RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup Second Round Notes and Interviews

RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup
Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
Phoenix, Arizona
Second-Round notes and interviews
March 15, 2013

Jee Young Lee -15, Rolex Rankings No.
Ai Miyazato -14, Rolex Rankings No. 9
Stacy Lewis -11, Rolex Rankings No. 3
Lindsey Wright -9, Rolex Rankings No. 72

It’s been nearly eight years since Jee Young Lee last won on the LPGA Tour but the 27-year-old South Korean is leading after two rounds of the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup (@lpgafounders) in Phoenix. Lee fired an 8-under 64 on Friday at the Wildfire Golf Club and leads by one over Rolex Rankings No. 9 Ai Miyazato. Trailing four shots behind Lee is 2012 Rolex Player of the Year Stacy Lewis, who shot a 7-under 65 in the second round to jump from a T11 into solo third place.

As Good as New…Jee Young Lee has had her fair share of ups-and-downs the past two seasons on the LPGA Tour. In 2011, the South Korean missed 10 cuts in 15 starts and in 2012; she missed five cuts in 13 starts. Part of Lee’s struggles could be attributed to a wrist injury which required surgery in 2010 in October following the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.  

“Actually, in 2010 after Malaysia, Malaysian Open, I had surgery, right wrist surgery,” said Lee, “so I'm going to, you know, like rehab and then I'm going to lose a little confidence after that.”

If the first two days of the RR Donnelley LPGA Classic are any indication, it looks like Lee’s confidence is just fine as she currently holds a one-stroke lead. After surgery, Lee took two months off from golf and now feels as if her wrist is healthy.

“Much better this year,” said Lee. “I didn't golf like two months, so it's going to be better, better for wrist.”

Cool Calm, and Collected… Ai Miyazato’s poise and charisma on the golf course is something most people idolize. With her smooth, fluid swing, the nine-time LPGA Tour winner never gets flustered no matter the execution of any golf shot.

Despite Miyazato’s calm demeanor on the course, it hasn’t always been an easy thing to accomplish for the Okinawa, Japan native. One thing that has seemed to help Miyazato this week is her love for the RR Donnelley LPGA Classic.

“Well, it's not easy to be calm all day, but I just worked hard on just trying to control myself really well out there,” said Miyazato. “Like I said, I'm just happy to be here and playing in the tournament again and just very thankful for all that.  So that's why I think I felt really calm out there.  Of course I'm playing good, too, but I enjoy playing golf right now, so just make it simple.”

Statistically speaking, the numbers speak volumes for the type of player Miyazato is with top-15 rankings in putting average and rounds under par. Her impressive play hasn’t gone unnoticed amongst her players including 2012 Rolex Player of the Year Stacy Lewis who boasted about Miyazato’s game in her post-round press conference.

“Ai's going to be hard to chase,” said Lewis. “She's a good frontrunner.  She hits a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, hits it really straight.  When she gets her putter going, she's one of the best putters in the world.  I was surprised that she went pretty low today considering what she did yesterday.  It's usually hard to follow a number like that.  So she'll definitely be hard to catch.” 

Coming for the Number One Spot… Yani Tseng (@YaniTseng) currently holds the coveted number one spot in the Rolex Ranking but for the first time in 109 weeks, it is up for grabs at this week’s RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup. If Stacy Lewis (@Stacy_Lewis) wins this week and Tseng finishes third or worse, she will take over as the number one player in the Rolex Rankings.

Lewis currently sits four-strokes off the lead heading into tomorrow’s third round and the six-time LPGA Tour winner admits the thought of taking over as Rolex Rankings No. 1 has crept into her mind several times this week.

“It's definitely on my mind, you kind of look at what Na Yeon and Yani are doing and kind of pay attention to it,” said Lewis. “But then you've got Ai going crazy the last two days, so there's so much out of your control that you can't control that I've just got to take care of myself.” 

Ironically, Lewis and Tseng were paired together during the first two days of the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup but the discussion of the race for number one never came up in conversation. According to Lewis, the duo stuck strictly to discussing activities pertaining to outside the ropes.

“We've not talked about Number 1 at all, not at all,” said Lewis. “I don't know, we just talked about ‑‑ I don't know what we talked about.  We talked about where we went to dinner last night and what we were going to do the rest of the day.  I don't know.  We just kind of talked about random things, but we don't really talk about golf and the rankings and things like that.” 

