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Honda LPGA Thailand 2012 Second-round notes and interviews

Honda LPGA Thailand 2012
Siam Country Club, Pattaya Old Course
Chonburi, Thailand
Second-round notes and interviews
February 17, 2012

Karrie Webb -10, Rolex Rankings No. 20
Caroline Hedwall -7, Rolex Rankings No. 35
Yani Tseng -6, Rolex Rankings No. 1 and defending champion

LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Karrie Webb held a two-shot lead at 10-under-par when second-round play at the Honda LPGA Thailand was suspended at 4:58 p.m. due to lightning in the area. A total of 14 players remained on the course was play was officially called for the day at 5:15 p.m.

Webb, who has four holes remaining, was six-under-par in her round on Friday which featured five birdies, one bogey and a hole-in-one on the par 3 12th hole. Sitting two shots back of Webb at 8-under-par when play was halted are Rolex Rankings No. 7 Jiyai Shin and No. 12 Amy Yang. Shin fired an 8-under-par 66 while Yang was 4-under on her round through 14 holes.

Lucky No. 12? One day after Paula Creamer recorded her first career LPGA hole-in-one on the 12th hole of the Old Course at Siam Country Club, it was Webb's turn to tally an ace of her own on the hole.

Webb holed out from 159 yards with a 6-iron on the 12th hole en route to taking the outright lead when second-round play was halted. It was Webb's fifth career hole-in-one on the LPGA Tour with her last coming in the third round of the 2008 Kraft Nabisco Championship.

"I didn't get to see it today but I hit exactly the shot I wanted," Webb said. "So it's always a little bit lucky for the ball to go in but being such a great shot, it's a great reward. I think the most fun is to write 1 on the scorecard."

Lighting up the sky: Second-round play was suspended at 2:00 p.m. due to lightning in the area and resumed at 3:28 p.m. following an hour and 28 minute delay.

Play was then suspended again at 4:58 p.m. due to lightning in the area and was officially called for the day at 5:15 p.m. Second-round play will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.

Watch out for No. 1: Yani Tseng was blunt in her assessment of her play in Thursday's opening round when she shot a 1-over 73, saying "I'm very disappointed with the round. The course is not really hard and to shoot 1-over is really kind of sad."

With how well Tseng has typically bounced back from difficult rounds, it's no surprise that she bounced back again on Friday with a 7-under 65 to move right near the top of the leaderboard. Tseng was asked what the biggest difference was in her two rounds, and while she joked that her post-round massage on Thursday night might have helped, the key was really getting some confidence back.

"I know that I can play well on this golf course and I know I can do this," Tseng said. "I kept telling myself just focus on tomorrow. Today when I got to the golf course I feel great and I tell my caddy, Jason, I'm going to shoot 7-under today to get back into the top position. And I did."

Tseng capped off her stellar round with an eagle on the par-5 18th. She knocked her 207 yard second shot to within 8 feet of the hole and sank the downhill, right breaking putt to put an exclamation point on what was already an impressive round.

"My caddy, Jason, helped me out a little bit with my alignment this morning on the green," Tseng said of her putting. "I checked my hands a little bit, my club face and it seemed to be going pretty well. I know I have more confidence when I make a few putts so everything after that seemed to go pretty well."

Keep an eye on Hedwall: Sweden native Caroline Hedwall made quite a splash during last year's Solheim Cup when she earned 2 ½ points for the European Team. And she continues to make a strong impression in her second year on the LPGA Tour after shooting a 7-under 65 on Friday to vault up the leaderboard at the Honda LPGA Thailand.

"I'm very happy with how I played today," said Hedwall. "I played solid yesterday as well but today I just made a few more putts and that helped. Iron play is really the part of the game that needs to work this week. I've been hitting my irons really well and giving myself a lot of good birdie opportunities."

