ISPS Handa Australia Women's Open Third-Round Notes & Interviews

ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open
Royal Canberra Golf Club
Yarralumla, Australia
Third-round Notes and Interviews
February 16, 2012

Jiyai Shin, -17, Rolex Rankings No. 8
Lydia Ko, -17, Rolex Rankings No. 30

Comfort in the pair
Not this time around
Hey shorty
Set the tone
Call it a comeback
Quote of the Day
Of Note…
Tweet of the Day

Rolex Rankings No. 8 Jiyai Shin (@sjy1470) and No. 30 Lydia Ko (@lko424) share the lead at 17-under par after three rounds of play at the ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open (@auswomensopen).
Both Shin and Ko carded rounds of 3-under 70 on Saturday and take a six-shot lead over Spaniard Beatriz Recari into Sunday’s final round.

Comfort in the pair: Lydia Ko said she’ll feel more comfortable playing with a big name on the LPGA Tour who she’s played with before. Ko gets the chance to be paired up with Shin for the second time, the first coming in the final round at last year’s CN Canadian Women’s Open where Ko became the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history.

Ko was told that Shin had mentioned on Friday that their games have parallels in that they are accurate ball strikers and cool under pressure. Ko had something to add to the similarities.

“Well they say we look alike too (laughs),” said Ko.

Ko agreed to the on-course similarities but also said that she thinks she’ll be able to learn from the 10-time LPGA winner.

“I’ve seen her play before at the Canadian Open and then on TV,” said Ko. “She’s a pretty accurate player I guess off the tee and stuff, so in that way we could be pretty similar. I mean, she’s a great player and there are things that I do need to learn from her.”

Ko doesn’t even think she’s playing her best golf this week, her best coming last year in Vancouver.

“No, I think when I played the best was at the Canadian Open,” said Ko. “I mean, that week - and I didn’t really feel the pressure of wanting to win because it was an LPGA event and I was like, oh, like I’d win, I was thinking that. So yeah even up until the last hole I didn’t know that I would win, so in that kind of situation it was pretty much when I was hitting the best.”

Not this time around: Jiyai Shin had the opportunity to see Lydia Ko in action and at her best at last year’s CN Canadian Women’s Open and finished five shots behind Ko. But Shin’s confidence in her game and play throughout the week leads her to think

“Well, I really look forward to tomorrow because I really enjoy the last three rounds,” said Shin. “And then I know I’ll play a really young golfer (laughs). But I have more experience than her, so I just, I have a really good feeling with my swing and tempo, so I just give focus to each of my shots.”

She didn’t ignore Ko’s performances through the first three rounds this week and thinks that their pairing can produce a stroke-play feel for the fans.

“Well I think she have enough experience too (laughs) because she played great last week and then last year also, and I know how she hit it great and she putting is really good,” said Shin. “So, I think I really, I think tomorrow will be really good competition for us.”

Shin’s looking to get back in the winner circle for the third time in her last seven LPGA starts and 11th career title.

Hey shorty: Shin had a highlight reel shot on the par 5 6th when she holed out of the greenside bunker for her first eagle of the 2013 season. But it was the reaction from the crowd that let Shin know her beautiful play led her to the bottom of the hole. She birdied No. 6 in the first two rounds and knew she had a good chance.
“I was too short to watch it (laughs) the eagle,” said Shin. “Well first day and second day I made a good birdie with that hole so I thinking I had a chance to birdie but I was surprised it was in. Well, a little sad didn’t see it (laughs).”

Set the tone: Fourth-year LPGA member Beatriz Recari got off to strong start in Saturday’s third round and thinks it was definitely a helper in keeping the Spaniard steady the rest of the day. All four of her birdies came on her first She said she felt like she left some shots out on the course but is looking forward to chipping away at the lead on Sunday.

“Got some momentum there,” said Recari. “I just felt that I had some good chances that didn’t go in but like I said I had some really good putts in the beginning. On the back nine I had a silly mistake on No. 14 and didn’t take advantage of the reachable par 5 on 15 and made a good save on 16. It was a good day.”

Recari is playing for her first win since her rookie year in 2010 at the CVS Pharmacy LPGA Challenge. The 25-year old has been one of the more consistent players on Tour, having made 27 cuts out of all 27 starts last season. She was one of three players to do so alongside Karrie Webb (20 starts) and Jiyai Shin (18 starts).

