Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G Second-Round Notes and Interviews

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G
Pinnacle Country Club
Rogers, Arkansas
Second-Round Notes and Interviews
June 22, 2013

Beatriz Recari -10, Rolex Rankings No. 25
Stacy Lewis -10, Rolex Rankings No. 2
Chie Arimura -10, Rolex Rankings No. 32
So Yeon Ryu -10, Rolex Rankings No. 5
Ji Young Oh -8, Rolex Rankings No. 265
Lydia Ko -7, Amateur
Juli Inkster -6, Rolex Rankings No. 162

Four LPGA Tour pros crowd the top of the leaderboard at 10-under after the second-round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G. University of Arkansas alum Stacy Lewis, Spain’s Beatriz Recari, 2013 rookie Chie Arimura and South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu lead the field by two shots heading into Sunday’s final round.

Recari, Lewis and Arimura fired rounds of 6-under 66 on Saturday, while Ryu posted another 5-under 66.

Lewis, who is the fan-favorite this week, admits she puts pressure on herself to put on a good show for her hometown crowd but thanks to her caddy, Travis Wilson, she has managed to stay levelheaded this week and have some fun at the Pinnacle Country Club.  

“There's definitely going to be pressure there,” said Lewis of being in a tie for the lead.  “I think the thing that motivates me more is that I have a bet with my caddie going, but I can't tell you ‑‑ you'll see what it is on 17 tomorrow, but as long as I'm in the final group tomorrow you'll see what it is on 17.  So I think that's what motivated me more than anything today was I wanted to be in that final group going into tomorrow.”

Lewis teed off from the 10th tee during the morning wave and went on a birdie run with four straight birdies before a bogey on the par-5 18th hole. She followed up with four more birdies after the turn but ended with another bogey on the par-4 9th, which was also her first and only bogey during Friday’s first round.

“There's just some pins you just can't go at,” said Lewis. “There's some sucker pins out there in the middle of the green, you have try to make par and move on.”

2012 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Ryu says although four are tied for the lead after day two, the leaderboard is crowded enough that anyone could make a run for it on Sunday.

“The green condition is go great,” said Ryu. “So everybody have a really great chance to be shot really low score, kind of like 6‑ or 7‑under.  Also, can be chance to be like 10‑under.  So now I just checked the leaderboard and there might be four players lead the tournament, but not just four of us game.  I see a lot of players in contention.”

A pack of four sit within striking distance at 8-under including South Korea’s I.K. Kim, Inbee Park and Ji Young Oh, along with Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum. Kim made a surge up the leaderboard on Saturday firing a low-round of the day 7-under 64, while Park followed up her opening round of 2-under 69 with a 6-under 65.

A maturing Stacy Lewis is better handling the pressure of an entire state cheering for her at this year’s Northwest Arkansas stop. The 2008 University of Arkansas graduate carded a 6-under-par 65 in the second round to put herself in contention for her third LPGA victory of the season and first official win at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G. Her competitive nature and patience will be put to the test on Sunday, as the Arkansas faithful are likely to cheer for their girl during tomorrow’s final round.

“I think the hard part is I'm going to want it so bad, and I know the fans are going to want me to (win) really bad,” Lewis said. “When I get in big events, I want it so bad and I just have to stay patient (tomorrow).”

Lewis, 28, has received attention both inside and outside the ropes since taking over as top-ranked American in June 2012. Following her victory at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup in March, she assumed the No. 1 spot on the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings and the requests for her time began pouring in. Locally, she has become the face of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G and the object of the fan’s affection.

“Honestly, I think it's everything I dealt with this year with the week that I became No. 1 in the world, it was just chaos,” Lewis said. “And dealing with that pressure of being No. 1 in the world, I learned a lot from that.”

As an amateur sponsor exemption in 2007, Lewis won the inaugural event that was rain-shortened to 18 holes and declared unofficial.

All Ryu Needs is Love. 2012 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year So Yeon Ryu (pronounced Soh Yun Yoo) has a tendency to get down on herself when things aren’t going well. Two weeks ago at the Wegmans LPGA Championship, Ryu missed the cut following rounds of 76 and 77. But the 22-year-old South Korean has found the perfect remedy for those tense moments on the golf course.

“The most important thing is just to love myself,” said Ryu, who is a week shy of her 23rd birthday. “Sometimes when I play really bad, I hate my swing, I hate my personality, I hate everything. I just realized if I love myself I can play well.”

