Kia Classic second-round notes and interviews

Kia Classic
La Costa Resort and Spa
Carlsbad, Calif.
Second-round notes and interviews
March 23, 2012

Yani Tseng -9, Rolex Rankings No. 1
Se Ri Pak -7, Rolex Rankings No. 38
Jiyai Shin -5, Rolex Rankings No. 8
Caroline Hedwall -5, Rolex Rankings No. 24
Alison Walshe -5, Rolex Rankings No. 129
Brittany Lincicome -3, Rolex Rankings No. 10
Jennifer Johnson -3, Rolex Rankings No. 151

Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng will take a two-stroke lead into the weekend after shooting a 4-under 68 in the second of the Kia Classic. Tseng had the same number of birdies as her first round (6) but made back-to-back bogeys on No. 7 and 8 before turning things around on the back-nine when she shot 33, which included closing out with a birdie on the par-4 18th hole.

Sitting two shots behind Tseng is LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Se Ri Pak, who tied for the low round of the day with a 6-under 66. It’s the lowest round for Pak on Tour since she shot 66 in the second round of the 2010 Bell Micro LPGA Classic. She went on to win that event, which is her last professional victory.

Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng holed a bunker shot for birdie on the tenth hole Friday to swing the momentum in her favor en route to a second-round 68. The 23-year-old added another chip-in with the wedge on No. 13 – one of six birdies in her day – to overcome back-to-back bogies on Nos. 7 and 8. Surprisingly, the bunker shot on 10 was her first-ever hole-out as a professional in a tournament. “I think that's the first time I chipped in from the bunker as a professional, so I was really, really happy about that. Today, I just stayed really patient, and I was very happy that I finished with 4-under.”

Tseng will be paired on Saturday with Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak, a player she has long admired. “I think for us, especially Asian golfers, all Asian golfers want to be like Se Ri Pak. She's a superstar. She's a legend. When we were kids, we were looking for her swing. We wanted to learn her swing. We're always looking as a goal with us.”

Tseng remembers with regret the first time she played alongside Se Ri Pak as a member of the LPGA Tour at the 2008 CN Canadian Women’s Open. “Unfortunately, I was very nervous.  It was the first time I played with her.  It was just a bad time to play with her because I had a four-shot lead, and I was nervous, and there was so much pressure and I didn't win the tournament.  I was thinking too much and nervous to play with Se Ri.  And I was overthinking and trying too hard.” Australian Katherine Hull went on to win event.

It’s been nearly five years since Se Ri Pak became the youngest ever player to qualify for the Hall of Fame at age 29, but the Korean legend is still as focused as ever on competing. Pak, who shot a 6-under 66, still wants to get back in the winner’s circle as she hasn’t won in nearly two years.

“Since last year almost the end of the season -- every tournament I feel really great about it,” Pak said. “Now I'm really enjoying playing golf. Actually, in the winter time I was working with my dad. He's my first coach. He helps me a lot, and made it very simple. There are no major effects or a lot of routines going on. It's very simple thoughts. So that helps a lot at the golf course too.

“At the same time, I felt really comfortable about it, so I guess my swing's getting better and better each week, every tournament. If I make more putts, it will be great. I'm feeling really great.”

Is this the time? Jiyai Shin came oh-so-close to winning the Kia Classic last year, losing on the 72nd hole to Sandra Gal at Industry Hills at Pacific Palms outside Los Angeles. But while it wasn’t her time to win last year, Shin appears on her way to making a push at a Kia Classic title again – this time at La Costa Resort and Spa.

Shin, who was paired with Gal over the first two rounds, shot a second-round 71 and sits four shots back of leader Yani Tseng.

“This is a Korean company sponsor, so it feels like, oh, I have to do this,” said Shin. “I want to win on this tournament. So a lot of Koreans live here and came to watch us. I feel like I'm ready. It's time.”

