Manulife Financial LPGA Classic Final Notes and Interviews

Hee Young Park
Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

Hee Young Park of South Korea poses with the trophy after her win in a three hole playoff over Angela Stanford during the fourth round of the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic at the Grey Silo Golf Course in Waterloo, Canada.

Manulife Financial LPGA Classic
Grey Silo Golf Course
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Final-Round Notes and Interviews
July 14, 2013

Inbee Park
Catriona Matthew
Angela Stanford
Hee Young Park


South Korea’s Hee Young Park outlasted American Angela Stanford in a three-hole playoff to earn her second-career LPGA Tour victory at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic. It was Park’s first-career playoff appearance and birdied the third playoff hole to seal the win, her first since the 2011 CME Group Titleholders.

Park (64) and Stanford (65) both finished regulation at 26-under 258 which tied the lowest 72-hole raw score in LPGA Tour history. Karen Stupples posted a four-day total of 258 at the 2004 Welch’s/Fry’s Championship.

“I mean, still can't believe it,” said Park. “And then I have to go back to No. 18 tee again and my caddie and I worked hard and were never disappointed. Even missed the putt even during the round, and then tried to get simple. That’s what worked, and then that brought the good result.”

Park, who is in her sixth year on the LPGA Tour, started the day with a one-shot lead over Stanford and used a back-nine surge to force the playoff. Five of Park’s six birdies on Sunday came on the back nine with four of those coming on the final five holes. She birdied the 17th hole to tie Stanford at 25-under and the both players birdied the par 5 18th to finish at 26-under.

It was a three-player battle throughout the course of the final round. Park and Stanford exchanged birdies on the par 4 1st hole but Park cooled off on the front nine, opening the door for Catriona Matthew to make a run. The Scot birdied three consecutive holes on Nos. 5-6 to take a share of the lead with Stanford at 22-under before the final two groups made the turn.

After a nine-hole birdie drought, Park kept herself in the mix with her second birdie on the par 4 11th. She got within one shot of Stanford after back-to-back birdies on Nos. 14 and 15 and Matthew had an untimely error with her only bogey of the day on the 15th to drop two shots back.

“I just got a flyer out of the rough,” said Matthew. “That rough is kind of sticky, you know, and I've not been hitting it quite as far out of it and then that one was a bit of a flyer.”

Park moved herself into a share for the lead with Stanford at 25-under with a birdie on the 17th hole. They each picked up birdies on the final hole in regulation to finish at 26-under par.

“Yeah, it seems kind of tough to swallow right now, but you know like today, if somebody would have told me you're going to shoot 64 today and not win, I would have thought they were crazy,” said Stanford. “So for me to shoot 64-64 on the weekend, you know, it's good for me but it's not a W, so you play to win.”

Park and Stanford exchanged birdies on the first two playoff holes but Stanford found trouble on the third when she hit her approach into the fairway bunker. She hit her third shot to the back of the green setting up Park, who got on the green in two, for two putts from 30 feet for the win.

 

The 258 72-hole totals by Hee Young Park and Angela Stanford this week at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic tied the LPGA Tour low for four rounds. Park also tied the season-low round on the LPGA Tour with her 61 in the third round.

72 holes
In relation to par
-27, 261 (65-59-69-68) Annika Sorenstam, Moon Valley Country Club, Phoenix, Ariz., 2001 Standard Register PING, par 72
-26, 262 (63-67-64-68) Karrie Webb, Royal Pines Resort, Ashmore, Goldcoast, Queensland, Australia, 1999 Australian Ladies Masters, par 72
    -26, 258  (65-67-61-65) Hee Young Park, Grey Silo Golf Course, Waterloo, ON, 2013 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, par 71
    -26, 258 (63-67-64-64) Angela Stanford, Grey Silo Golf Course, Waterloo, ON, 2013 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, par 71

