Hamilton Farm Golf Club
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Final Match Notes and Interviews
Sun Young Yoo defeated Rolex Rankings No. 10 and four-time winner Angela Stanford to earn her first LPGA victory at the Sybase Match Play Championship. Yoo is the first Rolex first-time winner of 2010. Yoo, born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, started playing golf at the age of 11. Her father introduced her to the game and she was instantly hooked. She had a solid amateur career, winning the Korea Junior Golf Championship in 200, and was a member of the Korean National Team in 2002 and 2004. She advanced to the quarterfinals at the 2004 U.S. Women’s Amateur. She turned professional in 2005, and joined the Duramed FUTURES Tour. That year she made 18 of 18 cuts, earned 10 top-10 finishes and graduated to the LPGA tour by landing fifth on the DFT money list. During her rookie campaign on the LPGA she carded two top-tens and finished 57th on the money list. In 2007, she slipped back to 75th on the money list with a season best of T17. Over the course of the next two years Yoo found her groove, earning 11 top tens. She achieved several career bests during the 2009 season. She finished 23rd on the money list, ranked 16th in scoring with an average of 71.16 and had her best LPGA finish at the P&G NW Arkansas Championship presented by Jonh Q. Hammons. Yoo finished T2 that week, losing in a three-way playoff between Jiyai Shin and Angela Stanford. Shin was the winner in that event.
Up until this week, Yoo had missed three cuts in 2010, but found her putting form last week at the Bell Micro LPGA Classic where she posted a T10. When Yoo arrived at Hamilton Farm Golf Club this week she said that her goal was to make it through two rounds. “I didn't want to expect too much and disappoint myself too much,” said Yoo. Yoo, playing out of the Patty Berg bracket, faced the toughest draws of any other competitor this week. En route to her maiden victory, Yoo, the No. 28 seed, defeated Karen Stupples (34), Cristie Kerr (5), Song-Hee Kim (12), Yani Tseng (4), Jiyai Shin (1) and Angela Stanford (10). Yoo was joined this week by her sister Ja Young, who teaches English in Korea. Sharing the win with her sister was extra special for Yoo. Ja Young was recently in a serious car accident on the same day that Yoo had a terrible dream that something was wrong. The sisters believe that when something bad happens, it is “reverse karma”, meaning that something good will happen in return. Yoo believes that this win was that something good in return. “She almost traded her life for my win.” Yoo said.
The final match was a tight one. Yoo took the first lead of the day on the third hole. After that, Yoo and Stanford tied the next seven, before they started trading holes. Stanford won her first hole of the day on the 11th. She followed that with a birdie on 12 to take her first lead of the match. Yoo attacked right back with wins on the 13th and 14th holes. After tying the 15th Yoo won the 16th and 17th holes to close-out the match 3&1.
For Angela Stanford the runner-up finish is her best of the year and her third top-ten. She posted a ninth at last week’s Bell Micro LPGA Classic and a T9 at the Honda PTT LPGA Thailand. Stanford began the week stated that she was not a huge fan of match play. After her round Stanford said. “I feel like I haven't been putting well all week and today it really showed.” She added later, “I didn't put an ounce of pressure on her.”
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Jiyai Shin won the consolation match over Amy Yang by a margin of 3&2. Shin and Yang traded several holes on the front nine and stood all even at the turn. Shin took charge on the back nine, winning the 11th, 13th and 15th. She closed-out the match on the 16th hole. Shin now has four top-tens in 2010. She finished T3 at the HSBC Women’s Champions, T3 at the KIA Classic Presented by JGolf, third this week at the Sybase Match Play Championship and T5 at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. For Yang, the fourth-place finish is her best of the season.
SUN YOUNG YOO
MODERATOR: We're here with Sun Young Yoo, the Sybase Match Play Championship winner. It's your first LPGA victory. You ran through 5 of the top 12 players in the Rolex rankings this week. Can you just tell us how you feel right now and a little bit about how you played?
SUN YOUNG YOO: Actually, when I got here, my goal was playing just two days, but looks like I did a lot better than my goal, so I'm really happy and I'm really happy with my first victory on the LPGA.
