Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G Thursday Notes and Interviews

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G
Pinnacle Country Club
Rogers, Arkansas
Thursday Pre-Tournament Notes
June 26, 2014

Michelle Wie, Rolex Rankings No. 7
Emily Tubert, Sponsor Invite



The world’s best female golfers will be teeing it up this week in Rogers, Arkansas for the eighth-annual Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G. Nineteen of the top-20 players on the LPGA Tour Money List will be in action at Pinnacle Country Club including Rolex Rankings No. 7 Michelle Wie. The 24-year old Hawaiian is fresh off a full-blown media tour in New York City following her historic win at the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst No. 2

Three University of Arkansas Razorbacks are in the field and expect to be “Calling the Hogs” all week. Stacy Lewis (Class of 2008) and Emily Tubert (Class of 2014) are alum of the program and rising junior Gaby Lopez will carry the flag as the only current Razorback in the field. World No. 2 Inbee Park will be looking to bounce back after a T43 finish last week at Pinehurst and will be in hopes to defend her title. Park notched her fifth win of the year in Rogers en route to Rolex Player of the Year honors.

A HUGE PUBLICITY TOUR
U.S. Women’s Open Champion Michelle Wie took part in a huge publicity tour around New York City the last couple of days. The 24-year old won her first major championship on Sunday and by Monday morning had requests from some of the biggest media outlets in the country.

Wie appeared on The Today Show, Fox and Friends, Fox Business, The Dan Patrick Show, CNN Newsroom, CNN International, NBC Sports, The Empire State Building and Live with Kelly and Michael to name some of them. The demands for Wie are a testament to her rising star power and the growth of the LPGA Tour powered by a strong 2014 season.
“I just feel so proud to be part of a tour that we’re rising.” Wie said. “I feel like we have a lot of pride in our tour and the direction that it’s going. It just feels great. Hopefully better things will happen, more great things, and I’m really excited for the future.”

The tour was an exhausting 48 hours but one she won’t soon forget. But, by the time it was over she was ready to get back to the course to do what she loves.

“I was just so happy to get on a plane to Arkansas so I could just play some golf already.” Wie said. “It was a lot of fun, but I’m really happy to be here. I feel extremely lucky.”

THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT
University of Arkansas grad Stacy Lewis gave Michelle Wie a run last Sunday at Pinehurst, eventually finishing in second, just two strokes behind the U.S. Women’s Open champion. She was one of the first people on the green after Wie finished her round – just waiting to congratulate her on a well-deserved victory.

Having the No. 1 player in the world taking in the scene and appreciating the scene and what Wie as done to grow women’s golf was not lost on Wie. Neither was Stacy’s final round which made for an exciting finish, something the men the week before did not have.

“I have so much respect for Stacy going out on Sunday and shooting 4 under par on that golf course.” Wie said. “I mean, she gave me a really good scare there. But I think that’s so great about us, we push each other. We push each other to play harder, we work out together in the gym, and she always pushes me to work out harder. I definitely look up to her and how she plays and how she handles herself. Definitely I feel very proud that I took one away from her. I thought it was so great that she hugged me outside the green and that just shows how great of a person she is.”

BIG BREAK THIS WEEK?
Emily Tubert arrived to Rogers, Arkansas on Thursday morning just a day before she makes her professional debut in her second home of NW
Arkansas this week. But it was with good reason she fashionably late to the event. Tubert announced on Thursday that she was filming the newest season of Golf Channel’s reality series Big Break. Although she was not allowed to divulge much information regarding the show, Tubert claimed the experience provided one-of-a-kind preparation for her pro debut this week.

“It is unlike anything I have ever done in my entire life,” said Tubert. “It was definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever been a part of. Such an incredible, incredible experience. Everybody that I met, it’s so different from normal golf. The pressure is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced because you have one swing, one opportunity to hit a shot that could determine your fate on the show, whether you are safe and on to the next episode or whether you’re off to elimination and potentially off the show for the season. So incredible.”

Tubert, who is playing on a sponsor exemption this week, has been the only cast member to be announced yet for the season that will air this fall. Being timed up with her professional debut in the area she spent the past four years of her amateur career, Golf Channel gave her the go-ahead. Tubert said she can’t wait to get back out and play a full round of 18 holes.

