North Texas LPGA Shootout Final Round Notes and Interviews

Inbee Park
Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Inbee Park of South Korea celebrates after sinking a birdie putt during the final round to win the 2013 North Texas LPGA Shootout at the Las Colinas Counrty Club on April 28, 2013 in Irving, Texas.

North Texas LPGA Shootout
Las Colinas Country Club
Irving, Texas
Final-round Notes and Interviews
April 28, 2013

Inbee Park -13, Rolex Rankings No. 1
Carlota Ciganda -12, Rolex Rankings No. 48
Suzann Pettersen -10, Rolex Rankings No. 5
Stacy Lewis -7, Rolex Rankings No. 2

Sunday’s Final-round Recap

Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park showed again why she is currently the player to beat on the LPGA Tour, capturing her third victory of the 2013 season at the inaugural North Texas LPGA Shootout at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas. Park drained a 4-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to fire a 4-under 67 and defeat Spaniard Carlota Ciganda by one stroke for her sixth career LPGA Tour victory.

“Today coming into the final round, I was two shots back, and I didn't really think about winning so much,” Park said. “The front nine I was given a lot of birdie chances out there, and nothing seemed to be going in, so I was a little bit frustrated.

“But on the other hand, Carlota was putting really good and she was playing really almost perfect.  She wasn't making any mistakes until No. 14 and she played very good today, except for a couple of holes.  And until No. 13 I thought I wouldn't have a chance because Carlota was really playing solid. So yeah, I was just trying to be really patient out there, and finally a couple dropped for me at the end.”

It indeed took some miscues from Ciganda, who was the 2012 LET Order of Merit winner and the LET Rookei of the Year, for Park to capture her latest victory. The 22-year-old Spaniard held a two-stroke lead over Park following a birdie on the 10th. Trouble would then strike the young player on the 14th and 15th holes when she went bogey-double bogey to fall one shot back of Park.

On the par-4 14th, Ciganda hit her drive behind a tree. With 140 yards left to the pin, Ciganda tried to hit over the tree and ended up clipping a branch that resulted in her second shot coming up about 20 yards short of the green. Unable to get up and down, Ciganda’s two-stroke lead quickly became one. Then came even more problems for Ciganda on 15 when unsure about the left-to-right wind, she hit her second shot a little too far to the right and her ball bounced into the water. She would go on to make double bogey on that hole to fall to 11-under, one shot behind Park.

“I saw the ball bouncing on the green, so I thought that maybe it was there long,” Ciganda said of her approach into 15. “But when I was approaching the green, I could see that the wind was hard and the ball was in the water. So I mean I just tried to make up on that, and I missed my putt, so then it was a 6, and that was it.  I think that was the key hole because until that time I think I was winning by two and then by one.”

Ciganda, who was trying to become the fourth Spaniard to win on the LPGA Tour, still had opportunities to catch Park. Her birdie putt on the 16th lipped out. Coming into the par-5 18th trailing by one, Ciganda drained a 15-foot-putt for birdie to tie Park at 12-under with the No. 1 player in the world facing a 4-footer for a birdie that would seal the win. And as she has does so many times recently, Park sank the putt to give her win No. 3 of the 2013 season.

The win in Texas helped Park maintain her hold on the No. 1 spot for a third consecutive week and continued what has been an impressive stretch of golf for Park dating back to last July’s Evian Masters. She has captured five victories in her last 18 starts and always seems to find herself in contention.

“It's always good to see my name on the top of the leaderboard almost every week,” Park said. “I mean not every week, but close to every week.  Yeah, it always feels good, my game is ‑‑ it's really good to see my game is improving every week, every year, and just trying to take it step by step.”

Learning experience: Carlota Ciganda may only be in her second year on the LPGA Tour but she gained some valuable lessons during Sunday’s final round of the North Texas LPGA Shootout.

Playing alongside Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park, Ciganda proved that she could hold her own against the world’s best. The 22-year-old shot a 1-under 71 in the final round and even held a two-stroke lead over Park at one point in the round. While it didn’t result in her first LPGA Tour victory due to a few miscues down the stretch, Ciganda was able to have some perspective on what she was able to accomplish this week in Texas.

