Jamie Farr Toledo Classic Second-Round Notes and Interviews

Jamie Farr Toledo Classic Presented by Kroger, Owens-Corning and O-I
Highland Meadows Golf Club
Sylvania, Ohio
August 10, 2012
Second-Round Notes and Interviews 

Chella Choi -9, Rolex Rankings No. 52
Inbee Park -8, Rolex Rankings No. 15
Hee Kyung Seo -8, Rolex Rankings No. 32
Mika Miyazato -8, Rolex Rankings No.
Hee-Won Han -7, Rolex Rankings No. 84
Karine Icher -7, Rolex Rankings No. 57
So Yeon Ryu -7, Rolex Rankings No. 22
Pernilla Lindberg -7, Rolex Rankings No. 114
Kathleen Ekey -5, Rolex Rankings No. 379
Sydnee Michaels -5, Rolex Rankings No. 285
Stacy Lewis -5, Rolex Rankings No. 2

  

Chella Choi fired a second-round 4-under 67 to take the lead at the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic Presented by Kroger, Owens Corning and O-I. Despite the misting rains at the beginning of her round, Choi birdied the first hole and went on to make the turn at 3-under par for the day.

It wasn’t until the back-nine that Choi faltered a bit with back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 10 and 11 and moved back to 1-under par for the day. Choi quickly rebounded with three birdies down the stretch to end the day at 4-under par and 9-under for the tournament.

“I play really good today, same yesterday,” said Choi. “Shot it really good today.  I hit 16 the green, 12 hit the fairway.  So shot was really good.”

Currently in third year on the LPGA Tour, a win this week by Choi would mark the fifth Rolex First-Time Winner this season. Choi heads into the weekend with a one-stroke lead over Inbee Park, Hee Kyung Seo, and Mika Miyazato.

 

Wardrobe Malfunction… Chella Choi entered the Media Center after her round on Friday a bit red in the face. The embarrassment all stemmed from a wardrobe malfunction which occurred on the ninth hole.

When reached in her right pocket on her shorts to retrieve her divot repair tool, a large rip formed exposing her leggings. Luckily Choi decided to wear tights due to the chilly temperatures when she teed off this morning.   

“No. 9 putting, switched my divot, and pulled my pocket,” said Choi. “This morning a little bit cold so I try leggings, yeah.”

 

Double Duty… Inbee Park is coming off a victory at the Evian Masters and she finds herself in contention yet again at this week’s Jamie Farr Toledo Classic Presented by Kroger, Owens Corning and O-I. While some people might find it difficult to win back-to-back tournaments, Park is relishing in the confidence she gained from her most recent win.

“I think it is actually easy and tough at the same time because you have such a confidence out there that wee,” said Park. “Playing with the confidence, you feel a lot more comfortable on the golf course.  Even if you're not playing as well as you think, you can be a little bit easier on yourself.  If you're playing really good, I think that's a bonus.  So I think it's more comfortable.”

Park contributes her success this year to her hard work during the off season. Of course, this could be a little easier when your coach is also your fiancée. Park got engaged to her swing coach last year and has not yet set a date for the wedding.

“I worked a lot on my long game,” said Park. “I have a new coach.  My swing has improved a lot.  I'm really comfortable with my swing right now.”

When Park was asked during her post-round interview on Friday if there were any chances of firing her coach she laughed and said, “no way”.

 

Experience is Key… Hee Kyung Seo got her first LPGA Tour victory prior to becoming a member at the 2010 Kia Classic Presented by J Golf. Seo had a chance of winning her first LPGA event as a member in 2011 but eventually lost in a playoff to fellow Korean So Yeon Ryu.

A win this week would mark her first LPGA win as a member and Seo will rely heavily on her experiences in Korea to make it happen.

“Really I want to be first win as a member,” said Seo. “I had lots of, you know, this situation when I was playing Korea, so I'm very get used to it.  I'll just wait for what's going to happen and try to do my best.”

From 2008-2009 Seo recorded an impressive eleven victories on the KLPGA Tour with her largest margins of victory coming at the 2008 Binhai Open and 2009 Hite Cup Championship where she won by five-strokes.

 

Difficult Conditions… Karine Icher followed-up a first round 5-under par 66 with a 2-under par 69 on Friday on what she considered a more difficult golf course than yesterday.

“The wind was a little bit different than yesterday, stronger,” said Icher. “Pin position was not very easy. The course was a little bit longer because last night we had a lot of rain, so much more roll on the fairways. It makes the course more difficult. For me was a little bit more difficult at the beginning.”

With an early morning tee-time on Friday, Icher got off to a shaky start with bogeys on numbers one and seven in the midst of misting rain.

“Yeah, it's always better to play with the sunshine,” said Icher. “The rain was like a little bit not a lot but enough to be wet.  The green was wet also so I hope it's going to be better this weekend.”

