RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup First Round Notes and Interviews

RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup
Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
Phoenix, Arizona
First-Round notes and interviews
March 14, 2013

Ai Miyazato -9, Rolex Rankings No. 9
Jee Young Lee -7, Rolex Rankings No. 254
Candie Kung -6, Rolex Rankings No. 51
Brittany Lang -6, Rolex Rankings No. 30
Lexi Thompson -5, Rolex Rankings No. 20
Jane Rah +1, Rolex Rankings No. 285

It was a record-tying day for Okinawa, Japan native Ai Miyazato who fired a blistering 9-under 63 to take the first round lead at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup. Miyazato notched seven birdies and one eagle at the Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa to take a two-stroke lead over Jee Young Lee.

The nine-time LPGA Tour champion’s 9-under round tied a tournament low and her career-low round which she also shot at the 2009 CN Canadian Women’s Open

Miyazato only needed 23 putts during her first round and credited solid ball striking and good course management for her stellar round.

“I hit the ball well and my putting was really good,” said Miyazato. “I think I had good course management as well and I could control myself really well, too, so it was a good day.”

 

Home Sweet Home… Call it a premonition but Ai Miyazato had an inkling from the moment she woke-up Thursday morning that it was going to be a special day. As it turned out, Miyazato was right as she took ahold of the first round lead with a scorching 9-under 63.

“You know, it's just beautiful out there,” said Miyazato. “It's just always nice to play in this tournament, it's very enjoyable, and I just had a good feeling this morning.  I was just very happy to be here.  The weather is just awesome and I was like I'm going to do this today and there you go, I shot 9‑under.” 

Miyazato has found reprieve this week which comes in the form of her own bed at her home in Phoenix. Two years ago, he nine-time LPGA Tour winner purchased a house 10 minutes from Wildfire Golf Club to be closer to her mental coach.

“I just have a house in Phoenix,” said Miyazato, “and I'm just staying home nice and relaxed and it makes me feel good, so it feels like a hometown.”

Miyazato kicked-off the highly anticipated RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup week with an opportunity to root on the local Phoenix Suns. According to the petite Miyazato, the game made her further realize the height of NBA basketball players who towered over her.

“Right, that game was just so much fun,” said Miyazato. “I got really good seats right behind the basket, and I knew the basketball players are really tall but then I just realized how tall they are.  It was like triple‑sized to me.  It was relaxed and refreshing.  It was inspiring, too.  They can move fast and it was just an inspiring time.  I just feel good.” 

Red hot start: Jee Young Lee feels like the Wildfire Golf Club suits her game with its long par-3s and a few long par-4s, and she feels a little more confidence while playing here. On Thursday, it certainly looked like she was comfortable on this golf course.

Lee opened with a 7-under 65 in Thursday’s first round of the RR Donnnelley LPGA Founders Cup and sits two shots back of leader Ai Miyazato. Lee, who teed off on No. 10, got off to a hot start as she was 6-under after nine holes with seven birdies and one bogey. She had a couple speed bumps in her round, which included two three-putts, but overall she was pleased with her opening effort.

“I had good tee shot and irons, and I had a lot of birdie putt,” said Lee, who needed only 22 putts in her opening round. “I feel really good today and I want to keep it up.”

After her final LPGA event of the 2012 season last September, Lee said that she took two months off from golf. She spent it visiting with friends and shopping back home in Korea before returning to the Orlando area and dedicating herself to really working hard on her game. Now her hope is that the hard work could begin paying off this week.

I just try to every week [be the] same, but I like this course, so a little more confidence for this week,” Lee said.

Friendly Advice… Despite a solid 6-under 66 during Thursday’s first round of the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup, Candie Kung admitted to struggling during much of her round. According to the former Symetra Tour member and four-time LPGA Tour winner, she was plagued by bad ball striking and the inability to wrap her head around the greens at the Wildfire Golf Club.

“I have absolutely no idea how those balls went in, but I was able to miss my shot close to the hole,” said Kung. “I hit about two shots on the club face today.  It's funny.”

Despite the difficult day, Kung was able to laugh through the struggles and even received a bit of useful advice from the person who she credits for influencing her career, her father.

