Jamie Farr Toledo Classic Final Round Notes and Interviews

Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

So Yeon Ryu of South Korea kisses the trophy after winning the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic presented by Kroger, Owens Corning and O-I at Highland Meadows Golf Club

Jamie Farr Toledo Classic Presented by Kroger, Owens-Corning and O-I
Highland Meadows Golf Club
Sylvania, Ohio
August 12, 2012
Final-Round Notes and Interviews

So Yeon Ryu -20, Rolex Rankings No. 22
Angela Stanford -13, Rolex Rankings No. 20
Stacy Lewis -8, Rolex Rankings No. 2

 

LPGA Tour rookie So Yeon Ryu fired a final-round 9-under par 62 to win the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic Presented by Kroger, Owens Corning and O-I and become the fifth Rolex-First Time Winner this year. While Ryu won last year’s U.S. Women’s Open, this marks her first official LPGA Tour victory as a member.

Ryu entered Sunday’s final round tied atop the leaderboard with fellow South Koreans I.K. Kim, Jiyai Shin, and Hee Kyung Seo. Ryu got her first birdie of the day at the par-4 third then rolled in another one for birdie at the par-4 fifth.

Ryu then had relatively short birdie putts on numbers seven and eight but did not capitalize on the opportunities and the nerves began to flow.

“Actually, timing is really important in golf,” said Ryu. “So I felt like I must have success with the birdie on hole 7 and 8, but I missed it.  So it made me nervous because I really wanted to win this tournament.”

It was then time for Ryu to kick it into full gear beginning at the ninth where she knocked in a long putt for birdie. Ryu then reeled off five more consecutive birdies at numbers 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14.

“I felt really, really great.  And I think my birdies finished at 14, yeah, 14.  So 15, 16, 17 I got a par, but felt like bogeys,” said Ryu. “Even it felt like a little weird. But anyway, I finished the birdie on the last hole, so I felt so great.  I'm just really, really happy, and I'm so glad to win this tournament.”

Ryu earned an impressive seven-stroke victory over Angela Stanford. Inbee Park and Chella Choi tied for third at 12-under-par.

Currently leading the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year race, a win this week further extended Ryu’s lead to 403 points over Lexi Thompson.

 

Friendly Advice… After being tied atop the leaderboard after Saturday’s third round of the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic Presented by Kroger, Owens-Corning and O-I, Ryu received a bit of advice from fellow South Korean Yeon Jae Son. Son recently competed in this year’s Summer Olympics in rhythmic gymnastics.

“But actually I have one friend who is a gymnastic player, actually she finished the Olympics yesterday, and she said that the rhythm gymnastics has four part of different ones,” said Ryu. So after finishing the two, she finished the third, and she said she kept thinking in her mind that oh, maybe I have a chance to get a medal.  But she's thinking of that, and then missed it.  She had some mistakes. So I learned from there that I don't want to think about winning.  I just want to think of the game and my score.”

Despite being four years younger than Ryu, both South Koreans share the same psychologist and Ryu credited Son for much of this week’s victory.

She helped me a lot,” said Ryu. “Actually, she's four years younger than me, but she's qualified for the first time in the final for the Korean rhythm gymnastics.  She's really great.  Especially her psychologist is same as mine, and she said just enjoy your tournament.” 

 

Consistency is Key… Last year, Angela Stanford recorded nine top-10 finishes and all she wanted was a win. This year is a little different for Stanford, while she won the HSBC Women’s Champions 2012, she has only finished in the top-10 two additional times including a runner-up finish this week.

While most people would be satisfied with an LPGA Tour win, Stanford is left wanting more and that includes consistency.
 
“Yeah, what's funny about that, the year before, I think I had nine or ten Top 10s, and I remember being at the end of the year and complaining about not winning,” said Stanford. “Then I have these years that I'll win, and never finish in the Top 10 the other weeks.  So it's like which one do I want?”

Like all LPGA Tour players, Stanford thrives on being in the hunt come Sunday and that is just what she did this week as she went into the final round trailing the lead by a mere three-strokes.

