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

Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco
Guadalajara Country Club
Guadalajara, Mexico
November 9, 2012
Second-Round Notes and Interviews

Angela Stanford -11, Rolex Rankings No. 19
Inbee Park -9, Rolex Rankings No. 4
Cristie Kerr -8, Rolex Rankings No. 15

Angela Stanford followed-up a first-round 6-under 66 with a second-round 5-under 67 to take solo lead of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco.

Stanford hit an impressive 12 fairways and 16 greens to catapult herself to a two-stroke lead over three-time LPGA Tour winner Inbee Park.

Stanford, who was the winner of the inaugural Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco in 2008, recorded six birdies and one bogey during the second round that including a blistering 4-under par 32 on the opening nine.

Stanford, who notched a victory at this year’s HSBS Women’s Champions, is looking to record her sixth career LPGA victory.

 

Angie, Angie!  Always a fan favorite at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco, second-round leader Angela Stanford was welcomed with quite the ovation after signing her scorecard.

As Stanford began to proceed down the long line of adoring fans waiting patiently for autographs, the crowd began changing “Angie, Angie” for the winner of the inaugural 2008 event.

“I haven’t either so its kind of fun,” said Stanford. “I think this week is so much fun because it’s so relaxed, and it’s so laid back. Seems like, you know, when things like that happen, it means that the fans are having fun. So that’s good.”

While there are still two more rounds to go this week, a win would make Stanford the event’s first repeat winner and according to her, etching her name on the trophy for a second time would have significant meaning to the Texan.

An Impossible Task? As the second to last tournament on this year’s schedule is underway at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco, the Rolex Player of the Year race is heating up. Coming into this week, Stacy Lewis currently holds a 58 point lead over Inbee Park forcing Park to win the remaining two events and Lewis finish worse than T8 this week and T10 at next week’s CME Titleholders.

Park, who was paired with Lewis the first two days in Guadalajara, Meixco, took a glance at the Rolex Players of the Year standings after last week’s Mizuno Classic and discovered she had virtually an impossible task ahead of her.

“I mean, after last week, I kind of looked at it, and then, I mean, it’s really almost impossible to catch Stacy,” said Park. “I play with Stacy the last two days and she was playing really great. I think it’s almost impossible for the Player of the Year. I’ll just give my best and just see what happens. I mean, Stacy’s playing great, too so, I think it’s not going to be easy.”

The three-time LPGA Tour winner is determined to go out without a fight however as she currently stands at 9-under this week and is a mere two-strokes behind current leader Angela Stanford. Playing in only her second time in Guadalajara, Mexico, Park thrives on the support she gets from her fans and is honored to play in Lorena’s prestigious tournament.

“It feels great to be here,” said Park. “I mean, I love the people here and especially playing in Lorena’s event, it is a big honor. Especially playing in the same golf tournament with Lorena. I feel very honored and hopefully someday I’ll be like her.”

The Perfect Struggle… Cristie Kerr might have shot a second-round 3-under 69 on Friday but according to the 14-time LPGA Tour winner, it was quite a struggle.

“My swing was almost perfect yesterday and anything less today would have been less,” said Kerr. “I played really well today, managed the game really well but didn’t hit it quite as pure. It kind of felt a little, I don’t know if it was a little tired, but it felt a little shaky out there today, not from a nerves standpoint but it felt different.”

Kerr has not won an LPGA tournament since the 2010 LPGA State Farm Classic but after a two year hiatus from the winner’s circle, she feels confident it won’t be long until she returns to her old winning ways.

“I feel like it, I just have to stay relaxed and do my thing with him out there,” said Kerr. “I just have to not get too high when good things happen and not get too low when you have to keep moving on. I just have to keep doing that. It’s going to happen again, it’s just a matter of when.”

In the middle of this season, Kerr made a caddy change and reunited with long-time caddy Worth Blackwelder. The change seems to be paying off as Kerr finds herself in position to win again as she stands three-strokes behind current leader Angela Stanford.

