CN Canadian Women's Open Third-Round Notes and Interviews

CN Canadian Women’s Open
Royal Mayfair Golf Club
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Third-round Notes and Interviews
August 24, 2013

INBEE PARK, Rolex Rankings No. 1
SUZANN PETTERSEN, Rolex Rankings No. 3
CAROLINE HEDWALL, Rolex Rankings No. 29
BRITTANY LINCICOME, Rolex Rankings No. 37
LYDIA KO, Rolex Rankings No. 19
KARINE ICHER, Rolex Rankings No. 24

Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall kept her hot play going this week in Edmonton at the CN Canadian Women’s Open and heads into Sunday’s final round with a one-stroke lead over European Solheim Cup teammate Suzann Pettersen and defending champion and 16-year old amateur Lydia Ko. Just last week, Hedwall became the first player in Solheim Cup history to go 5-0 in competition and has showed no signs of slowing down.

The 24-year-old Swede shot a 6-under 64 on Saturday which tied the course record at Royal Mayfair Golf Club and pushed her three-day total to 10-under-par 200. It also marks the first time in her career that she has led or co-led after the third round. The former Oklahoma State star said she caught up on rest the first couple days in Canada and tried to take as much momentum from her impressive performance in Colorado into this week.

“I was a little tired on Monday, Tuesday and also Wednesday, but when the tournament starts I think last week just gave me a lot of energy and self‑confidence, so I can't feel anything.” said Hedwall.

Her playing partners, Pettersen (65) and Brittany Lincicome (66) had solid rounds of their own and were two of only five players to shoot 66 or better in the third round on Saturday.

“It was definitely inspiring playing with Suzann and Brittany today,” said Hedwall. “We hit it close and we made a lot of putts, so it was a lot of fun.”

The third-year LPGA Tour pro may have just gotten the boost she’s needed to break into the winner’s circle. She has eight professional wins worldwide on the Ladies European Tour and the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour but is still looking for her first LPGA Tour win.

“I'm just looking forward to tomorrow,” said Hedwall. “It will be exciting playing in the last group hopefully.  I won on the European Tour, now I'm just waiting for my first LPGA victory.  We'll see, hopefully it comes tomorrow.”

Hedwall will be paired with Pettersen and Ko for Sunday’s final round. Ko had five birdie and two bogeys in her round of 67 and feels comfortable in the position she put herself in for her title defense.

“I was three shots back from the leader yesterday, and I'm one shot back at the moment, so I'm getting much closer to the leader,” said Ko.  “I played pretty well out there.  I made five birdies and two bogeys.  I was overall really happy, and I was 8‑under coming into the final round last year, so one shot better, which leaves me in a good place.”

Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park held a share of the second-round lead but dropped down the leaderboard after a 4-over 74 on Saturday and currently sits six shots off the lead in a T15. She had one birdie, three bogeys and a double bogey on the par-3 11th hole. The South Korean will have her work cut out for her on Sunday to claim her seventh LPGA Tour victory in 2013.

“Just the overall day, everything seemed like it didn't go the right way,” said Park. “It wasn't that bad of drives, but it just ended up in the rough, and you really have no shot from the rough.  I was putting, and nothing really wanted to go in.  I burned a lot of edges.  Just one of those kind of days.  We still have tomorrow.”

No Solheim Slowdown here…There was plenty of talk about the fatigue that some players may be feeling after last week’s Solheim Cup. But there certainly hasn’t been any sign of that impacting their play this week at the CN Canadian Women’s Open.

A total of 13 players who took part in the Solheim Cup last week sit in the top-20 heading into Sunday’s final round.  That number includes seven players from the U.S. Team and six from Europe.

“I just feel like from a general standpoint usually coming off of Solheim where your mindset is such an aggressive mode that you usually feed off pretty well the following week because you kind of keep wanting to make putts,” said European Solheim Cup Team member Suzann Pettersen. “ You're kind of in that kind of frame of mind.  This is why we work at it, this is why we train.  I'm totally fine.  I'm not tired at all.”

Red hot draw: If the only scores that a person saw Saturday at the CN Canadian Women’s Open were from the grouping of Brittany Lincicome, Caroline Hedwall and Suzann Pettersen, then that person would likely believe that scoring conditions were easy at Royal Mayfair Golf Club.

At least it would appear that way with the three players combining to shoot 15-under-par in Saturday’s third round.

The trio moved their way up the leaderboard thanks to unbelievable scoring day for all of them. Hedwall led the group with her 6-under 64, which tied the course record. Pettersen followed with a 5-under 65 and Lincicome tallied a 4-under 66.

“I shot 66 today and got beat badly by these two,” Lincicome said with a laugh. “Even from the first hole, from the very start of the day we were draining birdies, and I kind of was making my own little inside jokes about our group.  We were 8‑under after 8, 9‑under after 9, and kind of playing match play with everyone else.”

