Wegmans LPGA Championship
Locust Hill Country Club
Pittsford, New York
Second-Round Notes and Interviews
June 8, 2013
Morgan Pressel -6, Rolex Rankings No. 68
Inbee Park -4, Rolex Rankings No. 1
Chella Choi -4, Rolex Rankings No. 41
Sara Jane Smith -3, Rolex Rankings No. 148
Jiyai Shin -3, Rolex Rankings No. 9
Michelle Wie E, Rolex Rankings No. 92
Saturday’s Second-round Recap
Morgan Pressel shot a 2-under 70 on Saturday to take the second-round lead at the Wegmans LPGA Championship at Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y. Pressel heads into the final day of play at 6-under par and leads Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park and first-round leader Chella Choi by two strokes. Due to heavy rain that postponed the start of the major championship until Friday, the final 36 holes of the Wegmans LPGA Championship are scheduled to be played on Sunday.
Scattered showers dampened an already rain-soaked Locust Hill golf course during Saturday’s second round. The showers began early in the morning and Pressel played through more rainy and wet conditions in the afternoon wave, but didn’t let the soggy settings keep her from a hot start. The Boca Raton, Fla. native started on No. 10 and recorded three birdies in her first six holes.
“I got off to a good start, had a birdie opportunity on 10, but didn't go in and then made one on 11,” said Pressel. “I started to hit my driver a little bit to the right, but made great par saves on 12 and 13, and then two great birdies on 14 and 15 to get me off to a really good and comfortable start.”
Pressel found herself in some trouble on the par 4 16th and 18th holes and dropped two shots before making the turn at 5-under-par. She said the wind picked up on her back nine holes and she had to combat some sloppier conditions on that side of the golf course.
“I hit a couple more drives to the right, which cost me bogeys, wasn't able to make quite as miraculous saves on those couple of holes,” said Pressel. “And then the back nine was pretty uneventful. There wasn't a whole lot that happened out there. I had some opportunities, made some. And then the wind picked up on our back nine a little bit and made it a little more difficult, and that side because of how it sits is quite a bit more wet, and so it was a little bit more sloppy on that side than it was on the front nine today.”
Pressel would close with her fourth and final birdie on the par 5 8th hole when she hit a 50-yard pitch shot to four feet and finished at 2-under for the day. Pressel holds the 36-hole lead for the first time since the 2008 Wegmans LPGA at Locust Hill, before the Rochester event was designated as a major.
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park trails by two shots after an impressive 4-under 68 which tied Michelle Wie for the low round of the day. She’s tied for second with first-round leader Chella Choi at 4-under-par. Choi finished with a 1-over 73.
Park, who has won five times in the past year, certainly is within reach of adding yet another victory to that list. With 36 holes left to play on Sunday, the year’s second major is set for a marathon finish and Park has prepped herself for what will likely be the toughest challenge yet of the season.
“It feels like just one more round to go, but we have to play two rounds in one day,” Park said. “ I think that's what's going to be very tough mentally and physically. It's something that I really need to handle. And I need to get really good rest tonight. And try to be very relaxed and get a lot of sleep.”
One player who is well aware of what it takes to win a marathon finish is Jiyai Shin, who sits three shots back following her 1-over 73 on Saturday. Shin captured her second career major championship at last year’s RICOH Women’s British Open which included a 36-hole Sunday finish due to play being suspended for a day due to high winds.
Top-ranked American and Rolex Rankings No. 2 Stacy Lewis shot an even-par 72 on Saturday and is in a tie for 31st at 2-over par.
Back on track: Morgan Pressel took the golf world by storm in 2007 when she became the youngest player in LPGA Tour history to win a major championship at the Kraft Nabisco Championship at 18 years, 10 months, 9 days. When asked if she would play off her experience from her first major win five years ago, Pressel said she’ll just give herself a reminder that she’s done it before.
“I mean it was a long time ago,” said Pressel. “I've been through a lot since then. A lot has happened in golf and life, and you know, but that being said, I've done it before. So I just need to go out there and remember that I can do it and just get it done.”
She holds the second-round lead for the first time since the 2008 season, the same year she got her last win at the Kapalua LPGA Classic. That second-round lead came at Locust Hill Country Club during the Wegmans LPGA. Pressel talked about feeling comfortable on the track and said she’s confident with 36 holes to play.
“I mean I love this golf course,” said Pressel. “I've always enjoyed coming here, coming to Rochester. I stay with a great host family. And I'm just comfortable here, and this golf course certainly plays to my game, and as long as I can keep getting the putts to go in, you know, I think I'll have a good finish.”
Junior days: Morgan Pressel and Inbee Park will be paired in the final group tomorrow and it will be far from the first time the duo has played tournament golf together. The two grew up playing junior and amateur golf together in Florida
“Inbee and I have played together for a long time, since we were very young, in South Florida, and I'm looking forward to playing with her,” said Pressel. “She's a great champion, and she's certainly won a lot out here.”
But it was Park who said she may have to emulate her game after Pressel’s. She said she thinks Pressel may be on the brink of a comeback.
“I'm sure she probably hit it very straight to play that well on this golf course,” said Park. “So I gotta try to do that like her tomorrow. I think she was having tough time, but I'm sure she's type of player that she could always come back, and I think it was about time that she was coming back. And I think she's feeling really comfortable around this golf course.”
Major Secret: A cryptic message written on Chella Choi’s hand helped to keep her focused on Saturday at the Wegmans LPGA Championship. The 22-year-old South Korean shot 1-under-par 71 in Saturday’s second round to move two shots off the lead held by American Morgan Pressel. Choi is seeking her first LPGA victory this week.