Raw score
258, -26 (65-67-61-65) Hee Young Park, Grey Silo Golf Course, Waterloo, ON, 2013 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, par 71
        258, -26 (63-67-64-64) Angela Stanford, Grey Silo Golf Course, Waterloo, ON, 2013 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, par 71
258, -22 (63-66-66-63) Karen Stupples, Dell Urich Golf Course, Tucson, Ariz., 2004 Welch’s/Fry’s Championship, par 70
259, -21 (65-62-67-65) Wendy Doolan, Dell Urich Golf Course, Tucson, Ariz., 2003 Welch’s/Fry’s Championship, par 70
261, -23 (71-61-63-66) Se Ri Pak, Highland Meadows Golf Club, Sylvania, Ohio, 1998 Jamie Farr Kroger Classic, par 71
261, -27 (65-59-69-68) Annika Sorenstam, Moon Valley Country Club, Phoenix, Ariz., 2001 Standard Register PING, par 72
262, -26 (63-67-64-68) Karrie Webb, Royal Pines Resort, Ashmore, Goldcoast, Queensland, Australia, 1999 Australian Ladies
Masters, par 72

 

Inbee Park fell short in her quest to win a fourth-consecutive LPGA tournament at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic. The Rolex No. 1 finished the week in a tie for 14th at 16-under-par 268, 10 shots off the pace of winner Hee Young Park.

“It was okay mentally, I putted really bad today,” said Park. “Only good holes were No. 10 and 18 where I had two eagles.  It was nice, it was very scorable golf course and I didn't feel I played that bad but just left a lot of putts out there, that's all.  Other players are holing a lot more obviously.  It's tough to keep up with them every day.  Hopefully next week my putting falls a little bit better than this week.”

Park heads to next week’s Marathon Classic with firm leads in the Rolex Player of the Year, LPGA Official Money List and Vare Trophy for low scoring average races. In 18 days, she will tee off at the RICOH Women’s British Open seeking to become the first golfer in history to win four professional major championships at the home of golf, the Old Course at St. Andrews.

See you at St. Andrews: The fifth qualifying spot for the RICOH Women’s British Open was filled today in the final round of the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic. Felicity Johnson shot 5-under 66 to beat out Kris Tamulis who posted a final-round 2-under 69. The five qualifiers and their scores below.

1. Ryann O’Toole           66-65      131
2. Nicole Hage              67-67      134
3. Momoko Ueda          67-68      136
4. Ji Young Oh              66-70-71 207
5. Felicity Johnson        71-65-66 274

U.S. Solheim Cup Team update: Six Americans in the top-15 on the U.S. Solhiem Cup Team points list earned valuable points this week at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic. Angela Stanford earned top American honors for the second-straight week after a T4 finish at the U.S. Women’s Open two weeks ago. Stanford earned 30 points with her runner-up finish and stays in fourth place on the points list with 381. Stacy Lewis continues to lead the American contingent with 834.5 points after earning 30 points with her tie for sixth finish this week

American Players in top-15 U.S. Solheim Cup points who earned points this week:
Player Name Finish  Points Earned Total Points Rank
Angela Stanford  2 30 381 4th
Stacy Lewis T6 24 834.5 1st
Gerina Piller   T6 24 174 T9
Jessica Korda T14  12 247.5  6th
Jennifer Johnson  T16 9 162.5 12th
Michelle Wie T16 160.5 13th

The top eight players will automatically qualify on points, spots nine and 10 on the 2013 U.S. Solheim Cup Team will be determined by the highest ranked players in the Rolex Rankings not otherwise qualified. Additionally, U.S. Team Captain Meg Mallon will have two picks to round out the squad.


Golden Ticket Winners:
Austin Ernst, Meena Lee and Hanna Kang punched their "Ticket to CME Group Titleholders" at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, each earning a spot in the season-ending CME Group Titleholders event, which will be held Nov. 21-24, 2012 in Naples, Fla. The third-annual CME Group Titleholders is a season finale with a field made up of three qualifiers from every LPGA Tour tournament.

