HSBC Women’s Champions
Tanah Merah Country Club
Feb. 25, 2012
Third-round notes and interviews
Rolex Rankings No. 17 Angela Stanford, No. 65 Katie Futcher and No. 98 Jenny Shin remain in a tie atop the HSBC Women’s Champions leaderboard after three rounds with some of the Tour’s biggest names lurking close behind. The trio leads China’s Shanshan Feng by two shots and Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng, No. 2 Na Yeon Choi and No. 7 Jiyai Shin by three shots with 18 holes remaining at the fifth-edition of the Singapore-based tournament.
Stanford, Futcher and Shin each shot 1-under-par 71 on Saturday playing together in the lead group. Of them, Stanford, 34, boasts the most impressive resume with four LPGA victories, four appearances on the U.S. Solheim Cup Team and more than $6.5 million in career earnings. Her most recent victory came at the 2009 SBS Open at Turtle Bay.
Shot of the day: Katie Futcher chipped in for par from the rough on No. 7 after leaving her greenside bunker shot short. “I knew that (was a) chip shot I could make,” she said. “So I was actually really intent on making it, and it went in. It was pretty clutch at the time.”
Jenny Shin earned her spot atop the leaderboard with a birdie at the final hole. “I wasn't nervous all day except for that putt; that's how important it was,” she said. The 19-year-old rolled in the four-footer to clinch a spot in the leader’s group on Sunday for the first time in her career. A product of the Symetra Tour – the LPGA’s developmental tour, Shin is coming off a rookie season where she earned two top-10 finishes. Last week, she matched that mark with her second-consecutive top-10 of the season at the Honda LPGA Thailand.
Being in the hunt for a victory on the LPGA is a new feeling for Futcher and Shin. Futcher boasts a career-best tie for third at the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2011. “I've never been in this position before,” said Futcher, 30. “I'm definitely going to experience all of the feelings and all of the emotions, but just try to continue to do the things that have got me to this point today.” Shin’s career-best finish also came in 2011 with a tie for sixth at the CN Canadian Women’s Open. “I can feel some nerves coming in for tomorrow,” said Shin, who won on the Symetra Tour in 2010.
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng made her charge on “Moving Day,” carding a 5-under-par 67 to move into a tie for fifth. Tseng recorded six birdies and one bogey to move to 6-under-par 210 entering the final round of play in Singapore. The 23-year-old is seeking her second-consecutive victory following last week’s Honda LPGA Thailand, where she trailed by just one shot entering the final round.
Tseng’s caddie, Jason Hamilton, was named the HSBC Caddie of the Year on Friday night. “He's a great caddie and he's been helping me out a lot the last year and we have had 13 wins together,” she said. “He's a really nice guy and very fun to see him win. He's very special.” Hamilton is wearing a specially designed bib by 24-year old Raffles Design Institute student, Michelle Darmawan, for the remainder of the tournament.
Of note… Reigning Kraft Nabisco champion Stacy Lewis carded the second-best round of the day with a 4-under-par 68. She is currently tied for 16th at 2-under-par 214… Defending champion Karrie Webb is tied for 30th at 1-over-par 217… 2009 HSBC Women’s Champions Jiyai Shin is three shots off the lead at 6-under-par 210.
MODERATOR: We welcome third round co-leader Angela Stanford into the interview room here at the HSBC Women's Champions. A 71 today, just like everyone else in your group. Just talk about the day and how you feel it went for you.
ANGELA STANFORD: I thought it was a good day. I think any time, even if it's just 1-under par, if you shoot under par on Saturday in the final group, it's a good day.
I think I expected a little more. I felt a little bit better today and felt like I was hitting it a little bit better today. You know, sometimes just didn't go that way, but happy to be in the final group again.
MODERATOR: Looks like right now it's a three-way race with three leaders. Can you just talk about your group today and what you saw from both players.
ANGELA STANFORD: Everybody seemed pretty comfortable. I was surprised by the pin placements. I thought they would be a little more accessible today, and I think all three of us played pretty smart. You know, didn't do anything really crazy out there, and just seemed pretty comfortable.
So I think it's going to be pretty interesting tomorrow.
MODERATOR: Talk about the patience level you were mentioning on Thursday, in order to grind out a 71 today.
ANGELA STANFORD: Patience just checked out (laughing).
No, I'm kidding. It gets tough, because know you have to make pars. I think all of us are probably just, you know -- every competitor out here wants to make a birdie and get on -- I just never really felt like I got into a rhythm. The back nine is tough for me. There are some shots out there, it seems like on every hole, that could jump up and bite me. So I have to be extra patient on the back and it just makes it a lot tougher.
Q. I just asked the same question of Katie: Is it comfortable to not have to get used to different company for the next day?
ANGELA STANFORD: Yeah, I think so. But, I think you have to be careful and not fall into that trap, because it's not a three-person tournament.