Can’t slow her down: Coming off one of her best seasons in years on the LPGA Tour, Lindsey Wright didn’t want anything to hamper her preparation this past offseason.

Unfortunately for Wright, a freak injury while attending a friend’s bachelorette party in early January left her with a broken foot. So Wright wound up taking much more time off from golf than she anticipated.

“I actually was walking and I had a slight heel on and my foot kind slipped and I braced and it just popped,” said Wright, who had to withdraw from the first three LPGA events of the year due to the injury. “I actually think it was a stress kind of ‑‑ I mean, I've been working really hard on my pivot in my golf swing and so there's been a lot of stress on that left side anyway.  I just think it made it worse.”

The 33-year-old hadn’t played golf since the CME Group Titleholders in November and only began practicing a week and a half ago in preparation for her first tournament of the year this week at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup. But it didn’t appear that the lengthy layoff did anything to hamper her game as Wright followed up an opening round 68 with a 5-under 67 in Friday’s second round.

“Coming into this season, to be honest, I have had no expectations,” said Wright, who finished 49th on the Money List last year with two top-10 finishes. “I was nervous playing this tournament this week because it's the first time I hadn't prepared myself by playing three or four tournaments.  But in saying that, I kept it really simple in my practice and just kept going back to basics.  I mean, I made a few mental mistakes, which it's obvious that I haven't played, get ahead of yourself and that's where I made mistakes today, but all in all I'm pretty confident, I feel pretty good.  I did a lot of swimming in the time I couldn't walk, so that actually kept my quite flexible and stronger in my shoulders.  I'm actually hitting the ball really well.”

Everybody’s working for the weekend! A total of 74 players made the cut which fell at 2-under-par 142

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.

Marilynn Smith
Birthdate: 1929, Florida
Rookie Year: 1950
LPGA Victories: 18
LPGA Earnings: $296,258

LPGA co-founder Marilynn Smith was known as “Miss Personality” and the “LPGA’s Goodwill Ambassador” on the LPGA Tour in its early years. And it was Smith, wearing pearls and heels, who was often pushed out to ad-lib the LPGA’s earliest public relations efforts in front of fans, sponsors and the media. Accompanied by her fellow pros, she would often hit balls from home plate to the outfield and invite fans at Major League Baseball parks to come watch the local LPGA tournament. Once, she even attended a boxing match with the goal of reminding fans between rounds to attend that week’s LPGA event. Unfortunately, the grueling nature of the sport made Smith swoon and one of her fellow pros had to jump into the blood-splattered ring to invite boxing fans to come watch women’s golf.

But while Smith was a true girl-next-door native of Topeka who called herself “just an ordinary gal from the Kansas prairie who has lived an extraordinary life,” she was a solid competitor on the LPGA Tour from 1957 to 1976, playing a more limited schedule until 1985. During that time, Smith won 21 tournaments, including two major championships at the 1963 and 1964 Titleholders Championships. The Kansan’s first LPGA win came at the 1954 Fort Wayne Open in Indiana, with her final professional title notched at the 1972 Pabst Ladies Classic. She recorded nine top-10 finishes on the LPGA’s money list from 1961-1972.

Shirley Spork
Rookie Year: 1946

Shirley Spork was always a player with a keen eye for golf swing technique, leading her to become one of six inaugural members of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals’ (T&CP) Hall of Fame. Spork graduated from Eastern Michigan University, where she won the first-ever National Collegiate Championship in 1947, which was the equivalent of today’s NCAA Championship. A teacher at heart, she was the Western educational director for the National Golf Foundation (NGF) for seven years and taught golf in the early 1950s at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. Typical at that time, she spent the summer months competing on the LPGA Tour and the winter months teaching golf in the California desert.

In 1959, Spork helped found the LPGA’s teaching division along with Marilynn Smith, Betty Hicks and Barbara Rotvig. The Michigan native was twice named LPGA National Teacher of the Year (1959 and 1984). She also served as the LPGA’s T&CP chairperson for eight years. But Spork could also hit the shots, finishing among the top 10 on the LPGA’s money list in 1950, placing second in the 1962 LPGA Championship and fourth in the Carling Eastern Open that year. Widely considered the LPGA’s resident “trick-shot artist,” Spork would please crowds with golf shots on command and entertain fans in clinics wherever the tour traveled.