With better weather in the forecast for the weekend, Icher could become the fifth Rolex First-Time Winner this season as she stands two strokes behind current leader Chella Choi.

 

Learning the Ropes… This year has served as a year of firsts for last year’s U.S. Women’s Open Champion So Yeon Ryu. As a result of this being her rookie season on the LPGA Tour, Ryu has not seen many of the golf courses forcing to wake up early to get a first look at the course.

“Actually, this is my rookie year, but everybody ask, are you rookie,” said Ryu. “I already won the U.S. Women's Open so everybody thought I'm not rookie, but actually this is my rookie year. So sometimes it's really hard because I don't know every tournament course, so I have to wake up early and I have to check the course.  So it's a little tough.”

Ryu has relied heavily on her fellow South Korean’s to show her the ropes of life fn the LPGA including finding local Korean restaurants at the different Tour stops.

“Everybody help a lot each other,” said Ryu. “Especially I'm the rookie, I don't know the LPGA system or a lot of things.  A lot of older player taught me.  Especially I don't know the location near the golf course, kind of Korean restaurant or something like that.  But the older Koreans gave me a lot of information.”

 

Old Stomping Grounds… Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Kathleen Ekey is no stranger to this week’s Highland Meadows Golf Club. While attending Walsh Jesuit High School, Ekey played the Sylvania, Ohio golf course in 2004 and took home the victory.

“I grew up on these kinds of golf courses,” said Ekey. “I really enjoy it.  Actually the last time I played here was in high school.  My senior year we played a tournament here and I actually won, so maybe that's some good mojo, I don't know. It's a great golf course.  It's just great to be able to spend some time in Ohio and play well, too.”

Feeling good karma this week, Ekey has struggled a bit during this year’s rookie season. After earning her LPGA Tour card through the Symetra Tour, Ekey has gone on to only make one cut where she finished tied for 60th at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic.

“You know, it just hasn't quite gelled all together at all this year,” said Ekey. “Then the last two days it's seemed to come together.  I've been able to make some putts, make some birdies.”

 

Back on the Bag…Sydnee Michaels played in last week’s Credit Union Challenge Presented by SEFCU, Sunmark and BFB benefits on the Symetra Tour and much to her surprise she had to go without a caddie. Michaels could be seen pulling and pushing her heavy staff bag up-and-down the undulating hills of the Capital Hills at Albany.

Admittedly not good at math, Michaels is thankful to be back out on the LPGA Tour where she can have a caddie to not only carry her heavy staff bag but handle her pin sheets.

“It feels really good,” said Michaels of having her caddy back on the bag. “Another thing is I'm not the best at math, so I definitely miscalculated a couple yardages.  My pin sheet was bleeding red with my red Sharpie.  I think I lost about five pounds last week pushing my bag up and down the hill.  So it's really nice to have a caddie.”

 

The Lew Crew… Stacy Lewis who was born in Toledo, Ohio has had quite the following at this week’s Jamie Farr Toledo Classic Presented by Kroger, Owens Corning and O-I. Several of Lewis’s family, friends, and sponsors, including Marathon, have come together to create brightly colored shirts with “Lew Crew” across the front.

“It's awesome,” said Lewis of her gallery. “I was trying to give them something to cheer for today., I made a couple putts. The last couple years, they've grown in numbers, gotten more shirts every year.  It's really cool to have them out there.  I don't think anybody else has anything like it, so it's pretty cool.”

While there were only 30 members of the Lew Crew in attendance for Friday’s second round, the group has ordered 130 shirts in anticipation for a larger showing on the weekend.

“I don't know, maybe 30 people today,” said Lewis of the size of today’s gallery. “I think they ordered about 130 T‑shirts.  Who knows what it will be like this weekend when the weather's a little better.”

Thanks to her recent success on the LPGA, Lewis has become quite the celebrity around the world but she is noticing it a bit more this week in Toledo.

“It's fun,” said Lewis. “It's cool to come back as I've been playing better.  It's weird, we had a big family dinner last night, went to a restaurant.  People were coming up for autographs.  Everybody kind of recognized who I was. It's cool to go to all these towns again and people are starting to realize who I am.  Kind of fans have grown every year.”

 

Hole-in-One! Jennifer Rosales was the lucky winner of a new Kia Optimum Limited on Friday as she recorded a hole-in-one on the179 yard par-3 14th with a 4-iron. Rosales becomes the second player of the year to win a Kia, the Official Automotive Limited, with a hole-in-one following Jenny Shin who aced the par-3 17th at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

 

Friday at the Farr… Friday was a special day on the par-3 14th hole of Highland Meadows Golf Club as fans and players enjoyed Friday at the Farr. A new concept brought to light this year, the hole allowed spectators the opportunity to interact first-hand with their favorite LPGA Tour members.

Former Louisiana State University (LSU) golfer Meredith Duncan took full advantage of Friday at the Farr to throw out some of Louisiana’s signature Mardi Gras beads.

