CN Canadian Women’s Open
Hillsdale Golf & Country Club
August 26, 2011
Second-round notes and interviews
Ai Miyazato -11, Rolex Rankings No. 7
Angela Stanford -11, Rolex Rankings No. 20
Song-Hee Kim -9, Rolex Rankings No. 17
Paula Creamer -8, Rolex Rankings No. 9
Seon Hwa Lee -8, Rolex Rankings No. 113
Becky Morgan -8, Rolex Rankings No. 175
Pernilla Lindberg -8, Rolex Rankings No. 195
Samantha Richdale -5, Rolex Rankings No. 341
Sherri Steinhauer +6, Rolex Rankings No. 236
First-round leader Ai Miyazato and Rolex Rankings No. 20 Angela Stanford sit tied atop the leaderboard at 11-under-par heading into Saturday’s third round of the CN Canadian Women’s Open. The pair holds a two-shot lead over Rolex Rankings No. 17 Song-Hee Kim, who shot a 4-under 68 at Hillsdale Golf & Country Club outside Montreal to move into sole possession of third place after two rounds.
Miyazato followed up her bogey-free, opening round of 7-under 65 with another birdie-filled round. She recorded five birdies and one bogey en route to shooting 68, which moved her to 11-under-par for the tournament, but the Japan native didn’t really get things going until near the finish of her round. After going 1-under through her first 13 holes, Miyazato birdied three of her final five holes to put herself at the top of the leaderboard.
“In the beginning of the round I was a little bit too much like too tough on myself,” Miyazato said. “So it was a little hard to make a gain. But I realized I'm too tough on myself. I just had a nice self talk and I got really patient. So that's why I got a really good bounce back towards the end, so I'm very happy.”
It took some time for both leaders to get on a birdie streak Friday. Stanford wasn’t getting the putts to fall until after making the turn in her second round, shooting 31 on the back nine to cap off a round of 66. After a bogey on the par-4 ninth, Stanford recorded birdies on four of her next six holes and one more birdie on the par-4 17th capped off her round.
“I just had some better chances on the back,” Stanford said. “There are a couple par 5s where you have good chances, but I was just trying to hit good shots and give myself opportunities. The putter's rolling so that's good.
“I think any time you feel good about your putter, it's probably better than feeling good about anything else. I haven't had this feeling in a while, so it's a lot of fun.”
Low scores galore: For the second straight day at the CN Canadian Women’s Open, the conditions were favorable for low scores and plenty of golfers took advantage.
“You can make a lot of birdies out here, that's for sure,” Paula Creamer said following her second straight round of 68. “Every day you should be 4 or 5 under, especially going into the weekend. It's a good place to be. I'm sure the pin placements are going to be tougher because there are so many birdies being made, but we'll see.”
After 88 players shot par-or-better in the first round, a total of 105 players were able to shoot 72 or lower on Friday. The expectation from most of the players has been that the low scores will continue through the weekend as long as the course doesn’t dry out too much, leaving open the possibility for an impressive winning score.
“The fairway is wide open and the greens are big,” Miyazato said. “It's pretty much receptive. You can be aggressive hitting the second shot. That's why I think everyone's shooting a lower score.”
“This weekend I think it will be around I don't know, close to 20 under par, the winning score. But it depends on the weather and it depends on the pin positions as well. So I'll just try to make as many birdies as I can.”
Staying on for the weekend: A total of 78 players made the cut which fell at 1-under-par 143
Looking for a good finish: The last time that Song-Hee Kim recorded a top-10 finish in an LPGA tournament was back in April at the Avnet LPGA Classic where she finished runner-up to winner Maria Hjorth. Since then, Kim has just one finish in the top 30 which came at the RICOH Women’s British Open at Carnoustie Golf Links when she tied for 14th.
So to see her name back near the top of the leaderboard on Friday certainly brought a smile to Kim’s face.
“I really miss Top 10 with my name on the board because I've been playing really kind of not well,” Kim said. “So I tried really hard. I'm really happy about it.”
