Navistar LPGA Classic Second Round Notes and Interviews

Navistar LPGA Classic
Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Capitol Hill, The Senator
Prattville, Alabama
September 21, 2012
Second-round notes and interviews

Lexi Thompson -12, Rolex Rankings No. 25
Mindy Kim -11, Rolex Rankings No. 125
Mi Jung Hur -11, Rolex Rankings No. 156
Hee Young Park -10, Rolex Rankgs No. 38
Lizette Salas -10, Rolex Rankings No. 146
Angela Stanford -9, Rolex Rankings No. 17
Sydnee Michaels -9, Rolex Rankings No. 153

Rolex Rankings No. 25 Lexi Thompson moved one step closer to defending her title at the Navistar LPGA Classic, carding a 3-under 69 to maintain her lead in the second round. With four birdies and one bogey on Friday, Thompson moved to 12-under-par for the tournament taking a one stroke lead over Mi Jung Hur and Mindy Kim.

“I played pretty consistent today,” Thompson said. “I hit a few squirrely iron shots that I wasn't happy with, but overall I played consistent. My putting has gotten a lot better.”

Thompson says a minor change in her putting stance has given her more confidence with her putter this week.

“It's all about confidence really and just getting up to it and saying to yourself you're going to make the putt,” she said. “That's all I'm doing really, just getting a line and commit to it.”

Cut down to size. 70 players at 1-under-par 143 made the 36 hole cut at the Navistar LPGA Classic. Third-round coverage on Saturday will air from 2 to 5 p.m. Eastern.

The birdie cure?  The wind, rain and jetlag from last week’s RICOH Women’s British Open still seem to be taking a toll on those who traveled straight to the Navistar LPGA Classic. But despite feel under the weather before the second round of play, Mi Jung Hur quickly found a cure after playing the third hole.

“Before I started today, my feel wasn't good, so I thought about it's going to be tough day today,” Hur said.  “But made three birdie ‑‑ after made three birdies, my conditions are way better.”

Hur and second-round partner Mindy Kim carded similar scores today including five straight birdies to start the front nine. Both ended the day with a 7-under 65, sharing a tie for second just one-stroke off leader Lexi Thompson’s pace.

Mindy Kim is trying to solidify her spot in the top-80 on the LPGA Official Money List following a 7-under-par 65 on Friday. The 23-year-old, who is seeking to better her career-best finish of a tie for fifth at the 2011 State Farm Classic, is one shot off the pace entering the third round of the Navistar LPGA Classic seeking her first-ever LPGA. A fourth-year member of the LPGA, Kim is currently 79th on the money list.

“I haven't been in this position for a while, so hopefully I can play some good golf on the weekend,” Kim said.

Kim’s best finish in 2012 was a tie for 10th at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup. Since then, she has cracked the top 20 only once, a tie for 18th at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic where she carded a career-low 64 in the final round.

Quit your day job. LPGA rookies Sydnee Michaels and Danielle Kang took part in the third Golf Channel takeover of the season during the second round of the Navistar LPGA Classic. The duo stepped behind the scenes to take on two important jobs for the television broadcast with Michaels handling graphics and Kang acting as an on-course microphone operator. Michaels, who shot 4-under-par 68 on Friday, worked under the tutelage of Golf Channel graphics guru Matt Hubbard, while Kang was left to fend for herself walking alongside the afternoon group of Veronica Felibert, Sun Young Yoo and Haeji Kang. Said Kang, “I never realized how much work it is to put all of this media coverage together. It was so much fun.”

Earlier this season at the Kia Classic, Christina Kim (play-by-play), Brittany Lincicome (producer) and Stacy Lewis (tower camera) took part in the first Golf Channel takeover. In June, Belen Mozo (producer) and Azahara Munoz (director) participated in the second takeover at the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

Toss up… The Prattville High School Lions take on the Thompson High Warriors tonight with a 7 p.m. kick off and second-round leader Lexi Thompson will be calling the coin toss. This marks the second year the 17-year-old attends the high school football game while in town for the Navistar LPGA Classic. She says she enjoys getting involved with the Prattville community.

“I'm really looking forward to it just to get my mind off golf and relax,” Thompson said. “I actually don't watch that much football, but just to go there, I know they have an awesome team.”

Tweet of the Day: “@GolfChannel that was so much fun!! And stressful... If you ever need a new graphic coordinator... I'm in! Thanks for having us :-)” -- @SydneeMichaels

 Of Note… Jodi Ewart put her belly putter to rest today after using it for nearly a year. She brought back her short putter in Friday’s round… Jennifer Johnson, who shot a second-round 65, is donating 50 percent of her winnings to the Wounded Warrior Project this week… Kirby Dreher and Christel Boeljon both withdrew on Friday… Stacy Lewis carded an eagle on the par-4 ninth hole with a 56 degree wedge from 90 yards. The Rolex Rankings No. 3 shot 70 on Friday to drop into a tie for 11th… Amy Hung birdies the final hole to push the cut to 1-under-par 143.

