Third Round Notes and Interviews from the U.S. Women's Open

Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Inbee Park during the third round.

U.S. Women’s Open conducted by the USGA
Southampton, N.Y.
Third Round Notes and Interviews
June 29, 2013

For more information visit usga.org.

Inbee Park | IK Kim | Jodi Ewart Shadoff | Jessica Korda | Angela Stanford | So Yeon Ryu | Cristie Kerr | Kristy McPherson | Lexi Thompson | Brittany Lang | Brittany Lincicome | Catriona Matthew | Paula Creamer | Na Yeon Choi

 

Saturday’s Third-Round Recap

Only 18 holes stand in the way of Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park winning her third straight major of the 2013 LPGA season. Park shot a 1-under 71 in Saturday’s third round of the U.S. Women’s Open conducted by the USGA at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y. and she will take a four-shot lead into Sunday’s final round.

Park, who won the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the Wegmans LPGA Championship earlier this year, is trying to become only the second player in LPGA history to win the first three majors in a season. Babe Zaharias is the only other player to accomplish the feat. Zaharias did it in 1950 when she won all three majors played that year – the Titleholders Championship, the Women’s Western Open and the U.S. Women’s Open.

Despite the potential of a history-making day looming in front of her, Park didn’t to be seem fazed by the situation.

"I'm going to try to do the same thing that I did for the last 3 days.” Park said after her round on Saturday. “It will be a big day, but it's just a round of golf. I just try not to think about it so much. I just try to concentrate on whatever I'm doing on the golf course.”

Park held a two-shot lead over I.K. Kim when the fog-delayed second round was completed early on Saturday morning. A total of 41 players had to finish their round on Saturday after heavy fog in the area halted play at 6:40 p.m. on Friday evening. Park had the advantage of being able to complete her round on Friday, finishing out the 18th hole with a birdie after the fog had already arrived.

But while the fog disappeared by Saturday morning, scoring conditions proved to be quite difficult for most of the field in the third round. The wind was gusting hard for much of the day on Saturday along the Peconic Bay in eastern Long Island and it tested the patience of the players. Only five remained under par for the tournament at the end of Saturday’s third round and Park emerged as the only one who was able to shoot under par in the third round.

“I think I played very good today, especially after the three bogeys,” said Park. “ I came back very strong.  I mean, overall playing today I think I putted very good.  I probably putted the best out of all the three days. It was tough out there with the wind.  It was probably the strongest that we've played all week, and the pin positions were just really tough out there today.  So I mean, it was a very grinding day.”

Park began the day with eight straight pars but watched her lead grew as the field moved away from her. Kim got off to a rough start as she went four-over in her first five holes and no one seemed to be able to make a run at Park.  A birdie at the ninth moved Park to 10-under-par, reaching the vaunted double-digit under-par total that eludes most players at this event. She then held her largest lead of the day when Jodi Ewart Shadoff bogeyed the 10th to give Park a five-shot lead.

But the usually unflappable Park started to show a little weakness at the start of the back nine. Three straight bogeys on No. 11-13 dropped Park to 7-under-par and her lead shrunk to three shots. Still Park rebounded with an improbable, downhill 35-foot birdie putt on the 14th to move back to 1-over for the day.

Park’s playing partners weren’t about to let the world No. 1 pull away without a little bit of pressure. Following Park’s amazing birdie on the 14th, both Ewart Shadoff and Kim drained birdie putts to stay four shots back at 5-under-par. Yet on the next hole Park showed why she is considered one of the best putters on Tour by draining a 20-footer to increase her lead again to four shots. It would be the margin that she’d carry into Sunday after she and Kim exchanged birdies on the 18th hole to complete their rounds.

“I think I'm just going to think that I.K. and I am tied starting in tomorrow's play because anything can happen out here,” Park said. “I mean, four shots, it could be nothing around this golf course.  So it can't be too ‑‑ I just have to keep pushing myself to make pars.  I think par is going to be good enough tomorrow, but I'm just going to try to do my best.

“A lot of thinking going on, a lot of pressure.  But I've done that before, so I think the experience is going to help me going through it tomorrow.”

Not only is Park chasing history with her potential three straight major victories, but she’s trying to become only the fourth player ever to win the U.S. Women’s Open with a double-digit under-par score. The 72-hole record in relation to par at the U.S. Women’s Open is 16-under, which was shot by Juli Inkster in 1999 at Old Waverly G.C. in West Point, Miss.

Park has now led or co-led after the third round a total of eight times in the past year and she’s finished no worse than T2 in those situations. She led after 54 holes in each of the first two majors this year, winning both although she needed a playoff to capture a victory at the Wegmans LPGA Championship earlier this month.

Park, who will turn 25 on July 12, put herself is esteemed company with a victory at the Wegmans LPGA Championship, becoming just the seventh player in LPGA history to win the first two majors of the season. She joined Zaharias, Patty Berg, Mickey Wright, Sandra Haynie, Pat Bradley and Annika Sorenstam in the accomplishment.

But the South Korean’s ability to deliver victories or runner-up finishes over the past year has been beyond impressive. In her last 23 events, Park has won seven times and finished runner-up five times. So in more than half of the events she’s played over that span, she’s finished first or second.

“It's remarkable,” Paula Creamer said of Park. “I mean, we could watch history tomorrow of what she has been doing.  Like I said, winning a major, one major, is tough enough.  Winning three in a row, that's pretty impressive. But there's a lot of golf left too at the same time.  There's some girls in between going to be chasing her and have got nothing to lose.  We'll see what happens.”

Among those who will be chasing Park are her two playing companions from Saturday, Kim and Ewart Shadoff. They will sit at four and seven shots back respectively entering the final round.

