Lorena Ochoa Invitational Final-Round Notes and Interviews

Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco
Guadalajara Country Club
Guadalajara, Mexico
November 11, 2012
Final-Round Notes and Interviews

Cristie Kerr -16, Rolex Rankings No. 15
Inbee Park -15, Rolex Rankings No. 4
Angela Stanford -15, Rolex Rankings No. 19
Stacy Lewis -12, Rolex Rankings No. 2


Rolex Rankings No. 15 Cristie Kerr fired a final-round 3-under 69 and overcame a two stroke deficit to win this year’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco.

“It feels amazing,” said Kerr. “You know, coming in those last couple of holes it didn’t feel like I had won before. I kind of just squeaked in. I won by a shot, that’s all that it takes, I’ve lost plenty of tournaments by a shot, but winning by a shot feels a lot better.”

Kerr entered today’s final round two-strokes behind second round leader Angela Stanford but carded six birdies and three bogeys to secure her first LPGA Tour victory in two years. The Floridian fired rounds of 67-69-67-69 to take home her 15th win on the LPGA.

Stacy Lewis Clinches Rolex Player of the Year…
With her T4th finish at this week’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco, Stacy Lewis clinches this year Rolex Player of the Year and becomes the first American since Beth Daniel in 1994 to win the award.

After sinking her final putt on the 18th for a final-round 4-under 68, Lewis finally came to the realization of her amazing accomplishment.

“After I finally made my last putt there on 18, I think it finally hit me. It’s just crazy to think that there have been so many great American players and I am the one after Beth in 94. I it’s just crazy to even think of. I mean it’s an honor to win the award, and I think this will spur on with the rest of the Americans to get out and keep playing well because Solheim Cup is coming up.”

Fellow American and 2011 U.S. Solheim Cup teammate Angela Stanford couldn’t hide her excitement for her close friend.

“Well, I’m really happy for her,” said Stanford. “You know, she’s a great person, and probably has a bigger heart than she is player. I mean she’s just a great girl and I’m very happy for her. So I think it’s great.”

Rattled Nerves… Coming into this week’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco Cristie Kerr had not won on the LPGA Tour since the 2010 Wegmans LPGA Championship. With nearly a two year hiatus from the winner’s circle, Kerr felt the pressure standing over her 4-foot par putt on the final hole which she needed to make to win.

“Yeah, I was nervous,” said Kerr. “I haven’t been in this position to win in a while. You know, to even have one putt to win, or two putts to win, I wasn’t nervous for messing up but it was hard to control the amount of adrenaline that was in my system. So I just tried to take some breaths and calm myself down and I still can’t believe how hard I hit that first putt. I gave the fans and myself a heart attack, but you know what I stayed in there mentally until the end you know, I tried to give it away but I wasn’t going to.”

After clinching her 15th career win, Kerr was overcome with emotion during the award’s ceremony when she thanked husband Erik Stevens for his support during a difficult two years.

“He’s been really encouraging, you know, my solid rock,” said Kerr. “Like never letting me doubt myself, always helping me to believe in myself and to move forward when things aren’t going well, this is great for us.”

Cool, Calm and Collected… With the fate of this year’s Rolex Player of the Year award looming on this week’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco, the pressure Inbee Park placed upon herself increasingly mounted.

After she failed to win this week, Stacy Lewis clinched this year’s Rolex Player of the Year award allowing Park to take a step back and enjoy next week’s season-ending CME Titleholders.

“Just, no pressure right now I don’t feel much pressure,” said Park. “I’ll just try to enjoy myself next week because I tried to put too much pressure on myself this week so next week will be better.”

Park has already experienced a career-best year this season as she rebounded after a missed cut at the season-opening ISPS Handa Australian Open to notch two victories and finish in the top-5 in eight events.

“Everything has improved in my game and I’m really just happy I’m in contention almost every week,” said Park. “That’s given me a lot of experience and it gives me a lot more to do next year and I’ll just try my best every game.”

Oh So Close… Rolex Rankings No. 19 Angela Stanford already has one victory under her belt this season but with only one event remaining on this year’s LPGA Tour schedule the Texan is hungry for another win.

“Yeah, you know I’ve been working on things with my swing and to get this result just kind of gives you confidence in what you’re doing,” said Stanford. “It makes you believe it a little bit more, and you never know.”

This week’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco marks the second time this season Stanford has finished runner-up

“Yeah, I mean, it’s hard because you have to have a little bit of perspective,” said Stanford. “You know people say you have to take the good out of everything but you know there’s always that sense of disappointment.”