Just how impressive was the play of the trio? Only two other players in the field on Saturday shot 66 or lower – Yani Tseng (66) and I.K. Kim (65).

So what was the key to the successful play of this particular group?

“I think we're all very comfortable with the pairing,” said Pettersen. “ Nice to play with aggressive players to kind of keep wanting it and kind of keep attacking the pins, like towards the end where you can get a bit tired and a bit worn out.  But I think we all played very good today, and it would be nice to come down the stretch battling Caroline and Lincicome tomorrow.”

Annika-esque? Caroline Hedwall became the first player in Solheim Cup history to go 5-0 and earn five points for a team in one playing of the event. It certainly was a prestigious accomplishment and one made even better by the fact that Hedwall earned the point that ensured that the Europeans would retain the Cup.

Hedwall said that her accomplishment is drawing big attention in her native Sweden, but for a reason that many might not immediately expect.

“I've heard back in Sweden it's been pretty big, since not even Annika could do that,” Hedwall said. “That's what we have to do; we have to beat Annika to get any attention in Sweden. I mean, it was a lot of fun, and I was just happy that I could win my five points.”

Back-to-back? Lydia Ko became the youngest winner in LPGA history at last year’s CN Canadian Women’s Open and now she could become the first player in nearly two years to successfully defend her title on the LPGA Tour.

Ko, 16, finds herself just one shot back of leader Caroline Hedwall heading into Sunday’s final round at Royal Mayfair Golf Club in Edmonton. It’s a pretty good performance for an amateur, who is facing the pressure of coming to the event as a defending champion.

“It feels really good,” Ko said of her performance this week. “I've been liking Canada so far.  You never know what's going to happen tomorrow, but up until now I'm pleased with where I am, just one shot back, and you never know what's going to happen.”

Ko delivered her third straight round under par on Saturday, shooting 67 to move into a tie for second at 9-under-par with Suzann Pettersen. Now she’ll head into

The last player on the LPGA Tour to capture victories in the same event in consecutive years was Yani Tseng, who won the RICOH Women’s British Open in 2010 and 2011.

Ace alert! Eun-Hee Ji carded the second hole-in-one this week with an ace on the par 3 4th hole. She holed out from 145 yards with a 7-iron. Cristel Boeljon had her own on the 16th hole in Thursday’s first round.

Tweet of the Day: “Well that was fun @cnwomensopen. I shot 66 today @suzannpettersen shot 65 and Caroline Hedwall shot 64. WOW. These girls are good @lpga.” -- @Brittany1golf

 

INBEE PARK, Rolex Rankings No. 1

INBEE PARK:  Just the overall day, everything seemed like it didn't go the right way.  It wasn't that bad of drives, but it just ended up in the rough, and you really have no shot from the rough.  I was putting, and nothing really wanted to go in.  I burned a lot of edges.  Just one of those kind of days.  We still have tomorrow.

Q.  All three of you seemed to struggle today, too, which I don't know if that's ‑‑
INBEE PARK:  I mean, I really didn't think about anybody else's play but myself.  It just wasn't the best day.

Q.  Surprising?  You're Inbee Park.
INBEE PARK:  It's not surprising.  Everybody has bad days.  Yeah, today was just one of those days, and a couple of bad bounces and a couple of bad drives and a couple of bad putts.

Q.  Talk about 11.
INBEE PARK:  11, I think my target was just a little bit too right, but I just really got a really bad bounce into the hazard.  Five more yards it could have been perfect.

Q.  Are you too far back now do you think?
INBEE PARK:  Well, six shots back is not impossible, but like the leader today, she shot like 6‑under.  It's definitely possible on this golf course, so I'll just go out tomorrow and just try hard.

 

SUZANN PETTERSEN, Rolex Rankings No. 3
CAROLINE HEDWALL, Rolex Rankings No. 29
BRITTANY LINCICOME, Rolex Rankings No. 37

THE MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, everyone.  We'd like to welcome in, I guess, one of our hottest pairings of the day.  Everybody seemed to play pretty well out there in this group.  We've got Brittany Lincicome to my immediate left at 8‑under par; next to her is Caroline Hedwall, our current leader at 10‑under par; and then Suzann Pettersen, who is at 9‑under par.  Congratulations, ladies.  A great day out there.  Take me through what's it like when you're playing in a group and everybody is that far under par.  Is it kind of one of those things where you're feeding off one another?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  Absolutely.  I shot 66 today and got beat badly by these two.  Even from the first hole, from the very start of the day we were draining birdies, and I kind of was making my own little inside jokes about our group.  We were 8‑under after 8, 9‑under after 9, and kind of playing match play with everyone else.
           
