Hamilton Farm Golf Club
Friday, May 21, 2010
Second-round notes and interviews
The second-round matches are complete at the Sybase Match Play Championship held at Hamilton Farms Golf Club in Gladstone, New Jersey. Players are competing for a first-place prize of $375,000. The original field of 64 is now down to 16. Third-round matches will be played Saturday morning and the quarterfinal matches will be held in the afternoon. Rolex Rankings No. 1 Jiyai Shin, No. 4 Yani Tseng, No. 8 Michelle Wie and No. 10 Angela Stanford are the only players ranked within the top-ten to advance to the third round.
Rookie Amanda Blumenherst scored the biggest upset of the day. She defeated LPGA Hall of Fame member Karrie Webb by a resounding margin of 7&6. Blumenherst, who won the 2008 U.S. Amateur and was runner-up in the Mojo 6 earlier this year, played aggressively and won seven holes against Webb. Blumenherst relishes the match-play format and will face Rolex Rankings No. 10 Angela Stanford in the third round.
Amy Yang ended Juli Inkster’s chances this week at the Sybase Match Play Championship. Yang was 7-under par through 12 holes to defeat Inkster by 7&6, tying Blumenherst for the largest margin of victory of the day. Yang launched a comeback against Michele Redman to win in round one and will play Morgan Pressel in round three.
Round two witnessed six upsets. Beatriz Recari defeated rookie Azahara Munoz 2&1, Karine Icher sent Eun-Hee Ji home by a 2&1 margin, M.J. Hur upset Rolex Rankings No. 2 Ai Miyazato 1 UP, Amanda Blumenherst beat Rolex Rankings No. 7 Karrie Webb 7&6, Haeji Kang defeated Sandra Gal 3&1 and Sun-young Yoo knocked Cristie Kerr out of the competition by a 4&2 margin.
Morgan Pressel continues to prove that she is one of the toughest match-play competitors in the field. For two straight days, Pressel found herself 2-down on the 17th tee and mustered the strength to persevere and win both matches. She made par on the par-4 17th and birdie on the par-5 18th to square-up the match with Sophie Gustafson. Pressel then birdied the first playoff hole to defeat her opponent.
Second Round Results
Kathy Whitworth bracket
Jiyai Shin (2) v. Hee-Won Han (32) Shin def. Han 3&1
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Jiyai Shin advanced to the third round with a 3&1 victory over Hee-Won Han. Shin and Han traded holes early, but Shin won 7, 8 and 11 to take a lead she would not relinquish. She closed-out Han with a birdie on the par-4 17th. Shin will play Beatriz Recari in the third round.
Azahara Munoz (54) v. Beatriz Recari (62) Recari def. Munoz 2&1
Beatriz Recari won the battle of the rookies today, defeating Azahara Munoz 2&1. The match was very tight with only four holes won or lost all day. Recari won three holes to Munoz’s one. The other 13 holes were halved. Recari, who is playing on a sponsor’s invitation, will play Jiyai Shin in round three.
Michelle Wie (8) v. Hee Young Park (25) Wie def. Park 5&4
Rolex Rankings No. 8 Michelle Wie cruised to a second-round win against Hee Young Park, 5&4. Wie took a commanding 5 UP lead through 11 holes. Park did not win a hole against Wie until the 12th and it was the only hole she would win all day. Wie, who defeated Stacy Prammanasudh in the first round, will face Karine Icher in round three.
Eun-Hee Ji (24) v. Karine Icher (57) Icher def. Ji 1 UP
France’s Karine Icher upset the reigning U.S. Women’s Open champion by a 2&1 margin. Icher played exceptionally well early on in the match, winning five of the first ten holes. She held a 4 UP lead on Ji through 11, when Ji mounted a charge. Ji birdied 12, 13 and 16 to tighten up the match. Icher eventually won the match on the 17th hole by a margin of 2&1. Icher will play Michelle Wie in the third round.
Mickey Wright bracket
Catriona Matthew (15) v. Kristy McPherson (18) Matthew def. McPherson 2 UP
Match-play aficionado Catriona Matthew defeated Kristy McPherson in one of the best matches of the day. Matthew was 1 UP through 14 when she birdied the 15th to extend her lead to 2 UP. McPherson answered right back with a birdie on the par-3 16th. With both players making par on 17, Matthew closed-out the match with a birdie on 18. Matthew will meet M.J. Hur in the third round.
Ai Miyazato (2) v. M.J. Hut (31) Hur def. Miyazato 1 UP
Hur dealt the biggest upset of the day by defeating Rolex Rankings No. 2 Miyazato. Miyazato led throughout most of the match. She led Hur 2 UP through 15 holes. Hur caught fire on the par-3 16th and rattled off three straight birdies to win the match 1 UP. Hur will play Catriona Matthew in the third round.