A fitting end: Sherri Steinhauer played her final round on the LPGA Tour Friday, as the 48-year-old capped off a successful 26-year career that featured eight wins including two major titles.
While walking up the fairway on No. 18 at Hillsdale Golf & Country Club, Steinhauer carried a lit torch with her. And after she made a 5-foot putt for par on her final hole to shoot a 1-under 71, Steinhauer physically -- and symbolically-- passed the torch off to U.S. Solheim Cup rookie Vicky Hurst.
The veteran player and 2011 U.S. Solheim assistant captain was then greeted by a slew of players and caddies as she headed to the scoring tent for one final time.
“It's been a great run,” said Steinhauer. “Golf has been so good to me, the LPGA has been great to me, and to finish on the last hole and have a lot of the players and caddies back there was really special. I thought I was going to hold the tears, but that was really emotional to see all the support from all the players and caddies. It was very special.”
Steinhauer, who is a native of Madison, Wis., chose to end her career in Canada since it was the place where she recorded her first victory, which was the 1992 du Maurier Classic in Winnipeg. Her parents, Fritz and Nancie, were on hand to see that victory as they celebrated their wedding anniversary. Fritz and Steinhauer’s four brothers were on hand this week to see her final tournament. Her mother Nancie passed this past December following a battle with cancer.
“This week, Thursday, would have been mom and dad's 60th wedding anniversary,” Steinhauer said. “I wanted to come here and have this be my last event. I was fortunate enough that my brothers and dad all flew in for it, so we were all together as a family. I know mom was with me today. I had a good round today, and I know she was with all of us.”
Of Note…Defending champion Michelle Wie shot a 3-under 69 in Friday’s second round and is tied for fourth place at 8-under-par…For the second straight day, Samantha Richdale remains the low Canadian in the field. Richdale currently sits at 5-under-par after shooting a 1-over 73 on Friday...Of the top 45 players on the leaderboard at the end of Friday, only one shot over par in the second round.
AI MIYAZATO, Rolex Rankings No. 7
THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome current tournament leader Ai Miyazato to the interview room. You're 11 under par overall, shot 67 today at the CN Canadian Women's Open. Seems like you're playing pretty well this week. Tell us about your round.
AI MIYAZATO: You know, I had a really good day today. But in the beginning of the round I was a little bit too tough on myself. So it was a little hard to make a gain. But I realized I'm too tough on myself. I just had a nice self talk and I got really patient. So that's why I got a really good bounce back towards the end, so I'm very happy.
THE MODERATOR: Last year you had a career year, five wins. This year it took you a little bit to get your first win at the Evian Masters. Do you feel like that first win is helping you now to get more here?
AI MIYAZATO: Yeah, definitely. My confidence is back, and I'm really comfortable with my game right now. So I'm playing very good. I'm really satisfied about my game today.
Q. The way you're playing now, do you feel that there is still a chance this year to catch Yani Tseng and get the No. 1 ranking back?
AI MIYAZATO: I have no idea (laughing). I'm just finishing the second round today, and I still have two more days and so many good players up until like 20. You never know what's going to happen this weekend.
So I'll just try my best this weekend and, you know, hopefully I can catch Yani. But she's playing really solid this year. It's a good challenge for me, so I'll try.
Q. The par 3, 4th and 8th hole, do you remember what club you hit on those? Was it the same club?
AI MIYAZATO: I hit 7 wood on that hole, yeah.
Q. You had a few putts burn the edges today, even though you made a number of them. After a round where you came so close, do you look back at the ones that got away or are you happy having so many birdie opportunities?
AI MIYAZATO: It feels like half and half. I had so many birdie opportunities, but I got also like really good up and down like close to the pin five times. I played really good. I feel like I holed a lot of putts today. I just have to look at the positives today.
Q. Do you feel that you're playing as good as last year now?
AI MIYAZATO: No, I don't think so, no. Last year is last year, and this year is this year, so it's different. I honestly, I can't I can't compare, but I'm playing really good after Evian, so I'm very comfortable with my game right now.