Rollercoaster round: Caroline Hedwall’s even-par 72 on Friday was far from a ho-hum round of golf. She had five birdies and five bogeys in the second round as she managed to keep herself near the top of the leaderboard in a T3 at 5-under-par with Jiyai Shin, Alison Walshe and Jodi Ewart.

“It was just up and down all day, but I was playing solid,” said Hedwall, the 2011 Rookie of the Year on the Ladies European Tour. “It's just I hit my longer irons a little bit worse than the rest of the game. So if I can just work on that, I'm back tomorrow and hopefully can shoot low.”

Third-year LPGA Tour member Alison Walshe tied Se Ri Pak for the lowest round of the week with her 6-under 66 to move into a T3 at 5-under-par. The 26-year-old tallied six birdies and no bogeys en route to tying her career low round, which she shot once previously in the final round of the 2010 Navistar LPGA Classic in Prattville, Ala. She is coming off a missed cut at the RR Donnelley Founders Cup last week, but feels that her game is starting to come together at the right time.

“I was hitting the ball really well off the tee, which gave me a lot of opportunities to attack the pins,” said Walshe, who shares the same swing coach, Gary Gilchrist, as leader Yani Tseng. “My putter was really working well today. I made a few long ones, which always helps, and then I converted on the short ones, so everything came together.”

Sticking around for the weekend: A total of 75 players made the cut, which fell at 5-over-par 149

Christina Kim, Brittany Lincicome and Stacy Lewis pulled double duty on Friday at the Kia Classic. The trio helped to run Golf Channel’s coverage of second-round play at La Costa Resort and Spa with Christina Kim taking over for play-by-play man Rich Lerner in the booth, Brittany Lincicome producing the telecast and Stacy Lewis operating a camera on the 15th hole.

For all three of the players, it was an experience that they won’t soon forget.

“I had no idea, even though I'd been in the booth before, how hard that would be,” Kim said. “It's outrageously hard, but so fun. Stacy had a hard job, watching the ball with the camera. Brittany probably had the hardest job because she had to tell everyone what to do.”

“I felt like I was getting the hang of it,” Lincicome said of her job producing. “Okay, I want to go for this hole and they're putting for this score. I got it towards the end. But putting in the Kia promos and the leaderboard and all that, that's where I was getting confused. Because to go from hole to hole with a different girl was pretty easy, but to do all that other stuff in there was pretty hard. I'd definitely do it again. I thought it was very exciting.”

“I thought I did okay. I had a good teacher,” Lewis said of working the camera. “The hardest part was following the ball. It goes a lot higher than you think. You have to zoom out and focus while following it all at the same time. The first couple groups were tough. I needed more practice before Yani's group. He said, "if you miss the ball, just zoom out."

Ace in the hole: Brittany Lincicome wasn’t entirely pleased with the way that she played on Friday while shooting a 1-over 73, but the round certainly provided one stellar highlight. Lincicome recorded her second career hole-in-one on the LPGA on the par-3 6th hole, holing out from 167 yards with a 5-iron.

Lincicome said that the ace came at an ironic time because she and her good friend, Stacy Lewis, had just made a little wager heading into the hole. With both players struggling to get anything going on the day, they felt a little motivation was needed so they put a $5 wager on birdies for the last four holes.

“I said, "No. 7 is a par-5, can I get $20 eagles even though it's not reachable because it's dead into the wind,” Lincicome said. “And she goes, "yeah, but we could still hole out. $20 eagles." So of course we step on 6, and she almost holed it. She's like five feet, and I hole it. So we're looking at each other, and she's like, "I hate you." It was so funny that we had this whole conversation and then I made a hole in one.”

All eyes on Juli: One person walking outside the ropes during Friday’s second round drew quite a bit of attention from both the crowd and the media.

LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Juli Inkster, who underwent surgery on her right elbow in January, was walking with her good friend Pat Hurst’s group at La Costa on Friday. Inkster is expected to be out until at least the end of June as she recovers from the surgery, although she’s already planning her return to golf.