Louise Suggs
Birthdate: 1923, Florida
Rookie Year: 1950
LPGA Victories: 58
LPGA Earnings: $190,475

LPGA co-founder Louise Suggs always let her clubs do the talking. Nicknamed “The Little Hogan” by media in the early years, Suggs brought with her to the newly formed professional golf association a sparkling amateur career. The Georgia native was no stranger to golf fans, as she had wowed media and galleries throughout the 1940s with amateur wins that included two Georgia State Amateur Championships, wins at the 1941 and 1947 Southern Amateur Championship, three wins at the North and South Women’s Amateur Championship, the 1947 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, the 1948 Women’s British Amateur Championship, and a member of the 1948 U.S. Curtis Cup team.

Suggs is credited with 58 LPGA career wins and 11 major championships. In 1957, she won the Vare Trophy (for low scoring average) and also became the LPGA’s first player to complete the career grand slam, which included the U.S. Women’s Open, the LPGA Championship, the Western Open and the Titleholders Championship, at that time. Suggs became one of the six inaugural inductees of the LPGA Hall of Fame, as well as a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, and the LPGA’s Teaching and Club Professionals’ Hall of Fame. Over the years, she was honored with numerous awards, including the Patty Berg Award in 2000, the 2007 Bob Jones Award for “distinguished sportsmanship in golf,” and the William D. Richardson Award in 2008, which recognizes “individuals who have consistently made an outstanding contribution to golf.”

 

Get to Know Daniela Iacobelli… Playing in her first domestic LPGA event, Daniela Iacobelli made quite a move on Friday shooting a 7-under 65 to move from T59 into a T9. A rookie this year, Iacobelli has embarked on a rocky road to get her LPGA Tour card but persevered and won the final event on last year’s Symetra Tour to finish fifth on the Volvik Race for the Card.

Here is a bit more information on this dynamic LPGA rookie…

  • Started playing golf when she was two-years-old.
  • Played limited junior golf tournaments prior to attending Florida Institute of Technology.
  • While at the Florida Institute of Technology, she recorded 20 top-10 finishes, including eight wins.
  • After college, joined the Symetra Tour in 2010.
  • Only played in four events her rookie season due to funding and made one cut.
  • She decided to return home and became a head pro at her home course to try to save money.
  • During her second year on the Symetra Tour she played her way into better status and gave her two weeks notive on the phone while driving to Florida from Michigan.
  • She worked three jobs in the off season going into her third year on the Symetra Tour (in the golf shop, Electronics Department at Target during the holidays, and sold cell phones for Target Mobile via Radio Shack).
  • She started the 2012 Symetra Tour season with enough money for only two events.
  • Made friends with random people to get housing and avoid paying for a hotel.
  • Her bank account was close to red in the middle of the season but prevailed to win the final tournament of the year and clinch her LPGA Tour card for 2013.

 
Of Note… Kim Welch had a hole-in-on on the 163 yard 14th with a 6-iron…Cristie Kerr made one of the biggest moves of the day, shooting a 7-under 65 to move from a T59 into a T9 at 8-under-par…Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng fired an even-par 72 on Friday and she’s at 2-under-par.

Jee Young Lee, Rolex Rankings No. 254

Q.  So another great round.  What really worked well for you today?
JEE YOUNG LEE:  My driver was good and my tee shots keep in fairway, and then my irons is pretty good, better than yesterday, and my putting works a little bit more.

Q.  You put yourself now at the top of the leaderboard.  How comfortable are you up there, seeing your name up there in that top position?
JEE YOUNG LEE:  When I watch the leaderboard, I get a little bit more nervous, but I try to stay calm a little bit more and then, yeah.

Q.  It's been a while since you've won out here.  How much would it mean to you if you could find a way to pull out a victory this week?  I know it's been since 2005 was your last win out here on the LPGA.  What would it mean for you?  How much do you want to win this week?
JEE YOUNG LEE:  I waited so long, like seven, eight years?  Yeah.  I really want to win this week.  But two days more, two days left, so I'm going to try to keep being more confidence and patient.

Q.  The last two years your game's kind of gone up and down a lot it seems.  Is there something that you found recently that you feel like has gotten your game back on the right track?
JEE YOUNG LEE:  Actually, after Malaysia, Malaysian Open, I had surgery, right wrist surgery, so I'm going to, you know, like rehab and I'm going to ‑‑ and then I'm going to lose a little confidence after that.