“It’s been great,” said Kerr of having Blackwelder back on the bag. “He’s a really calming influence over me and keeps me positive. He’s a great caddy.”

Of Note… Tournament hostess Lorena Ochoa shot a second-round even-par and currently stands T19…Michelle Wie followed-up a first-round 6-under 66 with a second-round 3-over 75 to fall into T12.

 

Angela Stanford -11, Rolex Rankings No. 19

Moderator: Kind of a different start today. When we were on 18, after you got done, they started cheering, Angie Angie. I know we talked about it a little bit yesterday, since I’ve worked for the tour, I don’t think I’ve heard that before. How does that feel?

Angela Stanford: I haven’t either so its kind of fun, I think this week is so much fun because it’s so relaxed, and it’s so laid back. Seems like, you know, when things like that happen, it means that the fans are having fun. So that’s good.

Moderator: I heard you say you’re going to give everything away on Sunday.  Is that going happen?

Angela Stanford: Yea, Michelle Wie’s caddy stopped me and he’s like, Everything? And I’m like, “Okay, all the golf balls. They can have all the golf balls Sunday.”

Moderator: Okay, back to golf. You followed up with 6 under round yesterday, 5 under round today. Could you just take me through the day? What went well for you?

Angela Stanford Well I think I got off to a better start, um, and it was pretty solid all the way around and I didn’t even realize until I missed my first green on 15 and, and looked and didn’t even realize it. So those are usually good days when you’re kind of in a rhythm and you don’t realize kind of what’s going on. So uh, just more solid.

Moderator: You still have two more days left, but a win on Sunday would make you the first multiple time winner here. What would that be like?

Angela Stanford: Well, I think it would be pretty cool. I told somebody just earlier that Lorena has done so much for golf especially in Mexico. I would be extremely honored to win her tournament twice. Because I do have so much respect for her and respect for what she’s done with the game. I think it’d be pretty cool to have your name on her trophy twice.

Question: Do you feel better having come up with that lead? Maybe  you can go out tomorrow with less pressure?

Angela Stanford: I don’t, no, I don’t think so. Again, these are the best players in the world. Sometimes it’s worse when you, when they have to chase you, so, um, I don’t think any lead is safe. Not in this sport.

Question: You said it’s a fun tournament, but what makes it a fun tournament? What makes it kind of make you feel free and relaxed?

Angela Stanford: Uh, I guess I’ve said all along I love the golf course.  Um, I think anytime you feel extremely comfortable on the golf course, you tend to relax. You know, like we said earlier in the week, it’s a limited field. Everybody’s so laid back here. But I think the fact that I’m so comfortable on the golf course makes it a lot better for me.

Question: What happened to number 13? You were close to the hole and you kind of missed your birdie putt. What happened on the 13th?

Angela Stanford: I just didn’t hit the putt. I think I got lucky that it hit the flag, right? Yea, it hit the bank and kicked dead left and I think it hit the pin cause it was moving and then I was the closest one. So, um, I didn’t hit that putt hard enough.

Question: What do you feel when you come and play in Mexico and you see Mexican fans, local fans, so excited to see you do so well?

Angela Stanford: Well, you know, it may just be, uh, I don’t know, I guess being from Texas. I mean, just my whole life growing up close to Mexico, I don’t know, it seems like I come here, I’m not far from home, so it’s fun to see the fans excited and cheering for me because it kind of confirms that feeling of I’m pretty close to home.

Question: You said you played so well that you didn’t really notice any mistakes until that last one toward the end there.  What do you have to do to kind of keep that same rhythm tomorrow?

Angela Stanford: Well that might be the key – rhythm. I am still working on things in my golf swing, so that’s kind of good, ‘cause it gives me something to think about. But a lot of it is rhythm. The toughest part of this golf course for me is the first four holes. So if I can get through the first four holes and have a little bit of rhythm going on for the first four holes, then that’ll be good.

Question: We heard you on Wednesday you were just trying to get your game, and just happy to be here. But now that you’re in the lead, do you feel pressure for Sunday or are you planning to be more aggressive tomorrow?

