Exclusive Interview With Golf Star Vicky Hurst
Special Exclusive Interview With Vicky Hurst As She Talks About Her Recent 4th Place Finish In The Sybase Matchplay
BREVARD COUNTY • FLORIDA — Vicky Hurst moves into 14th position on the LPGA Top Money List and 64th in Rolex Rankings. Bobby Walker – golf editor of Maverick Multimedia’s SpaceCoastDaily.com and Space Coast Golf Magazine - catches up with Melbourne’s very own.
WALKER: Good morning Vicky and let me say first, congratulations on your finish in the Sybase Match Play Championships this past week. I really enjoyed watching you play on the big screen.
HURST: Thanks for your thoughts!
WALKER: We want to let you know that all golf fans on the Space Coast, our team at SpaceCoastDaily.com and Space Coast Golf Magazine recognize your achievements and follow your success with great pride.
We greatly appreciate you taking the time to speak with us.
HURST: Thank you and you are welcome.
WALKER: To let you know how confident we are in you, I was already writing the story on Saturday evening. “Melbourne’s Own Vicky Hurst – Tees it up in Final Four.”
For most sports fans, the term “final four” conjures up thoughts related to NCAA basketball.
This golf “final four” begins with the top 64 players in the world, unlike NCAA basketball which is the top 64 teams in the USA.
The most current Rolex Rankings are used to finalize all pairings.
Vicky, the Sybase Match Play tournament is an Official LPGA Tour event featuring 64 of the top female golfers in the world. How does it feel to be on that list of invitees?
HURST: It is always an honor to be a part of any well run tour event such as the Sybase Matchplay. This is one of the few events on the LPGA tour schedule that you have to play your way in to. Securing a top 64 spot is always an accomplishment and makes me proud and excited to tee it up on Thursday.
WALKER: I’d like to now recount with you, each of your matches in the Sybase Matchplay and get your thoughts and feelings on each one:
On Thursday, in the first round, as the 37th ranked player you defeated the 28th ranked Meena Lee 2 and !.
HURST: This match, I think,started out really well – jumping out 4 up on the front nine. Meena is a tough competitor. She came back and made some bombs good for birdies. I hung on and felt pretty good about my day.
WALKER: Friday, in the second round, you defeated Cristie Kerr who was ranked No. 5.
In Friday’s second round, you proved to be too much of a match against No. 5 seed Cristi Kerr after taking it to 19 holes. Kerr conceded to par on the first playoff hole. You seemed relaxed and very confident.
Tournament commentators were talking about what a strong match-play competitor Cristie Kerr was and you beat her in the first playoff hole.
HURST: Christie is a great “match play” player, but I went into the match knowing she is just a great player in general.
I didn’t let her being a great “match play” player get in my head.
WALKER: Saturday morning in the third round you defeated Angela Stanford who was ranked No. 12, 2 and 1 to move on to the afternoon’s fourth round.
On Saturday morning, Angela Stanford may have been considered the favorite in the third round morning’s match up, but again you proved that you could take out higher ranked competitors.
HURST: I was very proud of that win against a great player like Angela Stanford.
Advances To Quarter-Finals
WALKER: Saturday afternoon in the 4th Round, which was the Quarter Finals, you finished two-up and defeated So Yeon Ryu who was ranked No. 13. This great win meant that you had advanced to the “final four” semi-finals.
HURST: We went back-and-forth through 13 until I was fortunate enough to win three of the last four holes to secure the win.
WALKER: I had already started to write the epic account of your first LPGA Tour win, ”I would like to congratulate the winner of the SYBASE Match Play Championship for her first career LPGA Tour title.”
HURST: Ha! Thanks. Everything was going good – my putting was pretty solid. That was a really good day for me. In match-play, advancing to Sunday’s round is always a good thing.
WALKER: Sunday morning–in the semi-finals, Candie Kung, ranked 49 defeated you in a real back-and-forth match. Kung won No. 14 before you birdied the 15th and 16th to give Kung a 1 up lead with two to play. A birdie by Kung on No. 17 sealed her victory in the afternoon’s final match. That set you up to face Morgan Pressel in the afternoon’s consolation round.
HURST: Neither Candie or I really played very well in the semi final. We were just kind of up, down, up, down all day. I was actually hoping to compete against Morgan in the finals, which would have been fun!
$112,500 For Fourth Place
WALKER: In Sunday afternoon’s Consolation Round, Morgan Pressel who was ranked No. 15, came away with the victory. By finishing third, Morgan Pressel earned $150,000 and you won $112,500 for your fourth place finish.
HURST: I have played with Morgan many times before and I know how much fire and intensity she has on the course. We both played very well in the afternoon and in the end she closed it out with a couple of great birdies.
WALKER: Vicky, when paired with Morgan Pressel, what was going through your mind? Being paired with her after the debacle which occurred in her previous match with the eventual winner Azahara Munoz.
HURST: I don’t think she would let the issue from her morning match effect her mindset going into the afternoon match with me. Obviously it didn’t as she played very well against me. That maybe gave her even more fire.
WALKER: Vicky, can you explain how match-play differs from stroke play. How is it so much different on the level you play?
HURST: Sure, match play and stroke play are two totally different formats but the key is to keep the same mentality as any tournament. Only a few times last week did I have to make a certain decision based off of my competitors shot by either playing the safer shot or taking the more aggressive line. In stroke play you never usually pay attention to where the other player hits a shot.
WALKER: You seemed very confident in your play. After last weekend’s experience where you took on some of the best in the world, you proved that you are right there with them. I know a win would have been the ultimate objective, but a fourth place finish out of the top 64 players in the entire world is a terrific accomplishment.
HURST: Mr. Walker, I walk into every event seeing myself hoist the trophy on Sunday, but only for a moment do I think that. In “match play” the only way you’ll get to the finals is by beating the girl you play that day and that is the mind set I had going into every match last week.
WALKER: Vicky, many congratulations for another reason. As I understand it, your fourth place finish in the Sybase Match Play has qualified you for the year-ending CME Group Titleholders. This event is a $1.5 million season ending tournament and showcases the best performing players from the 2012 LPGA Tour season. Again another list you have made it onto. Congratulations?
HURST: Yes! Securing a spot into that event is another accomplishment that I am proud of. It will be a privilege to be representing Sybase that week.
WALKER: Correct me if I am wrong but, I think last time we spoke you said one of your goals this year was to reach the top 15 on the LPGA Money List. As of today, you are ranked 14th. It is still early in the season and the CME Titleholders is not until November. How do you feel about your goal?
HURST: My goal remains the same, I haven’t reached it yet. I still have to play my best to stay in the top 15 by the end of the year. A win will surely help! But as of now, I am very happy with where I stand and I am looking forward to the next few events which are big ones!
WALKER: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us today. Your hometown fans love to read and hear about you in Space Coast Golf Magazine and at Space Coast Daily.com. I am humbled and privileged to be able to bring your story to them. We look forward to watching you play – good luck Vicky and thank you.
HURST: Thanks Mr. Walker!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Since 2008, Vicky Hurst has recorded seven top-10 finishes, including a second place finish at the 2010 LPGA Hana Bank Championship and a fourth place finish in the 2012 Sybase Match Play Championships.
For more questions and answers from this exclusive interview with Vicky Hurst, pick up your July/August 2012 issue of Space Coast Golf Magazine.
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