Q.  How's the wrist feeling now?  Did you notice like last year and then this year as it started to get back?
JEE YOUNG LEE:  Much better this year.  I didn't golf like two months, so it's going to be better, better for wrist.

Q.  And sometimes, too, after surgery it does take some time for all the strength to come back, for you to kind of get ‑‑ and also to be able to practice as much because you probably didn't get to practice a lot after that surgery?
JEE YOUNG LEE:  Yeah.  After surgery and like two months, three months like rest, and then I couldn't still hit.  (Inaudible) Thailand, Singapore, and then after this one, this one was first tournament after my surgery.  I couldn't hit it hard still.

Q.  Which wrist was it?  Right one?
JEE YOUNG LEE:  Right.

Q.  Well, I'm glad that's feeling better and it certainly looks like it's working well out there.  What's your goals for the weekend?  Anything that you need to focus on in your game to keep yourself up there?
JEE YOUNG LEE:  A lot of good players are like on the top of the leaderboard, so I'm going to try to keep my golf, like golf game and concentrate on my golf game and going to stay (inaudible.)

 

Ai Miyazato, Rolex Rankings No. 9

MODERATOR:  All right.  I'd like to welcome Ai Miyazato in the interview room.  Ai, thanks for coming in today.  I know kind of a different round than you had yesterday, but still another solid day.  Can you just take me through it?
AI MIYAZATO:  Yeah.  I'm very happy with my round today.  I made eight birdies out there.  I had three bogeys, but still a lot of birdies I made, so it just feels good.  It was almost exactly same as yesterday.  I kept hitting the fairways and I kept hitting to the green, and I had 29 putts, which is like my green regulation, it's pretty good, I think.  So all day it was good.

MODERATOR:  Stacy Lewis was just in here and she had nothing but compliments about your game.  How is to hear I guess the top player say that about you?
AI MIYAZATO:  It just makes me happy.  Stacy's such a good player, too.  She's working hard.  When I went to gym, she's always there.  She's really working hard, too.  So I understand that she's playing really good recently.  This week it's just someone can shoot really low score like every day, so you never know what's going to happen.  Keep up with the other players.

MODERATOR:  I know yesterday you said you had a feeling when you woke up that yesterday was going to be a good day.
AI MIYAZATO:  Yeah.

MODERATOR:  Did you have another one of those this morning?
AI MIYAZATO:  No, no, nothing like this yesterday, but I just still happy to be here and still playing good and nothing different than yesterday.

Q.  Stacy said that you're going to be tough to catch and that you're a really good frontrunner.  Is that the position where you like to be, out in front, and why are you good at that?
AI MIYAZATO:  I don't know if I'm good at it or not, but if Stacy said that, then I think I am.  I don't know, I don't know, what can I say?  Just keep focus my game and take like one day at a time, so just, you know, just having fun on the golf course and try and having good course management and just make it simple.  That's why I think I'm playing good so far.  Hopefully I can do the same things the next couple days, too.

Q.  Out of your eight birdies, were there any incredibly long putts, any that you almost knocked them stiff, anything?
AI MIYAZATO:  No, actually my iron shot was pretty good out there, too.  I had many short birdie putts out there, not like long putts that I made.

Q.  I followed you on the back, Ai, and what I noticed is that you played with incredible grace and calm all day no matter what was happening.  How do you do that?
AI MIYAZATO:  I think I had same question last year on this conference.  Well, it's not easy to be calm all day, but I just worked hard on just trying to control myself really well out there.  Like I said, I'm just happy to be here and playing in the tournament again and just very thankful for all that.  So that's why I think I felt really calm out there.  Of course I'm playing good, too, but I enjoy playing golf right now, so just make it simple.

Q.  I wanted to ask you, you were world No. 1 for a while and Yani's talked about just the burden that crown can be.  Can you speak to what it was like when you were No. 1 and can you relate to what Yani's saying?
AI MIYAZATO:  Well, you know, being the No. 1 is definitely a lot of pressure, like more than any, so I can understand why Yani's saying about like how much she can feel the pressure on.  Yani's situation and my situation was a little bit different, though, because my situation was like it was right after Lorena retired.  The top 5 players had the chance to be No. 1 and I was one of them.  But Yani just staying on the top the last couple years, which is very impressive because she's such a young player.  She's been like working hard on her game and I know she's a little bit struggle right now, but it's all the experiences is worth it, you know.  So I know Yani can find her answer soon.  When I was No. 1, it was just ‑‑ I never had an experience like that before.  It was just a lot of pressure every day and it feels like I have to play good every day.  That's the different than used to be.  Hopefully I can go back to No. 1 again though.

