Kraft Nabisco Championship
Mission Hills Country Club
Rancho Mirage, Calif.
First-Round Notes and Interviews
April 4, 2013
Suzann Pettersen -4, Rolex Rankings No. 8
Na Yeon Choi -4, Rolex Rankings No. 3
Jodi Ewart Shadoff -4, Rolex Rankings No. 110
Anna Nordqvist -3, Rolex Rankings No. 30
Amy Yang -3, Rolex Rankings No. 17
Lizette Salas -2, Rolex Rankings No. 40
Lydia Ko E, Rolex Rankings No. 25
Michelle Wie E, Rolex Rankings No. 86
Yani Tseng E, Rolex Rankings No. 2
Day-one of the 2013 Kraft Nabisco Championship (@kncgolf) is in the books with Rolex Rankings No. 8 Suzann Pettersen (@suzannpettersen), No. 3 Na Yeon Choi (@nychoi87) and No. 110 Jodi Ewart Shadoff (@jodi_ewart) taking the lead at 4-under 68. The three hold a one-stroke lead over Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist (@anordqvist) and South Korea’s Amy Yang (@AmyYangLPGA).
Despite the hot weather conditions projected for the week, Pettersen says Mission Hills Country Club is in a perfectly difficult condition for golf’s first major of 2013.
“No, the course is perfect,” said Pettersen. “Greens are rolling pure. If you miss the fairways, you can be in a bit of trouble. The rough is deep. I missed one or two. You really just have to try and advance it somehow up to the greens if you can get that far, and it really depends on your eye.
“The greens are firming up. There are a few tucked pins on both sides. That's hard to get to unless you kind of cut it into it, and I kind of holed it on the first bounce. But it's very playable, and I'm very happy.”
Spot on advice: After her bogey-free 4-under 68 in her opening round on Thursday, Rolex Rankings No. 8 Suzann Pettersen agreed that it’s no easy task to hand in a blemish-free card on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club.
“Yeah, that's tough to say,” said Pettersen. “Today was everything I could ask for opening round. Just feeling really good all week, and it's just about kind of trusting what you have, and I couldn't ask for a better start. Bogey‑free, gave myself a lot of chances, feeling good with my game, and if you hit a lot of fairways here you give yourself a lot of great looks on your approach shots, and I feel like I'm striking my irons good and I'm hitting a lot of shots that I'm seeing,”
Pettersen has had several close calls to earning her chance to make a leap in Poppie’s Pond, and with runner-up finishes on three different occasions, the Norwegian is hoping she can enjoy the experience no matter the outcome this week. Known for her steely and intense on-course demeanor, Pettersen said it’s something she’s challenged with. Some lasting advice from LPGA and World Golf Halls of Famer Kathy Whitworth helped put things in perspective for the 10-time LPGA winner.
“You know what, it's really just try and go out there and literally try to enjoy it, which is probably the hardest thing for me,” said Pettersen. “I'll never forget when Kathy Whitworth came up to me I think it was in '09, and she shook my hand and said don't ever let the passion get in my way. It's really spot on. Just need to get up there and hit the shots that I'm seeing.”
Weapon of choice: First-round co-leader Na Yeon Choi found comfort on the greens today with her 15-year-old putter that she calls “ugly.” Although she was apprehensive to use it at first, going bogey-free at Mission Hills Country Club on day-one gave Choi confirmation that her putter now suites her game.
“Well, actually I changed it, the putter, in January last year,” said Choi. “And when my coach gave me the putter, actually the first time I said I don't want to use this putter because it's so ugly and it looks like a weapon,” said Choi. “But my coach said, Annika Sorenstam used that putter and then won the U.S. Open, and I said, then I'm going to use it.”
Choi’s first birdie of the day came on the par-3 14th where she sunk a lengthy putt from the fringe. She says she gained great momentum from there, carding two more birdies on the on the back-nine before making the turn and stringing together eight-straight pars leading up to a birdie on her final hole.
“Yeah, I hit 8‑iron for a tee shot,” said Choi of her shot on hole-14. “I missed it a little bit right side, and then my ball finished on the fringe, and then my putt was a little bit more than 30 feet. But after I made that putt, I think I got some momentum from there, and then I got a birdie on 16 and 17.”
Consistency is paying off. Newlywed Jodi Ewart Shadoff wasn’t expecting to have a share of the first-round lead at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, but the 25-year-old says she was due for a solid round of golf after a 16th place finish at the Kia Classic.
