Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco - First-Round Notes and Interviews

Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco
Guadalajara Country Club
Guadalajara, Mexico
November 8, 2012
First-Round Notes and Interviews

Candie Kung -6, Rolex Rankings No. 62
Michelle Wie -6, Rolex Rankings No. 52
Angela Stanford -6, Rolex Rankings No. 19

Angela Stanford, Michelle Wie, and Candie Kung shot 6-under 66s to take the first-round lead at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco.

Both Stanford, the 2008 Lorena Ochoa Invitational Champion, and Candie Kung carded one bogey and seven birdies on Thursday while 2010 Lorena Ochoa Invitational Champion Michelle Wie played flawless golf with six birdies and no bogeys.

The trio of players head into tomorrow’s second round with a one-stroke lead over a star-studded group of players including Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park, Cristie Kerr, So Yeon Ryu, and Karine Icher.

En Fuego! There is no denying Michelle Wie has had her fair share of ups-and-downs on this season’s LPGA Tour but as the Stanford University graduate comes back to the site of her first LPGA victory, it looks as if she has returned to her old form.

Wie opened the day with back-to-back birdies but caught fire rallying off four consecutive birdies beginning at the par-5 10th to jumpstart her round.

“You have to be on the right position on the fairway, on the right position on the green, get above the hole a couple times and getting in your putts,” said Wie. “So for the next couple of days I just need to put them in the right position, keep doing that and well just position golf.”

The 6-under par 66 first-round on Thursday marks only the eighth round in the 60’s Wie has shot this year and ties a season low which she also shot during the second round of the U.S. Women’s Open. While Wie’s positive memories she has from her 2010 victory are a bonus, the third year LPGA Tour member also credits the infamous guacamole for her hot start.

“It’s been a really difficult year,” said Wie. “It’s been the hardest year I’ve had so far, but I think the guacamole is helping this week, and I think that might be the changing point, so I’m going to keep eating it and hopefully it will help.”

Counting Sheep… This week’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco marks the fifth consecutive week of tournaments for first-round co-leader Candie Kung. Kung arrived in Guadalajara, Meixco late Monday night after last week’s Mizuno Classic in Japan.

“It’s my fifth and next week is going to be sixth,” said Kung. “I was pretty tired, I got here on Monday, midnight and actually slept all the way through Tuesday and yesterday I slept pretty good too. I went to bed at 7 and I actually feel really good today. I feel like a new person after the last 4 weeks.”

While Kung, who is looking to notch her first win since the 2008 Hana Bank-KOLON Championship, admits to being sleep deprived, she is still enjoying her time this week in Mexico.

“It is awesome to come here every year, I‘ve been here ever since the first one,” said Kung. “So this will be the fifth year here so I feel welcomed every time we‘re here. Love the people here. Everybody is really friendly. I don’t know much about Spanish but I know a few words and I love the tequila and the margaritas here.”

Kung has played in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco since its inaugural year in 2008 and has finished no better than T18 which makes Thursday’s first round a bit of a surprise for the four-time LPGA Tour winner.

“No, I did not expect this at all,” said Kung of her first-round 66. “I’ve been here like I said this is my fifth year and I haven’t done well at all, last four so I just kind of go out there and play my way around and I happened to have 7 birdies.”

Down to the Wire… As this year’s Rolex Player of the Race is coming down to the wire at the last two remaining events on this year’s LPGA Tour schedule, Stacy Lewis and Inbee Park found themselves paired together in Thursday’s first round of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco.

“We actually haven’t played together this year,” said Lewis. “It was fun to play together when we are both playing really well, she has won and finished second so she’s playing well too.”

Lewis currently holds a seemingly comfortable 58 point lead over Park forcing Park to win both events and Lewis finish no better than T9 in one event or T10 in both.

While Park has her work cut out for her at the final two events, the three-time LPGA winner isn’t going down without a fight as she fired a first-round 5-under 67 and sits one-stroke off the lead. Don’t count Lewis out however as she matched Park’s 5-under opening round.