In a self-proclaimed “drought,” Ryu is winless since the 2012 Jamie Farr Toledo Classic, where she carded a 9-under-par 62 in the final round to claim her second LPGA victory following the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open. Ryu closed 2012 with top-eight finishes in seven of her last eight events. She has continued her solid play in 2013 with a runner-up finish at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, a tie for third at the Honda LPGA Thailand and a tie for fourth at the North Texas LPGA Shootout.  

“I haven’t won for a while, it’s kind of a drought,” she said. ”I’m pretty sure it’s time to win.”

Steady as she Goes. Forty-seven consecutive made cuts and counting, it’s safe to say that Beatriz Recari is pleased with her consistent play over the past year and a half. Being one of three players to make every single cut last season, Recari didn’t feel it was necessary to make major changes to her game even though she was desperate for a win.

“Last year I considered my best season so far even though I didn't win because I showed a little consistency that I wanted and I was really good, you know,” said Recari. “It was very challenging to make every cut every week.  And I obviously got some good feedback that I was doing things right, but I was missing a little something to win.” 

Something must’ve clicked for the 26-year-old, as her second-career victory came earlier this season at the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, Calif. The win not only validated her persistence, but also gave her the confidence she needs to get back in the winner’s circle again.

“Obviously when something is working, just keep on doing it and then figure out what is not that good and just work on that to improve,” said Recari. “And obviously I hit the right buttons and so, like I say, I'm just keeping it simple and keeping working on the same things.”

She’s Still Got It. LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Juli Inkster is undoubtedly one of the most seasoned veterans on the LPGA Tour, and today she proved she still has gas left in the tank. Inkster fired a 6-under 65 during Saturday’s second round to end the day 4-shots off the lead.

Inkster put herself in good position to notch her first top-10 since a T4 finish at the 2011 Lorena Ochoa Invitational. The 30-year veteran on Tour says even in her slump she is still enjoying her time on the course. 

“I just like to play,” said Inkster.  “If I could play just the way I played today, I hit every green but one, drive the ball in the fairway and give myself chances, you know, it's fun.”

Big Picture in Mind. Lydia Ko made her 15th consecutive cut in professional events at this week’s Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G. She finds herself at a T9 with first-round leader Mika Miyazato heading into the final round. She says the beauty of being an amateur at a professional event is playing stress-free golf, knowing nothing is on the line.

“People have been telling me, you know, for me especially, no money is on board, you know,” said Ko. “Just a win is a win or a tournament is a tournament.  So I've been kind of trying to think that.”

Cheers to the weekend: A total of 74 players made the cut which fell at even-par 142

Tweet of the Day: 3 putting the last hole today to miss the cut by one :-(. So upset!! At least I got my nails done for next week! pic.twitter.com/n4qdknt72S -  ‏@Brittany1golf2h

Quotable: “You know, I haven't won for a while.  Kind of a drought, and I really want to win.  I'm pretty sure it's time to win.  And I practiced really hard last week also.  I played really bad at the Wegmans, but I just think about myself and I really figured out what I have to do.  Then I think it looks like really working.  So I just want to keep focused on my game, and the most important thing is just love myself.  Well, you know, if sometimes if I play really bad, I just hate everything.  I hate my swing, I hate my personality, and I hate everything.  But I just realized I have to love myself, then I can play well.  So I just want on go and have great rest and have good food.  It's kind of a really good way to love myself.  Then really enjoy it tomorrow.” – So Yeon Ryu, of performing well after a missed cut.  

Of note…. Defending champion Ai Miyazato fired a 7- under 64 today to take her two-day total to 5-under and sits a T17 heading into Sunday’s final round… Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park sits two strokes off the lead firing rounds of 69-65… Jennifer Rosales, Victoria Tanco, Jeong Jang withdrew before their rounds on Saturday…  Ai Miyazato and I.K. Kim fired the low-rounds of the day 7-under 64, which is two strokes off the tournament record.