Karrie Webb (7) v. Amanda Blumenherst (55) Blumenherst def. Webb 7&6
Blumenherst continued her excellent play with a second-round defeat of LPGA Hall of Fame member Karrie Webb. Blumenherst won the match 7&6 over Webb who did not win one hole. Blumenherst defeated Stacy Lewis with an eagle on the par-5 18th in the first round. She will face Angela Stanford in the third round.
Angela Stanford (10) v. Pat Hurst (41) Stanford def. Hurst 4&2
Stanford handed veteran Hurst a 4&2 defeat. Stanford won seven holes to Hurst’s three. Both players have excellent singles records in Solheim Cup competition and fought hard throughout the day. Stanford will face rookie Amanda Blumenherst in the third round.
Annika Sorenstam bracket
Amy Yang (30) v. Juli Inkster (35) Yang def. Inkster 7&6
Yang blistered the golf course early in the match to defeat LPGA Hall of Fame member Juli Inkster 7&6. Yang was seven-under par through twelve holes. Inkster, who upset Rolex Rankings No. 3 Suzann Pettersen in the first round, could not match the play of the 20-year old Yang. Yang will face Morgan Pressel in the third round.
Morgan Pressel (14) v. Sophie Gustafson (19) Pressel def. Gustafson 19 holes
Pressel rallied back for the second straight day to win her match in extra holes. She stood on the 17th tee 2-down to Gustafson and won 17 and 18 with par and birdie, respectively, forcing the match to extra holes. She birdied the first playoff hole to defeat Gustafson in 19 holes. Gustafson struggled with her putter all day, leaving the door open for Pressel to charge back for the win. Pressel will play Amy Yang in the third round.
Shi Hyun Ahn (48) v. Jee Young Lee (27) Lee def. Ahn 2&1
Lee won a very tight match over Shi Hyun Ahn. Lee won the first hole with a birdie and then did not win another hole until the par-4 17th. Lee and Ahn halved every hole from the second through the sixteenth. Lee defeated Christina Kim in round one and will face Haeji Kang in the third round.
Sandra Gal (46) v. Haeji Kang (61) Kang def. Gal 3&1
Haeji Kang took an early lead against Gal, winning holes two through five. Kang was 4 up through nine holes. Gal mounted a slight comeback by taking holes 11 and 14, but Kang’s lead was too large for Gal to overcome. Kang, who earned her way into the championship by her play at last week’s Bell Micro LPGA Classic, will meet Jee Young Lee in the third round.
Patty Berg bracket
Yani Tseng (3) v. Candie Kung (29)
Rolex Rankings No. 3 Yani Tseng won six of the first ten holes of the match to lead Kung 5 UP through the 10th. Kung mounted a small comeback, winning holes 11, 14 and 15, but could not catch the 2010 Kraft Nabisco Champion. Tseng will face a tough third-round match against Inbee Park.
Inbee Park (13) v. Maria Hjorth (20) Park def. Hjorth 2&1
Inbee Park needed 17 holes to defeat Maria Hjorth. Park took the lead on the third hole and never relinquished it. She won seven holes to Hjorth’s five. Park easily won her first round match against Laura Diaz and will face Yani Tseng in the third round.
Cristie Kerr (5) v. Sun-Young Yoo (28) Yoo def. Kerr 4&2
Sun-Young Yoo upset Rolex Rankings No. 5 Cristie Kerr. Yoo won four of the first ten holes. The 12-time LPGA winner Kerr did not win a hole until the 11th. She then won the 13th and it seemed as tough she might mount a comeback. Yoo birdied 15 and 16 to close-out Kerr 4&2. Yoo will play Song-Hee Kim in round three.
Song-Hee Kim (12) v. Momoko Ueda (21) Kim def. Ueda 3&2
Song-Hee Kim defeated Momoko Ueda 3&1. Kim and Ueda tied the first seven holes of the match before Kim won holes nine, ten and eleven. Ueda bounced back and won the 13th and 14th. Kim clinched the match with birdies on 15 and 16. Kim will face Sun-Young Yoo in the third round.
Kathy Whitworth bracket
Jiyai Shin (1) v. Beatriz Recari (62)
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Jiyai Shin coasted through her first two matches this week. Shin has been the world’s No. 1 for three weeks and does not want to give up the crown. Recari, who is playing this week on a sponsor’s invitation, has upset both Brittany Lincicome and Azahara Munoz in rounds one and two respectively. Recari has made only one cut in 2010 with a season best of T46. She will need to continue her good play to contend against the world’s best.