“It's a secret,” Choi said when asked about the Korean writing on her left hand.
Whatever the message was, it helped Choi move to 4-under-par for the week entering the third and fourth rounds on Sunday. She carded birdies on holes 11 and 16 – her second and seventh of the day – and added bogies at 12, one and six.
Choi’s career-best finish came about 180 miles from Pittsford, NY in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada at last year’s inaugural Manulife Financial LPGA Classic. She fired a final-round 63 to enter a four-way playoff, but ultimately lost to Brittany Lang.
Her father, Ji Yeon Choi, has caddied for Chella for the last six years and plans to retire after her first victory.
“Hopefully we can play good tomorrow,” Choi said.
Bring on 36: The last time Jiyai Shin played 36 holes on the final day of an LPGA Tour event, she won her second-career major championship. Last season, Shin won the RICOH Women’s British Open in wet and windy conditions with the tournament’s largest margin of victory—nine strokes. With her mental toughness and ability to grind out two full rounds in one day, Shin will be a player to watch on Sunday.
“I knew how to play the 36 holes, because I played last year at the British Open with very bad weather,” said Shin. “So I know I’m a couple shots behind the lead at the moment, but now I have 36 holes left. So morning time I checked my physical conditioning and all my skill and maybe I try to hit more aggressive in the afternoon.”
She’s shot 1-over 73 on Saturday and is currently three shots back in a tie for fourth at 3-under par.
Major improvement: Seventh-year Tour member Sara Jane Smith admitted to having a little nervous energy earlier this week with the pressure of performing in a major championship weighing on her. Smith is coming off two missed cuts in her last two LPGA events and said she was truly unsure how she would play this week.
“Yesterday I felt -- I was pretty nervous teeing off,” said Smith. “I haven't been doing well. And the practice rounds are great. My coach is here, and we had really good preparation, but you're still always a little bit nervous to see how it's going to go. So once I got going, then I felt a bit more comfortable and then everything was a bit more relaxed.”
Smith, whose season-best finish of T15 came at the season-opening ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open, said her work of the tees this week have helped her with scoring opportunities.
“I've always liked this golf course, and obviously the rough is tough,” said Smith. “But one of my best things is my driver, so that's sort of a good thing for me. I don't really mind it being rough, because I haven't been in it too much.”
Smith is playing for her first-career victory and looking to improve on her best finish in a major championship: a T14 at the 2010 Wegmans LPGA Championship at Locust Hill.
“I haven't really been this high in a major,” said Smith. “I've played decent here a couple of times, but never at this point. Just take it easy this afternoon, and I think we have to do laundry. And then get ready for tomorrow.”
Move of the Day: Michelle Wie loves to hit her driver, but this week’s thick rough at Locust Hill Country Club has caused one of the Tour’s longer hitters to give one of her favorite clubs a brief hiatus. And based on her 4-under 68 in Saturday’s second round of the Wegmans LPGA Championship, it looked to be a very smart decision for Wie.
The Stanford University graduate said that she used her driver only twice on Saturday, choosing instead to rely on her 3-wood, 2-hybrid and 4-hybrid off the tee.
“I just try not to be greedy on this golf course,” Wie said. “I hit a couple more drivers yesterday, which cost -- all my strokes really cost me for my drivers yesterday. And on this golf course, even if you have 5-iron, 6-iron in, you just have to be in the fairway.”
Wie made five birdies and one bogey in her round Saturday en route to her 68, which tied the low round of the day. That stellar round jumped Wie from a tie for 71st at the start of the day into a T14 at the completion of the second round. She’ll enter Sunday’s marathon 36-hole day just six shots off the lead.
For Wie, who is coming off her best finish of the year (T9 at the ShopRite LPGA Classic) last week, it’s a validation of everything she’s been doing to get her game back on track.
“I put in a lot of work over the off season, and it's been feeling that way for a very long time,” Wie said of her game. “I'm just being patient and just waiting for my opportunity to come and just enjoying myself, and just working hard at every step.”
All eyes on Solheim: Count Michelle Wie among the players who isn’t afraid to admit that her focus this summer is on making the U.S. Solheim Cup team.
Wie currently sits in 13th in the U.S. Solheim Cup points race, having moved up three spots thanks to her T9 finish at the ShopRite LPGA Classic this week. The top 8 players in the points race automatically qualify for the team. Two additional spots on the team will come via the Rolex Rankings while U.S. Solheim Captain Meg Mallon will get to make two captain’s picks. But Mallon has made it clear that players should focus on making the team on points and that’s exactly what Wie and the rest of the Americans are doing.
“I've been thinking about the Solheim since the beginning of the season,” Wie said. “It's definitely one of the most important things for me to make the team, and every opportunity where there is double points, it means a lot more to me.
“I’ve been working to get points all year and hopefully this week I can get some points.”
See you on Sunday: A total of 77 players made the cut which fell at 6-over-par 150. The cutline marks the highest cut in relation to par 72 this season which was previously set at 5-over par 149 at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Teaching and Club Professional Spotlight: The Wegmans LPGA Championship provides a special opportunity for five LPGA Teaching & Club Professionals to compete against the world’s best women golfers in a major championship. The winners of the five sectional LPGA T&CP events and the national championship receive spots in the Wegmans LPGA Championship field. This week we will spotlight LPGA T&CP members and let you get to know a little bit more about the women who dedicate themselves to the advancement of golf through teaching, coaching and managing golf facilities. Today we spotlight…Southeast Section and National Championship winner Jean Bartholomew (@JeanBGolf1).