“I think we all have a chance,” Kim said. “Yeah, I mean she is playing great.  But you never know, I might have a great day tomorrow.  So golf is different thing than other sports.  That's why you play four rounds.  She is playing great, so I have just got to play my game.”
Inbee Park will try to win her third major of the 2013 season on Sunday. Here are the players who have won three LPGA Tour majors in one season:

Three consecutive
Babe Zaharias- 1950
Titleholders Championship, March 16-19
Women’s Western Open, June 19-24
U.S. Women’s Open, September 28-30
(three majors played in 1950)

Non-consecutive
Mickey Wright- 1961
Titleholders Championship, April 27-30
U.S. Women’s Open, June 29-July 1
LPGA Championship, October 12-15
(four majors played in 1961; Western Open, June 1-4; won by Mary Lena Faulk)

Pat Bradley- 1986
Nabisco Dinah Shore, April 3-6
LPGA Championship, May 29-June 1
du Maurier Classic, July 24-27
(four majors played in 1986; U.S. Women’s Open, July 10-13; won by Jane Geddes)

Three in a row: Inbee Park isn’t just going for three straight major victories this week, she’s also going for three straight victories on the LPGA Tour.

A victory for Park on Sunday would give her wins in each of the last three events on the LPGA Tour. She won the Wegmans LPGA Championship three weeks ago and then won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G last week. The last player to win three consecutive tournaments on the LPGA Tour was Lorena Ochoa, who won four-in-a-row in 2008. LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Nancy Lopez holds the LPGA record with five consecutive victories in tournaments participated in 1978. Annika Sorenstam also accomplished the feat across two season in 2004-05.

“Three in a row is pretty outstanding,” Brittany Lincicome said of the possible feat. “I feel, anyway, after the next week you're on such an adrenaline high that it's hard to come back down to earth and play that next week.  Now she's won two weeks in a row and playing fantastic this week.  It's incredible what she's doing.

“Obviously, she's driving it straight and making those putts like she does consistently which is awesome.  So, obviously, I wish her nothing but the best, but I'm coming for her tomorrow (laughing).”

British sweep? Earlier this month Justin Rose became the first Englishman in 43 years to win the U.S. Open. Now Jodi Ewart Shadoff is in contention to become the first Englishwoman since Alison Nicholas in 1997 to win the U.S. Women’s Open title.

If Ewart Shadoff can capture a victory on Sunday, it would mark the first time in history that both the men’s and women’s U.S. Open titles were held by England natives.

Ewart Shadoff has her work cut out for her as she sits seven shots behind leader Inbee Park heading into Sunday’s round. Her career-best finish at a major came earlier this year at the Kraft Nabisco Champion when she finished T7. That experience is something she believes will aid her as she gets ready to play in the second to last group at a major.

“It definitely helped,” Ewart Shadoff said. “I mean, I was up there at the Kraft this year and the Kia last year, so all of this is great experience for me.  It's what I need to be able to win in the future.  You know, to pull through.  It's mentally tough when you're out in the lead and just trying to stay strong and go after it instead of being defensive.”

A very happy birthday to Ryu! 2011 U.S. Women’s Open champion So Yeon Ryu celebrated her 23rd birthday on Saturday and she managed to give herself a present by shooting a 1-over 73 to remain in contention for her second major title at 1-under-par.

“Before I teed off, I really wanted to enjoy my birthday,” Ryu said after her round. “ It was really hard to enjoy the golf especially this tough golf course.  Today is my birthday, so I think it is really worth it.  That's why I was pretty much can handle it, this tough golf course.”

Ryu was a member of the KLPGA when she won this event in 2011 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo. She joined the LPGA Tour the following year and earned 2012 Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year honors, while winning one event last season (the 2012 Jamie Farr Toledo Classic). She will be trying for her third career victory on Sunday at the U.S. Women’s Open and having already won this event, Ryu knows what it takes to capture a win.

“Everything can happen especially at the golf and especially at the U.S. Open,” Ryu said. “The course conditions getting tough and tough.  Also, you know, everybody cannot predict what is going on.  So I just want to keep focus on my golf, and I just want to ‑‑ I just don't want to compete with anybody.  I just don't want to think about the winning thing.  If I hit each hole and each shot, I'm pretty sure I can play well.”

It’s Moving Day: Saturday is the day when players look to make that late charge up the leaderboard to put themselves into contention for Sunday’s final round. But with some difficult pin positions for the third round and the wind gusting for much of the day, there wasn’t a great opportunity for players to make a run at leader Inbee Park.

Still a few players did find themselves suddenly in the top 10 after managing to deliver even par rounds on Saturday. Paula Creamer, the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open champion, moved from T18 into solo sixth place at 1-over-par following her round of 72 and nine-time LPGA Tour winner Ai Miyazato moved up 16 spots on the leaderboard as she still sits at 2-over-par.

“I think that this golf course is awesome when it's this windy,” Creamer said after her round. “You've got to be a great ball striker.  You have got to be creative.  You've got to use a lot of the slopes. The greens were probably a little bit quicker today.  They're going to dry out a little bit more come tomorrow.  If I can post another good number, it'll be a good tournament.”

 

Changing of the bag carrier: Jessica Korda battled through a difficult front nine in Saturday’s third round at Sebonack Golf Club, shooting a 5-over 40. But it was the move she made after finishing the ninth hole that had everyone buzzing at the U.S. Women’s Open on Saturday.

Korda fired her caddie, Jason Gilroyed, as she made the turn between the ninth hole and the 10th. Korda’s boyfriend, Johnny DelPrete, took over caddying duties for the 20-year-old for the final holes.

“We had a couple of disagreements here and there, and I wasn't in the right state of mind,” Korda said. “I knew I needed to switch and just have a little bit more fun out there.  It's a U.S. Open.  It's tough out there.  It just wasn't working out.”

Korda went on to say that while the decision was made quickly, it wasn’t one she took lightly.

“It was tough for me, because I care about Jason a lot,” Korda said. “He is a great guy.  That's just how it happens sometimes in life.  That was one of those things today that it just unfolded. It was very hard for me to do.  I'm not that type of person to take these things really easily.  For me it was very hard to tell him that and it took a lot for me.”

Korda recovered with a 1-over 36 on the back nine to shoot a 4-over 76 and she sits in a tie for sixth at 1-over-par.

A little red, white and blue: Americans are patriotic by nature at their national championship, but there is more than just a major title available for the taking this week at Sebonack Golf Club. The Solheim Cup is only a month and a half away and double points are on the line for those who can finish in the top 20.

At the end of the day Saturday, there were a total of nine Americans in the top 20.

