Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G - Second-Round Notes

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G
Pinnacle Country Club
Rogers, Arkansas
June 30, 2012
Second-Round Notes and Interviews

 

Veronica Felibert -11, Rolex Rankings No. 723
Mika Miyazato -7, Rolex Rankings No. 22
Ai Miyazato -6, Rolex Rankings No. 6
Brittany Lang -6, Rolex Rankings No. 24
Katie Futcher -6, Rolex Rankings No. 65
Ryann O'Toole -6, Rolex Rankings No. 131

 

Rookie Veronica Felibert will attempt to become the first Venezuelan to win on the LPGA Tour, as she carries a four-shot lead into the final round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G. Felibert fired a 5-under 66 in Saturday’s second round at Pinnacle Country Club to move to 11-under-par overall with 18 holes remaining in the 54 hole-event.

Felibert is the third Venezuelan to play on the LPGA Tour, joining Chela Quintana and Maru Martinez. After shooting 65 on Friday to take the first-round lead, Felibert said that she received text messages from both players congratulating her.

“It would mean everything,” Felibert said of becoming the first Venezuelan to win on Tour. “The other two players from Venezuela, they texted me yesterday and like, hey, congratulations, great round, keep it up, you know.  So it's kind of nice to have their support.”

Felibert will have a large share of players chasing her during Sunday’s final round. Sitting three shots behind Felibert at 7-under-par are 2008 U.S. Women’s Open champion Inbee Park and Japanese native Mika Miyazato, who is still seeking her first victory on the LPGA Tour. There is also a group of five players at 6-under-par, which includes last week’s winner Brittany Lang.

If Felibert can hold on in Sunday’s final round, she will also become the first rookie to win on Tour since Beatriz Recari became a Rolex First-Time Winner at the 2010 CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge.

“There are feelings that I cannot express right now because it's what I have dreamt all my life for, so it's pretty cool to see my name up there,” Felibert said of holding the lead entering Sunday. “But at the same time I have been trying to not think too much about it, just play one shot at a time and just enjoy.  I'm having a lot of fun and I like it.”

 

Happy Birthday to Me!!!  Perhaps the best birthday gift that Veronica Felibert received on Saturday was one that she gave herself. The LPGA Tour rookie shot a 4-under 67 to put herself in sole possession of the lead heading into Sunday’s final round. It was just the second round she’s shot in the 60s on the LPGA Tour, the first coming on Friday.

Felibert turned 27 on Saturday and her stellar round has put her in good position to become a Rolex First-Time Winner in what is just her fifth LPGA event. She had made just one cut previously on the LPGA Tour, finishing tied for 70th at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic back in April.

And her birthday did not go unnoticed on Saturday either. She was serenaded with the “Happy Birthday” song by the crowd at Pinnacle Country Club on the first hole and then again on No. 17 and 18.

“I've never been sang happy birthday that many times in a day,” Felibert said, breaking into a smile.

 

Want to beat the heat? Eat! If there was one piece of advice that nearly every player at the top of the leaderboard gave for beating the heat this week in Arkansas, it was this – make sure to keep yourself fed!

While the common thought is always to make sure that you’re hydrated when temperatures soar, players like Mika Miyazato, who is tied for second at 7-under-par, gave credit to eating enough food when

“I played a practice round in the afternoon so I knew about the heat and how to deal with the hot weather today,” Miyazato said. “So I really tried to focus on eating more food laug.”

Ryann O’Toole reiterated that she tried to focus on getting enough food in her body because it’s often the thing that players forget to do.

“I take these things called highlights, which are legal, they're just electrolytes that you take in pill form, so they really help to hydrate you, and between the frog skin stuff that Walmart has donated to us, that's helped a lot, just staying cool, walking under an umbrella,” O’Toole said of some of her tips to beat the heat. “And eating, I think that's the one thing that people miss out there is when you're hot, you don't want to eat.  I think you've still got to keep fueling yourself.”

