Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Third-round notes and interviews
Nov. 13, 2010
Suzann Pettersen shot a 3-under 69 to post at 12-under and take a one-shot lead into the final round of $1.1 million Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Corona Light at Guadalajara Country Club in Mexico. A group of four players will give chase from 11-under - In-Kyung Kim (68), Ai Miyazato (68), Karine Icher (68) and Stacy Lewis (69). Second-round leader Paula Creamer (72) is two shots back.
Pettersen got off to a quick start, birdying her first two holes to take the lead. She added birdies on six and nine to post an outward 4-under 32. But after a birdie on 10 earned her a three-shot lead, she dropped shots on 15 and 16 to come back to the field. "It's just a roller coaster out there," Pettersen said. "I made some really good birdies, and made a few sloppy on swings on the few bogeys that I made. But I made a good putt on the last and that kind of helped me get my momentum going for tomorrow. I've been feeling really good on the greens and making some nice putts."
Crowded at the top: Pettersen is one clear on a crowded leaderboard - there are four players one back and another two back. "If there's that many people that close, some of them will go low," she said. "You can't really look back. Just try and look ahead and try and bring it home." Pettersen's four for nine with the lead or a share of the lead entering the final round.
Bridesmaid no more: Pettersen has five second-place finishes this year and is hoping to not compile her sixth Sunday. "I've been in this situation a lot," she said. "Hopefully my experience from previous tournaments this year can help me play well tomorrow."
Para Lore: Pettersen said a win would be sweetened by the fact that this tournament is hosted by one of the game's greatest ambassadors and such a well-liked player. "She has done so much for golf and for kids here in México," she said. "To be here and playing on her course, it would be a very, very nice win if I can pull it off tomorrow."
Ai! Ai! Ai! Ai Miyazato birdied the 18th hole to become the second of four players to post at 11-under. Miyazato is close friends with Ochoa - Ochoa hand-picked her and Natalie Gulbis to play with her in the first two rounds of her farewell tournament at the Tres Marias Championship - a fact that might make a win Sunday even sweeter for her. "That would be great," she said. "But you never know what's going to happen, because with the top ten players, it's getting really close right now. So I need to keep playing good and just need to be patient. One more day."
Mexico sweep: Speaking of the Tres Marias Championship, Miyazato went on to win there. She'll play for the Mexico sweep Sunday. "I love México," she said, "especially the Mexican people are very nice to us and at the tournaments, they always treat us nice."
Getting better all the time: Tournament hostess Lorena Ochoa improved again Saturday, shooting a 3-under 69 to get to 2-under overall. Her round featured six birdies, four of them on the back nine.
Of note: The round of the day was a 4-under 68, shot by eight players.
THE MODERATOR: Welcome back. Talk a little about the day. Obviously you got it going pretty quick and dropped a couple on the way in.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yeah, it's just a roller coaster out there. I made some really good birdies, and made a few sloppy on swings on the few bogeys that I made. But I made a good putt on the last and that kind of helped me get my momentum going for tomorrow. I've been feeling really good on the greens and making some nice putts.
Q. You looked a little bit upset towards the end. You threw your clubs down a little bit. What made you upset?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Just frustrated to be honest. When you get a bit sloppy. Like I said, I did a lot of good stuff out there, so just going to bring the good stuff on for tomorrow and try and sort it out on the range now afterwards.
Q. Your five second‑place finishes, what do you have to do tomorrow to make sure you don't have your sixth second‑place finish tomorrow?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Try and make birdies.
Q. Besides making birdies, what else do you have to do? The leaderboard is really tight.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I haven't really looked at the leaderboard, but I think there's a lot of people at ten or 11, I'm not sure. I mean, if there's that many people that close, some of them will go low. You can't really look back. Just try and look ahead and try and bring it home.
Q. Playing with Paula Creamer and Stacy Lewis today, how do you feel sharing the time on the course with them? How did you feel being with them out on the course today?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I mean, obviously we are all friends and by the time we tee off, we are all competitors, so we all still enjoy each other's company. But to be honest, you pretty much concentrate about your own game, trying to stick to your own game plan. And obviously it's nice to have somebody to chat with down the fairway.
Q. Talk to us about the 18th hole, you kind of celebrated the putt like it was a birdie. Can you tell us how difficult the 18th hole is playing and how hard it was?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well, 18 is not playing that hard, if you can just keep the ball in the fairway. If you get the ball in the fairway, you can almost get there in two. I hit a poor drive and I couldn't really advance it a lot forward. So I had to go sideways and hit a pretty good bunker shot. It was a pretty tricky putt. So it's nice to keep the momentum and at least make my par and get ready for tomorrow.
Q. Tomorrow do you think it will be hard for you?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I've been in this situation a lot. Hopefully my experience from previous tournaments this year can help me play well tomorrow. Like I said, there's so many up there and there's so many close together, that you can't really try and ‑‑ I mean, you've got to just try and put your number and try and shoot for that. I think there's going to be someone shooting low tomorrow, so just keep your foot on the pedal.