“I'd like them mixed, because I've always taken a lot of pride in being consistent,” said Stanford. “I think that is what bothered me the most about this year is I haven't been consistent.  I haven't given myself a chance to win on Sunday much.  As great as the win was, I'd like to be more consistent.”

 

Let’s Give ‘Em Something to Cheer About… Rolex Rankings No. 2 Stacy Lewis wanted to give the Lew Crew something to cheer about on Sunday and that is exactly what she did. Lewis carded a 5-under par 67 in the final round which included six birdies and one bogey.

“My family was so supportive all week, and I finally gave them something to cheer about today,” said Lewis. “So I'm just happy to finish it off with them, and thank the whole town for their support this week.”

The 5-under par round catapulted Lewis up the leaderboard from a tie for 26th into a tied for 11th. With the LPGA heading to Portland next week for the Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola, Lewis’s final round this week gave her just the momentum she needs.

“Yeah, any time you shoot a low number on Sunday, you just hope you're in contention and have a shot at winning,” said Lewis. “So just drag momentum into next week and keep playing good.”

 

Ryu is going to Canyon Ranch…With her victory at the 2012 Jamie Farr Toledo Classic Presented by Kroger, Owens-Corning and O-I, So Yeon Ryu earned an all-inclusive stay for two at a Canyon Ranch resort. In a combined effort to promote health and overall well-being among Tour players, Canyon Ranch will provide every winner of an LPGA event with one all-inclusive stay at one of Canyon Ranch's two destination resorts.

 

Golden ticket winners: Jennie Lee, Jacqui Concolino and Lindsey Wright punched their "Ticket to CME Group Titleholders" at the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic Presented by Kroger, Owens-Corning and O-I, each earning a spot in the season-ending CME Group Titleholders event, which will be held Nov. 15-18, 2012 at The TwinEagles in Naples, Fla. The second annual CME Group Titleholders is a season finale with a field made up of three qualifiers from every LPGA Tour tournament.

 

So Yeon Ryu, Rolex Rankings No. 23

THE MODERATOR:  We have So Yeon Ryu in the interview room.  Your first official win on the LPGA Tour; how does it feel?
SO YEON RYU:  It feels surreal.  I can't believe it.  Actually, after the U.S. Open, I don't have any wins, so that's why I really am waiting for this win.  And I heard of this tournament supports charity, so I'm really honored to be champion of this great tournament, and thanks for the support from everybody.

Q.  I know on number 9 you had, I guess, six consecutive birdies.  Can you just take me through your scorecard for the day and what all you did well?
SO YEON RYU:  First of all, the last three days I made a bogey on the first hole, but today I made a par.  So I felt like, oh, maybe two days I'll have a chance.  So I think that's why I got confidence.  And I think today my ball striking was pretty great.  So I made a lot of birdie chances, but I missed a lot on the front nine.
But hole 9 I made a really long putt, and then my confidence level was going up, so that's why I made six in a row birdie on the back nine.
I felt really, really great.  And I think my birdies finished at 14, yeah, 14.  So 15, 16, 17 I got a par, but felt like bogeys.  Even it felt like a little weird.
But anyway, I finished the birdie on the last hole, so I felt so great.  I'm just really, really happy, and I'm so glad to win this tournament.

Q.  Can you take me through your birdies what you had into there and how long the puts were?
SO YEON RYU:  The 9 hole, I think almost 10 meters, yeah.  I use meters, so I don't know the feet.  I'm sorry.  And hole 10 is 8 feet.  And 11, 10 feet, 12 is 15 feet, and 13, 2 feet, and 14, 8 feet, and the last hole was 2 feet, 1 feet, yeah.