Call it a comeback: While most eyes will be set on the leadergroup tomorrow, a formidable group of players trail the lead including six players within eight shots. It won’t be an impossible task to catch Shin and Ko as the course this week is set up for players to attack the par 5s with more than plenty birdie opportunities throughout the track.
Rolex Player of the Year Stacy Lewis (@Stacy_Lewis) had the biggest comeback win of the year last season of 7 shots at the Mizuno Classic, while three players hold the all-time record of 10 strokes, most recently by Louise Friberg at the 2008 MasterCard Classic Honoring Alejo Peralta Presented by Nextel.
Quote of the Day: Lydia Ko on whether she looks at the money she’s not cashing in by keeping her amateur status.

“I don’t really care anymore because I’m an amateur. I’m not going to get it anyway, so what’s the point?”

Lost fire: Second-round leader Mariajo Uribe (@MariaJoUribe) looked out of sorts in comparison to her first two rounds and finished with seven bogeys, including three consecutive on the back nine. Uribe finished +5 and dropped to T4, trailing Shin and Ko by eight strokes.

Moving on up: Gwladys Nocera (@GlaNocera) of France had the low round of the day and made a huge jump after carding an 8-under 65 and moved from T70 to T4.

Nocera is a 10-time winner on the LET and was a three-time European Solheim Cup Team member (2005, 2007, 2009)

Of Note…2012 Rolex Player of the Year Stacy Lewis (@Stacy_Lewis) celebrated her 28th birthday on Friday and had a six birdie, two bogey performance to jump her from T40 to T15at 7-under…those players who made the cut came out on Saturday attacking the course at Royal Canberra Golf Club and it paid off for the majority. 18 out of the top 23 after 54 holes finished their rounds under par on Saturday

Tweet of the Day: Goes to 2013 LPGA Tour rookie Brooke Pancake who documented the clinic held today on the range at Royal Canberra Golf Club. Tour pros Julia Boland (@JuliaBolandGolf), Wendy Ward and Marita Engzelius (@MaritaEngzelius) gave tips and answered questions to a group from the Special Olympics, Australian Amputee Golf and Blind and Deaf Golf.

“Walked down to the driving range to find @lpga helping w/ a clinic to teach disabled people to play! #proudtobehere” --@BrookePancake


JIYAI SHIN, Rolex Rankings No. 8

MODERATOR: Jiyai, you’re both on the same score for tomorrow. What can we expect - other than wonderful golf?
JIYAI SHIN: (Laughs) Well, I really look forward to tomorrow because I really enjoy the last three rounds and then I know I played a really young golfer (laughs) but I have more experience of her, so I just, I have a really good feeling with my swing and tempo, so I just give focus to each of my shots.

MODERATOR: We just interviewed Lydia and she was also looking forward to playing with you. She said, I still feel that I can learn such a lot from you and your experience.
JIYAI SHIN: Well I think she have enough experience too (laughs) because she played great last week and then last year also, and I know how she hit it great and she putting is really good. So, I think I really, I think tomorrow will be really good competition for us.

Q. Is it a case of trying to get a little bit of amends from the Canadian Open, you don’t want to be beaten by a 15 year old a second time.
JIYAI SHIN: (Laughs) Yeah but I thought it was this morning but trying to let it pass, so I just only thinking about tomorrow.

Q. Jiyai, when you were 15, what sort of standard of tournaments were you playing in, can you recall yourself what you were doing?
JIYAI SHIN: When I was 15 I was national team in Korea, so I played a few tournament of the KL PGA professional tournament, but I didn’t win (laughs). But I won then one when I was 17, this was my first – 17, I think so, 16, 17, when I won - 17 I think. Seventeen I won the professional tournament when I was junior. But she’s a couple of years younger than me, amazing.

Q. Apart from one or two exceptions, the golf course appeared to be a little bit more difficult today. We asked Lydia this question; did you find it more difficult, a little bit firmer?
JIYAI SHIN: Well yes definitely and then winds picked up, balls flies, so it’s hard to control with my irons today and also the pin location was really tough. I hit a great shot - I hit a lot of good shots but still missed a few greens. So tomorrow we have one more day but I want to make a lot of birdies because, you know, most players they already sign up for the charity, donate it for the birdie, for the skin cancer, so I try to make a lot of birdie and donate it.

Q. Talk us through the eagle on the 6th out of the bunker. You didn’t see it go in?
JIYAI SHIN: Yeah, I was too short to watch it (laughs) the eagle. Well first day and second day I made a good birdie with that hole so I thinking I had a chance to birdie but I was surprised it was in. Well, a little sad can’t see it (laughs).

Q. Do you feel that really kickstarted your round, it really got you going?
JIYAI SHIN: Well I hit it really good. So I just like shoot close but it made it, but that’s golf.