“You know me, I'm an overachiever,” Inkster told the Golf Channel “I'm ahead of schedule (to return). I'm starting to get stronger.”

Carlsbad native and La Costa member Jennifer Johnson kept herself in the hunt with a second-round 73 that put her at 3-under-par through two rounds of play. “I'm right where I need to be for the weekend,” Johnson said. “Just a couple under over the next few days, and we'll see where that puts me.”

Tweet of the Day: “Holy cow what an eye opener. WOW!!! That was very tough. New respect for everyone that works at Golf Channel :-)” -- @Brittany1golf on her first experience producing for @GolfChannel

Of Note…Defending champion Sandra Gal shot a 4-over 76 in Friday’s second round and sits in a T50 at 4-over… Jimin Kang withdrew during the second round of play on Friday…Rookie Lexi Thompson shot a 2-under 70 and sits in a T21 at even-par for the tournament…Only four rounds were shot in the 60s during Friday’s second round.

YANI TSENG, Rolex Rankings No. 1

THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome our current leader Yani Tseng into the interview room. Congratulations following up your first round 67 with a second round 68. Pretty impressive play the last two days. Can you just take me through your round today and what was working for you.
YANI TSENG: Today I made some little stupid mistakes on the front nine, but on number 7, I hit a terrible shot. I don't know. I don't remember when is the last time I hit that shot. I hit it with a 58 and hit it on top and all the way back to the bunker.
On number 8, I chopped a little bit, and both two shot misses I made bogey. After that I stayed really patient, and kept telling myself it's okay. You still have nine more holes to go. You can still make some birdies out there.
So the back nine, especially on number 10, I think that's the first time I chipped in from the bunker as a professional, so I was really, really happy about that. Today, I just stayed really patient, and I was very happy that I finished with 4-under today and hitting the driver much better on the fairway today.

THE MODERATOR: Had a nice little finish there with a birdie on 18 too. Can you take me through that hole?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, when I get to 18 I just told myself, let's hit three good shots and I can save 30 minutes of practice today. So I hit a great drive down the fairway. The second shot was 140 to the pin, and I hit an 8-iron and hit a little cut and finished like 15 feet.
Before I walked in to the green, I told my caddie, "How about $20 if I make this?" And, "okay." And I made it, and I won $20 on the 18th hole hitting three best shots on the course, and finished happy, and I can go home and relax.

THE MODERATOR: You head into the weekend with a two shot lead. How confident are you feeling with your game right now?
YANI TSENG: You know, I wasn't thinking much. I'm very confident and very comfortable too. So I don't -- I wasn't thinking like I am going to win or something. I just focus on every day. I had two good days, and hopefully the next days I can keep the rhythm and be patient. I'm looking forward to the next two days.

Q. You mentioned bunker shot and there was the chip-in at 13, right?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, there was also on 13.

Q. Forgot about that one.
YANI TSENG: No, I didn't. I remember that one.

Q. How good did you feel about that chip-in? Because it seemed to roll in like a putt.
YANI TSENG: Yeah, I felt very good, especially on number 13, because I hit a great shot. But we just picked the wrong club. Especially after I see Paula and Suzann, they're both hitting it like two feet. So I was like I want to get close like them. And I hit a perfect shot, and it ends up ten feet or like ten yards short. So I was pretty mad about that.
When I got there, I really wanted to chip-in to make birdie. So I did pretty well, and I put more weight on the left. It's much better than number 8.

Q. So all the success you've had, you've never holed out a bunker shot for birdie?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, in my memory, I've never. As a professional, I've never done it before. I’m always very close, so I was really, really happy about that.

Q. How would you rate how difficult that shot was when you walked up to it? Were you just trying to kind of get it close? How was the lie?
YANI TSENG: The lie was pretty good, but I don't have much green to work with. It's about 13 yards to the pin, and I just want to get it close. It's rolling very beautifully and it went in the hole.