Jean is one of the many former Tour pros turned T&CP members and played on Tour from 1996-2007. She started teaching in 2009 and said it was a no-brainer to continue her career in the golf industry and was lucky enough to have the ‘teaching gene.’
“Just because I love the game and to share all the stuff I learned,” said Bartholomew. “And I like teaching, some people don’t. Some players don’t transition well with teaching. I think it’s a skill with patience and people skills.”
But she still holds a competitive side and has played in three or four events the past two LPGA Tour seasons through her Class-A status on the priority list. Last year she defeated Lisa Grimes by three strokes in French Lick, Ind. to claim her first T&CP National Championship. She was also the T&CP Southeast Section champ and made her 10th appearance in an LPGA Championship this week.
Jean started teaching at the Creek Club on Long Island but made her way down to the Sunshine State and currently lives in Palm Beach Gardens and teaches at PGA National.
She said it’s tough to come out and perform really well at LPGA events while she’s typically spending most of her time watching and teaching rather than playing herself.
“The players are a lot younger,” said Bartholomew. “A lot of new faces. It’s hard to compete when you’re teaching all the time.”
Five Things You Should Know About Jean Bartholomew:
- She played four years of golf at Duke University but was also recruited by other schools to play basketball and field hockey. She was a 1,000-point scorer for Garden City High on Long Island and was an All-Nassau County field hockey player. “Back then there was not much more after college you could do with the other two.”
- Jean is a politics junkie and majored in Sociology and Economics in college.
- You won’t find her watching any reality TV and says her go-to shows are sports or political shows.
- In addition to golf, she loves to play tennis.
- Her first golf coach in New York, Gil McNally, still comes down to work with her when he’s using his winter home near PGA National
Tweet of the Day: Michelle Wie (@TheMichelleWie) retweeted @lpga with a picture of her giving an autograph to a young fan on Saturday.
“Little girl. Big dreams. @TheMichelleWie #Champion4GirlsGolf”
Of Note…Irene Cho and Veronica Felibert both withdrew during the second round on Saturday…Sophie Gustafson injured her wrist forcing her to withdraw from the second-round…Karen Stupples was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard
THE MODERATOR: All right. We'd like to welcome the clubhouse leader and soon-to-be the second-round leader at the Wegmans LPGA Championship, Morgan Pressel. Thanks for coming in.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: You shot 70 today. You're 6-under par overall through two rounds. If you would just take us through the day, what worked well for you.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah. I got off to a good start, had a birdie opportunity on 10, but didn't go in and then made one on 11. I started to hit my driver a little bit to the right, but made great par saves on 12 and 13, and then two great birdies on 14 and 15 to get me off to a really good and comfortable start.
And I just kind of hung on from there. I hit a couple more drives to the right, which cost me bogeys, wasn't able to make quite as miraculous saves on those couple of holes.
And then the back nine was pretty uneventful, but I guess the front nine of the golf course. But there wasn't a whole lot that happened out there. I had some opportunities, made some. I made one. I missed a couple and had a couple good 2-putts. And then the wind picked up on our back nine a little bit and made it a little more difficult, and that side because of how it sits is quite a bit more wet, and so it was a little bit more sloppy on that side than it was on the front nine today.
THE MODERATOR: You pointed out on Golf Channel and Jerry might have mentioned it to you there, but the last time you held a 36-hole lead was here at Locust Hill in 2008. Does that seem like to you a long time ago or is that something you still remember and think positively back to?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah. I mean I love this golf course. I've always enjoyed coming here, coming to Rochester. I stay with a great host family. And I'm just comfortable here, and this golf course certainly plays to my game, and as long as I can keep getting the putts to go in, you know, I think I'll have a good finish.
Q. You mentioned out there it was tough walking, and tomorrow you gotta walk 36. Are you guys physically, especially you, you're slight of build. You're not powerful like Brittany. Are you up to walking 36 in the slope like that? I mean could that be the toughest thing you have to do tomorrow?
MORGAN PRESSEL: I don't think so. I think it's going to be much more of a mental test than it is physically walking test. I run a lot. I'm in plenty good of enough shape to get through 36 holes tomorrow, from that standpoint.
The question will be just how committed I can be to every shot and how -- because when you get tired your mind starts to wander. So that'll be the biggest test tomorrow will be truly staying focused on every shot, and at the end of the day I probably won't want to think another second. But that will mean that I gave it my all and I was patient out there.
Q. And the other thing, on No. 2, how important was making that? You blew the first putt about eight feet by, ten feet by. How important was that putt because you had like you said, made a couple bogeys on the end of your first nine and that was close to another one?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah, no. That was a big putt, for sure. I mean I think the toughest part about that second hole is fitting the fairway. It's so narrow out there so I hit a good shot and hit it in the middle of the green and that green had a lot of casual water on the front. I was a little bit surprised by that, and I think that I just thought it would slow my putt down a lot more than it apparently did and hit it way too hard. But you know, I made a lot of good 10-footers on our front nine today, and that was another one.
Q. Morgan, after struggling with injuries for a year, you all of a sudden look like you're on top of your game, splitting fairways, hitting greens. How do you explain that?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, I feel like I've been very close for a couple of months now, and I just haven't been able to put it all together. The times when I hit every fairway and hit every green I wasn't making the putts that I needed to, and the times when I had my putter rolling my swing was just a little bit off, and this week I feel like I've put it all together.
