Kingsmill Resort, The River Course
September 8, 2012
Third-Round Notes and Interviews
Rolex Rankings No. 18 Paula Creamer (@ThePCreamer) is in contention to break a two-year winless drought after shooting a third-round, 6-under 65 to take the lead at the Kingsmill Championship. Creamer’s 16-under-par three-day total marks the lowest since the start of the Kingsmill Championship in 2003.
The 9-time LPGA Tour winner notched six birdies during her third round which included a chip-in for birdie on the par-4 13th. Creamer, also known as the Pink Panther, will take a two-stroke lead over second-round leader Jiyai Shin (@sjy1470) heading into tomorrow’s final round.
Shin is also looking to break a winless drought as the 8-time winner has not notched a victory since the 2010 Mizuno Classic in Japan.
Feeling Good, Feeling Great… If you think of Paula Creamer, it is hard to fathom she has not held the lead heading into the final round since the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open.
“No. I haven't won in two years; that feels like forever, but it also feels like yesterday when I did just win, so it's kind of a give or take. I've been in contention a lot, so it's not that I'm not used to this, that's for sure,” said Creamer. “But it is, it's actually ‑‑ I feel great, I feel really ‑‑ no matter what happens tomorrow, I'm just going out there and continue what I've been doing this whole year and it's just starting to come together and one round isn't going to make or break it, that's for sure.”
As the 9-time LPGA Tour winner holds a two-stroke lead heading into tomorrow’s final round, if she wins the trophy will hold a special place in her heart and home.
Creamer admitted the only two trophies that occupy her home are from the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open and one from Golf Channel for winning Best Dressed. While the other trophies are kept in a safe spot at her parents’ house, it would only seem fit that a trophy this week would be kept in the home of the Pink Panther.
“I think ‑‑ I only have two trophies in my house, I have the U.S. Open and I have this one that I won from the Golf Channel for being the best dressed,” said Creamer. “So think that this one, this one might go in my house because my next one is what I've always said to my parents is, you know, that things that mean a tremendous amount to me. If it comes tomorrow, it comes tomorrow; if it doesn't, it doesn't. But that will be the prize is it gets to go in my house, not my parents'.”
Positive Thoughts… Jiyai Shin might find herself trailing Paula Creamer by two-strokes heading into tomorrow’s final round but the 8-time LPGA Tour winner feels comfortable to mount a come from behind victory.
“Well, I think when I following the leader, it makes me feel better because I knew the target, like I know that she's her score so I keep following and following and following,” said Shin. “When I started on the leader, when I miss the shot, it make more pressure. So I really very comfortable with my position at the moment.”
Shin headed into today’s final round with a 1-stroke lead over Danielle Kang but with pressure already beginning to mount, she quickly moved to 2-over par for the day after bogeys at the second and fourth. Shin then turned to her caddie for some positive reinforcement and made a run with birdies on five out of four holes beginning at the par-4 eighth.
“Actually, I started a new caddie this week and then he keep talking about the positive thinking,” said Shin. “So No. 8, when I make the first putt, it still long putt but he said, oh, still good chance, think fresh, think fresh, it's a birdie time. So my caddie, he helped a lot today.”
Major test? In the seven times that the Kingsmill Resort has hosted an LPGA event prior to this year, the tournament winner has also carried the distinction of being a major champion. So does that bode well for any players near the top of the leaderboard this week?
Of the top-7 players on the leaderboard heading into Sunday’s final round at the Kingsmill Championship, three have major championship titles on their resume. Third-round leader Paula Creamer won the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open while Jiyai Shin won the 2008 RICOH Women’s British Open and Stacy Lewis won the 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship.
“I didn't know that,” Shin said of the history of major championship winners in this event. “But especially this course we need a lot of skill of the shot around the green and we need good accuracy with the driver and iron. The main thing is we have to have good playing with all clubs, and also when we play in major tournaments, we play a really tough course. This course is pretty tough, too.”
Creamer’s last victory on Tour was actually her first major win. The 27-year-old has long said that she relishes playing difficult golf courses that really can test a player. So does this course fit the mold of a “major” track?