 

Reading, writing, and golf… 2011 U.S. Solheim Cup Team member Ryann O’Toole has had a big of an up-and-down season missing five cuts and only finishing in the top-20 once. In the hunt at this week’s Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G, O’Toole has referred back to her trusty journal that she writes in from tournament to tournament.

“This is kind of dorky, but I journal usually from tournament to tournament, so last week I was reading back to last year and the events that I played well and I was just going, okay, what was working for me,” said O’Toole. “And one thing that I keyed in on was staying in the moment and not thinking about the bogey I just had or the holes that I could birdie, and I think that really helped a lot.”

O’Toole has also turned to the book Fearless Golf which focuses on the mental aspects of golf including visualization on the golf course.

“I started reading this book, Fearless Golf, and they were talking about questions that you ask yourself, and I think my biggest thing has been more the mental game and mentally keeping myself in the right thinking process,” said O’Toole. “And, you know, they talked about what kind of questions are going in your head, or when you have doubt, why are you thinking these thoughts. So the book like asks you what color's your car, what color is the American flag so you obviously start visualizing those things. So out on the course I started asking myself, how do I want to hit this shot, where do I want it to go, or even things like what do the top players do in this state of mind.  You know, coming down the stretch, what are they thinking, how are they acting.  I think that's really keeping me in the moment.”

Prior to O’Toole’s rounds of 68-68, she had only previously shot in the 60’s once this season which came when she shot a 69 in the first-round of the Wegmans LPGA Championship. O’Toole will turn to her impressive history on the Symetra Tour and Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour in her attempt to become the fifth Rolex First-Time Winner this season.

O’Toole won twice on the Symetra Tour and won the 2011 Australian Shortcourse Championship on the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour.

 

Going low…It didn’t take long for Brittany Lang to put herself back at the top of the leaderboard following her first career victory at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic last week. Lang made her presence felt in Rogers, Arkansas on Saturday, as she carded the lowest round of the week with an 8-under 63 in the second round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G.

But it was a round that took a little while to get going. When Lang made the turn after starting the day on No. 10, she was just 1-under-par. So she and her fellow playing partner Suzann Pettersen decided to make a little side wager to get things going on their back nine.

“Suzann was telling me it was kind of boring out there so she wanted to play a birdie game, $20 birdies, and we both birdied the first two holes and I don't think we realized it was the $20 birdie game,” said Lang, who tallied five birdies and 1 eagle over her final nine holes. “At the end she told me she's not playing the money game ever again because she made three birdies and still lost $80.”

Closing out her round with a 7-under 29, Lang fell one stroke shy of the tournament record, 62, which was shot by Angela Park and Jane Park during the event in 2008. Still, the round put Lang in a five-way tie for fourth. Does her victory last week change how she feels about heading into the final round of this week’s event at the top of the leaderboard?

“For sure I feel more comfortable,” said Lang. “Like I said before, I used to be afraid to be in the lead and be afraid to be in that position, but regardless of what happens tomorrow, I feel okay being there now and I know I can handle it well.”

 

Be aggressive… Looking to notch her second LPGA Tour victory of the season , Ai Miyazato knows she will have to stay aggressive on Sunday if she wants to record her ninth career win.

“Just try and stay prepared out there,” said Miyazato of her strategy on Sunday. “I think I still need also birdies tomorrow, so just maybe a little bit more aggressive and we'll see what's going to happen.”

Since 2008, the highest score to win the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G came in 2009 when Jiyai Shin shot 9-under-par. The record low to win the tournament was 13-under-par shot by Yani Tseng in 2010.

Miyazato is coming off a missed cut at last week’s Manulife Financial LPGA Classic and has recorded four top-five finishes this season.

 

Deep in the heart of Texas… Known as one of the fittest players on the LPGA Tour, Katie Futcher has leaned heavily on her good physical and mental condition to battle scorching temperatures at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G and shoot rounds of 69-67.