Quotable: “I think Inbee's playing a different golf course, which you guys are unaware of yet, but she's on a roll.  There is nothing you can even do.  She's playing so good right now.  Obviously, we wish her the best, but hopefully my game will step up tomorrow.” – Brittany Lincicome, who sits 11 shots back at 2-over-par.

Tweet of the Day: After argument, Jessica Korda fires caddie mid-round in US Open, puts her boyfriend Johnny DelPrete on the bag. -- @KellyTilghmanGC

Of Note: 2007 U.S. Women’s Open champion Cristie Kerr shot a 2-over 72 on Saturday and sits in a tie for seventh at 2-over-par for the tournament…A total of 68 players made the cut when the second round finished early on Saturday morning…Casie Cathrea and Lydia Ko are currently tied for low amateur honors following Saturday’s third round. Both sit at 11-over-par 227.

For more information on this week’s U.S. Women’s Open, you can visit the USGA’s official website: http://www.usga.org/ChampEventSite.aspx?id=2147487117

INBEE PARK

CHRISTINA LANCE:  Good afternoon, everyone.  We are here with our leader at the 2013 U.S. Women's Open, Inbee Park, who is actually our 2008 Women's Open Champion.  Today returned a 1‑under par 71, today's only under par round for an overall 10‑under 206.  Inbee, you had the stretch of the three bogeys there the first maybe wobble we've seen from you this week.  But overall you still looked outstanding out there.  How do you feel?
INBEE PARK:  Yeah, I think I played very good today, especially after the three bogeys.  I came back very strong.  I mean, overall playing today I think I putted very good.  I probably putted the best out of all the three days.  Yeah, it was tough out there with the wind.  It was probably the strongest that we've played all week, and the pin positions were just really tough out there today.  So I mean, it was a very grinding day.
CHRISTINA LANCE:  If you could very quickly just walk us through the four birdies and three bogeys that you had today?
INBEE PARK:  Yeah, number 9 was a pitching wedge to three feet.
And number 11 was, I hit 6‑iron into the right rough, hit it to 20 feet and didn't make that.
Number 12, I hit it into the bunker with 6‑iron and that was to about 20 feet.
Number 13, my third chip which was like 20 yards from the green, I hit it into the green side bunker and then didn't get up‑and‑down from there.
Number 14, I hit 6‑iron over the ridge of the green about a 30‑footer and made that.
And 15, I hit a pitching wedge to 15‑18 feet.
And Number 18, I hit it out of the bunker about ten feet.

            Q.  You talked a little bit about the putt on 14, but, again, just how big a relief was that for you after those three bogeys?  What was going through your head after that?
INBEE PARK:  Yeah, I mean, that was a big putt for me.  Yeah, those three bogeys were very tough to handle in the kind of situation that I was in.  You know, I thought the putt was going to be a little bit slow going into the wind, but it ended up being very quick, quicker than I thought.  It was a bit strong, but I think I was just very lucky.  I think I was just lucky there, purely.

            Q.  When you have a multiple shot lead in the weekend of a major, how do you keep from getting kind of complacent and just kind of ho‑hum out there?
INBEE PARK:  Well, I think I'm just going to think that I.K. and I am tied starting in tomorrow's play because anything can happen out here.  I mean, four shots, it could be nothing around this golf course.  So it can't be too ‑‑ I just have to keep pushing myself to make pars.  I think par is going to be good enough tomorrow, but I'm just going to try to do my best.
A lot of thinking going on, a lot of pressure.  But I've done that before, so I think the experience is going to help me going through it tomorrow.

            Q.  You go into tonight with the lead, you said; what are your plans for the evening?
INBEE PARK:  Probably just make dinner and try to go to sleep.  I might not get too much sleep, but I'm going to try to sleep and be fresh for tomorrow.  What else can you ask for?  I'll probably have a good time with my family and friends back home.  Yeah, just trying to have fun.  I'm going to enjoy tomorrow anyway.  Whether I win or not, I'm just going to try to enjoy tomorrow.

            Q.  Inbee, I'm curious about your putting grip with the cross‑hand style.  When did you start using that and why has that been effective for you?
INBEE PARK:  Just when I started playing golf I just started that way.  I never gripped the other way, never.  So that's just been how I've been putting for a long time.  And at the time, I had a coach ‑‑ I mean, he's not like the coach that I have now, but I was just like 10 years old.  Coach told me to try that grip, and I tried it, and I just stayed that way.

           

Q.  How was today different than the other two days?
INBEE PARK:  Obviously, the wind was a bit stronger than yesterday, so the conditions were tough.  The pin positions were tough, a lot of long irons hitting into the greens.  It was just a very tough day, but I think I battled it really good out there.  I had my tough times in the middle but ended up finishing very good, so I'm happy with that.

            Q.  Can you talk about bouncing back from those bogeys?
INBEE PARK:  Yeah, I mean, 11 and 12 was a tough hole, and it wasn't that bad of a bogey.  You could make up a couple of bogeys.  But 13 was a little bit disappointing, and I think that actually got me going after that bogey.  I mean, I was actually very generous on number 11 and 12.  Those two bogeys were okay, but 13, that bogey was a bad bogey, so after that I really got my concentration going after that.

            Q.  We don't think of you as getting mad, but it sounds like after 13 you were a little mad?
INBEE PARK:  Yeah, I mean, that was a very bad bogey.  I was looking for a birdie, but that bogey, that was two shots right there.  Yeah, that was disappointing.

            Q.  You have a great team work relationship with your caddie.  What is that like and how long have you been together with him?
INBEE PARK:  Yeah, we've spent a lot of time together.  He's a very good friend of mine.  Yeah, I mean, we've been reading the putts very good together.  I think it's just the relationship between the two of us is just great.  You get to rely on somebody on the course, and I think that's a big help.

            Q.  I ask that because one of the other players fired her caddie during the middle of the round.  Have you ever seen that before?
INBEE PARK:  Not in my group, I've never experienced that before in the middle.  That wouldn't be good.

            Q.  (Indiscernible) when you hit the putt, what are you thinking?
INBEE PARK:  I try to keep the right rhythm.  I just try to make it.  I'm trying to hit it where I aim.  I like Ai's stroke, she has a very good rhythm through the ball with the swing and the putting stroke, so, yeah, I like her.