“Yes and no,” Creamer said. “I think you have to be a great ball striker around here. You have to be really good with controlling your shots. The last five holes it gets a little bit more windy because you're right next to the water, things like that. You're not necessarily hitting 8‑ and 9‑ irons into the greens. It's just one of those golf courses that you've got to be on your game.”
But Creamer added that this year the conditions have been a bit different than years past with the event being played in September rather than the traditional time of May. And with all of the rain in the area recently, it has allowed players to attack the pins more than they have in the past.
“I mean, this is a pretty low number after three days,” Creamer said of her 16-under score. “Obviously you said that that's the lowest it's been. And it's not always like this, it's just they're a little bit softer and you're able to fire at pins a little bit easier. But it says a little bit I guess to the fact that, you know, they're the top players.”
The previous winners at Kingsmill include 10-time major champion Annika Sorenstam (2008), seven-time major champion Karrie Webb (2006), five-time major champion Se Ri Pak (2004) and two-time major winner Cristie Kerr (2005 & 2009). The inaugural winner at Kingsmill in 2003, Grace Park, and 2007 winner Suzann Pettersen have each won one major title.
Taste of victory: There have been six Rolex First-Time Winners on the LPGA Tour already this season and that number could grow on Sunday. Tied for third at 12-under-par heading into the final round of the Kingsmill Championship are third-year LPGA Tour member Dewi Claire Schreefel and rookie Danielle Kang and both players are seeking their first career victory on Tour.
Neither Schreefel nor Kang is a stranger to capturing a victory on a big stage. Schreefel was the individual champion at the 2006 NCAA Championships while she played at the University of Southern California. Kang is a two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion, winning back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011.
Schreefel and Kang played together in the final group on Saturday, along with Jiyai Shin. And the two players were impressed by what they saw from each other
“A two‑time AM champion, so I'm like oh, I'm kind of curious to see how this is going to be,” Schreefel said of Kang. “ When I play with somebody new and especially, how am Igoing to say this, somebody that I think is more of my ‑‑ where I am in my career, I'm always curious to see how they play. She's a solid player, hits the ball good. Aggressive, I like that. Didn't get to see too much short game because, you know, she was on the green all the time. Hit the ball well, so all in all just solid.”
“In the beginning when she started off with a birdie, par, eagle, I thought she was going to make everything every time,” Kang said with a laugh about Schreefel’s hot start on Saturday. “ She doesn't miss the green much, and when she does she's just very solid. She doesn't make mistakes that I would make kind of thing. So I asked her at one point and said oh, how long have you been on Tour, because she seems like such a veteran and I still make mistakes here and there that, you know, three‑putting from 15 feet sort of thing.”
Watch Your Back! Stacy Lewis (@Stacy_Lewis) might have bogeyed the 18th hole during Saturday’s third round of the Kingsmill Championship to fall five-strokes behind current leader but don’t count out the three-time LPGA Tour champion who has boasted quite the final round stroke average this year.
This year, Lewis has shot no worse than a 75 in the final round and has an impressive 69.88 average. Lewis’s final round stroke average fairs far better than Danielle Kang, Dewi Claire Schreefel, Jiyai Shin, Paula Creamer who are all currently ahead of her heading into tomorrow’s final round.
2012 Final Round Stroke Averages:
Paula Creamer: 71.27
Jiyai Shin: 71.91
Dewi Claire Schreefel: 73.39
Danielle Kang: 73
Of Note…Ai Miyazato, who has won twice already in 2012, sits five shots back after shooting a 4-under 67 in Saturday’s third round…Jennie Lee was disqualified after failing to sign her scorecard…Schreefel has three eagles this week, including two on hole No. 7.
MODERATOR: We would like to welcome our current leader, Paula Creamer into the interview room. Congratulations, a great round out there today, 6‑under par 65, the lowest round of the day, and your total through 54 holes is the lowest in tournament history. Got off to a hot start today birdieing three straight on Nos. 3 through 5 and just another solid day out there for you.
Can you take me through the day and what was really working well for you?