“I was trying to play my game, just trying to stay in the present all the time, and I was telling my caddy just focus on our game, just go shot by shot and just don't think about the other, don't think about Inbee or other players because you can't really control what they are doing,” Ciganda said. “I was just trying to focus on my game, and it showed and I think we did really good. 

“I mean it's always nice to win, but I think when you finish second or even worse, I think you learn more from it,” Ciganda added. “So I think it's a great experience, and I'm happy with my week.”

There she is again…. Last week’s LPGA LOTTE Championship winner Suzann Pettersen continued her strong play of late, shooting a final-round 66 to finish in solo third at 10-under-par. The 32-year-old Norwegian has finished in the top 3 in each of her last three events, having also finished tied for third at the Kia Classic.

So is Pettersen’s game in peak form right now?

“Early on this week I didn't feel that great with my game to be honest, just coming off Hawaii, being in windy conditions, your kind of fundamentals and the swing changes a little bit,” Pettersen said. “So it was a lot of work early on, and I got better.  I finally figured out the speed of the greens on the weekend.”

Pettersen said the key to her strong play on Sunday was finally figuring out the course at Las Colinas Country Club.

“It's a great track,” Pettersen said. “I mean it just plays a lot different than what I expected it to.  It plays like a links course, the fairways, hard and bouncy.”

Don’t Mess With Texas. A lot of places claim Stacy Lewis as their own – born in Toledo, lived in South Carolina, went to college in Arkansas – but the Rolex No. 2 proudly calls Texas home… even though she now lives in South Florida. Following a 5-under-par 66 on Sunday, Lewis proudly spoke about her home state where she lived for the majority of her teenage years.

“We have so many good players from Texas and just look at the crowds this week,” she said. “I signed autographs for people probably four or five deep for 100 yards.”

Despite a top-10 finish, it wasn’t the week that Lewis had hoped for in Texas. She struggled out of the gates on Thursday with a 1-over-par 71 that included back-to-back bogies coming in.  She added rounds of 1-under-par 70 and 2-under-par 69 before closing the week with a 66 to finish at 7-under-par overall.

The ongoing race for the No. 1 spot in the Rolex Rankings continues to stay in the back of Lewis’ mind and she will enter next week’s Kingsmill Championship as No. 2 in the world.

“It’s hard,” she said. “I have to get my game back on track and certainly today I hit it a lot better. I have to get my head right and not worry about the No. 1 ranking.”

Kia Drive to the Top: Lewis’ strong finish on Sunday also gave her another boost as it kept her on top of the Kia Performance Awards’ “Drive to the Top” category for the most top 10s. Lewis now has six top-10 finishes in eight events played this week. She claimed the Kia Drive to the Top award in 2012 and drove away in a brand-new Kia Optima.

American Pride: The countdown to the 2013 Solheim Cup is on and with 10 events remaining to earn points toward the team, Texan Stacy Lewis continues to maintain a commanding lead in the race.

2013 U.S. Solheim Cup Point Standings

Rank    Player Name                Points
1          Stacy Lewis                 738.50
2          Paula Creamer             364.50
3          Cristie Kerr                  348.00
4          Angela Stanford           271.50
5          Brittany Lincicome      215.00
6          Lexi Thompson            174.00
7          Jessica Korda              160.50
            Lizette Salas                160.50

Americans finishing inside the top 20 included Lewis (T7), Paula Creamer (T11), Cristie Kerr (T11), Christina Kim (T11), Mo Martin (T15), Jane Park (T18), Lexi Thompson (T18).

Spots nine and 10 on the 2013 U.S. Solheim Cup Team will be determined by the Rolex Rankings which will be updated on Monday morning. Additionally, U.S. Team Captain Meg Mallon will have two picks to round out the squad.