Hedwall spent the early part of 2011 playing the majority of her events on the Ladies European Tour. She won three European Tour events to finish as the 2011 LET Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year. But while Hedwall only played in six LPGA events during her rookie season, she managed to finish 64th on the 2011 LPGA Money List and give herself top status heading into 2012.

Tweet of the Day: "Had to chuckle today as I was mistaken for Suzann Pettersen. I know I am getting fitter, but I'm not getting taller, blonder or younger!" -- @Kstupples

Of Note…LPGA sophomore and Thailand native Pornanong Phatlum carded a 5-under 67 in Friday's second round. She's currently the leading Thai player in the field…Of the players in the top 10 when play was halted, seven of them were at least 5-under-par on their rounds for the day…First-round leader Ai Miyazato was 1-under thru 13 holes and currently sits in a T7 at 6-under-par.

KARRIE WEBB, Rolex Rankings No. 20

MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome in our current leader, Karrie Webb who currently sits at 10-under par. It was quite an entertaining day for you out there on the course, of course capped off by your hole-in-one on No. 12.
KARRIE WEBB: It was a very solid day. I made five pars to start and then four birdies before making the turn. Probably the only blip was I had a pretty easy up and down for birdie at 10 and didn't make that. Obviously put a great swing on a 6-iron on No. 12. I didn't see it go in but the crowd roared when it went in off the green. So that was very exciting.

Q. Is it still always as special and do you feel the same amount of adrenaline when you hit a hole-in-one?
KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, I didn't get to see it today but I hit exactly the shot I wanted. So it's always a little bit lucky for the ball to go in but being such a great shot, it's a great reward. I think the most fun is to write 1 on the scorecard.

Q. The weather outside has not been idea, we've had two stoppages of play. How tough is it to keep a good round going when you have to stop, go in, then head back out again and now wait until tomorrow to finish your round?
KARRIE WEBB: It's hit and miss for me. Today I stayed out of the air conditioning and didn't cool off and get away from the temperature from outside. I started off really well when we returned to the course after the break. So it didn't affect me.

Q. Now you get to wait to resume your round until tomorrow morning. What are your plans for tonight and how do you get ready to resume what's been a great round so far?
KARRIE WEBB: Well obviously I'm disappointed not to get finished today but probably just an early night tonight with an early morning tomorrow. Then just get out here and try to finish the round as best I can.

Q. Have you had this happen in your career before where you were in the lead when bad weather halted your round?
KARRIE WEBB: I'm sure it probably has. I don't really remember. But really it's only Friday so a long way to go.

Q. How many times have you been to Thailand and what was the difference for you today?
KARRIE WEBB: I think this is my fourth time here and just my swing felt good today on the range and I actually took it out on the course. I hit some really good shots and sank a few putts and gave myself some good opportunities.

Q. What do you love about Thailand?
KARRIE WEBB: I love the food and I love the people. I try to eat as much Thai food while I'm here. I like anything and I like it spicy. Although my stomach is a little upset so I probably won't be eating much Thai food tonight.

CAROLINE HEDWALL, Rolex Rankings No. 35

Q. Absolutely spectacular round of 7-under 65. You must be delighted with your play today.
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Yeah, I'm very happy with how I played today. I played solid yesterday as well but today I just made a few more putts and that helped.

Q. There are so many separate plateaus on these greens. Is the key really finding the right one to give yourself the right opportunities?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Yeah, iron play is really the part of the game that needs to work this week. I've been hitting my irons really well and giving myself a lot of good birdie opportunities.

Q. Also the aspect of having to leave the ball below the pin each time because from behind, they can be absolutely deadly.
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Oh yeah they are very quick from behind and you really need to know where you want to putt from.

Q. A round is always helped when you can put an eagle on your card. It was a great chip-in on 10, take us through it.
CAROLINE HEDWALL: That was a nice one. I had a similar shot on No. 1 and I felt comfortable with it so I just hit a good chip and it went in.