Q. You’ve gone close to this tournament before, you obviously had a very good opportunity at Kingston Heath. There must be part of you that really wants to win this tournament given the amount of times you’ve come here to play it?
JIYAI SHIN: Absolutely and also I know that I have a lot of fan in Australia so I want to show them the good playing and win in front of them. I really love to play here, so I want to make it great, the things here.

Q. Jiyai, you were maybe five or six shots, you and Lydia, ahead of anyone else. Does that then become almost match play?
JIYAI SHIN: Well, this makes it comfortable for us because we just focus - I’m just focus about her score and she also just kept looking at my score. But, you know, this course has a lot of chance to birdie, a lot of par 5s, so I’m still keep watching for other players. You know, first day Lydia hit a 10 under, I hit an 8 under, so all players had a chance to make the lower scores. So yeah, I think so.

Q. You’re obviously loving this tournament but do you feel you’re playing a little bit of a role of the villain at the moment, I guess everyone’s sort of captured by Lydia and how young she is?

MODERATOR: What he’s saying is, you’re seen as the villain because she’s so young and you’re the old one so people want the young one to move ahead.
JIYAI SHIN: I’m still young too (laughs)

MODERATOR: You’re more experienced.
JIYAI SHIN: I’m young. She’s just baby, she’s just baby. I’m just young girl.

MODERATOR: That’s it, young girl and baby.
JIYAI SHIN: (Laughs) yes, that’s it.


LYDIA KO, Rolex Rankings No. 30

MODERATOR: Thank you for coming in Lydia. Another long day but it looks like you’re joint leader at the end of the day.
LYDIA KO: Yeah, I mean it was a pretty good start to the day. During the middle of my back 9 it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would go along, but a birdie on the 18th and I guess that made my day.

Q. How are you feeling physically? I think you said at the start of the week you were a little bit concerned about fatigue, just because you had that great walk last week, it was obviously tiring?
LYDIA KO: Yeah, because I I did play full rounds last week. I played 9 holes on Monday, 18 Tuesday, 18 Wednesday and then Thursday, Friday, Saturday as well. So yeah, I’ve been playing quite a lot of golf and I played like pretty much every single day until the New Zealand open as well for two weeks. I mean, I’m feeling okay now but probably after tomorrow I’ll be a bit tired. But then I’ve got Thailand Open the week after, so hopefully I won’t be that fatigued.

Q. How does it feel going out to the final round leader of the Australian Open after winning your homeland title last week, was it a little bit stronger at home and also having that backing support?
LYDIA KO: Yes, I was joint leader then too, but I mean, that was our national open and it meant a lot, but yeah, I guess it’s just another tournament for me. I really don't know what’s going to happen tomorrow.

Q. Could you talk us through what happened on the back 9, you hit a couple of not so good shots?
LYDIA KO: It wasn’t really that bad, I just hit it over the green on 12 and 14 and they were pretty hard shots to make up and down for par

Q. Jiyai Shin was asked last night about the similarities between the way that you two play. Do you feel that yourself? Do you kind of play a similar style to hers? It looks like you do to us?
LYDIA KO: Well they say we look alike too.(laughs) Yeah, I’ve seen her play before at the Canadian Open and then on TV. She’s a pretty accurate player I guess off the tee and stuff, so in that way we could be pretty similar. I mean, she’s a great player and there are things that I do need to learn from her.

Q. I guess you’re not similar in how you approach it, like on the 6th there for an eagle, she was pretty emotional about it and showed a lot of emotion, and what about yourself, you’re the opposite.
LYDIA KO: Yeah, I don’t really like showing my exhibitions a lot unless it’s pretty big, yeah, I mean, because sometimes there has been in the past where I’ve shown emotion or expression and then it’s led on - like even if it was good stuff, it’s led on to not a good hole the hole after. So I try to stay calm especially if it’s the middle of the round, you never know what’s going to happen to the next hole.

Q. Did you play with her at the end of the Canadian Open, the last two rounds?
LYDIA KO: Just the last round with Stacy Lewis.

Q. Does that give you an advantage do you think or make you feel more comfortable tomorrow?
LYDIA KO: Well, it doesn’t really give me an advantage because we’re pretty much on the same score, but yeah, I guess I played alongside her before, so yeah, it does make it a little more comfortable.

Q. I saw you wearing an ice scarf out there, what was that all about?
LYDIA KO: Yeah, it’s from the States and especially in the States because it’s so hot, you kinda need to cool down and it was getting hot out there. So I try to stay in the shade and get my body into cool temperature.