“I had a bag of beads stashed there on the 14th tee and they asked us to throw stuff so I thought why not throw Mardi Gras beads,” said Duncan. “They were standing there and my first attempt I think I misjudged how high they were up so my first attempt hit the backboard. I had to get a little bit closer and throw them a little bit higher.”

 

Everybody’s Working for the Weekend… A total of 74 players made the cut which fell at 142.

 

Of Note… Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng missed her third cut of the season after a second-round even-par 71 landed her tied for 75th …First-round leader Pernilla Lindberg shot a second-round even-par 71 and currently two strokes behind current leader Chella Choi.

 

Chella Choi, Rolex Rankings No. 52

THE MODERATOR:  I'd like to welcome Chella Choi into the interview room.  Looks like you found a little wardrobe.  Did it happen before you teed off?
CHELLA CHOI:  No.  No. 9 putting, switched my divot, and pulled my pocket.            

THE MODERATOR:  At least you have tights on.
CHELLA CHOI:  This morning a little bit cold so I try leggings, yeah.            

THE MODERATOR:  Can you take me through the round today, what went well.
CHELLA CHOI:  I play really good today.  Same yesterday.  Shot it really good today.  I hit 16 the green, 12 hit the fairway.  So shot was really good.            

THE MODERATOR:  This will be your first LPGA Tour victory, maybe premature, but what are your thoughts going into the weekend?
CHELLA CHOI:  Actually I have much time to (indiscernible) before tournament last week.  I already have a lot of confidence, yeah.  

Q.  66, 67, how good do you think that is on this course through 36 holes?
CHELLA CHOI:  I played 2009 and 2010 here.  In 2010, I play really good two years.  I like the golf course shape.  Yeah, I like the golf course shape.

Q.  This course is known for giving up low scores.  Do you think if you maintain that, where you're in that 3‑under, 4‑under, 5‑under, do you think that will be enough to win or do you think there will be other people coming at you who will go much lower?
CHELLA CHOI:  I don't know.  I have two more day.  I don't care other players.  I just try keep low my score, yeah.

Q.  You have golf coming up in the 2016 Olympics as a medal sport.  What does it mean to have that kind of international competition in addition to the LPGA?
CHELLA CHOI:  Olympics?

Q.  Yes, in 2016.
CHELLA CHOI:  A lot of Korean players.  Very lot, right? I try, but I need more experience.  Yeah, I try.

Q.  What do you think it will mean to have that as an Olympic sport, to prepare for that?
CHELLA CHOI:  I think four year my experience and more confidence, right?  So, yeah.

  

Inbee Park, Rolex Rankings No. 15 

THE MODERATOR:  I'd like to welcome Inbee Park into the interview room.  Take me through the day.
INBEE PARK:  I think everything went well today.  I hit the ball great.  I was able to hole a lot of putts today.  Yesterday I left some out there.  But today the greens were rolling a little bit better than yesterday afternoon because it was a little bit bumpier yesterday.  So it was good.            

THE MODERATOR:  You've had a really good season so far.  You're coming off a win at Evian.  Can you talk about how this year has been for you.
INBEE PARK:  Yeah, I improved a lot compared to last year.  Especially winning Evian, that gave me a lot of confidence playing this week.  I'm feeling a lot more comfortable around the golf course.

            So, yeah, it's good.

THE MODERATOR:  The LPGA had a week off after the win.  Did you get a chance to celebrate?
INBEE PARK:  Yeah, I went back to Korea.  I had to do a lot of media stuff.  It was a little more tiring, but a little fun because I get to spend time with the family.

Q.  You mentioned you had some improvements to make after last season.  When you took stock of your season, what were the improvements?
INBEE PARK:  I worked a lot on my long game.  I have a new coach.  My swing has improved a lot.  I'm really comfortable with my swing right now.            

THE MODERATOR:  Who is your coach?
INBEE PARK:  He's Korean guy, also my fiancé.            

THE MODERATOR:  When did you get engaged?
INBEE PARK:  Last year.

THE MODERATOR:  Do you have a date for the wedding?
INBEE PARK:  Not yet.

Q.  How difficult is it to win two weeks in a row?  There's the high that comes with winning, on another continent, but how difficult is it to win and come back and win again?
INBEE PARK:  I think it is actually easy and tough at the same time because you have such a confidence out there that week.  Playing with the confidence, you feel a lot more comfortable on the golf course.  Even if you're not playing as well as you think, you can be a little bit easier on yourself.  If you're playing really good, I think that's a bonus.  So I think it's more comfortable.

Q.  You mentioned your coach is your fiancé.  What is the dynamic like there?  You want to separate work from family, but work is family.
INBEE PARK:  We didn't really have trouble until this point, so I didn't really have to deal with that.