“Well, I mean, I think it's an advantage any time,” said Futcher of her physical and mental advantage. “But in the heat, I mean, I think more it's that I feel better mentally.  It's not necessarily physically, but I feel like I have a slighter edge just mentally.  And I know that I'm fit and I know that I can handle it and I train hard for certain days, days like today and in the heat, so I feel like it gives me a little bit more of maybe a mental advantage.”

Futcher calls Houston, Texas home and admitted, the temperatures could be higher there than in Rogers, Ark. making her quite accustomed to this week’s heat.

“I'm really quite used to it,” said Futcher of the heat. “I don't even think this is as hot as Houston, so yeah, I'm quite used to it.  I don't like it, but I'm used to it, I guess.”

 

Dancing through Sunday…A total of 72 players made the cut, which fell at 1-over-par 143

Of Note…Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng shot a 3-over 74 on Saturday to finish at 5-over-par and miss her first cut since the 2011 Avnet LPGA Classic. It ended a stretch of 26 events without a missed cut for the two-time defending champion and world No. 1…Morgan Pressel withdrew during the second round due to a thumb injury and Se Ri Pak withdrew after the first round of play.

 

Veronica Felibert, Rolex Rankings No. 723

MODERATOR:  All right.  We'd like to welcome our current leader Veronica Felibert, into the interview room.  Congratulations, you followed up a 6-under round with a 5-under round on your birthday.

VERONICA FELIBERT:  I know, pretty exciting.

MODERATOR:  Just take me through kind of the emotions of the day and what it's like to be sitting up there at the top of the leaderboard heading into Sunday's final round. 

VERONICA FELIBERT:  Well, it's very different.  Like I don't know, there are feelings that I cannot express right now because it's what I have dreamt all my life for, so it's pretty cool to see my name up there, but at the same time I have been trying to not think too much about it, just play one shot at a time and just enjoy.  I'm having a lot of fun and I like it.

MODERATOR:  We were talking about the birthday and you were sang happy birthday to on the first tee and the 17th hole and the 18th.

VERONICA FELIBERT:  I know.  I've never been sang happy birthday that many times in a day.

MODERATOR:  I know this is the fifth official LPGA tournament for you and you've made one cut before back in April, but you haven't made another one since then.  What's been the biggest difference this week, and how have you been able to kind of put these two rounds together?

VERONICA FELIBERT:  I always say putting, putting, it's been my key this week, and hitting a lot of greens.  Like I said, last year I was hitting like the ball pretty solid and this year I haven't been able to like hit it as solid as I wanted to.  It all happened this week, like I'm starting to hit again the numbers I want and leaving a lot of opportunities for birdie and I have been able to make it.

Q.  You had a lot of very key par saves for putts as well as the birdie putts.  Is your thought process any different when you're standing over those putts or do you treat them the same?

VERONICA FELIBERT:  The short ones?

Q.  Even the long ones, like on 11, what's going through your head?

VERONICA FELIBERT:  I just knew.  It's a feeling I just knew I could make it and I felt confident about it, so I think that that was the difference of making it or not.

Q.  Did you miss any greens besides No. 11?  We didn't see all the holes.

VERONICA FELIBERT:  I missed one other green on No. 5, I believe, yeah.

Q.  You handled the pressure so well today.  Are you telling yourself anything about how to handle it tomorrow when it should be even more?  What are you telling yourself?

VERONICA FELIBERT:  I haven't really thought about it.  Like I said, I'm just trying to take it one step at a time, enjoy the moment and stay in the present.  

MODERATOR:  You have looked so confident out there and just composed.  Is it just kind of what we see on the outside, or did you feel pretty calm and relaxed out there as you were playing?

VERONICA FELIBERT:  I'm calm, I'm relaxed, yes.  I'm nervous and excited because it's something different, a position that I haven't been in lately, so it's pretty cool, but in general I'm pretty calm.

MODERATOR:  There haven't been that many players out on Tour from Venezuela and none have won before.  What would it mean for you to become the first?