Amateur Experience: High School Shootout qualifier Haley Mills had the time of her life this week playing alongside her idols at the North Texas LPGA Shootout. The 18-year-old will play collegiate golf next year at the University of Kentucky, but her experience playing at Las Colinas Country Club this week reaffirmed her goal of making it to the LPGA Tour one day.

“I never felt out of place, and that was really cool,” she said. “I kept up with the competition, and it was pretty awesome.”

Mills was one of four amateurs that earned spots in the North Texas LPGA Shootout field via Collegiate and High School Shootout.

For more on Haley’s experience at the North Texas LPGA Shootout, watch this video: http://www.lpga.com/media-library/videos/2013/tournaments/north-texas/haley-mills-feature.aspx

Golden ticket winners: Carlota Ciganda, Hee Young Park and Karine Icher punched their "Ticket to CME Group Titleholders" at the North Texas LPGA Shootout, each earning a spot in the season-ending CME Group Titleholders event, which will be held Nov. 21-24, 2012 in Naples, Fla. The third-annual CME Group Titleholders is a season finale with a field made up of three qualifiers from every LPGA Tour tournament.

Quote of the day: “In the air, I thought I had a car. I thought I had a car off the club face.” Stacy Lewis on her tee shot at the 13th hole, where a brand-new Kia Cadenza was a hole-in-one prize this week.

Tweet of the Day: “It was great to see sooooo many young girls out at the LPGA tournament in Texas today! #golfisingoodhands” -- @JessicaKorda

Of Note…The low round of the day belonged to Hee Young Park, who tied the tournament record with a 7-under 64… Suzann Pettersen fell short in her bid for back-to-back wins following her victory at the LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf with a solo third place finish in North Texas…


Inbee Park, Rolex Rankings No. 1

THE MODERATOR:  It's my pleasure to welcome the inaugural North Texas LPGA Shootout winner Inbee Park into the interview room.  Congratulations on your third victory of the season.  It's also your sixth career win.  You maintain the No. 1 spot on the Rolex World rankings.  You hold the No. 1 spot in the Rolex Player of the Year race.  You've basically done it all this year.  Just talk about your day and how it feels to hoist another trophy.
INBEE PARK:  Yeah.  Today coming into the final round, I was two shots back, and I didn't really think about winning so much.  And you know, the front nine I was given a lot of birdie chances out there, and nothing seemed to be going in, so I was a little bit frustrated.
           
But on the other hand, Carlota was putting really good and she was playing really almost perfect.  She wasn't making any mistakes until No. 13, and she played very good today, except for a couple of holes.  And until No. 13 I thought I wouldn't have a chance because Carlota was really playing solid.
           
So yeah, I was just trying to be really patient out there, and finally a couple dropped for me at the end.

THE MODERATOR:  Just talk about holes 14 and 15.  Carlota bogeyed and then she hit it in the water on 15 and double bogeyed.  Does that change the way you're thinking as you approach the last couple of holes thinking maybe I can really win this thing now?
INBEE PARK:  Yeah.  It wasn't something like I was making three, four birdies to catch her.  I was just making just straight pars, and Carlota was just making mistakes.  And yeah, I was just ‑‑ all day I was just trying to be really patient and if the chances come, then I win; if not, maybe next chance.  And yeah, I just tried to wait every hole.

THE MODERATOR:  Can you take us through the 18th hole?  Both of you had pretty good drives, pretty good second shots, just what club you hit on that hole and especially the final putt how it broke, how far it was.
INBEE PARK:  Yeah.  Last hole Carlota was a lot ahead of me, and I knew that she might ‑‑ looked like from my position she might go for it from there and that she had a little bit of a space in between the trees.  So I thought that she would probably make a birdie and I was expecting her to make a birdie.
           
And really luckily I only had 210 from ‑‑ I hit like 290 drive.  I never did this week.  And 210, and it was helping us a little bit, so I hit 5‑wood over the tree, and I knew that it was going to clear everything and if anything it was going to end up in the bunker.  So I thought it was definitely worth a go, and yeah, that's what I did.  I thought it was just going to jump up there.
           