“I just laugh about today and I actually get mad when I hit it solid all day and not make a single putt,” said Kung. “It's weird, it's golf.  I've talked to a couple people already and one of them is my dad.  He's like, just keep hitting it, I don't care how you hit it, just put it close to the flag and hopefully it goes in.  Okay, I'll do that.”

Kung first began playing golf when she moved from her hometown of Kaoshiung, Taiwan to the United States in 1995. As an eighth grader, Kung found herself in America with few friends so instead, turned her attention to golf.

“It was hard,” said Kung. “I didn't play golf when I was in Taiwan.  As an eighth grader, I had all my friends at home, I didn't know anybody here, I had no place to go, so all I had to do was play golf.  That's all I did, going to the golf course and meet some friends there hopefully because they see a girl playing and they thought, what can this girl do.  But it was hard.”

B-b-b-b-b-Bad…If you have ever met Birttany Lang, you will instantly notice her calm and laid back demeanor, but that hasn’t always been the case for the 2011 U.S. Solheim Cup Team member who her parents claim was quite the handful as a child. According to this year’s Player Guide, which showcases players’ accomplishments on the golf course and highlights their personalities outside the ropes, the story Lang’s parents most tell about her is how bad she was as a child.

“I hear from everybody what a terrible kid I was,” said Lang. “I don't know, I don't have any stories.  Everybody who knew me growing up tells me that I was awful, so I'm sorry.”

Family always resides first for Lang who has her brother, Luke Lang walking side-by-side with her in the fairways as her caddy.

“Yeah, it means the world to me,” said Lang of having her brother as a caddy. “I'm all about family, I love my family. I wouldn't be doing any of this without them and we're extremely close, so we have a blast. We have good days and bad days, but you always have family who cares about you so it makes a big difference.”

Despite her close relationship with her brother, Lang admits the duo are quite the opposite. According the former Duke University Sun Devil, her brother has taken over as the worse of the two.

“You know, we've always gotten along really well,” said Lang. “We're very different, we're extremely different, and we've always gotten along really well.  I always tell my parents, I was a bad kid growing up and I got better and Luke was a good kid and got worse.  We're very different.  We've always gotten along really well."

All About the Fans…Lexi Thompson could be considered one of the most beloved players on the LPGA Tour amongst fans and according to the 17-year-old, she thrives on the support she receives from her adoring gallery. No matter what the teen sensation shoots, she never denies a request for an autograph after her round.

“It means the world to me,” said Thompson. “Without fans, these tournaments wouldn't be going on and it'd be pretty boring if nobody was out there watching us, so it means a lot to me, and I'll sign every autograph no matter what I shoot.”

This week’s RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup thrives on recognizing the past, present, and future of the LPGA Tour and it can be reflected with three of the 13 founders greeting players as they approach the 18th green and members of the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program lining the fairways. After firing a 5-under 67, Thompson couldn’t help but point out the fact, this is what the RR Donnelley is about.

“It's great,” said Thompson. “This is what RR Donnelley does so well. It's great to see the young girls out following all the girl groups, and to have that fan base is really important out here and to have all the founders waiting for us on 18, it means a lot and that's what this tournament does so well.”

Albatross! There had been a four year drought of double eagles on the LPGA Tour prior to Hannah Yun recording one on the par-5 15th hole at the 2012 RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup in Phoenix. So it was certainly impressive that the next albatross came at the very same event a year later and even more surprisingly on the very same hole.

Second-year LPGA Tour member Jane Rah recorded that rare feat of a double eagle on the 15th hole at Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Desert Ridge in Thursday’s first round. Rah holed out from 226 yards with a three wood.

“I think it hit the right edge of the green and it just kept trickling and the people on the tee just started clapping and I was like, ‘I hope it went in!’” Rah said. “It was so early in the morning. We were the first group but it was very cool.”

Where it all began: This week’s RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup is all about honoring the women who helped make the LPGA what it is today. Each day throughout the tournament week, we will showcase a few of those Founders and Pioneers. Today we feature Opal Hill, Betty Jameson, and Sally Sessions.