 

Of Note…Haeji Kang and Na Yeon Choi shared low final-round honors after they both shot 9-under 62. They both finished at 18-under 266 and in a tie for sixth

 
INBEE PARK, Rolex Rankings No. 1

Q.  So really nice eagle at the last there, nice way to finish off a week where you were trying to win four in a row, you weren't quite able to get it done.  How was the week?
INBEE PARK:  It was okay mentally, I putted really bad today.  Only good holes were No. 10 and 18 where I had two eagles.  It was nice, it was very scorable golf course and I didn't feel I played that bad but just left a lot of putts out there, that's all.  Other players are holing a lot more obviously.  It's tough to keep up with them every day.  Hopefully next week my putting falls a little bit better than this week.

 

CATRIONA MATTHEW, Rolex Rankings No. 13

Q.  Not the result you wanted, but a great week nonetheless.
CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Yeah.

Q.  Just tell us about it.
CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Yeah, 23-under, played really well, really had it going there today.  Just missed that putt on 14 for birdie.  Was it 14, I think?  Then got a flyer on 15 and making bogey there with the way the scoring was, you can't afford to make any bogeys.  But overall pleased with how I played, but hopefully getting closer to that win.

Q.  What happened on 15?
CATRIONA MATTHEW:  I just got a flyer out of the rough.  That rough is kind of sticky, you know, and I've not been hitting it quite as far out of it and then that one was a bit of a flyer.

Q.  If someone had told you as the week began that you would be 23-under and not win, what would you have said?
CATRIONA MATTHEW:  I maybe would have thought they were a bit crazy.

Q.  How would you describe the entertainment value of this tournament?
CATRIONA MATTHEW:  I think it's great fun.  I think weeks where you can make tons of birdies is good fun.  Obviously the variety, having some tough courses and some where you make birdies is what makes it fun.

Q.  The fans showing a lot of appreciation out there for that, do you think?
CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Oh, definitely, I think the crowds can definitely get more into it cheering and things when you're making birdies rather than when you're grinding out for pars.

Q.  Last question, I need an Open winner from you.  Who are you picking?
CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Oh, for Muirfield.  For our's, it's going to be me.  Muirfield, it's a tough one.  Maybe go with Adam Scott again.

Q.  Any particular reason?
CATRIONA MATTHEW:  You know, I just think it's going to be a positional course, it's playing hard and fast without any rain at home, he's obviously playing well.  I think it's a tough one this year, I don't think there's any clear favorite. 

 

ANGELA STANFORD, Rolex Rankings No. 19

Q.  Just for explanation, hate to bring this up, what happened on that second shot?
ANGELA STANFORD:  Just like it was sitting down, it looked like it was in a hole and I kept asking my caddie, "Does that look like it's sitting in a hole?"  By far the worst lie I had all week in four days.  I was trying to get it up that right side and I didn't realize it was in the rough.  I thought I hit it good and then I walked off the tee and I didn't know it was in the rough until I got up there.

Q.  What were you hitting there?
ANGELA STANFORD:  It wasn't buried, it just looked like it was in a depression down in the rough, like I wasn't going to get the club on the bottom of the back of the ball.

Q.  So did you actually top it?
ANGELA STANFORD:  No, it wasn't topped, it was kind of a blade low out of there.

Q.  What did you hit?
ANGELA STANFORD:  It was a 4-hybrid.

Q.  Just talk about the week.  You shoot 26-under and you don't win.
ANGELA STANFORD:  Yeah, it seems kind of tough to swallow right now, but you know like today, if somebody would have told me you're going to shoot 64 today and not win, I would have thought they were crazy.  So for me to shoot 64-64 on the weekend, you know, it's good for me but it's not a W, so you play to win.

Q.  Was there anything today that you're thinking back on other than the final playoff hole thinking maybe I could have picked up one more shot somewhere?
ANGELA STANFORD:  No. 5, that par 5, I wish I would have made a better swing in the fairway.  But I feel like I played really good today, I hit all 18 greens.  I don't know if I missed -- I might have missed one or two fairways, maybe two, so I did everything I could, it just wasn't enough.

