Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms
City of Industry, Calif.
(Partial) Second-round notes and interviews
March 25, 2011
Jiyai Shin -12, Rolex Rankings No. 2
Sandra Gal -8 (through nine holes), Rolex Rankings No. 100
Chella Choi -6, Rolex Rankings No. 145
Amanda Blumenherst -6 (through nine holes), Rolex Rankings No. 86
Michelle Wie -3, Rolex Rankings No. 11
Rolex Rankings No. 2 Jiyai Shin leads by four shots after shooting a nine-under 64 in the second round of the Kia Classic, which was suspended for darkness at 7:03 p.m. with 72 players still on the course. Shin carded nine birdies during play at Industry Hills Golf Club at Pacific Palms on Friday and is 14-under par over her last 26 holes. Shin’s 9-under ties the low round in relation to par on Tour this season. I.K. Kim shot a 9-under 63 during the Honda LPGA Thailand in February. A eight-time winner on the LPGA Tour, Shin is seeking her first victory of the season at the Kia Classic.
Sandra Gal is chasing the leader Shin by two strokes, having gone 2-under through nine holes on Friday to bring her to 8-under for the tournament. Gal, who was in second place after the first round of play, will finish up the back nine of her second round on Saturday morning when play resumes.
First-round leader Amanda Blumenhurst is sitting six strokes behind Shin after nine holes on Friday, and she is tied for third with Chella Choi, who shot a 5-under 68 on Friday. Three players currently sit at 5-under including Sun Young Yoo and Anna Nordqvist, who each shot a 3-under 70 in the second round.
A three-hour weather delay pushed tee times back and prevented the second round from being completed on Friday. Play will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Of Note…Yani Tseng, No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings, was even through 13 holes of her round on Friday and she is still sitting at 2-under par for the tournament… In her quest for a third straight victory, Karrie Webb was three-over-par for the day after playing 13 holes on Friday and currently sits in a tie for 56th place at two-over-par overall with 14 other players…Defending champion Hee Kyung Seo shot an even-par 73 on Friday and moved into a tie for 87th place… Eunjung Yi withdrew before finishing her second round.
JIYAI SHIN, Rolex Rankings No. 2
THE MODERATOR: First off, Jiyai, our tournament leader by six shots. I'd like to welcome you and get some thoughts on the round today, a pretty good one.
JIYAI SHIN: Yeah, I jumped on the birdie bus when I started (laughing). Well, my shots were pretty good. I just missed the one green today, and my putter was so good today too. Anyway, well, it feels like this is real golf. Yeah, I kept thinking, oh, this is really a nice day for me.
THE MODERATOR: We're going to run through your scorecard.
JIYAI SHIN: Sure.
THE MODERATOR: So birdie on 2.
JIYAI SHIN: I hit 7 iron from the fairway, and I left about maybe 20 feet on the putt.
THE MODERATOR: Birdie on 3, the par 5.
JIYAI SHIN: Yeah, I left 75 yards to the pin, and I hit 54 degree, and just a couple feet to the hole.
THE MODERATOR: Birdie on 4.
JIYAI SHIN: Yeah, hit a 7 iron from the fairway, and I left about 7 feet to the hole.
THE MODERATOR: Birdie on 6.
JIYAI SHIN: I hit 9 iron from the fairway. Just five feet, no, four feet from the hole.
THE MODERATOR: Birdie on 7.
JIYAI SHIN: I hit 9 iron, and also three feet to the hole.
THE MODERATOR: And then birdie on 9.
JIYAI SHIN: I hit 23 hybrid, a 23 degree hybrid, and about 15 feet to the hole.
THE MODERATOR: 11 birdie.
JIYAI SHIN: I hit pitching wedge, and just two feet.
THE MODERATOR: 12.
JIYAI SHIN: I hit 5 wood from the fairway, and almost 12 feet to the hole.
THE MODERATOR: And then birdie on 14?
JIYAI SHIN: I hit 8 iron from the fairway, and, yeah, almost 12 feet to the hole.
Q. You said you got on the birdie bus today. Did you know when you started this morning that you were on that bus? Did you feel like you were going to do something?
JIYAI SHIN: Actually I didn't know, because this morning I wake early because my tee time was 8:45. And then three hours delay so I was just waiting. I tried to keep thinking about making a good image for the round, prepare for the rounds. This course is really tough for the players because the fairway is so soft, and the greens are so fast. Yesterday I really played a little bit harder to play on the green because the green is so fast. So this morning I think my goal was not to make bogey. So it worked, and I didn't make bogey. I made a lot of birdies.
Q. Do you think you have an advantage that you are finished and there are a lot of players who are going to have to play part of their second round tomorrow?
JIYAI SHIN: Yeah. I think I'm really lucky to finish today. I played very well, so I'll take a good rest.