Opal Hill
Birthdate: 1892, Missouri
Rookie Year: 1950
LPGA Victories: 2

Opal Hill began playing golf at age 31, when physicians urged her to add gentle exercise as she battled a long-time kidney ailment. At one point, she was told she only had three years to live. She not only conquered her illness, but grew to love the game, having won the Kansas City Championship nine times, captured three Doherty Cup titles, was the 1928 North and South Women’s Amateur champion and was named to four U.S. Curtis Cup teams.

She was sometimes called “the matriarch of women’s golf” because she entered the game late and was older than many of her fellow competitors. She was the first LPGA Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) honorary member from the Midwestern Section. Hill also was the first recipient of the National Golf Foundation’s Joe Graffis Award and was a member of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

Betty Jameson
Birthdate: 1919, Florida
Rookie Year: 1950
LPGA Victories: 12
LPGA Earnings: $91,740

An Oklahoma native, Betty Jameson established her reputation as a top American amateur long before she became one of the LPGA’s 13 founders. The lanky player, who possessed what her peers called “the perfect golf grip” and a “natural beauty,” won 14 top amateur titles, including the 1939 and 1940 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. In 1942, she became the first player to win the Western Women’s Open and the Western Women’s Amateur in the same year. Her amateur career was launched when she won the 1932 Texas Publinx Title at age 13.

Jameson turned pro in 1945, and won seven times prior to the start of the LPGA. Two years after her professional debut, she won the 1947 U.S. Women’s Open with a 295 total. That score marked the first time a woman had scored lower than 300 for a 72-hole tournament. She went on to win 13 LPGA tournaments, including three major championships, and was one of the LPGA’s first six Hall of Fame inductees.
Jameson’s greatest legacy is the Vare Trophy, which she donated in 1952, in the name of her idol, American amateur star, Glenna Collett Vare. It was the idea of this freethinking player to institute the concept of the Vare Trophy, which continues to be awarded to the LPGA Tour player with the lowest scoring average each year.

Sally Sessions
Birthdate: 1919, Florida
Rookie Year: 1947

A native of North Muskegon, Mich., LPGA co-founder Sally Sessions was both a gifted athlete in tennis and golf. She won the Michigan State Tennis Championship at age 16, and won both the City of Muskegon’s tennis and golf championships on the same day in 1942. But eventually, Sessions directed her focus solely toward golf. She won the 1946 Michigan Women’s State Championship, and in 1947, became the first woman to break par-72 at Pinehurst Country Club in Pinehurst, N.C., with a score of 69. That same year and playing as an amateur, she finished as runner-up to Betty Jameson at the 1947 U.S. Women’s Open Championship, also adding a win at the 1947 Mexican Women’s Open.

A year later, Sessions turned pro, tying for 10th at the 1948 U.S. Women’s Open. She recorded a fifth-place finish at the 1949 Tam O’Shanter All-American tournament. Just as many other women professionals of her time, she became a staff professional for Wilson Sporting Goods and performed clinics and exhibitions around the country as a member of the Wilson staff. She never won on the LPGA Tour during her brief golf career, but Sessions served as the association’s first secretary.

 

Quotable… “We are trying to figure out what the protocol is. Hole-in-ones you have to buy drinks but nobody knows if there is a protocol for an albatross. So I think I may be off the hook.” – Jane Rah

Of Note… Meena Lee had a hole-in-one at the 174 yard sixth with a four rescue and Jenny Gleason had a hole-in-one at the 171 yard 14th with a five hybrid…Current Symetra Tour member Jaclyn Sweeney, who earned a sponsor exemption into this week’s field with her win at the season-opening VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic, fired a first-round 1-under and currently sits tied for 59th.

Ai Miyazato, Rolex Rankings No. 9

MODERATOR:  We'd like to welcome our current leader, Ai Miyazato, into the interview room.  Thanks so much.  What a great round out there today.  This is a tournament that you seem to really enjoy playing in, you finished second last year.  Take me through the day and really what was working well for you out there on the golf course.
AI MIYAZATO:  You know, it's just beautiful out there.  It's just always nice to play in this tournament, it's very enjoyable, and I just had a good feeling this morning.  I was just very happy to be here.  The weather is just awesome and I was like I'm going to do this today and there you go, I shot 9‑under.  I hit the ball well and my putting was really good. I think I had good course management as well and I could control myself really well, too, so it was a good day.