It was a fun day to kind of see how our games stack up,” said Lewis. “Obviously by the scores, our games are pretty close.”

Fan Favorite! Walking from the 18th green to the practice area there can be a swarm of people seen surrounding Angela Stanford. Whether they are asking her for her gloves or hats or simply her autograph, the Texan seems to always be a fan favorite in Mexico.

“Well, you know everybody is so nice here and I think it’s just because maybe that was it winning the first one, that was it,” said Stanford. “I enjoy being here and maybe all the fans sense that and it´s nice to have people cheering for you.”

Stanford became the first winner of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco in its inaugural year in 2008. A five-time winner on the LPGA, Stanford won the HSBC Women’s 2012 earlier in the year but her goal is to become a multiple time winner.

“Well, it would mean quite a bit,” said Stanford. “I think any time you can win multiple times in a year that’s a pretty good year so that and the opportunity to when here again would be pretty cool because like I said I love playing here.”

Of Note… Tournament hostess and 27-time LPGA Tour champion Lorena Ochoa opened with a first-round 1-under par 71 and currently sits T16…Coming off a fourth place finish at the Mizuno Classic, Rolex Rankings No. 1 currently sits T13 after a 3-under 69.


Candie Kung, Rolex Rankings No. 62

Moderator: Alright I’d like to welcome Candie Kung to the interview room. Candie thanks for coming in. Nice round today, Six under par 66, you’re tied for the lead. Can you just take me through the day and what went well for you?

Candie Kung: It was a pretty consistent day today made a few putts, hit some shots really close had a couple of tap ins. Overall it was just a perfect day out there for scoring. The greens were running nicely because I was the first group everything just went well.

Moderator: Candie we were just talking. This is you’re sixth consecutive tournament how are you feeling I know you have to be a little bit tired?

Candie Kung: It’s my fifth and next week is going to be sixth. I was pretty tired, I got here on Monday, midnight and actually slept all the way through Tuesday and yesterday I slept pretty good too. I went to bed at 7 and I actually feel really good today. I feel like a new person after the last 4 weeks.

Moderator: I know you’re tired but it kind of has to help to be back in Mexico I know this is one of the top spots I guess with the players how is it being here this week?

Candie Kung: It is awesome to come here every year, I‘ve been here ever since the first one. So this will be the fifth year here so I feel welcomed every time we‘re here. Love the people here. Everybody is really friendly. I don’t know much about Spanish but I know a few words and I love the tequila and the margaritas here.

Question: Did you expect to have such a good result on the first day, 6 under, considering the course?

Candie Kung: No, I did not expect this at all. I’ve been here like I said this is my fifth year and I haven’t done well at all, last four so I just kind of go out there and play my way around and I happened to have 7 birdies.

Question: This is the first round, there is someone else right now out there at 6 under currently what chance do you think this gives you for the rest of tournament?

Candie Kung: It’s still a long way to go we still have three more days and the weather condition here is always perfect for scoring. So total score for four days is going to be low so I have to go out there and be patient and hopefully the putts will go in for me again the next three days.


Michelle Wie, Rolex Rankings No. 52

Moderator: I like to welcome Michelle Wie into the interview room. Michelle thanks for coming in. Great round today, six under par, can you just take me through the day.

Michelle Wie: You know I got a hot start make a couple of birdies in the first holes, I felt good, I felt like I played pretty consistently today, some up and downs. I really need to take more advantage on the par five; you know I only made one birdie on the par five, so I feel that if I take more advantage of that it would be good. But overall, I´m feeling very good.

Moderator: You got a hot start on the back did anything trigger that, anything at all?

Michelle Wie:  No, I just had a couple of good holes. You have to be on the right position on the fairway, on the right position on the green, get above the hole a couple times and getting in your putts. So for the next couple of days I just need to put them in the right position, keep doing that and well just position golf.

