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

Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola
Columbia Edgewater Country Club
Portland, Oregon
Third-Round Notes and Interviews
August 31, 2013


Yani Tseng -18, Rolex Rankings No. 15
Suzann Pettersen -15, Rolex Rankings No. 3
Pornanong Phatlum -15, Rolex Rankings No. 56
Stacy Lewis  -14, Rolex Rankings No. 2
Anna Nordqvist -14, Rolex Rankings No. 23
Austin Ernst -12, Rolex Rankings No. 186



The signature smile of Rolex Rankings No. 15 Yani Tseng was on full display during the third round of the Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola as the Taiwanese star shot a 9-under 63 to take a three-shot lead with 18 holes to play
. The former world No. 1 and 15-time LPGA Tour winner carded 11 birdies and two bogeys at Columbia Edgewater Country Club and holds the third-round lead for the first time since the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship where she finished third.

This marks the 15th time in her career Tseng has led or co-led after third round. Ten of her 15-career wins have come after leading or co-leading through 54 holes. Rolex Rankings No. 3 Suzann Pettersen (70) and No. 56 Pornanong Phatlum (71) trail Tseng by three shots and are in a tie for second at 15-under par. A group of four players are tied for fourth including Americans Stacy Lewis, Lizette Salas and Morgan Pressel and Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist.

This week marks the 37th start since Tseng has found her way into the winner’s circle at an LPGA event and according to the 24-year old, it has been a long journey in an effort to get back to the top.

“I don't know what is the media center now,” said Tseng. “It's been a long time. I came in here for a while, and it's great to be back in position again, and I just haven't been on this position for a really long time. I was really happy out there and really enjoyed, and the gallery here are awesome and they give us very big support, and I just love every part of the golf out there and really enjoyed every shot.”

Tseng held the No. 1 position in the Rolex Rankings for 109 consecutive weeks until being overtaken by Stacy Lewis at this year’s RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup. Since the tournament in March, Tseng has posted only one top-20 finish and has missed the past four out of five cuts. She’ll be playing with close friend Suzann Pettersen in the final round.

“There's no one that I'd rather see playing better and playing well again than Yani,” said Pettersen. “I know she's been through a very rough patch. Like I said to her, she's just got to stay patient. She's too good not to kind of hang tough and be in the game. But it's fun to see, and hopefully we'll play together.”

2013 LPGA Tour rookie Austin Ernst went on an early routing of the track at Columbia Edgewater Country Club and tied the course record with a 10-under 62. She tied Annika Sorenstam (2002- 2nd round) and Beth Daniel (2003- 1st round) for the record and did so playing by herself in the first tee time of the day at 7:30am local time.


Winning power:
Tseng will have to fight off plenty winning power in Sunday’s final round as the top of the leaderboard is stacked with players who know how to close out tournaments on Tour. There’s also a mix of hungry young players looking to earn their first LPGA win.

Amongst the top 11 players on the leaderboard heading into Sunday’s final round, the group has 93 wins among them. Four players are shooting for their first LPGA Tour wins including Pornanong Phatlum (T2), Lizette Salas (T4), Sandra Changkija (T8) and Caroline Masson (T8). Karrie Webb (T8) leads the group with 39 career wins.

Uphill battle… Yani Tseng has made 37 starts since she’s last found her way into the winner’s circle at an LPGA event and according to the Taiwan native, it has been a long journey in an effort to get back to the top.

Tseng held the No. 1 position in the Rolex Rankings for 109 consecutive weeks until being overtaken by Stacy Lewis at this year’s RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup. Since the tournament in March, Tseng has posted only one top-20 finishes and has missed the past four out of five cuts.

According to the fifth-year LPGA Tour member, the combination of on and off the course battles has left her seeing her golf game slowly deteriorate.

“It's a really long story, but really, I go through lots of things, and my life has been really tough, and it's not just about golf and outside of golf,” said Tseng. “But I feel like everything I've become more mature. I know I didn't have a great result, but as a person I feel like I learned so much with my family and friends and for my life and not just about golf. I learned from this two years.

“So I've been really appreciating everything I got, and for now I really want to just go out there and try to enjoy every shot and try to be like art is. When you're playing a golf course, you feel like every swing you make, it means for your life, not just you're working or something. Now I feel like really appreciative to be out there and to play this sport I really love.”

After a 9-under 63 during the third-round of the Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola to grab ahold of the lead, it looks like the old Tseng has returned. In fact, according to the 15-time LPGA Tour winner she is not only back, but she is back better than ever.

