CME Group Tour Championship

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Naples, Florida, USA

Tiburon Golf Club

Gaby Lopez

Quick Quotes

Q. Joined by Gaby Lopez after a 3-under par 69 in the third round of the CME Group Tour Championship. Gaby, a strong start. Three birdies on the front nine; then you made the turn, another birdie, and then you had an adventurous finish with double bogey on 16, eagle on 17, and a bogey on 18.

Take us through that finish and what was running through your mind to just keep yourself in the hunt?

GABY LOPEZ: Yeah, you know, I had just terrible swing on 16 and that got me in trouble. I took a double bogey out of there, and I was still calm after that. I know I was hitting the right shots and I was playing the way I wanted.

I came to 17 and I hit a beautiful drive, beautiful 5-iron, and it happened to go in.

You know, I tried to stay calm all day long. I tried to stay calm throughout the tournament. Sometimes when I bring this emotion I just can't stop it.

I feel that I dragged it into 18. It was hard to keep it together. But at the same time, it's something that I love from my game, something I embrace so much.

I'm sure that I'm going to learn from it. I know I'm going to have the discipline next time to calm down. But it's exciting. I love this position. I love to see myself grow.

I think that I've grown so much through the years, and having this opportunity tomorrow to have one shot back and be able to hit exactly the shots that I been wanting, been picturing, visualizing, it's just really exciting.

Q. Looking back, now that you can assess the round in totality, you showed with that emotion how big that putt on 17 was. How big was that to keep yourself right there, especially with what happened on 18?

GABY LOPEZ: I mean, it was huge, you know, coming from a horrible swing on 16 and then just bouncing back as quickly as that. I knew I had to stay calm to have the right speed because it was really downhill, downwind, and it can get really tricky.

But I was just, you know, excited as you could be. But I repeat: It's something that I love from my game, something that I love from my personality. I feel that the more emotions we show on tour the better. I don't know, I think the game just becomes more interesting.

Q. What were you thinking about while you were having the rules official help you make that drop to recollect yourself and get up and down and finish the round?

GABY LOPEZ: Yeah, I mean, honestly, it was a really hard shot because it was directly into the grain uphill. It was so easy to chunk it and, I mean, be in the water again.

I'm just really proud of how I handled that up and down and be able to make that putt unde all that was going through my mind, my emotions. That putt meant a lot to me, and I feel that -- I mean, it might not end up for a bogey, but for me it was almost a birdie.

Ended up with just positive thinking.

Q. How does that help you going into tomorrow to take that momentum?

GABY LOPEZ: I mean, of course it helps me, but I feel that it's going to help me more just kind of look forward. You know, if I keep looking back it's going to be just I should have, I would've, I could've.

I can't control that. It's over. I've got one shot back from the lead, and I feel that that's exactly the position I want to be. Probably going to be even better to be probably behind, not even in the leader group.

Being able to play like I did in the final group, it was just as great as it could be.

Q. What was running through your head during and after your fist pump on 17?

GABY LOPEZ: Oh, my goodness. You know, that fist pump is exactly me. That's me. That's as pure as I could be.

I like to see, to show that to the people. I like to show that to myself, that I can still be nervous, I can be still be anxious, I can still be doubting myself, and still execute that putt.

You know, everyone feels nerves. Everyone is doubting. Everyone is anxious. And being able to just perform and make that putt with the perfect speed, it just means how good you could still perform under those circumstances.

Q. And given that emotion, what were you thinking about after your second on the last?

GABY LOPEZ: Yeah, I mean, it was just -- like I was talking to my caddie, you know, it was very into the grain, that shot, so I knew that I had to just hit a perfect wedge.

I couldn't take any off of that. I just went too aggressive and I digged, and, you know, just -- I mean, the take away on 18 was the up and down. It was such a hard up and down. It was straight into the grain uphill.

That's something that I've been working with my coach. I told him, like you got to get me through this shot because it's a really tough one when you have all the left and water and you know it's going to go in the water if you hit it that way.

Q. How long have you been working with your coach on that?

GABY LOPEZ: I mean, he came here for the first four days of the week. He had one goal: to take me through that shot as many times as possible. He did. I mean, he prepared me pretty good.

You know, when you work, it just pays off.

Q. You want to take a guess at how many times you worked on it?

GABY LOPEZ: Probably good -- in four days probably a good three, four hours. Like I was just -- I was not going to leave the chipping green until I got that right.

I was just feeling comfortable with it.

Q. Did you see what Jin Young was doing on the front? And talk about your putting. You made a string of birdies there and some nice par putts in the middle of the round.

GABY LOPEZ: Yeah, I mean, I knew that Jin Young was going to make a move. That's just her. It's going to be -- that's something you can't expect anything less from her.

But at the end of the day you can guess, you can look, but if you're not present, it doesn't matter at all.

I just kept repeating myself that I just got to be very focused on what I want to execute and not what I don't want to do.

If I keep myself into that line, it's probably going to be a good result.

Q. Will you look back at any of your journal entries from some of your wins --

GABY LOPEZ: Oh, for sure.

Q. -- to gain some insight and perspective for tomorrow?

GABY LOPEZ: I think so. Just being able to look back into what worked. I mean, it's working right now and I probably don't have to look back, but I'm really, really comfortable with just hitting my drive straight, hitting the right club, hitting the right speed, hitting the line on the greens.

And I feel that overall that's a process. If I keep doing that, I got a chance. You know, whatever happens tomorrow is going to be fine. I'm giving it all and I can't regret anything.

Q. Seemed like the wind picked up as the day went on. Obviously the probably windiest day out there. How did you adjust as the conditions changed?

GABY LOPEZ: Yeah, it was probably the toughest day out there. We were hitting 5-irons, 6-irons, and probably hybrids into greens with crosswinds, and that's really tough to do.

But I really hope that it stays like this tomorrow. I mean, I think it's going to be windy, and I feel that that brings probably the best out of me. I was saying yesterday when it's the windiest I get more focus. I am always just more present, because if you let yourself out of that position, you're going to probably make a mistake.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
114940-1-1041 2021-11-20 23:13:00 GMT

ASAP sports

tech 129