            Q.  The putt on 14, how confident are you feeling standing over that putt after 13?  It's a tough putt, so what are you feeling?
INBEE PARK:  At the first point I'm thinking the second shot to go over the ridge was a little bit unlucky there.  Yeah, so I mean going into the breeze I thought it would be a little bit slower.  I hit it a little bit aggressive, but I went too aggressive, and obviously I had the right line.  I think that was just a very lucky putt.

            Q.  Do you love being in front going into the final day?  I mean, you were in the lead at the LPGA and it just seems you're very comfortable leading going into the last day.
INBEE PARK:  Yeah, I mean, I like to play in front of the leaders and I like to be leading also at the same time.  I mean, leading means that you played better than everybody else for three days and you're in the best position going into the final day, so I think you have an advantage over others.
You probably have a little more pressure, but I think you should be able to handle that.

            Q.  There is a lot of history on the line tomorrow.  How do you keep from getting lost in that moment?
INBEE PARK:  Yeah, I mean, I'm just going to try to do the same thing that I did for the last three days.  Yeah, I mean, it will be a big day, but it's just a round of golf, and I just try not to think about it so much.  I just try to concentrate on whatever I'm doing on the golf course.

 

I.K. KIM

Q.  Well played today.  You look a little tired.  Was it tough out there?
            I.K. KIM:  Yeah, I was tired.  But it was tough out there all day.  I'm not sure it was the wind that got me, but yeah, playing conditions was very tough.

            Q.  There was a point on the back nine where she was 7‑under and you were 4‑under, three shots back, were you thinking maybe this is my chance to try to do something?
I.K. KIM:  You know, I wasn't really thinking about how Inbee was scoring or other girls were scoring.  If you see my front nine, you know what I mean, you can't really think how other players are playing.  They were playing great, you know, especially on the front nine they didn't make any mistakes and I did.  I had some tough lies, tough breaks, but I was able to just stay focused.
I mean, it's U.S. Open.  It's going to test you in every way.  That is how I kind of threw the thoughts.

            Q.  So you don't look at the four‑stroke difference at all tomorrow?  You just play as well as you can and see what happens?
I.K. KIM:  Exactly, you know she is putting great.  Even though the putts that she didn't make was really close and she is ‑‑ I mean, she is putting well, especially out here.  You have got to putt well.  She is doing great.  I have just got to worry about my game, you know.
I was a little all over the place this morning, but, yeah, I'm pleased with how I stayed focused and the back nine.

            Q.  How did you get it back and keep it together?  What did you do?
I.K. KIM:  Just take care of the small stuff, you know.  I missed a few putts, but you can't really think about how you are going to react upon the mistakes.  You can't really look back.  So that's what I did.

            Q.  Mentally is it tough to know that you are going up against someone who is playing some of the best golf in women's history?
I.K. KIM:  Yeah, but I think we all have a chance.  And I mean, yeah, I mean she is playing great.  But you never know, I might have a great day tomorrow.  So golf is different thing than other sports.  That's why you play four rounds.  She is playing great, so I have just got to play my game.

            Q.  How is your wrist holding up?
I.K. KIM:  Oh, my gosh.  The front nine I felt it was hurting because I feel like my body was aching, you know, in that first five holes.  But, you know, it's fine.  Everything is good.  So thank you for asking.

 

JODI EWART SHADOFF

Q.         What was it like having to come back so early and having to play 21 holes today under these conditions?
JODI EWART SHADOFF:  I think the most difficult part was waking up at 4:30 to be honest.  I'm not really a morning person.  But I played the first three holes pretty good, and I went back home and took a nap, so I felt a little bit more refreshed when I came back out.

            Q.  About five hours in between?
JODI EWART SHADOFF:  Yeah, like three‑and‑a‑half, four hours.

            Q.  What was your anticipation of what it would be like to be in the final group today?
JODI EWART SHADOFF:  I'm not sure, really.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous on the first tee, but the first couple holes just steadied me down, and I actually had a lot of fun out there, so it was good.  It was a good experience.

            Q.  How did you feel when everybody else is crashing and burning out there, you were pretty much step for step with Inbee most of the way?
JODI EWART SHADOFF:  Yeah, I kept looking at the leaderboard every once in a while and seeing that everybody else was struggling a little bit, and they lengthened the course by a pretty good distance, so it was playing a lot tougher today.  I just tried to stay with her and kind of had a little meltdown at the end, but I'm excited for tomorrow.

            Q.  It seems she opens the door a little bit, and it seems like she slams it shut again.
JODI EWART SHADOFF:  You always have to expect that she's going to hole every putt because most of the time she does.

            Q.  She had a stretch of three straight bogeys and you had two, but you gained on her there.  Did you feel like if you could just creep a little closer you could give yourself a shot?
JODI EWART SHADOFF:  Yeah, definitely.  I felt like I was in a good position right there.  I think I had a good birdie chance on 15 and just misread.  So I kind of shot myself in the foot a little bit there.

            Q.  The three‑putt at 16, can you explain that?  Does that kind of carry over mentally to the tee shot at 17?
JODI EWART SHADOFF:  Yeah, I mean, I hit my tee shot on 16 really well, but that pin position right there was probably the toughest one that you could have on the hole so it's tough to get at.  That putt coming down there was superfast.  I didn't see it being that fast.  Yeah, I was a little bit disappointed on the 17th tee, but nothing ‑‑ I just missed straight to my tee shot on 17.  Not really anything to do with any mental issues, really.

            Q.  But you had a good experience at contending at Kraft Nabisco early on.  How did that help in terms of coming in in this major championship?
JODI EWART SHADOFF:  Yeah, it definitely helped.  I mean, I was up there at the Kraft this year and the Kia last year, so all of this is great experience for me.  It's what I need to be able to win in the future.  You know, to pull through.  It's mentally tough when you're out in the lead and just trying to stay strong and go after it instead of being defensive.

            Q.  Do you just have to be aggressive tomorrow?
JODI EWART SHADOFF:  Yeah, absolutely.  There is nothing to lose for me.

            Q.  How does this experience prepare you for the same group tomorrow, and do you go out kind of thinking, you know, with these conditions even Inbee could make mistakes?
JODI EWART SHADOFF:  Yeah, anything can happen on the back nine of a major championship.  I'm not sure if they're going to do three balls or two balls tomorrow.  So I might be in the second to last group, which might be a good thing for me to be out of the way of all of the ‑‑ you know, so...