“I’m super excited,” said Tubert. “I feel like after all of that the last couple weeks, it’s going to be nice just to play golf. That’s what I’m comfortable doing, that’s what I’m used to doing. And they shoot the show with 12 plus cameras, sometimes with the Go Pros there’s as many as 14 cameras rolling as you’re hitting this one shot that determines your fate, so the pressure in different situations and all of that I think really have prepared me hopefully for this week and for my first professional event, as a professional.”

EXCITED FOR THE PAIRING
Lizette Salas, Morgan Pressel and Gerina Piller were so excited about being paired together for the first round, they took to Instagram to promote it. The self titled “All Star” pairing has a 8:25am (CT) tee time from tee 10.

“All star pairing tomorrow! @gerinampiller and @mpressel #excited”
- @lizettesalas5 on Instagram

CREDIT TO YOU
Tubert gave Lewis credit for single handedly elevating the program in Fayetteville and for putting the Razorbacks on the map in women’s college golf after winning at national championship and then ascending to No. 1 in the world. She said she never thought of relocating from Los Angeles to NW Arkansas for college, but figured if Stacy Lewis could make an impact at U of A, so could she.

“Stacy’s impact on the program is tremendous,” said Tubert. “I’m from Los Angeles. Never in a million years thought I’d end up in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Had a teammate who was a year older said, Emily, you have to come check it out. I’m like, You’re crazy, why? I put it on the list because Emma said so and because Stacy Lewis graduated from here, and I said I’m just going to go look and was absolutely blown away by everything it has to offer.”

Tubert’s illustrious career with the Razorbacks included being named an All-SEC First Team selection four times and was a three-time Duramed Futures Tour National Golf Coaches Association All-American (2011, 2012, 2013). She also received the 2014 Dinah Shore Trophy Award which honors the collegiate player who best displays excellence on the course, in the classroom and in the community. Tubert joined Lewis (2007) and the only two U of A players to receive the award and says Lewis has set the benchmark for future Razorbacks who will follow in her footsteps.

“Stacy is so great,” said Tubert. “For my first three years in college she would come out and watch one event every year. She’s our volunteer assistant coach. She would pop in every once in a while and we would practice with her out at the Blessings. When I qualified for the U.S. Open last summer, I played a practice round with her and she’s just been very gracious with her time and her knowledge and her experience, just so helpful.

“She’s been through it,” said Tubert. “She’s playing the highest level of professional golf and she loves the Razorbacks, and she sports that head cover and she calls the hogs. And so to have an event here, to have her playing in this event and to have her doing so much for the community and the university, it’s incredible, what a resource and how amazing that she does that for us.”

2000+ INCHES OF PANTENE BEAUTIFUL LENGTHS
Over 300 people showed up Wednesday night at the Embassy Suites in Rogers, Arkansas to donate their hair which will be used to make wigs to help those fighting cancer. The event was a celebration of women’s health and the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G.

Five LPGA players including Meghan McChrystal, Tiffany Joh, Stacy Keating, Jacqui Concolino, Cindy LaCrosse and LPGA staff members teamed up with Pantene Beautiful Lengths in the hair donation that required at least eight inches of hair to be cut. The hair collected will be used to create high-quality wigs for women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatment.

In addition to the players donating their hair, several other LPGA Tour players participated as honorary cutters and many others stopped by to cheer on their peers. Natalie Gulbis, Beatriz Recari and Morgan Pressel joined Univerisity of Arkansas head football coach Bret Bielema in hosting the successful event.

QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The big surprise was this week actually. I got congratulatory flowers, this huge flower vase from Adam
Sandler, which is awesome. I feel like that’s the biggest prize in golf, getting flowers from Happy Gilmore. Like you know you made it when that happens.
-Michelle Wie on the congratulatory messages she has received since her win on Sunday at the U.S.
Women’s Open

 

Michelle Wie, Rolex Rankings No. 7

MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, everyone.  I would like to welcome U.S. Women's Open champion Michelle Wie into the interview room. 