Q.  The birdie that got you started was on number 9.  You had missed two or three relatively short birdie putts before that.  Did you feel ‑‑ you had mentioned about the confidence level after you made that.  Is that what you kind of needed was a lift to see that you could actually have a ball go into a cup?
SO YEON RYU:  Actually, timing is really important in golf.  So I felt like I must have success with the birdie on hole 7 and 8, but I missed it.  So it made me nervous because I really wanted to win this tournament.
But actually I have one friend who is a gymnastic player, actually she finished the Olympics yesterday, and she said that the rhythm gymnastics has four part of different ones.  So after finishing the two, she finished the third, and she said she kept thinking in her mind that oh, maybe I have a chance to get a medal.  But she's thinking of that, and then missed it.  She had some mistakes.
So I learned from there that I don't want to think about winning.  I just want to think of the game and my score.
Yesterday a writer asked me the Korean players play constantly no lower than 6‑under, 5‑under, so I thought, oh, I want to keep the low score in this tournament.  So I had 9‑under, and I feel great.

Q.  So did you talk to your friend?
SO YEON RYU:  Yeah, yeah.  She helped me a lot.  Actually, she's four years younger than me, but she's qualified for the first time in the final for the Korean rhythm gymnastics.  She's really great.  Especially her psychologist is same as mine, and she said just enjoy your tournament.  Especially yesterday, Dave Stockton, my coach sent a message for me that said just keep smiling and have fun and just relax your body.
So at the course, I wasn't thinking about winning.  I was just thinking about all of their advice.

Q.  What is your friend's name?
SO YEON RYU:  Yeon Jae Son.

Q.  You were doing great on 14 (Indiscernible)?
SO YEON RYU:  Actually, today is the first time I made it on that one.

Q.  It almost went in the hole, right down on the green.
SO YEON RYU:  Yeah, it looked like I made a hole in one, but anyway, I made a birdie.  But it feels really, really great.  Actually, 14 is the hardest hole, but I made birdie, so I felt so great at that moment.

Q.  Warming up for your round on the range and around the green, did you feel like today might be something special for you?
SO YEON RYU:  Actually, I like the hottest day, so I think that's why I'm playing great today.  Actually I don't like cold weather.  I like hot weather.  Today the weather is really warm, so the ball was going a little farther.  So today my drive shot was really great.  So I was a little more comfortable to make a great second shot.  So the warm weather helped me a lot.

Q.  A lot of players who win their first tournament almost unexpectedly when they win it really early in their career, it makes it more difficult.  The pressure builds on them because the expectations are high when they're younger.  Did you feel that?  Was there a point where you thought, boy, I wonder if I'm going to win another one?
SO YEON RYU:  Especially, yes in the major tournaments, that's why everybody kept me with really high expectations.  I have no wins after that, so some are disappointed for me, and I couldn't feel like that.
So I really wanted to make a win as soon as possible, and today I made it.  So I can't wait to come back to Korea after the Canadian Open.  This is just my turning point.  I just want to make a lot of wins again.

Q.  Your mom was out there?
SO YEON RYU:  Yeah.

Q.  Did she follow you around to every Tour stop?
SO YEON RYU:  Yeah, she is always traveling with me.  She helped me a lot.  I have a psychologist, but she's one of my psychologists (laughing).  How can I say, I'm her daughter, so she really knows me.  She explains about, oh, you look like upset or you look like something, and she always says just keep smiling and enjoy your golf.  I just want you to leave happier.  Because sometimes I compare to a lot of players ‑‑ always I compare to a lot of players, so there is a lot of pressure on me.  So sometimes I can't enjoy my life.
But she always says just enjoy your life, and you love golf.  That's why you're playing golf.  So you have to enjoy your golf and life.  She always says that to me.

Q.  Did your psychologist come too?
SO YEON RYU:  No, actually, I think now she's arrived in Korea because she actually last week and this week she was staying in London with my friend, the rhythm gymnastic players.  But yesterday I heard from her and she gave me really great advice.
So, yeah, I have another psychologist, but my mom is one of my psychologists.  Not a professional psychologist, but anyway, she is my best psychologist.

Q.  Could you spell your friend's name?
SO YEON RYU:  Yeon Jae Son.

Q.  You were not over in London last week to watch her, were you?
SO YEON RYU:  No, I couldn't.  But I hope.  I want to go into 2016 Olympic games.