Q.  Would you ever fire your coach?
INBEE PARK:  Probably not (laughter).

Q.  You've had such a great year.  What do you feel like you need to do to take the next step in your career?
INBEE PARK:  I think you have to be good on everything to be actually No. 1 player on Tour.  I think I have to improve my long game, my short game, I have to improve my putting.

            Long ways to go, but I'm getting closer.

Q.  6‑under today.  What did you do better today than you did yesterday?
INBEE PARK:  Putting.  I putted a lot better today than yesterday.

Q.  Long ones?  Short ones?
INBEE PARK:  Well, I mean, I gave a lot of chances out there.  Some putts were maybe 20‑footers, but I hit the ball pretty good.

Q.  What were the longest ones for birdie?
INBEE PARK:  About 25‑footer today, yeah.

Q.  What hole?
INBEE PARK:  Actually maybe like 30.  No. 3, yeah.

Q.  It appears the weather conditions might change.  We're supposed to get some rain, but it's supposed to clear somewhat.  How do you think that might affect the conditions on the course?
INBEE PARK:  I mean, the course is playing little bit longer, longer than the practice rounds.  I have to hit little bit longer irons.  But the greens are holding really well, so I think you can really aim right at it.

            Play little bit longer, but you can hit it right at it.  So I think it's about same, yeah.

 

Hee Kyng Seo, Rolex Rankings No. 32 

THE MODERATOR:  I'd like to welcome Hee Kyung Seo into the interview room.  I know you had six birdies today during your round.  Can you take me through what went well for you out there.
HEE KYUNG SEO:  At the beginning of the round, it was little rough to me.  My driver was right and left, so I had to find the feeling of the shot.

            But the good thing was the ball was hitting at the open area so I didn't have to make a tricky shot or from the rough.  I had very comfortable shot.

            The one more good thing is I made a lot of birdie opportunities that I had.  So I only got 26 putts today.  That's why I think I made a really good score.            

THE MODERATOR:  It was drizzling at the beginning of your round.  Did that affect you?
HEE KYUNG SEO:  It was hard.  I had to put my jacket on and off.  It was hard to concentrate a little bit.  I feel a little rough because I had to put my jacket and off.

            After maybe five or six holes later, it was okay.            

THE MODERATOR:  This would be your first victory in a couple years.  What are your thoughts heading into the weekend?
HEE KYUNG SEO:  Really I want to be first win as a member.  I had lots of, you know, this situation when I was playing Korea, so I'm very get used to it.  I'll just wait for what's going to happen and try to do my best.

  

Mika Miyazato, Rolex Rankings No. 18 

THE MODERATOR:  I'd like to welcome Mika Miyazato into the interview room.  Nice round today.  Take me through what went well.
MIKA MIYAZATO:  I played very well today also, but I played the back nine today, I start, I made a three‑putt bogey, so I hit it not so good.  17 hole, I try to do my best.

            First nine is more patient, but back nine is somewhat more aggressive.  So I hit very well the putting also.

            But very disappointed about No. 9.  I can't make up‑and‑down, so...            

THE MODERATOR:  We were talking when we came in here the wind picked up on the back nine.  Do you think that affected you at all?
MIKA MIYAZATO:  Hmm, I don't think so.            

THE MODERATOR:  Do you like the windier conditions?
MIKA MIYAZATO:  Maybe.  Yeah, I like windy conditions because I from Okinawa, is always windy.  

Q.  What was the biggest difference today from yesterday in your game?
MIKA MIYAZATO:  In my game?  The green.  I made two bogey.  That's mean I can't make up‑and‑down, two bogey.  So very different compared to the yesterday.

THE MODERATOR:  You hit 18 greens yesterday?
MIKA MIYAZATO:  Yeah, I hit 18 greens yesterday.

THE MODERATOR:  Do you know how many you hit today?
MIKA MIYAZATO:  15, I think.

Q.  How do you feel about your position midway through the tournament in terms of taking a shot at winning your first championship?
MIKA MIYAZATO:  Well, I'm very excited next two days.  But very tough position also I think.  I need more patience.  I need more focus on my golf game.  Very important.

Q.  Do you know the players who are around you?  You have several Koreans.  Have you played with them before?  Can you say a little bit about their games or do you not know them very well?
MIKA MIYAZATO:  I know the other people, but they play always pretty well.  Like I seen like always make putts everywhere, so...

Q.  Tomorrow will you play aggressively, to the middle of the greens?  How will you play the course?
MIKA MIYAZATO:  Oh, I thinking still more aggressive round.  Last two days I got more aggressive round, so still continue aggressive round next two days.

 

Hee-Won Han, Rolex Rankings No. 84 

THE MODERATOR:  I'd like to welcome Hee‑Won Han into the interview room.  Take me through your round today.
HEE‑WON HAN:  It was pretty good.  I mean, a lot of back and forth.  The four birdies, no bogeys, that's why I'm happy to be here.            