Michelle, first off, congratulations.  It's been a wild week for you, hasn't it?  You just got off a huge publicity tour in New York, you visited the Today Show, Fox & Friends, Live with Kelly and Michael yesterday, CNN, the list goes on and on.

What does all this attention mean to you?

MICHELLE WIE:  It feels great.  I mean, it feels great, but I don't know how people in show business does it.  I was just so happy to get on a plane to Arkansas so I could just play some golf already.  It was a lot of fun, but I'm really happy to be here.  I feel extremely lucky.

MODERATOR:  I was there with you and I saw the people as you walked down the street recognizing you.  Now more than ever you've become the face of the LPGA. 

What does that attention mean and does that feel pressure and do you feel proud about the fact that you're helping grow this game?

MICHELLE WIE:  It didn't help that we were walking around with a trophy and I was wearing like five‑inch heels in New York City, but it feels great.  Like I said many times yesterday, I just feel so proud to be part of a tour that we're rising.  I feel like we have a lot of pride in our tour and the direction that it's going.  It just feels great.  Hopefully better things will happen, more great things, and I'm really excited for the future.

MODERATOR:  Coming off that huge victory you had a chance to take this week off, but you're here.  People are excited.  At this tournament we have nine of the Top 10 players.  What is it about this tournament that makes it so special?

MICHELLE WIE:  I think the fans.  I mean, the fans really love to see us here.  They get rowdy, they get loud.  You know, I joked with Stacy, I tell her this is the one tournament I don't want to play with you just because it just gets so crazy.  But I saw the setup on 17 today, I'm really excited.  I saw the sign that it's going to be the loudest hole on tour, hopefully it will be like Waste Management.  I'm really excited.  The crowds seem like they're really excited for us to be here.  I did have a choice to take this week off obviously, but I've always planned to play this week.  And like I said, New York was fun but I'm really excited to be here and play some golf this week.

MODERATOR:  And you brought Stacy up.  Stacy was so gracious in defeat at the U.S. Open and she said that she stood there on 18 just taking in the scene and she even called you the best golfer out there winning the best tournament of the year.  What does that mean to you?

MICHELLE WIE:  You know, I have so much respect for Stacy going out on Sunday and shooting 4‑under par on that golf course.  I mean, she gave me a really good scare there.  But I think that's so great about us, we push each other.  We push each other to play harder, we work out together in the gym, and she always pushes me to work out harder.  I definitely look up to her and how she plays and how she handles herself.  Definitely I feel very proud that I took one away from her.  I thought it was so great that she hugged me outside the green and that just shows how great of a person she is.

MODERATOR:  Have you been surprised at how positive the reaction is to you winning?

MICHELLE WIE:  I don't know, I haven't really read anything or heard anything.  I try to, as much as I can, try not to, you know, read anything or try to keep myself in a bubble as much as I can.

MODERATOR:  And then several people have kind of predicted that you're going to be on the Danica Patrick level in terms of women's sports popularity.  Do you agree?  Are they off base?  And is there anything that you feel has prepared you for this level of stardom?

MICHELLE WIE:  Yeah, I think, you know, like I said, I feel so extremely lucky just to have a chance to make an impact, make a positive impact to hopefully leave the tour in a better place.  But I think obviously actions speak a lot louder than words.  This win was extremely motivating for me, it makes me want to go out there and work harder, and hopefully I just want to keep doing it again and again because winning was extremely fun.

MODERATOR:  Let's open it up for questions.  If you have a question, please do wait for a microphone to be passed.

Q.  Michelle, I guess about four years ago you've had success in this tournament, not so much the last three.  Where your game is right now, what's the goal this week?  Obviously to play well, but what's this course do to you and where your game is right now?

MICHELLE WIE:  Yeah, I mean, obviously I haven't played it much this week, I just played it today but it's a good golf course.  You have to place it in the right spot.  It's not a whole lot of drivers on this golf course.  It's a lot of place on the fairway, hit good wedge shots, make a lot of birdies kind of golf course.  So hopefully my caddie and I made a pretty good plan out there this week and we'll stick with it and hopefully that's what will happen.