VERONICA FELIBERT:  It would mean everything, yes.  I'm the third one, and actually both of them, the other two persons, players from Venezuela, they texted me yesterday and like, hey, congratulations, great round, keep it up, you know.  So it's kind of nice to have their support, yeah.

MODERATOR:  What are the names of the two players?

VERONICA FELIBERT:   Chela Quintana and Maru Martinez.

Q.  What was the reaction like for you when they're singing happy birthday to you on 17 and then also on 18 as you were coming up?  What's going on in your head at that point?

VERONICA FELIBERT:  On 17 I felt kind of bad because like it was M.J.'s turn to hit and, I don't know, it kind of like took a long time and I was like, oh, let's be over it.  But it's exciting and it's very nice, and people here have been like so great and the fans are awesome.  It's just pretty cool.

Q.  What number birthday is this, what birthday plans do you have tonight, and if you could pronounce your last name for us because it's a little bit different on the --

VERONICA FELIBERT:  Felibert, and it's my 27th, and I'm planning to have sushi, which is my favorite meal, so we'll see.

Q.  Are you surprised by yourself at this point?

VERONICA FELIBERT:  No.  I mean, I work really hard and that's what I work for, so I wouldn't expect like maybe on the rookie year, but yeah, I expect it to come sometime soon.  So kind of like saw it coming, not right away like, but yeah.

MODERATOR:  You were saying how your game was feeling kind of up and down.  Did you feel something coming into this week?  Did you feel your game starting to come together?  Was it something you noticed before or was it something that happened over the past two rounds?

VERONICA FELIBERT:  I was looking at the stats over the last few tournaments I had and my greens in regulations were not very good, and that has been my strength pretty much.  So I started working on my swing and like try to find it back, and I think I did without much effort, like just keeping it simple.

Q.  Is there something about the course that suits your game because you've only made one bogey in two rounds and there's only been seven bogey-free rounds and you have one of them.  Twelve birdies, one bogey.  Is it something about the course or your playing or the combination?

VERONICA FELIBERT:  I would say the combination.  The course fits my eye really good, like I really like it, but yeah, I've been playing good, too.

Q.  It looked like on No. 18 there the wind was kind of coming into you.  Was there any thought of going for the green in two there?

VERONICA FELIBERT:  I kind of thought of going over the water but I knew I was not going to make it to the green, so I might as well lay you up at a distance that I have been playing all day, but I didn't execute as I wanted to.

Q.  What's your belief like tomorrow?  I know I've asked that, but what do you anticipate in terms of nerves when you get up there to the first tee and how do you handle that?

VERONICA FELIBERT:  Well, I can imagine I'll be nervous obviously.  Like today I was the last one to tee off and I was like, oh, I just want to go now, you know.  But it's exciting and I'm just going to enjoy it and have fun, what I have been doing.

 

Mika Miyazato, Rolex Rankings No. 22

Q. Congratulations on a great round today, 6-under 65. Can you take me through your round and what was working well for you out there?

MIKA MIYAZATO: I had a very good day today, a bogey-free round today. I think my second shot was very well out there today and my putting was very well also. So very tough conditions with an afternoon tee time with the heat. I tried to eat more and focus on the golf.

Q. Judging by the scores, it’s been harder to post a low score in the afternoon when the heat has been the biggest factor. Were you surprised by how low you were able to shoot today?

MIKA MIYAZATO:  I played a practice round in the afternoon so I knew about the heat and how to deal with the hot weather today. So I really tried to focus on eating more food laug.

Q. There are a lot of people crowded up near the top of the leaderboard. What are you expecting for Sunday’s final round?

MIKA MIYAZATO:  I think it’s very important for everybody to make birdies on Sunday so I will try to make as many birdies as I can in the final round. So maybe try to focus more on the one shot at a time. I think that’s the most important thing for tomorrow.

 

Ai Miyazato, Rolex Rankings No. 6

Q.  Nice playing again today.

AI MIYAZATO:  Thank you.