It's been probably a few months where I've been hitting it almost perfectly on the driving range, and my tempo has just gotten a little bit quick once I get on the golf course, and this week that's been my main goal is to just make sure that my tempo stays consistent. And what feels to me like extremely slow. And it's been working.
Q. Morgan, you mentioned casual water on 2. Brittany said there was casual water on two of the greens out there. She said there was some on 7 as well. How difficult was it kind of slogging through the conditions and with it raining on and off throughout most of the last couple days?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, I don't think that I realized how much rain we got last night because we must have gotten quite a bit overnight because the course -- I mean with all the rain that we had on Thursday, the course looked great yesterday, and the course looked very -- it looked wetter today, which I didn't think was going to happen because I didn't realize that we had gotten that much rain. So when I got out there and walking down even -- we started on the tenth hole, I mean I'm like, wow, this fairway is very wet, we must have gotten and the course can't take much more rain, so it's going to be nice, hopefully the sun will shine tomorrow and it'll be a little warmer and it can dry it out.
I mean there are some areas, like say the third fairway, the fourth fairway, a couple of holes where you might be in casual water but there's nowhere to drop it, so you just kind of have to find the very driest spot you can and hit from there. And I probably had to do that a couple of times. You don't want to hit it in the fairway and then drop it in the rough and even sometimes the rough is a little wet. But there were a couple of holes out there that were tough today in terms of the water but for the most part it was pretty good.
Q. Just to follow up on that, I've got two questions, but odd on No. 7 to see your ball just stick in the green.
MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, that was -- the second hole, the second green was a little bit underwater, but then the front of the 7th was as well. And it did. It was really soft and just stuck there.
But it's probably a better place to be than pin high left, because that's quite a tough putt, and I've never actually played a putt to go in on the back side of the hole that I did on that one. That's how I was playing it.
Q. And just looking ahead to tomorrow, and knowing that you've got a lead on Saturday, which is usually a really good thing, but how do you trick your mind or remind yourself that tomorrow is just Round 3?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Well, tomorrow is 3 and 4, but the tournament is only halfway finished. But I feel good about the way that I'm playing. I feel good about my approach to playing, which is just as important sometimes. And if I can stick to my game plan tomorrow and stay patient, it'll be a long day, this course will certainly give up bogeys, but it has -- gives you the opportunity to make birdies as well.
It'll be a long day, but I need to stay mentally focused.
Q. Morgan, how is your wrist doing, and with 36 holes, is there any concerns?
MORGAN PRESSEL: My wrist is fine, which I hit it out of the rough a few more times today, but it's still okay. And you know, I'm not worried about it. I'll get a little bit ahead of it, certainly ice it tonight and take some Advil and anti-inflammatories just to prevent anything. And you know, if it hurts me on Monday, well, then that'll be okay. As long as it doesn't bother me tomorrow.
Q. Yeah. I assume after the third round you're going to play in the same group. So you're going to be with Inbee tomorrow, for sure, the world's No. 1 player who's been playing great. Just talk about the challenge, how that might lift you up, you know, you're playing with the world's top player right now. Are you excited about that?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah. Actually kind of like Brittany, Inbee and I have played together for a long time, since we were very young, in South Florida, and I'm looking forward to playing with her. She's a great champion, and she's certainly won a lot out here. And you know, I'm just going to go out there and play my own game and try not to worry about what she's doing and try and -- I mean that's the thing about golf is you just need to get the ball in the hole as fast as you can. It doesn't matter what your opponent is doing because it doesn't really affect your game. And I'm just going to go out there and try and play my best and see where that stacks up at the end of the day.
Q. Just to clarify, did the ball actually plug in that green?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Yes.
Q. On No. 7? It did plug? And then going back to your second hole. Talk about how important it was to get that first birdie. What was your distance of your putt?
MORGAN PRESSEL: Yeah. I hit a really good wedge shot from about 75 yards, and it went past about six feet, and that definitely got my day started off right. The putt I had on the first hole was right in the hole but about a foot short. And so then to hit it a little bit closer on the next hole and get the birdie and just, I mean I made four consecutive 10-footers on the next four holes that were huge. And I'm sure that putt on the second hole that I had today helped my confidence.
Q. Similar to what Mike was asking you at the beginning, but thinking back to '08 and your major win, does it feel like a long time ago or does it feel fresh in your mind or a memory that you can draw on?
MORGAN PRESSEL: I mean it was a long time ago. I've been through a lot since then. A lot has happened in golf and life, and you know, but that being said, I've done it before. So I just need to go out there and remember that I can do it and just get it done.
THE MODERATOR: All right. I'd like to welcome Inbee Park into the interview room at the Wegmans LPGA Classic. 4-under 68 today, just tell us how the round went for you.
INBEE PARK: I hit the ball great today. I only missed like two fairways and three greens and it wasn't really in the long stuff today. So that was a big help. And gave a lot of opportunities out there and putted much better than yesterday.
I made some mistakes yesterday, and I didn't do that again today, so that was good.
THE MODERATOR: You teed off at 10. Would you just walk through your birdies for us what you hit and how far the putts were on No. 10.
INBEE PARK: Yeah. No. 10 was just a tap in, like two feet.
THE MODERATOR: What club did you hit?
INBEE PARK: I hit 8-iron. 9-iron. Yeah.
THE MODERATOR: 9-iron.
INBEE PARK: And No. 12 I hit -- yeah, 9-iron, about 15 feet left of the hole.
THE MODERATOR: Bogey on 14. What happened there, par-4?
INBEE PARK: Yeah. I hit 7-iron just off the green and I putted from there and three-putted. That was my only bogey today.