“I've been playing really consistently the last three or four tournaments,” said Ewart Shadoff. “And so I knew ‑‑ like my game is right there, and I knew I was due to have a really good round.”
With four consecutive birdies after the turn, Ewart Shadoff grabbed a one-stroke lead but fell to holding a share of it with Suzann Pettersen and Na Yeon Choi after a bogey on the par-4 16th. Sharing this position is a new feeling for Ewart Shadoff, whose best finish at the Kraft Nabisco Championship is a T26, but she says she’s confident heading into day-two.
“Yeah, I just played really consistently, got into a really good birdie train in the middle of my round, which was nice,” said Ewart Shadoff. “I was just hitting a lot of greens and making putts, so I'm happy with how I'm playing and excited to get out there tomorrow morning.”
Super sophomore: Second-year LPGA member Lizette Salas (@LizetteSalas5) is having no sophomore slump in 2013. The Azusa, Calif. native said that she feels like a completely different person on the course from even just six months ago. After closing out her first round on Thursday with a 2-under 70, Salas says she has no intimidation factor anymore, even on the major stage.
“I feel much more comfortable,” said Salas. “You know, I've learned in the last six months a lot more about the golf swing and how to adjust on the golf course. Just feeling more comfortable in my own skin, not feeling intimidated by anything.”
Salas, who has posted three top-10 finishes already this season, says her support team off the course lets her take care of her business on the course. A recent mentorship from Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez and encouraging words from this week’s pro-am partner, boxer Oscar de la Hoya, has her feeling the extra love lately.
“I'm just a whole different person from six months ago to now, and just being in contention the last couple of weeks has really been a big boost of confidence, and I've gotten some mentorship from Nancy, and playing with Oscar de la Hoya yesterday, I'm getting so many people in my corner, it's just a blessing,” said Salas.
The Southern Californian had a strong following at the tour’s last event at the Kia Classic outside San Diego and has her own cheering gallery following her this week in Rancho Mirage. She’s working to improve on her only finish at the Kraft Nabisco from last year, a tie for 46th.
“I'm only an hour and a half from here, and I have friends out in Palm Desert area, and having family, having my junior golf kids come out and support me, having my Trojan fan club come out, you see all those SC logos, and that's the beautiful thing about being in Southern Cal,” said Salas. “We're all united and just happy to be back in Southern Cal and see the family.”
Trip down memory lane: This week, nine lucky youngsters will compete for the chance to become just the second amateur to win a major championship and first to win the Kraft Nabisco. Some maybe feeling star-struck as they play alongside some of their favorite LPGA Tour pros, but for Lydia Ko (@Lko424), who has claimed three professional titles already, teeing up with Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) is no longer intimidating.
“It was fun,” said Ko of her round with Wie. “She's my idol, so I was very excited. But I was less nervous today because I played with her at the Australian Women’s Open.”
For Wie, playing with Ko brought back memories from when she competed in the California Dessert as an amateur, where she tallied three top-15 finishes at the Kraft Nabisco Championship (T9-2003, 4-2004, T14-2005).
“No, it's pretty cool, just having that experience as an amateur,” said Wie. “Watching her play today, it's such a cool experience. I know I had such an amazing experience playing here as an amateur. I think that's why Kraft is so special because it gives amateurs these opportunities to play with the pros, and it just brought me back to memory lane a little bit, and it felt good.”
Wie and Ko ended their rounds at even-par and will tee off tomorrow in the afternoon wave.
Quotable: “She's damn good. You know, she hits it straight and she's not short. She's pretty long and a good putter, good short game, just really solid all around. Doesn't really play like a 15 year old.” – Michelle Wie says of Lydia Ko’s performance on the course
Tweet of the Day: “This week is for you Grandma. I love you so much. RIP” –Paula Creamer (@ThePCreamer) who is playing with a heavy heart and dedicating her performance this week to her grandmother who passed away this weekend
Of Note… Defending champion Sun Young Yoo finished round-one at even-par… Rolex Rankings No. 1 Stacy Lewis (@Stacy_Lewis) signed for a one-over par 73… 17-year old Ashlan Ramsey (@ashlan_ramsey) fared the best out of the nine amateurs in the field in the first round. The Georgia native and Clemson commit shot a 1-under 71 on Thursday and sits in a tie for 17th.
THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome the current co‑leader in the first round of the Kraft Nabisco championship, Rolex Rankings No. 8 Suzann Pettersen. Great round today, bogey‑free 68. If you would just take us through it. It seemed easy. That's tough to say on this course.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yeah, that's tough to say. Today was everything I could ask for opening round. Just feeling really good all week, and it's just about kind of trusting what you have, and I couldn't ask for a better start. Bogey‑free, gave myself a lot of chances, feeling good with my game, and if you hit a lot of fairways here you give yourself a lot of great looks on your approach shots, and I feel like I'm striking my irons good and I'm hitting a lot of shots that I'm seeing. So good.
Q. You're the first interview of the first round. Take us through the course conditions, the weather. The winds were fairly light by Palm Springs standards.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: No, the course is perfect. Greens are rolling pure. If you miss the fairways, you can be in a bit of trouble. The rough is deep. I missed one or two. You really just have to try and advance it somehow up to the greens if you can get that far, and it really depends on your eye.
The greens are firming up. There are a few tucked pins on both sides. That's hard to get to unless you kind of cut it into it, and I kind of holed it on the first bounce. But it's very playable, and I'm very happy.
Q. You're a three‑time runner up here. In 2010 you held the first‑round lead, so clearly you know what you're doing here at Mission Hills. Now that you've got a 68 under your belt, what are you looking forward to for tomorrow and the weekend?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well, I hope I know what I'm doing. That would help. You know what, it's really just try and go out there and literally try to enjoy it, which is probably the hardest thing for me. I'll never forget when Kathy Whitworth came up to me I think it was in '09, and she shook my hand and said don't ever let the passion get in my way. It's really spot on. Just need to get up there and hit the shots that I'm seeing.
Q. Given the way the course is set up and the rough, how good is a bogey‑free round on this golf course right now?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: You ask me on Sunday if I can go four bogey‑free rounds I'll be very happy.
Q. Both you and Na Yeon did not make a bogey today on a golf course that people seem to be afraid of right now.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: No, and we weren't really close to making one. I made one good up‑and‑down when I missed the fairway on 15, got it up to the bunker and had an up‑and‑down from the bunker. That was pretty much the only kind of tough par I had out there. We played solid, both of us. It was a nice pace of play. It's really nice to get around in just over four hours. It really helps in two‑ball. It keeps the flow going, and like I said, I felt like I maybe left a few out there, but no complaints.
Q. You played with Oscar de la Hoya in the pro‑am. How was that?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well, if you don't know who he is, I don't think you would ever guess that he was a boxer. He's just too nice of a guy and quite tiny to be a boxer. But I know he was very quick, and super nice guy. And it's always nice to kind of talk back and forth, comparisons to each sport and similarities of how you prepare and how you go in. Obviously for him he needed to be in the ring. He was petrified to step in, but once he stepped in, he was on.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: No, there's no need. Feeling great with my ball‑striking, hitting good tee balls, good irons, maybe roll a few and come back in 24 hours, I guess.
THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome first round co‑leader Na Yeon Choi to the interview room. You had a great day, four birdies, no bogeys, playing alongside your co‑leader, Suzann Pettersen. Just tell us about your round.
NA YEON CHOI: I think I had a pretty good round today, especially I played with Suzann today. I think I played well because she played well, too. I think we had a great round, and we motivated each other on the course.
You know, she's a strong competitor, but I tried to chase her until the last hole. I finished strong, and I had a great round today.
Q. I heard you went to a pretty cool movie premier earlier this week, the GI Joe 2 premier. Who did you meet there?
NA YEON CHOI: Yeah, I went to a movie premier, GI Joe 2 in LA. I met Bruce Willis in there. I took a picture. And also one of the Korean actors, Byung‑hun Lee. He was in the movie, too. I watched the movie and after that I went to a party with them. Yeah, I had a great time.
Q. How was the party?
NA YEON CHOI: I couldn't stay long, but I stayed there like 30 minutes, 40 minutes, and I took a picture with them. Yeah.
Q. So you're becoming a regular celebrity.
NA YEON CHOI: I don't know.
Q. You told me on the way in you had a nice long birdie putt at the 14th, your first birdie of the day at the par‑3. Can you just take us through your birdies and tell us about them?
NA YEON CHOI: Yeah, I hit 8‑iron for a tee shot. I missed it a little bit right side, and then my ball finished on the fringe, and then my putt was a little bit more than 30 feet. But after I made that putt, I think I got some momentum from there, and then I got a birdie on 16 and 17.