Michelle Wie (8) v. Karine Icher (57)
Rolex Rankings No. 8 Wie dominated her second-round match over Hee Young Park, winning by a margin of 5&4. After playing a tough first-round match against Stacy Prammanasudh, Wie seemed more confident and at ease in round two and looks to be rolling the ball very well on the greens. Icher, who is an extremely consistent player and known to string together birdies, has upset Rolex Rankings No. 9 Na Yeon Choi and reigning U.S. Open champion Eun-Hee Ji this week.
Mickey Wright bracket
Catriona Matthew (15) v. M.J. Hur (31)
This has the makings of an excellent match. Both Matthew and Hur are playing extremely well through two rounds. Hur mounted a supreme comeback in round two, birdieing the last three holes to upset Rolex Rankings No. 2 Ai Miyazato. Matthew, who carries a 4-1-0 singles record in Solheim Cup competition, fought a tough match against Kristy McPherson. Both players made clutch putts today, but only one of them will advance to the quarterfinals.
Angela Stanford (10) v. Amanda Blumenherst (55)
These two ultra-competitive American players should give fans a great match to watch. Stanford, who has played on three U.S. Solheim Cup teams, had a strong showing in round two, defeating Pat Hurst 4&2. Blumenherst has won both of her matches by knocking down pins and draining birdie putts. Blumenherst made quick work of Karrie Webb in the second round, but will have her hands full with Stanford in round three.
Annika Sorenstam bracket
Amy Yang (30) v. Morgan Pressel (14)
Don’t expect Yang or Pressel to cede easily in this match. Amy Yang is coming off a big win against Juli Inkster in round two and Pressel has put together back to back comeback victories. While Yang is the longer-hitter, both players have excellent putting statistics. Pressel ranks sixth in putting average and T15 in greens in regulation putting average. Yang ranks T21 in putting average and T3 in greens in regulation putting average.
Jee-Young Lee (27) v. Haeji Kang (61)
On paper Lee should be the favorite in this match. Lee ranks tenth on the LPGA money list, while Kang ranks 67th. Kang’s best finish this year is a T26 while Lee has three top-tens. Kang, however, is making a nice run this week, defeating Sandra Gal in the second round and Rolex Rankings No. 11 In Kyung Kim in the first.
Patty Berg bracket
Yani Tseng (4) v. Inbee Park (13)
Tseng and Park are two of the LPGA’s top performers in 2010 and they are both major championship winners. Tseng has three top-tens this year, including a win at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Park has two top-tens and stands eighth on the LPGA money list. Tseng is currently third on the money list. Look for this match to be a tight one.
Song-Hee Kim (12) v. Sun Young Yoo (28)
Kim defeated Japan’s Momoko Ueda in the second round, while Yoo upset Rolex Rankings No. 5 Cristie Kerr by a 4&2 margin. Kim has finished in the top-10 in each of the six events she has played in 2010 and is the highest ranked player in the field without an LPGA win. Yoo has only made three cuts in 2010, but is playing the best golf of her season.
MICHELLE WIE ((def. Hee Young Park 5 & 4)
MODERATOR: Congratulations, great match today, 5 & 4 over Hee Young Park. How did you play today?
MICHELLE WIE: You know, I felt like I was just focusing on my shots, hitting the fairway, greens, and trying to make some putts out there today.
Q. Hi Michelle. We've been asking the other players today about sort of the state of the LPGA. There's been a lot of flux this year, people leaving and some of the older names retiring. You've been here a little bit, so you kind of know what the ground is like. Can you talk about the LPGA and where you see it going in the next couple years?
MICHELLE WIE: I definitely see ourselves moving upwards. I definitely do realize, admit that we were in a tough state before, but we're definitely moving in the right direction with the new commissioner, with new staff and new players. I think that our product is really strong and we're definitely getting better, getting stronger, and through the hard times I think that we all bonded more and I think that it's going to get better and better.
Q. Well, you're one of the obviously more recognizable names. Do you feel a little more pressure now that you have to put on a show everywhere you go so that people will pay more attention to the game?
MICHELLE WIE: You know, not any more than I used to. I just put pressure on myself to try to play the best I can and obviously I want to provide the best entertainment out there.
Q. Michelle, what was the key for you today? I mean, you seemed to get up on her early. What did you do well to sort of open up a big lead and have a pretty comfortable win?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, it's nice that I birdied the par 5, unlike yesterday. Moving forward, but just, you know, same thing as yesterday and probably same thing tomorrow. I'm just thinking of hitting fairways, greens, giving myself some birdie opportunities and keeping it in play.
Q. Can you take the momentum from having a win like this into tomorrow?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, hopefully.
Q. Was there ever a point you thought about playing golf collegiately way back when, and why did you make the decision, this career path decision you've made?
