blowing. I think at that point it might have been raining.  It was just a matter of staying in the present and focusing on the next shot and not getting ahead of yourself.

EMILIE MEASON:  Just knowing that mistakes are going to happen and minimizing how bad they are, really.

Q.  What does it feel like to now have your names on the trophy, four‑time Georgia champions, the fourth one?  What does that mean to you?

MARGARET SHIRLEY:  We don't want to come back and beat a team that didn't win it, so we don't want to be that.  Like I said, I think everybody's dream is to win a USGA championship, and this is the pinnacle of golf, especially amateur golf.  It's kind of hard to put into words, really.

Q.  How about you?

EMILIE MEASON:  It's pretty awesome.  This is my first USGA.  Hopefully many more, but this is a great feeling, and to be crowned USGA champions is something that not many people can do.

Q.  What do you think, Lauren?

LAUREN LIGHTFRITZ:  It's just always been a dream of mine, just working hard, and I can't believe it, obviously.  Oh, man. It's just a dream come true, honestly, so yeah.

BELINDA MARSH:  Well, and the Georgia State Golf Association has been so good to us. They've supported us and picked a good team.  I mean, look at these three.  They were behind us all the way.

Q.  How was the cohesiveness of the team?  Did you get to know each other a little bit more?

MARGARET SHIRLEY:  Well, this is the first time ‑‑ yeah, we didn't know Lauren going in but not to know her this week, which was great.  I actually coached Emily in college.  I was her assistant coach for two years, so we kind of know each other a little bit.

EMILIE MEASON:  Kind of.

MARGARET SHIRLEY:  I probably know a little bit too much.  And I've known Belinda for I can't tell you how many years.  It was really cool to be able to play for her and knowing how much she does for us and the GSGA and the USGA, as well, it's really cool to have her medal around her neck, as well.

BELINDA MARSH:  They did all the work.  They did all the work.

EMILIE MEASON:  She was a great leader.

Q.  Do you guys have any holes that stand out from today, just individually about your rounds that were either a turning point for you individually or that were just particularly tough?

MARGARET SHIRLEY:  I made a couple of really good par saves in the beginning, but I didn't have any birdies out there and didn't ‑‑ I was trying to get up‑and‑down all day early, but I had big par saves on 4, 5, and even an early bogey save on 6, so that kind of kept me in it, not making too many big mistakes.

EMILIE MEASON:  Yeah, same thing.  I made a lot of good putts today and throughout the week.  I wasn't making as much as I wanted to, and today it just seemed like all of them were falling, and thank goodness they did.  A lot of them for par, but they fell, and that was really all that mattered.

LAUREN LIGHTFRITZ:  I started out with a couple birdies but then I followed them up with bogeys.  But 17 was definitely the turning point.  I just felt determined and wanted to do something, so I did.

BELINDA MARSH:  I think 17 and 18 are two very fine finishing holes. A lot of things can happen, and we could have seen a big swing on those two holes.

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