Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola Second Round Notes and Interviews

Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola
Columbia Edgewater Country Club
Portland, Oregon
Second-Round Notes and Interviews
August 30, 2013


Pornanong Phatlum -14, Rolex Rankings No. 56
Suzann Pettersen -13, Rolex Rankings No. 3
Sandra Gal -12, Rolex Rankings No. 55
Caroline Masson -11, Rolex Rankings No. 51
Cristie Kerr -10, Rolex Rankings No. 13
Lizette Salas -10, Rolex Rankings No. 18


First-round leader Pornanong Phatlum was beaming with confidence after firing a second-round 6-under 66 to maintain her lead at the Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola.
The Thailand native carded a bogey-free second round to move to 14-under for the tournament and leads 11-time LPGA Tour winner Suzann Pettersen by one stroke. Phatlum’s two-day total broke the previous 36-hole tournament record at Columbia Edgewater, which was held by two-time Safeway Classic champion Annika Sorenstam.

Pettersen shot the low round of the week so far on Friday, a 9-under 63, which also marks her lowest round of the 2013 season. The Norwegian moved from tied for 20th to solo second. Germany’s Sandra Gal (66-66) sits two shots off the lead in solo third at 12-under while compatriot and LPGA Tour rookie Caroline Masson (69-64) moved into fourth place after an 8-under 64.

Phatlum’s 14-under-par marks the lowest Safeway Classic two-day total at Columbia Edgewater Country Club and also holds the 36-hole lead for the first time in her five-year LPGA Tour career. The putter has been on fire for the 23-year old and she currently leads the field with a 1.33 putting average.

“I played this good before, but this is the first tournament that I felt really good and really confident, so I've played really good, better than I have done before,” said Phatlum. “I'm more confident and everything is better than I have before.”

Phatlum won the unofficial HSBC Brasil Cup in 2012 and has three top-10 finishes in 2013 including a season-best T2 at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic. But she’s no stranger to the winner’s circle on other tours. Phatlum has seven professional victories on the Ladies Asian Golf Tour and Ladies European Tour and said an LPGA win would be huge step in her career.

“I really do want it, just at least one tournament,” said Phatlum. “I just want to win it. I'm going to have a lot more confidence. I'm going to feel a lot better about my game. I can play easier golf, just going smooth, not to have a lot of pressure on myself, just to keep it going.”

Suzann Pettersen said she fed off of playing partner and Solheim Cup teammate Beatriz Recari’s fast start on Friday and picked up five birdies in her first nine holes. Pettersen also credited her flatstick for her solid performance and was tied for fourth in the field with a 1.44 putting average.

“It was a great round on the greens,” said Pettersen. “I kind of fed off Beatriz's start. She had five pretty quick birdies. It was kind of nice to get everyone going early. Compared to yesterday I decided when I made the turn to just kind of keep giving myself looks, keep giving myself chances, and every time I pretty much made every good look that I had. One of my better putting performances here.”

Pettersen won the Safeway Classic in 2011 when the event was held at Pumpkin Ridge and sat nine shots off the second-round leader Na Yeon Choi after 36 holes of play. When asked if she’d rather be positioned toward the top of the leaderboard or come off the radar, the 11-time winner has no preference as long as she finishes at the top.

“I really don't care as long as you get the job done,” said Pettersen. “You play so many tournaments over the year where you kind of face all different kinds of situations, positions. You're really just trying to play your best. This is a great start for me. 13 under par after two days, I'll take that any week.”


Icing on the cake:
Entering this week’s event, Germany’s Caroline Masson trailed Moriya Jutanugarn by 31 points in the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year race and with a 19th place finish or better in Portland, she’ll pass Jutanugarn in the standings for the top spot. Jutanugarn missed the cut after rounds of 73-71.

But Masson said she hasn’t been following the points race all too closely and said any extra accolades this year would just be icing on the cake for the rookie campaign.