I mean, I didn't play ‑‑ I didn't have birdie on the front nine until No. 9, but I tried to stay calm and then kept trying too hard. Last one I got a good birdie there.
Q. Just talk about what you've been doing recently in your life. You bought a home in Orlando, you are now a member at Isleworth for their practice facility, which you really like. You're really investing in your game. Talk about that.
NA YEON CHOI: I think I always try to invest in myself, get better and better. I bought a house last winter and also I got a new membership at Isleworth. That's investing in myself to improve my short game because I thought I needed better facilities for practice.
But last time I've been there was February, beginning of February. I feel like I forget my new house, what it looks like, but I really miss my new house and also the practice facility.
Q. Given how tough the golf course is set up, are you surprised that neither of you two had a bogey today?
NA YEON CHOI: I'm really happy I played without a bogey today, but luckily I played in the morning today, and the greens and fairways are a little softer than the afternoon, I think.
I mean, I have to play afternoon tomorrow. I have to be precise for second shots, and I have to try to get the ball to finish below the hole and try to make uphill putts.
Q. Your putter could be described as a classic Bobby Grace. Could you tell us when you started with it and how you came to start putting with it and a little bit about your relationship with Bobby?
NA YEON CHOI: Well, actually I changed it, the putter, in January last year. And when my coach gave me the putter, actually the first time I said I don't want to use this putter because it's so ugly and it looks like a weapon. But my coach said, Annika Sorenstam used that putter and then won the U.S. Open, and I said, then I'm going to use it.
So yeah, I started using that putter last year in January, and then I tried to keep using it until now. It feels really great. That putter, I think, is like 15 years old, the putter, but it's still working very well. Bobby is very nice and always tries to make new putters for me, but I really like that old putter. I try to stick with that putter.
Q. Obviously the first round of a major there's a lot of nerves involved or some nerves. When you made that long putt did that kind of ease the nerves away or did that relax you a little bit more?
NA YEON CHOI: I think so. After I made that putt I got good momentum from there, and I got good confidence. So after that I putt, I thought like I need to play more aggressively because I had a birdie first and bogey first, so I think I got good momentum from there.
Q. Were you playing tentative up to that point do you think?
NA YEON CHOI: I think so. I was a little nervous, I think, when I started the first hole. When I had a chance to birdie the first couple holes, my putting speed was short. I think it's kind of a little tentative hitting, but after I made the first birdie and then I got ‑‑ I can keep going.
Q. Do you feel any different coming to a big event like this knowing that you've already done it? You won the 2012 U.S. Women's Open. Does that memory help you this week?
NA YEON CHOI: I think so. I mean, I won the U.S. Open last year, but for me the important thing is that I got a really good experience from there. So when I have that kind of situation in my future, I think I'm always going to think about how I controlled my emotion at the U.S. Open, and even this week, this is the first major tournament for this season, so I tried to more spend time for trouble shots from the rough or behind the tree or bunker shot, and then I think it worked.
Q. You only missed one fairway today and a lot of players have talked about how the rough is pretty penal here. Can you talk about your game off the tee and what that meant to your scoring today?
NA YEON CHOI: I mean, actually I played the Kia Classic last tournament, and after the round, after the tournament, I realized I couldn't really focus on the golf course. I think that's one of my problems lately. So I talked to my mentor coach in here and my swing coach, and I tried to focus on my shot every time. Even during practice rounds and pro‑am. Today I really tried to focus 100 percent with every shot, and then, I mean, after the round I didn't have any regret. Yeah, so I'm really happy.
Q. Thoughts on your first round?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Yeah, I just played really consistently, got into a really good birdie train in the middle of my round, which was nice. I was just hitting a lot of greens and making putts, so I'm happy with how I'm playing and excited to get out there tomorrow morning.
Q. You made a couple of crucial pars coming in, as well, to sort of keep it together?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Yeah, the last three holes the wind picked up quite a bit in the last 20 minutes or so. Yeah, the last three were pretty difficult, but I'm happy.
Q. Did you ever sense something like this was coming for you?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: I've been playing really consistently the last three or four tournaments, and so I knew ‑‑ like my game is right there, and I knew I was due to have a really good round.
Q. Just talk about 18. You hit your tee shot right, kind of chipped out. How far did you have for your third shot?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: It was 187 into the wind.