Q. Do you remember watching Se Ri Pak when you were younger as a much younger child? Do you remember anything about her major wins? Was Se Ri much of an influence or inspiration to you as a kid?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, of course. I think for us, especially Asian golfers, all Asian golfers want to be like Se Ri Pak. She's a superstar. She's a legend. When we were kids, we were looking for her swing. We wanted to learn her swing. We're always looking as a goal with us.
In the beginning we didn't have many Asian players on the Tour, and Se Ri Pak was one of the very first Asians to have such success. So everybody was looking at her and wanted to be like her.
Now I think she's one of the Asian players that we have a goal and tell ourselves we can play on the LPGA Tour also. She's a very huge inspiration for us. Like now I've been playing on Tour for five years, and I wish in the future I can be like her too.
She's done so much for the LPGA, done so much for Asian golf and so many great players on the Tour, especially the Asian girl golf is growing a lot.

Q. How much have you played with Se Ri like on a weekend when both of you were contending? Have you played together before contending? How will it be for you, this woman who was a superstar to you as a child, how is it playing with you now?
YANI TSENG: I think it's much better now because this is my fifth year on the Tour, and we've played so many times together. But I remember the very first time we played together is the first year in Canada. I, unfortunately, I was very nervous. It was the first time I played with her. It was just a bad time to play with her because I had a four-shot lead, and I was nervous, and there was so much pressure and I didn't win the tournament. I was thinking too much and nervous to play with Se Ri. And I was overthinking and trying too hard.
Se Ri finished second and Katherine won the tournament. But that was a great experience for me for the first year. So I've been through that many years.
Now when I play with her, I don't feel any nerves. I just feel like I enjoy it. We talk a lot on the golf course. She's doing some host for Korean, so we both have an interview too. So that was very cool to play with a legend player on a golf course, and we have kind of the same culture in Asia and we can talk about a lot of things.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about the play on number 12 where everybody in your group ended up playing through the 7th fairway there?
YANI TSENG: Oh, yeah, on number 12. It's kind of a little narrower on our fairway on 12. If we go right side to number 7, it's like 15 yards or 20 yards closer. So that's why if we go there, we have more chance to hit on the green. It's a secret though (laughing).

Q. Just to follow that up. So when I was following you guys yesterday, Suzann was over there, and I thought, wow, that's a really terrible tee shot. So yesterday was she the only one who played over there intentionally and then you guys got the idea pretty much?
YANI TSENG: No, I got the idea before she played too because my caddie told me that on Wednesday. He said if we have a chance, we can hit in there if you're comfortable with it. Because when we were doing the practice round, I didn't hit it there. So I didn't feel comfortable when he told me that to hit it there because it's my first time hitting it down there today.
But after I saw Suzann hit it, I was like, yeah, it's 20 yards closer, and it was a much better angle there. We have more chance to get on the green.

Q. Can you remember another time where you've intentionally gone into another fairway?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, last time it was in Korea. I was playing with Na Yeon Choi. I don't know if it was the 15th hole or 13th hole, because if we go this way on the fairway it's a three-shot hole. But if we go all the way to the right, and I can hit a Rescue on the green, but I have to go over the big water.
But if I can hit a Rescue over the water, it's easier for a three-shot hole. So I think that's the last time I did that.

Q. So you hit driver today?
YANI TSENG: I hit a driver.

Q. What was the second shot? What did you hit on the second shot?
YANI TSENG: Oh, we picked the wrong club again. We thought the wind was going to be ten yards downwind. I hit it a 19 and it ends up 20 yards short. But if I hit a 3-wood, it would be perfect. But we saw the wind it wasn't blowing, but probably when we hit, it stopped blowing when we hit.