Q.  What about the support obviously from the crowds here rallying around both you and Hee Young and everyone here?
ANGELA STANFORD:  It's nice.  I've always said I love playing in Canada because the fans are great, they're just really good, solid golf fans.  They cheer for people, they know what a good golf shot looks like, so it's always fun playing in Canada.

Q.  Was there any particular reason you stood on the back of the cart going back to the playoff hole?
ANGELA STANFORD:  I don't like sitting in a skirt, like even in all the other rides I tried to get like in a seat behind the driver.  I just don't like sitting like that in a skirt.

Q.  Were you surprised that Park missed that putt on the first extra hole?  Did you think it might have been over at that point?
ANGELA STANFORD:  Yeah, I thought for sure she was going to make that one.

Q.  How long would you say that putt was?
ANGELA STANFORD:  The one she missed?

Q.  The one she missed, yeah.
ANGELA STANFORD:  12, 14 feet.

Q.  What about having some of your compatriots out watching you, they were very, very into your play off efforts.
ANGELA STANFORD:  It's nice to have friends out here.  It's hard going week to week and you're always kind of away from home.  It's just nice to have, in such a competitive world, it's nice to have people that root for you when it's all over, and they're some of the best friends I have in my life and it's just nice to have them here.

Q.  How long would you say that putt on the first extra hole that you had for eagle that missed was?
ANGELA STANFORD:  I don't know, 25, 30 feet?

Q.  I would have said 25. 
ANGELA STANFORD:  But it was like a severe double breaker.  I didn't play it enough left to right and it went more past the hole right to left than I thought.

 

HEE YOUNG PARK, Rolex Rankings No. 37

GREENSIDE QUOTES
Q.  Why don't you tell us how it feels to win?
HEE YOUNG PARK:  I mean, still can't believe, and then I have to go back to No. 18 tee again and my caddie and I worked hard and then never disappointed, even missed the putt even during the round, and then tried to get simple, that was worked, and then that brought the good result.

Q.  Why don't you tell us how were the crowds here and the fans?
HEE YOUNG PARK:  I made some unbelievable -- like a lot of people, just, you know, tried to come over even when the playoff's pretty long, but they just stayed and then before us, and then that was lot motivated to me and lot part for me.

PRESS CONFERENCE

MODERATOR:  We would like to welcome the 2013 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic tournament winner, Hee Young Park.  Hee Young, thank you so much for coming in, congratulations.
HEE YOUNG PARK:  Thank you very much.

MODERATOR:  It was a great week for you.  You shot 26 under par, your round score was 258, which ties the lowest 72 hole total in LPGA history.  How does that feel?
HEE YOUNG PARK:  I mean, still I shoot 10-under third round, still cannot believe.  And this week I made a lot of putts, some putts like lucky, some putts just pretty solid, but I keep trying to same routine all the time and, you know, not think about any score number, just when I left all my shots, just try to focus (indiscernible) that's it.

MODERATOR:  Sometimes people say the second win is harder than the first win.  I know you won a lot on the KLPGA as well, but was it hard to get that second LPGA win?
HEE YOUNG PARK:  I mean, you know, like LPGA players like Inbee Park and, you know, lot of girls really play well.  Angela, still Angela played really good.  It's been play really well, and then that stays more pressure and people question about, oh, when's the next second win you going to get it.  I want to really soon, but I don't know, that is a (indiscernible) you know.  This week if I do even think about oh, let's go get them, take the win, just play all my best, and make some birdies, that's it, yeah.

MODERATOR:  Before we take questions, a few people you want to say thank you to.
HEE YOUNG PARK:  Yeah, I want to say my parents family live in Korea still and they couldn't come out.  They missing first one and second one too, obviously, but thank my family.  Thanks for, you know, parents supporting a lot, and thanks for the -- you know, like keep it simple swing coach, Sean Hogan, and my club fitters, always thinking about my clubs, thank you for checking for my club, Fred Myers, and my mental coach, like Bob, Dr. Bob.

MODERATOR:  What's his last name, Dr. Bob?
HEE YOUNG PARK:  Uh-uh.