Q.  With as crazy as the week has been, I'd like to talk to you about how nice is it to actually get on the course and see what you're facing this weekend?

MICHELLE WIE:  It feels great.  It was a lot of fun, but it feels even better when I landed in Arkansas, like okay, I can just play golf again.  I'm really excited for tomorrow afternoon.  I'm more excited to sleep.  I'm kind of just like falling asleep in my chair, just chugging coffee.  It was fun to go out there, I had a great pro‑am group today.  Going to practice a little bit and probably sleep all the way until my tee time tomorrow morning, I mean tomorrow afternoon.

Q.  Michelle, three‑shot lead with three to play I think Sunday, in kind of a spot of bother there after your drive.  Was there any thought to just how do I make five on this hole, or can you kind of learn from that situation making six, or was it okay the way it happened?

MICHELLE WIE:  Yeah, I mean, I kind of ‑‑ as soon as I hit the bunker shot I was like, you dummy, you should have just laid up.  But I felt good, I felt good, grabbed for the hybrid, tried to hit a cut.  Yeah, there was a brief moment of panic there but I felt like in that situation I knew what I needed to do.  You know, obviously this could have happened or that could have happened, but I'm extremely proud of myself for blocking that out completely.  I just knew what I needed to do and if I didn't do it, I didn't do it.  So I was just trying to obviously make that bogey putt and then I missed.  Tried to make that double bogey putt, and I knew what I had to do on 17.  I'm really proud of myself for not panicking too much.

Q.  Michelle, Stacy Lewis said you're the biggest star on this tour and how cool it was you winning.  Do you better understand that, your position now at this age than maybe you did, you know, when you first came in and were maybe called the biggest star?  Do you better understand that tag that you now have?

MICHELLE WIE:  I don't know, I think Stacy was a little bit too nice there.  I don't think I'm the biggest star.  I think that our tour has ‑‑ that's what so great about our tour is that we have a lot of big stars.  We have a lot of big names that carry our tour and are great role models for young girls.  We see girls from The First Tee and U.S. Junior Girls out every week and I'm extremely proud just because there's a lot of girls on our tour that are just such great role models, and I think Stacy being one of them.  But yeah, I don't know if I'm the biggest star out there.  I just, you know, I just want to play good golf and try to be a good role model and have fun.

Q.  Why did you originally start using the table top putting style?

MICHELLE WIE:  I kind of always wanted to be short and I felt like it kind of brought me closest to the ground.  I just felt comfortable, and I didn't really notice how weird it looked until someone pointed me out and told me to look in the mirror.

Q.  Do you have anything fun planned for the 17th hole, the loudest hole on the tour?

MICHELLE WIE:  Hopefully, I mean, I feel like if you made a birdie there hopefully it will be great.  But I'm excited, I think that hopefully I'll have some stuff to give out to the fans.  I don't know what I brought, but I'll try to find something, maybe some balls or hats or something.  Yeah it's a great hole, I hope a lot of people show up and get rowdy.

Q.  Michelle, when you came out so young, so much was expected.  Do you think had you won a major way back then that you would have been able to handle it to the level that you're experiencing now given that you've got some more maturity?

MICHELLE WIE:  Yeah, it's always hard to handle the spotlight when you're young.  I think that obviously I grew up in the media, I grew up in the spotlight, and I had a lot of growing pains here and there.  But who knows what would have happened.  I think I have great family and friends and a good support group around me.  My agency would have guided me in somewhat of a good direction I hope.  I'm a big believer that everything happens for a reason and there's a reason why I didn't win it back then, there's a reason why I won it this year.  So yeah, I feel extremely grateful that it finally happened.

Q.  Can you tell us about some of the congratulatory messages you got maybe Sunday night or Monday and were you surprised by any?

MICHELLE WIE:  Yeah, the big surprise was this week actually.  I got congratulatory flowers, this huge flower vase from Adam Sandler, which is awesome.  I feel like that's the biggest prize in golf, getting flowers from Happy Gilmore.  Like you know you made it when that happens. 

But yeah, I mean, so many ‑‑ I mean I felt like an overwhelming feeling of support from everyone.  I got some, I got a text message from Barbara Nicklaus and Condoleezza Rice and my Nike family, from Phil Knight and Louise Suggs. 