“I've been happy with my season so far,” said Masson. “I kind of did everything I wanted to. I played Solheim and I kept my card. I'm going to play the Asian events and I'm going to be in CME. There's no pressure for me really. I can only surprise, I guess, and that's my goal for the next two days is to keep doing what I'm doing right now, just have fun.”

Masson said she didn’t have any specific goals at the beginning of the season to earn a win in her first year on the LPGA Tour. But after winning her first professional victory last season on the Ladies European Tour at the South African Ladies Open, she said being in contention this year has been much easier.

“Obviously you always want to win, but I was not trying to get too caught up with it, just play solid golf and see,” said Masson. “If you're in contention going into the weekend you might think about it. I've been in that situation, which is good. I learned how to win, how to be in contention on the LET.

“I think I handle it much better now than I did maybe two, three years ago,” said Masson. “I'm just looking forward to it. It's a great position to be in, and I like the golf course, and my swing feels good. I just want to keep it going and not think about it too much, but it's definitely a goal.”

If she were to pull off a win this week in Portland, she’ll become the third Rolex First-Time Winner this season joining Ilhee Lee (Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic) and Jennifer Johnson (Mobile Bay LPGA Classic).


Déjà vu…
Suzann Pettersen, Anna Nordqvist, and Beatriz Recari were paired together during the opening two rounds of the Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola and as they walked inside the ropes, it looked like a scene straight out of the recent Solheim Cup.

“Yesterday we were just trying to keep up with the group in front of us, so it kind of took a while before everyone kind of loosened up,” said Pettersen. “Obviously it's very nice, good friends of yours, you want them to play very well, as well, and I think it just gives you a little bit of an easy atmosphere out there, as well.”

All three players played an integral role in Europe’s historic victory over the U.S., with Pettersen and Recari teaming-up during Friday and Saturday morning’s foursome matches. The duo emerged victorious in Friday morning’s match against Brittany Lang and Angela Stanford but were defeated 2&1 in Saturday morning’s head-to-head battle with Lang and Michelle Wie.

For Pettersen, who is known on Tour for her fierce competiveness, the pairing was in the forefront of her mind since discovering Recari’s similar never give-up demeanor during the LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf.

“From early on this season I was kind of trying to look at potential partners for the Solheim, and after seeing her play in Hawaii, getting to know her game, I said she is definitely a player I would love to be paired with,” said Pettersen. “She has a very tough mentality. She's a grinder. She'll never quit on you.”

Pettersen and Recari not only teamed-up to help Europe defeat the U.S., the pair have also formed a tightknit friendship from their frequent pairings. Recari is sponsored by the Language Training Center (LTC) and has learned to speak four languages including Pettersen’s native tongue, Norwegian.

During Pettersen’s 9-under second-round on Saturday, the duo frequently spoke in Norwegian allowing the Oslo, Norway native a comfort level as she finds herself in the hunt for her 12th career LPGA Tour victory.

“It's kind of nice,” said Pettersen. “She just told me that every time I play with her, I play so well. I don't really keep track of it. But I definitely played good today.”


An artistic talent…
Sandra Gal might be talented on the golf course as she already has one LPGA Tour victory under her belt, but there is a lot more to the German standout than meets the eye.

Growing-up, Gal wasn’t interested in playing golf but instead, played the violin and practiced ballet. While Gal has traded in her ballet slippers for golf spikes, she is still reaping the benefits gained from learning ballet for so many years.

“I think it's really helped me growing up because you get a really good feel for your body and how you move in space, and great for balance, too,” said Gal. “Yeah, it's just like another sport growing up.”

Along with dancing, Gal also finds enjoyment in singing and painting. While Gal makes her living competing on the LPGA Tour, she still finds reprieve with occasionally painting throughout her travels on Tour.

“Well, it's very different,” said Gal of golf and art. “Obviously golf is a sport, and art is just something I did as a hobby growing up. I knew pretty much I'm not going to make my money with it, but there's many things I like doing.”


Encouraging words…
During Lizette Salas’ two-year career on the LPGA Tour, she has relied heavily on advice received from her mentor and Hall of Famer, Nancy Lopez. Along with Lopez, Salas had the opportunity to compete alongside her lifelong idols on the 2013 U.S. Solheim Cup Team.