MODERATOR:  You don't know?
HEE YOUNG PARK:  Winters.

MODERATOR:  Thank you, Kylie.
HEE YOUNG PARK:  And then after first swing I was a little bit struggle like up and down, up and down a lot, with my Hana Bank sponsor supported me a lot and then root for always, you know, like, Hee Young, it's okay, you can do it, it don't matter, just keep it going.  Thanks for waiting a lot. 

And, you know, I always on the course pretty bright because my clothing, my clothing company tried to always, you know, more make fancy and say, Hee Young, when you wear blue and yellow, it's going to be good, whatever, and everyone likes it and thinks it makes pretty (indiscernible,) yep.  

Q.  Hee Young, you mentioned your putting and how well you putted all week.  I was just wondering on that first playoff hole, you missed on I believe it was --
HEE YOUNG PARK:  Eagle putt?

Q.  Yeah, the eagle putt.  Were you afraid it'd come back to haunt you after all the good putting that you did?
HEE YOUNG PARK:  Before started playoff, I hit a lot of like little pressure putt, which was like 10-footer, 15-footer, but I made it a lot.  But when I made it keep it going that pressure through several putt, then, oh, okay, I have to do exactly same feel like 10 minutes ago or 20 minutes ago, you know.  And then that putt, I knew it when I made it and then finish, right?  So sort of too much nervous and then, you know, like a little bit of shaking hands like miss the putt but it's okay.

Q.  What was your reaction?  Were you surprised when Angela put it in the rough off the tee on the third playoff hole and then obviously she had some trouble getting out of it, she said it was down into a hole.  Obviously it got up and didn't go very far.  Were you surprised at what happened there?  Was that kind of the break that you needed to win?
HEE YOUNG PARK:  You know, golf, nobody don't know before finish putting the hole.  She might made it long birdie putt or, you know, I tried to not think about her, playing more my shot.  So it doesn't matter if she (indiscernible) or not, I tried to do all my best. 

Q.  Congratulations.  Many insiders of the game say that golf is a game of highs and lows.  Today's obviously a high for you, right?  Just wondering what are your thoughts on how to best manage the lows to have the success that you had today?
HEE YOUNG PARK:  You know, I played final last group today and then that was not really often on LPGA Tour.  But my caddie and I, my tee time was pretty late, 1:30, so my caddie and I tried to do same thing, same routine even before at the golf course, like eat breakfast something local restaurant there and a little bit of watch the (indiscernible) and so try to do very relaxed before I play.  And then when we started final round, I just keep remind this is just another round, it doesn't matter final round or a first round, keep it simple and just think about always my target, that was all my think.

Q.  There's a lot of young Canadians in the field this week.  What would be your advice for the young players looking to overcome the challenges and maybe look to have the same success that you had today?
MODERATOR:  What's your advice to young players, especially young Canadians, who are trying to win on the LPGA?

HEE YOUNG PARK:  I mean, I think it doesn't matter big tournament or small tournaments, no matter what, they need experience about the tournament.  I'm not sure Canada has a lot of junior tournaments or not.  When I was young, I just tried to play, just play tournament anywhere, even, you know, somewhere like China, it doesn't matter.  I tried to do a lot of play tournament, that was going to help.  So they need a lot of experience about tournament.

MODERATOR:  You told me when you were walking in that you had a good luck charm here, one of your very best friends traveled here, but more importantly, one of your friends has traveled each time you've had a Top 10 this year.  Tell us about that.
HEE YOUNG PARK:  Yeah, this year I traveling just by myself, so pretty alone, but I have a lot of friends like on the Tour but still not family.  But we have golfer friends, I have four or five friends, you know, I stayed in Canada here and then first, this year first event it was Kraft Nabisco Classic.  My best friend came out and then I got first Top 10, like 7th.  So oh, I might hire my friend.  And then after then one of my best friends live in New York, she came down to (indiscernible) and then she followed me four rounds and then I almost won, finished 3rd.  Oh, you too, I have to lot of make money.  This week my one of the best friends, I have five Korean best friends, so she lives in Toronto and she's working but she even, you know, like work and follow me all the time this week and then I won.  So I have to hire three managers all the time and then, yeah, it was good story for me.