Q. We don't see you more excited; why?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: It's not over, is it? (Laughter).
Q. Are you happy? We don't see that on the course.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I'm happy. I mean, I'm pretty intense on the golf course. You will never see me too excited on the golf course (chuckling). That's just me.
Q. How special would it be to win a tournament on Lorena's home course?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I mean, obviously being here at Lorena's home course in front of her fans ‑‑ our fans, too, but I think it's a lot of people ‑‑ she created those fans. She has done so much for golf and for kids here in México. To be here and playing on her course, it would be a very, very nice win if I can pull it off together tomorrow. I think this is one of the better courses we play all year. So that's another reason why it would be a really nice win if I can pull it off. Lorena is a great person. We miss her out here. It's nice to see her when we are here.
Q. Why do you think there has been so much inconsistency throughout the tournament, the leader one day is not the leader the next day. Is it because the course is tough? Why do you think that is; that it's tough to hold on to the lead?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I don't know. I haven't had the lead yet. I'm having it now and I'm not going to give it away. You know what, it's a course you can really get it going. It doesn't allow for any bad shots. There's not a lot of room for error. I would say if you hit a lot of fairways here, you give yourself a good chance to make birdies. If you're out of position off the tee, you're kind of fighting to hit the greens, and it would be a good save if you can make par. I think that's what makes this course so good is you've got to shape shots to get close to the pin. The greens are rolling really nice.
IN-KYUNG KIM, Rolex Rankings No. 9
Q. Just talk about the round, talk about the day.
IN‑KYUNG KIM: I feel like I had a long day today. We've been waiting every hole but today was good. I feel kind of hot and worn out right now, but I hit a lot of good shots today into the greens. I had a lot of good opportunities to make birdies since yesterday, but I left a few out there. But coming in, I birdied 15 and 16. That was pretty good. And so I'm very excited about the round.
Q. It seems like birdies on the back nine are just dropping for everybody. Can you talk about the pin positions?
IN‑KYUNG KIM: You mean the back nine was playing easy, you mean? For me, I only made two, on 15 and 16. Actually I made more birdies on the front nine since Thursday. I played very solid on the front and then the back nine, I played really good. But there's a few tough holes 12 and 13; that's not really a birdie hole. And you've got to make birdie on the par 5s like 10, and 18, which some players can get to the green, but I wasn't able to them, so I made par there. I don't know how the other players played on the back nine but I feel like I played better on front nine. Hopefully I can make some birdies tomorrow on the back nine.
Q. Putting Paula Creamer's result aside today, do you think your scores today put you in a good position to maybe win tomorrow?
IN‑KYUNG KIM: Well, I came in this week not without trying to win the tournament, but I came in with ‑‑ like if I win, that would be great but for me; if I shoot a good round, I've been shooting 69, 68, 68 the last three rounds, and I'm really happy with it. Tomorrow I'll be having the same goal and the same mind for every round.
Q. What did you like best about your game today and what did you like the least, and what will you try to change tomorrow?
IN‑KYUNG KIM: I don't think I'll be changing anything tomorrow. I think I'll be the same as usual, but I wish I made a little more putts out there. Because you know, I had a lot of opportunities. I had a chance to birdie on 10, you know, a few par 5s. But mostly I'm happy with how I played today and the last couple of days, I'm not complaining or anything. Golf, it's never going to be perfect, but I wish ‑‑ I think I had a chance to shoot really low the last couple of days. So tomorrow, I'll have the same goal and if I make a little bit more putts, some more putts drop, then I'll have a really good round.
AI MIYAZATO, Rolex Rankings No. 6
THE MODERATOR: Welcome, good round today. Just talk a little about it.
AI MIYAZATO: I played really good, because it was kind of one of the tough days I think, because the wind just keeps switching around. And it was tough to make a decision on every single shot, but I had very good focus. I'm very happy. I played good today.
Q. Being such good friends with Lorena, what would it mean to you to win her event?
AI MIYAZATO: Well, that would be great. But you never know what's going to happen, because with the top ten players, it's getting really close right now. So I need to be like playing good and just need to be patient I think. So one more day, you know, just having fun.
Q. In México you seem to have really good rounds, you won earlier this year, and now you're in contention; can you talk about that?
AI MIYAZATO: Well, I love México, especially the Mexican people are very nice to us and at the tournaments, they always treat us nice. But I just don't know why I'm playing so good in México, but ‑‑ because it's tough because, you know, the greens are different. But this week is very special. I think we have amazing weather the whole week, and really enjoyable. So I'm really enjoying myself.
Q. You've said that it's very close at the top and there are five players that are very, very close to each other. What do you think is going to be the defining factor to determine who is going to win tomorrow?
AI MIYAZATO: Well, for me, it's not ‑‑ it doesn't matter the other players playing good or not. I just need to focus my game. It's really tough, because you know, the World Rankings and the money rankings, everything is coming up in my head. It's hard to control myself. But I think if I stay focused on my game, I have a chance tomorrow.