Q.  What is the part of your game that you consider to be the strongest, your go‑to part of your game if everything else is failing?  What can you rely on always being there?
AI MIYAZATO:  Well, I can hit straight and I think I can putt, but I'm not long hitter and I don't really have an advantage.  But my mental has been really strong since last couple years so I think that's what supports my game.  And also I have confidence with my putting, too, and these couple days I made so many birdie chances so it just shows it.

 

Stacy Lewis, Rolex Rankings No. 3

MODERATOR:  All right.  I'd like to welcome Stacy Lewis into the interview room.  Stacy, thanks for coming in.  I know we were talking coming in that you got off to a little bit of a slow start, but you sure did get it going.
STACY LEWIS:  I don't know if it was the (inaudible) I just really didn't have any birdie putts the first few holes and then just hit a shot on 16 that was perfect, it was in the air, it was really good, so I saw inaudible) raised hands went up in the air so I knew it went in.  Then from there I made about an eight‑footer for par on 1 and I think that really kept the momentum going and I hit some good shots on the back nine and made putts.

MODERATOR:  I know when I was standing out there waiting on you I saw a father with his daughter talking about your shirt, oh, you've got to get one of those shirts to be like Stacy.  How does it feel to be walking out here and seeing all the younger fans supporting you?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, I can definitely tell it's gone up.  There's more people following us.  And they're not just cheering for Paula and Yani, I can tell they're cheering for me, which is really cool because I haven't really had that before.  So it's definitely more people know who I am and are cheering for me and it's fun, it's nice to finally have that support.

MODERATOR:  You also have some fans out there with the Lew Crew shirts on.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, the Lew Crew, we usually just do the T shirts in Toledo because that's where I was born, my family's there.  So during the Toledo event I think last year we gave out 50 to 75 shirts.  We had a lot of people there.  And I had four people out today that are just kind of ‑‑ they moved out this way and kind of filtered out of Toledo, so I had four Lew Crew people out today, and they're just friends of our family and they've been really supportive of me.

 

Q.  Can you tell us what the club was for the used for the perfect shot?
STACY LEWIS:  It was 109 and I hit my 52‑degree wedge.

Q.  You and Yani chitchat a lot out there.  What do you talk about?  The Number 1 ranking?
STACY LEWIS:  We've not talked about Number 1 at all, not at all.  I don't know, we just talked about ‑‑ I don't know what we talked about.  We talked about where we went to dinner last night and what we were going to do the rest of the day.  I don't know.  We just kind of talked about random things, but we don't really talk about golf and the rankings and things like that.  Yani was kind of struggling today too, so you don't really bring up golf then.

Q.  Yani said after the round losing the Number 1 ranking might be a bit of a relief for her.  I know you haven't been in that position before, but can you imagine saying something like that?  She's been there for 109 weeks.
STACY LEWIS:  I don't know, I think Yani's put a lot of pressure on herself.  I think she's kind of ‑‑ she's taken the expectations up another level and I definitely think the state she's at right now with her game, I think if she did lose it, I think she would start to play better.  I do.  And I don't know if I can ever imagine myself doing that.  If I ever get to Number 1, I'm going to enjoy it because I never as a kid dreamed of being in that position.  So I don't know, I'm not going to take it for granted.

MODERATOR:  Do you think about it a little bit more this week?  This is the first week you could take over number one.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I didn't really know that until Beth Ann told me the other day, but I put my fingers in my ears and pretended I didn't hear that.  But it's definitely on my mind, you kind of look at what Na Yeon and Yani are doing and kind of pay attention to it.  But then you've got Ai going crazy the last two days, so there's so much out of your control that you can't control that I've just got to take care of myself.  I worked my way up the rankings kind of slow and steady and I'll probably do the same thing to get to Number 1.