Q. What do you think the key will be for you tomorrow?
LYDIA KO: I mean, I’ve been playing pretty good, you know. Hopefully the putts will roll like it did the last three days. I don't know what the winning scores are really going to be. Yeah, I’ll just have to play my own game.

Q. Mentally it was quite important to get over the top of 14 and then start on an even keel towards the end there?
LYDIA KO: Yeah, I know when I was coming down the 18th I wasn’t pretty happy with what happened and you know, there were a couple more birdie opportunities that I did miss, so I said, Lydia just have a birdie down the last hole and you know, just be happy with that hole. Then yeah, I guess it worked and yeah, it’s quite mentally hurtful (laughs) when you do make bogeys along the way after you’ve been playing so pretty good.

Q. Five birdies and two bogeys, was there anything you were disappointed with in your game today?
LYDIA KO: No, I mean like even the bogey holes I was really, I was so close to being good but then it was actually the same club where it just went over. I wouldn’t be able to hit a 6 iron anyways, so yeah, it’s kinda a distance in between two clubs.

Q. Apart from that hiccup on the back nine, are you playing as well now as you feel you’ve ever played? Are you close to that?
LYDIA KO: No, I think when I played the best was at the Canadian Open. That week it felt like it went easily, like it wasn’t - it’s probably because I played well, it’s not really because I won in the end. Yeah, I mean, that week - and I didn’t really feel the pressure of wanting to win because It was an LPGA event and I was like, oh, like I’d win, I was thinking that. So yeah even up until the last hole I didn’t know that I would win, so in that kind of situation it was pretty much when I was hitting the best.

Q. I guess because of that win now there is that expectation on you of your capacity to win an LPGA Tour event. Where will this event sit for you if you are to go on and win it tomorrow? I know we’re looking ahead a bit.
LYDIA KO: Yeah I mean it will be at the top. I mean, everyone is pretty meaningful and especially if it’s an LPGA event it’s even bigger. So yeah, no, I just got to stay calm and see what happens to me.

Q. Do you take a different approach to a round when it’s almost effectively match play tomorrow I guess? Is that sort of a tactical approach, saying you don’t have to worry about anyone else really?
LYDIA KO: Yeah, well I’ll just, you know, play to the plan that I’ve really made. Just because I’m in the final group and we’re on the same score or something, I won’t really change my plans because in the past I’ve changed my plan and it wasn’t better.

Q. I guess after the Canadian Open as well and if you win tomorrow it’s another $180,000 that you can’t receive. Over half a million dollars, is that pretty mind boggling for someone so young?
LYDIA KO: I don’t really care anymore because I’m an amateur, I’m not going to get it anyway; so what’s the point.

Q. Just a little bit on the course Lydia, it just seemed to me, I just watched a few of your shots onto some of the greens. The greens were definitely firming up this afternoon, did you notice that?
LYDIA KO: Yeah, I did, I did, and especially when you’re hitting off the rough, you know, some parts, you really don't know how the ball is going to come out of the rough because sometimes you can calculate it being a flyer and flying more but then it really doesn’t. But the two shots I had, it was a pretty big flyer so yeah, it’s quite hard to control, especially when you’re in the rough, but the greens are definitely getting firmer.

Q. Lydia, you had a win at the Halberg Awards back home on Thursday, has that registered at all. Have you had time to think about that at all?
LYDIA KO: To be honest, I did know that I was going to get the Emerging Talent award, so yeah, it wasn’t really a surprise and I was going again for the Sportswoman of the Year against two gold medallists or three - two gold medallists and one silver medallist, so I didn’t really expect to win that anyway. So yeah, I mean, I was pretty privileged and fortunate just to be able to be in the finalists.

Q. When you first played in professional tournaments you played with some big name players. You had nerves playing some of the girls that have been on tour for a while. When did you feel that those nerves disappeared and you were just playing the Jiyais and the Michelle Wies on level terms, just thinking they were just like other golfers?
LYDIA KO: The nerves are still there, nerves are there anywhere for any tournament. I get nervous when I’m playing an amateur tournament. I get nervous for pretty much every tournament, so yeah, I can’t say they’re all gone, but yeah, I mean I’m really privileged to have played - like this is my 13th pro event, you know, and not many amateurs get to play that many.

So yeah, I’m just out here for experience and like I say, money really, it doesn’t matter to me at this stage, so, yeah.

Topics: Ko, Lydia, Shin, Jiyai, Notes and Interviews, ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open

Andrews Sports MedicineArpin Van LinesFloridas NaturalMedjet AssistMichelob ULTRAPrudentialSmuckers