MODERATOR:  What's the next tournament that one of your friends is going to come to?
HEE YOUNG PARK:  Evian's too expensive.  Maybe CME Titleholders.

MODERATOR:  We'll know who to pick for CME then.
HEE YOUNG PARK:  I don't know, I might bring all three of us.

Q.  You told us yesterday you never, never look at scoreboards.  Today I believe you were 3 behind Angela after 13 holes.  Did you know you were 3 behind?  Then you had four birdies in your last five holes.  Did you change the way you played?
HEE YOUNG PARK:  Still (inaudible) at scoreboard today and I'm (indiscernible) no matter what because Angela was two strokes lower than me, so I tried to -- I have to anyway, have to better than Angela, then I have to think about it when we were in playoff, whatever.  Then like last final holes I kind of really good feeling about my swing, so keep it simple, and then birdie putts and then I made it, a lot of birdies and then make the playoff.

Q.  Was there one hole, your birdie on No. 17 was a very difficult hole.  That must have been a big win for you?
HEE YOUNG PARK:  Yeah, but first round, second round I made a birdie that hole, so I pretty good kind of memory about that No. 17.  So I just visualized it, okay, I can make birdie any time this No. 17, the par 3.  So just kind of the same feeling and hit it.  It was pretty easy last birdie like five-footer and made it.

Q.  What's your thoughts on the tournament itself, the Canada golf fans and the way you were treated here?  How do you feel about the fans and the way they treated you this week?
HEE YOUNG PARK:  I mean, this week lot of Korean people came out and root for me, but I was surprised even without Asian people, like Canadian people all come out and oh, you know, you guys, young girls, you guys can do it and then they root for a lot, even outside golf course.  When I finished tournament or practice round like same golf wear and come out at dinner, they just give free, every time is your free food.  Wow, really?  You guys have to make money, don't do that.  We were like 145 players playing this week, you know, and they say no, no, no, we love to watch golf and you guys have to eat more, you know, so they helped me a lot, that's why I can finish like how many holes today, 23 holes.

MODERATOR:  21.
HEE YOUNG PARK:  21 holes finished.

MODERATOR:  When you won the CME Titleholders you were about to buy a house.  Now you won your second event.  What are you going to buy?
HEE YOUNG PARK:  I knew it, my caddie going to buy Harley, she always watched online with the Harley bike, so I have to think of any special like gift for me, yeah.

MODERATOR:  She wants you to buy a Harley?
HEE YOUNG PARK:  I don't know, I have to think a lot.  I might buy a puppy dog.  She not -- I mean, I really want to.  My caddie Kylie live in house, I live in condo.  It kind of difficult to take a puppy out in house, possible, right?  So I always say, Kylie, can I get a puppy dog?  No.  How about after win?  Think about it later.  So now I win, so maybe it's possible.

MODERATOR:  Anything for Hee Young?
Q.  Congratulations.  I just wanted to ask you, you had the media laughing yesterday and today in here.  Are you the funniest person on the LPGA right now?
HEE YOUNG PARK:  I don't think so.

MODERATOR:  You're close.
HEE YOUNG PARK:  Yeah, if I speak more real English, then maybe No. 1, but that's why I keep trying to do study English.  Yeah, I mean, I like to be enjoying myself and then if around the people happy from me, then happy.

Q.  Just one more.  You talked about your socks yesterday, you were wearing a pretty flashy pair, but you went with something that's pretty conservative today.  Tell us about that.
HEE YOUNG PARK:  You know, I was want to wear socks today but if I wear socks today and play well, then I have to wear long socks takes forever in my life.  So I don't want to do that because if I, you know, with all socks play bad.  Oh, you should wear long coconut whatever dot socks no matter what, like hundred degree, don't matter, so that's why I didn't wear them today.

Topics: Notes and Interviews, Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, Park, Hee Young

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