MODERATOR:  The phoenix area is a second home for you.  You spend a lot of your time here in the off season.  Do you feel at home then when you come and play in tournaments here?  When you're back here, does it feel like home to you?  I know Japan really is home. 
AI MIYAZATO:  Kind of.  I just have a house in Phoenix and I'm just staying home nice and relaxed and it makes me feel good, so it feels like a hometown.

MODERATOR:  I know you had to take a week off in Singapore, which you were disappointed about, after getting injured in the car accident, but it doesn't seem like your game has suffered at all.  How are you feeling, and really what is it about like during that time, kind of how did you get yourself prepared to play this week?
AI MIYAZATO:  Well, right after Thailand it was really hard.  Singapore was one of my favorite tournaments and I was really disappointed that I couldn't play, but I just tried to get nice and easy after that because my neck and my lower back was sore.  But I think I had a nice time off and now I feel fine.  Just totally feels good, more than before the Thailand maybe.  Like I said, it's just so nice to be here and playing a tournament again.  It's just really fun.

MODERATOR:  I know we had a little fun at the start of the week.  You kind of joined some of us for the Phoenix Suns game on Monday night.  I know you're a big basketball fan, too.  What was that like to get the opportunity to go to a game this week and get to take part in that fun off the golf course as well?
AI MIYAZATO:  Right, that game was just so much fun.  I got really good seats right behind the basket, and I knew the basketball players are really tall but then I just realized how tall they are.  It was like triple‑sized to me.  It was relaxed and refreshing.  It was inspiring, too.  They can move fast and it was just an inspiring time.  I just feel good. 

Q.  Can you just tell us what happened in the car accident?  I know Paula Creamer was involved.  What happened?  Did you have whiplash?  What was the result of it for you?
AI MIYAZATO:  Yes, I had whiplash on my neck and my lower back was sore, too.  But I went to hospital and it wasn't ‑‑ my bone was fine and there was nothing wrong, but I just felt sore, like really sore, so that's why I decided I'm not going to play in Singapore.  But right now I just feel totally fine.

Q.  Where exactly is your house?  Is it in Phoenix proper or is it in Scottsdale?
AI MIYAZATO:  It's in Phoenix nearby the airport.  It's like 10 minutes away from the airport.  It's on the golf course.

Q.  Could you take us through the late stretch where you made the eagle and you were 5‑under in the four holes, if you can just kind of walk us through that stretch, some of your distances?
AI MIYAZATO:  Wow, I can't remember.  I remember the eagle.  I hit middle of the fairway and there was 232 to the pin on my second shot in and I hit the easy 3‑wood, and my eagle putt was like 20 feet.  And before eagle, did I make ‑‑ yeah, I made one birdie and after eagle I made two birdies, so it was just ‑‑ I feel good with my game so I kept the round going to the last hole.  All the time I could focus like every single shot, so it was good.

Q.  What golf course is it that you live on?
AI MIYAZATO:  Legacy.

Q.  And then you were Number 1 not too long ago.  Is that something you really want to strive to get again?  Is that possible, do you think, or is that something you just don't worry about, being the Number 1 ranked player in the world?
AI MIYAZATO:  That would be my ultimate goal, but right now I'm just happy to be able to play again, so hopefully just my results will follow through my good play.

Q.  How long have you lived at Legacy?
AI MIYAZATO:  It's been two years.  I bought a house a couple years ago.

Q.  Why here?
AI MIYAZATO:  Because my mental coach lives in Scottsdale and they used to have us go out to Legacy and I thought that was the perfect place to live.  But unfortunately they moved to Scottsdale, so now I have to drive 30 minutes, but 30 minutes is nothing, so it's a nice place to live.

Q.  Do you still have a house in California?
AI MIYAZATO:  Yes, I do.

MODERATOR:  She just wants to make sure she can figure out where she's going to come visit you.
AI MIYAZATO:  You can come to my house anytime.

 

Jee Young Lee, Rolex Rankings No. 254

Q.  Can you just take me through the day?  Great start on your first nine, I know it was the back nine that ‑‑
JEE YOUNG LEE:  Yeah, I had good tee shot and irons, and I had a lot of birdie putt, make birdie putt, but I got two three‑putts, yeah, front nine.  But I feel really good today and I want to keep it up.