MODERATOR: You beat Rolex rankings number 1 Jiyai Shin, number 4 Yani Tseng, number 5 Cristie Kerr, number 10 Angela Stanford, and number 12 Song-Hee Kim. This week you were clearly in the toughest bracket. You had the toughest road to the championship. What was different in your game this week that enabled you to defeat all these great players?
SUN YOUNG YOO: It was tough, but I tried -- I tried a little more aggressive out there because it's match play. I think it work out pretty good.
MODERATOR: Do we have some questions?
Q: Did the golf course play any differently today than it did the rest of the week because of being cooler and wet and what have you?
SUN YOUNG YOO: Yeah, there's a couple long holes out there and with the wet fairway it was tough, it played a little bit longer than normal.
Q: Why was your goal only to last two days?
SUN YOUNG YOO: Because I didn't want to expect too much and disappoint myself too much. I think this is a lot better.
Q: How hard is it to stay patient if you have something go wrong, if you lose a hole or two to stay focused and not get frustrated?
SUN YOUNG YOO: I don't know, I think it's hard for everybody, so I'm not complaining for everything. I just -- I just try to play my game, that's all.
Q: Were you ever nervous going up against all these top players?
SUN YOUNG YOO: Actually, I felt really comfortable out there. I don't know why, but I wasn't nervous too much.
Q: When you saw yourself in this spot in the bracket, did you think the road would be this tough?
SUN YOUNG YOO: Yeah, I had a match with a lot of great players, so yeah, I knew it was tough.
Q: When Angela conceded on 17 there and you realized you were going to win your first ever LPGA event, what emotions did you feel? What were the feelings on the green there?
SUN YOUNG YOO: I have been waiting many years and my sister's here and I saw she was crying, so I tried not to cry. I don't know, I just thought about my family first, I guess.
Q: Is it an older or younger sister and what's her name?
SUN YOUNG YOO: Her name is Ja Young and she's my older sister.
Q: Do you have any other family members here with you this week?
SUN YOUNG YOO: Just sister.
Q: You had I think one birdie and then the conceded birdie on the last hole. Going in, could you imagine winning this with only like one birdie that you actually made on your own?
SUN YOUNG YOO: The course played really hard today, so I didn't try to make too many birdies, just stay focused and just calm down myself a little bit.
Q: Can you tell us about how old you were when you started to play and who got you started and so on?
SUN YOUNG YOO: I was 11 and I started golf, and I really like sports. I like playing tennis and riding bicycles. So one day my dad took me to the range and then I tried a couple balls and I really liked it, so I started.
Q: Was your father your mentor growing up in the game?
SUN YOUNG YOO: Not really, he's not a great player, but he helps me a lot.
Q: Is there anybody -- any or Korean player who you admire, who you followed, who you watched on television growing up? Was Se Ri Pak an influence to you, or any others?
SUN YOUNG YOO: Yeah, Se Ri was like hero in Korea when I just started playing golf, so I always wanted to be like her.
Q: When you got past those two days, how did you feel and how did that affect you that you met and surpassed your goal?
SUN YOUNG YOO: I was like one more day, one more day, and I think I played well and here I am.
Q: Do you think it affected your confidence, the way you played?
SUN YOUNG YOO: Yeah, I haven't played match play very much before, but after I won two days, I felt really comfortable.
Q: You said you were thinking about your family, that was your first thought after you won. Can you tell us a little bit about your family, who's in it and what kind of people they are?
SUN YOUNG YOO: My family, they always support me and I believe they are happier than me right now.
SUN YOUNG YOO: Actually, our house just moved in Korea, so they don't have TV connection, so I don't think they know I won.
Q: How many people in your family?
SUN YOUNG YOO: Mom, dad and my sister.
Q: Do you just travel with your sister usually? How often do you see your parents?
SUN YOUNG YOO: Usually just by myself. My sister came over to help me a little bit and she's going to travel with me for a couple months.
Q: Is that nice? Does it get lonely, or is it nice to have your sister out there with you?
SUN YOUNG YOO: Of course, I don't get bored at hotel and we get along really, really well, so it's really good.
Q: What do you like doing if you're not playing golf?
SUN YOUNG YOO: Actually, I just like to sleep and watching TV, listen to music.