 

Beatriz Recari, Rolex Rankings No. 25

THE MODERATOR:  I'd like to welcome our co‑leader in the clubhouse for the Walmart Northwest Arkansas Championship, Beatriz Recari.  Nice round today, 6‑under, 65, takes your two‑day total to 10‑under.  Just walk us through your day and what was working well for you?
BEATRIZ RECARI:  Well, I started really strong yesterday and then on the back nine I was a little slow.  So that's the good thing about playing early, it's like you get to sleep and you can keep up that momentum.  And I felt really great on the range, hitting really solid, and then I felt like today there are some good opportunities out there where you can be aggressive and I took advantage of that.  And I started really low very early in the round, so that helped me keeping that momentum and felt really great.  I made sure that I position the ball at the right spot and made some putts.  And still I left some out there.  So overall I feel really good about tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR:  Last year you were one of I think three players to make every single cut.  You've continued that this season, and grabbed your second career victory at the Kia Classic this year.  Just talk about how that victory kind of validated your consistent play.
BEATRIZ RECARI:  Yeah, definitely.  I mean, I always said it last year.  Last year I considered my best season so far even though I didn't win because I showed a little consistency that I wanted and I was really good, you know.  It was very challenging to make every cut every week.  And I obviously got some good feedback that I was doing things right, but I was missing a little something to win.  So I kind of ‑‑ in December when I took some time off, I had time to think about how I was going to approach this season and just keeping doing the same things, you know.  Obviously when something is working, just keep on doing it and then figure out what is not that good and just work on that to improve.  And obviously I hit the right buttons and so, like I say, I'm just keeping it simple and keeping working on the same things.

THE MODERATOR:  We've got five tournaments to go until the Solheim Cup teams are selected.  How does that feel and how are you approaching these next five tournaments?  How does it feel to be in the running to be on the European team? 
BEATRIZ RECARI:  Yeah, well I don't want to think about it too much.  Obviously there was a little disappointment that I didn't make it two years ago.  All I can do is just do my best every day and make sure that I'm not my own enemy, I don't get in my own way.  I just want to focus on what I have to do.  You know, Solheim Cup has been ‑‑ you said five more weeks, or almost two months, five more tournaments.  So I cannot control what Liselotte's going to do, but all I can do is try and do my best and play my best and then give her some good reasons to pick me.

THE MODERATOR:  We'll take questions for Beatriz.

Q   Beatriz, you started on the back nine yesterday, ended up even par.  Today you started out on the front nine, go 4‑under.  What was the difference between yesterday's front nine and today?
BEATRIZ RECARI:  Nothing really.  I mean, I don't want to get too analytical, my front nine, back nine, what I score each day.  I like to just take it one hole at a time and just do my best.  Like I said, I just felt really good about yesterday.  I felt like I left some shots out there in the front nine of the golf course, and all I wanted to do is just keep on doing the same things.  I'm hitting the ball great, so, you know, be confident that I am going to be able to get the ball close to the pin and just keep giving myself some good chances.  I mean, the difference, not really.  I think overall I'm pretty happy and proud of how I handled myself the last two days.  And like I said, I have very clear idea of what I have to do mentally so I feel very confident and very good for my last round.

Q   Beatriz, you started so quickly this season and I think the only hiccup you had was in Texas.  What has happened since then?  Did you have a feel coming in that you could put two rounds like this together?
BEATRIZ RECARI:  Yeah, well, Texas was a good learning experience.  Coming from Hawaii, such a long travel and it's always windy in Hawaii.  So I thought I maybe kind of lost my tempo playing in such windy conditions in Hawaii.  So I learned.  I will look forward to next year and I definitely learned what will happen, so I'll prepared for that.  And then all I did was just keep on doing my drills for the last year and a half and, you know, maybe keep on just refining little by little.  And that's the one thing that I think I've been doing really well.

Q   Was there anything about this course or is there anything about this course in particular that really suits your game that has made you feel comfortable this week?
BEATRIZ RECARI:  I think I have been driving the ball really well.  It's not as tight as Rochester, but still there are some holes where you have to be aware and you have to drive it really well.  And the good thing about playing this morning is I believe we have nine holes without so much wind and it's already blowing pretty hard.  So even if you're in the fairway, with this course there are a couple holes that you might be blocked by the trees even though you're in the fairway.  So I think what suit me, one thing, is being able to drive it really well.  And then the good thing about this course, the greens roll true.  So it's quite ‑‑ feels about to whatever you read that it's going to roll that way.  It's good when you step on the greens to make some putts and keep on, you know, building that confidence.