THE MODERATOR: Birdie 18.
INBEE PARK: 18 was 7-iron to six feet. Yeah.
THE MODERATOR: No. 1.
INBEE PARK: No. 1, 5-iron, like 15 feet.
THE MODERATOR: And 4.
INBEE PARK: 4. Par-5, yeah. I had 47-degree wedge to like 20 feet.
THE MODERATOR: 47 degrees?
INBEE PARK: Yeah.
THE MODERATOR: Just talk about tomorrow. 36 holes coming up. We're only halfway through this event, but you're in great shape. How do you feel going into tomorrow?
INBEE PARK: I mean we still have a lot more golf to play. It feels like just one more round to go, but we have to play two rounds in one day. I think that's what's going to be very tough mentally and physically. It's something that I really need to handle. And I need to get really good rest tonight. And try to be very relaxed and get a lot of sleep.
Q. Do you have any memories of playing 36 in the past that you can draw on tomorrow, do you think, that'll carry you through?
INBEE PARK: The last 36 holes we played was last year at British. Yeah, which was very tough conditions. It was raining and windy. And I mean I'm sure it's going to be a lot easier than that tomorrow.
But I think it's very tough physically, I mean especially walking on these wet fairways, it's really hard on your feet. So yeah, it's going to be tough, but I'm just going to try to concentrate every hole. I mean there's going to be many holes, but yeah, just try not to lose my focus, hit a lot of fairways and greens.
Q. Has there been a situation where you played 36 holes in one day that you played particularly well?
INBEE PARK: I played well in British last year, but Jiyai beat me. Yeah, I finished second.
THE MODERATOR: Can you give us some thoughts on Morgan Pressel? She was in here just a few minutes ago saying that you guys played quite a bit of junior golf, amateur golf and now LPGA golf together. What are your thoughts on Morgan?
INBEE PARK: Yeah. We've been seeing each other since we were little and playing a lot of junior golf and amateur. And just really used to seeing her. And I'm sure she probably hit it very straight to play that well on this golf course. So I gotta try to do that like her tomorrow.
Q. You just mentioned that you played a lot of junior golf with Morgan. Now, you've won five times in the last year, I think. She hasn't won since 2008. A little surprised that a player of her caliber has gone that long without winning out here?
INBEE PARK: Yeah. I know she has been through some tough times in her career last couple years. I think she was having tough time, but I'm sure she's type of player that she could always come back, and I think it was about time that she was coming back. And I think she's feeling really comfortable around this golf course.
INBEE PARK: Yeah. I mean I would be less nervous than Kraft. I mean I've experienced a lot of golf, and you know, last group -- last group in final rounds. And in the past I have lost a lot, too. And I've won a lot, too. So I mean that kind of experience really helps going into major championships like this where you get the situation and you have experienced it before and you feel a lot more comfortable.
INBEE PARK: I mean yesterday and today I hit the ball very good. I hit a lot of fairways and greens today and yesterday, but yesterday I made just a couple of bad clubs, and you know, very bad mistakes yesterday and didn't make much putts yesterday. But I didn't do that today. I putted a lot better and didn't hit it over the green today. So that's going to help.
Q. Does the game feel easy this year, Inbee?
INBEE PARK: No. Golf is never easy.
Q. You're making it look easy.
INBEE PARK: Yeah. I mean if you hit the ball straighter, I mean it makes the golf course play a lot easier, definitely on this golf course.
And you know, I have been doing that the last two days here. So I mean I think I have played the golf course a little easier than anybody else, yeah. Except for Morgan.
THE MODERATOR: Somebody in the Rochester media may not know that you're engaged to be married. Your fiancé is sitting there in the back. How influential has he been? I know he's also your coach. How influential has he been on your career as of late?
INBEE PARK: Yeah. I really started playing well since I started traveling with him and he has been a big help on my swing and mentally and everything. But he's great and yeah, he's a big help for me.
THE MODERATOR: Now, wedding slated for the off season. You'll never tell us when it is, though, right.
INBEE PARK: I'll tell you when it's two months before.
THE MODERATOR: All right. We'd like to welcome current co-leader in the second round of the Wegmans LPGA Championship, Chella Choi. Thank you so much for coming in.
CHELLA CHOI: Thank you.
THE MODERATOR: A little bit tougher out there today. You were able to grind it out, but yesterday you had six birdies and a bogey.
CHELLA CHOI: Yeah.
THE MODERATOR: Not quite as good today, but still pretty good. Just tell me about your round, please.
CHELLA CHOI: I had a great round today, but like I made -- I hit 14 fairways yesterday, but today just was 11. But it's not bad, but bad than yesterday. And my shot is good than yesterday, but I missed a couple of birdie putts, just inside five yards. So like a little bit disappointed, and yeah.
THE MODERATOR: Can you just take us through your birdies and your bogeys? You birdied the 11th hole which was your second hole of the day.
CHELLA CHOI: 11 hole make birdie.
THE MODERATOR: What did you hit into there?
CHELLA CHOI: I hit driver in fairway and second shot is a 20 hybrid, and third shot is 9-iron, 9-iron, 120 yards and two yards back pin to the hole. So yeah. And two feet. And I made a birdie.
THE MODERATOR: And then you bogeyed the 12th hole, your third hole of the day. What happened there?
CHELLA CHOI: Same as 11 hole and No. 12. So I had really confidence. And a little bit pulled, so I missed chip-in and two yards I missed the putt.
THE MODERATOR: Another bogey at the 16th hole, your seventh hole of the day. What happened there.