Q.  Did you feel good coming into this week?  Was there something about your game, was there something that you thought maybe you could put together a round like this?  Were you feeling good about your game coming into this week?
JEE YOUNG LEE:  I just try to every week same, but I like this course, so a little more confidence for this week.

Q.  What about this golf course works for your game?
JEE YOUNG LEE:  This is more like long par 3 and a couple long par 4s, but I'm a little bit long hit, long driver, so it's better to be.

Q.  Anything in the off season did you work on in your game?
JEE YOUNG LEE:  My last tournament is last September and then I no golf like two months, and then I come back Orlando and then I hard train, like work hard and practice hard, yeah.

Q.  Was it important for you to kind of take a break from golf from last year?  Like you said you took some time off, was it important for you to have a break from it?
JEE YOUNG LEE:  Yeah, because like seven months is tournament a little bit stress for me.

Q.  Enjoyed your time off, right?
JEE YOUNG LEE:  Yeah.

Candie Kung, Rolex Rankings No. 51

MODERATOR:  I'd like to welcome Candie Kung into the interview room.  Candie, thanks for stopping in.
CANDIE KUNG:  Thank you.

MODERATOR:  Today in your round you had an eagle, five birdies and one bogey on the last hole.  I know we were just talking and you said you have absolutely no idea how you shot that.  Can you just take me through the day?
CANDIE KUNG:  I had no idea.  I struggled last year on the greens here, and this year I played with a couple of the club champions here and they told me some secrets about the greens but I didn't get to experience it until today.  So I was kind of confused on the greens, on how it's going.  It breaks towards the hotel, toward the valley, whatever it is.  I was just confused.  Plus, I didn't hit the putts on the center of the face at all the whole time.  I have absolutely no idea how those balls went in, but I was able to miss my shot close to the hole.  I hit about two shots on the club face today.  It's funny.

MODERATOR:  So with all that being said, what are your thoughts heading into tomorrow?  Are they still good?
CANDIE KUNG:  I hope so.  I mean, I hope it goes my way.  I'm going to go the range and work it out.  Hopefully I can find the feeling that I had in Singapore, I played pretty good there.  I was feeling pretty good in Singapore both putting and hitting.  I just wasn't hitting it far enough off the tee.  Now I'm getting my distance back off the tee, so hopefully I can get the same feel in the swing.

MODERATOR:  I know you grew up in Taiwan but only started playing golf when you moved to the U.S. in 1995.  How was that transition for you?
CANDIE KUNG:  It was hard.  I didn't play golf when I was in Taiwan.  As an eighth grader, I had all my friends at home, I didn't know anybody here, I had no place to go, so all I had to do was play golf.  That's all I did, going to the golf course and meet some friends there hopefully because they see a girl playing and they thought, what can this girl do.  But it was hard.

Q.  (inaudible)
CANDIE KUNG:  I just laugh about today and I actually get mad when I hit it solid all day and not make a single putt.  It's weird.  It's golf.  I've talked to a couple people already and one of them is my dad.  He's like, just keep hitting it, I don't care how you hit it, just put it close to the flag and hopefully it goes in.  Okay, I'll do that.

MODERATOR:  Is there anything specific you're going to work on?
CANDIE KUNG:  Yeah, there's actually a couple things that we were working on in the swing the last week and I think I might have overdone it a little bit.  I'm going to try to figure that out.

Q.  Can you talk a little bit about having trouble finding your bearings on the course?  What do you think it is about this course that maybe has you feeling a little off the mark today?
CANDIE KUNG:  I think the greens are tricky.  They're firm, but they roll slow.  I don't get it.  There's two holes where we hit like 7‑iron, which it should stop pretty quick, it just takes off.  It just takes one big hop and it goes all the way to the back of the green.  We have no idea, how, why that happened.  We couldn't find a pitch mark, but then when you putt, the greens are so slow and it goes towards the valley or it goes towards hotels, whatever that is.