 

JESSICA KORDA

            JESSICA KORDA:  Had a couple of disagreements here and there, and I wasn't in the right state of mind and I just was more consumed on what was going on just not my way.  And I knew I needed to switch and just have a little bit more fun out there.  It's a U.S. Open.  It's tough out there.  It just wasn't working out.  That's all I'm going to say to that.

            Q.  When did it start?
JESSICA KORDA:  It's common out here.  It's nothing new.  It just the way that it played out that I did it after the 9th hole.

            Q.  Have you ever done that before?
JESSICA KORDA:  Have I done that before?  No.

            Q.  How do you switch gears and focus on what you are doing after that?
JESSICA KORDA:  The first few holes I was very shaky, but my boyfriend/caddie kept me very calm out there and kept it very light.  And it was kind of funny seeing him fumble over yardage.  Like I said, it just kept it very light out there.

            Q.  Just to make sure that we have got it right, you told him ‑‑ he didn't quit.  You told him that ‑‑
JESSICA KORDA:  Yeah.

            Q.  Has your boyfriend ever carried your bag before?
JESSICA KORDA:  No.  I've always said that I don't want him to caddie for me.

            Q.  He's a player, right?
JESSICA KORDA:  He is a player, so that helps a lot.

            Q.  What was that conversation like when you said, hey, you are on?
JESSICA KORDA:  It was tough for me, because I care about Jason a lot.  He is a great guy.  That's just how it happens sometimes in life.  That was one of those things today that it just unfolded.
It was very hard for me to do.  I'm not that type of person to take these things really easily.  For me it was very hard to tell him that and it took a lot for me.

            Q.  How about the conversation to tell your boyfriend you're on?
JESSICA KORDA:  I just told him, Johnny, grab the bag, let's go.

            Q.  Who grabs it tomorrow?
JESSICA KORDA:  He does.

            Q.  He will?  Were there problems going into this event between you and Jason?
JESSICA KORDA:  I mean, I think everybody has problems every week.  You blame the caddie, the caddie blames you.  It's just up in the air.  I just felt like enough was enough today so I just ‑‑ I just wasn't mentally ready for it.
It's a U.S. Open.  It's a big week for me.  It's one of the most important weeks for me of the year.  I was just not in the right state of mind.

            Q.  Have you ever seen another player do that?
JESSICA KORDA:  No.

            Q.  When did it occur to you that this was an option?
JESSICA KORDA:  I've heard about it the, stories.  But, like I said, I just wasn't in the right state of mind.
With the wind and with the way the course was playing today, I needed to be positive out there and just didn't happen.

            Q.  Is this just for this event?
JESSICA KORDA:  Yeah.

            Q.  Then you guys ‑‑
JESSICA KORDA:  He has his own golfing career.  He's not going to caddie for me.

            Q.  In terms of Jason as ‑‑
JESSICA KORDA:  I'm not sure yet.

            Q.  You are not sure?  Other than that, how was your day?
JESSICA KORDA:  Were you guys planning on asking me any other questions?

            Q.  You played well on the back nine?
JESSICA KORDA:  Yeah.

            Q.  What was different other than the guy on the bag?
JESSICA KORDA:  I was having more fun.  I was a bit more relaxed.
The pins today, the golf course is not playing easy at all.  The pins are interesting.  They are three yards from the water and four yards from the bunker, and then you have got the wind and the gusts.  It's a frustrating day out there.  So it was really important to just keep calm and have fun with it.

            Q.  (Inaudible)?
JESSICA KORDA:  Definitely.  I think in terms of pins, they pushed some tees back so they played it a lot longer.  The course is in great shape.  It definitely felt like a hard U.S. Open today.

            Q.  Had Jason been on your bag for a year, is that right?
JESSICA KORDA:  Yes.

            Q.  Any chance your sister will let her caddie go?
JESSICA KORDA:  No, I wouldn't even let that happen, no.

            Q.  Is that your dad?
JESSICA KORDA:  That's my dad, yeah.  They work really well together.  Just going to keep it there.

            Q.  The final day tomorrow, obviously it's an emotional day.  What are your goals coming out tomorrow?
JESSICA KORDA:  I don't know.  I haven't thought that far honestly.  Glad today is over and see what happens.  Talk to my family and just enjoy the evening, wait for tee times to come out.

 

ANGELA STANFORD

            Q.  Probably not the way you wanted to finish with the bogey, but still at the U.S. Open, you are hanging in there?
ANGELA STANFORD:  Yeah, it's nice to be under par going into Sunday.  Obviously anything can happen, especially on this golf course.  If the wind continues to blow like this and if they have the pin placements that they did today, anything can happen.

Q.  You've got a lot of experience in a Women's Open and you have contended before, so that's got to play into your favor probably for tomorrow?
ANGELA STANFORD:  Yeah, you know, I'm thinking eight shots depending on what she does on 18.  Eight shots is a lot to chase the No. 1 player in the world.  I was hoping to figure out a way to get to 4 or 5 back and so, unless a miracle happens tomorrow it's going to be pressie tough.

Q.  It's got to be a fine balance, because you know you have got to catch her but par is not going to be enough?
ANGELA STANFORD:  The few times today that I tried to be a little more aggressive got me in trouble.  So that makes it really hard going into tomorrow thinking that I need to be aggressive but I kind of got burned on it today.

Q.  Was it because you missed the greens in the wrong places?
ANGELA STANFORD:  Yeah, and then hit some bad shots around the greens.
This last hole and then on 8, I just hit a chip that didn't catch the ridge.  Now you are on top of the ridge putting down the slope.  So just left myself in a couple of bad spots.

 

SO YEON RYU

            Q.  Great round on your birthday?
SO YEON RYU:  Thank you.

            Q.  Tell us what that means to you.
SO YEON RYU:  Well, before I teed off, I really wanted to enjoy my birthday.  It was really hard to enjoy the golf especially this tough golf course.  Today is my birthday, so I think it is really worth it.  That's why I was pretty much can handle it, this tough golf course.
I think today my shot was pretty great, almost perfect game for me.  The thing is today the wind was quite strong, so it was really hard to putt it.  Even at the really big (indiscernible) at the green, so the ball is going to go everywhere.  The last couple of holes I had a really great birdie chance, but I couldn't make it.  Just a big disappointment, but I'm still happy with my result.