Q. Did you have any second thoughts about what to do with your second shot there at all?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Those two options I had, it was to go ‑‑ like punch fade it around the tree left or to try and punch it right around the tree. But there was that bunker. I had to like punch it but try to keep it over the bunker at the same time. I just took the safer route and played out.
Q. When you got to the course this morning did you have any feeling that you might be tied for the lead in the first round of a major at the end of the day?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: I wouldn't quite say that, but I've been playing really good, and yesterday I wasn't hitting my driver that good, so I didn't think I was going to shoot that low. But I holed some great putts, and my putting has really come a long way in the past couple months.
Q. We read on LPGA.com that your parents are involved with horses. Do they still do that?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Yeah, my dad does, yeah.
Q. You just never got into ‑‑
JODI EWART SHADOFF: No, I think I had like a traumatic experience at some point where I nearly got thrown off a horse, so it never really interested me, and I was always interested in playing soccer a lot, and then I got into golf. Never got into horses.
Q. You're a newlywed. I saw on Twitter, but I'm sure Adam is excited to talk to you today?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Oh, God, yeah. I'm excited to talk to him, too.
Q. Take me through your round today and what was working well for you.
ANNA NORDQVIST: It was pretty solid in the beginning of the round. Started on the back and I hit 11 in two, so quite an easy birdie there. Then kept hitting good shots, kept missing in the right spots. And then on the back nine hit a couple drives just off the fairway. It makes it quite a bit tougher. But I fought through it, and I had a couple good holes coming in and finished with a birdie, so very happy.
Q. You take the clubhouse lead with 69. How does that feel being the first major and just starting the week off on a good start?
ANNA NORDQVIST: I mean, it feels good. Most of all, it just feels good that pieces of the puzzle are coming together and things I'm working on are paying off. I'm very mostly happy about that, and then having a good score today obviously makes it even better.
Q. Do you feel that this course suits your game in any way?
ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah. This course always kind of suited my eyes. I played Q‑school here and played a couple years here on the Tour. But it's so beautiful here, and it reminds me a lot of Phoenix where I went to school. Good memories.
Q. What went well for you today?
AMY YANG: It was a great day. It was tough in the afternoon, back nine. It was windy, but my driver tee shot off the tee, I think I kept it really well in the fairway, and that helped me make better shots to the green, and a couple putts falling.
Q. You had a really good finish here last year. Were you looking forward to coming back?
AMY YANG: Yeah, this is one of my favorite tournaments, and this is the first major, and I really love this place.
Q. Coming off of an off week, did you work on anything specific after Kia?
AMY YANG: Yeah, I just started working with a new coach, and we've been working on our swing and putting. Mentally, too. It was good.
Q. How is working with the new coach? Was there any difficulties with the transition or everything has been positive?
AMY YANG: Yeah, actually I'm playing better. Yeah, I'm hitting the ball better. I feel great.
Q. Anything specifically that he saw that really helped improve on your swing? Did he change anything?
AMY YANG: Not much, not much, yeah.
Q. So looking into obviously getting off to a good start. What do you want to do going into the next three rounds?
AMY YANG: My course strategy is always the same. I like to keep it simple, and just going to ‑‑ just like today, because it's a major tournament and the rough is so thick and long, I want to ‑‑ like today, keep the ball in the fairway. I think that's very important.
Q. Did you miss any fairways today? Did you find it in the rough?
AMY YANG: Yeah, I did. It's thick, yeah. But luckily I was in a better spot.
Q. Good round. Take me through the day.
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, only two birdies and no bogeys. Ball‑striking is really solid right now, just trying to keep that momentum for the next three days. Just a little more work on the putter. So it was good having my swing instructor out here the first couple of days.
Just going to try and keep it simple out there. I was in the rough only a couple times today and was lucky to get up‑and‑down for par, and just got to keep it simple. Even though it's a major championship, you just have to think about it as another tournament.
Q. How much were you working with your coach beforehand?
LIZETTE SALAS: Before here?
LIZETTE SALAS: Well, he was out at Kia. I see him like two two days every time I'm home, and he has other players out here on Tour, so he's just a great help, and he's helping me know how to help myself, which is really key for me.
Q. What's his name?
LIZETTE SALAS: Jim Gormley.
Q. How awesome is it to play in California and have family and friends cheer you on?
LIZETTE SALAS: Oh, it's great. I'm only an hour and a half from here, and I have friends out in Palm Desert area, and having family, having my junior golf kids come out and support me, having my Trojan fan club come out, you see all those SC logos, and that's the beautiful thing about being in Southern Cal. We're all united and just happy to be back in Southern Cal and see the family.