Q. There's a lot of low scores through two rounds. I mean, 11 under is probably not going to do it by the time Sunday rolls around. Could you talk about the way the course is playing and the number of birdies, what your approach will be this weekend?
AI MIYAZATO: The course is the fairway is wide open and the greens are big. It's pretty much receptive. You can be aggressive hitting to the second shot. That's why I think everyone's hitting like really everyone shot a lower score.
So this weekend I think it will be around I don't know, close to 20 under par, the winning score. But it depends on the weather and it depends on the pin positions as well. So just trying to make a birdie I'll just try to make as many birdies as I can.
Q. I'd like to come back to how the Tsunami affected your play and that sort of thing. I'm wondering if you could talk about how something like that off the course can affect your play on the course, and how you get through it?
AI MIYAZATO: At first I didn't realize that the Tsunami had that much of an effect on me, especially on the golf course, but you know even when I was on and off the golf course, there were some times that the Tsunami was always on my mind. There's always time that I had to think about it.
I tried to give back to the people in Japan with good results with my golf. But I found out that that didn't really work because that's not the way I usually play. So once I was able to realize that, I was able to focus one shot at a time, and the results also followed.
Q. Golf is such a mental game. Often when you're up there you don't hit it quite as far as some of the other top players. Do you think that make it's even more of a mental game for you compared to some of the girls that can bomb it out there?
AI MIYAZATO: When I came on Tour my first year, I did want to try to hit the ball farther. As a result, though, I lost my style of how I play golf. But now I feel confident about the way I play with my skills with the short game. So right now I feel comfortable with the game.
Q. On the 5th tee I saw you and your caddie looking on the ground at a little bug or something like that. What was it, and were you maybe afraid it was a frog?
AI MIYAZATO: It wasn't a frog, but it kind of looked like a grasshopper laying an egg on the ground. It wasn't something I was used to seeing, that's why me and my caddie had to look at it.
Q. Do you think some of the tough times you've been through make you appreciate the good times even more?
AI MIYAZATO: Yes, definitely. I feel that nothing is really given to me very easily, especially after I was playing good. Playing good is never really given to me that easily. So by now I do feel that I tend to appreciate things a lot more than usual or than before.
Q. I saw on 16, not that I paid too much attention, but I saw you sneezing. Are you feeling okay?
AI MIYAZATO: Yeah, I'm feeling okay. Thank you for your concern about it (laughing). I'm okay, thank you.
Q. Also on that tee was a bit of a break. So I saw you checking out the Audi, the car that was sitting there.
AI MIYAZATO: Yeah.
Q. Is that because you might be expecting a large paycheck sometime soon?
AI MIYAZATO: No, I have a Honda, so no, I didn't expect that.
ANGELA STANFORD, Rolex Rankings No. 20
THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Angela Stanford into the interview room. Congratulations on your round today, 6 under. Fantastic finish for you on the back nine, shooting 31. What was kind of the difference after making the turn?
ANGELA STANFORD: You know, I don't know. I guess I just had some better chances on the back. A couple par 5s that you have good chances, but I was just trying to hit good shots and give myself opportunities and the putter's rolling so that's good.
THE MODERATOR: After your round yesterday, 5 under, now a round of 6 under. Feel good about the game right now with the way you're rolling?
ANGELA STANFORD: Yeah, I feel good about my putter. I think any time you feel good about your putter, it's probably better than feeling good about anything else. So I haven't had this feeling in a while, so it's a lot of fun.
THE MODERATOR: I know there was one bogey in the round on No. 9. Did that fire you up a little bit for the back side?
ANGELA STANFORD: Yeah, because it was just a bad decision, it was a bad club. I knew better than that, and then I let it affect my chip shot, and should have made the putt, but, oh, well.
Q. We were talking yesterday just about the good scoring conditions and being able to take advantage. Same thing again today? Did you feel like there was a low score that was out there?
ANGELA STANFORD: I didn't think so initially, but the wind never really kicked up, so I think any time you don't have to factor in the wind, that helps. The greens were still pretty soft. It's not surprising people are playing well.