            Q.  Are you close enough to do something tomorrow, maybe you go low enough and Inbee backs up enough?
SO YEON RYU:  You know, everything can happen especially at the golf and especially at the U.S. Open.  The course conditions getting tough and tough.  Also, you know, everybody cannot predict what is going on.  So I just want to keep focus on my golf, and I just want to ‑‑ I just don't want to compete with anybody.  I just don't want to think about the winning thing.  If I hit each hole and each shot, I'm pretty sure I can play well.

            Q.  Is that what you did at the Broadmoor?
SO YEON RYU:  Absolutely, absolutely.  At the Broadmoor, even I didn't think about I could win or not.  I didn't think about it.  But I was in contention and I made it.  So it means I really don't have to think about the lift the trophy or whatever.  I can dream it, but I don't really have to think about it.

            Q.  Is it easier for you to block all that out and think about the golf?
SO YEON RYU:  Absolutely.  If I think about the winning thing, it's a lot of pressure on me.
Also I already had experience of this thing at the last year.  I thought was still in contention.  I really want to finish had the top 3 or top 5.  I don't want to be too aggressive and not focus on my golf, so I was a little missed up at the last couple of holes.  So I think really important thing is to keep it my mind at the ball.  Don't think about other players.

            Q.  How do you celebrate?  Do you have special plans for dinner?
SO YEON RYU:  I am sharing the house with Mi Jung Hur, so have a small celebration, a cake and nice dinner.  Then I think about tomorrow, my chance to be going to New York City and have a really great birthday party.

 

CRISTIE KERR

Q.         Obviously, the conditions are rough today.  The wind and the course being a little different, so kind of talk about what that was like?
CRISTIE KERR:  Yeah, it was a lot tougher.  I bogeyed both par‑5s on the back nine.  You know, that's something you can't really do in an Open.  You have to turn those into birdie opportunities, and it's unfortunate.  Kind of got on a bad stretch on the back, but other than that, other than those three or four holes, I've played beautifully this week.

            Q.  You when you said you played really well overall, what would you say you've been doing best?
I've been hitting the ball well; I've been making putts.  You know, judging the speed on the long putts well, just got to make a few more putts and a few more mistakes tomorrow, and I could move way up there.  You never know in an Open.

 

KRISTY McPHERSON

Q.         Congratulations.  So, shooting par today in these conditions, how did you get that done?
KRISTY McPHERSON:  Oh, it's definitely a U.S. Open kind of day out there today.  You know, pars are good scores.  The first two rounds I only had 9 pars, so lot of birdies, but a lot of bogeys, but we just focused on getting more birdies today (Indiscernible).  And sometimes you have to two‑putt (Indiscernible), and sometimes you can catch a ride and get it close.  Just a lot more solid and consistent day today.

            Q.  What would you say overall in this competition that your best game has been?
KRISTY McPHERSON:  Today definitely I didn't get in trouble off the tee, so you've got to keep it in play off the tee.  Like I said, you've got to hit the greens when you can.  And the key to a U.S. Open is a lot of times when you try to hit greens, you've got to miss it in the right spots.  After playing this course the last two days, you realize there are places you don't want to be.
So we did a lot better with the game plan there today and really missing in the right spots and taking the birdie opportunities when they came.

 

LEXI THOMPSON

Q.  I'm here covering Brooke Henderson.  From what you went through, was it an intimidating experience at all for you when you were 12 playing in this tournament?
            LEXI THOMPSON:  It was not so much intimidating.  I was just so excited to be here, just playing in at a place I had seen on TV.  I guess it was a little intimidating.  I was just so happy to be there.
I think at that year at the U.S. Women's Open, that's when I knew I wanted to play on the LPGA.  That's when I realized this was my dream.

            Q.  Sure.  Were there challenges?  I mean, I guess with all the attention you were getting as well, were there distractions and stuff like that?
LEXI THOMPSON:  At the Open?

            Q.  Yeah.
LEXI THOMPSON:  There was a lot of media requests, obviously.  A lot of people following.  I missed the cut by a lot, obviously.  I didn't leave until I signed every autograph.  I just loved being there.  But, yeah, just a lot of media requests.  I love doing it, so I was happy to be there.

            Q.  Did you miss the cut because you were in over your head or did you not play as well as you could have?
LEXI THOMPSON:  Well, I don't think I played as well as I could have, but the course was a little too much for me to handle at 12.  I don't think I reached a few of the holes.  You know, it was a learning experience.  I learn every year, every tournament.

            Q.  Brooke made the cut, but she was 83 today.  Would you have any words or advice or encouragement or anything like that for her?
LEXI THOMPSON:  She is 15?

            Q.  Yeah.
LEXI THOMPSON:  This is her host Open, I'm guessing.

            Q.  Yeah, she is amateur.
LEXI THOMPSON:  Making the cut at your first U.S. Women's Open, that is a huge accomplishment.  You had one bad run, but we all do.  I've even had an 82 this year.  It's unfortunate, but it's golf.
It was super windy today and playing super hard.  I think her score was 4‑over, 4 or 5‑over.  She has one more day.  I would say just enjoy it.

            Q.  You have no regrets for turning pro when you did?
LEXI THOMPSON:  No, I have no regrets whatsoever.  I wanted to follow my dreams and I felt like I needed to take my game to the next level and that's what I did.  I'm loving every bit of it and traveling the world.

            Q.  Did you have lots of college opportunities?
LEXI THOMPSON:  I don't think a lot of college coaches watched me because they heard I was turning pro.  I think I had a few that were watching me, but I didn't really look into it.

 

BRITTANY LANG

Q.         Great score considering the conditions, I'm sure?
BRITTANY LANG:  Yes, 1‑over par is a great round today in that breeze.  I'm very pleased.