Angela Stanford: Well, because I think there’s still two days, there’s still a lot of golf to play, I’m gonna keep enjoying hitting the golf ball. I feel like I’m kind of getting to the point where I wasn’t a few years ago. When I feel like I can do anything to golf ball, it’s fun. And that’s all I’m gonna think about the next two days. I mean, if you start thinking about Sunday and results, you kinda get off track. So I’m just gonna focus on having fun hitting the ball.

 

Inbee Park -9, Rolex Rankings No. 4

Moderator: Another solid round today for under-par 68. Can you just take me through the day and what went well for you?

Inbee Park: Um, it looks like on the front line, I had two different nines today. On the front line, everything went perfect.  I hit the ball great and putted real good on the front nine. But as I turned to the back nine, I just didn’t give myself enough chances for a birdie. Didn’t hit it close enough.  And number 17 I missed a short one for a bogie, but that was pretty much my only mistake today. Still very happy with the round.Two more rounds to go. So I’m really happy to be here and it was all great. Feeling comfortable.

Moderator: Coming into this week, you have a chance of catching Stacy for the Player of the Year race. You’d have to win this one and next week. Has that added any pressure to you for this week or have you really even thought about it?

Inbee Park: I mean, after last week, I kind of looked at it, and then, I mean, it’s really almost impossible to catch Stacy. I play with Stacy the last two days and she was playing really great. I think it’s almost impossible for the Player of the Year. I’ll just give my best and just see what happens. I mean, Stacy’s playing great, too so, I think it’s not going to be easy.

Moderator: This is your second time in Mexico.  How is it coming and playing here and competing in Lorena’s tournament?

 Inbee Park: It feels great to be here. I mean, I love the people here and especially playing in Lorena’s event, it is a big honor. Especially playing in the same golf tournament with Lorena. I feel very honored and hopefully someday I’ll be like her.

Question: Which club did you hit on the 17 you ended up short of green and how far was the par putt?

Inbee Park: I hit a 5 iron and it just pitched the edge of the green and I expected it to go having a big bounce but it just stopped right there which was weird cause everyone else was going over. It was just a little bit unlucky. And my par putt was about 2, 3 feet? 2 to 3 feet.

Question: Hello. What do you think about the course on the field, you like?

Inbee Park Oh, the course, yea. The golf course I think is in really good condition. The greens are rolling good. Everything is in perfect condition.

Question: And your group is competitive?

Inbee Park: Yeah, I mean, I like the last two days’ groupings. I mean, I play with Stacy, too, last two days, so it was actually, it was actually fun to watch each other play.

Question: Is there anything that you can do better tomorrow? And what would it mean to you to play in the final group with Angela Stanford tomorrow?

Inbee Park Um, well, tomorrow I think, and I’ve been feeling really comfortable with my swing, my putting, so I think I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing the last two days and just try to give it my best. Just try not to think about anything else.


Cristie Kerr, Rolex Rankings No. 15

Question: So did you struggle today? (laugh) Yea, did you struggle?

Cristie Kerr:  My swing was almost perfect yesterday and anything less today would have been less. I played really well today, managed the game really well but didn’t hit it quite as pure. It kind of felt a little, I don’t know if it was a little tired, but it felt a little shaky out there today, not from a nerves standpoint but it felt different.

Question: It’s been a couple years since you won and I talked to Worth before you came out and he said you were right there getting ready to bust out.  How did you feel?

Cristie Kerr: I feel like it, I just have to stay relaxed and do my thing with him out there. I just have to not get too high when good things happen and not get too low when you have to keep moving on. I just have to keep doing that. It’s going to happen again, it’s just a matter of when.

Question: You and Worth worked together for three years and now he’s back on the bag. How has it been having him back?

Cristie Kerr:  It’s been great. He’s a really calming influence over me and keeps me positive. He’s a great caddy.

Topics: Kerr, Cristie, Stanford, Angela, Park, Inbee, Lorena Ochoa Invitational, Notes and Interviews [+]

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