Q: Can you talk about the course this week, how good of shape it was in and the Sybase hospitality?
SUN YOUNG YOO: Yeah, it was in great shape and the course was – the ball rolls really nice on the green and the fairway was really nice. I really liked it.
Q: Since they don't have a TV yet, have you been keeping them up to date with how you were doing?
SUN YOUNG YOO: I call them every night. I have to call them really soon.
Q: I guess in South Korea beating Jiyai is a pretty big deal. Could you talk about that victory?
SUN YOUNG YOO: Yeah, I think about (inaudible). You never know what's going to happen in match play. Like I said earlier, there's lots of great players, so you never know who's going to win.
Q: When did your sister come to join you traveling?
SUN YOUNG YOO: A month ago.
MODERATOR: Her sister and her parents.
SUN YOUNG YOO: My dad is businessman and my mom is housewife and my sister used to teach English in Korea, but not anymore. She's just traveling with me right now.
Q: Does it help to have someone who's an English teacher with you all the time?
SUN YOUNG YOO: Yeah, whenever I have a question, I just ask her. It's really easy. She's right there with me.
Q: Did you do anything different this weekend with her than you would normally do, anything more fun?
SUN YOUNG YOO: No, not really, just same.
SUN YOUNG YOO: Yes, sleep
MODERATOR: Any more questions
Q: How old is your sister?
SUN YOUNG YOO: She's 27.
Q: And her name?
SUN YOUNG YOO: Ja Young.
Q: Do you remember the playoff last year?
SUN YOUNG YOO: Yeah, I lost to Jiyai in playoff, but she's a great player and she worked hard and she deserve it.
MODERATOR: Angela Stanford was in the playoff as well.
SUN YOUNG YOO: Yeah, she was, yeah.
Q: Did you remember anything about that when you were out there today or think about that?
SUN YOUNG YOO: No.
Q: What's the strongest part of your game?
SUN YOUNG YOO: Maybe iron shots.
Q: You seem like you're a pretty good putter.
SUN YOUNG YOO: Yeah, I've been putting good since last week, but I feel more comfortable with iron shots.
MODERATOR: Any other questions? Congratulations.
SUN YOUNG YOO: Thank you.
MODERATOR: Angela, you started the week out saying you weren't a big fan of match play, but you had a great run this week. I'm sure you're disappointed that you didn't win today's match. Can you talk about how you played today?
ANGELA STANFORD: You know, I think for the most part all week I've hit the ball really well. You know, I was kicking myself all day because I feel like I've gotten away with it. I just -- I feel like I haven't been putting well all week and today it really showed. I missed my putts on the low side all of them I can remember except the playoff hole, 16, against Amy Yang this morning. You know, I never really figured out the speed and I never really figured out the breaks. It seemed like we couldn't read them right most of the time. For the most part, I feel like I hit ball really well and really had a good week.
Q: Angela, on number 13 this afternoon, what happened to you on that chip that rolled back down the embankment?
ANGELA STANFORD: Well, it's just mushy back there and there's a lot of grass. You know, I obviously didn't hit the right chip shot but I shouldn't have been there in the first place. That mistake started in the fairway. We should have never, ever, ever come close to flying it that far, and I say “we” because there were two of us standing there and I hit the shot, but neither one of us said, stop at this point or aim left, and you know -- and I told him, I aimed at the flag, I got greedy. But you can't land it five short there downwind and expect it not to stop.
Q: What was your yardage?
ANGELA STANFORD: Oh, 138ish to the pin.
Q: What club?
ANGELA STANFORD: I hit a 9-iron. I tried to hit an easy 9 and I hit it like I thought I wanted to and it got up in the air and it looked like it just started to float, and I thought oh, boy.
Q: Then on 14 you were in the fairway as well and what happened on that second shot?
ANGELA STANFORD: I hit that ball as good as I could. I mean, I hit the shot I wanted exactly where I wanted and it was a yard short. I aimed it right at the TV tower. I knew the wind was going to push it, tried to cut a little 8-iron and I honestly thought it was perfect when it came off the club face. You know, it just landed a yard or two short, but I mean, I felt like that was one of the best shots I hit all we can. That's the part that, you know -- I'm not going to stop being aggressive. You've got to make birdies, especially, you know, that late.