Q.  Consistent, 68, 68.  What's been the key for you over the first two days just to be, I guess, so consistent?

AI MIYAZATO:  I have two bogeys so far, but I think, you know, like you said, it's pretty consistent.  Like my driver, just keep hitting fairways and my irons pretty good.  My short game feeling's pretty good, too.  So no really big mistake out there, so that's why I think I shot 3-under.

Q.  Everybody's talking about the heat and how hot it's been.  How have you been able to kind of get through the heat and be able to stay be consistent through your rounds?

AI MIYAZATO:  Well, I think this is still better than in Thailand and in Singapore.  But I'm from warm place, I like to play in the heat, so it really doesn't matter for me.

Q.  Everybody always talks in a 54-hole event that you've got to get off to a good start, it comes by quickly.  It looks like we're going to have quite a logjam up there at the top --

AI MIYAZATO:  Yeah.

Q.  -- heading into tomorrow.  Any differences for you?  Is just the key focusing on yourself?

AI MIYAZATO:  I don't know, just same thing like I did these couple days, I think.  Just try and stay prepared out there.  I think I still need also birdies tomorrow, so just maybe a little bit more aggressive and we'll see what's going to happen. 

 

Brittany Lang, Rolex Rankings No. 24

MODERATOR:  All right.  We'd like to welcome one of our current leaders, Brittany Lang, into the interview room.  Congratulations, 8-under par, best round so far of the tournament.  Take me through that round, especially that back nine when you really got things going.

BRITTANY LANG:  Yeah, I didn't get off to a very good start bogeying hole 1.  I actually think it was good, it kind of fired me up.  I wasn't very happy after that and I immediately birdied 11.  And then, you know, from there -- the first 19 holes of the tournament I really didn't play my game -- I started really hitting at the middle of the green, not going at too many pins and finally started to make some putts.  Really got hot on the back nine and got some confidence, so it was good.

MODERATOR:  Any little fun things that you had going on on that back nine that really kind of helped that birdie binge?

BRITTANY LANG:  Yeah, you know, it was funny, Suzann and I -- on 18, Suzann was telling me it was kind of boring out there so she wanted to play a birdie game, $20 birdies, and I birdied the first two holes and I don't think we realized it was the $20 birdie game, and then she told me she's not playing the money game ever again because she lost four birdies and lost $80.

MODERATOR:  Always entertaining --

BRITTANY LANG:  Yeah. 

MODERATOR:  We know last week you got that first victory and we asked earlier in the week about the confidence level.  How much do you think that's carried in this week?  I know it didn't show necessarily in the number yesterday, but as you're looking at today, just how much that confidence is already starting to pay off?

BRITTANY LANG:  Yeah, I still have a ways to go.  I'm still not the most confident golfer on the golf course, but my mind's right, you know, seeing the shot.  I kind of fell asleep on Thursday, didn't do a very good job with that, but my mental game of seeing the shot is worlds better than it was in the years past, but I still have a ways to go on the confidence level for sure.

Q.  Brittany, just two things.  What was the biggest difference between yesterday and today, and then also -- maybe on the course, and then also on 10, on the bogey, what happened?

BRITTANY LANG:  Yeah, the difference today was when I finally started rolling it well, I got a little momentum, I was 1-under early.  The birdie on 11 helped.  On 10 I was 114 yards, and you hit a lot of wedges and 9-irons out here, it's pretty easy, and I had not been hitting them very close and I missed the green and three-putted from just off the green.  It was just very careless and it really fired me up and nearly maybe a hole-in-one on 11 to get back. 

The difference I just think is just the momentum.  You know, rolling a putt in.  It's a fairly easy golf course with wedges and 9-irons, so just finally got a few to drop.

MODERATOR:  It's quite a cluster that's up towards the top of the leaderboard, and it's a 54 hole event and we always say you have to get off to a hot start to at least put yourself in position heading to Sunday.  I guess the difference now having that victory under your belt, is it a little different sitting up there tied for the lead heading into the final round, or do you approach it pretty much the same way?