Q. What's it like after the kind of round you had yesterday and you get to the first tee today, what goes through your mind? When did you get the feeling that it's going to be another one of those days?
ANGELA STANFORD: Don't mess it up the first round (laughing). No, I think when you see people climbing the leaderboard, I think it does a couple things. One, it makes you realize there are some birdies out there. So if you're just patient, you'll probably have your opportunities.
You can definitely I mean, I can. The leaderboard kind of gives me some feel on what's going on out there. It seemed like people are going low early in the morning wave. The morning wave played really well. So I think that helps me be a little more patient going out because you know that you're going to have some chances.
Q. You joked yesterday saying your putter finally decided to show up to a golf tournament. Are you guys friends again now?
ANGELA STANFORD: Yeah, it's still yet to be determined because I have two more days. So I can't fall in love with him just yet. We're on speaking terms though, so it's good.
Q. Could you describe the playing conditions? Were they the same as yesterday, or better than yesterday?
ANGELA STANFORD: I thought they were the same. I mean, the only thing that I think was different was the wind for us. I thought it was blowing a little harder yesterday morning when we played. For the most part, the fairways still seem fairly soft. We didn't play lift, clean and place today, but I think that's maybe because they expected the rain yesterday. So I think the fairways were still pretty soft and the greens are still pretty soft. So pretty similar, just lacking the wind.
SONG-HEE KIM, Rolex Rankings No. 17
Q. Take me through the round and what was working really well for you today?
SONG HEE KIM: Today my putting was really well today. I had like five birdies and I make a lot of putts and especially that's why I think I don't have much bogeys, because I only had one bogey for two days. So I've been putting really well.
Q. Were there any key holes for you where you had a good birdie that kind of got you going?
SONG HEE KIM: Because I only try to think about the spot, nothing else, because I didn't really think about how to stroke, how to swing, so I've been trying to think about where I want to go. So I think that's helped me a lot for two days.
Q. Up near the top of the leaderboard. You have to be happy with where you are and happy with how you've played the first two days.
SONG HEE KIM: Yeah I really miss Top 10 with my name on the board because I've been playing really kind of not well. So I tried really hard. I'm really happy about it. I can see now my name on the board.
Q. The course, how is it playing? I know everyone said yesterday the greens were really soft and scoring conditions were pretty good.
SONG HEE KIM: It's been raining yesterday, so I thought it was a little softer than yesterday, but it gets pretty good drier. So today is much better than yesterday, and the green conditions were really good.
I think it depends how the wind works, but it didn't get windy much today. It was beautiful today.
PAULA CREAMER, Rolex Rankings No. 9
Q. So 8 under through 36 holes, give us some thoughts on your round today?
PAULA CREAMER: I'm giving myself a bunch of chances out there. I missed three birdies today, which I'm trying not to miss as many. These greens are pretty big, so when you do miss it, it's kind of an errant shot. I gave myself lots of opportunities and made some good putts.
Q. Through six holes, give us your thoughts on this golf course? How does it suit your game?
PAULA CREAMER: You can make a lot of birdies out here, that's for sure. Every day you should be 4 or 5 under, especially going into the weekend. It's a good place to be. I'm sure the pin placements are going to be tougher because there are so many birdies being made, but we'll see.
Q. Now 3 back right now going into the weekend. Give us your thoughts. Are you going to change anything going in?
PAULA CREAMER: No, I feel good. I'll keep everything going the way it has been. Working hard on my golf swing, so I'll try to keep that up. Go hit some balls this afternoon, and see what happens.
SEON HWA LEE, Rolex Rankings No. 113
Q. You shot a 7-under 65 today to move up the leaderborad. Can you just take me through your day, and what was working well for you out there?
SEON HWA LEE: I hit a lot of greens, and the putt worked really well today. I mean I feel a lot better than yesterday. Yesterday was a little bit the greens were soft and a little bit of wind, so it was a lot easier to play today, this morning. It was nice and calm, and I felt comfortable. So I just hit a lot of greens and made putts.