Q.  You've had a really strong year coming off your win last year.  Do you see this kind of consistency going forward?  Are you going to get to number 1 in the world?  Are you going to challenge Yani and the top players?
SO YEON RYU:  Yeah, absolutely.  I want to get into the number 1 player in the world.  But now I'm just focusing on the LPGA Tour, and I'm still learning a lot of things.  This is my first win officially on the LPGA Tour.  And mostly I want to play consistently, and I want to make a lot of winning trends.
But still my short game is not perfect, because I think just to show Yani, her short game is a lot better than me, so I just want to keep practicing my short game, and I want to learn a lot of things.

Q.  You mentioned Dave Stockton.  Are you working with someone for chipping then?
SO YEON RYU:  Yeah, I'm working with Dave Stockton since this year, February.  And we are working together with putting and chipping, and Ian Triggs is my swing coach and short game coach.  Actually, the short game is both.

Q.  When you have two psychologists, did you have a lot of pressure built up on you?  Do you have a lot of thing that's you're trying to work through mentally?  And what does winning this championship do to that?
SO YEON RYU:  Actually, I have my favorite picture.  I took a picture at the 2006 Asian games.  I have a gold medal at the Asian games, and really, I'd like to watch the picture.  So if I'm nervous on the golf course, I can imagine that picture, and if I imagine that picture, my mind's getting calm.

Q.  Where is it?
SO YEON RYU:  It's on my computer.

Q.  Is there any one thing that Stockton worked with you technically on putting that you picked up?
SO YEON RYU:  Actually, the big thing is before I used my two hands.  Yeah, I'm still using my two hands, but Dave said always the left hand is more focused on the left hand.
So, yeah, these days I practiced a lot of one‑hand practicing, just the left‑hand practicing.  That's helped me a lot.
But I think I need something.  Still I need something, and especially next week, Ian Triggs and Dave are coming to Portland, so I can't wait to meet them.

 

Angela Stanford, Rolex Rankings No. 20

THE MODERATOR:  I'd like to welcome Angela Stanford into the interview room.  Thanks for coming in.  Quite a putt you made there on 18 to bring you to ‑13.  Can you just talk about today.
ANGELA STANFORD:  Well, I felt really good starting the day.  Really calm, and you kind of get the feeling on this course that you're going to have to go low, and I was obviously not low enough today.
But I just stayed really patient and really out of character for me today.  But I've been rolling the ball really well on the greens this week, so I just kept telling myself if I can just get as many opportunities as I can, I might have a shot.

Q.  Is it frustrating to you at all to look at the leaderboard and see So Yeon, I think she had five consecutive birdies there on the back?
ANGELA STANFORD:  Wow, really.  Well, when I looked at the leaderboard on 14 I think she was at ‑16 at that point.  I thought, she's obviously having a great day.
I've always said that is the tough thing about golf.  There is nothing you can do about people playing well.  You just have to play better, and I didn't today.  That's why it's so important to be near the lead going into the final day here, because anybody can take it deep.  On any given Sunday they can go low here.

Q.  We have two consecutive tournaments coming up.  Does this finish help your momentum going into those?
ANGELA STANFORD:  For sure.  This is only my third Top 10 for the year.  So as good as my year looks on the outside, it statistically really hasn't been.  So I felt like I did some really good things this week to get some momentum.

Q.  Is it heartening to throw up some birdies and go to 13 under?
ANGELA STANFORD:  Yeah, at that point when you see that somebody's running away with it, you continue to chase them, but then it's also I'd like to be second.  So if I can't catch her, I'd like to be second.
So, you know, as frustrating as it is not to win, there are still so many positive thing that's came out of this week for me.  So it's really hard to be that upset with my finish.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?
ANGELA STANFORD:  Not really, no.

Q.  You said it hasn't been a very good year on paper, but you won once.
ANGELA STANFORD:  Yeah, what's funny about that, the year before, I think I had nine or ten Top 10s, and I remember being at the end of the year and complaining about not winning.  Then I have these years that I'll win, and never finish in the Top 10 the other weeks.  So it's like which one do I want?
I'd like them mixed, because I've always taken a lot of pride in being consistent.  I think that is what bothered me the most about this year is I haven't been consistent.  I haven't given myself a chance to win on Sunday much.  As great as the win was, I'd like to be more consistent.