While the result of the tournament wasn’t the outcome the United States was hoping for, Salas was able to walk away with a few new lifelong friends.

“It was amazing, just playing with these gals that I've watched on TV for a while, and to finally be a member of the team was an awesome experience,” said Salas. “My partners were awesome. The entire week was awesome. The outcome wasn't what we wanted, but I made some lifelong friends.”

Competing in her first Solheim Cup, Salas had a special someone in the stands cheering on the red, white, and blue. Lopez was in the grandstands which lined the first tee box each day leading fans in United States chants and singing the Star Spangled Banner.

“Geez, it is great to have her in the stands cheering us on, cheering me on,” said Salas. “She came up to me during the 45 minute delay, and you could see just the emotion in her eyes and how supportive she is of Team USA. It was just awesome. She's always texting me, calling me, so I know she's watching.”

During the delay on Sunday, Lopez put on her captain’s hat as she captained the 2005 U.S. squad, and delivered an inspiring message to the 2013 U.S. Team.

“She said to just give it your all and just no regrets and to just show them what we're made of and that's what I did.”


Old stomping grounds…
Cristie Kerr returns to her old stomping grounds of Columbia Edgewater this week for the first-time since her victory at the 2008 Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola. While Kerr has joked she is defending champion of the event, it looks as if she has picked-up right where she left off as she stands at 10-under-par for the tournament.

“Yeah, I kind of said I'm kind of defending but not really,” said Kerr. “It's one of my favorite courses obviously. I love it. You can tell by the way I'm playing. But yeah, it's great. It's old, classic style golf, nothing tricky, just straight in front of you. You've got to make the putts, and it's a great course, great place.”

This year, Kerr has posted one win at the Kingsmill LPGA Championship and nine additional top-20 finishes. While she was sidelined for a month with an elbow injury forcing her to miss the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic and Marathon Classic Presented by Owens Corning & O-I, she is returning back to her old form after a tie for 20th last week.

“I would say it's been pretty good,” said Kerr of her 2013 season. “I've kind of dealt with some injuries as of late with my elbow and tendonitis, and this is my let's see, this is only my fourth event from taking a month off, so I feel like I'm starting to get my stride again.”


Cheers to the Weekend:
A total of 85 players made the cut which fell at 2-under-par 142. It marks the lowest cut in relation to par 72 of the 2013 season.


Tweet of the Day:
“It's with mixed emotions that I'm now choosing to step away from the @lpga . Thanks for all your kindness over the years.” -@SophieGustasfon Five-time LPGA Tour winner Sophie Gustafson announcing her LPGA retirement after a 15-year career on Tour.

Of Note…Defending champion Mika Miyazato just made the cut on Friday after posting rounds of 71-71 and heads into the weekend in a tie for 66th at 2-under-par…Rolex Rankings No. 24 Amy Yang withdrew during the second round on Friday


Suzann Pettersen, Rolex Rankings No. 3

Q. Lowest round of the year so far.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yeah, that might actually be, yeah. Today was a very it was a great round on the greens. I kind of fed off Beatriz's start. She had five pretty quick birdies. It was kind of nice to get everyone going early. Compared to yesterday I decided when I made the turn to just kind of keep giving myself looks, keep giving myself chances, and every time I pretty much made every good look that I had. One of my better putting performances here.

Q. I know coming off the 18th green you and Beatriz were speaking in Norwegian a little bit. How nice is that?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: It's kind of nice. She just told me that every time I play with her, I play so well. I don't really keep track of it. But I definitely played good today.

Q. You had kind of a Solheim Cup group out there. Did you all talk about it at all?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yesterday we were just trying to keep up with the group in front of us, so it kind of took a while before everyone kind of loosened up. Obviously it's very nice, good friends of yours, you want them to play very well, as well, and I think it just gives you a little bit of an easy atmosphere out there, as well.