Q. Nobody ended up birdieing that hole today. Do you think it's a good strategy and you'll try it again on the weekend?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, I think so. I think it's still a good strategy. If I hit a 3-wood today, I'd have better chance. I hit a good chip there too.
But three of us had lots room to work with. It's not like we were missing the short side. If the pin was on the right side, maybe we were thinking about going on four fairway, so I wasn't sure about it. It just depends on where the pin position is. If it's downwind, it's okay. But if it's into the wind, there is no way to go there.

SE RI PAK, Rolex Rankings No. 38

Q. We'd like to welcome current clubhouse leader Se Ri Pak. Nice round today.
SE RI PAK: Thank you.

Q. Talk about what worked for you.
SE RI PAK: Actually I worked pretty well on my putting. Overall, I'm making a lot of putts. But at the same time, I had a lot of great shots too. So this week I'm trying to put less expectation on the green, because I could see everybody was having trouble on the green because it was so bumpy. Just being myself the same way.
Just trying to get easy on the greens and trying to make as much as I could. But as I said, today was a really solid round, so I was really happy about it.

Q. Through your first eight holes, you had six birdies this morning. Did your mind start to go to a really low score?
SE RI PAK: Actually, I thought I was. But I said out there I still had a lot of trouble. So I tried to hang in there as much as I could. I just went out there and tried to enjoy it, and it went pretty well.

Q. You didn't handle the first nine holes well yesterday, so what was the difference today?
SE RI PAK: I guess the first front nine is like more kind of shorter than the back nine. The greens are basically less bumpy. So, as I said, I was having a really solid round today. I had a lot of great shots on the green, and made a great opportunity to make a birdie, so I did. I guess that gives me a lot of confidence at the same time.
Overall, the first front nine is really enjoyable. The back nine, I knew there was a lot more trouble and long, especially because the wind is blowing it's getting harder. So that's about it.
I'm trying to just give myself better course management at the same time, and I'm doing really well with my caddie.

Q. What was your thought going into this season about the state of your game? What have you been working on? How have you felt? What was your attitude going in?
SE RI PAK: Actually since last year almost the end of the season -- every tournament I feel really great about it. Really now, I'm really enjoying playing golf. Actually, in the winter time I was working with my dad. He's my first coach. He helps me a lot, and made it very simple. There are no major effects or a lot of routines going on. It's very simple thoughts. So that helps a lot at the golf course too.
At the same time, I felt really comfortable about it, so I guess my swing's getting better and better each week, every tournament. If I make more putts, it will be great. I'm feeling really great.
I'm really trying out there as much as I could. Very much as I could, trying to enjoy playing golf.

Q. With as many wins as you've had, and as young as you've had them, do you get impatient and frustrated when you don't win? I know you basically have one win in four years out here. How does that feel? How do you deal with that?
SE RI PAK: Well, you're probably each week my expectation was every single week trying to get on top of the Leader board and trying to win, of course, each week. That puts a lot of pressure on you too. Of course, it's really frustrating, because you've done it so many times before that you know how to feel out there.
But it wasn't that my game was really there, and then I was expecting myself to be on top, that's pretty hard. When I've done it so many times you know it can be even more.
But for now, I feel really great. I guess that's the point is you learn a lot. Even if you're not at the top in golf, you're still there. Just basically, mentally be out there and enjoying and playing. That's the most important. Now I'm doing that.

Q. Was there a point when you didn't feel motivated when you made the Hall of Fame so early? Was there a point where you kind of let down?
SE RI PAK: Maybe I felt that way because I'm done at the same time so early. Probably part of it is because it was early. But my goal is to be on top. Next thing you know I'm pushing myself more and more. I think that's what caused me on owe makes me the other way going wrong side.
So that's why learning from that point, I said I'm doing so many things at the same time, I'm the same person. It's not going to change anything. So I'm trying to get myself more calm and then trying to be more relaxed. As soon as you want more and then giving myself even more out there and trying to work so hard for it and having a lot of stress for it, I guess that's why my game was having problems for a couple years.
But now I'm trying to thinking it was my rookie season, rookie years back all the way down, and every step I'm trying to learn more. As I said, golf has never the end. Just you're learning every single day, and I learn from that.
Now I just feel really, really comfortable. I've really enjoyed it.