But it wasn't an easy chip.  It was 15 yards, and I didn't have that much green to work with.  And yeah, I just landed  it on and ended up like five, six feet from the hole, and it was a breaking a little right‑to‑left.  That's what I did.

THE MODERATOR:  You mentioned it out on the green.  So many fans came out this week.  How impressed were you with the gallery walking down 18 today?
INBEE PARK:  Yeah.  I mean, yeah, I didn't expect that much of a gallery this week, and I knew it was really close from the city and I know there is a big population in Dallas, but they are really interested in golf.
           
And yeah, I'm very happy to see a lot of people out here cheering us on, and especially there was a lot of Korean girls cheering hard for me, too.  So yeah, it felt like a little bit home.  So that's good.

THE MODERATOR:  We'll take a question from AP.  Just one more from me.  I heard you went to Koreatown this week.  What did you do there?
INBEE PARK:  Yeah, I probably went there three or four times this week.  I just go there to eat and go to bookstore and by some books and just to look around, they have a bakery and get a yogurt.  All that stuff.

Q.  Can you talk about the idea, when you're playing with the player that you're chasing for the lead and it seemed, like you said, y'all played pretty close together except for those couple holes, but talk about the pace she set and how she kind of impressed you, but also did you see a turning point for you or was it just playing steady?
INBEE PARK:  Yeah.  Today like I say about Carlota, she wasn't making that many mistakes out there today.  She was hitting fairways and greens and making putts.  And I thought I played really great today, but I just missed a lot of birdie opportunities, so I thought I might be ‑‑ this tournament might not be mine because I missed that many opportunities and Carlota was playing great golf.  And I was really ready to actually congratulate her if she played that solid on the back nine.
           
But she made a couple mistakes on the back nine, and on the back nine I didn't make many mistakes.  I just parred almost every hole and made a couple of putts when I had opportunities, and I really tried to be patient, you know, just waiting for a birdie to come.

Q.  Your ability to avoid mistakes really impressive the last two rounds, I think 35 holes without a bogey and nine birdies.  Can you just talk about kind of staying patient and avoiding disasters?
INBEE PARK:  Well, it was ‑‑ I think I gotta say I'm getting really used to seeing this golf course.  At first it was really tough because to my eyes it looked ‑‑ fairways were really sloped and you couldn't pick a landing spot here to hit my drives, but by the third day I was really getting used to the golf course, and I was getting really comfortable out there.  I didn't miss many greens, didn't miss many fairways.
           
Yeah, the greens here were tricky, and I missed a lot of putts out there, but yeah, really happy the last one fell for me.

Q.  You were about two or three feet away from her on the 15th fairway.  Your balls were very close to one another.  Did it surprise you when you saw her ball go in the water or did you see a ball go in the water?
INBEE PARK:  No.  I didn't actually see her ball.  I mean I saw her hitting it, but I lost the ball and I didn't know where it went.  Yeah, I just knew that she was looking for the ball.
           
I mean that pin was really hard.  I mean I thought mine was going to be really short, but it rolled all the way to the pin so I was really surprised at how hard that pin was playing.

Q.  Inbee, share your overall impression of the tournament being played here at Las Colinas and if you look forward to it being a tournament destination for years to come.
INBEE PARK:  Yeah.  I think it we had great crowds this week and the tournament organization was really ‑‑ they did really great.  It was so organized, and really surprised it was the first year.  They looked like they were really professional.  And a lot of fans and a lot of volunteers helped us making this week possible.
           
And it looked like, you know, it was not the first year.  It was very experienced.  It was a very good experience.  I think Texas is a very good golfing destination, and it's always good to hold a tournament, LPGA tournament.

Q.  That's three wins this year and five in your last 18 starts.  Can you talk about the confidence you're playing with right now and just how good it feels when you go on the golf course knowing that if you play well you've got a chance to do what you've been doing?
INBEE PARK:  Yeah.  It's always good to see my name on the top of the leaderboard almost every week.  I mean not every week, but close to every week.  Yeah, it always feels good, my game is ‑‑ it's really good to see my game is improving every week, every year, and just trying to take it step by step.
           