THE MODERATOR:  I know you travel with your son Dale typically.  He is not here with you this week.  How is it to have him out of the road with you?
HEE‑WON HAN:  I was just with him last year, but not this year.  It's pretty tough, but it's pretty good to be with the son.

            Yeah, unfortunately not this year.            

THE MODERATOR:  How does it feel to be in contention heading into the weekend?
HEE‑WON HAN:  Hopefully weather's getting good for next two days.  This golf course has lots of opportunities for birdies.  Just keep playing good and make lots of birdies.  

Q.  You have the Olympics coming up in 2016, and golf is going to be included in that.  What does it mean for the sport of golf and for you personally to have the opportunity for golfers to win a medal?
HEE‑WON HAN:  I mean, that's big thing.  That's kind of like different countries playing.  That's why we have lots of chance to get a gold medal for Korea.  Lots of young girls playing pretty good.  That's why I'm happy to be watching 2016.

Q.  What was the biggest difference playing the course today versus yesterday?  Something different about the course or your game today?
HEE‑WON HAN:  No, it's pretty same situation for yesterday and today.  But it's raining, lot of windy this afternoon maybe.

            Yeah, but it's pretty same yesterday.  We play afternoon little rain.  Kind of same situation, yeah.

Q.  What were your strengths today?
HEE‑WON HAN:  Not much difference, yeah.

THE MODERATOR:  Anything that stood out today?  Do you know how many putts and greens you hit, fairways?
HEE‑WON HAN:  I can count it, but pretty good.  I just missed couple greens.  Make one putt for par.  The four birdies, that's why pretty good today.

 

Karine Icher, Rolex Rankings No. 15

THE MODERATOR:  I'd like to welcome Karine Icher into the interview room.  Take me through your round today.
KARINE ICHER:  A little trouble at the beginning, made stupid mistakes.  But the course is a little bit tougher today.

            Then I had couple birdies, so give me more confidence to finish the round.  I had a birdie on 17 and another one on 13.  So that's good.            

THE MODERATOR:  I know it was drizzling in the beginning of your round.  Was that a bit of a hassle?
KARINE ICHER:  Yeah, it's always better to play with the sunshine.  The rain was like a little bit not a lot but enough to be wet.  The green was wet also so I hope it's going to be better this weekend.            

THE MODERATOR:  It's still a little bit early, but a win this weekend would be your first win on the LPGA Tour.  What are your thoughts heading into the weekend?
KARINE ICHER:  We'll see.  I've been many time in that position in my career and never won.  I take just easy and try to play my best golf as I can and we'll see.            

THE MODERATOR:  Experience has to help you though, right?
KARINE ICHER:  Yeah, after seven years on Tour I should learn quickly, but we'll see.  

Q.  In what specific way was it tougher for you out there today?
KARINE ICHER:  The wind was a little bit different than yesterday, stronger.  Pin position was not very easy.

            The course was a little bit longer because last night we had a lot of rain, so much more roll on the fairways.  It make the course more difficult.

            For me was a little bit more difficult at the beginning.  So that's it.

Q.  We're going to be seeing golf as an Olympic sport in four years.  What does that mean for you personally to see that as a medal game now, and for the sport of golf in general?
KARINE ICHER:  I hope it's going to inspire a lot of young girls around the world.  Finally we are in the Olympics.  We should be in the Olympics from a long, long time.

            So will be nice for me to represent France in the Olympics.  We are not a lot of French player, so maybe I have a good chance.  But we'll see in four years.  A lot of things can happen between now and the Olympics.

            But definitely it's very, very good for golf, especially for women's golf.

  

So Yeon Ryu, Rolex Rankings No. 22 

THE MODERATOR:  I'd like to welcome So Yeon Ryu into the interview room.  Great round today.  You're in contention yet again.  Talk about what went well for you.
SO YEON RYU:  Yeah, actually the weather is a little cold today.  It feels like ball going not pretty much far.  Yesterday my ball goes really farther.  Especially my iron goes really far.

            So today it's a little hard to control the distance.  But now I change my putter actually, what I used at the U.S. Women's Open the last year.  I think the putting was really great.  A lot of fans really great.

            So today round was really, really happy.            

THE MODERATOR:  You won the U.S. Open last year, so you're accustomed to being in this position.  What are your thoughts going into the weekend?
SO YEON RYU:  Actually, this is my rookie year, but everybody ask, Are you rookie?  I already won the U.S. Women's Open.  So everybody thought I'm not rookie, but actually this is my rookie year.

            So sometimes it's really hard because I don't know every tournament course, so I have to wake up early and I have to check the course.  So it's a little tough.

            Especially the people, the expectation is a little bit more high because I already won the major tournament.  Of course I want to win the tournament as soon as possible.  