Q. No sophomore slump for you. You're playing so well this year. Are you more comfortable or do you just know your game and know how you size up to the rest of the field?
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, definitely. I feel much more comfortable. You know, I've learned in the last six months a lot more about the golf swing and how to adjust on the golf course. Just feeling more comfortable in my own skin, not feeling intimidated by anything.
I'm just a whole different person from six months ago to now, and just being in contention the last couple of weeks has really been a big boost of confidence, and I'm just going to ‑‑ I've gotten some mentorship from Nancy, and playing with Oscar de la Hoya yesterday, I'm getting so many people in my corner, it's just a blessing. I've just got to go out and play golf, and my agents have been doing such a great job of doing things outside the golf course to let me go out there and do my thing.
Q. Talk about the pro‑am, Oscar de la Hoya. That must have been quite an experience.
LIZETTE SALAS: He was amazing. You can just see why so many people love him, and he never says no to an autograph. So humble and so bubbly, his personality. My caddie Greg is good friends with him, so we were just having a good time yesterday. We kind of grew up the same way, Hispanic descent, Mexican‑American, so we just talked a little bit about it, and he loves golf, and he was just telling me how a boxer's mentality can be incorporated into golf. It was just a great time yesterday.
Q. You started out beautifully.
LYDIA KO: Yeah, birdie on the first hole, that's always good, but then I don't play as good when I have a birdie on the first hole. But then I'll take it anyway. Yeah, I think it was a pretty solid start. My putts didn't fall, but I felt like I rolled it really well. I'm happy even though ‑‑ yeah.
Q. We were commenting that this was probably the worst score you could shoot given how many really good putts you had for birdies.
LYDIA KO: Yeah, especially the front nine, which was my back nine, a few slipped by, and I said, oh, man, not again. Yeah, like I said, I felt like I rolled it really well, and that's really all I can do.
Q. Guy told me that this is live on TV in New Zealand, and I guess that's never happened before.
LYDIA KO: I think it does. They do it a couple times but not that many times because it's far away, timing and all that. But yeah, it's good that they can see it live. Yeah, because we don't exactly have like Golf Channel. We have lots of golf shows like HSBC, like sports and stuff. But not like Golf Channel like here.
Q. Before there would be just highlight packages where you would get to see the best shots from the tournament?
LYDIA KO: Yeah, I think so, and then they sometimes put it on news and stuff.
Q. Had you ever seen this tournament, a broadcast of it, live growing up?
LYDIA KO: No, no, I've never seen it. Yeah, I've never seen it, and it was the first time when I came here that I saw the course.
Q. What was it like being paired with Michelle today?
LYDIA KO: It was fun. She's my idol, so I was very excited. But I was less nervous today because I played with her at the Australian Women’s Open.
Q. Do you like your position today?
LYDIA KO: Yeah, I mean, I know I could have played better, but I mean, I could have been worse at times, as well. Yeah, it's a good step.
Q. Michelle has her little Stanford water bottle. Were you thinking, oh, I'll just like ‑‑
LYDIA KO: Yeah, I saw her water bottle, and she's got the head cover, as well. So yeah.
Q. It seemed like you two didn't chat too much when you were out there. You were going in different directions, though.
LYDIA KO: Yeah, we chatted a couple of times but not every single hole, yeah.
Q. Would you like to?
LYDIA KO: Yeah, I like to talk, so...
Q. This has to be an encouraging ‑‑ you gave yourself a lot of birdie opportunities today, and no one is really going real low.
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, it was a shame. You know, unfortunately made two really stupid mistakes on the back nine, but it feels good. It feels good to show that I could have shot 66 out here, and it feels good that I know I left a lot of birdie chances out there. I'm just excited for tomorrow. Just can't wait to go out there and make some birdies.
Q. People talk about Lydia being 15 and the obliviousness of youth. Can you remember the last time you felt completely carefree during a competitive round, like whatever?
MICHELLE WIE: Never, actually.
Q. Seriously, even when you were 13 playing here?
MICHELLE WIE: No, I was always ‑‑ no, it's pretty cool, just having that experience as an amateur. Watching her play today, it's such a cool experience. I know I had such an amazing experience playing here as an amateur. I think that's why Kraft is so special because it gives amateurs these opportunities to play with the pros, and it just brought me back to memory lane a little bit, and it felt good.