“Yeah, I I’m think much better,” said Tseng. “Even my swing was much better, my attitude on the course is much better, and I think if one day I come back on the top, I think I'll be much better than what I used to.”

Tseng will have longtime friend Suzann Pettersen by her side during tomorrow’s final round as the duo are paired together in Sunday’s final pairing. While Pettersen is looking forward to engaging in a few side bets with Tseng, Pettersen has been in Tseng’s corner every step of the way in the uphill battle back to the top.

“Yeah, I mean, I'd rather there's no one that I'd rather see playing better and playing well again than Yani,” said Pettersen. “I know she's been through a very rough patch. Like I said to her, she's just got to stay patient. She's too good not to kind of hang tough and be in the game. But it's fun to see, and hopefully we'll play together.”


Up for the challenge?
After barreling her way up the leaderboard with a 9-under 63 during the third-round of the Safeway Classic Presented by Coca Cola, Anna Nordqvist presented a bit of a challenge to LPGA Chief Communications Officer Kraig Kann, land her a spot as a guest on HGTV. The Swede now calls Orlando, Fla. home and wants to get her kitchen redone with a little help from HGTV.

“Well, we always get questionnaires every year. Kraig Kann is always on, okay, if you could be on one TV show, what would it be,” said Nordqvist. “I always say I have a love for design and interior design, and I love fixing stuff around my house. So I told him that I wanted to redo my kitchen. My dream is actually to get on some HGTV show and get my kitchen redone, so he has a bit of a challenge there.”

Norqvist has always had a knack for design and admitted her favorite subject growing-up was woodwork. While Nordqvist is in the midst of her fourth-year on the LPGA Tour, when days of golf have come to an end, she strives to become a graphic designer.

“Yeah, I mean, if I wouldn't be a golfer I would definitely be a graphic designer,” said Nordqvist. “I love it. Woodwork was probably my favorite subject growing up. You know, it's just fun, scrapbooking and doing stuff around your house and stuff like that has always been an interest of mine. But who knows what the future holds.”


Hot start for Lewis:
Rolex Rankings No. 2 Stacy Lewis put herself in a good position to make a run at her fourth LPGA Tour victory of the 2013 season and made the most out of moving day at the Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola. Lewis shot a bogey-free, 7-under 65 on Saturday and hasn’t carded a bogey in all 54 holes of the tournament this week.

“I don't know if I've gotten this far in a tournament doing it,” said Lewis. “I think the only time I thought about it was on 14; I had about a 15 footer for par, and all I was thinking about was I have to make this so I stay bogey free. I know I'm doing it and I realize it, but I'm playing so solid, you're just not even really worried about making a bogey.”

Lewis posted rounds of 67-70 in her first two rounds and jumped from T21 into a tie for fourth with her solid day on Saturday.

“The difference today was I got off to a better start,” said Lewis. “That stretch of five certainly helped a lot. Back nine I hit good shots. I hit a bunch of putts on the edge, made a couple good pars from the trees off the tee. I don't know, I couldn't have gotten a whole lot more out of it, so I'm pretty happy with it.”

Lewis said the round wasn’t a total walk in the park and grinded out pars on the final eight holes. She said she had a little luck on her side and did a good job at missing in the right places.

“It's kind of missing fairways at the right time,” said Lewis. “I think you do it in the right places. I don't know, I mean, I think there is some luck to it because that ball on 18 could have gone on the driving range if it wanted to. Just as soon as I hit it, I asked the trees to throw it out, and it did.”

Lewis has made it clear one of her biggest challenges over the past year has been controlling her emotions and expectations and said the more easy going she tries to be, the better she seems to play.

“I think over the last year it's been my goal of how do you manage expectations, how do you kind of you win tournaments, all of a sudden, you think, gosh, I'll be winning every week,” said Lewis. “So you manage your expectations.

“You don't get quite as upset about those bad rounds. I was upset with yesterday, but I sat on the putting green for an hour and just worked on it, and I knew if I started making a couple early today I'd be fine. I'm maturing a little bit and getting more comfortable in this role, getting more comfortable with people watching. We had crowds following my group all day today, so getting more comfortable with that, too.”


Movin’ on up…
In professional golf, Saturdays are typically known as “moving day” and Austin Ernst took full advantage of the opportunity to climb her way up the leaderboard. Playing by herself in the first tee-time of the day, Ernst fired a 10-under 62 which included one bogey and 11 birdies to move from T66 into a tie for 12th

With nobody in front of her, Ernst sped around Columbia Edgewater playing her third round in less than four hours. After firing a blistering 29 on the front-nine, the former Louisiana State University Tiger had her sights set on a 64.