Q. Did the course play any different today than yesterday, or was it about the same?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: It's very receptive. The greens are so soft, it feels like you're throwing darts in there. And obviously the greens are just a little bit more pure in the morning. In the afternoon when they're this soft, they just get a lot of footprints and a little bit more bouncier. But overall very playable this morning.

Q. Does it look like it's going to be like this the entire weekend, where it's going to take some ridiculous number to win this thing?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yeah, I think so. I think it's going to be a birdie fest.

Q. Have you played with Pornanong before?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I probably have, yeah. She's been on Tour for a couple years, two, three years, and she's a great player from Thailand, one of many great talented talents they have from there. It's no surprise to me to see her there. She's at 14?

Q. Yeah. When you won at Pumpkin Ridge you were like nine shots off the lead or something. Do you like front running or being in the lead?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I really don't care as long as you get the job done. You play so many tournaments over the year where you kind of face all different kinds of situations, positions. You're really just trying to play your best. This is a great start for me. 13 under par after two days, I'll take that any week. I think, like I said, if the weather stays like this, it's going to be quite a softish course and very receptive.

Q. You've had a pretty good run of I guess three weeks of tournaments. How are you feeling?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I've been feeling good. I'm glad it's only two more days. As long as you've got the adrenaline, it's not a problem to keep going. I think next week once I have a week off well, not quite a week off, but once I don't have a tournament, I think the air might go out probably quite quick the first couple days. But this is why we train. This is why we kind of keep up with the fitness, to get through weeks and stretches like this.

Q. You and Beatriz were paired together in Solheim, right?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yep.

Q. What was that experience like? I know you're a fierce competitor.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: From early on this season I was kind of trying to look at potential partners for the Solheim, and after seeing her play in Hawaii, getting to know her game, I said, she is definitely a player I would love to be paired with. She has a very tough mentality. She's a grinder. She'll never quit on you. And that just showed today. She didn't have the best start yesterday and kind of bounced back, and today she was 6 under or 7 under. She's definitely there for the future to come.

Q. Any particular hole today get you going at all that you can remember?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: No, but I thought 18 was a good birdie for me out of the bunker, fairway bunker. That's always nice to finish with a birdie on the last.


Lizette Salas, Rolex Rankings No. 18

Q. What was working out there?
LIZETTE SALAS: You know, just trying to keep it simple, just keep fairways and greens and just giving myself opportunities for birdie. I'm stroking it well and hitting my lines, just some of these greens are tricky, and being in the morning it can be a little deceiving, but I'm just trying to stay patient. I'm kind of I rested last week, so I'm pumped and eager to come out again. I felt great at Solheim, so I'm just kind of going off that momentum. Even though I missed a couple birdie opportunities, still, 4 today is a good round.

Q. You were a rookie this year on the Solheim Cup team. What was that experience like?
LIZETTE SALAS: It was amazing, just playing with these gals that I've watched on TV for a while, and to finally be a member of the team was an awesome experience. My partners were awesome. The entire week was awesome. The outcome wasn't what we wanted, but I made some lifelong friends.

Q. Speaking of role models, how cool is it to look up in the stands and see Nancy Lopez?
LIZETTE SALAS: Geez, it is great to have her in the stands cheering us on, cheering me on. She came up to me during the 45 minute delay, and you could see just the emotion in her eyes and how supportive she is of Team USA. It was just awesome. She's always texting me, calling me, so I know she's watching.

Q. What all did she tell you on that delay, anything?
LIZETTE SALAS: She said to just give it your all and just no regrets and to just show them what we're made of, and that's what I did.


Cristie Kerr, Rolex Rankings No. 13

Q. Another solid round. What worked for you out there?
CRISTIE KERR: I actually hit it awful. I mean, I know you're not expecting somebody that's 10 under to say that, but I didn't hit it very well. Scary to think how low I can go with the way I'm putting and holding it together if I actually hit it well the next two days, so I'm going to go and beat some balls on the range and find it.