I had a great time.  I don't know about them, but it was just fun to kind of hang out and I think the chatter and the laughter out there kept it light out there, and we made a lot of birdies.
CAROLINE HEDWALL:  Yeah, it was definitely inspiring playing with Suzann and Brittany today.  We hit it close and we made a lot of putts, so it was a lot of fun.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  I don't know what to say.  I think we're all very comfortable with the pairing.  Nice to play with aggressive players to kind of keep wanting it and kind of keep attacking the pins, like towards the end where you can get a bit tired and a bit worn out.  But I think we all played very good today, and it would be nice to come down the stretch battling Caroline and Lincicome tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR:  All three of you took part in the Solheim Cup last week, which we all know is a long, exhausting week, but no one is really showing any signs of fatigue.  Is it actually helping you this week or how has that affected your play coming back into a stroke‑play event?
CAROLINE HEDWALL:  Well, I was a little tired on Monday, Tuesday and also Wednesday, but when the tournament starts I think last week just gave me a lot of energy and self‑confidence, so I can't feel anything.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  I just feel like from a general standpoint usually coming off of Solheim where your mindset is such an aggressive mode that you usually feed off pretty well the following week because you kind of keep wanting to make putts.  You're kind of in that kind of frame of mind.  This is why we work at it, this is why we train.  I'm totally fine.  I'm not tired at all.

THE MODERATOR:  Caroline, speaking of that, 5‑0 record last week at the Solheim Cup, first player ever to win five points in a Solheim.  What kind of reaction have you heard from other players as to what you were able to accomplish?
CAROLINE HEDWALL:  Well, I've heard back in Sweden it's been pretty big, since not even Annika could do that.  That's what we have to do; we have to beat Annika to get any attention in Sweden.
           
I mean, it was a lot of fun, and I was just happy that I could win my five points.

Q.  For the two members of the European team, can you give us an indication of how late the partying went on Sunday, when did you get here and when did you start to feel normal again?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  They're still partying.  What are you talking about?
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  I mean, usually when we lose we win the party, but this time when we won on American soil, I definitely think we won the party.
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  I heard some people went to bed at 4:00 a.m., but that's just me.

Q.  When did you guys arrive in Edmonton?
CAROLINE HEDWALL:  We were all on the same flight.  I think we arrived at like 2:00 p.m. on Monday.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  Monday was a wash.
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  Yeah.  I did nothing.

THE MODERATOR:  I saw a lot of Tweets about how much sleep everybody was getting the first couple nights.  What were kind of the most dramatic sleep periods that you had?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  That's nothing new for me.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  I don't know, combined partying and the lack of sleep and the kind of shape you're in on Monday, I think I checked into the hotel at 3:00, crashed at 3:10 and woke up at 10:00, flipped around and slept until 8:00 the next morning.  I think I knocked out pretty much the sleep that I needed right there.
CAROLINE HEDWALL:  I think I needed nine hours of sleep and I was back.  I'm young, though.
SUZANN PETTERSEN:  We're still young, though; at least I think I am.

Q.  Brittany, looks like you got your birdie game in gear today.  You only had six in the first two rounds and then six today.  What changed?
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  Putting for sure.  I mean, the last ‑‑ Thursday and Friday I did the same exact things I did today, I just could not make a putt, and today everything kind of seemed a lot easier.  Things were going in and rolling the way I wanted them to.  Hopefully that sticks around for tomorrow so I can keep up with these two again.

Q.  Caroline, you had seven birdies and just one blemish on the scorecard.  Talk about your round a little bit.
CAROLINE HEDWALL:  To be honest I don't really remember my round.  I have no idea where I make birdies.  I just remember making a bogey.  I hit it over the green and had a pretty good chip, I just didn't make the putt.

Q.  You were satisfied, obviously, with the round today?
CAROLINE HEDWALL:  Yeah, I mean, I think I gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities and I made quite a lot of them.  But you always think that you could have made a couple more.  But I'm really happy with my round.

Q.  Caroline, both Suzann and Brittany have won here before.  You're still looking for your first LPGA, but you've won on the ladies European Tour, so what's your mindset going into tomorrow knowing that these two have done this before?
CAROLINE HEDWALL:  Well, I'm just looking forward to tomorrow.  It will be exciting playing in the last group hopefully.  I won on the European Tour, now I'm just waiting for my first LPGA victory.  We'll see, hopefully it comes tomorrow.
BRITTANY LINCICOME:  It'll come.