Q. Is that one of the best rounds of your life?
JIYAI SHIN: Yeah, my best score was 8 under, 8 under par. I hit a lot of times 8 under par, but I couldn't make 9 under par. So today I made the first time.
Q. But as far as hitting the ball close to the hole, is that as good as you've ever done as far as hitting the ball with control on the green close to the hole?
JIYAI SHIN: Yeah, I made a lot of birdie chances inside of 15 feet, so I had a really good I had more chance to birdie. So I missed a couple things, but still pretty good today.
Q. Did you miss any fairways off the tee? And also on 15, was that the wind that left you short of the green and you had to chip up?
JIYAI SHIN: I missed the one fairway on hole number 3. Yeah, I missed it a little bit pull, so I missed a little bit left the fairway. And then missed the one green on number 15 no, 16. It was 15, right, par 3.
Q. What happened on that hole? Was the wind on the shot that left you short of the green? A missed club?
JIYAI SHIN: Just missed the wind, because I always think I'm thinking about the wind too, but not that strong. The wind was really strong up there, so I just missed the wind.
Q. Did you hit a 6 iron?
JIYAI SHIN: Yeah, I hit a 6 iron.
Q. As you kept making birdies, do you start to think how low can I score? Does your mind work that way or can you just ignore how well you're playing and keep playing well?
JIYAI SHIN: Actually yesterday I played very well too, then today my goal was just 3 under par. So I just kept thinking just make a couple more birdies and no bogeys. So I just kept focused for my shot too. Yeah, it was really easy, simple play today (laughing).
Q. Did you like this course when you practiced and before the tournament started? Did you think the course suited you?
JIYAI SHIN: Well, the course shape is really tough and the greens are so fast. Before the tournament, I always worry about the greens. The greens are so fast. Then when I played the Pro Am with amateurs I didn't make any putts (laughing). So before the tournament, I was just thinking, oh, please my putting, make a birdie, please. I'm praying all the time. Then I played good now.
Q. How were the greens? A couple of players said they were a little bumpy because of spike marks in the rain. How did you find them?
JIYAI SHIN: Oh, yeah, it is. So much rain this morning and yesterday so the greens were very soft. So when I'm walking I get a footprint. So it's a little bit bumpy. We're not comfortable with the short putt. We have to keep focused when we short putt.
Q. How important is the number one position to you?
JIYAI SHIN: How important?
JIYAI SHIN: Actually it's really big because I'm all the time dreaming. That's my goal too. I was there, so I know how big pressure when I was number one. But I still want to get there. This is my third year on the LPGA Tour, so it's come very quick, but I think I still have a good chance for the number one spot, so I'll just keep going.
Q. I noticed looking at your yardages, are you longer than you were a year ago? Seems like you're longer.
JIYAI SHIN: Yes, I changed the coach and I changed the swing a little bit. He makes more distance. Around, I think, between 10 to 15 yards.
Q. That's a lot.
JIYAI SHIN: Yeah, that's a lot.
Q. What did you do? Can you explain?
JIYAI SHIN: I just changed a little movement in my lower body movement, a little more move to forward.
Q. Who is your coach?
JIYAI SHIN: His name is Glen Daugherty. Yeah, he's from San Diego. We started since January. So I still keep making my swing at the moment, so I'm really happy to play good play today.
Q. Have you lost any accuracy or still straight?
JIYAI SHIN: Still straight (laughing).
Q. How did you and Glen get together? How did you pick him? Did you spend most of the off season then in Southern California?
JIYAI SHIN: Yeah, I was training in Palm Springs four more months, so my new coach was there too. And he also went to last week and this week too, but he left yesterday. He missed it today, but he's coming tomorrow.
Q. So did you stay here all off season or did you go home? Did you stay in Southern California?
JIYAI SHIN: I stayed out here.
Q. You live in Atlanta though, right?
JIYAI SHIN: Yeah, I live in Atlanta, but I'm looking for a second house in Palm Springs. Next week we're playing in Palm Springs, so I'll look around for a house.
Q. If you win this tournament, you could buy a house next week in Palm Springs?
JIYAI SHIN: That sounds good. That's my plan.
THE MODERATOR: 9 under 64 ties the low round in relation to par for the year. I.K. Kim shot a 9 under 63 in Thailand.
CHELLA CHOI, Rolex Rankings No. 145
THE MODERATOR: I'd like to start it off by getting a few thoughts on your round today.
CHELLA CHOI: I didn't play so well in the earlier part of the round. But my approach and putter started working a little better, and I think that made up a better day.
THE MODERATOR: Do you feel there is any advantage to going out in the morning this morning and getting your round done whereas a lot of the afternoon rounds won't be able to finish?
CHELLA CHOI: Because of the rain delay for three hours this morning, I was a little tired. But it actually gave me more time to prepare and warm up, and things went well from there.