MICHELLE WIE: No, never really. I never played high school golf really. That was never in the plans. College was definitely in the plans, but college golf never really -- I never -- actually, it never really crossed my mind.
Q. After a pretty long struggle yesterday, was it nice to finish early today, especially with potentially a 72 hole or more weekend?
MICHELLE WIE: You know, it was nice, but I'm just going off the good feelings I felt today and yesterday. It's definitely a grind out there. Just because I won 5 & 4 does not mean that, you know, it was really necessarily that much easier. I still played as hard as I can and I still will do it tomorrow. Whether it's going to be a hard match, easy match, whatever, I'm just going to go out there and play my hardest.
Q. You're still standing. Have you noticed that many of the top seeds have already gone out and if so, does that encourage you for the final two days?
MICHELLE WIE: You never know in match play what can happen, you just never know.
Q. Some people have described the Tour now after Lorena's announcement s sort of a big crowded chase toward number 1? Do you see it that way?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, for sure. I definitely feel like everyone's brought the game up to a whole 'nother level. It's becoming harder and harder to win tournaments. Everyone's playing so much better. You go out there, you practice for a couple weeks and you think you've gotten so much better, and then everyone else has gotten better as well too. So it's definitely a struggle, it's definitely a grind to get up there.
MODERATOR: Any other questions? All right, thanks.
MICHELLE WIE: Thank you.
JIYAI SHIN (def. Hee-Won Han 3 & 1)
MODERATOR: Congratulations on your win today. You defeated Hee-Won Han 3 & 1. How did you feel the match was today?
JIYAI SHIN: Well, thank you for coming. I feel really comfortable right now because I won today, but I already have confidence in my shots, I play very easy, and then I play with Hee-Won Han and then really close to her. And then last one year I couldn't play with her, so we make really enjoyed the time to --
MODERATOR: You all are good friends?
JIYAI SHIN: Yes.
Q. Does this course suit your game? Are you having fun out here at Hamilton Farm?
JIYAI SHIN: First time here, and then it's in great condition, I really love that. The greens are so soft, so we can't hit an aggressive shot every hole. I think really good course for the match play. I needed sometimes a long hit, but also need a very consistent shot, too, because lots of bunkers near the greens. I'm really happy playing here.
Q. How is life different when you're number 1?
JIYAI SHIN: Actually, it's not much different, just change in my (inaudible,) that's it. I'm all the time -- every time I focus on my game and then still I do just focus on game. But just people say oh, you're number 1, you're number 1, that make happy, that make happy, but it doesn't change anything.
Q. You don't feel like you have a target on your back or anything?
JIYAI SHIN: Well, now my goal is -- target is just keep keeping number 1 long time because I'm all the time dreaming of being number one and then I'm there right now and I'm still young, I have lots of time to play golf, so I want to keep it -- keeping long time be number 1.
Q. There's a lot of talk about the LPGA Tour with the retirement of Lorena that the sort of number 1 spot is up for grabs. I mean, you are number 1 now. When you hear that, do you feel sort of overlooked or feel like saying here I am, I am number 1, it's not up for grabs?
JIYAI SHIN: Well, yeah, I'm number 1 right now, but if I retire, it's too early I think. I'm just 22 years old. Well, I really surprised at Lorena's choice because she really enjoying the LPGA Tour and then she suddenly changed her mind, so I'm really surprised. I respected her choice too because she said more time -- get time for the family
because we all the time traveling, so also I'm missing the family too, so I think she's really smart.
Q. But you're number 1 now. Do you feel overlooked at all like you don't get the attention that a normal number 1 player would get?
MODERATOR: Overlooked, like other people don't notice you, not noticed.
JIYAI SHIN: Well, now we are so close to second players, right?
MODERATOR: Do you feel like you're number 1 and then people don't see you? Do you feel like people don't recognize you and see you as number 1?
JIYAI SHIN: No, no. A little bit.
Q. How are you a different player now from when you won the British Open?
JIYAI SHIN: Well, after British Open, my win, I play here is a big thing because before, if I not won the British Open, I play the (inaudible) or the Futures Tour if I needed more time to play here, but now I play here and then actually that tournament really big change for me, my life, because before I play, I'm watching the LPGA
tournament, I'm just, looks like, there's so many players, there's so much good players over there. Oh, how can I play over there? I won. After I really -- oh, well, I can do it, too. So I get the big confidence for my life.
MODERATOR: Anything else? Thank you very much.
JIYAI SHIN: Thank you.
MORGAN PRESSEL (def. Sophie Gustafson 1 up)
MODERATOR: Your second day going into extra holes and won in 19 holes today. Congratulations.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Thank you.