Q   What were some of the key putts for you today, could you just take us through No. 14, your last birdie?
BEATRIZ RECARI:  Key putt, ball No. 1, I started off on fine, I birdied that hole.  No. 3, good putt, like right on, exactly how I read it.  Knocked the club out on 5, gave myself a good chance on 6, birdied 7, good chance on 8, good chance on 9.  12, I made it from three feet, and then 14, yeah, just a good thing about the hole is that I put it on the right side and even though I had a little right to left break, you know, putting uphill that always helps.  And then just kept on getting my chances.  Left it short ‑‑ made it on 15, same on 16, 17 practiced much, and then on 18 it was a good putt, just kind of tricky but felt really good.  And like I said, the good thing on these greens is that it rolls so true.

THE MODERATOR:  I know you've been working on some Japanese with the LTC.  You know four different languages.  Just talk about why you're wanting to learn such different languages and that experience at the LTC.
BEATRIZ RECARI:  Well, I wanted to learn different languages because of many reasons.  I started learning English when I was five.  And the good thing about Europe is that in school you study so many different languages.  I think that I'm good at learning language, and I learn really quickly so I always wanted to learn an Asian language ever since I was very little.  When I went to Japan for the first time I just fell in love with the culture, with the people.  They're so nice, polite, and so many things that I love about the culture.  So I thought that's perfect, I'm going to start learning Japanese.  And the partnership with LTC is perfect because it suits my personality, what I want to do, makes me smarter.  That always helps.  And I also kind of miss that side of me as a student.  I had to leave university when I was playing in Europe because I just felt that doing both at the same time was too much and I was not giving my best.  And so I still miss that little student side of me.  And also the good thing about travel as well is that you travel through so many different countries and so many different nationalities on this tour that it just kind of helps understanding other players.  I always felt that every time you learn a different language it's a good chance to understand how they think, little things, why they say things like that, and why you have to approach certain things different way.  I always think that it's fascinating and I love learning different languages.

Q   Which other languages do you know?
BEATRIZ RECARI:  Well, I know Spanish, I know English, even though I hit the dictionary a couple times.  French I learned at school, then Norwegian.  And then I'm learning Japanese, and we'll see, maybe I was thinking about learning Portuguese because it's so close to Spanish and Rio is coming soon, sooner than we all think.  So it might help for those two weeks that we're going to be in Rio.
 
Stacy Lewis, Rolex Rankings No. 2

THE MODERATOR:  We'd like to welcome co‑leader, Stacy Lewis, here to the interview room at the Walmart Northwest Arkansas Championship.  You know, there's pressure, there's Major Championship pressure, there's trying to win the Rolex Player of the Year last year, and then there's you shooting 6‑under here in front of these fans.  What was that like today?
STACY LEWIS:  Today was really cool.  I kind of got on streaks there throughout the round and made four birdies in a row at one point and then three in a row.  So it was cool.  You can see the crowd was feeling it.  And I birdied 17 today, which was really cool.  It was a little early, but they were still pretty loud and it's just so much fun to play here.  I think over the last few years I kind of figured out how to handle that pressure and not make it pressure and make it fun and have fun out there and smiling.  I saw a lot of people that I hadn't seen in a while out there today so it was a lot of fun.
 
THE MODERATOR:  You managed to shoot a low round with bogeys at 18 and 9.  Just take us through those.  I know 18 was a tough one?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, 18 was a little brutal.  I actually made a nice putt for bogey so I was happy to get out of there.  That right pin on 18 is just tough.  It's tough to get a wedge shot to stop and I knew that and just kind of made a mess of it.  Made a little bit of a mess of the green on 9, which I putted really well all day.  So I was kind of surprised by that.  But I made so many birdies out there, it's hard to be upset.  But it does show that I left some out there for tomorrow.
 
THE MODERATOR:  We still have another wave of players this afternoon, but right now you're tied for the clubhouse lead.  I know it's a position that you have wanted to be in here.  You know, the unofficial winner a few years ago and now a chance to be an official winner.  Talk about going into Sunday and maybe the pressure?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I mean, there's definitely going to be pressure there.  I think the thing that motivates me more is that I have a bet with my caddie going, but I can't tell you ‑‑ you'll see what it is on 17 tomorrow, but as long as I'm in the final group tomorrow you'll see what it is on 17.  So I think that's what motivated me more than anything today was I wanted to be in that final group going into tomorrow.
 