BRITTANY LANG:  Yeah, for sure I feel more comfortable.  Like I said before, I used to be afraid to be in the lead and be afraid to be in that position, but regardless of what happens tomorrow, I feel okay being there now and I know I can handle it well.

Q.  Were you aware on 9 that you were going for a share of the course record and was that in your head at all?

BRITTANY LANG:  The course record?  No, I had no idea.  What is the course record?  Oh, wow, no, I didn't know.  I looked at the leaderboard on hole 8 and saw I was on the second page of the leaderboard, but I didn't know about the course record.  That's cool.

 

Ryann O’Toole, Rolex Rankings No. 131

MODERATOR:  All right.  We're here with one of our current leaders, Ryann O'Toole.  Congratulations, very solid start to this tournament, 68, 68.  Can you tell me what's been working out there so well for you to be able to put these rounds together?

RYANN O'TOOLE:  Well, like I was saying earlier, I just felt like I'm really staying in the moment and I'm keeping myself just not focusing on what happened in the past, what's going on, you know, in front of me and just staying one shot at a time. 

This is kind of dorky, but I journal usually from tournament to tournament, so last week I was reading back to last year and the events that I played well and I was just going, okay, what was working for me.  And one thing that I keyed in on was staying in the moment and not thinking about the bogey I just had or the holes that I could birdie, and I think that really helped a lot. 

But another thing that I've been working on, because I felt like the last few weeks I've been just struggling to try to break through, I've been hitting great shots, I've been making good putts, but nothing seems to fall; going, okay, it's got to come eventually.  So I've just been, I think, working hard, practicing the right things, working really hard on 120 yards and in, and I think that that's helped a ton. 

I started reading this book, Fearless Golf, and they were talking about questions that you ask yourself, and I think my biggest thing has been more the mental game and mentally keeping myself in the right thinking process.  And, you know, they talked about what kind of questions are going in your head, or when you have doubt, why are you thinking these thoughts.  So the book like asks you what color's your car, what color is the American flag so you obviously start visualizing those things.  So out on the course I started asking myself, how do I want to hit this shot, where do I want it to go, or even things like what do the top players do in this state of mind.  You know, coming down the stretch, what are they thinking, how are they acting.  I think that's really keeping me in the moment.

MODERATOR:  We talked a little at Wegmans when you were in the interview room about you're so involved in sports outside of golf, you have that fearless kind of nature and how you're trying to embrace that.  Do you feel like you're starting to be able to have that mindset where when you're out surfing you're not thinking about what just happened, you're kind of staying in the moment? Can you kind of carry that over into your golf game now?

RYANN O'TOOLE:  Yeah, because that's a lot what Bob Rotella and I work on.  He's big on telling me act like you are surfing, you're snowboarding, you're wake-boarding.  Get that confident, cocky attitude.  I mean, because if you're out there surfing and the waves are big, you can't be scared because you're going to eat it and you're going to be drinking water.  But there's times surfing that you get pounded by a wave and you're almost scared and now you're paddling and you see sets coming in.  It's the same kind of concept, like you have to keep yourself in the moment. 

My hard part was, okay, how do I translate that and how do I keep myself in that moment, and I think that's what I'm trying to hone in on and learn because it's easy for somebody to say, oh, act this way and do that.  It's like, okay, I've got that, but I need a map to kind of get there a little bit more.  So I've been trying to find my way.

MODERATOR:  Not only focusing on the golf out there, the heat everybody's been talking about all week, how have you been able to kind of manage through that as well?

RYANN O'TOOLE:  I've definitely done good.  I take these things called highlights, which are legal, they're just electrolytes that you take in pill form, so they really help to hydrate you, and between the frog skin stuff that Walmart's donated to us, that's helped a lot, just staying cool, walking under an umbrella.  And eating, I think that's the one thing that people miss out there is when you're hot, you don't want to eat.  I think you've still got to keep fueling yourself.