Q.  Do you feel like this is the most comfortable you've been with your game?  Is it almost like you're on automatic pilot right now?
STACY LEWIS:  I do a little, but I feel like ‑‑ I feel like right now if I make a bogey, I'm not stressing about it, I know I can come back and make birdie on the next hole.  I'm comfortable playing with all those people, I'm comfortable playing with Yani.  I feel like one of the best players in the world and I think that's ‑‑ you know, when you've got that mindset, it makes it a lot easier.

Q.  Before we were talking about working on controlling your emotions, you wanted to keep your fiery nature but you wanted to keep it under control.  I'm wondering in this kind of environment when you're going for Number 1 and trying to win, is that control helping and how are you doing on that?
STACY LEWIS:  I would say how are you doing, Australia, I did terrible, so I kind of had to kick myself in the butt.  And then I did better at Thailand, I started (inaudible) things on the weekend.  And Singapore was really ‑‑ I think I really turned the corner there.  It was a golf course you had to be so patient on and that's not my thing, so I really had to be patient there.  I don't know, this week I kind of feel the same way.  I got off to a bad start but I just hung in there, hung in there and kind of just got it going.  So I feel like I'm doing a lot better on the patience level.  I don't know, it's a daily struggle for me, so I don't think it's ‑‑ it's not perfect yet.

Q.  What do you think the players find more motivational, money or the position in the rankings?
STACY LEWIS:  I can't speak for the people, but for me, I'm all about ‑‑ I like the trophies, I like the wins.  The money to me, it is what it is.  I think for me the more money you win, the more you can help other people.  But what I play for, I play to be in contention on Sunday afternoons.

Q.  Can you just talk about Ai, what kind of player she is and what she'll be like to chase?
STACY LEWIS:  Ai's going to be hard to chase.  She's a good frontrunner.  She hits a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, hits it really straight.  When she gets her putter going, she's one of the best putters in the world.  I was surprised that she went pretty low today considering what she did yesterday.  It's usually hard to follow a number like that.  So she'll definitely be hard to catch.  But on this golf course we've got reachable par 5s where you can make some eagles (inaudible.)

Q.  You're not 30 yet and you're in a Hall of Fame.  What was that like and is it kind of overwhelming?  I know you gave a speech ‑‑
STACY LEWIS:  Yes, they called me the end of last year and my agent called me and said they want to induct you in the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.  I'm like, really?  I'm 28 years old.  Why am I going into a Hall of Fame?  The night was cool.  It was a little strange to me being ‑‑ as I said in my speech, I said I still have a lot more to accomplish and that's what I feel like.  I feel like it's very early in my career to be in a Hall of Fame, but it's a cool honor to be in that, included in the list of people that were there.  And it was nice to go back.  I saw some of my teammates and coaches and things like that, so it was definitely good to get back and see some friends.

 

Lindsey Wright, Rolex Rankings No. 92

MODERATOR:  We'd like to welcome Lindsey Wright in the interview room.  Great round today, 5‑under par 67, 9‑under, right up there on the top of the leaderboard.  Not to shabby for the first event of the year.  How did everything go out there today?
LINDSEY WRIGHT:  Yeah, I played really well, just tee to green really solid and there's a lot of birdie holes.  I would be surprised if someone didn't shoot 7‑ or 8‑under today again.  It's playing I wouldn't say easy, but there's a lot of birdies out there if you're putting well.

MODERATOR:  I know you weren't able to play in the first event of the year even though you would have gotten in those fields.  Broken foot I heard was the injury, and how exactly did that happen?
LINDSEY WRIGHT:  I think it was the second or third week in January, the week before I was about to play, I was at a friend's bachelorette party and (inaudible) goes, what were you doing?  I actually was walking and I had a slight heel on and my foot kind slipped and I braced and it just popped.  I actually think it was a stress kind of ‑‑ I mean, I've been working really hard on my pivot in my golf swing and so there's been a lot of stress on that left side anyway.  I just think it made it worse.

MODERATOR:  How much golf were you able to play then over the past ‑‑ did you have a lot of practice heading into this week?
LINDSEY WRIGHT:  No, not really.  I didn't play from October until March actually.  I couldn't.  (inaudible and it all went belly up.  I started practicing probably a week and a half before this tournament, I started playing, walking.