THE MODERATOR:  So you won't tell us what you're throwing out to 17 each day, now you can't tell us the bet.  Is there anything else you want to keep from us?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, I am throwing footballs out, I know that, but I can't tell you what he's going to do, so ‑‑

THE MODERATOR:  Look forward to that.  We'll take questions for Stacy.  Please use the mic that Erin has.

Q   Three bogeys in two rounds, two of them on No. 9.  What do you have to do tomorrow on No. 9?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, they were both different.  Yesterday I blew the green and today I actually hit a good second shot and three‑putted, so I don't know.  I think it's one of the harder second shots on this golf course just because it's hard to judge where the pin is on the green, but really I stayed patient all day.  I got off to a slow start again, missed some putts early, and tomorrow it's all about staying patient because you're going to make some birdies.  There's just some pins you just can't go at.  There's some sucker pins out there in the middle of the green, you have to make par and move on.
 
Q   What changed from yesterday?  I mean, I know you played well both of the first two days, but really with the putter today was there something you worked on specifically last night or what kind of prompted that?
STACY LEWIS:  I don't know.  I think I just putt with confidence and when I get making some, they just seem to all start going in.  I think I actually 1‑putted holes 15 through 4.  So I mean it's just confidence.  I just kind of got things rolling with the putter, wasn't really anything different.  My speed was off.  Even on a couple putts today my speed was off, but it was in general a lot better today and I think that's why I made a few more.
 
Q   You haven't really been in contention on the final day here, so what is tomorrow going to be like for you?  What is tomorrow going to be like for you?  How do you temper your emotions?  It's such an emotional week for you anyway.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I think the harder part is I'm going to want it so bad, and I know the fans are going to want me to get it really bad.  So it's going to be hard ‑‑ the hardest part is going to be staying patient and not trying to force putts in and running them through your four feet by, and you can't leave yourself those on these greens.  So I'm definitely going to use the crowd some, but then I need to also just kind of scale it back and just stay in what I am doing right now because it's working.

Q   Some of those tournaments that you want so bad, it's hard to even get in contention for, but now you are.  What's different about your game, your maturity now that's allowed you to get to this point that maybe you couldn't do it in the past?
STACY LEWIS:  Honestly, I think it's all ‑‑ it's everything I dealt with this year with the week that I became No. 1 in the world, it was just chaos.  And dealing with that pressure of being No. 1 in the world, I learned a lot from that.  I honestly think that's why I've come here this week and it doesn't seem so busy anymore, doesn't seem to hard to play with all the fans.  It feels easier and I feel more comfortable.  My game has been in a good place for a year now.  I haven't been worried about that.  It's when I get in big events, I want it so bad and I just have to stay patient.
 
Q   I know we talked a lot about how you have a lot more activities this week.  What are some of the activities if you could just kind of run through, what are some of the ‑‑ compare this to a normal week on tour?
STACY LEWIS:  Well, actually there were two things I was supposed to do this week that got canceled.  There were two dinners with sponsors.  Besides the Pro‑Am party, media requests, a lot of it this week was my junior tournament, did a few things with them.  Last night I had a sponsor event right after I played.  But then I don't have anything else this weekend so I'm excited about that.  My nephew is here, so I'm going to play with him this afternoon and just relax and save some energy for tomorrow.

Q   You were all over a lot of pins today.  14 through 17 specifically.  What was going through your mind that early in the round when you're doing that?
STACY LEWIS:  I got into a good rhythm yesterday on those holes too and I had ‑‑ honestly I had really good numbers into each of them.  I hit good shots.  And the one on par 3 was pretty cool.  It wasn't supposed to fly past the pin, on 15, wasn't supposed to go that far, but I don't know.  Like I said, I play on rhythm, I play on momentum and it just kind of kept going and going.  I want to birdie 17 so bad, and that was just really cool.  If I can birdie again tomorrow, I think the place will go nuts.

Q   Stacy, you played with Gaby Lopez prior to the tournament.  What kind of advice would you give her to follow your success?
STACY LEWIS:  You know, we talked a lot about just kind of course management and how to get at certain pins on this golf course.  Honestly, it was her first LPGA event so I told her to just go out there and have fun.  She was pretty nervous.  I knew she probably wasn't going to get off to a great start, but it's all about a learning experience.  I mean, I played, I could barely get the ball off the tee the first LPGA tournament I played in.  We've all been there with those emotions.  She's young and she's going to be very good so I think this was a great first experience for her.