PAULA CREAMER: I hit the ball really well, I gave myself tons of opportunities, and when I did get into a little bit of trouble I just kind of took my medicine and scrambled out some pars. Just hitting it really solid, so I'm able to go at a lot of these flagsticks and giving myself within 10 feet on a lot of holes. You're not going to make all of them but you'll make most, especially with the confidence that I have right now in my putting.
MODERATOR: You haven't held a lead going into the final round since I think we were looking when you won the Women's Open, that was the last time. What does it feel like to be back up there to have that two‑stroke lead, and do you change your approach at all when you have a lead going into a final round?
PAULA CREAMER: No. I haven't won in two years; that feels like forever, but it also feels like yesterday when I did just win, so it's kind of a give or take.
I've been in contention a lot, so it's not that I'm not used to this, that's for sure. But it is, it's actually ‑‑ I feel great, I feel really ‑‑ no matter what happens tomorrow, I'm just going out there and continue what I've been doing this whole year and it's just starting to come together and one round isn't going to make or break it, that's for sure.
I just talked to ‑‑ keep saying where I am and level‑headed and the fact that I'm going to hit some great shots and I'm going to hit some shots that I'm going to scratch my head at. I know that and I've overcome that going into this week realizing that that's going to happen, and I think that's been the hardest thing for me to accept out there is when I do miss shots or I make a wrong decision here or there. Like I said, one round tomorrow isn't going to make or break what happens.
MODERATOR: We had talked at Evian when you made that run on the back nine and that thrill of being back there and in the hunt. Is that just a feeling that you really relish? I mean, some people talk about wanting to chase or wanting to lead, but just the thrill of being up there and having that chance at victory is something that you just...
PAULA CREAMER: There's nothing better. It's why you play the game, for those emotions, walking up onto the green, hitting a good shot, hearing just the people. They had such a good crowd out there today, just really just so supportive of my golf and women's golf in general. It really just motivates me even more. I wish I was like this every week, but it's sports, you're not going to do that. But when it does come there's nothing better than that and I'm sure it's going to be pretty exciting tomorrow. Some great players are all kind of bunched in there and I'm going to have to take care of my own game.
MODERATOR: I'm going to ask you the same question that I asked Jiyai, but in all the times that this event was held previously, people who won it had won a major championship previously. Is there something about this golf course that brings out, you know, those types of players?
PAULA CREAMER: Yes and no. I think you have to be a great ball striker around here. You have to be really good with controlling your shots. The last five holes it gets a little bit more windy because you're right next to the water, things like that. You're not necessarily hitting 8‑ and 9‑ irons into the greens. It's just one of those golf courses that you've got to be on your game. I mean, this is a pretty low number after three days. Obviously you said that that's the lowest it's been. And it's not always like this, it's just they're a little bit softer and you're able to fire at pins a little bit easier. But it says a little bit I guess to the fact that, you know, they're the top players.
Q. Paula, have you given any thought to why you particularly do so well here, because the last couple times here you've had very good scores. And also do you remember, can you recall in '09 why you didn't play here? That was the previous event before this.
PAULA CREAMER: I think I was in Japan, I think I played a tournament in Japan in '09.
Q. But you played well the other years.
PAULA CREAMER: Yes, I love this golf course, I always have. It reminds me a lot of the golf courses that I grew up with in California, just tree lined and you have to work the ball and you have to think a lot with certain things. The hardier the golf course, the better I normally play. For here, it's just one of those things the greens are so soft that normally you have to allow for release and this and that and it brings other factors into it. And your caddie's got to be on with your numbers, and Colin, he's so good at that. So it's kind of a good thing when I come out I see the shots, I can hit it, and it's about making birdie putts, too. I think that these greens I can read very well.
Q. You mentioned that you had to work for some pars today and I feel like 16 was one of those places that it's a hole that you were able to keep your momentum going because you had the awkward stance, you're in the rough, you've got to worry a little bit about your thumb.
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah.
Q. You bounced the ball up on the green but then you left the putt, what, eight feet short?
PAULA CREAMER: Um‑hmm, thank you.