Q.  Talk about today's round versus yesterday.  Were you just consistent both days or did it play a lot differently today?
SO YEON RYU:  I think it's pretty similar.  But today iron shot was a little not great.  Actually the yesterday iron was really great.  I had a lots of birdie chance.  But today I missed quite a lot of greens.  That a little different, but the green condition or fairway condition is really similar.

Q.  If you look at the leaderboard right now, six South Korean players in the top nine.  Can you speak to that?  Why so dominant?
SO YEON RYU:  Actually, I don't know.  I just heard the Jamie Farr have lots of Korean winners, Se Ri Park, Na Yeon Choi, Eunjung Yi.  I think the Koreans are a lot more comfortable at this course.  I think the golf course shape is really pretty similar to Korean golf course.

            How?  I don't know.  I just following little bit older player steps now.

Q.  In general, is it a tribute to the work ethic of you and your fellow South Korean players?  Do you out‑work everybody?
SO YEON RYU:  Everybody help a lot each other.  Especially I'm the rookie, I don't know the LPGA system or a lot of things.  A lot of older player taught me.  Especially I don't know the location near the golf course, kind of Korean restaurant or something like that.  But the older Koreans gave me a lot of information.  

             

Pernilla Lindberg, Rolex Rankings No. 114

THE MODERATOR:  I'd like to welcome Pernilla Lindberg to the interview room.  Thanks for joining us.  First off, you had the overnight lead.  Can you talk about how it was sleeping last night.
PERNILLA LINDBERG:  Yeah, I actually slept really good.  I think I handled the situation better than I would have a while ago.  Just like we were talking about yesterday, I've been playing good in Europe lately, been up in the lead there a few times.  I feel more and more comfortable every time I'm there.

            I also started working with a mental coach just a few weeks ago.  First time I talked to him was at Evian, about two weeks ago.  I only talked to him twice, but those two, two and a half hours I spent with him helped me as well.

THE MODERATOR:  Can you take me through the day.  The conditions were bad towards the end.
PERNILLA LINDBERG:  It was pretty tough out there today, quite windy.  Of course, I played really early yesterday and the greens were perfect.  Today you could tell there were 144 girls that had stepped on them.

            But like you said, it picked up, the wind, a little bit at the end, made it a little trickier, especially on a few tee shoots especially on doglegs where it's driver or not.  I thought I hung in there and ended up with a few straight pars, so I'll take it.

Q. What was the difference between today and yesterday?
PERNILLA LINDBERG:  I mean, I just made a few more bogeys, a couple tee shots out in the rough, in the trees where I pretty much just have to pitch out, try to save a par.

            Besides that, it was my putting.  I didn't putt bad today, not at all.  It's not every day that you can drain as many putts as I did yesterday.

Q.  Despite the fact you're no longer in the lead, you're only two shots out.  Really good position.
PERNILLA LINDBERG:  Absolutely.  This is a position I'm very happy with.  I'm not disappointed at all losing the lead.  I think I'm in a good position going into the weekend.

THE MODERATOR:  What is your game plan heading into the weekend?  Are you going to be more aggressive?
PERNILLA LINDBERG:  No, I'm going to stick to the same game plan as I've had.  I think I've been as aggressive as I can the first two days.  No, just stick to the same plan.  The only thing that could change anything would be conditions, but it looks like I'll just stick to what I've done.

Q.  What prompted you to visit with a mental coach?  What do you hope to gain from that?
PERNILLA LINDBERG:  The biggest reason I started talking to him was, like I mentioned in here yesterday, I think my self‑confidence has not been as high when I've been in the States playing on the LPGA Tour as on the European Tour.  There's no reason it shouldn't be as high.  That's where we started with.

            We just had two simple talks.  But just talking about those feelings and everything helps.  It feels like when you get them out of your head, they're not as scary anymore.

            I think it's just simple little things, but it has helped my self‑confidence.

Q.  (No microphone.)
PERNILLA LINDBERG:  These two days I played with two great girls, Courtney Harter and Jane Park.  We've been chatting a lot.  I like doing that just to keep my mind on the right thing between shots.  Then when I'm at the ball, it's, What is my target?  That's probably the only thought in my head.

Q.  What have you decided has been the difference between the European Tour and here as far as the way you responded to it?
PERNILLA LINDBERG:  I know the difference.  It is much more competitive out here.  This is where the best players in the world are playing.  I think that when I've been to Europe, I've put myself a little bit higher.  There's no reason I shouldn't look at myself as one of the top players here, too.

            So that's really the approach of walking into every tournament, is stop thinking about that I have to make the cut.  It's more thinking about, How can I win this tournament?  Just try to raise my expectations a little bit there and focus on the right thing.

Q.  What was like on 14 today?
PERNILLA LINDBERG:  It was good.  I think they had a few drinks by the time we were there.  I don't know if they're going to be able to leave the grandstands.

            I had some Ping hats that I threw out to them, so I think that was appreciated.