Q   Stacy, you talked about having fun.  Are you still able to have fun at this event?  I know you put a lot of pressure and you've matured through all of it, but is it still fun?  Will you have a tough time sleeping tonight knowing you're in contention for your fifth Major?
STACY LEWIS:  Sixth major actually.  You know, I don't know.  I've had so much fun out there.  The crowd, I just look at it and it makes me want to smile.  I think that's honestly kept me so relaxed all week.  I think I'll sleep fine tonight.  The week's been pretty exhausting, so I'm sure I'll sleep okay.  I don't want to say I've been there before, but I've had that experience of going to bed with leads and going to bed with big leads, going to bed tied for the lead.  So I kind of know what it's going to feel like.  But, you know, with golf you've got to forget about it.  Once you get on the first tee you've got to get back into it.

So Yeon Ryu, Rolex Rankings No. 5

SO YEON RYU:  And actually today I play really solid and I made six birdies and one bogey, but still really great play.  And well, it was still a really great score, but I missed a couple really short putts.  But I didn't look back and I just focus on my each hole, so I did a really great job about that.  So if I do that again, I'm pretty sure I can play well tomorrow.

Q   Given how you felt the last two days, how do you think tomorrow will go?
SO YEON RYU:  Well, first of all, the weather is really hot so I have to be drinking plenty bottles of water, then should keep focused.  And the most difficult thing is, you know, sometimes if we really ‑‑ if I really want to win, it's really hard to handle how nervous I am.  It's kind of like that.  So I really want to enjoy it.  And if someone's enjoy it, she can be win.

Q   Good luck tomorrow. 
SO YEON RYU:  Thank you.  
 
Q   Just a couple more.  Did you have any long birdie putts?
SO YEON RYU:  Yeah, hole 3, par 3, I made a long birdie putt.  Then next hole I just got like one‑yard birdie putt, but I missed it, which is really unfortunate.

Q   That was 4?
SO YEON RYU:  Yeah, that was 4.  But I actually missed a couple of really short birdie putt today, but I really didn't look back and I really focused on that.  I did a really great job about that.  And another thing is, the green condition is go great.  So everybody have a really great chance to be shot really low score, kind of like 6‑ or 7‑under.  Also, can be chance to be like 10‑under.  So now I just checked the leaderboard and there might be four players lead the tournament, but not just four of us game.  I see a lot of players in contention.

Q   How good does it feel to have a chance to get another win tomorrow?
SO YEON RYU:  You know, I haven't won for a while.  Kind of a drought, and I really want to win.  I'm pretty sure it's time to win.  And I practiced really hard last week also.  I played really bad at the Wegmans, but I just think about myself and I really figured out what I have to do.  Then I think it looks like really working.  So I just want to keep focused on my game, and the most important thing is just love myself.  Well, you know, if sometimes if I play really bad, I just hate everything.  I hate my swing, I hate my personality, and I hate everything.  But I just realized I have to love myself, then I can play well.  So I just want on go and have great rest and have good food.  It's kind of a really good way to love myself.  Then really enjoy it tomorrow.

Q   Last one.  Is it hard knowing next week is the U.S. Open and you've won a U.S. Open, is it hard to not look ahead to the major?
SO YEON RYU:  Well, you know, Major tournaments always tough, but always fun.  So I'm not really afraid of it and I'm not really nervous.  Actually last year I was really nervous, and I learned from there.  I don't have to be nervous because it's just, you know, the Major tournament is a really great tournament.  It's just not really big different as a regular tournament.  So it's just kind of how can I mindset, that's the really thing, so I don't think I have to worry about it.

Chie Arimura, Rolex Rankings No. 32

Q. Just take me through your round. 6-under today puts you tied for the lead at 10-under.
CHIE ARIMURA: It was really fun today. It was a great day.

Q. What was working better for you today compared to yesterday?
CHIE ARIMURA: I didn’t miss any fairways or greens. I had many chances today.

Q. This will be your best finish this year, your rookie season. What’s going through your mind as you prepare to possibly become a Rolex First-Time Winner tomorrow?
CHIE ARIMURA: I’m looking forward to tomorrow. This is first time I’m in this place, leading. I want to concentrate one shot at a time.