Q. But you made that. Was that one of those holes that continues momentum in a round?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, momentum, you know, you want early on but with two holes to go you don't want to ‑‑ I mean, to me the last three holes I always look at. Some people it's four, some people it's five (indiscernible) the last holes. For me, it's always been three. I don't want to of course bogey that, especially after that second shot that I hit. I mean, it was great off that lie. And those are the things you've just got to grind out. You hit a bad first putt, and it was probably one of the slowest putts I've had in a long time just straight into that wind. I saw Aza's putt before me and it kind of helped me out a little bit and I made it. But those are the putts that continue yourself going, and like you said, the momentum. Just after that second shot I wasn't going to walk away with a bogey because I could have hit it anywhere for the second one and walked away with a 5.
PAULA CREAMER: I didn't ‑‑ I don't ‑‑ I didn't look at the board. I didn't know what they were doing. I'm not a big leaderboard watcher anyways. I can't control what anybody else does. It's just myself. But the last three holes, they're good finishing holes. On the par 5 they moved the tee up, but it was straight into the wind so it evened itself out. But 16 and 17, they're really good holes, and then 18 downwind, that makes it a little bit easier, that tee shot, but still it's a good finishing hole.
Q. Paula, would you mind going through your card just a bit? You had six birdies between the front and the back. Were there any particular great shots there or great approaches, you know, great putts, anything along those lines?
PAULA CREAMER: Birdied 3, a par 5, it was just up in front and I got up and down. 4, I hit to about five feet. 5, made about a 15‑footer. 11, made about a 12‑footer. 13, I was just off the left and I chipped in there just off the left, it was like a five‑yard chip kind of thing. And then the par 5, I made about a four‑and‑a‑half, five‑footer. So it was all relatively close, nothing outrageous.
Q. I know in the past that you were going to jump out of a plane or something if you won a major; I don't know, little things, buy a purse if you achieve certain goals. As the months have gone by and you haven't won, is there anything you say, gosh, when I finally win again, I'm going to do blank, or buy blank?
PAULA CREAMER: The plane thing was actually going to be media day at the U.S. Open. That was ‑‑ I did the training, but remember it was really foggy so I wasn't able to do it.
No, I haven't come up with anything. I think ‑‑ I only have two trophies in my house, I have the U.S. Open and I have this one that I won from the Golf Channel for being the best dressed. So think that this one, this one might go in my house because my next one is what I've always said to my parents is, you know, that things that mean a tremendous amount to me. If it comes tomorrow, it comes tomorrow; if it doesn't, it doesn't. But that will be the prize is it gets to go in my house, not my parents'.
Q. Is that where all the rest of them are?
PAULA CREAMER: Yes, they have all of them. The only one I really had was the Golf Channel one, the best dressed, that's what I like.
Q. Your priorities.
PAULA CREAMER: Priorities, yes.
MODERATOR: All right. We'd like to welcome Jiyai Shin into the interview room. A nice 2‑under round for you today. You sit two shots back of Paula Creamer heading into Sunday's final round.
First of all, take me through your day out there. I know it didn't get off to the start I'm sure you wanted with two bogeys in your first four holes, but you were able to rebound and still put together a solid day.
JIYAI SHIN: Well, it was a long tough day, but good thing is I'm still here in the interview room is a good point. Yes, it's true, first four hole I made a two bogey. Actually until No. 7 before when I made the first birdie. My shot and my putting wasn't work today. When I thinking always going to be a long day. But No. 8, about 25‑foot putt I made, so after that I get good tempo with my putting and I get ‑‑ finally I get the good speed on the green, so it make (indiscernible) another birdie. So I'm really happy to come back on the back nine.
MODERATOR: You were talking about a long, hot day out there. How much did the conditions factor into the play out there today?
JIYAI SHIN: Actually today was very humid so I sweat all the time. And then last three hole they have a strong wind so I played a different hole because, well, on the front nine, too, but the wind make really tough to play the course. I'm very surprised, and Paula played good today because I just behind the group of Paula, so when I watching, her putting is so good today. I think I play together tomorrow maybe, so I really excited to play with Paula.