Q. Do you ever feel old out here now with all these kids running around?
SE RI PAK: It's funny to say, but I didn't really feel that way because I'm still the same like I was in my early 20s. But agewise, I'm a little bit old side, but I'm still physically fine for it so I'm trying not to think that way.

Q. You're still young, but it's amazing how young the Tour is now. That just makes the 30-year-old players so much older?
SE RI PAK: Like a senior, right. Yeah, yeah, it is. It basically does. Back then, I was 20, and probably youngest. But now there are like 17, 16, 19, so basically around 30 you feel like you're so old out there. But it doesn't really matter what age.

Q. Do you feel gratified at having almost started and really caused this revolution in some ways? Because you're the player that so many of these young players were inspired by. Is that a nice feeling for you?
SE RI PAK: Of course, definitely. I'm very proud of that side of it because everybody has the same goal. Doesn't matter what kind of job you have, you just want to be the best.
But golf is a very individual game. It's pretty difficult to decide to really choose to be a pro. But as far as I help them to giving them a lot of goals or confidence about it, yes. The point right now, just as I said, by myself, I'm just really happy.

Q. Just wanted to ask you about your physical health. Obviously, injuries or something that's bothered you, what do you do to stay healthy? How do you feel right now?
SE RI PAK: I feel great. I mean, there can be injuries from here and there. Just one shot caused, then you find out if it was major less. But as much as I'm trying to give a lot of stretching, that is most important than working out. Working out is very important, but more important is trying to get more flexible, flexibility most of the time.
So I'm of course working out in the off-season too. But most of the time I'm trying to like after the round, go back to the hotel. Before I go to sleep, I'm trying to take out a lot of stress as much as I can make sure I'm loose, and trying not to get injured. Because it's going to be a couple weeks, couple months or a year, you never know. So I'm trying to take as much as I could.

Q. Did you have neck problems?
SE RI PAK: Well, last year at the end of the season my back was bothering me a little bit. I don't know why. I never had a problem before. But I guess you're sitting a lot, you're traveling a lot. Here and there it can tighten your lower back. So a couple times it bothered me a lot.
This year, so far, so good. I didn't feel like anything bothered me. But I feel like it's great right now.

Q. How does that affect your schedule?
SE RI PAK: This year we got an okay schedule. Like we got three weeks straight and then two weeks off. Like three weeks play, two weeks off. That's actually a perfect schedule for that.

JIYAI SHIN, Rolex Rankings No. 8

Q. Se Ri Pak had a great round today and shot a 66. A lot of us were talking about what it was like when she came on Tour. What a great example she set for all South Korean golfers. Do you remember Se Ri when you were a 10-year-old girl when she first came on Tour?
JIYAI SHIN: How can I forget? I have all the time in my memory. I just thought after she finished, after she was number 17 something, I saw her score today, and it's just great play today. Actually, this morning was cold, so I was really glad she played good.
A lot of Korean and a lot of fans are waiting for Se Ri to be back. She's doing well. I know she works hard every time. Because she is already a member of the Hall of Fame, but she is still training hard and practicing hard, so we knew that she'd come back.

Q. Was she a role model not just for you but so many of the South Korean golfers that are out here?
JIYAI SHIN: Oh, even me too, yeah, of course. When I started golf all the Korean juniors were watching Se Ri's win in 1998 at the U.S. Open. So after that I started. She is a role model for the juniors and professionals too.

Q. Another solid round for you today. You’re near the top of the leaderboard. You came so close to winning this event last year. What does it mean for you now to be back up there and in contention again here?
JIYAI SHIN: You know what? A lot of people asked me a lot of the same questions. I played yesterday and today I played with Sandra. It was a great match from last year. So I don't know. This is a Korean company sponsor, so it feels like, oh, I have to do this. I want to win on this tournament.
So a lot of Koreans live here and came to watch us. I feel like I'm ready. It's time.