Got a letter from Arnold Palmer, which I thought was really cute because he like writes me a letter and then his assistant like emails me the attachment because I don't think he knows how to use email. 

But yeah, I mean, just so many people, so many.  I think I got a really long text message from David Leadbetter.  Unfortunately he had to fly out on Sunday.  But it was great, just so much support from so many people and I feel extremely lucky.

Q.  Michelle, your parents have been with you every step of the way since you burst onto the scene and became extremely famous as just a 12‑year‑old, and you guys have been the most scrutinized team in LPGA history for all that time. 

Two things.  Was there a moment Sunday night or Monday that you kind of just took a step back ‑‑ I know you try not to read or see a lot of the criticism or scrutiny that has been a part of your career, but was there a moment where you just took a step back and felt a moment of vindication?  And, secondly, the emotions of the hug with your mother on 18 green?

MICHELLE WIE:  Yeah, I think that moment I'll remember for the rest of my life.  I mean, it just ‑‑ it just felt like it came a complete circle, full circle.  We kind of shared that moment when I won the Public Links when I was 13, she was there, we both were crying.  The same exact scene after I won the U.S. Open and it was just crazy how everything happens.  I can already feel my mom crying on 18 walking up to the green.  I knew how much she wanted this, how much my parents wanted this for me.  It was an amazing feeling. 

When we got back, my parents were convinced that Lola was more excited to see us than normal because she could feel that I won.  I called BS on that, I think it was exactly the same.  It was a great moment for our whole family because I know how hard every single one of us has worked and my parents have sacrificed so much for me.  They devote so much of their time for me and they want the best for me, so it was a really truly special moment for all of us.

Q.  Michelle, what's up with the crazy tape you wear on your legs and do you color coordinate it every day, do you hold the tape up and go, well, this doesn't match this hue, maybe I should go with white today, goes with anything.  Talk about the tape a little bit.

MICHELLE WIE:  I just have this minor lingering nagging injury for quite a bit and I really feel the tape really helps it, just helps to keep the swelling down and just helps me to keep playing.  But also it looks cool, I think.  I kind of get really artsy with it with the design, you know.  Got the camo last week, got the blue this week, just fun.

Q.  Had you ever met Adam Sandler or is that just completely random?

MICHELLE WIE:  No, I actually, when I was 14 and I played in the Sony Open, we do the Pro Junior Challenge and I think I was like 14 or 15, I forgot what year, but he was my partner for the Pro Junior Challenge and it was awesome.  We played six holes together, and on the first hole he Happy Gilmored it.  So his caddie in the movie actually caddied for him that day and Rob Schneider was yelling inappropriate things all day.  So it was a pretty cool experience.  But yeah, I was pretty surprised, I was pretty ‑‑ it was pretty cool.

Q.  And what are your expectations now for this week considering everything that's happened?

MICHELLE WIE:  I mean obviously it's my first tournament kind of coming here playing in the pro‑am and go, but hopefully my past experiences here will help me but I just want to go out there and have fun.  I think I have kind of high expectations just because I did so well last week but I'm just going to take it back and just play the same way I played all year.  I think my goal is still to be really consistent, that's still my main goal for this year, and I just want to go out there and have fun and just play consistently out there, just place it in the right places and just go out there and try and make some birdies.

Q.  Could you talk about your relationship with Meg Mallon?

MICHELLE WIE:  Yeah, Meg's like my second mom.  She always guides me in the right direction, she gives me really good advice.  Meg and Beth are definitely someone that has been very special in my life all my life.  She's the one that told me, you know, that I can get into Stanford, I should go to Stanford, and definitely one of the biggest supporters and fans.

Q.  You've been to Arkansas several times now.  Besides playing golf, what's your favorite thing about Arkansas?

MICHELLE WIE:  Food.  The food here is phenomenal.  Definitely one of my favorite spots.  I always go to Doe's and a couple good rib places so it's a good eating week for me.



Emily Tubert, Sponsor Invite

MODERATOR:  Welcome back home and I think we have a little bit of an announcement.  I think people said, where is she, what is she doing, she's coming on Thursday, the day before the event?  You have a little announcement to tell.  Where have you been the past two weeks?