LYDIA KO, Rolex Rankings No. 19

THE MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, everyone.  We'd like to welcome our defending champion, Lydia Ko, into the interview room.  Another solid day out there for you, 3‑under par, 9‑under overall for this tournament, and just one shot off the lead.  How are you feeling so far through the week and how was the round out there today?
LYDIA KO:  You know, I was three shots back from the leader yesterday, and I'm one shot back at the moment, so I'm getting much closer to the leader.  Yeah, you know, I played pretty well out there.  I made five birdies and two bogeys.  You know, I was overall really happy, and I was 8‑under coming into the final round last year, so one shot better, which leaves me in a good place.

THE MODERATOR:  I saw 4‑under par on the front nine and then hit a little bit of a hiccup on 12 and 13.  What happened on those two holes when you went back‑to‑back bogeys?
LYDIA KO:  You know, on 12 I hit it straight left, but I hit a shot ‑‑ well, my second shot was definitely playable, but I think I kind of pushed it out right.  I smashed my chip then, and then my putt kind of slightly lipped out.
           
It was a pretty bad hole, to be honest.
           
And then 13 I hit my drive in the bunker and then smashed my hybrid out of the bunker, and then I hit my chip short.  It wasn't the best two holes, but then I kind of backed it up with a birdie on the next hole, so that was helpful.

THE MODERATOR:  Mentally how big is the challenge sometimes when you go bogey‑bogey to be able to turn it around quickly on 14 and get that birdie.
LYDIA KO:  I saw the tee box was way up for today, 48 yards or something up, so I was like, this is definitely playable, and if you get it on the right area you can even go for it in two.  I was kind of caught up in the left rough, and then I chipped it out and then made a birdie.
           
I was quite ‑‑ I was a bit disappointed in myself for making two bogeys in a row after playing so well, but then the birdie kind of got me confident again.

Q.  Talk about the comfort level that you had playing with Charley for the third day in a row.  Looked like you guys were talking about a lot of things between shots there.
LYDIA KO:  Yeah, you know, on the first day we kind of got to know each other a little bit and then I guess we get to know each other a little bit better as the day goes on.  No, I was really happy to play with her again today because she's a really solid player and also a very nice person.  Yeah, I was extremely happy that I got paired with her.

THE MODERATOR:  I was going to ask you, I've talked to a lot of players about what it's like to come in as the defending champion and feeling a little bit of pressure.  How pleased are you with the fact that you've been able to play so well at the start of this week and you've put yourself contention to be able to defend, possibly defend your title?
LYDIA KO:  You know, it feels really good.  I've been liking Canada so far.  You never know what's going to happen tomorrow, but up until now I'm pleased with where I am, just one shot back, and you never know what's going to happen.

 

KARINE ICHER, Rolex Rankings No. 24

KARINE ICHER:  I missed some fairways, but I mean, on this kind of golf course you expect to miss some fairways.  I had good recovery, good wedging.  The greens were slower today, so it was very difficult to find a good speed, and with the slope on the greens, especially the slopes are difficult to read, and the ball never took off.
           
But even par, it's still a good score on this course.

Q.  How important was that to still kind of stick around and be within stroking distance?
KARINE ICHER:  Yeah, yeah, three shots behind, so everything is possible tomorrow, and we'll see.  Try to play my best golf, but I think everybody is in the same case, and it's really the kind of golf course you'll have to stay patient, and even if you miss a drive, put it in the rough, you lay up and then you can still make a par.  Just maybe be more focused on the first shot on every hole to put the ball in play, and then it's a little bit easier.

Q.  You didn't make up a whole bunch of ground but you didn't lose a whole bunch of ground.  Are you kind of happy with where you are right now?
KARINE ICHER:  Yeah, I was pleased, too, at one point of the course.  I made a birdie on 14 and 18, so I take what I can take and turn the page, and we'll see tomorrow.  You know, in golf it's never finished until the ball is in the hole on the 18th hole, so we'll see.

Q.  I know you're just focused on your game, but all three of you seemed to struggle a bit today.
KARINE ICHER:  Yeah, it's a hard course.  The fairways are really tricky.  The rough begins to grow.  I don't think they're going to cut it tonight, so the more you go in the week, the higher it is, so you have to make sure you're not missing any fairways.  And then always the same, make some putts.  Putts make all the difference.  You can be like 20 feet from the hole and make the birdie.  It doesn't matter if you were close or not.

Q.  Cristie at the end there kind of, she kind of took ‑‑
KARINE ICHER:  She had a triple on 17 and double on 18.  I think 18 was a consequence of 17.  She's still a good player.  She hit the ball really far, very straight.  I'm sure tomorrow she's going to have a better day.  But 17 was a difficult hole with the pin back left, and these greens were quicker than the other ones, so we all like were past the hole, and then you have downhill putts.

 

Topics: Notes and Interviews, Canadian Pacific Women's Open, Hedwall, Caroline, Pettersen, Suzann, Lincicome, Brittany, Ko, Lydia, Park, Inbee, Icher, Karine [+]

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