Q. What are your observations of her and her game?
MICHELLE WIE: She's damned good. You know, she hits it straight and she's not short. She's pretty long and a good putter, good short game, just really solid of a round. Doesn't really play like a 15 year old.
Q. Does anything about her remind you of you?
MICHELLE WIE: I don't know, I guess a lot of people put us in comparison, but I don't like to compare. I think she's really good on her own without having to compare her to me. I don't know.
Q. So Annika had a few comments are the reports today. I guess you read them. Certainly nothing new, but what was your ‑‑ nothing that she said she hasn't said before.
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I mean, she actually reached out to me last night, said a couple things got misquoted, and I thought it was really nice of her to reach out to me. She apologized for what she said, and I accept it, and that's that.
Q. Didn't she write it, though? How can she get misquoted on her own writing?
MICHELLE WIE: I didn't read it, so I don't know what she said.
Q. Does it ever feel normal to play with someone who calls you her idol?
MICHELLE WIE: No, that's weird. That's really strange. You know, I played with her for the first time in Australia, and she mentioned that to me, that she wants to go to Stanford like me. It was kind of strange I have to say, but I'm just really rooting for her.
Q. How does it put things in perspective watching her?
MICHELLE WIE: Just kind of, like I said, puts me back on memory lane, and you kind of have to play, like you said, when I was 13, just kind of go out there and really just be in awe of everything. I think at that stage that she's coming out, I think when I was 13 I was like, wow, I can't believe I'm here. So I try to bring back that feeling a little bit and just feel really lucky that I'm here, and I think Kraft does that, it just makes you remember all the good times.
Q. Trying to not be jaded?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I think so, kind of just like a fresh start and kind of like, wow, I'm here playing the Kraft.
Q. So do you wish you could ever go back to that time knowing what you know now?
MICHELLE WIE: I don't want to be 15 again. I don't want to go back to high school. Yeah, those were the really bad years.
Q. When you miss tee shots wide right, what's happening there?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, that just slipped out of my hand. It's just something I'm working on. I had a couple of injuries, and I'm just getting back into it just hitting the ball again, just not being afraid of hurting.
Q. And you're liking your putting stroke?
MICHELLE WIE: I do. I was actually interested what you were going to make fun of today.
Q. The table technique, that's what it's all about.
MICHELLE WIE: The tabletop. (Laughter.)
Q. When you played here for the first time, I went back and looked, and you were quoted, someone said, are you going to turn pro, and you said, well, I'm going to wait and I'm going to go to a college and then I may not even be a professional golfer, I may start a business or teach.
MICHELLE WIE: It's really funny hearing all the things that you say when you're 13, 14, 15. You just look back, and you're like, the stuff that came out of my mouth.
But it's just, like I tried to explain to Annika last night in my text messages, it's a personal decision that I'm going to make. I didn't plan for any of this to happen, it just kind of happened, and I'm just really enjoying it, and it's just going to college is one of my best experiences of my life. I didn't really plan anything, it just happened, and I'm going with the flow and trying not to have any regrets because I think even if you do make mistakes you still learn from it, and I'm having a lot of fun.
Yani Tseng, Rolex Rankings No. 2
Q. Tell me about the day. Obviously I'm sure you had a lower number in mind.
YANI TSENG: Yeah. I thought I could play a little better because I missed a few short putts out there. But everything was okay. I can hit shots better, but it's only the first day and I've been really patient today, even though I didn't make any birdies on the back nine, but I stayed patient. There's three more days to come, and I know I can shoot a low score here.
Q. Were you surprised that the scores weren't lower from the morning groups, given it was really calm?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, I think because in the afternoon we just pick up much more. But in the morning I think the greens was softer, too, because when we played the back nine the greens were kind of very firm.
But I mean, I was surprised that the scores didn't go very well. So I'm even, I'm still not bad. So tomorrow if you shoot 4‑, 5‑under you're back in good position again.
Q. When you're out here working, what are you working on, you and Gary?
YANI TSENG: Nothing.
Q. It's a secret?
YANI TSENG: No. I mean, while I'm here I just relax. I putt better. Probably sometimes I pick a little bit and I want to see the result.
Q. Pick your head up?
YANI TSENG: Yeah. But everything else I want to feel the same when I play on the putting green and when I play on the course, should be the same feel, but when I go out to the course I just try too hard to make it.