Golden ticket winners: Tanya Dergal and Kristy McPherson punched their "Ticket to CME Group Titleholders" at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco, each earning a spot in the season-ending CME Group Titleholders event, which will be held Nov. 15-18, 2012 at The TwinEagles in Naples, Fla. The second annual CME Group Titleholders is a season finale with a field made up of three qualifiers from every LPGA Tour tournament.

Kerr is going to Canyon Ranch. With her victory at the 2012 Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco, Cristie Kerr earned an all-inclusive stay for two at a Canyon Ranch resort. In a combined effort to promote health and overall well-being among Tour players, Canyon Ranch will provide every winner of an LPGA event with one all-inclusive stay at one of Canyon Ranch's two destination resorts.

Cristie Kerr, Rolex Rankings No. 15

Moderator: Alright, I’d like to welcome this year’s winner Cristie Kerr to the interview room. Cristie, it’s been a couple of years. How does it feel?
Cristie Kerr: It feels amazing. You know, coming in those last couple of holes it didn’t feel like I had won before. I kind of just squeaked in, but I won by a shot, that’s all that it takes. I’ve lost plenty of tournaments by a shot, but winning by a shot feels a lot better.

Moderator: I know you and Lorena are close friends. How does it feel now, to not only win a tournament, but to win Lorena’s tournament?
Cristie Kerr: It feels amazing. You know, this is, since the first year it was here has been one of my favorite tournaments and I admire Lorena not only for what she’s done in golf. You know I’ve played so much golf with her and she’s such a fierce competitor. But also for what she’s done with her foundation and for the kids in Mexico. It’s really an honor to win this tournament. It means a lot more to me than just a win and it feels great.

Question: You really came from behind. The first couple of days you were you know kind of not in it all the way. What was the strategy for you to be able to come back and be the winner?
Moderator: Well, I don’t think I was ever that far out of it. You know, I was never really more than two or three shots behind and you know, I’ve come from behind a number of times to win. And from as many as eighth back, so you know having the lead statistically isn’t great for the leader. You know, it’s harder to play with lead than it is to play from behind. So, you know, I knew I had to play a solid round, I thought actually I had to shoot for or five under to win. So, you know, it was great to be able to hang on at the end and you only need to win by one. So, it feels great.

Question: Hi Cristie, congratulations. What were you thinking in that last shot. Because I saw you like breathing and taking air. What were you thinking and feeling?
Moderator: Yeah, I was nervous. I haven’t been in this position to win in a while. You know, to even have one putt to win, or two putts to win, I wasn’t nervous for messing up but it was hard to control the amount of adrenaline that was in my system. So I just tried to take some breaths and calm myself down and I still can’t believe how hard I hit that first putt. I gave the fans and myself a heart attack, but you know what I stayed in there mentally until the end you know, I tried to give it away but I wasn’t going to.

Question: Cristie, just one more. Your speech that you had you thanking your husband for the last years, can you explain what were you feeling?
Cristie Kerr: Well it’s, you know, winning, there can only be one winner every week. And I had come really close in the last years, but hadn’t won and it had become a pretty big deal in the media. You know, that I hadn’t won. And being such a good player and having so many wins under my belt in my career and I don’t have to answer those questions anymore. So, I’m really happy about that. And he’s been really encouraging, you know, my solid rock. Like never letting me doubt myself, always helping me to believe in myself and to move forward when things aren’t going well, this is great for us.

Question: and you were pretty successful in the past. When did you start working together again?
Cristie Kerr: Let’s see, what was the first tournament back. Oh, Atlantic City this year was when I first got him back on the back and it’s been great. He’s a great partner and he’s the most positive caddie I’ve ever had as far as being encouraging. Encouraging me to stay patient out there, not letting me get to down on myself. You know, things could have gone really wrong after I missed that putt on thirteen but he said forget about it. You know it was kind of a silly pin and I had to make a good putt for par there and he was like “hey, forget about it, you have five holes left or however many wholes you have left” and you know it was hard. It was hard to finish, I hadn’t won in a while. It was really good to get his experience under my belt and with him again, knowing I can win with him again. So I think, maybe, with him I have won six tournaments. We had five before and now we have six or seven. This is great for us as a team, so you know, I’m looking forward to the future
.
Question: Cristie, if you had to rank this victory among your other fourteen titles, how high would it be?
Crisite Kerr: You know, they’re all different, for different reasons but you know being that it’s Lorena’s tournament and I’ve always wanted to win it. I’ve been close here, and I haven’t won in a while. And this golf course, I love this golf course so much and this place that we come to here, it’s just one of my favorite ones. Really, it is one of my favorites. No, I can’t. They’re like children, you know, all different. Hopefully I won’t have fifteen kids but they’re all different.