If I wasn't putting good this week, I just try to improve on it next week, and if I was not hitting the ball as good this week, I just try to improve that next week, and everything's just improving step by step every week, and I feel it, too.

Q.  Inbee, three wins already this year, the season's first major.  Do you think that tells media or fans or maybe other players if they wanted to go to the top you're going to be there waiting on them?  Does that kind of clarify where you are so far?
INBEE PARK:  I'm not that good every week.  Yeah, I try to be ‑‑ try to play for a win every week and try to, yeah, try to win every week and try my best every week so I can win a tournament.  That's what I play for, and especially after being No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings, that's something else that I play for every week.  And it's just an honor to play for No. 1 every week.

Q.  You mentioned a minute ago if you're not doing something well one week, that's what you work to improve on.  But what is it you want to improve on next week after winning?
INBEE PARK:  It's going to be getting into the greens, and this week was a lot of tricky mistakes, and I misread a lot of putts.  But everything else I did pretty good, so I'm trying to get used to next week's green.

Q.  When somebody else came back to hit, can you talk about how ‑‑ that kind of delay and what you were thinking at the time and was it distracting to you?
INBEE PARK:  No.  I mean, no, it was all right.  I mean it was actually a really good ‑‑ it ended up really good for me because I made a birdie.  Maybe if I hit it in the water maybe ‑‑ and I could have blamed it on them, but it ended up I gave myself a little bit more time to think about the shot, and yeah, it worked good for me.

Q.  Inbee, yesterday Na Yeon came in and she said she goes back to Korea a lot.  Surprisingly.
INBEE PARK:  Who is this?

Q.  Na Yeon.  Every time she takes a week off she said she goes back.  Do you travel back that often?  And second question, if I might, can you kind of explain to us the difference of the importance of women's golf in Korea versus here, because there is a massive difference is my sense?
INBEE PARK:  To women's golf here and women's golf in Korea?  Yeah, first of all, Korea women's golf is much more popular than men's golf back in Korea.  They don't really watch men's that much in Korea, but they love women's golf in Korea.  I mean professional golf in Korea is really big, a lot of tournaments.  We have a KLPGA TOUR and they have 27 tournaments this year.  That's how the Korean people approach Korean women's golf.  And you know, yeah.

Q.  And how often do you travel back?
INBEE PARK:  Oh, I go back to Korea probably more than Na Yeon.  Yeah, I love to go back home and whatever ‑‑ especially when I don't have like a residence here in the U. S.  Yeah, so whenever I have more than two weeks off, I go back.

Q.  You said you went to Koreatown a lot this week.  Where is that?  Where did you go?
INBEE PARK:  That's actually in Dallas.  It's like eight miles from here.

THE MODERATOR:  Inbee, we'll close with one more.  We talked a lot about when you came to the States and overcoming the language barrier.  When you first arrived in the United States, did you ever think that on an almost weekly basis you would be sitting here holding a trophy talking about winning another LPGA event?  Was that a dream for you?
INBEE PARK:  Oh, yeah.  It was a dream, but I didn't know that dream was going to come true like this.  But yeah, that was definitely one of my goals to reach when I was a young kid.  I mean I came here when I was 12 and played in junior tournaments, like in Florida junior events, and I was winning a lot of them when I was younger, I felt like I should be winning every tournament when I get to LPGA, but it wasn't like that when I came on the LPGA Tour.
          
 I had a little bit of trouble when I came here until the second, third year and it was a lot of good golfers out here that can play much better than me, and I learned a lot from them, and finally I'm here.

THE MODERATOR:  On behalf of the LPGA we want to thank all the media for your coverage.  We know there's a lot going on in Dallas Fort Worth and in Irving and we appreciate you coming out.  Thank you to the Nexxus Club and all the sponsors and Inbee, congratulations


Carlota Ciganda, Rolex Rankings No. 48

THE MODERATOR:  Everyone, we'd like to welcome Carlota Ciganda into the interview room.  Thank you so much for joining us this afternoon.  I know not quite the finish you were hoping for, but a great day out there and a great battle with the No. 1 player in the world.  Just take me through the entire experience of today and what the day was like for you.
CARLOTA CIGANDA:  Yeah.  I'm very happy with my round and with my week.  I think it's a good week for me finishing second.  Obviously I wanted to win, but I mean only one player can win this tournament.
           