“It was nice,” said Ernst. “It was fast. I didn't really have time, I guess, to kind of realize what I was doing, too, because you don't really have a lot of time to look at the board or anything like that. I did glance at it a couple times, but I mean, I shot 29 on the front, and my goal score today was 64. Obviously shooting 62 I'm more than happy with that. Now depending on what they do in four hours when they tee off just kind of depends on how many shots I'm out of the lead. But I think now I'm kind of back in the tournament. Definitely more so than I was at the start of the day.”

Ernst finished her third-round just after 10:00 a.m. and her main concern after the round was finishing prior to lunch being serve. While Ernst’s thought immediately raced to lunch, she was relieved to be done and post a good number early.

“Now the pressure is off,” said Ernst. “I just kind of get to wait and see what time I'm playing tomorrow and where I'm at the end of the day. Obviously I think I proved scores can go low today. Some of the pins are accessible but some of them are kind of hard to get to. Out here you just really have to putt well, and that's what I did today.”


Farewell to a legend… This week, the LPGA Tour said farewell to a legend as Sophie Gustafson announced after Saturday’s second-round of the Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola that she would be stepping away from the LPGA.

Gustafson joined the LPGA Tour in 1998 and recorded five career victories. She was also a member of eight European Solheim Cup Teams boasting a record of 13-12-6. While Gustafson’s impressive resume on Tour is hard to ignore, perhaps she is better known for her attitude outside of the ropes.

Gustafson has fought a lifelong battle with stuttering but served as an inspiration to many at the 2011 Solheim Cup when she gave her first-ever TV interview. One of the most admirable players on the LPGA Tour, Gustafson was chosen as the 2012 Heather Farr Perseverance Award honoree by the LPGA and the 2012 Ben Hogan Award from the Golf Writers Association of America.

Fellow Swede and teammate on two European Solheim Cup Teams, Anna Nordqvist looked-up to Gustafson strived to follow in the footsteps of Gustafson from the early age of 12. The duo even teamed-up to win the 2011 European Nations Cup for Sweden.

“I mean, Sophie Gustafson was out there when I grew up,” said Nordqvist. “I remember I was probably 12, 13, my family and I would go up to Stockholm to watch her play in a Ladies European Tour event. She's always been a great player for Swedish golf and really kicked off the Swedish era. We had good players to look up to. I've been fortunate to play with Sophie Gustafson on two Solheim Cups. She just brings out the best in me. Me and Sophie actually won the European Nations Cup together as a two man team in 2010 or 2011, so I sure have a lot of good memories of Sophie.”


Quote of the Day: “Well, definitely all my previous Solheim partners retired, so I guess I'm next on that list.” Suzann Pettersen joking on close friend and European Solheim Cup teammate Sophie Gustafson announcing her LPGA retirement.


STACY LEWIS, Rolex Rankings No. 2

Q. So I'm assuming you are thrilled with the day. Just take us through the string of five on the front.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, the difference today was I got off to a better start. That stretch of five certainly helped a lot. Back nine I hit good shots. I hit a bunch of putts on the edge, made a couple good pars from the trees off the tee. I don't know, I couldn't have gotten a whole lot more out of it, so I'm pretty happy with it.

Q. You said scrambling here is pretty important because you're going to miss a couple of fairways because it's so narrow. How important is that in being able to recover and grind out it looked like a pretty easy round on the scorecard.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, the back nine was not easy by any means. You're going to miss a shot, it's going to catch a tree here and there, and luckily I got a couple good breaks in the trees where I had a second shot. 18 I got a really good break and was fortunate to hit a good shot on the green.
Other than those couple putts on the edge, I mean, I can't be too upset about it.

Q. How often have you played a bogey free tournament?
STACY LEWIS: I have no idea. I know I've gone in stretches, I've gone in some long stretches before. A couple years ago I went on a stretch, I think Mizuno until Lorena's I went bogey free for a while, but I don't know if I've gotten this far in a tournament doing it. I think the only time I thought about it was on 14; I had about a 15 footer for par, and all I was thinking about was I have to make this so I stay bogey free. I know I'm doing it and I realize it, but I'm playing so solid, you're just not even really worried about making a bogey.

Q. You missed a few fairways but I think you only missed one green.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah.

