Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex Third-Round Notes and Interviews

Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex
Guadalajara Country Club
Guadalajara, Mexico
Third-Round Notes and Interviews
November 16, 2013

Lexi Thompson, Rolex Rankings No. 14
I.K. Kim, Rolex Rankings No. 9

American Lexi Thompson withstood on-and-off rain at Guadalajara Country Club to fire a third-round 5-under 67 and take solo lead at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex. The 18-year-old moved to 13-under-par for the tournament and will take a 1-stroke lead over I.K. Kim heading into tomorrow’s final-round.

Not even a 23 minute rain delay could slowdown Thompson on Saturday as a bogey-free round put her in position to record her second victory of the season. A two-time winner on the LPGA Tour, Thompson recorded her first official victory this season at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.

“Yea, well the rain definitely affected us somewhat but I teed off a little bit later with the delay,” said Thompson. “I think just controlling my yardages out here is pretty big and playing consistently. My irons were a lot closer today, and I dropped a few longer putts.”

Winner of the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic, Thompson will have history on her side on Sunday as she held the lead entering the final round during both of her trips to the winner’s circle.

“Yeah, it gives me confidence going into tomorrow but I know there’s a lot of great players right behind me, and I know I have to play well,” said Thompson. “I know I have to shoot another four or five under tomorrow. I’m just going to go out with the same attitude and just commit to every shot.”

Thompson played steady golf throughout the entire third round as she carded birdies at the par-4 second, par-4 fourth and par-4 seventh to make the turn at 3-under-par. The impressive play would continue for the Floridian as she carded her fourth birdie of the day at the par-5 10th before going on to record her final birdie of the day at the par-4 14th.

Trailing Thompson by 1-stroke is I.K. Kim who is looking to become the first player to record multiple wins at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational by Banamex.

“That would be nice,” said Kim with a laugh. “Winning is amazing, but, like I said, for me, just being able to play golf and just have fun, that’s the first thing. If I can win twice, I mean, why not, I think it would be really great.”

Kim needed only 22 putts during the 5-under 67 third-round which included seven birdies and two bogeys.

“At the start of the day it was pouring down, so we didn’t expect the rain, but everybody was in the rain,” said Kim. I had a good start, I made birdie on one and two, and I think that kind of helped going forwards. Basically I really like this golf course. I have a good feeling for the course, and I’ve been practicing. It’s just nice to see the result.”

Fun times ahead… Lexi Thompson will enter tomorrow’s final-round of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex with a 1-stroke lead but the outgoing teen has much to look forward to in the weeks following her time in Mexico.

Next week Thompson will return to her home state of Florida where she will compete in the CME Group Titleholders and have a special caddy by her side every step of the way.

“Yea, I have my brother, Curtis Thompson, on my bag next week,” said Thompson. “He’s caddied for me a few other times, but he goes to LSU right now, and I’m actually to visit him right after that week. It’s going to be a great week for us. We get along so well. I think it’ll be fun. It’s a week in my home state, and I’m going to enjoy it.”

During her trip to Louisiana, Thompson plans on attending her first-ever LSU football game and while the 18-year-old never attended college due to turning pro, she admitted the Tigers are her favorite collegiate sports team.

“I actually haven’t been to an LSU football game but I’ve visited a few colleges with my friends,” said Thompson. “I definitely root for the Tigers, I have to. But it’ll definitely be an experience to go to an LSU football game. I heard it’s awesome.”


Heart of Gold…
I.K. has a smile that will light up a room and a heart of golf that was demonstrated following her win at the 2010 Lorena Ochoa Invitational. After claiming her third LPGA Tour victory, Kim donated all of her winnings to the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

Kim resides in California but following her impressive third-round, admitted the donation and the win in 2010 makes her feel right at home whenever she plays in Mexico.

“Yes, I do feel welcome here whenever I come here,” said Kim. “But growing up I had a lot of friends from all over the place and I don’t know, it’s just, like I said, I learned something like current events and doing all of the things from Lorena and other players. Not only a few, but most of the players are involved with the charity or they have foundations, so that’s kind of the idea that I kind of grew up on the Tour.”

While everyone realized the significance of Kim’s kind act, the South Korean admitted to simply feeling grateful at the fact that she is able to do what she loves for a living.

“It’s three years ago, but people remember and come up to me and tell me how nice it was,” said Kim. “I feel really grateful for the people. They understand because I just play golf, and I feel I’m so fortunate. This is what I love to do. And being able to make this kind of money, I think – I don’t know what to say. It’s just kind of having opportunity to help others means a lot to me.”

Kim will have a strong fan base on her side during tomorrow’s final-round as she looks to become the first repeat winner of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational and attempt to record her first win since 2010.

“It really means a lot to me,” said Kim of her position to record her fourth career LPGA Tour victories. “I played well this year. I’ve been in contention three times and you know, all this hard work comes out sometimes it delays. I really just enjoy playing golf. I have fun out there, that’s the first thing and if you win, that’s a bonus. I’m just going to go out. You don’t know who’s going to win, obviously, until finish. But I’m just going to do my best and see.”