Q. How are you feeling about your game coming into this week? You've been playing well at the start of the year. Are you feeling pretty good about it overall?
JIYAI SHIN: Yes. Actually, this green is pretty spongy, so every putt we have to focus because even a couple foot putt is not easy.
So I'm all the time focused with my putting speed and putting stroke because my shot is doing well since January. So I just keep practicing and keep going

CAROLINE HEDWALL, Rolex Rankings No. 24

Q. Congratulations on another solid day out there today. Can you just take me through the round?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: I can't really remember it. It was just up and down all day, but I was playing solid. It's just I hit my longer irons a little bit worse than the rest of the game. So if I can just work on that, I'm back tomorrow and hopefully can shoot low.

Q. Anything different between yesterday and today for you out on the course? The game was pretty steady both days?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: My longer irons weren't as good as they were yesterday. That's what I need to work on so hopefully I can have a good weekend.

Q. What is the big key out here for the final days heading into the weekend? What is the big thing going low on this golf course?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Just to hit fairways because it's pretty tight on the greens, obviously. They're pretty small, so you need to hit your irons really well.

Q. To have that feeling that you weren't hitting your irons as well as your longer irons and to still be at the top of the leaderboard, you have to feel good about your game now?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: I do feel good. I just need to work a little more on my longer irons. If I can do that, I'll have a good weekend.

Q. Overall at the start this year, how have you felt about your game?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: It feels good. I feel like my putting is getting better and better. That's what I think I need to improve the most to shoot low all the time.

Q. Do you feel more comfortable out here as well? Second year on Tour, getting more accustomed, I guess, to everything that goes on throughout the season?
CAROLINE HEDWALL: Yeah, I think it was good for me to get one year in Europe. Now I feel like I'm ready to come over here.
I do enjoy it a lot and I feel very comfortable, so it's fun.

ALISON WALSHE, Rolex Rankings No. 129

Q. We're here with Alison Walshe. Congratulations, a great round of 6-under 66 today. Can you take me through the day and what was working well for you out there?
ALISON WALSHE: Yeah, I was hitting the ball really well off the tee, which gave me a lot of opportunities to attack the pins. My putter was really working well today. I made a few long ones, which always helps, and then I converted on the short ones, so everything came together.

Q. Everyone's been talking about this course, and how tight it plays and how accurate you have to be with your irons. What are the keys to succeeding on this course?
ALISON WALSHE: Just good targets. The greens are soft, so if you have a really good target, the greens are small and tight. But I've really focused on targets, not necessarily attacking pins, and it's just kind of kept me out of trouble.

Q. What was the biggest difference today for you compared to the round yesterday?
ALISON WALSHE: I'd say my irons. Yesterday I struggled a bit and left myself with longer length putts. But today I was closer and my putts became easier.

Q. How have you been feeling about your game overall coming into this week? Did you see a round like this coming up for you?
ALISON WALSHE: Yeah, I've been playing well. Last week I missed the cut but it's been a matter of putting. I've been hitting it good, and it's just a matter of when, and hopefully it continues this weekend.

Q. Everybody talks about gearing up in the season, and now a few events under your belt. Feeling good about how the game's progressing and how you're heading into the rest of the season?
ALISON WALSHE: Yeah, totally. This is my first year coming back to the same events, so I'm definitely more comfortable. My game's more comfortable going back to the same track. So I'm excited for the year.