Q. That has to be pretty promising to hit the ball bad and still come out
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, I managed an eagle today, which was three perfect shots. There were moments of greatness. But just want to make it a little less stressful on myself, a little more easy, a little more fairways and greens like Lizette had going. Even I could have shot lower, too. That's the crazy thing about golf. I missed an eight , nine footer on 7 and an eight , nine footer on 8, too, so I could have shot 6 under hitting it awful, so that's pretty good.

Q. I was talking to Golf Channel yesterday and they said the first words out of your mouth when you found out we were coming back is, "okay, I'm defending champion." How nice is it to be back here?
CRISTIE KERR: Yeah, I kind of said I'm kind of defending but not really. It's one of my favorite courses obviously. I love it. You can tell by the way I'm playing. But yeah, it's great. It's old, classic style golf, nothing tricky, just straight in front of you. You've got to make the putts, and it's a great course, great place.

Q. How would you sum up your year so far?
CRISTIE KERR: I would say it's been pretty good. I've kind of dealt with some injuries as of late with my elbow and tendonitis, and this is my let's see, this is only my fourth event from taking a month off, so I feel like I'm starting to get my stride again.


CAROLINE MASSON, Rolex Rankings No. 51

Q. Well, obviously the putting had to be very good.
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, I putted well. I hit a few like really close, but you still have to make those putts within six feet maybe, so I made them all. Then I guess I putted one from the fringe. It was really solid. I had some shots that were not perfect, but I managed to make my pars, and it was just a really good day today.

Q. I know you talked about Solheim rejuvenating you and getting off to a slow start this year. Do you feel like you're getting into your form and where you wanted to be from the beginning?
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, I feel like I can just put it together a little better. Like ball striking is good, putting is really good the last few weeks. I think it just took me a while to get used to the greens out here. They're just faster than in Europe, and just adjusting to the speed just took me a while. But right now it's very solid. I'm not making many mistakes, which is good, and I'm putting well. I feel very, very comfortable out on the course, and I'm really enjoying it, like I'm having fun playing golf, which is awesome.

Q. We talked about the Rookie of the Year race, which would obviously be icing on the top if you're able to get it. Do you have any goals of wanting to get a win in your rookie year, because obviously you're getting closer and you're in contention this week. Is that something on your radar? You've won on the LET.
CAROLINE MASSON: I mean, obviously you always want to win, but I was not trying to get too caught up with it, just play solid golf and see. But obviously, yeah, if you're in contention going into the weekend you might think about it. I've been in that situation, which is good. I learned how to win, how to be in contention on the LET. I think I handle it much better now than I did maybe two, three years ago. I'm just looking forward to it. It's a great position to be in, and I like the golf course, and my swing feels good. I just want to keep it going and not think about it too much, but it's definitely a goal.

Q. Obviously just seeing you play in Solheim you got to let the emotions out and you're a fiery player. Do you like going into the third and fourth rounds in contention and kind of in the mix of things or do you like to kind of come out from behind?
CAROLINE MASSON: No, definitely I want to be in the mix. The better you can do on the first two days the better situation you're in, so definitely. Just stay cool out there, not think about the score, hit one shot at a time, which is difficult sometimes, but I guess I'm getting better at that and just not looking at the score, just play and enjoy, hit some good shots, and then see where I end up.
I've been happy with my season so far. I kind of did everything I wanted to. I played Solheim and I kept my card. I'm going to play the Asian events and I'm going to be in CME. There's no pressure for me really. I can only surprise, I guess, and that's my goal for the next two days is to keep doing what I'm doing right now, just have fun.


Sandra Gal, Rolex Rankings No. 55

Q. 12 under, that's a great score. How do you feel about it, after 36 holes?
SANDRA GAL: Yeah, it's been actually a lot of fun. I think my game has been getting there the last month or two. I just haven't been making any putts. When that kind of comes together, plus then you hit a couple really close for a tap in, it just kind of all accumulates. I've been kind of seeing that progress for a while. It's just nice to see the scores come together.