Lexi Thompson, Rolex Rankings No. 25

MODERATOR:  All right.  We welcome Lexi Thompson into the interview room again today.  Congrats on another great round.  We're all assuming that you had Waffle House again for breakfast this morning.  Did Valerie have any special song prepared for you? 

LEXI THOMPSON:  I did go to Waffle House.  She didn't have any special songs.  She had a few different ones, but I'm not sure what they were.  She was singing.

Q.  Well, congrats on following up on your first round 63 with a second round 69.  Take me through your day today and what was working well for you.

LEXI THOMPSON:  I played pretty consistent, hit a few squirrely iron shots that I wasn't happy with, but overall I played consistent.

MODERATOR:  You have a pretty strong lead going into the third round.  What are your thoughts going into the weekend?

LEXI THOMPSON:  Same thoughts, just going into every shot confidently and every round and hope for the best.  I mean, the afternoon wave still has to go off.  No matter what I end up at the end of the day, I'm still going to go in with the same attitude.

MODERATOR:  You'll be doing a coin toss tonight again, Prattville High School and Thompson High School.  You seem to really enjoy the Prattville community.

LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, I do.  I've gone to a Prattville High School football game before and called the coin toss, so I'm really looking forward to it just to get my mind off golf and relax.  I actually don't watch that much football, but just to go there, I know they have an awesome team.

MODERATOR:  Who will you be rooting for?

LEXI THOMPSON:  I've got to root for Prattville.  Gosh, even though the other high school is named after me.

Q.  You putted really well yesterday.  Can you just talk about your putting and maybe what turned around?

LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, my putting has gotten a lot better.  It's all about confidence really and just getting up to it and saying to yourself you're going to make the putt.  That's all I'm doing really, just getting a line and commit to it.

Q.  Any changes you made?

LEXI THOMPSON:  No, not really.  I mean, I change a little something in my stance but nothing major.  More confidence.

Q.  What you do to unwind after a round? This is still pretty new to you being a rookie.

LEXI THOMPSON:  Just stay relaxed.  I mean, playing at the highest level as a junior and amateur has helped me to play well at this point.  But get my mind off golf, go to the football game, watch movies and just not really dwell on my shots that I hit today or what’s going to happen tomorrow.  Just be relaxed and have fun.

Q.  Probably a little bit different but like Tiger Woods has red on Sunday, do you have a certain pattern your follow for your color scheme for your outfits

LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, I do, I wear blue on Sundays always, since Evian 2010 I've worn blue on Sundays, and I wear pink on Saturday for breast cancer.

Q.  What happened on the bogey?

LEXI THOMPSON:  I hit a bad shot and didn't get up and down.

Mindy Kim, Rolex Rankings No. 125

Q.  Take us through your day.  How did it go out there?

MINDY KIM:  My putter was really hot today right off the get‑go.  I think making five birdies in a row really helped me.  I had a couple hiccups in the middle of the round, but I kind of saved par and stuff like that, so it's all good today. 

Q.  Is there anything about this course that you think really suits your game?

MINDY KIM:  Actually, you know what, honestly, it really never ‑‑ this course doesn't really suit my game at all, but obviously this week I've been trying to tell myself that I like the golf course.  I mean, it's in great shape and I guess, you know, trying to be positive.

Q.  You're tied for second.  How does that feel going into the weekend?

MINDY KIM:  You know, honestly, I didn't even look at the leaderboard, so I just knew because you told me.  But I'm really excited.  I haven't been in this position for a while, so hopefully I can play some good golf on the weekend.

Q.  You had a chance on one of the last two holes.  Were you at 8 or 9 when you missed your birdie putt?

MINDY KIM:  She missed 8 and I missed 9, yeah.

Q.  Okay.  You didn't know you would have a share of the lead if you birdied?

MINDY KIM:  No, not really.  I just wanted to make the putt so bad, but obviously it didn't go in.  I'm really happy with my round, I don't think I can ask any more of it.

Q.  Are you a leaderboard watcher?

MINDY KIM:  No, I'm not.  I always play bad when I watch the leaderboard, so maybe that's one of the reasons why I didn't know.

Mi Jung Hur, Rolex Rankings No. 156

 Q.  You're tied for second place with Miss Kim.  Tell me about your round, please.

MI JUNG HUR:  It was pretty fantastic round with her.  We just started on 10th tee first.  I think we almost make a same score, like five straight birdie on 10 through 14 and some other holes.  We had a really great round with each other.

Q.  Did it feel good out there?  Was it hot?  Was it windy?

MI JUNG HUR:  You know, I have a cold a little bit from last week, from British.  Before I started today, my feel wasn't good, so I thought about it's going to be tough day today.  But made three birdie ‑‑ after made three birdies, my conditions are way better.

Q.  You felt better after making three birdies?

MI JUNG HUR:  Yeah, the birdies made me comfortable and much better.