Q.  Do you think the nines here play differently?
CANDIE KUNG:  Yeah, a little bit.  I don't know which one's which, but my back nine, my back nine, the line off the tee is a lot harder than the one in the front.  The one in the front I feel like it's more wide open, it's a little easier than the front nine, I thought.

Q.  Could you walk us through the stretch where you had the two birdies and the eagle, just what shots you played and distance on the eagle?
CANDIE KUNG:  Distance on the eagle, I had about 240 to the flag, 214 to the front, and it was a little bit into the wind.  Balls were flying pretty far for me this week, so I was like just kill that 3‑wood and hopefully it stops because we know that the green's running fast.  Once they hit the ground, the ball just takes off.  So I was hoping for it to stop, I couldn't see anything.  It went about 12 feet past the hole.

Q.  Is it tough to adjust to the ball flight when you've been playing at sea level, it's a little bit higher here and the air's thinner when you've been playing in the high humidity?
CANDIE KUNG:  Oh, thanks for another secret, I was trying to figure that out.  I didn't know why the balls were going so far today or this week.  Thanks for telling me.  Now I know, okay.  I was wondering why all my clubs were going four, five yards farther.  Is that what it is?  All right, thank you.

 

Brittany Lang, Rolex Rankings No. 30

MODERATOR:  I'd like to welcome Brittany Lang into the interview room.  Brittany, thanks for coming in.
BRITTANY LANG:  Thank you.

MODERATOR:  Nice round, 6‑under par today.  You hit 16 out of 18 greens and only needed 27 putts.  I know not the finish you like with a bogey on your 17th hole, but quite a day.  Can you just take me through it?
BRITTANY LANG:  Yeah, it was a fairly easy day.  I hit the ball great.  It was extremely easy.  I made some long putts, birdied all the par 5s.  8 was actually a great bogey.  I hit a really bad tee shot and it was an awesome bogey from there, so I wasn't too disappointed with that.  But it was an easy day.  Besides the last two holes, I hit the fairways and hit my irons and wedges close and putted really good and just very carefree day.

MODERATOR:  You won your first event last year.  What would it mean for you to notch another victory this year?
BRITTANY LANG:  It would mean everything.  After you've tasted it, you want it again and that was such a special week, and I was actually thinking about that today.  You have to stick to your process.  That was a special week and it meant everything to have a win, especially being a Solheim year. 

MODERATOR:  It says in the Player Guide that one story your parents always say about you is what a bad kid you were.  Do you have any funny stories?
BRITTANY LANG:  I don't have any like ‑‑ I don't have any stories.  I hear from everybody what a terrible kid I was.  I don't know, I don't have any stories.  Everybody who knew me growing up tells me that I was awful, so I'm sorry.

Q.  Along the same lines as your family, your brother is out there on the bag for you.  How is it to look over and have your brother there with you every step?
BRITTANY LANG:  Yeah, it means the world to me.  I'm all about family, I love my family.  I wouldn't be doing any of this without them and we're extremely close, so we have a blast.  We have good days and bad days, but you always have family who cares about you so it makes a big difference.

Q.  (Question about Brittany's brother.)
BRITTANY LANG:  You know, we've always gotten along really well.  We're very different, we're extremely different, and we've always gotten along really well.  I always tell my parents, I was a bad kid growing up and I got better and Luke was a good kid and got worse.  We're very different.  We've always gotten along really well.

Q.  What does it feel like to finally be back in the States playing?
BRITTANY LANG:  You know, we have a really good schedule.  The Commissioner's done a great job.  I like going over to Asia and I like playing over there, but you can't beat playing at home, especially this year.  Going to Dallas, that will be exciting, but anywhere in the U.S. I'm always excited to play.  It's where you're from, you're happy when you're here, so it's good to be home.

MODERATOR:  Along the same lines as Texas, I know you're a big Texas Rangers fan.  Have you been able to catch a spring training game at all?  
BRITTANY LANG:  I haven't.  I need to be a better fan.  All the other girls like Gerina and Angela, they're better fans.  Luke goes enough for us.  I would love to go see one.  I haven't, though.