Q. Is it just you're getting good lies?
STACY LEWIS: I mean, it's kind of missing fairways at the right time. I missed the fairway on 10 and I had to chip out, but then I hit hybrid onto the green. 18, instead of hitting a 9 or 8 iron into the green, I had to hit hybrid. I think you do it in the right places. I don't know, I mean, I think there is some luck to it because that ball on 18 could have gone on the driving range if it wanted to.
Just as soon as I hit it, I asked the trees to throw it out, and it did.

Q. Did you notice the 62 that was up this morning?
STACY LEWIS: I did. I was warming up on the putting green, and I think everybody on the putting green kind of stopped and watch her hit her birdie putt there on 18. It was pretty cool to get out that early, and it's hard to play by yourself. It's hard to because you get going so fast that you kind of get out of your rhythm. 62 is a pretty good score around this course.

Q. You know Austin decently well. You were kind of a little bit of a mentor when she first came on. To see a rookie do that and progress through her year
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, she's very talented. I kind of talked with her a little bit in Australia and we talked about just goals and things like that, and she's played really solid this year. I mean, it didn't surprise me at all that she was shooting 62. Maybe some people didn't know her name, but she's good enough that she can definitely shoot that and shoot it again probably, too.

Q. Did the course change much today?
STACY LEWIS: No, it was really a little drier, but shots into greens were still holding and spinning back sometimes. Drying out in the fairways a little bit.

Q. Are the greens kind of the same speed, though?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, greens are similar speed to yesterday. The first day they were a little slower just because of the water and the rain, but the last two days they've been consistent.

Q. Would you consider tomorrow kind of a shootout type situation?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I mean, today, this whole tournament is a shootout. I knew I needed something around 65 to just get myself in the mix, and hopefully I'm not too far away. But whoever wins tomorrow is probably going to shoot 65 or better. You know that in the back of your mind, and you've just got to go make some birdies.

Q. You look so relaxed, you're kind of coming off of Solheim and having some frustrations; do you think you can really handle dealing with frustrations and your emotions and things like that because I feel like you completely have gone above and beyond what you were working at?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I think over the last year it's been my goal of how do you manage expectations, how do you kind of you win tournaments, all of a sudden, you think, gosh, I'll be winning every week. So you manage your expectations. You don't get quite as upset about those bad rounds. I was upset with yesterday, but I sat on the putting green for an hour and just worked on it, and I knew if I started making a couple early today I'd be fine. I don't know, I'm maturing a little bit and getting more comfortable in this role, getting more comfortable with people watching. We had crowds following my group all day today, so getting more comfortable with that, too.

Q. DO you think it will be a putting contest?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I think a tournament like this comes down to who's putting the best, and I'm not a fan of that. I'd rather see I like majors where every part of your game is tested. This golf course does test you some, but at the end of the day, it's who makes the most putts. But that's why you have weeks like this and that's why you have majors.

Q. A story line since yesterday, Sophie tweeted out, sort of announced stepping back, not official retirement, but just thoughts on that?
STACY LEWIS: Well, I was surprised, but I also didn't realize that Sophie was turning 40 this year. She doesn't act her age or anything. She doesn't I don't know, I was a little surprised, but I'm happy for her. I mean, when you get at a place with this game where you can step away when you're ready you don't want to step away because you've lost your card or because you're not playing well. She's stepping away because she's ready, and I think that's the best way to do it.



SUZANN PETTERSEN, Rolex Rankings No. 3

Q. 2 under par round. Typically that would be good, but I know scores are low today. What was going on out there?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: It wasn't that good of a round for me. Shame I kind of bogeyed 17, but I had a few chances. I had a lot of good putts. I felt like the greens were a lot more bumpy coming in last, but just really glad there's one more day because there's still another low round in me.

Q. What do you think the main difference was between the first two rounds and today?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Today I probably missed a few more putts that I felt like were kind of solid over the last two days, but overall I was just a little bit off, and it's just enough that it's not like 6 under the first two rounds.

Q. You won this event, granted not on the same golf course, but coming from 10 behind.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yeah, I'm a little bit closer than 10. Fun to see Yani playing well. Really good to see her name up there. Hopefully I'll be in the last group so we can play together and get some bets going.

Q. I know you two are pretty good friends. You hang out a lot outside of the golf course.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yeah, I mean, I'd rather there's no one that I'd rather see playing better and playing well again than Yani. I know she's been through a very rough patch. Like I said to her, she's just got to stay patient. She's too good not to kind of hang tough and be in the game. But it's fun to see, and hopefully we'll play together.