Q. How did the course play today? Was it longer because it was wet? Can you just describe the conditions?
CHELLA CHOI: It was okay overall. After the shot there wasn't a whole lot of run on the green so I was shooting straight and aiming straight for the pin. And there were a lot of spike marks on the green, but overall it was okay.
Q. And how did you prepare for this season? What was your off season like and how did you feel coming into the start of this season?
CHELLA CHOI: I think we're seeing the trend of LPGA courses being a little longer now, so I prepare in my off season on my fitness. I did some yoga. So I look forward to being able to extend my distance and then play well.
Q. Do you feel like that's worked so far? Are you a little longer this year?
CHELLA CHOI: I think it's gotten better, but there's more work to do in the future.
Q. Can you go over your birdies, how long they were and what the longest one was? Any good par saves that maybe helped you along the way as well?
CHELLA CHOI: My shots were a little shaky this morning, but I made about three par saves. I made about three putts that were about four yards and saved par in that situation. And after that, things got better.
Q. Could you go over your birdie putts?
CHELLA CHOI: Six birdies, one bogey.
Q. What are the lengths of birdie putts or what was the longest birdie putt?
CHELLA CHOI: The longest birdie I had was five yards.
Q. What hole was that?
CHELLA CHOI: Sorry, I think it's actually four yards. Everything worked so well for me today, so (laughing). Hole number 3, yeah. Number 6, two yards. Number 8, one bogey. On hole number 8, I recorded a bogey. I selected the wrong club, and I hit it a little short. Number 9, that was a really tough hole, but I hit my shot really well, and there were about three yards and had a birdie putt for three yards.
Q. What was tough about the hole?
CHELLA CHOI: It's a tri level green, so it was really difficult for me to really strategize. So that was a tough hole. Number 10, one foot for birdie. And number 11 number 13 I hit 7 iron to about four feet. And number 14, six feet. I think that's it, yeah.
Q. What was your overall impression of the course and did you hear about it, and was it as tough as you heard it was?
CHELLA CHOI: The course was wet today so it was playing a little longer than it did yesterday. As I mentioned earlier, there were some spike marks on the greens so that was tough. But at the same time I was able to be a little more aggressive and shoot and aim straight for the pin, so that was actually good.
SANDRA GAL, Rolex Rankings No. 100
Q. So just talk a little bit about having to go out there and start your round and not finish it, then go back and do it in the morning?
SANDRA GAL: Yeah, I'm actually fine with it. I'm a little bit sick yesterday and the last couple of days. I actually had breakfast and then I felt like going back to bed, so that's exactly what I did. Playing nine holes was actually quite nice. I look forward to coming out tomorrow early.
Q. Do you feel better now?
SANDRA GAL: I do a little bit, yes.
Q. Is it frustrating at all? You kind of got hot the last two holes you played. Made three birdies in your last four. Is it frustrating to get on a roll like that and then have to stop?
SANDRA GAL: Not really, you know. I think I'll just have a fresh start tomorrow, and it doesn't bother me.
AMANDA BLUMENHERST, Rolex Rankings No. 86
Q. Having the delay, was it sort of frustrating to kind of sit around all day and watch Jiyai Shin make birdies or were you watching?
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: I was not watching at all. I had no idea what was going on. I mean, it was tough sitting in the room for hours on end. But, you know, it's just part of the game. It happened at Q school a few years ago, and I just had to deal with it. I got to rest, watch some O.C. re-runs and workout. But, you know, it's just a part of it. It's going to be tough tomorrow getting up early, but I prefer that than playing in the dark.
Q. You kind of said yesterday that you liked being on the sunny side of things this week? This sort of didn't turn out necessarily that way.
AMANDA BLUMENHERST: It kind of jinxed me. I know. I really felt we had the better pairing, but I would have much rather played 18 today. I mean everything evens out. Kraft is next week, and maybe I'll get on the good side of the tee times. But we didn't have to deal with waking up early and then waiting, which that would have been really tough.
Michelle Wie, -3
Q. Talk about your round.
MICHELLE WIE: Just kind of didn't get a couple of holes going. Just kind of mis hit a couple of shots and missed a couple putts to day, and I guess that's the difference it makes.
Q. This is the type of course that Karrie Webb was saying earlier in the week, it's not a matter of hitting the fairway, but the exact right portion of the fairway. Did you come in this week fully prepared for what you're going to expect here?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I heard it was a narrow golf course, so I kind of prepared myself for that. But she's right. You have to be on the right side of the fairway, because there are trees blocking out half of the green, so it's really about management.
Q. About having played last week, a lot of people come in with a fresh mind. But you had finals. Did that make it tough to prepare?
MICHELLE WIE: It was a little bit tough. But I still practiced the same schedule and everything, but it's a fun week so far.