            Q.  Was it just the wind or was it more than ‑‑ was it set up and hard to get to?
BRITTANY LANG:  You know, it was more the wind because it was swirling, and it was not ‑‑ it wasn't the same as yesterday and it tricked us a few times.  We got in some bad spots because of it.  It was at a little bit of a different angle, and we misjudged it a few times.  It's very difficult.

            Q.  When you see a name like Inbee at the top of the leaderboard, especially conditions like this, does it kind of skew how you look at a Sunday?  Is she kind of different than another player up there?
BRITTANY LANG:  Yeah, she does, because she's so solid and so steady.  But, again, it's still a U.S. Open course and if the wind blows like this tomorrow, you never know what can happen.  Chances are she's going to win.  She's to steady, and she's shooting under par in these conditions every day, which is unbelievable.  All we can do is try to keep making birdies, but she's so steady.

            Q.  Does that get exasperating having somebody playing that well for this long a period?
BRITTANY LANG:  For me?  No, she's a solid player, nice girl, but we're still out here competing.  She raises our game, so it's good.  But it's still ‑‑ I mean, golf is still fun for us, so it definitely doesn't bring us down.

            Q.  You know how hard it is to win a regular TOUR event; she's won two majors and looking to go three in a row.  Could win them all this year.  Could you talk about how tough that is out here?  I mean, the competition isn't that easy?
BRITTANY LANG:  No, the LPGA and the U.S. Women's Open have great fields every week.  She's unbelievable.  She's so solid, so steady.  She's long, she makes putts and she just seems so even keeled, nothing bothers her.  Her bad days are so good.  I've known her a long time, and I have a lot of respect for her, but to have already won two major this is year, she's unbelievable.

            Q.  How do you balance the fact that you've got to try to catch somebody and the conditions are tough and you want to go for birdies, but how do you balance the opportunities?
BRITTANY LANG:  That's a really good point.  Because you're at a U.S. Open where par is a good score except for Inbee Park; she's 10‑under par or whatever she is.  It's actually a really good point because I'm out there trying to stay short of the back pins, trying to make pars and having good pace, but you're never going to catch her doing that.  So maybe play a little more aggressively tomorrow.

 

BRITTANY LINCICOME

Q.         I would say it's almost as windy as yesterday.  Why was today a lot more difficult?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  I think today was windier.  I felt like maybe a lot of the tee boxes were back.  Especially 10 was all the way back to the back left pin today.  I felt like a couple of the holes throughout were not the right condition for what the wind was doing on that hole.  I think I hit three or four 4‑irons into greens today and they weren't even par‑5s.  So if I'm hitting a 4‑iron, other girls are hitting 3‑wood.
So it was definitely windier.  Lot of the holes were trickier, obviously.  Same wind we've been playing, but a lot of the tee boxes were back today, so you're hitting a lot of long irons into the greens.
Unfortunately, that wasn't really my issue today.  I hit every fairway except 18, and I hit a great drive there, just got unlucky and just wasn't picking the right clubs into the greens.

            Q.  Would you say this is a course that you actually can go low on tomorrow or would you hope that the leaders come back to you at even par?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  I'm hoping they come back to me.  It's definitely out there.  I feel like I've been in a lot of good positions.  If the wind maybe lays down a little bit for us tomorrow, I feel like it will be a little easier to gain some ground.  Obviously, if Inbee and I.K. don't shoot 6‑under again, I feel like I can pick up some ground.
I feel like I'm playing really well, hitting it really well, and I know where the ball's going which is nice.  I just got to get it on the right side of the greens and make some birdies.

            Q.  Do you think a little exasperation might be setting in with players trying to catch Park?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  Just the golf course, in general, just the U.S. Open this week, it's very grinding.  I haven't left my house that I rented one night this week.  We've either cooked or ordered in every single night because it's one of those weeks that you want to go home and watch tennis or watch some golf on TV and just relax.
I think Inbee's playing a different golf course, which you guys are unaware of yet, but she's on a roll.  There is nothing you can even do.  She's playing so good right now.  Obviously, we wish her the best, but hopefully my game will step up tomorrow.

            Q.  Is this the kind of day where you played and felt like it's maybe a minus‑2 instead of a plus?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  Yeah, I felt like it was actually 2‑over.  I felt like I had a lot of good chances.  Like I said, I was driving it well, so it wasn't like I was hitting it in trouble.  I was doing what I needed to off the tee and giving myself a chance to get up there.  But this golf course, the greens are the tough part.
The fairways aren't necessarily super narrow by any means.  When you get to the green and then reading the green, there are two of us out there on the team reading it together, and we're still reading them wrong.  It's just very tricky.  The greens are very tricky.

            Q.  You've won a major before.  You know how difficult it is.  Inbee's won two already this year and looking to win a third.  Can you just talk about how difficult that is?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  I mean, she's getting ready to win three in a row.  I mean, not even that it's a major, but three in a row is pretty outstanding.  I feel, anyway, after the next week you're on such an adrenaline high that it's hard to come back down to earth and play that next week.  Now she's won two weeks in a row and playing fantastic this week.  It's incredible what she's doing.
Obviously, she's driving it straight and making those putts like she does consistently which is awesome.  So, obviously, I wish her nothing but the best, but I'm coming for her tomorrow (laughing).

            Q.  In hoping they come back, do you sneak a look at the leaderboard tomorrow?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  I try not to.  It makes me nervous.  So like even with the cut yesterday and this morning, I thought for some reason it was going to be around 2‑over, because Stacy Lewis tweeted yesterday if you're within 10‑shot rule; I guess that's out now.  So I was like, okay, if Inbee's at 9, maybe 1 or 2‑over, so apparently it was 6‑over.  So shows you how much I know.

 

CATRIONA MATTHEW

Q.         Your play has gotten you into the top 10.  Can you talk about your day out there today?
CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Yeah, I played really well today.  I drove the ball better than I've driven it the first two days.  It was tough to get the ball close so birdies were few and far between.  So I just have to try to keep making birdies.

            Q.  (Inaudible) (Asking about driving the ball).
CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Oh, a big factor.  I think it's windier today than it was yesterday, and they've moved the tees a little further back.  So it played pretty tough out there today.

            Q.  How about putting out there with this wind?  Was that a factor?
CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Oh, it's not too bad, not too bad with putting.