MODERATOR:  We talked about last year what a tremendous year you had and the game started to come back together.  What did last year do for your confidence and how much is that kind of now even translating into the start this year, do you think?
LINDSEY WRIGHT:  It's huge.  Finishing last year at Malaysia with my best finish, I think, and then obviously I think I played pretty well at CME.  I didn't score well, but I was pretty confident and in good shape.  Then coming into this season, to be honest, I have had no expectations.  I was nervous playing this tournament this week because it's the first time I hadn't prepared myself by playing three or four tournaments.  But in saying that, I kept it really simple in my practice and just kept going back to basics.  I mean, I made a few mental mistakes, which it's obvious that I haven't played, get ahead of yourself and that's where I made mistakes today, but all in all I'm pretty confident, I feel pretty good.  I did a lot of swimming in the time I couldn't walk, so that actually kept my quite flexible and stronger in my shoulders.  I'm actually hitting the ball really well.

MODERATOR:  And I have to ask you about the hair because I almost didn't recognize you when you walked by.  When did you change the hair color?
LINDSEY WRIGHT:  I changed it last week.

MODERATOR:  Just on a whim?
LINDSEY WRIGHT:  Well, I just sort of had enough of looking at ‑‑ you know when you look at yourself and you say, I'm fed up with that, and I said oh, I really like that color, I'd like to try it.  I'm still young.  Why not, you only live once.  And it rinses out.

Q.  (inaudible)
LINDSEY WRIGHT:  Yeah.  Do you want the whole history?

Q.  Sure.
LINDSEY WRIGHT:  We haven't got enough time.

Q.  (inaudible)
LINDSEY WRIGHT:  Yeah, that actually probably does work better because I don't want to bore everybody else, if that's fine with you.

MODERATOR:  It's fine.  I'll ask one quick question just about that.  In terms of you were so vocal about it and Christina Kim and has come out and talked about her struggles with it and how much having people like you talk about it helped her in being vocal as well.  What has it meant for you in the past year as you've seen people now kind of relate in their own stories and kind of reach out to you with their own stories of what they've gone through?
LINDSEY WRIGHT:  I think it's really encouraging.  When Christina came out and talked about it, I was really excited for her.  I had known for a period of time that she's had some struggles.  It's such a personal thing as well.  For her, I just think ‑‑ for anybody it's such an awesome thing.  The big thing is coming to terms and dealing with it in a positive way, and once you do that, then the possibilities are endless.  It really does drag you down, it holds you back in every aspect of your life.  Christina, I haven't spoken to her recently, but I'm sure she's feeling so lighted in what she did the last few years.

MODERATOR:  How do you think it's helped you in your golf as well?  It seems like since you've kind of been more vocal about it, too, your golf game has come around.  It could be a coincidence, I guess, in terms of the two coming together.  What has it done for you being so open about it in terms of your golf game?
LINDSEY WRIGHT:  I think, I mean, there's so many aspects to playing good golf, and off the golf course I would say it's being happy off the golf course and being happy where I'm at mentally and physically, emotionally, spiritually.  All those things really come together and they effect and impact what you do on the golf course.  I'm such a huge believer in that.  I mean, I haven't played golf really for three or four months but mentally I knew I was ready and physically I knew I was ready.  You don't need to kill it, but you kind of need to be confident in yourself and I've been really confident within myself the last year and a half, two years, which if I hadn't sought help and being surrounded by the right people in coming to terms with it, then I'm sure I would probably be back where I was three or four years ago, which it's not fun.

MODERATOR:  And just being, I guess, back at the top of the leaderboard, you've kind of gotten used to, after Kraft, being back up there and seeing yourself.  After having lots of great tournaments like you did last year, is it easier to see yourself now back up there and does that confidence level come back in terms of being back up there and in contention?
LINDSEY WRIGHT:  Yeah, last year I looked at the leaderboard and I thought whoa, I haven't seen that in a while.  It's kind of scary in a way.  Then today I felt yeah, I deserve to be there.  I'm playing well.  I've never been an intimidated player and I'm not intimidated by my playing partners or scores or anything.  I just play within myself and that's how I carry myself, I like to think, on and off the course.  It's what makes me happy and I'm really enjoying my golf, and I think the day when I stop enjoying it, the challenge of it, the good and the bad, that's when I'll probably back up the clubs and go home.

Topics: Notes and Interviews, LPGA Founders Cup, Miyazato, Ai, Lewis, Stacy, Lee, Jee Young, Wright, Lindsey [+]

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