CHELLA CHOI: I made a birdie.
THE MODERATOR: Birdie at 16.
CHELLA CHOI: Yeah. I hit driver really good fairway, and second shot 130 yards, I hit 8-iron, and maybe six yards and I made birdie.
THE MODERATOR: And then the first hole, your tenth. What happened there?
CHELLA CHOI: Pretty long hole, No. 1. I hit driver and hit the 20 hybrid, but a little bit short. But I missed my chip-in, like a little bit past the hole. So yeah. I missed the par putt two yards.
THE MODERATOR: And then number six, the birdie.
CHELLA CHOI: Number six I hit a really good second shot right to the hole, like nine yards. So I had a three-putt.
THE MODERATOR: That's a bogey. Sorry. I had those mixed up.
CHELLA CHOI: That's okay.
THE MODERATOR: Sorry, Chella. Any questions for Chella today?
Q. Sounds like your chipping was a little off today. Was that -- you know, you mentioned chipping a couple of times. Did you struggle a little bit with that?
CHELLA CHOI: I had two times mistake, like on No. 1 I had a chipping 18 yards. Looked like uphill, but over past the hole, like just grass, but I tried uphill, so past the hole.
And No. 6, the same, like looks like uphill and over the hole, like play a little bit downhill, but I had a little bit hard my putting.
Q. Chella, on that No. 1 hole, how disappointing was it to know that your approach stopped short of the green? It looked like the mud stopped it short where on a good day you probably would have been on.
CHELLA CHOI: Looked like uphill and green is soft, so I try 50 percent carry and 50 percent run. But I hit it good, but too fast.
Q. Chella, on a course that's this difficult with rough this tough, how are you going to prepare for 36 holes tomorrow?
CHELLA CHOI: I think just focus on my driving, my driving accuracy, not distance. So try just focus on inside round.
Q. Will you do anything tonight differently than you would if it were an 18-hole round as opposed to 36?
THE MODERATOR: Will you change your routine tonight because there's 36 holes tomorrow.
CHELLA CHOI: Nothing. I try -- and I have a really good experience for a couple of years ago, a U.S. Open sectional qualifying. That is 36-hole round. So I have two, three times I play. So I can do it. Yeah.
THE MODERATOR: Do you have a message written on your hand to yourself?
CHELLA CHOI: Secret.
THE MODERATOR: It's a secret. Is it a reminder for you? Something to think about.
CHELLA CHOI: Yeah. Before tee shots, like, okay, I try just focus just one spot, like yeah.
THE MODERATOR: Okay. I can't understand the Korean writing.
CHELLA CHOI: Yeah. It's a secret.
THE MODERATOR: It's a secret. Okay.
Q. Given where you are at 4-under -- is it four? 4-under for the tournament, how confident are you that you're poised to contend for tomorrow going into tomorrow?
CHELLA CHOI: I think that course is really hard, fairways so small and greens are small. But I have a really good -- I played really good yesterday, so I have confidence better than last couple weeks. So I think just trust my swing and focus on my every before shot. So I think -- I think same looking today and yesterday, I think I can do it tomorrow.
THE MODERATOR: How did your dad do today as caddy?
CHELLA CHOI: Pretty good. He did really good today, but I missed some putts. So yeah, we can play good tomorrow hopefully.
Q. What do you think you're doing the best in your game, in all of your game, what do you think you're doing the best of all the strokes?
CHELLA CHOI: Driving accuracy, and I think my shot is really good now. Feeling is good and confidence is good. Yeah.
THE MODERATOR: All right. We'd like to welcome Jiyai Shin to the interview room here at the Wegmans LPGA Championship. Currently you're in a tie for fourth, shot one over par today. Before we get to your round just talk about being back in Rochester. You won here in 2009 at this golf course before it was a major championship. Just tell me about your feelings about being back here.
JIYAI SHIN: Actually I finished one over for today.
And well, I'm always happy to come back to here because this is my first U. S. win after I joined the LPGA. So it's why I have a great memory of this course.
Well, last year I didn't play because I had my hand operation, so it take a couple of months for recovery. So I missed this tournament. And I just watched on TV and stayed home. And so I feel so bad. But finally I'm really happy now and I'm really happy to be back here to play now.
THE MODERATOR: You've had a couple of really NICE finishes at the LPGA championship in the past, I think a tie for third and A third place, but haven't been able to win it. You've had a lot of success at the British Open. How nice would it be to come here and get a victory here this week?
JIYAI SHIN: Well, I have two titles British Open. Always surprised because, well, when I play at the links course it's pretty tough course to me, but I won two times. It makes me really surprised.
But I am more these greens and fairways are much softer than links course, but much easier to play, but rough is really thick and fairways really narrow, so it makes a lot of challenge. And well, I had a great finish couple times of the championship, but I'm really looking forward to this week. I feel really good now.
THE MODERATOR: Just talk about today's course conditions. Were they different, better, worse than yesterday?
JIYAI SHIN: Well, pretty same. The course is more interesting is bigger fairway. Green is much softer. It helps making a lot of birdies, but still tough to play.
THE MODERATOR: Can you tell us about your birdies and your bogeys today?
JIYAI SHIN: I did one birdie on No. 11. That was my first birdie and last birdie. (Laughs). I had a driver and 3-wood. Left like almost 110 yards to the hole and then I hit 9-iron which was five feet to the hole. Then I made a bogey on number 14, yeah, 14, I hit driver, and it was 190 yards to the flag. I hit 5-wood, just short of the green, and it almost like 15 yards to the hole, but I did a three-putt.