Q. To shoot 7 under and put yourself right back up near the top of the leaderboard, how great of a feeling is that?
SEON HWA LEE: It's good. I mean it was a long time. In the top a few months ago. So it's a good feeling about it, but I'm very comfortable this week.
Q. I was talking to some of the players yesterday about how easy the scoring conditions were there?
SEON HWA LEE: Right, this green is so soft, and the fairways are wide open. So it's not any struggling with it. So just hit the fairways and get it close to the pin and just make a few putts. The scoreboard is going to be really low. Anybody can go low.
Q. I know you just missed a birdie putt on the last hole for 64. Were there other birdie opportunities that you missed? Or was it that kind of a day where you able to capitalize pretty much on most of them?
SEON HWA LEE: A couple of the long putts I was a little bit short and just hit it at he hole and it went out. And there was a little short putt. But I feel good. I mean, I don't worry about that. I'm 7 under.
BECKY MORGAN, Rolex Rankings No. 175
Q. Can you talk about your round a little bit, what went well and key holes?
BECKY MORGAN: Sure, I got off to a good start. Birdied the first and second, made it close on the first and hit a good par on the second. I think I only maybe missed one or two greens on the front, and birdied 8 and 9, shot some good birdies. 8 is that long par 3 so I'll take 3 on that every day so two is nice.
I played well on the back. I hit a couple of scrappy shots, obviously the one on 18 I didn't really like. But all in all I hit a lot of greens and rolling the ball well.
Q. On 18, even though it wasn't the greatest shot, you were able to kind of save bogey there. Kind of just take me through that hole, if you would?
BECKY MORGAN: I pulled my second shot left of the bunker, and pretty much didn't have much hope with my third but tried to hit a big flop shot over the bunker and probably should have just taken, you know, taken bogey and hit it farther on and two putted. But I was trying to get a little cute with it.
Almost fell off, but it just caught the top of the bunker and came back. Then hit a good bunker shot. Didn't like the sand there, so I didn't have much room to work with. But I hit a good shot two feet to knock it in so...
Q. Everybody was talking about the great scoring conditions and the greens were really receptive. Were you finding that still today?
BECKY MORGAN: Yeah, the greens are perfect this morning. And you can fire at most of the pins. The greens are there are a few tricky ones most of them are relatively flat. So if you're in the fairway, you can pretty much go at most of the pins. So I think the leaders score will be pretty low today.
PERNILLA LINDBERG, Rolex Rankings No. 195
Q. Five birdies, four bogeys, not quite as consistent as yesterday, but still pretty pleased with what you were able to do out there today?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: Yeah, absolutely. I mean still making five birdies that shows that I have some good game in me, and I was still making a lot of good putts.
Like I said before, too, I missed a few more fairways today so that was really where the bogeys came from. Yeah, aside from that, it still feels good.
Q. Was the course playing similar today? I know you weren't playing preferred lies, so were there some differences?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: I thought it played is similar. 9 and 18 they moved up the tee boxes a little bit more yesterday so they played a little bit longer, not much today though. Otherwise, I thought it played pretty similar.
Q. To be able to put two rounds together like yesterday and today and find yourself near the top of the leaderboard, how nice is that knowing you want to play well towards the end of the year?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: It feels really good. I've been struggling lately, really, been just trying to make cuts. These two days I haven't been thinking about the cut line because I've been up there just trying to make more and more birdies instead. So, of course, it's nice.
Q. Does your game feel like it's coming together at this point too? Was there something that you figured out recently that's helped?
PERNILLA LINDBERG: Yeah, I feel all year that my short game and putting has been pretty good, but my long game has been failing a little bit. My game has always been the opposite, so I've been a little bit confused this year. But lately it feels like all the parts have been coming together, and I guess this week I finally got everything together.
SAMANTHA RICHDALE, Rolex Rankings No. 341
SAMANTHA RICHDALE: It was a little tough. I hit some shots today that I didn't really expect and missed a few putts. But I was proud of myself that I was able to battle back and make some birdies on the back nine.
Q. Did you feel more pressure because of the round yesterday?
SAMANTHA RICHDALE: I just wanted to play well again today. It was nice to be up at the top, and you just kind of want to follow that up. I kind of lost it there for a bit, but I'm happy I was able to get some birdies back in the end.