Q.  Obviously you've been good both days.  Just as far as aside from staying in the moment, what do you feel about your game is working for you this week?

RYANN O'TOOLE:  My irons are really on this week.  I think it's been -- last week my irons felt good, but my putting, I was missing things on the edge, nothing was dropping for me.  The week before that my putting was great, irons weren't.  Now it's kind of coming together.  I've really just been focusing on 12 feet and in and lag putting a lot this week and that's helped a ton.  I made a lot of putts today.  Granted, I was striking the ball good, but I gave myself ample opportunity.  However, I did start off with two three-putts.  The greens are a little faster this morning compared to yesterday afternoon.  I thought I had it dialed in and I got there and blew my first putt nine feet past, so that was a good wake-up.

Q.  Ryann, you said that you keep a journal.  Will you do that at the end of every tournament or do you do that like after today when you go back and kind of write down how did today's round go?

RYANN O'TOOLE:  It varies.  Sometimes -- I used to do it after every round.  Now I like to go back and look at the whole tournament afterwards and that way I can analyze the rounds a little better from what I felt day by day even to what I practiced and worked on.  I journal what I work on with my coaches, drills that work better, just things that I can go, okay, I'm stuck in a rut, how do I get back to where -- what was working for me.

Q.  What would you write today?  If you did kind of write something down for today, how would you kind of describe it?

RYANN O'TOOLE:  Okay.  Well, after the 2nd hole, three-putting and taking two bogeys, I told myself, I'm like, all right, what would the top players do, what would someone like Yani or Suzann, what would they do about this?  They would fight back, they'd keep going. 

If I look at my swing, I hit awesome shots, I made good putts, I was like, okay, just get the speed dialed in and you'll be fine.  And then I went on a birdie rampage, I made four -- six birdies in five holes, so I think I clicked myself into gear.  But it was asking myself those questions and kind of allowing my mind to grasp on to something else rather than getting angry about, you know, not having the speed down.

Q.  You mentioned earlier a little bit about the other sports that you're involved in.

RYANN O'TOOLE:  Correct.

Q.  The surfing, snowboarding, I guess skiing, wake-boarding?

RYANN O'TOOLE:  Yeah, all the board sports.

Q.  Yeah.  Have you ever competed in those sports on a competitive level, and do you ever plan on doing that in the future?

RYANN O'TOOLE:  Well, I did compete in surfing and in skateboarding on a competitive level.  And it was -- it was much different.  I mean, skating was more fun.  It was go out, you know, there's people watching and you're stuck inside a hundred by hundred radius, and you're by yourself so eyes are on you. 

But surfing is another story.  It was definitely one where you show up to a competition and regardless of what the waves were, you had to paddle out.  That was a big mental thing because sometimes they were huge, or it was the seas were just rough and it wasn't a good day that you would typically want to go, I don't want to go surf, but you had to go out and you had to figure out a way to score and catch waves. 

I think that's a big mental thing, same as, I guess, if I go out and I'm in the last group and people are watching.  I mean, it's what you live for, though.  It's those moments that you go, okay, what can I do with this. 

And would I ever compete again?  Sure, if I was done golfing many years from now, I would love to actually pick up surfing and go professional in that.  But I think that was one thing that kept me from going professional is the fact that I had to paddle out no matter what the waves looked like.

Q.  You only do that during the off season, or do you try to squeeze it in?

RYANN O'TOOLE:  I try to squeeze it in every time I have an off week.  I haven't gone in the last few months.  I've been struggling with a back injury and this is the first week that I actually haven't had to tape it anymore.  So I was dealing with that for the last two months and unable to work out for five weeks, so I was out of the gym, doing nothing, and that was hard.  Swinging, trying to do whatever I could to keep from hurting when I swung, and now it's feeling great and I'm just building back strength and it's going well.