Q.  What do you think the reason is for you not being as consistent as you'd like?
ANGELA STANFORD:  I think any time you start ‑‑ I mean, golfers are always fiddling with their swing, their putting strokes.  So many people have different opinions.  I think I was fiddling too much with my putting stroke, and that really jumped out to me on paper.  Because I looked at my stats after Evian, and one of my putting stats was the worst it's been in a long time, and I thought I'm going to go back to the way I putt.  I'm not going to listen to anybody else.  Obviously, it hadn't done that bad.
So just little things like that.  You're always trying to get better, but you have to be careful about going overboard.

Q.  Why is it that this tournament has been dominated by the Koreans?  Six of the top seven, top 5 tied.  Seven of the top 11, whatever.  When people come up to you and talk about the Koreans, why is that?  Why do they do so well on this Tour?
ANGELA STANFORD:  On the Tour or at this tournament?

Q.  Either way.
ANGELA STANFORD:  First off, it's a numbers game.  Somebody told me there are 40 Koreans entered this week, 43 on Tour.  I mean, that's the thing.  It's kind of like anything else.  It's the same way, if there were however many Americans playing in Korea.
If you had 43 Americans playing each week in Korea, there are going to be those weeks that the Americans are going to finish on the top.  It's hard for a player to answer this question, because I don't see them any different, so it's hard for the players to answer those kind of questions because to us our Tour has changed.  It's changed since I've been on Tour.  I feel very fortunate that I've seen it evolve.
This is my 12th year, and when I started, the majority were Americans, and we were playing 40 events and we were playing a lot domestically.  But change isn't always bad, and our Tour has evolved and it's changed.  Now we're a worldwide Tour.  We get to play in places all over the world, and I think that's positive.
Coming from small town Texas girl who doesn't like to leave the country, I mean, even I understand that the growth has been good.  It's hard because people say, oh, well, the Americans need to play better.  Well, if you look at our Solheim Cup, up until this last one we've been pretty dominant there.
I don't know.  I think it's a good question, because that means we're getting bigger and bigger.

Q.  Does it make you frustrated when they say they practice harder than Americans?
ANGELA STANFORD:  That does bother me because I know how hard Paula Creamer works.  I know how hard Stacy Lewis works.  I know how hard Cristie Kerr works.  I could go down the line and name the top Americans, and it's not that they're working any ‑‑ they're working just as hard.
Unfortunately, I think a lot of it is a culture thing from what I've seen.  It seems like a lot of the

 

Stacy Lewis, Rolex Rankings No. 2

Q. Well, 18 has been beating you up all week, and you showed it who is boss today?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, my goal all week was to get over the creek in two, and I finally did.  It was nice to finish out the week strong.
I struggled all week, but things came together throughout the day and I just finished it off really good.

Q.  You're 5‑under.  What a way on Sunday to finish.  It's not where you want to be, but still, 5‑under is pretty good.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, any time you shoot a low number on Sunday, you just hope you're in contention and have a shot at winning.  So just drag momentum into next week and keep playing good.

Q.  Another turn here in your hometown.  Just talk about what it's been like to be back the last several days and what it means to you?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, it's been crazy.  I come back every year and I'm playing better and better.  It just gets crazier and crazier, so it's a good thing.  My family was so supportive all week, and I finally gave them something to cheer about today.  So I'm just happy to finish it off with them, and thank the whole town for their support this week.

Q.  Do you put anything extra on yourself to want to play better here?
STACY LEWIS:  Oh, absolutely.  I want to give my family something to cheer for.  I want to play good here.  I think today I finally realized I've got to play golf for myself.  If I make a putt here and there, great, if not, move on.

Topics: Notes and Interviews, Lewis, Stacy, Ryu, So Yeon, Stanford, Angela, Marathon Classic [+]

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