Lexi Thompson, Rolex Rankings No. 14

THE MODERATOR: Another great day out there in the middle of on and off rain. What was working for you out there today?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yea, well the rain definitely affected us somewhat but I teed off a little bit later with the delay. I think just controlling my yardages out here is pretty big and playing consistently. My irons were a lot closer today, and I dropped a few longer putts.

THE MODERATOR: Both of your wins you’ve held the lead going into the final day. You think that will help you at all tomorrow, playing tomorrow with the lead?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, it gives me confidence going into tomorrow but I know there’s a lot of great players right behind me, and I know I have to play well. I know I have to shoot another four or five under tomorrow. I’m just going to go out with the same attitude and just commit to every shot.

THE MODERATOR: We were talking a little bit yesterday that you’re going to have a little someone special on your bag next week. Can you just talk about who it is and how excited you are for that?
LEXI THOMPSON: Yea, I have my brother, Curtis Thompson, on my bag next week. He’s caddied for me a few other times, but he goes to LSU right now, and I’m actually to visit him right after that week. It’s going to be a great week for us. We get along so well. I think it’ll be fun. It’s a week in my home state, and I’m going to enjoy it.

THE MODERATOR: I was talking to Austin, and she said you’ve actually been to LSU games with her. How fun is that to go there? I mean, you didn’t go to college, so do you root for the Tigers?
LEXI THOMPSON: I actually haven’t been to an LSU football game but I’ve visited a few colleges with my friends. I definitely root for the Tigers, I have to. But it’ll definitely be an experience to go to an LSU football game. I heard it’s awesome.

THE MODERATOR: Speaking of Curtis, you also have another brother, Nick, who plays golf. How nice is that to come from family with brothers that you can actually just practice with and relate to one another?
LEXI THOMPSON: It is very nice. They’re pretty much the reason I got started in golf, and we live on a golf course. I’ve always watched them, looked up to them, always trying to beat them. I’ve always had competitors with me all the way around. I know when I’m struggling with my game, they’re there to help me and always to make me better, as a person and a player.

Q: How do you feel about entering tomorrow into the round being that the course is in bad condition after the whole rain today?
LEXI THOMPSON: The course actually isn’t in bad condition at all. It’s actually in really good shape. It’s just softer it’s we’re playing the ball up. It’s obviously just playing softer, a little bit more spin on the greens. Overall, the course is still in great shape and the greens are rolling really well. Just a little slower. 

I.K. Kim, Rolex Rankings No. 9

MODERATOR:  I’d like to welcome I.K. Kim into the interview. I.K., a very solid round today in the rain, what was working?
I.K. KIM: At the start of the day it was pouring down, so we didn’t expect the rain, but everybody was in the rain. I had a good start, I made birdie on 1 and 2, and I think that kind of helped going towards. Basically I really like this golf course. I have a good feeling for the course, and I’ve been practicing. It’s just nice to see the result.

THE MODERATOR: When you won here a few years ago, you gave your winnings back to the Lorena Ochoa Foundation. Do you always feel a special connection to Mexico when you come here because of that?
I.K. KIM: Yes, I do feel welcome here whenever I come here. But I growing up I had a lot of friends from all over the place and I don’t know, it’s just, like I said, I learned something like current events and doing all of the things from Lorena and other players. Not only a few, but most of the players are involved with the charity or they have foundations, so that’s kind of the idea that I kind of grew up on the Tour. I’m just really humbled, even these days. It’s three years ago, but people remember and come up to me and tell me how nice it was. I feel really grateful for the people. They understand because I just play golf, and I feel I’m so fortunate. This is what I love to do. And being able to make this kind of money, I think – I don’t know what to say. It’s just kind of having opportunity to help others means a lot to me.

THE MODERATOR: It’s been a little while since you last won. I know there’s still one more day left tomorrow. But what would it mean to you to return to the winner’s circle tomorrow?
I.K. KIM: It really means a lot to me. I played well this year. I’ve been in contention three times and you know, all this hard work comes out sometimes it delays. I really just enjoy playing golf. I have fun out there, that’s the first thing and if you win, that’s a bonus. I’m just going to go out. You don’t know who’s going to win, obviously, until finish. But I’m just going to do my best and see.
  
Q: How do you feel about being the first player who gets a win maybe second time here?
I.K. KIM: (laughs) That would be nice, I mean, anything. Winning is amazing, but, like I said, for me, just being able to play golf and just have fun, that’s the first thing. If I can win twice, I mean, why not, I think it would be really great.

Q: What will be the strategy for tomorrow since you had the best round when you won, the year you won, round 4? What would you do tomorrow to help with as good round as that year?
I.K. KIM: Well it’s still a lot of work to do out there. We have great leader board. Everybody’s playing solid, and I think, like last time, I was playing with Suzann, and she was playing so well that I thought might as well. I think this golf tournament always kind of, everybody tries to push each other a little bit, and I think that helps sometimes. So tomorrow, just sleep well and eat well. You know, that’s the game plan.

 

Topics: News and Notes, Kim, I K, Thompson, Lexi, Lorena Ochoa Invitational

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