Question: What are you planning on doing with your prize money? We know there’s a foundation and Lorena’s played in your event. Are there any plans to collaborate maybe with Lorena and her foundation?
Cristie Kerr: Well definitely, you know. We’ve already spent over $2000 on her tequila this week (laughs). You know, we’ve already bought seven bottles of her tequila. I’m sure we’ll do something special. I’ve supported the foundation in the past and given her a check for a couple kids for a couple different years so I’m sure we’re going to do something special. It’s just an honor to win the tournament and again, I admire her so much for what she does. Actually, I don’t think she’s played in my charity event. Maybe now that you’ve said that, she’ll come play in my charity event. She won’t play professional golf, but maybe she’ll play some charity golf. So yeah, it’s really special, you know, I always support Lorena in what she does and I’m honored to be a part of it.

Question: Cristie, what did you think about the crowd and the city of Guadalajara?
Cristie Kerr: I think it’s fantastic. You know, the crowd here every year is so full of energy. And they make this tournament. They’re always rooting and they appreciate the golf and you know the city of Guadalajara is terrific. You know, it’s very safe. It’s very great weather every year, I mean wow. It’s the same, every single day when you come here this time of the year and it’s great to be here.

Inbee Park, Rolex Rankings No. 4

Moderator: Alright you’re right there again. How does it feel?

Inbee Park: I gave my best, but Cristie played very good today and today I made some mistakes with my long game. When I was putting, it seemed like today wasn’t the day so maybe next week.

Moderator: We talked yesterday about how you missed the first cut of the year but ever since then it seems like you’ve always been right there. What’s been the main difference?
Inbee Park: Well, everything has improved in my game and I’m really just happy I’m in contention almost every week. That’s given me a lot of experience and it gives me a lot more to do next year and I’ll just try my best every game.

Moderator: We have one tournament left in the year. What are your thoughts going into next week?
Inbee Park: Just, no pressure right now I don’t feel much pressure. I’ll just try to enjoy myself next week because I tried to put too much pressure on myself this week so next week will be better.


Angela Stanford, Rolex Rankings No. 19

Moderator: Tough way to go. I mean, overall though it was a pretty good day.

Angela Stanford: Yeah, you know, I saw my chance in the end and you know that’s all you really play for out here. You know, sometimes you make them and sometimes you don’t. So, the fact that I had a birdie putt to tie it in the end was pretty good because this day could’ve gone the other way.

Moderator: We have one more tournament left. This I guess has to help your confidence going into next week?
Angela Stanford: Yeah, you know I’ve been working on things with my swing and to get this result just kind of gives you confidence in what you’re doing. It makes you believe it a little bit more, and you never know.

Moderator: I know you and Stacy are really close. She locked up player of the year today. To be the first American since ’94. What are your thoughts on it?
Angela Stanford: Well, I’m really happy for her. You know, she’s a great person, and probably has a bigger heart than she is player. I mean she’s just a great girl and I’m very happy for her. So I think it’s great. Any American, but for it to be Stacy is pretty cool.

Moderator: I know we talked earlier, but you won earlier in the year and you’ve been right there for your second victory. How has it been, I mean, is it disappointing at all?
Angela Stanford: Yeah, I mean, it’s hard because you have to have a little bit of perspective. You know people say you have to take the good out of everything but you know there’s always that sense of disappointment.

Moderator: Did you know you had to make that putt on 18?
Angela Stanford: I knew I had to make it to tie. I didn’t know, I saw her in the fairway back here so I figured I would probably go into the playoff if I made it.


Stacy Lewis, Rolex Rankings No. 2

Moderator: You’re officially player of the year, How do you feel about that?

Stacy Lewis: It was a lot of pressure you know? That’s what everyone has been talking about- and I’m just glad that I took care of it this week. I didn’t play my best but I got it done when I needed to, I made some really good pats on the back , and I don’t know it’s just really cool.

Moderator: Even with that you were close to win the title.
Stacy Lewis: I didn’t realize how close I ended up being to the lead, but I mean I felt like I was too far back and I needed to make a run early. I didn’t get off to a good start- so the tournament was pretty hard to reach, but I was watching the leaderboards all day just figuring out were I was. I am just glad to have finished out strong.

Moderator: What’s next for you? I mean you got one more to go.
Stacy Lewis: Yeah we got one more run next week , then I will be ready for some time off, so uh, it has been a long year I’m ready to celebrate a little bit next week with my family .

Moderator: Has it sunk in yet?
Stacy Lewis: I mean I don’t know. After I finally made my last putt there on 18, I think it finally hit me. It’s just crazy to think that there have been so many great American players and I am the one after Beth in 94. I it’s just crazy to even think of. I mean it’s an honor to win the award, and uh this will spur on with the rest of the Americans to get out and keep playing well because Solheim Cup is coming up.

Topics: Notes and Interviews, Kerr, Cristie, Lorena Ochoa Invitational

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