MODERATOR: She's gone through a winless drought just like you have. It's been a little over two years since she last won on the LPGA Tour. Is that a surprising thing ‑‑ I mean, as much as we're surprised by the fact that you haven't won in that stretch ‑‑ to not see her up there with any victories since that Women's Open win?
JIYAI SHIN: Well, she still good play. She had a lot of chance to win, but don't win the last couple years. But I think we ‑‑ she and me, we still good playing, so finally we get the good chance with this week so it make it more be competition for us.
Q. Hi, Jiyai. Do you almost wish you were paired and you were chasing one of the people who hadn't won before and maybe it's harder to catch Paula because she's a veteran and she's won a lot?
JIYAI SHIN: Well, I think doesn't matter anyway. Well, I think when I following the leader, it makes me feel better because I knew the target, like I know that she's her score so I keep following and following and following. When I started on the leader, when I miss the shot, it make more pressure. So I really very comfortable with my position at the moment.
MODERATOR: Jiyai, all of the past champions at this event have also been major championship winners. Is there something about this golf course that really brings out really talented players and you have to really think? I don't know, is it like a major championship or is there some reason you think that only major champions have won here in the past?
JIYAI SHIN: Well, I didn't know that, but especially this course we need a lot of skill of the shot around the green and we need good accuracy with the driver and iron. The main is we have to good playing with all clubs, and also when we play in major tournaments, we play a really tough course. This course is pretty tough, too.
Q. I was wondering, you mentioned earlier, you were talking earlier about the slow start with the bogeys. What did you do to kind of just keep your head clear and not let it get you down the rest of the day?
JIYAI SHIN: Actually, I started a new caddie this week and then he keep talking about the positive thinking. So No. 8, when I make the first putt, it still long putt but he said, oh, still good chance, think fresh, think fresh, it's a birdie time. So my caddie, he helped a lot today.
Q. Jiyai, with the conditions today on the course, lift, clean and place, that was still in effect. Were you surprised that that was still in effect today? Is it that wet still?
JIYAI SHIN: Yeah, it's wet, yeah, a little bit. So much drier than first and second day, but still very soft. I can hit aggressive shot every hole to the pin.
MODERATOR: All right. I'd like to welcome Dewi Claire Schreefel and Danielle Kang into the interview room. You guys are tied for third heading into Sunday's final round; played together today, got a chance to see each other's games pretty well. Can you first off just take me each through your day and what was working well for you out there?
DANIELLE KANG: I had a, you know, just a solid round today. I made a lot of pars and it was playing a little more difficult than yesterday, there was wind and you know. But I had a lot of fun and there were so many cameras and people were out there supportive. Just a lot of fun. I just played pretty solid.
DEWI CLAIRE SCHREEFEL: Got off to a pretty fast start birdieing the first and eagle on the third, so felt like I was doing good. Just after that it slowed down a little bit, got away from the pin a little bit, so didn't have as many close chances. A few putts that went over the edges, a few putts that I didn't really hit how I wanted to, so unfortunately I didn't make more birdies in the end. But I had a great day, I had a lot of fun, just enjoyed the moment and glad to be here.
MODERATOR: Each one of you, if you don't mind, take me through what impressed you about each other's game watching today. You guys got to play in the final group and we all know that can be a little bit of pressure on a Saturday, but both played well. What was it about each other's games that you were impressed by?
DEWI CLAIRE SCHREEFEL: Well, like two‑time AM champion, so I'm like oh, I'm kind of curious to see how this is going to be. When I play with somebody new and especially, how am I going to say this, somebody that I think is more of my ‑‑ where I am in my career, I'm always curious to see how they play. She's a solid player, hits the ball good. Aggressive, I like that. Didn't get to see too much short game because, you know, she was on the green all the time. Hit the ball well, so all in all just solid.
DANIELLE KANG: In the beginning when she started off with a birdie, par, eagle, I thought she was going to make everything every time. She doesn't miss the green much, and when she does she's just very solid. She doesn't make mistakes that I would make kind of thing. So I asked her at one point and said oh, how long have you been on Tour, because she seems like such a veteran and I still make mistakes here and there that, you know, three‑putting from 15 feet sort of thing. And every time she would grab the putter I would think she'd make it because she does this thing with the putting where you just drop your right arm. Everyone tells me to do that, and everyone that does that is a really good putter, so I'm like, oh, she's gonna make that. She is a really good putter, she's great player.