MODERATOR: If you can just open up with comments about the whole day.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah, tomorrow I would like to play well on the front 9, minus the first two holes, because I've been playing them pretty well. I started off with two kick-in birdies and made quite a few errors there over the next five holes, I guess, and I kind of gave it back. I managed to hang in there. I made a birdie on top of her on 10, birdied 11. She gave me a little bit of a gift on 13, but then I went two down again on 14, so I was still in a bit of a hole and managed to pull it out. It was crazy.
MODERATOR: Can you go over the one extra hole?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah, like I said, in the morning I had a kick-in and today I hit it to about three feet this afternoon with a pitching wedge, and it was a putt that, it's kind of very tricky to read because it doesn't break, even though it looks like it does, and I knew it in practice. And Sophie played it to break and it didn't, and I played my straight and it went in.
Q. Morgan, are there certain holes that kind of suit your eye more than others out here? I mean, 17 and 18 you played very well, but it seems like there's a stretch of holes on the front 9 you don't play particularly well on.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, I haven't hit the green two days on 3 so far, so if I hit the green there tomorrow, I should be okay. I three-putted 13. I'm sorry, I'm so backwards with the nines. I three-putted 4. After hitting a good shot, missed a putt on 5. You know, 16 I hit a miserable chip. I didn't play the hole that poorly, I just hit a bad chip. It was just a little sloppy, it just wasn't sharp. But I hit a great 4-hybrid in there and it lands pin high and just goes over the green. I tried to -- at that point you're a couple down, I've got to attack the pin. Sometimes you get a little bit too greedy.
Q. Amanda Blumenherst was just in here talking about her decision to go to college for four years and then turn professional. You made a very different decision when you turned professional. Could you talk about your reasoning at the time for that?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah, it was -- it was the right decision for me. You know, I committed to go to school with her at Duke and I knew that she was planning on staying. I mean, even before she went to school, she said she wanted to stay four years and it proved to be a pretty good decision for her. But everybody's different, and I played in, you know, plenty of LPGA events beforehand, some sponsors exemptions, won the Women's Am, and I felt that I was ready and that writing essays on English literature wasn't going to help me in my career.
Q. Again today, 2 down with 2 to play, did you have a sense of déjà vu there?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Absolutely.
Q. What was your mindset today 2 down with 2 to play?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Absolutely. You know, I knew that -- I mean, I figured that Sophie was going to birdie one of the last two holes, so it was going to be a little more difficult in that sense. But I didn't expect her to bogey 17, even though I still could have made a putt there. On 18, I just -- I feel very comfortable with my wedges. I mean, I've hit them -- I don't know, I think I've hit one bad wedge this week. I mean, every time I hit a wedge, I have a good-looking birdie. That's why the 17th and 18th holes set up well for me.
Q. Just mentally, are you exhausted after these two days, or what is your mental state after going three two days like this?
MORGAN PRESSEL: It's exhausting, it's exhausting to play that many holes, it's exhausting to put yourself in that position to where – I mean, I was shaking on my putt on 18, and they may not look like it because they went in the center, but I was nervous. I miss that putt, that's the end of my tournament. I wouldn't have been a really happy camper, so I stayed tough and it went in, and then the putt on 1 went in. But I definitely -- definitely deja vu. Both days, I figured if I got it into extra holes that I could win the match, and that's what happened. Tomorrow, no extra holes.
Q. Keep it going then, right? We're asking all the players today about sort of the state of the LPGA. Some big names have left, retirement age, whatever. In your opinion, what does it take to make the LPGA really relevant in the minds of golfers and fans who want to watch it and looking for star power and looking for things to draw people to the courses and to the TVs. What are your opinions on that?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, I think that anybody that comes out to watch us, I think that our biggest thing is to get people out and get the sponsors involved, because once the sponsor plays in a pro am or once a little kid comes out to watch, they've got memories for a lifetime, and I was that little kid and it inspired me tremendously and I was a very big fan of the LPGA. And sponsors time in and time out say the LPGA Pro-Am experience is the best. You know, the girls are just, they're great with the media, with the fans, with the sponsors, and I mean, I think that having a little bit of extra drama -- a little drama this week playing match play, it's always a little more dramatic, but with Lorena having retired, we've got, you know, four, five, there's a long list of girls who are going to compete for that top spot. I think it's going to make the Tour very interesting in the coming months, in the coming years.
Q. This is a follow-up. Who did you admire as you were getting into the game as a young girl and who do you see as the rising stars or the examples, even yourself for kids that are watching this who are 8, 10, 12 years old and really starting to get into the game?