EMILY TUBERT:  Yes, so I'm excited to break the news here first.  The last two‑plus weeks I was hanging out with the Golf Channel filming the next season of Big Break, so I will be a contestant on the next season of Big Break.  That's where I've been.  We just wrapped yesterday, so I flew in this morning and I'm super excited to tee it up this week out here out in my backyard with all the Razorback fans where I called home for the past four years.

MODERATOR:  I tried to get ahold of you to get you in the press room.  Then I heard a little birdie and the guy from the Golf Channel said, Well, she doesn't have her cell phone.  I was like, okay, this is going to be a little tough.  So let's talk about this experience.  I know you can't divulge too many details, but talk about the last two weeks and just how it's been in comparison to your past experiences in golf and then compared to playing in the Big Break.

EMILY TUBERT:  Yeah, it is unlike anything I have ever done in my entire life.  It was definitely one of the coolest things I've ever been a part of.  Such an incredible, incredible experience.  Everybody that I met, it's so different from normal golf.  The pressure is unlike anything I've ever experienced because you have one swing, one opportunity to hit a shot that could determine your fate on the show, whether you are safe and on to the next episode or whether you're off to elimination and potentially off the show for the season.  So incredible. 

There wasn't ‑‑ I thought doing a golf show, right?  You'll have time to practice and get ready.  You know, pretty normal as far as I'm going to spend some time putting and chipping.  There is no time for that.  You have 15, 20 minutes to warm up before your challenge.  You go, you're shooting all day.  But just such an incredible experience, I feel have so blessed and so fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in that.

MODERATOR:  A little bit of a transition going from just hitting one shot for a challenge and then coming to try to put three days together here in Rogers.  Talk about the transition of that and having to try to put together 18 holes instead of just one 90‑yard shot.

EMILY TUBERT:  Yeah, I'm super excited.  I feel like after all of that the last couple weeks, it's going to be nice just to play golf.  That's what I'm comfortable doing, that's what I'm used to doing.  And they shoot the show with 12‑plus cameras, sometimes with the Go‑Pros there's as many as 14 cameras rolling as you're hitting this one shot that determines your fate, so the pressure in different situations and all of that I think really have prepared me hopefully for this week and for my first professional event, as a professional.

MODERATOR:  We will open it up to questions.

Q.  First off, where was the Big Break shot?

EMILY TUBERT:  I can't say that.

MODERATOR:  No more details.

EMILY TUBERT:  Not yet.  I am allowed to say that it will be airing in the fall sometime, so keep your ears and eyes peeled for announcements of all that information.

Q.  No problem.  My basis is Sebastian and how well he played last week.  A little different tours, but you've got a lot going for you.  His first pro tournament, he wins it.

EMILY TUBERT:  Did he really?  Congratulations.

Q.  Web.com Tour last week.  It's kind of hard to beat that, but what expectation ‑‑ you've played here before.

EMILY TUBERT:  Um‑hmm.

Q.  You've made the cut.  What expectations do you have this week?

EMILY TUBERT:  First of all, congratulations to Sebastian.  I'll have to send him a little text message.  I was in a bubble, they took our phones away the day we got there, so for two weeks I didn't have access to anything or anybody.  So congratulations to him. 

For me this week, I just want to have fun, I want to enjoy it.  There's nothing like Northwest Arkansas and the fans and the community that's here and I think there isn't a better place for me to make my professional debut on the LPGA Tour.  So I have a former teammate and friend caddying for me this week, my parents are flying in.  Everybody who I've met ‑‑ not everybody, but a lot of people who I've met in my time here are going to come out and watch.  And I'm playing in the group right in front of Stacy, who's a fellow Razorback, No. 1 in the world right now.  So I'm just going to try to enjoy every second and do the best that I can but really just try to soak it all in.

Q.  Emily, how did the Big Break thing come about if you can talk about that?  Did they come to you, do you go to them, how did that come about?