So as comfortable as it felt, you know, you can't get wrapped up into just the people sure playing with. There are some really good names, pretty close now behind. It's very comfortable but at the same time, it's not just the three of us.
Q. Did you know that early on that Yani Tseng was moving up the leaderboard?
ANGELA STANFORD: I expected it. I didn't know it until 14, I saw her name on the leaderboard.
Q. After last week -- how do you feel -- (Inaudible.)
ANGELA STANFORD: I think they are a little slower. They are very healthy and I think sometimes it's just a product of the environment.
I mean, it's not bad grass. It's good grass. There's just a lot of it. So I think -- well, I think they are good. So the speed really, they are going to be a little bit slower, but that's okay.
As long as they are healthy and as long as they are good greens, it doesn't really matter.
Q. What emotions did you feel when you saw Yani move up the leaderboard?
ANGELA STANFORD: No, Jiyai Shin's name was up there early. I said yesterday, I expect those players to make a run. So I would have been more surprised if I had not seen her name.
MODERATOR: We welcome Katie Futcher, co-leader after three rounds of the HSBC Women's Champions. Just talk about your day and how you feel after that finish.
KATIE FUTCHER: Yeah, I actually 3-putted 17 yesterday, so it was a bogey, so it's my second bogey of the tournament, but still, I'm very pleased with the consistency of the way I've been playing. Hitting greens, hitting fairways, and making some putts. So I feel very good going into tomorrow.
Q. Can you talk about your chip in on No. 7?
KATIE FUTCHER: Yes, the shot into the bunker, I was like, why in the world would you leave yourself there of all places. And I was looking at the bunker shot and I'm like, this is going to be pretty tricky and of course left it. I knew that that chip shot I could make. So I was actually really intent on making it, and it went in. So it was pretty clutch at the time. So it was good.
Q. At the last, your right hand came off the top, were you thinking at all --
KATIE FUTCHER: I'm sorry, on which hole?
Q. The last hole.
KATIE FUTCHER: On the drive?
Q. Were you trying for the green on the second shot?
KATIE FUTCHER: No visual line to the hole. I couldn't hook it enough to get it to the hole, no. I had to straightaway pop it out. So that's what I did.
MODERATOR: Can you just talk about going into tomorrow as a co-leader and trying to win your first event?
KATIE FUTCHER: Well, yeah, I've never been in this position before. I'm definitely going to experience all of the feelings and all of the emotions, but just try to continue to do the things that have got me to this point today.
So I'm just going to be consistent and try to be as consistent as I can off the tee, hitting the greens. Not really change my game plan, just be patient with myself and play steady.
Q. Who do you think is your biggest competitor out there tomorrow?
KATIE FUTCHER: I would have to say myself I would think. Like I said, I've never been in this position that I've been in.
So just experiencing what I'm going to experience tomorrow and hopefully Mike can keep me nice and loose. If I play my game, I know I can win and I know that I can be right there. Angela is playing steady. Jenny played very well today, so we are just going to go out and see how it goes tomorrow. But I feel that I'm my biggest competitor at the moment.
MODERATOR: You said you were trying to get Stanford to smile today.
KATIE FUTCHER: I thought she did really well today. We had fun and talking it up with her caddie, as well, good fun. So we had a good time, yeah.
Q. Since the first round -- inaudible -- are you comfortable with it?
KATIE FUTCHER: No, I'm very surprised with how I'm -- I felt very, very confident the whole day. I didn't get ahead of myself. The tee shot on the last shot was just a bad swing. It wasn't anything but that. But no, I feel -- I was surprised at how I felt; that I didn't feel any different. So that's a good sign to me.
So it's getting further and further into the tournament, so that's good, so we'll see how tomorrow is and you know, go with that. Yeah, I was surprised that I felt quite comfortable in that position.
Q. Something quite nice about going into the last round with the same company that you had today, the same people?
KATIE FUTCHER: Yeah, definitely, Angela is one of my good friends, so I'm very much looking forward to tomorrow.
MODERATOR: We would like to welcome Jenny Shin, one of three co-leaders after the third round here in Singapore. If you would, just talk about your day. You shot 71 and you stayed in contention. Tell us about it.
JENNY SHIN: Today was pretty slow I think. One bogey, two birdies on the back nine. I didn't hit my shots that great throughout the round. So I was able to stay patient and hopefully get a shot within ten feet and have a chance to make a birdie, and I did on the last hole.
MODERATOR: Just talk about going into tomorrow, not a position you've been in on the LPGA yet. But just take us through your emotions, what you think you'll do tonight to prepare, and then tomorrow morning, as well.