 

Lexi Thompson, Rolex Rankings No. 20

MODERATOR:  I would like to welcome Lexi Thompson into the interview room.  Lexi, thanks for coming in.  You're coming off two Top 20 finishes in the past two events and you shot a 5‑under par 67 today.  How did it feel?  What went well for you out there?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, my game right now feels really well.  I'm working on something in particular and I've just been focusing on that 100 percent and just trying to commit to all of my shots.  But it felt good today.  I had a few rough holes out there, but I fought back and that's what golf's all about.

MODERATOR:  This week it's all about the past, present and future of golf.  How does it feel to walk down the fairway and see all the young girls watching you and come up 18 and see he founders waiting on you?
LEXI THOMPSON:  It's great.  This is what RR Donnelley does so well.  It's great to see the young girls out following all the girl groups, and to have that fan base is really important out here and to have all the founders waiting for us on 18, it means a lot and that's what this tournament does so well.

MODERATOR:  I have to say, I think of all the players, you're one of probably the top three that stands there after a round and signs autographs as long as you do.  What does that mean to you to have as many fans as you do?
LEXI THOMPSON:  It means the world to me.  Without fans, these tournaments wouldn't be going on and it'd be pretty boring if nobody was out there watching us, so it means a lot to me, and I'll sign every autograph no matter what I shoot.

MODERATOR:  You were featured in Teen Vogue today.  How does it feel to open up a magazine that doesn't really have anything to do with golf and see you in there?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, it's great.  It means a lot to me to be in that kind of magazine to get golf out there in just like a Teen Vogue magazine.  But it's a well‑known magazine and I'm really honored to be part of it and that they wanted to do a story on me.

Q.  Lexi two‑part question:  How did the course play, and you said you were working on something specific, what is that?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, the course overall, it actually is playing a lot different than last year.  Last year it was very dry and a lot of roll, so I was hitting a lot of hybrids and 4‑irons off tees, but now I get to hit a few more drivers, so that's good for me.  I'm just working on my posture with my swing in a more athletic position and just trusting it, just focusing on one little target out there and committing to it.  Pretty simple.

Q.  Lexi, could you take us through on your back nine, 3, 4, 5 where you had the double and then you bounced right back with the birdie and eagle?  What happened on the double and the distances on the eagle?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, the double, I just short‑sided myself.  I pulled my shot and had a straight downhill chip and did a little flub chip, didn't get it quite on the green and then I 3‑putted.  Then the next hole I hit 8‑iron to about 15 feet and made it, and then the next hole was par 5, I hit my 3‑wood just short of the green, had about a 20-yard chip shot and chipped in.

Q.  Obviously last year was your first full season.  How much more is there a comfort feeling this year, knowing you know where the courses are, you know where you're going to stay you've been through that process once now in most tournaments.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Yeah, I'm very comfortable out here now.  Playing on six sponsors' exemptions and playing out of the country a lot was pretty tough for me because I was used to playing every week with amateur and junior golf.  So last year was a good year for me just playing a lot and getting to see all the new golf courses and getting used to them.  I'm glad to have Greg Johnston on my bag too because he knows the golf courses really well and he's been out here for a while.

 

Jane Rah, Rolex Rankings No. 285

Q. Take me through that Albatross
JANE RAH: We had 226 yards to the pin. Hit three wood and I think it hit the right edge of the green and it just kept trickling and the people on the tee just started clapping and I was like, ‘I hope it went in!’ It was so early in the morning. We were the first group but it was very cool.

Q. Have you ever had an albatross before?
JANE RAH: No, I’m just lucky to get on the green in two so that was beyond a bonus. We are trying to figure out what the protocol is. Hole-in-ones you have to buy drinks but nobody knows if there is a protocol for an albatross. So I think I may be off the hook.

Q. It’s a pretty rare thing. You made the 32nd albatross in the history of our records on the LPGA Tour.
JANE RAH: I remember Hannah Yun did it last year here on that same hole.

Q. So is there something about that hole?
JANE RAH: I think it just helps that it’s open in the front. You don’t have to carry a bunker so you can just hit it short and it will roll up. It’s kind of firm out there. I really have no idea how that happened but I’m not complaining laug.

Topics: LPGA Founders Cup, Miyazato, Ai, Kung, Candie, Lang, Brittany, Thompson, Lexi, Notes and Interviews, Lee, Jee Young [+]

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