And I played great.  I had such a great day with Inbee.  She played really good.  I think that's why she is No. 1 in the world, and I think she deserve it.  She played, I mean great shots today.  I was trying my best.  I had two bad holes on the back 9, 14 and 15, hit it to the water and that was tough.  But I tried to fight until the end, and just tried my best.
           
I mean it's always nice to win, but I think when you finish second or even worse, I think you learn more from it.  So I think it's a great experience, and I'm happy with my week.

THE MODERATOR:  Take me through the front nine, you seemed after an early bogey you got things going.  What was really working for you early on in the round?
CARLOTA CIGANDA:  I hit pitching wedge on my second hole, but it had back spin, so it was a little bit short and then I couldn't make the putt.  And then I was hitting good shots.  I putt really good today, too.
           
I made birdie on No. 3 and No. 6 and No. 7, so I was 2‑under after 9, and then I made another birdie on No. 10.  So I was happy and playing good and having fun and enjoying the day.  And then I think, let me see, the hole it bounced to the right, but I had a bogey there and then hit it to the water on 15.
           
I mean I finished with 2 pars and a birdie on the last holes, and I think it was a good round of golf shooting under par for the day.  So I can't complain.

THE MODERATOR:  Take me through on 14 it looked like it clipped the tree.  Is that kind of what happened on that second shot?
CARLOTA CIGANDA:  Yeah.  I was thinking to hit a bounce shot or high and I didn't hit it with my 52, and yeah, it went into the trees a little bit so I was short.  And then my chip wasn't very good and then my putt even worse on that shot, so I couldn't make the par.  And I hit a good 5‑iron off the tee on No. 15, and then I wasn't comfortable with the wind left‑to‑right today, so I hit it to the right.  I think that was one bad shot I didn't have to miss, but I mean I'm happy.

THE MODERATOR:  I was going to say there's a lot that you can take out of this for sure.  And having had the experience last year, you'd won on the LET, but then to come here and play as well as you did this week, what will you take from your game from what you were able to accomplish this week?
CARLOTA CIGANDA:  I think my attitude was really good.  Javi, my caddy, too, we just stayed in the present all the time.  We just tried to enjoy every minute.  I think I was hitting good shots, feeling comfortable.  I was making good putts, so it was a great week.  And I would say my attitude of being positive and wanting to fight until the end.

Q.  14 and 15, two tricky holes for you.  Can you just talk about those and how you played them this week?
CARLOTA CIGANDA:  Yeah.  14 was not an easy hole, especially from the tee, because it always bounced to the right.  So I was trying to hit a 5‑wood a little bit to the left of the fairway.
           
But it was tough.  So I was a little bit long and I was over the fairway.  And then my second shot I didn't know how to hit it low or high.  I decided to hit it high and it touches the tree a little bit, so I was short.  And then 15, I think I made three putts on that and made a double.  The perfect blend is to hit it to the fairway and then just the middle of the green, but today I was not very comfortable on my second shot, especially with that wind left‑to‑right.
           
And I think it can happen.  One bad shot, and I think that's it.  I don't think you have to think too much.

Q.  One thing, what did you hit on your approach on 15 and did it surprise you to see the ball go in the water?  Did you think you'd hit a good shot or were you surprised when you saw it bounce in the water like that?
CARLOTA CIGANDA:  I didn't know because I saw the ball bouncing on the green, so I thought that maybe it was there long.  But when I was approaching the green, I could see that the wind was hard and the ball was in the water.
           
So I mean I just tried to make up on that, and I missed my putt, so then it was a 6, and that was it.  I think that was the key hole because until that time I think I was winning by two and then by one.