Q. It looks to me like maybe this might be a tournament you can win. Are you starting to feel that way?
SANDRA GAL: Yeah, I mean, definitely. You want to give yourself a chance to Sunday be in contention, which I set myself up for after two days, but still, it's just half of a tournament. It seems like every day people are shooting low, so there's still lots of work to do.

Q. Why did you decide to go to University of Florida?
SANDRA GAL: Well, it was warm there. It's on the East Coast, so it's not too far away from Europe, and obviously it's warm there during the winter, so it's just great to practice all year long, and I just love the program.

Q. Do you love golf as much as you do art and that kind of stuff?
SANDRA GAL: Well, it's very different. Obviously golf is a sport, and art is just something I did as a hobby growing up. I knew pretty much I'm not going to make my money with it, but there's many things I like doing.

Q. Ballet another one?
SANDRA GAL: Ballet was when I was growing up, yep. Dancing, I like to dance. I like to sing.

Q. Are you a good singer?
SANDRA GAL: I don't know, someone else could say. We're not going to try right now.

Q. Do you ever do karaoke?
SANDRA GAL: I've done that once probably. Not much, yeah.

Q. Does ballet transfer over into golf?
SANDRA GAL: I think it's really helped me growing up because you get a really good feel for your body and how you move in space, and great for balance, too. Yeah, it's just like another sport growing up.

Q. Are you done with ballet? Is that it?
SANDRA GAL: Yeah, pretty much. There's not much time to do that on a regular basis because we're traveling so much. I think the time is gone. I don't think I would enjoy it right now, but I did enjoy it growing up.

Q. Where are you making your home now?
SANDRA GAL: Orlando.

Q. Do you consider yourself almost an American now, or are you still
SANDRA GAL: No, you know, I'm European, obviously. Those are my roots and I still can say that most of my life I grew up in Europe. Maybe one day I won't be able to say that. But I love living in the States. This is where I make my money, this is where a lot of my friends are, and obviously the LPGA gives me great opportunity to play in the States and all over the world, so I don't really think I'm bound so much to one country, as in just kind of taking all the different cultures that we meet.

Q. How many times have you played this tournament?
SANDRA GAL: This is probably my sixth time.

Q. Do you like this event?
SANDRA GAL: Yeah, I love the event, yeah.

Q. What do you like about it?
SANDRA GAL: Well, this course especially, I love the trees here. They're just so amazing. There's always something to look at during my shots. Just love being out on the West Coast. I don't know, something about it, great food, great weather, great people.

Q. What do you think it's going to take to win score wise here?
SANDRA GAL: I haven't even thought about that. Really I'm just trying to hit one shot at a time and make birdies. Who knows, anyone can have a low one, like Suzann just shot 63. Anything is possible the next two days. It's going to be low, yeah, unless the wind changes or something.

Q. Did you have any bogeys today?
SANDRA GAL: No.

Q. So no bogeys in the tournament so far?
SANDRA GAL: I had a bogey yesterday.

Q. This is your second 66. Anything different about today's 66 from yesterday?
SANDRA GAL: Well, I didn't have a bogey today. Other than that, not really. I think I'm kind of doing the same things that I did yesterday, probably made birdies on different holes, but that's about it.

Q. Was it more putting today than yesterday, or was it
SANDRA GAL: No, no, it's pretty much equaled out. I hit a couple close and hit a couple medium range ones, so it just equals out.

Q. Looks like you and Caroline Masson are tied for third. Are you guys pretty close?
SANDRA GAL: Yeah, we're from the same golf club. So we grew up playing on the girls' team, on the golf club, and then playing on the national team, we played world championships together, so it's nice having another German out here. Yeah, she's been playing really good lately.

Q. Are you a few years ahead of her?
SANDRA GAL: Yeah, I am.

Q. So are you like an older sister?
SANDRA GAL: Kind of, yes. But she knows what she's doing, she doesn't need advice.

Q. Do you two hang out a lot on the road?
SANDRA GAL: We don't hang out that much, actually. Kind of both do our own thing, but we'll always sit together, have lunch sometimes and just chat about life and stuff like that. I told her from the beginning, just ask me whatever you want, I can help you out. But she really is kind of older than her years, and she knows what she's doing, so she doesn't need much help.