MODERATOR: Both of you, while you haven't won yet on the LPGA Tour, both of you have won significant events. Dewi, you won the NCAA individual title. Danielle, you're a two‑time U.S. Women's Amateur champion. What do those experiences give as you head in kind of being in contention for your first LPGA victory?
DANIELLE KANG: Winning the AM twice, you know, it's built a lot of confidence, so going into tomorrow I'm pretty steady and just going to see what happens. I'm going to play my game, I can't really control what anybody else does, like Paula said before. And I don't really watch the leaderboards, so however anybody plays out there, it's best of luck.
DEWI CLAIRE SCHREEFEL: Yeah, I think it just gives you confidence. On that level it just shows that you can play with the best. I think on every level that I played on I play with the best, and it's difficult to translate that into the LPGA Tour because it's such a ‑‑ it's a lifestyle. You play with the best. You need a few years to just get used to everything and know that you can compete out here with everybody. I'm just gathering all the experiences from the times that I've competed out here and on top of the leaderboard, and then someday it will all come together and it will be my time.
MODERATOR: You guys are four shots back of Paula. What will it take? I mean, you've got two major champions ahead of you in Paula and Jiyai. What do you think it's going to take on Sunday to kind of get yourself up there to have a chance at victory?
DEWI CLAIRE SCHREEFEL: I think with the way the course plays, it's just shooting darts out there, so there's going to be a lot of birdies. So I think not a lot of people are going to give shots back, so it's going to take a low round, which is going to take a fast start.
But I'm not going to change anything of my game plan, just going to play my game, and then if I make birdies, I make birdies; if somebody drops back, somebody drops back. I'll see in the end where I stand.
DANIELLE KANG: Well, this course does set up for, you know, ball strikers and everyone that's in contention are amazing ball strikers. And I've seen Jiyai being called "chalk line" where she just does not miss the line kind of thing, and I saw Dewi play today and she just goes straight, too. And I played with Paula at the U.S. Open and she's an amazing ball striker as well. So like Dewi said, tomorrow is going to be about throwing darts at the pin and what you can be aggressive with and what not, and putts dropping, you've just got to hope they drop, you can't really force it in there, so we'll see.
Q. Danielle, a year ago this week you were playing in your first event as a pro on Tour. Describe your mindset then and compare it to how you're feeling now when you're out there.
DANIELLE KANG: This week's the week I turned pro?
Q. Well, you played in a tournament in Arkansas ‑‑
DANIELLE KANG: Oh, yeah.
Q. ‑‑ this week last year. That was your first week as pro, so it's been a year.
DANIELLE KANG: Has it already been a year?
Q. Yeah, sorry to break that to you.
DANIELLE KANG: Well, last year I wasn't mentally prepared for how professional golf was going to be, and this year, it takes time to get used to. People think you can come out here and just take over the LPGA. It's really not going to happen that way. You've just got to take it day by day and learn from each and every golf tournament.
I'm fortunate enough to come out here and play all the tournaments that I would like to play this whole year, because I started off with conditional status. It's nice that I get to play all these tournaments. I don't know. It's a learning game. The LPGA makes you mature basically. It's life after college, I guess.
Q. For Dewi, your eagle on 3, it's your third eagle of the event and you only have four, I think, in your career coming in. One, were you amazed by it? And also, could you just sort of describe what the third shot was there?
DEWI CLAIRE SCHREEFEL: It's just fun. I mean, this was a more normal eagle than my other ones, the first and the second day on hole 7. I was kind of disappointed that I didn't really give myself a chance on 7 today.
But I hit a really good drive with the curve, I hit a pretty good draw, that way I could hit my 5‑wood into the green. That one flies pretty high, so I just hit it just how I wanted to hit it, hit the front of the green and I probably had an eight‑footer, nine‑footer for eagle. Yeah, it was very exciting to make that one. Just a normal eagle, you know, everyday eagle.