BRITTANY LINCICOME, Rolex Rankings No. 10

Q. Take me through a hole in one. Pretty exciting moment for you, I'm sure, today.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: It was very exciting because we were coming off five, and Stacy Lewis is a really good friend of mine. We kind of looked at each other and thought we need to do something on the last four holes. So we get to six, and we're walking to the tee and we're like, "$5 birdies last four holes." I said, "7 is a par-5, can I get $20 eagles even though it's not reachable because it's dead into the wind." And she goes, "yeah, but we could still hole out. $20 eagles." So of course we step on 6, and she almost holed it. She's like five feet, and I hole it. So we're looking at each other, and she's like, "I hate you."
It was so funny that we had this whole conversation and then I made a hole in one. Unfortunately, it's not the car hole. Maybe I could warm my way into getting a Kia. That would be awesome.
I think I had one on Tour another time in Morelia, I think. So this was like a 5-iron, that was a pitching wedge, so it was pretty cool.

Q. Coming off the first day you had two bogeys on that side. To feel the momentum and still keep yourself up there, all that's got to feel pretty good?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, it's hard. I wish it had come on 18 because, obviously, you're jazzed up and your emotions running high. I told myself at the next tee, calm down, try to make a good swing, but I was so excited that that didn't happen.
Coming down the stretch and then to bogey my last hole was obviously depressing. But I held it together because there for a while, I thought it was going to go straight downhill. And after missing the cut last week and all those thoughts in the back of my mind, it was nice to pull it together and almost finish it out even.

Q. I was going to say, to come back and play this week, after your first missed cut in --
BRITTANY LINCICOME: 44 weeks they said.

Q. Yeah, that's a long stretch to go.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: It's one of those things that's been in the back of my mind that I haven't missed a cut in a while. Then people would mention it. And I was like gosh try to think about something else and not focus on that.
So it's kind of a blessing that I did miss the cut. But after I did, I was sitting on the putting green just crying my eyes out because I've been working so hard to be so good and to miss a cut is really sad. But just all the emotions kind of ran through me at the same time. But 44 cuts made in a row is pretty impressive.

Q. A pretty impressive streak. You have something fun coming up this afternoon that you get to take part in?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I do. I wish I could go there ask kind of learn. But they're not on air until 3:30. I actually went two days ago into the booth, and I've been learning what I'm supposed to be doing. So if I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it all out. I want to learn before I get in there so I don't look silly.

Q. What is your role today?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I'm the producer. I wish I was commentating talking about girls' games and golf courses. Stacy's on the camera which I think will be harder than we think as well.
It's going to be really fun. It gives you an insight into how things operate out here. We only play golf, which is pretty simple. But Beth and all those guys at the Golf Channel and all their work they do is pretty hard.

 

JENNIFER JOHNSON, Rolex Rankings No. 151

Q. Talk about how you played today?
JENNIFER JOHNSON: I just want to get back to the way I played yesterday, hitting fairways and greens and get rid of the three-putts.

Q. What is the course playing like for you? How tough is it?
JENNIFER JOHNSON: The rough's really tough, so there is a precedent to hit the fairways and the greens.
But I think it's scorable. They're holding okay.

Q. Is the competition you're playing against pretty standard for you?
JENNIFER JOHNSON: It's the same girls every week, so no problem there.

Q. You mentioned you had a couple bad holes. Is that what made your score suffer today?
JENNIFER JOHNSON: The holes that I bogeyed, two of them were three-putts. I hit a good drive, hit a good approach shot, just got a little brain dead on the greens. I've got to watch my speed a little better tomorrow.

Q. Are you off to the driving range now?
JENNIFER JOHNSON: Maybe some lunch and a little practice, then go rest.

Q. I'm curious how you feel heading into the weekend? You should make the cut. I don't know where at the end of the day you'll fall on the leaderboard, but do you feel that you're in a good position to make a move tomorrow?
JENNIFER JOHNSON: Oh, yeah. I'm right where I need to be for the weekend. Just a couple under over the next few days, and we'll see where that puts me.

Topics: Kia Classic, Tseng, Yani, Hedwall, Caroline, Shin, Jiyai, Walshe, Alison, Johnson, Jennifer, Lincicome, Brittany, Notes and Interviews [+]

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