EMILY TUBERT:  Yeah, I think I'm allowed to talk about that, they didn't say I couldn't.  Kind of random, I woke up one morning over Christmas break, pulled up Facebook, was perusing the news feed, and somebody had posted on somebody else's wall, Golf Channel now accepting applications for Big Break.  And it's a show that I watched growing up because I just thought it was cool, and never in a million years thought I would ever participate in it, and saw that they were accepting applications.  I went and asked my mom.  Mom, what do you think about this?  I still have another semester at school.  You have to be professional to be on it.  She said, Well, they're not going to shoot anything for months, if you want to just fill out an application.  So I filled out an application.  A couple weeks later I received an email saying I selected for an audition.  Flew out to Orlando, auditioned for the producers, and then a few months later found out that I had been cast in the next season.

Q.  First pro tournament but obviously you've played here before.  I think this week four out of the eight girls on last year's Arkansas team had a chance to play, whether it's the qualifier or whatever.  How beneficial do you think having this tournament so close to the campus is for the program?

EMILY TUBERT:  I think it's incredible.  I mean, it's amazing that it is so close.  15, 20 minutes from campus we have this LPGA event.  But even more so than the location, the fact that the tournament provides an opportunity to the team, that they make an effort and they really give us a chance, you know.  We had two in the Monday qualifier, we have two playing in the field.  Just the support that they give us.  Yes, we have an event in Northwest Arkansas but they don't have to be as generous as they are.  So thank you to everyone in the tournament that makes it possible for us, thank you for connecting with the U of A golfers and giving us an opportunity to tee it up with the best in the world.

MODERATOR:  Talk a little bit of the role not only for this event being here but also Stacy coming back here, doing so much just in the community for this event, but also carrying the banner.  I met Stacy obviously after she graduated.  I don't see anybody on tour who loves their school more than Stacy.  I mean, she loves it here.  Talk about how her influence on the program has elevated recruiting players, to elevate the entire program as a hole.

EMILY TUBERT:  Stacy's impact on the program is tremendous.  I'm from Los Angeles.  Never in a million years thought I'd end up in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  Had a teammate who was a year older said, Emily, you have to come check it out.  I'm like, You're crazy, why?  I put it on the list because Emma said so and because Stacy Lewis graduated from here, and I said I'm just going to go look and was absolutely blown away by everything it has to offer.  And Stacy is so great.  For my first three years in college she would come out and watch one event every year.  She's our volunteer assistant coach.  She would pop in every once in a while and we would practice with her out at the Blessings.  When I qualified for the U.S. Open last summer, I played a practice round with her and she's just been very gracious with her time and her knowledge and her experience, just so helpful.  She's been through it.  She's playing the highest level of professional golf and she loves the Razorbacks, and she sports that head cover and she calls the hogs.  And so to have an event here, to have her playing in this event and to have her doing so much for the community and the university, it's incredible, what a resource and how amazing that she does that for us. 

MODERATOR:  I know you said the past two weeks have been quite the whirlwind.  Beginning of the summer you're going to try to get through this week.  What are the plans for the rest of the summer in terms of once you've turned pro and where the rest of the career is going?

EMILY TUBERT:  Yeah, so the last two and a half weeks have been a blur.  We're in time warp over there.  So I think once I finish up here I'm going to stay a couple days and hang out, and then I'll go back to Los Angeles where I'm based out of right now and just figure out what events I want to play this summer and just gear up for Q School, first stage in August.

Q.  (No microphone.)

EMILY TUBERT:  Megan Roberts is caddying for me this week.

Q.  Having seen your dad go crazy watching you play several times, I wondered if he had any advice on how to Hollywood this thing up for the Big Break?

EMILY TUBERT:  Yeah, for those of you who don't know, my dad is an actor.  But no, I didn't ‑‑ I think going into it I just wanted to be myself.  I just wanted to hit the best shots that I could.  As far as, you know, interviews and speaking and personality wise, I was just going to be me.  I'm excited for this to air.  It's going to be a while, it's going to be in the fall, but I'll be interested to see how it all turns out.  I think it's going to be a great season and so I hope that everybody tunes in.

MODERATOR:  Nice plug.

EMILY TUBERT:  Yeah.

 

 

Topics: Notes and Interviews, Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, Wie, Michelle