            Q.  What are you going to do the rest of the day?
CATRIONA MATTHEW:  I'm going to get a massage (Inaudible).

            Q.  What do you think is the best thing you've seen for yourself in this tournament so far?
CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Well, being in 10th place after three rounds is quite good.

 

PAULA CREAMER

Q.  Even is pretty strong in these conditions?
            PAULA CREAMER:  Yeah, goodness, I played really solid front nine, 2‑under, felt really good.
Actually made a great butt on 11 for par just did a horseshoe out, so made bogey there.
I don't know, I've bogeyed 14 every single day, so tomorrow my goal is just to make a par on 14 and move on.

            Q.  At that point in the tournament, you may need that?
PAULA CREAMER:  You never know, exactly.

            Q.  Do you feel like you did enough to at least maybe think about ‑‑
PAULA CREAMER:  My goal is to get it under par.  Obviously that's a good round out here.  The pin placements were really tough.  They obviously saw 9‑under was leading and they are going to make it as hard as they can, which they should.  It's still fair.  I still think it's out there.
I think that this golf course is awesome when it's this windy.  You've got to be a great ball striker.  You have got to be creative.  You've got to use a lot of the slopes.
The greens were probably a little bit quicker today.  They're going to dry out a little bit more come tomorrow.  If I can post another good number, it'll be a good tournament.

            Q.  Is this a course that you can make a run like that at or do you try to stay patient and wait for them to fall back?
PAULA CREAMER:  It's a little bit of both.  I'm kind of far behind, so I have got to make some birdies.
At the same time, this golf course is all about playing your own game and playing your game plan.  When you do have opportunities to try to capitalize on them.
I had some coming down the stretch.  It was unfortunate I couldn't make a birdie on that one par‑5, 13.  It was just up in front.  Then I bogeyed the next hole.  I kind of felt like I gave almost two shots away there.  I could have been sitting 2‑under par and I'm even at that point or 1‑over, yeah, 1‑over for the par right there.
You can do it.  You can.  There is going to be some tee box changes of course tomorrow and just got to take what it gives you.

            Q.  Is there a possible there's a since of exasperation among the players to try and catch Park these days the way she's playing?
PAULA CREAMER:  Inbee is playing awesome.  You can't take that away from her.  She is just playing fantastic golf.  What are you going to do when you go against someone that's hot?  You have got to kind of match her and practice harder, work harder.  She is one of the best putters I think I've ever seen.  Right now she's just literally making everything.  It helps when you are good ball striker too.

            Q.  When you are battling the elements and everything else today, are you sneaking a look at the board at all?
PAULA CREAMER:  Well, yeah, of course, I look at it when I'm out there every once in a while.
My goal at Oakmont in the last couple of Opens was not even to pay attention to leaderboards.  I'm going to try to do that tomorrow and just stick to my game plan, maybe make some birdies early on.  If not, maybe make them coming down the stretch.  They are going to happen either way and try not to let too many shots slip away.

            Q.  You've won a major before.  How difficult is it ‑‑ Inbee has already won two, and now she's chasing a third.  Just to stay in that mental capacity, that moment, how tough is it?
PAULA CREAMER:  It's remarkable.  I mean, we could watch history tomorrow of what she has been doing.  Like I said, winning a major, one major, is tough enough.  Winning three in a row, that's pretty impressive.
But there's a lot of golf left too at the same time.  There's some girls in between going to be chasing her and have got nothing to lose.  We'll see what happens.

            Q.  What do you like at your game and how do you leverage that to maybe get a few under par?
PAULA CREAMER:  I have been really making my saves.  When I do miss shots, I have been getting up‑and‑down making couple 6‑, 7‑footers.
The thing that I wish I could a little bit better was make the ones that I have for birdie.  At the same time, it all evens out.  I wish I could ‑‑ I've hit the ball really well.  Like I said, if you look at my cards the last three days, I really haven't had too many mistakes.  I haven't made enough birdies, but I also haven't given too many away.  I think I've given three for sure away on 14.  That is my hole, my bogey hole.  Tomorrow it's not going to happen.

            Q.  Is it the kind of day where it felt like par should have been about 76?
PAULA CREAMER:  Yes and no.  There are some really interesting homes, but like I said you can still make birdies.  For me, even teeing off, when I went through the pin sheet before we played, I still could have figured under par would be a phenomenal round.  Maybe even is a great round.  I would have taken that too.

            Q.  Just take us through the birdies you made today?
PAULA CREAMER:  I don't even remember my birdies.  I birdied 2.  Yeah, I made about a 20‑footer.  I hit my drive right and then hit a little rescue to about 20 feet, made that.
I birdied 9, hit a wedge to about 4 feet, 5 feet.
Bogeyed 11, missed a 6‑footer.  I was in the front bunker, missed about a 6‑footer.
Bogeyed 14, missed about a 7‑footer.
And that was it.

 

 

NA YEON CHOI

Q.  Birdied 8 and 9.  Finished even par, good finish.  Tell me about it.
            NA YEON CHOI:  Yeah, I tried to just finish it strong.  I mean, today was the hardest day, I think.  A lot of wind out there.
They moved the tee boxes to the back, so I hit a lot of rescue and 3‑wood for second shot on par‑4.  They play really long.
But you know what, like five, six weeks ago I came here with bad weather.  At the moment I play really long, and I think that might help today.  And just stay positive and finish strong tomorrow too.

            Q.  Is Inbee too far ahead to catch, you think?
NA YEON CHOI:  I haven't think about winning today.  Today I didn't have any pressure.  I just tried to fun out there.
I think I put too much pressure first two rounds, yesterday and on Thursday.  I think I try harder to focus on my game.  I learn.  I realize I needed to focus my game, not other stuff.  So I learn many things this week.  And I have to go one more day, so I do my best and finish better position.

            Q.  What do you think about Inbee's performance?
NA YEON CHOI:  She is great.  I think she is amazingly sound.  I mean, if someone asked me what is her weakness in her game, I don't think there is nothing for weakness part.  So she is pretty good with everything, even mental.  I think she's great.

            Q.  I hope you can catch her.
NA YEON CHOI:  I will do my best.

 

Topics: Notes and Interviews, US Women's Open

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