 

Katie Futcher, Rolex Rankings No. 65

Q.  Congrats, great round, 4-under par today.

KATIE FUTCHER:  Thank you.

Q.  Just take me through the round and what was really working well for you.

KATIE FUTCHER:  I putted very well today, gave myself some good looks. I knew on the first two greens I was rolling it really well and I hit two good putts.  I knew if I could just get myself on the greens it would be a good day.  So just stayed patient with myself even though I might have not hit it as close as I would have wanted to.  I put good rolls on it, made some good putts, good strokes.  Just trying to be a little bit more athletic on the putting green, a little bit more reactive, so that's kind of been working well.

Q.  What’s the biggest difference playing in the morning today compared to afternoon; did you notice some big differences?

KATIE FUTCHER:  The greens got a little bit -- a little bit hairy yesterday afternoon, a little bit bumpy.  But yeah, no, they were great this morning, perfect, and I like the fact that they watered throughout last night and didn't have to water them between our play because they watered in front of us the whole front nine yesterday.

Q.  Now, 54-hole event, sitting up there tied for the lead currently at the moment heading into tomorrow.  What are your thoughts on that?

KATIE FUTCHER:  Oh, I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing, focusing on my target, being athletic on the putting green.  Whatever's going to happen is going to happen and I'm just going to try to stay as confident as I can and keep cool.

Q.  Katie, the heat, it's pretty bad this week, but are you used to it --

KATIE FUTCHER:  Yeah.

Q.  -- being from down there in Texas?  No big deal to you?

KATIE FUTCHER:  No big deal, yeah.  I'm really quite used to it.  I don't even think this is as hot as Houston, so yeah, I'm quite used to it.  I don't like it, but I'm used to it, I guess.

Q.  What are your biggest keys to kind of beating the heat and being able to kind of maintain throughout your round and not hitting highs and lows?

KATIE FUTCHER:  Definitely I'm going to say hydration, but the right kind of hydration; electrolytes, not purified water that we're drinking out here.  I'm taking eight electrolyte tablets when I'm out there.  I have my own tablets that I'm carrying.  But purified water dehydrates you even more, so you've got to be really careful about that. 

Eating, even though it's hot, a lot of people don't want to eat.  You still have to keep eating.  I had a (inaudible) bacon today and some bars, so got to keep eating.  But mostly hydration and keeping up on your electrolytes, it's really important.

Q.  We were talking to Ryann up there and she was saying the same thing.  You two are two of the fittest players we have out here on Tour.  Is there something to be said about keeping yourself in good shape, especially when you have to deal with conditions when you're playing?

KATIE FUTCHER:  Well, I mean, I think it's an advantage any time.

But in the heat, I mean, I think more it's that I feel better mentally.  It's not necessarily physically, but I feel like I have a slighter edge just mentally.  And I know that I'm fit and I know that I can handle it and I train hard for certain days, days like today and in the heat, so I feel like it gives me a little bit more of maybe a mental advantage.

Q.  I just have one more question, kind of off topic, but being from Penn State, how have you been affected by everything that's been going on in the last year because you say you like college football and all that.  How have you been affected by that?

KATIE FUTCHER:  It was very, very -- in November it was very hard.  I went through a grieving period and an anger period, but to me it doesn't change what the university means to me and my time there.  It doesn't take away anything, and one person in one situation, you know, doesn't change that.  It's very unfortunate for the victims, but I think we're on the road to being a better university and a better program, and I think the coach is going to be great.  But sad about Joe.  I mean, I met Joe twice and he was great.  I mean, it's just very sad, that was very sad and that's kind of why I was in a funk for two weeks.  Anything that you're that passionate about and it's such a part of you, yes, it's tough.  It still means a lot to me, the university, and that doesn't take anything away from it.

Topics: Felibert, Veronica, Miyazato, Ai, Miyazato, Mika, Lang, Brittany, Otoole, Ryann, Futcher, Katie, Walmart NW Arkansas Championship [+]

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