And another bogey on No. 6, hit a driver, made the fairway. But almost 205 yards to the hole. I hit a 3-wood and missed to the left. And I hit it like 20 yards to the hole, but it was way over to the green. And came back again from the back side and like five feet to the hole for bogey and made it.
Q. We've heard a lot this week about the rough. How penal is it and how much is it being wet affecting it?
JIYAI SHIN: Well, I missed a few fairways today. I did a really good recovery with my wedges.
You know, if it goes into the rough, hitting to the green is really tough. I tried to hit like my hybrid and 6-iron, but it couldn't come out. It was just out. So and you know, especially I think I worry about -- I don't want to get any injury from the rough, because if it's really tough and also it's really wet. So it makes it more sticky. So it makes it really, really hard.
Q. How do you prepare for 36 holes in one day of a major championship?
JIYAI SHIN: Well, I knew how to play the 36 holes, because I played last year at the British Open with very bad weather. So I know it's like couple shots behind the lead at the moment, but now I have 36 holes left. So morning time I checked my physical conditioning and all my skill and maybe I try to hit more aggressive in the afternoon.
THE MODERATOR: You won the Ricoh Women's British Open last August. Like you said, there was 36 holes on Sunday because of bad weather earlier: Will you think about that tomorrow, a great memory for you and also something you might be able to draw on as an experience?
JIYAI SHIN: Well, yeah. It was a great memory and also great experience for me because last year at the British Open I was nine shots lead, but I still kept focused to the end. So it was great tally by myself. And also this course is really tough. So never know where we make the bogeys. So very need the patience for this course. So I just try to keep focused and be patient tomorrow.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about your hand surgery? I'm sorry. I don't know the details of that.
JIYAI SHIN: Well, last year -- actually beginning of the last year I got my hand is getting pain. Yeah, just left hand, bottom, right here. I have a scar. Well, and I just checked a couple months later after Singapore I went to the hospital and they take x-ray and they say bone and broken. So I said, how can I do? They said -- doctor asked me, said, well, my suggestion is just take the surgery and then took out the bone. I said, no. All these big tournaments come up. I said, I don't want to take the rest. So I just keep playing with it, lots of pain on it.
Well, it wasn't working for me. It helped a little bit, but getting pain. So I just made the decision to take the operation, and it take two months recovery, and then I come back at the Evian Masters, play wasn't good but made the cut. That's good points for me. And then after months later I won at the Kingsmill and then British, too. So last year I learned a lot from how to care about my body, and also like I did a lot of immediate training, so it helped like finally I am learning from that.
THE MODERATOR: Where was the hospital?
JIYAI SHIN: Oh, in LA.
THE MODERATOR: What month?
JIYAI SHIN: May 24th.
THE MODERATOR: You've had a couple of health issues in your career. You had, I remember in Springfield one year, you had your appendix out.
JIYAI SHIN: Oh, yeah. It's already three years ago, right?
Yeah, at the Springfield, just before this tournament and then my stomach was really sick. And so I take a lot of medicines for the pain kill, but it doesn't work, so I went to the hospital in the middle of the night. Yeah, I went to the hospital at midnight and then they said, oh, you have to take your appendix. So I said, I have a tournament in a couple of days. Can I surgery after that? Doctor said, no, in ten hours you have to do that. So I don't have any choice, and I just take the surgery. And then back to Atlanta to my home and take a couple of weeks. And then I come back to here to play, because I don't want to miss this tournament, because I was the defending champion. And then also it come up to major tournament. So I really want to play. I don't know if two months was enough time to have recovery.
But I did a great finish that year. I finished third in it. Yeah. Third. So it was a good challenge.
Q. First off, congratulations. Great round today. Just take us through what was really working well out there for you.
SARAH JANE SMITH: Well, I sort of had a rough couple of weeks leading into it, so it hasn't been great.
But my coach came this week and we worked on just keeping my rhythm better. I get really quick, so I've just sort of got that under control the last couple of days and that's made all the difference, I think.
Q. Everybody's been talking about the tough conditions out there today. To be able to put together a round like you did, how impressed were you by being able to put together that type of day?
SARAH JANE SMITH: I've always liked this golf course, and obviously the rough is tough. But one of my best things is my driver, so that's sort of a good thing for me. I don't really mind it being rough, because I haven't been in it too much.
Q. So kind of preparing now, 36 holes tomorrow, up there near the top of the leaderboard at a major, how do you prep yourself for what's going to be kind of a crazy day?
SARAH JANE SMITH: I'm not sure. I haven't really been this high in a major. I've played decent here a couple of times, but never at this point. So yeah, I really -- I don't know. Just take it easy this afternoon, and I think we have to do laundry. And then get ready for tomorrow.
Q. When you guys have to play 36 holes, is it more mentally tough or physically draining when you have to kind of push yourself through that?
SARAH JANE SMITH: I think more mentally by the end of the day. I mean we all sort of work out and try and stay in shape. So I think it'll just be a matter of staying sharp at the end of the day.
Q. You really can't go into tomorrow and look as it as 36. You gotta think the first 18 and see where you are and then you'll deal with the second 18. Right?
SARAH JANE SMITH: Yeah. Absolutely. It's just one shot at a time. It sounds cliche, and it kind of is, but it's just the way you have to play.
Q. Talk about sleeping -- not that you're leading, but sleeping on a third round lead. Is this going to feel like sleeping on a third round lead even though you have two more rounds to play?
SARAH JANE SMITH: I guess, kind of because tomorrow will still have a Sunday feel in the beginning, even though it's the third round. So it still feels that way. But I mean I haven't done it before, so I don't know what to expect, but it'll be all right, I think.