MORGAN PRESSEL: I admired Nancy Lopez. I still admire Juli Inkster as she's still out here grinding away, and she didn't have her best day today but it was very impressive. I remember watching Karrie Webb and Annika Sorenstam and Se Ri. They were really -- when I was getting involved in the game, they were the top and they were the three fighting for the top spots. I would go to the tournaments down in south Florida and watch them play and it was a thrill for me.
Q. You mentioned before, were you and Amanda supposed to play at Duke together?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, she's a year older than I am, so we would have been there at the same time, yes.
Q. Do you know each other through junior golf or anything like that?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Yes, we do know each other pretty well through junior golf. I know her family, yeah.
Q. Does it surprise you at all that she did what she did today against someone like Karrie?
MORGAN PRESSEL: It's a great match. She played great yesterday, too. I heard the match with her and Stacy Lewis was pretty unbelievable, and I talked to Stacy after and she just said, I played great. And Amanda's played some really good golf as of late, the last three tournaments, and she's a great match play player. She won the U.S. Am. It doesn't surprise me. Maybe Karrie had an off day, I don't know what happened, but I mean, it's very possible Amanda just played great.
MODERATOR: Okay. Any other questions? Thank you very much.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Thank you.
AMANDA BLUMENHERST (def. Karrie Webb 7 & 6)
MODERATOR: Great playing today. You defeated Karrie Webb 7 & 6, congratulations on that. I believe you had six birdies.
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: I did, yes. Well, I was able to start off really well, which is -- I always love starting with a birdie or starting 1-up, just kind of get the momentum going. I hit a great drive and stuck it pretty close, made a nice little putt, and from there I just hit every fairway. Hit, I think, almost all the greens. I missed one green and got up and down, made a nice putt. So just was putting well, hitting the ball really well. It was just a very, very solid day of golf.
MODERATOR: Is there one hole that stands out as a real significant hole?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: There was, number 8, the par 3. Karrie hit it to I think about 4 feet. Well, I went first and hit it to probably 15 feet and then she stuck it to about 4, and it was a par 3 and I made my putt because I knew she was going to make hers. So that was great. Didn't really give her a chance to get one back.
Q. There always seems to be year after year the, I don't know if you call it a quest for the next great American player. Based on your background, your name gets mentioned in that context. What do you
think about that? I mean, do you hear that? Do you think about it? Do you even care?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: I definitely hear about it and I think it's absolutely a wonderful honor to be mentioned as maybe the next great American golfer. It's something that I would absolutely -- I dream to, I aspire to, hopefully I'll be able to fulfill it someday. Going to college and playing four years and getting my degree, I think that just also adds a lot to being -- if I am the next great American golfer, that I can show girls the benefit of going to school, that it isn't a waste of time or that it isn't -- you know, you aren't losing money because you're going to college, it's an amazing experience and something that everyone I believe should do.
Q. Obviously playing Webb today, she's a Hall of Famer, former number 1 player. What was your just mindset before the match start playing a player of her accomplishments?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: Well, I played one group ahead of her at the ANZ Masters and she shot like I think 61 that day, so I definitely was hearing all of the cheering and everything. And I know, I mean, I know how great a player she is, so definitely had 1st tee butterflies and I was nervous. But I also have been playing very well the last two days, and even the tournaments leading up to it, so I was confident in my game.
Q. Has it been tough this year with kind of the stop-and-start nature of the Tour, to get it kind of -- really get it going and then you're off for two weeks?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: We've been calling it feast or famine. You have five tournaments in a row and then you have several weeks off. But I've actually kept quite busy with the Mojo and then playing in this, where some girls aren't playing in these events. So I actually feel like I have a very full schedule. During the off weeks I'm taking some time off, relaxing, watching baseball games, just -- and then also practicing, too. But really it hasn't affected me that much.
Q. Your boyfriend plays minor league baseball?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: He does, yes. He's a Ft. Wayne Tin Cap with the Padres organization.
Q. Since you're so close to the amateur part of your career, I imagine match play is kind of still ingrained in you, you don't have to draw back to a long time ago. I mean, are you feeling comfortable this week? Did you feel comfortable going in?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: I am, I absolutely love match play. I kind of was joking, but I said I wish everything was match play. But I really started getting the knack for it around my sophomore, junior year of college,and then really, you know, for the last four years I've really enjoyed it. I've had a lot of fun with it, the Curtis Cups and all the team events, so I was really looking forward to this week and I was hoping that I would be able to play in it. And then when I got the invite and then earned my way in, it was great.