Q. People got a chance to see you out here a little bit last season, as you were also playing on the LET Tour. But this is your first season playing on the LPGA full time. How excited are you about this season and what you might be able to accomplish out here?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: I really don't have any expectations since it will be my first year out on the LPGA full time. But I do enjoy it and I'm excited for this year.

Q. You had a good finish last week at the Women's Australian Open, finishing in a T12. Did you feel good about your game coming into this week?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Yeah, I'm hitting the ball solid and I feel just comfortable with the way I hit the ball and that helps a lot on the golf course.

Q. Yani also went out and shot a 65 today. Were scoring conditions pretty favorable today?
CAROLINE HEDWALL:I think a couple of the pins were a little easier to get to today and I was able to take advantage of that, so that was nice.

YANI TSENG, Rolex Rankings No. 1 and defending champion

MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Rolex Rankings No. 1 and defending champion Yani Tseng into the interview room. Congratulations on a great round today, 7-under-par. You finished with a great eagle on 18, can you just take me through that hole and what you were thinking on that second shot?
YANI TSENG: I had a great day today and on the last hole, I was just thinking to try to make birdie because it's a par 5 and I knew I could reach on the green in 2. So I was thinking just put it on the green and two putt and it would be a great round. Then I had a great shot on my second shot. I had 207 to the pin and hit a great shot to about 7-8 feet. Little downhill to the right and made a great putt to make eagle on the last hole. It was great to finish that way.

MODERATOR: You talked yesterday about how just disappointed you were with shooting 1-over in the opening round here. What was the biggest difference today and did you do anything last night to kind of get yourself mentally turned around?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, I went for a massage and that probably helped a little bit laug. Yesterday I went back to the hotel really, really sad and very, very disappointed. I was crying. It was really bad. It was a very opposite day yesterday. I tell myself that I need to get back soon. I know that I can play well on this golf course and I know I can do this. I kept telling myself just focus on tomorrow. Today when I got to the golf course I feel great and I tell my caddy, Jason, I'm going to shoot 7-under today back into the top the position. And I did. So I was betting with him and I said how about 5-under for even so that was pretty good for me to try to make birdie. Today I told myself I was just going to focus and be patient. Just go out there and try to make birdie every hole, as much as I can and I think I did very well today.

MODERATOR: You had also talked a little bit after yesterday's round about the putting problems you had. Did you feel better with the putter today?
YANI TSENG: Yes of course and my caddy, Jason, helped me out a little bit with my alignment this morning on the green. I checked my hands a little bit, my club face and it seemed to be going pretty well. I know I have more confidence when I make a few putts so everything after that seemed to go pretty well.

Q. Do you think being No. 1 that helped you to bounce back or was it something else that helped you know you could come back?
YANI TSENG: I don't know if it was the No. 1, I think the No. 1 gets more pressure. Maybe, I do my best. Yesterday I didn't do my best but I wasn't thinking about it much. Today was a new day, tomorrow is a new day so I always try to look forward instead of looking back. I tried to learn something from yesterday and I tried to improve something today, try to build the confidence everywhere too.

Q. What is the tape on your right elbow?
YANI TSENG: It's for my triceps tendinitis. It's been going on for like five years. Last month it was getting bad. It's getting better again. A couple shots if I didn't hit on the sweet spot, it kind of hurts and it's very easy to get tighter and sore.

Q. Did you talk to your coach, Gary Gilchrist, yesterday?
YANI TSENG: I was going to talk to him but I forgot laug. I was thinking about it this morning too. I might call him today to see how I can improve my swing but after shooting 7-under maybe not laug.

Q. What do you like to do in Thailand?
YANI TSENG: There are so many things that you can do in Thailand. My mom came in two days ago but she was playing golf in Bangkok. She will be here today. I mean, you go on the beach, go sightseeing and so many great foods here. I really enjoy being here in Thailand.

Topics: Honda LPGA Thailand, Webb, Karrie, Hedwall, Caroline, Tseng, Yani, Notes and Interviews [+]

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