Q.  Someone made a hole‑in‑one there this morning.
PERNILLA LINDBERG:  I saw that.  So I guess the car is gone.

Q.  So you didn't have to worry about that.
PERNILLA LINDBERG:  I would take the hole‑in‑one still.  

 

Kathleen Ekey, Rolex Rankings No. 379

THE MODERATOR:  We are joined by Kathleen Ekey in the interview room.  Talk us through your day, what you thought you did well today.
KATHLEEN EKEY:  I grew up on these kinds of golf courses.  I really enjoy it.  Actually the last time I played here was in high school.  My senior year we played a tournament here, and I actually won, so maybe that's some good mojo, I don't know.

            It's a great golf course.  It's just great to be able to spend some time in Ohio and play well, too.

THE MODERATOR:  Take me through your round today.  What went well for you?
KATHLEEN EKEY:  You know, I woke up yesterday morning with a really, really sore back.  My whole lower back just felt like it was all sitting on each other.  I woke up and I said, Oh, dear.  It was something I never really experienced before.  I just tried to be calm, not freak out about it.

            Yesterday I just tried my best to get through it.  I just tried not to think about it.  But I could tell it was affecting some of the shots that I was hitting.  So I was really proud of myself that I shot 2‑under yesterday and kind of got through it.

            I went to the fitness trailer after I got done last night, stretched it out a little bit.  Still wasn't really feeling that great.  Kind of same thing when I woke up this morning.  Got to the fitness trailer at 6:00 before I went to go warm up.  Got it taped up a little bit.  Feeling just a little bit better.

            So I was just trying to make sure I kind of stayed within myself and didn't over‑swing because it doesn't feel real good when I hit the ground right now.  So I'm just really happy that I kind of stayed within myself and hit a lot of good golf shots.

            I really relied on my short game, my putting, to kind of carry me through.  Luckily, you know, I had it rolling pretty good out there and was able to make enough putts to kind of make it worth it.

THE MODERATOR:  You got your start on the Symetra Tour.  Can you tell me a little bit about how that helped you grow.
KATHLEEN EKEY:  I played two full seasons on the Symetra Tour.  The first year was a bit of a disappointment.  I was working on some things.  It was frustrating because I knew I was better than I was playing.  Then I kind of went out there and started to play a lot better, was able to get my card through the Money List to come out here to play, which is a dream come true for me.  I wanted to play on the LPGA since I was a little girl.  I never really remember wanting to do anything else but play on the LPGA.  That was obviously awesome.

            I think the Symetra Tour prepared me well really to come out here and compete.  I struggled a little bit this year, but haven't felt like it was too far off.  It's really satisfying to put it together for a couple days this week so far.  

Q.  When you were talking about playing in a high school tournament here, were you talking about this particular course or Toledo in general?
KATHLEEN EKEY:  This particular course.

Q.  What year would that have been?
KATHLEEN EKEY:  It was a long time ago.  It's getting to be a long time ago, flying by. It would have been fall of 2004.

Q.  What school did you attend?
KATHLEEN EKEY:  Walsh Jesuit High School.

Q.  (No microphone.)
KATHLEEN EKEY:  You know, I started one week before the Australian Open.  I played another tournament in Australia.  I was 3‑under through 8, then I kind of stumbled coming in.  I let it really bother me, which I don't usually let things get to me like that.

            You know, I think I just started overthinking everything.  I started getting frustrated, then I started trying too hard.  It's like this vicious cycle that you have to try to get yourself out of.

            But, you know, all year I haven't felt too far off.  I just haven't been able to quite put it together.  It's like one day my ball‑striking is there, one day my short game is there.  I've been working really, really hard on my short game and my putting.

            You know, it just hasn't quite gelled all together at all this year.  Then the last two days it's seemed to come together.  I've been able to make some putts, make some birdies.

            Really, I'm not hitting it as far as I usually do the past two days.  I can't swing as I normally do.  But it's a testament to how important your short game and putting are.  Maybe I haven't hit it the way I'm used to hitting it, but I've been able to put it together because I've made some putts.  Really that's the most important thing, and I just haven't been doing that this year.

  

Sydnee Michaels, Rolex Rankings No. 285

THE MODERATOR:  I'd like to welcome Sydnee Michaels into the interview room.  Good round today.  Can you take me through what you did well?
SYDNEE MICHAELS:  I scrambled pretty well today.  I hit a lot of good shots, then I hit a couple drives that I had to hit some punch shots, get up and down.

            I hit the ball very well today.  I made some good putts.  Just overall I kept it together pretty good.

THE MODERATOR:  This is your rookie year out here.  You were up there in contention for the lead at Navistar.  Can you talk about how that will help you going into this weekend?
SYDNEE MICHAELS:  Yeah, I've been in contention a few times this year.  It's been a little bit of a hit‑or‑miss year for me.  I've definitely had some practice of being a few shots off the lead, being up there on the leaderboard.  I haven't quite followed through so much on my Sundays, so I'm hoping I'll be able to take that experience and put it towards a more positive note for this Sunday.