Q. How big of a difference did one day make? Yesterday you probably didn't have a great feel for how the course was going to play. Today you kind of knew what the conditions were going to be like.
SARAH JANE SMITH: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean it makes a big difference. When we played the course and the greens staff had it in amazing conditions, so our practice rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday, although it had been raining wasn't as wet as it had been. So yesterday was nice to get a good feel for it and know that we weren't going to get a hell of a lot of run out there.
Q. Any highlights from your round that really stuck out in your mind today?
SARAH JANE SMITH: I felt like I hit my driver good again and gave myself opportunities to have sort of easier birdies, not work so hard. So that was nice.
Q. You said earlier in the interview that you've been struggling kind of off and on this season. When you started your round did you kind of feel it from the beginning that gees, I might have something special going here?
SARAH JANE SMITH: Yesterday I felt -- I was pretty nervous teeing off. I haven't been doing well. And the practice rounds are great. My coach is here, and we had really good preparation, but you're still always a little bit nervous to see how it's going to go. So once I got going, then I felt a bit more comfortable and then everything was a bit more relaxed.
Q. Everybody said, too, the key is just keep is in the fairway and give yourself chances.
SARAH JANE SMITH: Yeah. Absolutely. I've heard a lot of people talk about the rough and you just gotta not hit it in it, basically. It's easier said than done. But just stay away from it.
MICHELLE WIE: Didn't play as well today as I did yesterday and couple bounces here, couple bounces there, and missed putts a couple here and there it just adds up on this golf course.
I know I played well yesterday. I just kind of stayed patient and just did the same thing, not tried too hard today.
Q. You played really well last week and come in and play pretty well so far today. Are you starting to feel something? Do you feel as though the game is coming around?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, you know, like I said last week, I put in a lot of work over the off season, and it's been feeling that way for a very long time, and I'm just being patient and just waiting for my opportunity to come and just enjoying myself, and just working hard at every step.
Q. So does that become a bit of a validation maybe what today's round did to pick up where you left off last week?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, especially on this golf course. I've tried a lot of things off the tee on this golf course over the past couple of years, so shooting 68 today really gives me the confidence.
And you know, starting to understand this golf course a little bit more every year.
Q. Has your strategy changed in how you played it?
MICHELLE WIE: You know, I just try not to be greedy on this golf course. You know, I only hit driver twice today, and I hit a couple more drivers yesterday, which cost -- all my strokes really cost me for my drivers yesterday. And on this golf course, even if you have 5-iron, 6-iron in, you just have to be in the fairway.
Q. What kind of clubs are you hitting off tees then, 3-woods?
MICHELLE WIE: 3-woods, 2-hybrids, 4-hybrids.
Q. Michelle, it's a little early, but are you thinking about the Solheim Cup as you enter this sort of long stretch where we've got a lot of points on the line?
MICHELLE WIE: Oh, I've been thinking about the Solheim since the beginning of the season. You know, it's definitely one of the most important things for me to make the team, and every opportunity is the double points, so it means a lot more to me.
You know, I've been, working to get points all year and hopefully this week I can get some points this week.
Q. How often do you check the rankings?
MICHELLE WIE: You know, I've never checked it. I don't like checking things. I just know that if I don't play well, I'm not getting the points. If I play well, I'm getting points. So there's no need to check. I think I just need to play well.
Q. What is it like for you, because I know you've been a couple times, playing with someone who looks up to you so much, you've played with Lydia so much. What's that like?
MICHELLE WIE: You know, it's nice. She's such a nice girl, and today I was walking in front of her and she was talking to my caddy, and she was like, "yeah, I'm getting old." And I was like, "what?" (Laughs). I looked back at her.
But no, I've played with her a couple of times and she's so talented and she's a fun person to play with, so got lucky I got to play with her this week.
Q. How much did you have to adjust your game today given the conditions or how much maybe did you pick up yesterday going into today?
MICHELLE WIE: You know, like I said, I played well yesterday. You know, just, you know, if you're in the wrong position in the rough or you get a bad lie in the rough it's very easy to make bogey here. So just gotta be patient and just not be greedy.
Q. It seems like there's no give to this course.
MICHELLE WIE: No. You have to earn everything you get.
Q. Was there a highlight to today's round? What stood out?
MICHELLE WIE: Highlights, I mean any of the birdies really are highlights, you know. Just -- any birdie you can get on this golf course feels good.
Q. And about not hitting the driver very much, is that difficult for you? Do you like hitting your driver? Do you want to hit it? Do you have to tell yourself no?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, for sure. I love hitting my driver. I feel like -- you know, like I said, I've tried a lot of different things on this golf course over the past couple of years, and you know, on some conditions if you're feeling great and some holes it does work, but sometimes it will nip you in the butt if you get a little bit greedy here. So just gotta just step back and even if you have five -- I had a lot of 5-irons, 6-irons today.
Q. How do you prepare for 36 holes on Sunday at a major?
MICHELLE WIE: Go to bed really early, have a really big dinner, and yeah, not do too much. Get off your feet.
Q. Are you happy to be done at like 12:30?
MICHELLE WIE: I actually am. I actually am very grateful that I have the rest of the afternoon just to do nothing.
Q. And I asked Cristie about this. What did you think about -- she tweeted a picture of now I'm finally as big asthma shell, those big pictures of you on the side of those Hampton Jitney buses. Have you seen those?
MICHELLE WIE: I saw a couple of pictures. Yeah, they're pretty cool.