Q. Why did you decide not to come out of Duke early? Why did you decide to go through the four years?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: It was always my plan to go four years, even in high school, always thought no matter what happens, I'm going to play four years of college golf, get my degree. And after my first year,
freshman of the year and player of the year, so I had a lot of people asking why aren't you turning pro? But I absolutely love school. I love being in class. I loved -- I mean, I'm kind of a dork. I liked participating in class discussions. I liked -- I didn't like the homework, didn't like the tests, but loved being there on the campus, and also I really felt myself mature as a person and also as a golfer. My game improved quite a bit.
Q. You talked about loving match play and having a knack for it. What is the knack? What is your match play philosophy?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: I was just speaking with someone, that you really shouldn't be any different, you should be exactly the same, stroke play, match play, you're playing the golf course, but for some reason it is different. And for me there's kind of a little bit more of an a adrenaline rush. I think each hole you have to try to play my best every time, stroke play, match play, it doesn't matter, I want to see how low I can go. But there is just something different, and I almost feel like it's the atmosphere or it's just the thought of if you have a bad hole, it really isn't that big a deal, it's just one point or 1-down, where stroke play, that can make a difference. I also make a lot of birdies in stroke play and that helps a lot in match play.
Q. Has waiting so long to turn pro and then finally being able to do it given you a different perspective, maybe appreciate it more when you finally decided to say, hey, this is now what I want to do?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: It is. Also, I think, you know, graduating from school definitely created a kind of a safety net where I feel when I go to a golf tournament and if I don't play very well, I don't have to
feel like this is it, if I don't make it, I have nothing else to fall back on. So I think just having that in the back of my head allows me, just kind of freeze me up a little bit, enjoy each tournament a little more and just be more relaxed.
Q. I guess it was about two weeks ago Alexis Thompson said she was going to turn pro at 15 after the Curtis Cup. When you think back when you were 15, could you have even imagined turning professional at
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: I remember being 15 and being excited to, like, make pars. So I mean, you know, it was -- I just couldn't imagine, I could not imagine turning pro at 15. I mean, when you think about it, golf you can play forever, and in 15 years when she's 30, that's kind of -- I think everybody's at a golf peak. The average age they say is 30. That's 15 years for her. And then if she wants to keep playing, she could be on the Tour for a really long time and that's a lot of golf. You know, that's -- it's also a lot of your childhood that you're missing. She's going to be missing prom probably and missing going to college. So I think that it's really tough and I definitely wouldn't have made that choice.
Q. You mentioned how much you like school and everything like that. Do you miss it?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: I do. I actually, I couldn't believe it, I've been out of school for over a year. I graduated May 10th of last year and I couldn't believe that I've not picked up a school book or been taking notes for over a year. It's gone by so fast. I was devastated -- well, I was very excited when Duke won the basketball. I was thrilled but at the same time why, one year, I was so close. But it was -- so I definitely miss being in school, but at the same time it is nice going to a tournament and not having to bring a backpack full of books and not having a test to study for.
Q. Are you keeping an eye on the NCAA championships this week?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: Yeah. I sent my coach a text. I thought it actually started yesterday but I was a little off, so I know Duke has a little ways to go, but I'm always pulling for them.
Q. As a newcomer to the LPGA, how do you look at the LPGA now? It's kind of a transitional time. Lorena's left it and a lot of the bigger names have started to move on. You're that next wave. Do you seethat waive carrying and getting the popularity to the point where everybody would like to see it again?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: I do. I have a great group of friends and fellow competitors who played college golf with me, and they're amazing and they're going to be a lot of fun to watch. Most of them are on the
Futures Tour right now and doing the European Tour. But I feel like just given a little bit of time, they're going to come out here and the Tour is -- it's exciting already but there's going to be some fresh blood.
Q. Do you think that the Tour needs -- I mean, everybody needs a star in whatever the sport is. What's it going to take for the LPGA to kind of grab the spotlight again and make it something that people really want to tune into when it comes on TV during the week?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: I think the economy needs to get a little bit better, but not just that. You know, I really -- I have so much faith in my graduating class, Class of '09, that I also think that really the golfers that I grew up playing junior golf with who didn't turn pro, who went to college, they're going to be so much fun to watch. I really think that that wave of girls who went to college, graduated, it's going to be a new face for the LPGA.
AMY YANG (def. Juli Inkster 7&6)
MODERATOR: You did very well this morning and a lot of birdies.
AMY YANG: Yes.
MODERATOR: Can you just talk about the day a little bit?
AMY YANG: You know, I was quite nervous about, you know, playing with Juli Inkster, she's a really, really good player, she's a Hall of Famer. Yep, just, you know, yesterday when I found I was playing with her, I kind of, oh, a little nervous, but it will be fun. And I just, you know, what I'm trying to do all day, I just played against par, you know, just trying not too aggressive, just playing safely.
MODERATOR: You were 7 under through 12 holes.