Ji Young Oh, Rolex Rankings No. 265

Q.  Nice round, good birdie on 18.  Just take me through your day and what was working well for you.
JI YOUNG OH:  Today I have really good competition and a lot of good shots, and then almost like the one missed the green, so and then I have really good putter, so I have good score.

Q.  Just talk about this year.  I know you've been trying to ‑‑ kind of struggling getting up in contention.  Just talk about maybe some things that you've been going through with your game that you've been working on.
JI YOUNG OH:  This year pretty good start but just a little bit slowly.  This week's really good for me, yesterday and today really good playing, so I just keep going and then, yep.

Q.  Has anything just like clicked for you this week?  Like what's been just working well for you?
JI YOUNG OH:  Last week we have just a week off and I really get relaxed in my home, and then I think that happen like good for me so it's good this week.

Q.  Where's home for you?
JI YOUNG OH:  Georgia, Atlanta.

Q.  How long have you lived there?
JI YOUNG OH:  Like seven years, long time.

Q.  You're pretty high up there on the leaderboard today.  What's your mindset going into tomorrow?
JI YOUNG OH:  Tomorrow, just same playing yesterday and today, just think of my own game and then just keep going to try and then just I really good playing my best.

Lydia Ko, Amateur

THE MODERATOR:  Nice round. Came in 5‑under.  Puts you at 7‑under for the tournament and three strokes off the lead.  How did you feel today?  What was working well as compared to yesterday?
LYDIA KO:  Just putting was better today.  I hit a few, you know, I actually just focused, you know, just make pars and if you get a birdie opportunity, make your birdie because pars isn't bad.  Bogeys are the problem.  So, yeah, I kind of tried to get the putting early, and I 1‑putted on my back nine the first five holes, so it was good.
 
THE MODERATOR:  How does this tournament rank among the other LPGA events you've gotten to play?
LYDIA KO:  Well, I guess it's not a Major, and I think when I get to a Major I get more nervous.  But people have been telling me, you know, for me especially, no money is on board, you know.  Just a win is a win or a tournament is a tournament.  So I've been kind of trying to think that.  But I definitely do notice that I get more nervous on the Majors.
 
THE MODERATOR:  What about this golf course, have you noticed that the crowds are more excited?  Do you like the 17th hole, how loud it is?  What is it about this golf tournament that you like?
LYDIA KO:  Yeah, the 17th is pretty much the party hole, and especially today there are quite a few spectators out here and they're more kind of spread out rather than being on one certain hole.  So, yeah, it's been really good.  We have really good spectators out there for our group and I guess there will be more tomorrow, especially in the final round.

THE MODERATOR:  You're pretty high up there on the leaderboard.  What's your mindset heading into tomorrow?
LYDIA KO:  I think I had a bogey‑free round today, so hopefully I'm going to kind of continue that mode tomorrow and just make pars, just keep rolling some birdies along the way.  And I've just got to try my best and if somebody else shoots 7‑under I can't control what they do, just play my game.

Juli Inkster, Rolex Rankings No. 162

THE MODERATOR:  All right, 6‑under today.  Obviously I know you wanted that last one, a overall a great round.  Just talk about it.
JULI INKSTER:  Yeah, I played well.  I mean, I've been playing better.  You know, Rochester I just played really ‑‑ I drove the ball really bad.  And I switched drivers, shafts and hit my driver a lot better and I feel good.
 
THE MODERATOR:  I was talking to your coach and he was just mentioning how a player with all you've achieved that you're still grinding, still texting I'm at 5 a.m. about fixing your swing.  Just talk about that and what it's like to compete.
JULI INKSTER:  Well, I mean, I love to compete and I like to play well.  I just feel like I haven't played that bad this year, but I haven't scored.  And today I got it going a little bit, made some 15‑footers, and that helped.  So we'll see.
 
THE MODERATOR:  Last one.  You're in position, you might be a little bit further back tomorrow, but just talk about how you feel going into tomorrow.
JULI INKSTER:  I just like to play.  If I could play just the way I played today, I hit every green but one, drive the ball in the fairway and give myself chances, you know, it's fun.


Topics: Lewis, Stacy, Oh, Ji Young, Inkster, Juli, Ko, Lydia, Arimura, Chie, Recari, Beatriz, Ryu, So Yeon, Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, Notes and Interviews [+]

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