Q: Was that one of the things today? You really didn't make a lot of birdies out there, did you?
ANGELA STANFORD: I mean, maybe I was just trying too hard, but you know, I feel like you can make birdies with a putter or you can make birdies with your irons. So I was trying to hit it as close as I could and I thought I had -- I feel like I had the shots to do it, I just -- maybe I don't, but I felt really good about both shots and the wind kind of, I can't control it once it's in the air.
Q: I imagine as you're struggling to make birdies there towards the end and you hit the flagstick on 16, end up making par, and then she makes birdie.
ANGELA STANFORD: Yeah.
Q: That's probably a little bit of a deflating point at that point?
ANGELA STANFORD: Yeah, more so again, you know, well, I didn't – I didn't miss that on the low side. I really thought I had the read and I just didn't make the putt. I really thought I was going to make that one, I really thought I was going to make birdie there. I mean, I expected her to make it. She was going to make it. I just had to make mine. I thought when it was in the air, it looked pretty good. I thought it was going to get tight. The flagstick didn't help.
Q: Given what you had said about match play before this week, what did you learn about match play and do you have a greater appreciation for it now?
ANGELA STANFORD: Yeah, you know, I think it's very exciting to watch. I know the spectators probably enjoyed it this week. It's fun to watch because every hole really does mean something. I feel like I matured quite a bit this week in my mentality towards match play and being patient. I mean, even when I went 1-down late today, I didn't lose it, I was still trying to hit my shots and didn't, but just mentally and physically I didn't panic and some of that's confidence. I didn't panic against Blumenherst when she had me 2-down, didn't panic when I was losing it down the stretch against Amy Yang, so a lot of that is my confidence is growing and I feel like I'm maturing that way mentally, so hopefully it will help in the Solheim Cup.
Q: Two things. You went to City Field once, twice, how many times?
ANGELA STANFORD: Just once.
Q: Last night or Friday?
ANGELA STANFORD: Last night, yeah.
Q: Did you stay for the whole thing last night?
ANGELA STANFORD: No, we left after the top of the 8th.
Q: You were there pretty late?
ANGELA STANFORD: Yeah, we probably left at 10:30.
Q: Did you know anything about her before you played her today? Had you played with her before? Did you know anything about her game?
ANGELA STANFORD: We had played a little bit. I mean, she's obviously a solid putter, good player. I mean, she -- how long's she been on Tour?
MODERATOR: 2006, so fifth year.
ANGELA STANFORD: Fifth year, so solid player.
Q: Didn't you play with her in a playoff last year?
ANGELA STANFORD: Did I?
Q: In Arkansas, I think with Jiyai?
ANGELA STANFORD: Oh, yeah.
Q: I guess now that it's coming back a little bit, was that kind of what you saw out there today?
ANGELA STANFORD: You know, I honestly forgot that just because I just didn't think about it. She's a solid player, solid putter. If you don't put any pressure on her, she's going to make everything she looks at. I didn't put an ounce of pressure on her, so if I make the first putt on 1, if I don't make bogey on 3, I mean, zero pressure.
Q: Somebody came up with a stat in the last year there's always one American (inaudible) won on Tour. What do you have to do to change that and what do you make of that?
ANGELA STANFORD: I don't make anything of it. I think you guys make a lot out of it. I've always said they're players just like the Europeans and the Americans. We're a global Tour and I wasn't trying any less out there. I wasn't -- you know, if anything, I was trying harder because I know that it just kind of keeps coming up; An American needs to win, An America needs to win. And last week I was asked about it and I said, well, Morgan won in Japan. So what happens if I go to Japan or if I go to Korea and I win over there? I think from the players' perspective, we see it as all the same. Do I think an American needs to probably be number 1? Yes, that would probably help sponsorship. I mean, everybody knows it, but that doesn't mean the Americans are trying any less. They're just -- the Koreans are solid players. The Europeans are solid players. You could go through our Tour, they're all solid. So again, I don't think the players see it that way anymore. The players see it as it's a tournament no matter where we are in the world. We're all players.
MODERATOR: Thank you for your time Angela.
ANGELA STANFORD: Thanks, guys.