Q. Would you say the course was tougher or was it the same as yesterday?
SAMANTHA RICHDALE: I asked my caddie that. He was kind of like it's the same. It always feels tougher when your shots are going a little sideways. I guess it was playing about the same, I just wasn't making as many good shots and making as many putts.
Q. What are your expectations for this weekend?
SAMANTHA RICHDALE: I definitely want to move up. I'm trying to make it into some LPGA events later this year where I have to move up on the money list. So I'm looking forward to playing some good golf on the weekend.
Q. What is the most important thing for you when you're scuffling maybe a bit at the beginning? How do you help regain your focus? How do you do that?
SAMANTHA RICHDALE: You know, it's just trying to keep calm, keep good thoughts out there. Try to get some kind of kind of swing working for you where you can control it and get up and down.
Q. What do you think you were doing wrong on the front nine and what did you do right on the back?
SAMANTHA RICHDALE: You know, I think to hit it sideways like that after you've played well, it's just small stuff, right? Your tempo might be a little off. I was a little nervous this morning. I want to play well, but maybe not focused on the right things.
So on the back nine I just kind of got a bit better tempo, and like I said, some of my putts rolled in.
Q. You birdied 10. Can you tell us about that hole?
SAMANTHA RICHDALE: I kind of forget 10. I can't remember the putt I made. But I think I made three good shots. Oh, I remember now. Yeah, I rolled a really nice putt there and it went in, so it was kind of a nice way to get me going.
Q. Have you ever dreamed to be 5 under at the Canadian Open?
SAMANTHA RICHDALE: You know, I've never really thought specifically on a score or anything like that. But to be kind of in contention and playing on the weekend and give myself a chance to be up there is nice.
SHERRI STEINHAUER, Rolex Rankings No. 236
Q. We're here with 26 year LPGA Tour veteran Sherri Steinhauer, and eight time winner on Tour, retired today officially after the CN Canadian Women's Open. Just minutes after your last competitive round, what is going through your mind?
SHERRI STEINHAUER: Well, it's been a great run. Golf has been so good to me, the LPGA has been great to me, and to finish on the last hole and have a lot of the players and caddies back there was really special.
I didn't think I was going to I thought I was going to hold the tears, but that was really emotional to see all the support from all the players and caddies. It was very special.
Q. Can you talk about the significance of deciding to finish your career here in Canada?
SHERRI STEINHAUER: Well, my first win came here in 1992, actually in Winnipeg, at the du Maurier but it was in Canada where I captured my very first win on Tour. My parents were there, and it was their wedding anniversary. I lost my mom this December, and this week, Thursday, would have been mom and dad's 60th wedding anniversary. I wanted to come here and have this be my last event.
I was fortunate enough that my brothers and dad all flew in for it, so we were all together as a family. I know mom was with me today. I had a good round today, and I know she was with all of us.
Q. So many people there to greet you, family, friends from the Tour. If you can, is there one memory among all those people that stands out in your career?
SHERRI STEINHAUER: One came to mind, but it's not one I can share on camera. I think just the friendships and playing golf with people who have the same mindset. We're a different breed of people, and these guys are great. I'm just proud to have a lot of them as my friends.
Q. To end your career today and this week, maybe not as tough knowing that you're still going to be busy the next month or so with the Solheim Cup, does that kind of help ease the feeling that you might have right now?
SHERRI STEINHAUER: Absolutely, because it's not like I'm walking away. I still have a lot of work to do ahead of us with the Solheim Cup and helping Rosie. So I'm totally looking forward to that. I think it's going to be a great experience. To be with the team and be on the inside of that is going to be really special.
Q. Finally, what's the future hold for Sherri Steinhauer?
SHERRI STEINHAUER: I have a huge bucket list. I have a huge bucket list. I'm going to learn to ride horses, fly fishing, got a ski trip planned in February. Just in the beginning here, just take some time and enjoy life and not have to worry about my days being revolved around golf.