AMY YANG: I don't know, just my putt was rolling really good today. My and my caddie, what we read, it was right on line. Everything was good. I just needed to concentrate like speed on the putt and it just was like working out really well.
Q. Going out early, were the greens perfect in the second group of the day?
AMY YANG: Yeah, yeah, it was really like, how can I say, like not many like spikes. It's really --
AMY YANG: It was perfect, yes.
Q. Did yesterday sort of get you going for today?
AMY YANG: Yeah, yesterday I learned a lot of things, you know. I was like having trouble with putting speed, but I concentrate on that from like yesterday afternoon, after round, just practiced a little bit, and today working same thing. I think it worked out well. I haven't really played match play like five years, so I kind of had no feeling how to play it. But after playing with Michelle, yeah, it was fun, yeah.
Q. How did you figure out the speeds of the greens from yesterday to today?
AMY YANG: Like before start yesterday was faster than what we practiced during the practice round, but like I guess after the round, I was used to it and easier today.
Q. How do you like the course?
AMY YANG: I like it, I like it very much. You know, it's really wide open. Yeah, I think it's in great shape. Yeah, I like it, just like it.
MODERATOR: Do you like match play format?
AMY YANG: Actually, I like stroke play better, you know. It's not --
MODERATOR: It's different.
AMY YANG: Yeah, it's a different game really. I think it makes me more nervous in match play.
Q. You mentioned that you were kind of nervous playing Juli. Was that because of how she played yesterday, how she kind of grinded it out?
AMY YANG: You know, she has a lot of, how can I say, like victories, like past and you know, so my caddie told me she's really good at match play. But I just thought if I just play against par, it will be okay, it will be a fun day.
MODERATOR: So not so much playing her, but playing par, playing the course?
AMY YANG: Yeah.
Q. Can you imagine -- Juli is 49 years old. Can you imagine yourself still being out here playing at 49?
AMY YANG: You know, I think she's still pretty good. I mean, yeah, how can I say, I think she's still, still a really good player.
Q. Could you picture yourself still being on Tour at that age?
AMY YANG: I don't think I can. She's amazing.
MODERATOR: Do you want to play for that many years?
AMY YANG: Yeah, if I can, you know. If I don't have like injury, you know, I like to keep playing.
NO. 2 AI MIYAZATO (lost to M.J Hur)
MODERATOR: I know it was a close match today. If you can just talk about the day a little bit.
AI MIYAZATO: Well, I played really, really good out there. Well, I didn't make a bogey today, just made five birdies, I guess, and M.J. plays really good and we had so many birdies out there. The break point was 15, I guess. I had like 5-foot birdie putt but I missed it and I couldn't get points. So that was the break point and she made birdie on 16 -- 16 and 17 and 18. So she got a good finish, so I think she deserve it. But I played really good, so it feels good.
MODERATOR: Good. And what happened on the last hole? We heard the two balls touched each other?
AI MIYAZATO: Yeah, we had so many the same distance today. My second shot like around the greens, even on -- even on the green as well, so that was a little bit funny playing with her. But she's a really nice girl and we had such a good time and I played really well, so it was a really good match, I guess.
Q. Looked like she had a big advantage -- I mean, after you missed, that she saw the line, you were on the exact same line?
AI MIYAZATO: You mean on the last hole?
Q. You actually showed her the putt. Yes?
AI MIYAZATO: I had such a good stroke and I hit it pretty firm and I think I got good line, but it was just luck, I guess. I don't know. Her putt was really pressure on herself I think as well, so she had a good putt.
Q. Do you approach match play a little bit different mentally than you would stroke play?
AI MIYAZATO: Yeah, it's totally different because it's only 18 holes in between two players, so you need to really focus on every single shot. It's actually a little bit, make me tired, but it's really fun to play match play like maybe once in a year, that would be fantastic, I guess.
Q. Would you like to play match play a little more often?
AI MIYAZATO: Sure, why not. I love to play match play. My play style is pretty much the same, but you never know who's going to win this tournament, because match play, you never know what's going to happen.
Q. Did you just get the feeling that you just couldn't shake her at any point in the round, no matter what you did, she was kind of just hanging right beside you?
AI MIYAZATO: What was the question?
Q. That you couldn't shake her at all?
AI MIYAZATO: Hmm?
MODERATOR: Kind of like get rid of her because she was right there by you the whole time.
AI MIYAZATO: Oh, sorry, okay. Sorry. No, not really. Like I said, you never know what's going to happen in match play, but we played really similar today. We made birdie in like on the same hole, like almost every hole, but she just got a really good finish and I couldn't make birdie, so that's it.
MODERATOR: Okay. Any others?
AI MIYAZATO: Thank you