THE MODERATOR:  Like Kathleen, you got your start on the Symetra Tour.  Talk about how that helped you.
SYDNEE MICHAELS:  I think it really helped me.  It just gets you used to living Tour life.  You're traveling, you're on the road, you're playing every week, you're playing for money.  It really helped me a lot.

            It's completely different than junior golf, amateur golf, college golf.  You're out there on your own, making your own travel arrangements, playing week after week.  It really preps me for this year.

Q.  Can you give us your best scramble today, best up and down?
SYDNEE MICHAELS:  Sure.  I started on 10, so it's hard for me to remember which hole it is (laughter).  It was one of the par 4s on the front nine, which was my back nine.  Oh, I don't remember what hole it is, sorry.

            But I hit it left in the trees.  I hit a punch 5‑iron under the trees.  The green slopes really severe front to back.  I hit a good punch shot.  I just kept running.  It was all the way at the top of the hill.  The pin was in the very front.  So I had a really long, really downhill putt.

            I hit a decent putt but I left it pretty short.  I made a pretty awesome left‑to‑right slider, probably about a 10‑, 15‑footer to save par.  That was probably my best save today.

Q.  You played in the Symetra Tour event last week and you had to pull your clubs.  How does it feel to have a caddie back on your bag?
SYDNEE MICHAELS:  It feels really good.  Another thing is I'm not the best at math, so I definitely miscalculated a couple yardages.  My pin sheet was bleeding red with my red Sharpie.  I think I lost about five pounds last week pushing my bag up and down the hill.  So it's really nice to have a caddie.

 

Stacy Lewis, Rolex Rankings No. 2

THE MODERATOR:  I'd like to welcome Stacy Lewis into the interview room.  I know you had a bogey on 18, but could you just take me through the day.
STACY LEWIS:  I really didn't play very good today.  I struggled hitting the ball, didn't really give myself many chances at birdies.  Then kind of made some putts at the end.

            I don't know why the tee shot on 18 just doesn't fit my eye.  I improved on yesterday, but I have to figure out how to get the ball on the fairway there.

THE MODERATOR:  You have your family and friends out here with bright shirts.  How is that for you?
STACY LEWIS:  It's awesome.  I was trying to give them something to cheer for today.  I made a couple putts.

            The last couple years, they've grown in numbers, gotten more shirts every year.  It's really cool to have them out there.  I don't think anybody else has anything like it, so it's pretty cool.  

Q.  Roughly how big was your entourage today?
STACY LEWIS:  My entourage?  I don't know, maybe 30 people today.  I think they ordered about 130 T‑shirts.  Who knows what it will be like this weekend when the weather's a little better.

            Family, friends, a few people from one of my sponsors, Marathon.

Q.  Is it in any way a distraction at all?
STACY LEWIS:  I don't think so.  I think I kind of put more pressure on myself just knowing they're there and wanting to play well for them.  I have to kind of get back to how I've been playing the rest of this year so far, just try not to force things so much.

            I just want to play well for them.  That's kind of always in the back of my mind.

THE MODERATOR:  How was it been being back in Toledo for this event?
STACY LEWIS:  It's fun.  It's cool to come back as I've been playing better.  It's weird, we had a big family dinner last night, went to a restaurant.  People were coming up for autographs.  Everybody kind of recognized who I was.

            It's cool to go to all these towns again and people are starting to realize who I am.  Kind of fans have grown every year.

Q.  The year is not over yet, but you are No. 1 right now.  First of all, did you ever think you'd be there?  Is there pressure dealing with that, being on top?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, it's something that you work really hard for, then it actually happens.  I don't know, I still have to kind of look at the rankings, look at the Money List to make sure they're right.

            It's surprising.  I don't know.  You work really hard to do it, but to actually see that there, it's kind of strange.

            It's not really any pressure because I still just want to try to win golf tournaments.  At the end of the day, if I'm still on those lists at the end of the year, that's a pretty good thing.

Q.  Looking at your scorecard yesterday and today, the scores are almost the same.  You played most of the holes different.  Did the course just play that different?  Did it kind of reverse in terms of which holes were accessible today?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, the wind was the opposite direction.  I think that affected a lot of the way the different holes played.  Some were shorter, some were longer.

            I thought it played a little tougher today because the conditions early on, we had some rain, just figuring out how far the ball was going.  The wind started to swirl there at the end.

            I don't know.  I think the course I thought played a little tougher, but we'll see what happens.

 

Topics: Choi, Chella, Ekey, Kathleen, Han, Hee Won, Miyazato, Mika, Michaels, Sydnee, Icher, Karine, Park, Inbee, Lindberg, Pernilla, Ryu, So Yeon, Seo, Hee Kyung, Marathon Classic, Notes and Interviews [+]

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