Moderator: This is like when you won your first tournament, you have to be feeling pretty good coming into the next three days with good putts from here.

Michelle Wie: Like I said in the press conference with Catriona, and like everyone said it’s nice to come back to the golf course where I have really god memories, especially after these years, it’s been a though year, it´s nice to come back and really relieve what I did when I came in 2009. I really tried to hit the same shots, tried to play the same game. I want to keep doing that, reliving the good memories that I have.

Question: How close does this good round gets you to that second title here?

Michelle Wie: It´s a long way to go, its three days to go, and one good round doesn´t mean anything. I´ve got to keep playing well the next couple of days.

Question: What does this course have, what do this people have, and what does this tournament have that inspires you so much?

Michelle Wie: Like I said, it’s nice to come back to a golf course where we have a lot of good memories. I think the fans are really fun when they come to watch, and I really hope they come to watch. The food is great, everything about this place is great; it’s always really fun to come back here.

Question: After such a great round there was a little bit of frustration getting into the bunker on the last hole. How does it feel, that maybe you didn’t get the chance to stretch your lead a little bit more?

Michelle Wie:  It was very unlucky, I was place against the rake, and if I dint hit the rake it would be an impropriate position, but you´ve got to take your brakes when they come. I got a little bit unlucky on the last hole, but I think it is also good, because it makes want it even more tomorrow, and it makes me want more birdies, and get the last one.

Question: How was it to share your group with Katherine Hull, to know your competition, did it pushed you to the limit, to play the best game you have?

Michelle Wie: Yeah, she played really good; we were kind of neck to neck all day. She made a birdie; I made a birdie, so it was a lot of fun. I loved to play with Katherine and Julia, and all the conversations; it was a lot of fun, we really get along so it was a lot of fun today.

Question: You’ve been pretty open about dealing with struggles that you’ve had this season. How do you keep your motion going? How do you deal with it just to keep yourself calm and to make it easy for you?

Michelle Wie: It’s been a really difficult year. It’s been the hardest year I’ve had so far, but I think the guacamole is helping this week, and I think that might be the changing point, so I’m going to keep eating it and hopefully it will help.

 

Angela Stanford, Rolex Rankings No. 19

Moderator: I’d like to welcome Angela Stanford to the interview room Angela nice round 6 under par 66 you’re in familiar territory can you just take me through the day and tell me what went well for you?

Angela Stanford: Um, I actually got off to kind of a bumpy start kind of gave myself a little bit of a pep talk then figured something out with my putting and then it was just great after that but you know, that’s the good thing of playing a course that you like. You figure things out then you have a chance to start playing well.

Moderator: I walked in with a couple of other players also but it seems like you’re one of the fan favorites here besides Lorena of course how nice is it to come back and have a pretty big fan base here?

Angela Stanford: Well, you know everybody is so nice here and I think it’s just because maybe that was it winning the first one, that was it. I enjoy being here and maybe all the fans sense that and it´s nice to have people cheering for you.

Moderator: You won earlier in the year and you’ve been knocking on the door for your second, what would it mean for you to win one of the last 2 events of the year?

Angela Stanford: Well, it would mean quite a bit I think any time you can win multiple times in a year that’s a pretty good year so that  and the opportunity to when here again would be pretty cool because like I said I love playing here.

Question: A couple of things how do you feel having the lead helps you and does that give you anything to focus on tomorrow?

Angela Stanford: Well, the hard part is it’s just one day and it’s the first day but any time you can play well and figure some things out it gives you moment in the week. These girls are so good you better get close to the top to have a chance.

Question: This course right now, was it some kind of easy was the pin in an easy location today?

Angela Stanford: I don’t think this course is easy at any point. I think the greens seemed to be a little more receptive than they have in the past and along with the speed they’re not as fast as they have been in the past so that might be a couple of things. So they might try to firm them up as the week passes.

Topics: Lorena Ochoa Invitational, Kung, Candie, Stanford, Angela, Wie, Michelle, Notes and Interviews [+]

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