A Flash Interview With: Rachel Hetherington

Q. Seven birdies on this course. Got to be a good day?

RACHEL HETHERINGTON: Extremely. I am extremely happy. I hit the ball really solid today. I putted really well. I felt like I chipped pretty good as well. Even when I was making bogeys, I actually hit good shots, just a little too long or a little too short. So I am very happy with it.

Q. Much of a difference in terms of how you played today opposed to yesterday, how you felt?

RACHEL HETHERINGTON: Yesterday and today kind of, I have kind of blended into one because it was such a late day yesterday and early start this morning.

Yesterday I hit the ball great as well, and a couple over -- kind of felt like I played a lot better than that. In a US Open course, you know, that could be the case. So I felt like I have hit the ball really well and I have putted really well the last couple of days.

Q. I see you have had some solid results without threatening to win.

RACHEL HETHERINGTON: I have struggled a little bit. Struggled with my driver and changed to a Calloway FT3 a couple of weeks ago that's really improved my driving stats. I did a lot of putting work in the last two weeks as well. And my putting feels like it's coming around, too. Obviously today I made some great putts today and anytime you make seven birdies you putt well.

I feel like I have been a little bit hard on myself the last couple of weeks, striving to hit the ball, you know, perfect. I kind of watched the men's Open on Sunday and realized you don't have to hit it perfect to play well. Really just the last couple of weeks kind of changed my mindset a little bit and, you know, I changed the driver and working on my putting. Kind of the combination of the three has helped me score a little better this week.

Q. You always seem to do well at U.S. Opens, is that because you like playing tough courses?

RACHEL HETHERINGTON: I like the challenge, yeah. You never quite know what to expect in a US Open, but you know it's going to be extremely tough.

RACHEL HETHERINGTON: I have always kind of felt that I have been a fairly solid ball-striker and my chipping and putting, saving the pars has kind of let me down a little bit, I guess, throughout the year, but when you come to a US Open, you know the rough is going to be thick, and playing chip shots out of the rough is actually one of my favorite shots to play. As long as I practice it, I feel quite confident in hitting those kind of shots.

So I guess during a US Open, with it being the toughest setup of the year, I actually probably save par a little bit more than I do throughout the rest of the year.

Q. What's the part that's just missing as you get into Saturday night and Sunday?

RACHEL HETHERINGTON: Probably a bit of confidence and confidence with my putting going into the weekend as well. Always felt like I have putted fairly solid and played fairly solid throughout the U.S. Opens. I played well in and, you know, it's just a matter of saving some key pars and making a few putts and making those birdies and hitting the shots when you need to, I guess. That will make the difference.

Q. Is this course living up to expectations?

RACHEL HETHERINGTON: Yeah, I think so. You know, it's going to be tough regardless and I am glad to see it's tough. I enjoy the challenge. It's what it's all about. We have got a course here at Cherry Hills that is in great shape and got a lot of people out following us. So, you know, as tough as it is, it's kind of really exciting to play.

Q. As many times as you have won on this Tour, do you feel you are working yourself up to a major?

RACHEL HETHERINGTON: Yeah, certainly. Yeah, I haven't been all that consistent this year, but I feel like my game is good enough to win a major and it's a matter of just putting the pieces together.

Q. What would it mean to win here?

RACHEL HETHERINGTON: Oh it would be incredible. It would mean that I have played, you know, great golf throughout the week and trusted the shots that I want to play and, you know, trusted my game. So it would be very exciting. It would be incredible.

Q. Teenagers tend to not have fear. How do you compare that with your experience?


Q. Fear for them and your experience?

RACHEL HETHERINGTON: I hope it's my experience (laughs).

Q. Do you still get butterflies?

RACHEL HETHERINGTON: Absolutely, yeah. As tough as the course is, I mean you have got to hit good shots. You have got to trust yourself out there, so, yeah, it's part of the excitement of it. You do get the butterflies and you get excited about playing here, for sure.

Q. How do you approach kind of a long break?

RACHEL HETHERINGTON: I have had a short break yesterday because we left so late last night and I was up at 4:30 this morning to get here today. I will be looking forward to putting my feet up and looking forward to a late tee time.

Q. I don't know if we have a half hour to go through your entire card but generally were your birdies -- were you hitting it stiff? Did you make some good putts?

RACHEL HETHERINGTON: It was a combination of things, I think. I hit it pretty solid. The birdies I made, you know, they were pretty good solid putts. 15, I guess 15, 20 feet. Made a long one on 4, about 30 feet. But other than that, they were, you know, 15, 20 feet, which is nice. I don't make too many of them, so I will take it when I make them.

Q. What is the highlight of your day?

RACHEL HETHERINGTON: Highlight of my day birdieing 9 and working on a bit of consistency on the back 9.

Q. Most of your bogeys were because you drove it in the rough?

RACHEL HETHERINGTON: Yeah. I have a 3-putt bogey, missed the fairway, two of the bogeys, and missed the greens and the other two.

End of FastScripts.

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