JENNY SHIN: Today I wasn't too nervous during the round, except for the last putt. But I feel like -- I can feel some nerves coming in for tomorrow just because all three of us are, you know, in the same position. I don't think I'll be doing much, just rest and eat the right food, if I don't get sick. Yeah, not much.
MODERATOR: How far was your birdie putt on 18.
JENNY SHIN: It was about four feet, three and a half.
Q. Your caddie is back?
JENNY SHIN: Yeah, my caddie is back.
Q. Why did you change caddies during the round?
JENNY SHIN: That kind of a thing doesn't really bother me. I really like the caddie that I have right now. So, you know, I want him back as soon as possible.
He helps me throughout the round for communications, and we get along pretty well. So you know, that really helps throughout the round when I'm having a slow day like today. So, yeah, I didn't mind that at all.
Q. You're 19, and the other players are over 30 or 30; do you think your age or inexperience is going to come into play tomorrow?
JENNY SHIN: Maybe. Like I said, I've never been in this position, so I wouldn't know. But hopefully not. I hope that doesn't come into play. I'm just going to stay calm and stay patient like I did today. So, no, I don't think so.
Q. Are you a calm person and can you give us an example of how calm you are in everyday life?
JENNY SHIN: I am the complete opposite of calm. I'm very outgoing; I'm loud, I'm always singing, dancing. That's so not me.
I don't really, I always say to myself, I don't know why I started golf, because the personality doesn't fit me at all. But I've learned to stay calm. I have a psychologist with me that helps me calm my nerves and stay in, you know, one emotion the whole round.
So no, during my regular life, I am the complete opposite.
Q. Talk about the birdie on the last. How important was that going into tomorrow's round?
JENNY SHIN: Very important. I wasn't nervous all day except for that putt; that's how important it was. Score didn't really matter to me. I was just happy that I got more than one birdie in the round.
So I was just satisfied with the shot that I had and the putt that I had, not -- I wasn't too concerned about the scores and where I am positioned.
Q. Do you think tomorrow the person who wins will be the person who is steady throughout the round or do you think someone is going to shoot a low score or come from behind to win?
JENNY SHIN: Yeah, Yani Tseng has been doing that quite a lot of times. So many players below me have the potential to do so.
However, the green conditions this week is absolutely amazing, and the pin location today was really difficult. So if they keep it up tomorrow like that, I don't know. Not likely, I don't think, if they do keep it up like this.
But if they do change it up, and have it a little easier than today, I believe a low score can come out tomorrow.
Q. Yani is going to be playing in front of you guys and if she makes birdies in the first couple of holes, it can put pressure on you guys. So how do you -- should that situation happen, how do you think you're going to have to react to it?
JENNY SHIN: I don't think I need to react to it at all. You know, that's something that can happen every day. So, I don't think that should affect me. Once it affects me, that's when I'm starting to lose my calm and that's when I'm going to, you know, do funny stuff. So I'm not going to let that affect me.
Q. The first year that you played in the last group -- do you think it will be helpful for tomorrow?
JENNY SHIN: Help? I don't know if it's going to help. But I am excited. One thing I know for sure is we are not going to have a bigger crowd than some of the groups behind me. So it's not really a problem.
Katie is really laid back and she's very down-to-earth. I think we had fun out there today. So if we do the same tomorrow, doesn't matter which group we are.
Q. What kind of emotions went through you when you found out that Yani made a surge up the board today? How did you feel when Yani shot a low round today?
JENNY SHIN: I didn't know. I haven't checked the scoring yet. I was just about to eat my ice cream. So, no, I haven't looked at the scores, but I did see her name on the scoreboard. Didn't really surprise me. She does that a lot.
I just think winning is -- I think it will be chosen by God. So I'm going to leave it up to Him.
Q. What a wonderful round on day three of the HSBC Women's Champions, certainly making a move.
YANI TSENG: I know it was much better than the last two days. I make some putts today. Today I hit the ball better and I'm having fun out there and so many fans coming out supporting us, it's a pretty big crowd today.
So very enjoying, and one more day to go, hopefully tomorrow I can be patient.
Q. What is the difference between the first two days, whereby your own standard, you have not played well, can you pinpoint today exactly what was going right?
YANI TSENG: I feel like I'm always slowing down, kind of like upset the other people. But today I just tell myself, I want to try to make birdie every hole, like as many birdies as I can and try to get close every shot, be aggressive and don't worry about it too much.
Q. Four shots off the lead at the moment, feeling obviously very confident about tomorrow, four shots is nothing in your game?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, I'm trying. I will do my best tomorrow. This golf course is very tough, so you need to be patient, play smart.
Q. You were a pretty dynamic duo out there, your caddie is wearing a rather special bib; HSBC Caddie of the Year.
YANI TSENG: It was very special for him. He's a great caddie and he's been helping me out a lot the last year and we have had like 12, 13 wins together. He's a really nice guy and very fun to see him win. He's very special.