Q. How often in the season have you been in this position, in the second to last group in the third round?
SANDRA GAL: Well, I have been there a few times during my career, but not this year. I did struggle a little bit this year at the beginning because I made some swing changes over the winter and they kind of dragged on for the first six months. Like I said, just recently things have been coming together, and this is just basically a product of hard work the last few months.


PORNANONG PHATLUM, Rolex Rankings No. 56

Q. No bogeys, not as many birdies, it's not like you can really it's probably hard to do 10 birdies back to back, but talk about your round and how you felt throughout the whole day, no bogeys, which is great. Did you try to minimize mistakes? Is that something you tried to do?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: I'm playing kind of good today but my putter wasn't that hot. I hit it not like didn't get close enough to the pin, so I didn't make enough birdies on the front nine. But then I started getting on a roll and then I made more birdies on the back.

Q. Any long birdie putts? Yesterday you said everything went in from long. Any long today, or were they all short?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: Mix and match, long and short, all the birdies. 20, 25 feet I got a couple of them, too.

Q. Have you played this well back to back in consecutive rounds ever? Have you felt this good about your game in your career?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: I played this good before, but this is the first tournament that I felt really good at and really confident, so I've played really good, better than I have done before. I'm more confident and everything is better than I have before.

Q. I don't know if you've ever led after two rounds, but how do you feel like you'll handle the pressure tomorrow?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: I'm going to play like we planned, just like I played the first two rounds. It's going to be a lot of pressure, but I'm going to keep it smooth and simple, just not to feel a lot of pressure, just try and play my game pretty much.

Q. How often have you had the lead after a round on Tour?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: Never.

Q. So yesterday was the first time?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: Yeah, it was. It was the first time I've led the tournament.

Q. Is that a goal of yours coming into this year, that you would want to get off to a fast start or get a lead? Has that been something you've wanted to do, or have you just been kind of doing more shot by shot, concentrating on the little things? Have you been making goals?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: I didn't expect to be leading for the first couple rounds. I just feel like it's a lot more pressure if you're leading going into the third and fourth round, but I'm trying to play my game, just trying to keep it simple and one shot at a time.

Q. You have an unofficial win, you won in Brazil but it's not technically a registered win in your career wins. How badly do you want to get a win on your career list? How badly do you want that win? Have you been really fighting for it, you really want it?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: I really do want it, just at least one tournament. I just want to win it.

Q. Just one?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: Yeah, just one.

Q. What do you think that would do for your game, for your mindset? What do you think that would do for you?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: I'm going to have a lot more confidence. I'm going to feel a lot better about my game. I can play easier golf, just going smooth, not to have a lot of pressure on myself, just to keep it going.

Q. How many wins do you have professionally outside of the LPGA?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: A lot. Just this year only I got about four.

Q. This is in Thailand or Asia?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: Asian Tour and Thailand, both of them. I won earlier in the year first and then two in Thailand, so three already.

Q. Three this year already?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: Yeah, just this year only, though.

Q. Before that you have a lot more wins?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: Yeah, and then I won the one, the LET tournament in India in December last year, too, and a couple more back.

Q. What do you think the biggest challenge is? You know how to win and close out tournaments and get to the winner's circle. What do you think is the biggest challenge getting a win on the LPGA? You're a hard worker, everyone says how hard of a worker you are. What's the biggest challenge to break through in the winner's circle here?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: I've put a lot of pressure on myself the last two rounds. The first two is kind of just play your game, no matter, play as good as you can, but then the next two rounds it's going to be a lot of pressure. I've got to be able to handle it pretty well to be able to play another two good rounds.

Topics: Portland Classic, Notes and Interviews, Phatlum, Pornanong, Pettersen, Suzann, Gal, Sandra, Masson, Caroline, Kerr, Cristie, Salas, Lizette [+]

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