Q.  What club did you hit on your approach?
CARLOTA CIGANDA:  I hit my second shot on 15?

Q.  What did you hit on your approach?
CARLOTA CIGANDA:  I hit a 7.  I had 160 meters to the pin, and the wind was hooking a little bit left‑to‑right, so I knew that it was going to hit 7, and I may have hit it a little bit to the right and it bounced really hard.  And yes, straight the water.

Q.  Can you talk about the differences, playing on the LPGA tour and the LET, difference in the courses, the difference in the conditions, anything else you might tell us about the differences?
CARLOTA CIGANDA:  Playing in the States I think it's harder to score.  The courses are I think you have longer courses.  You have more rough usually, and the greens are usually bigger and faster.  So I think it's great to play here because you get better.  You also play with the best players in the world, and you are competing every week with great players and you have more tournaments, so you can play more weeks in a row.
           
Where in Europe it's a little bit more.  You don't have as many tournaments, so you can't compete as much, and then it's great players, but not as much as here.  So I was happy last year because being from Spain and playing, it was great, and the weeks off I could go home and just be with my coach and with my family.  I love that.
           
And this year when I play both tours in the States and Europe and maybe next year I'll try to play more here.  But I mean I would like to play here in the future because it's where the best players are and I think you can just get better and improve.

Q.  How much do you take out of ‑‑ you were playing with the No. 1 player in the world, and I know on the front nine I got to watch some of it and you were basically stroke for stroke with her.  You guys traded birdies.  You traded those par saves at 9.  And you even pumped your fist a couple times.  How much did that do for you knowing that the only difference was probably a couple holes today?
CARLOTA CIGANDA:  I was trying to play my game, just trying to stay in the present all the time, and I was telling my caddy just focus on our game, just go shot by shot and just don't think about the other, don't think about Inbee or other players because you can't really control what they are doing.
           
I was just trying to focus on my game, and it showed and I think we did really good.  You can always have mistakes, and I'm very happy and I think he did a great job.
           
And playing with Inbee, I knew that she was going to play good.  She is No. 1 in the world.  She has won I don't know how many events this year.  She won the Kraft.  So I mean she's playing great, and yeah, I think I just need to congratulate her on her game and her caddy, too.

THE MODERATOR:  Carlota, from watching Inbee, what most impresses you about how she's playing at the moment?  She has like five wins in her last 18 starts.  Pretty hot stretch.
CARLOTA CIGANDA:  I would say her putting.  I think on the greens she is one of the best players I've seen.  And yeah, I would say she's unbelievable.  From anywhere she can just hole a putt, and I played with her in China, too, and yeah, she holed so many putts.  And I would say her short game is really good.

Q.  First year for this event, what did you think of the crowds and how the tournament played out?
CARLOTA CIGANDA:  I think it's great when people come to watch us play and then all the tournaments are on TV.  We don't have that in Europe yet, so I really love when people come to watch and it motivates me more, so I love that.
           
And I want to thank everyone who came to watch the tournament, all the people here at the course, every volunteer, you guys of the media, you guys always do a great job, and I feel very lucky to be here, to be part of the LPGA, to be playing here.  So I don't think I could be more thankful. 


Suzann Pettersen, Rolex Rankings No. 5

Q.  Great round out there today.  What was really kind of working well for you?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  You know, I got off to a pretty good start.  Played very good.  Made one bogey, hit maybe the wrong club on the par‑3 and just didn't hit a good bunker shot.
           
I had a lot of good chances on the last couple of holes, hit good putts, just edged it on a couple.  It was nice to birdie the last.  After two days I thought 10‑under would be a pretty good job, and I got to the number, but knowing that I maybe left a few out there in early rounds.  Pretty good weekend, though.

Q.  You did have such a hot start on the front nine and then when you made the turn, it seemed things slowed down.  What kind of got you?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  I didn't birdie ‑‑ I did not birdie 10, which is kind of maybe one where you probably should.  And then lipped out on 12, 14.  Made birdie on 15 and then made a good up‑and‑down on 16 and had a good chance on 17 ‑‑ I mean I had my chances to get to probably to 12.  I don't know what the leaders are now, but I'm probably going to be two or three short.