Q.  How does it feel being tied for second right now?

MI JUNG HUR:  It's like long time, no see.  I finished second like two years ago, but I think it's same, same feel, more exciting.  But two more rounds left and there's plenty great girls playing on the Tour, so I just want to play ‑‑ focus on my ball every shot on Saturday and Sunday.

Q.  Any changes in your game or just play your same game?

MI JUNG HUR:  My shot was in trouble whole year last year and a little bit beginning of this season, this year.  Just practice hard and keep focus on my game, I think that's the key for the better play every shot.

Angela Stanford, Rolex Rankings No. 17

Q.  Minus 6 yesterday, minus 3 today.  How did it go today?


Q.  I misspoke, I apologize.

ANGELA STANFORD:  That's okay.  It was good.  I think it probably could have been a lot better, but, you know, halfway through the event, happy where I am.

Q.  You're tied for second as of now.  I mean, is that ‑‑ any changes for the weekend

ANGELA STANFORD:  No, just have to keep making birdies out here.  I mean, obviously Lexi's going to keep making them, too, so you've got to try to make as many as you can.

Q.  Any surprises today or pretty much you know the course, you've been here a while?

ANGELA STANFORD:  Yeah, I mean, I guess being here so many times, I think there were a couple new pin placements, but for the most part, I mean, without the wind blowing it's a little bit different golf course, but it's been good.

Hee Young Park, Rolex Rankings No. 36

Q.  You're two behind the leader, minus 10 overall.  Please tell me about your round today.

HEE YOUNG PARK:  It was a little different condition compared to first round, getting drier on the greens, so that means a little bit of different speed, putting speed.

Q.  Is it faster?

HEE YOUNG PARK:  Yeah, get faster, so I couldn't putt aggressive, but still like 3‑under par so I really like that.  Then tomorrow I'm going to more practice about speed putt, then more Saturday.

Q.  You're going to practice more on the speed of your putts?


Q.  The speed of the greens?

HEE YOUNG PARK:  Yes.  That's the key, I think.

Q.  Yes, ma'am.  You're only two behind the leader.  Tell me how the weekend looks to you.

HEE YOUNG PARK:  You know, just two behind but I'm not going to think about leader or, you know, behind; just keep it going, try to do my game.  Actually, this week my goal was no bogey during the round, so I just remind my goal and then just play the rest of the few days.

Lizette Salas, Rolex Rankings No. 146

Q.  How was your round today?  Describe your round, please.

LIZETTE SALAS:  Describe my round today.  It was ‑‑ let's see if I can put it into one word.  I would say, oh, my God.

Q.  Or two words or three words.

LIZETTE SALAS:  You got me with a good question.

Q.  Just how did it go?

LIZETTE SALAS:  It went well.  It wasn't the best ball striking day for me, but I saved pars when I needed to and I made ‑‑ you know, just rolled in a couple birdies.  Bogey‑free round.  I just kept steady, didn't force anything.  I just really wanted to stay patient out there.

Q.  Minus 7 yesterday, is that right?


Q.  And minus 3 today.


Q.  Any differences that were obvious in the course conditions or other conditions?

LIZETTE SALAS:  No.  I think the pin positions were fair, and obviously the par 5s here are birdie holes, of course.  I think key here is the par 3s.  They did put it in some sneaky spots for me today, but it's all just keeping it in the fairway and staying out of those pot bunkers.  I was in two of them today, but played it fairly well and I just stayed patient out there.  That's pretty much my main game plan for this week.

 Q.  You're just two behind the leader.  Tell me about the weekend.  How's it look for you?

LIZETTE SALAS:  Well, the game plan doesn't change, still going to play my game.  I think today was just, you know, a little bit of my boring golf today, just par, par and scrambling for pars and rolled in a couple birdies.  But it doesn't change anything, I'm just going to play the weekend like I have been today, or try to.  But every day's a new day and I'm just going to take it for what it is.

Sydnee Michaels, Rolex Rankings No. 153

Q.  Minus 5 yesterday, minus 4 today, is that right? 


Q.  Tell me about your round, please.

SYDNEE MICHAELS:  It was just pretty solid overall.  My caddie and I have been working on my putting for the last three weeks and I can definitely see that ‑‑ I can see that helping.

Q.  How are the conditions out there?  How's the course?

SYDNEE MICHAELS:  The course is in fantastic shape.  The greens are fast and it's just ‑‑ the weather's just absolutely gorgeous, especially coming back from the British Open, it's like are we playing indoors or what's going on.  It's beautiful out here.

Q.  Right now you're tied for second, I believe.


Q.  How do you feel about the rest of the tournament?

SYDNEE MICHAELS:  Pretty good, just take one day at a time and just enjoy it.

Q.  Make any changes or are you going to keep doing what you're doing?

SYDNEE MICHAELS:  Nope, just going to keep the same.




Topics: Notes and Interviews, Hur, M J, Michaels, Sydnee, Thompson, Lexi, Stanford, Angela, Kim, Mindy [+]

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