Q.  Coming off last week and a victory and now how you've played this week, how happy are you with your game and where it's at at the moment?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  Early on this week I didn't feel that great with my game to be honest, just coming off Hawaii, being in windy conditions, your kind of fundamentals and the swing changes a little bit.  So it was a lot of work early on, and I got better.  I finally figured out the speed of the greens on the weekend.
           
It's a great track.  I mean it just plays a lot different than what I expected it to.  It plays like a links course, the fairways, hard and bouncy.

Q.  Overall just the week in Dallas, this is the first time we've been back here in quite a while.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  I think it's a great reception we have here.  I think it's been a good crowd out, especially on the weekend.  It's been nice to be here, and definitely looking forward to coming back.


Stacy Lewis, Rolex Rankings No. 2

Q.  Great day.  I know you kind of were frustrated a little bit with the game kind of coming in, but to be able to put together a round like you did today, tell me how nice that was.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah.  You know, it started out kind of like it's been for the last few days and I just got more and more comfortable with my swing throughout the day and finally hit some good shots at the end and made a few putts, so it's just nice to leave here on a good note and know that I'm working on the right things and moving in the right direction.

Q.  13, just take me through that hole.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah.  It was playing about 135 today, and it was just a nice perfect 9‑iron for me and right off the face I thought I had a car and for it to get that close was kind of disappointing, but it was a great shot and that's the closest I've come to making a hole‑in‑one on tour, so hopefully I'll get one here soon.

Q.  Isn't it always funny how that is that you can be one of the most successful players out on tour and just not have those hole‑in‑ones?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah.  I've had one hole‑in‑one in my entire life.  So golf is a crazy game.

Q.  We talked a little bit earlier about the crowds out here and how tremendous.  What does it mean to have an event here as a Texan to see this and how impressed were you by the amount of fans that were out there today?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah.  This weekend it's been unbelievable, especially yesterday, I played with Paula, and the amount of kids we had with our group was unbelievable.  They all had their LPGA girls golf gear on, and just to know that these kids in Texas now have somebody to come watch and somewhere ‑‑ they aspire to be out here so just to have somebody to look up to.  And I hope we can continue to come here for a few more years.

Q.  Going into the next couple weeks, like you said, feeling good about the swing now, what's the hope kind of going into the next few tournaments?  How are you feeling about the game and what will it take in terms of getting you back to where you kind of want to be?
STACY LEWIS:  You know, I think when I think back on the year I'm where I want to be and I know I'm No. 2 in the rankings, but that's not what everything's about.  I want to have good days like today and fight through kind of not so good weeks and come out with a good finish.  And I just gotta compare myself to me.  I can't compare nice to Inbee or Na Yeon Choi.
           
You know, I'm excited about where my game is, though.  Coming into this summer, we got the majors coming up and got a few weeks where I'm defending or I played well, so I have some good vibes going back there.

Q.  Is it one thing too you have to put in perspective a little bit for yourself after reaching the No. 1 spot?  You have two wins already this year.  You have five Top 10s.  It's a pretty impressive stretch already just early in the year?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah.  I found myself after Hawaii being disappointed with a ninth place finish, when anyone's usually happy with a Top 10, so I needed to kind of take some perspective back, and I've won twice this year.  I've had five Top 10s and hopefully get another one here.  But it's been really good, and I just need to not put so much pressure on myself and just realize I'm doing a lot of good things.

Q.  How much does the Solheim Cup play on your mind?
STACY LEWIS:  It's always there.  I think especially this year.  Every time you're playing with a European player you're kind of thinking about Solheim and what it's going to be like, and it's fun to watch some of the young Americans starting to play well, and you know, I'm excited to kind of see how they do when they get to Solheim.

 

Topics: Notes and Interviews, Ciganda, Carlota, Park, Inbee, North Texas LPGA Shootout

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