Q. Sophie announced yesterday that she's stepping away from the LPGA Tour. Can you talk about the impact that she's had on the Tour?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well, definitely all my previous Solheim partners retired, so I guess I'm next on that list. No, I mean, I kind of knew that was coming, but it's always a bit sad once you see an announcement in the paper or on Twitter. I've had a fantastic run with Soph. She's been there since I joined the Tour. She's been fantastic with me. She's become a good friend, and I'll definitely stay in touch with her, even though she's not out here.


YANI TSENG, Rolex Rankings No. 15

Q. I know we were joking coming up here a little bit, but how does it feel to be back in the media center?
YANI TSENG: I know, I don't know what is the media center now. It's been a long time. I came in here for a while, and it's great to be back in position again, and I just haven't been on this position for a really long time. I was really happy out there and really enjoyed, and the gallery here are awesome and they give us very big support, and I just love every part of the golf out there and really enjoyed every shot.

Q. What was really working for you out there? What were the strengths?
YANI TSENG: I just feel good about my swing. I went back to Taiwan the last two weeks to play golf with some young LPGA players in Taiwan, and they're really helping me to be back in this position, to be more excited to make birdie, to try to beat everybody out here, and I just and today I feel I played a little more aggressively the last two days. Just feels like I tried to go for the pin every shot and tried to make birdie every hole.
My coach from Taiwan, he's here with me this week, and I think that helps a little bit and keeps me very relaxed, and we had a great talk every round, and it's good.

Q. Who is your coach?
YANI TSENG: My coach from Taiwan. His name is Tony Kao, and he teach me since I play golf, ever since I was five, six, until 18 years old when I turned pro, and he didn't teach me anymore. I've been struggling for a while, and I just feel like to have him to be around me helps a little bit, and I changed coaches I had a new coach, Kevin, and he's helping me with my swing very well, too.

Q. This kind of comes a little bit out of nowhere, doesn't it? You haven't had a good year, you haven't played particularly well in Portland. Did something just click today?
YANI TSENG: No, I mean, I prepared for this. I mean, I've been working really hard. I really want to get back in this position, so I don't feel any surprise because this is what I'm working for. I want to be in this position and play good. I know it's very hard to follow with a great round tomorrow, but I will still be playing aggressive just like I always did.

Q. It's been 36 starts since your last victory. Can you talk about how that whole process has kind of been?
YANI TSENG: It's a really long story, but really, I go through lots of things, and my life has been really tough, and it's not just about golf and outside of golf. But I feel like everything I've become more mature. I know I didn't have a great result, but as a person I feel like I learned so much with my family and friends and for my life and not just about golf. I learned from this two years. So I've been really appreciating everything I got, and for now I really want to just go out there and try to enjoy every shot and try to be like art is. When you're playing a golf course, you feel like every swing you make, it means for your life, not just you're working or something. Now I feel like really appreciative to be out there and to play this sport I really love.

Q. When you were No. 1 in the world, and every tournament you went into you were like the favorite and everybody would talk about you, did you enjoy that position, or was that a lot of pressure?
YANI TSENG: I was really enjoy it, but after that I wasn't too enjoy it because lots of pressure, because I mean, everybody expects you to win every week, but it's impossible. But I felt like I would be winning every week. I try, but it's really hard. That pressure, you might didn't know, but it's really just right there for you. You just need to find a balance to get that pressure as motivation to become a better player.
But I mean, right now I wasn't think too much. It's good to have attention again, but now I just try to focus on myself and enjoy it out there.

Q. Any particular hole today get you going early in the round?
YANI TSENG: I mean, I hit my irons very good today, and I think there's one hole I made bogey on No. 12. It was a reachable par 5 for me, and I snap hooked my 3 wood and I made bogey there. But next hole, par 3, I made birdie, so I come back right away. I think that's a very important putt for me, like 12 feet for birdie, and I think that's kind of a little turning point on the back nine.

Q. On No. 12 you hit the second shot near that bathroom thing?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, I hit it by the bathroom there. I guess it was unlucky, but I wasn't thinking about that much. I just tried to save par there and tried to think how can I hit my next shot. I hit a terrible chip for my fourth shot, but I made birdie the next hole, so I wasn't thinking that much.

Q. You say you're more mature now. Do you almost think your mindset is better now than it was when you were No. 1?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, I think much better. Even my swing was much better, my attitude on the course is much better, and I think if one day I come back on the top, I think I'll be much better than what I used to.

Q. You think this is just the beginning of it?
YANI TSENG: I think this is just the beginning of it. I always tell myself, my goal is I want to retire when I'm on top, and I'm not going to retire yet, so there's lots more years to come, just step by step.

Q. You think tomorrow you'll need another really low round to win?
YANI TSENG: I think you need a low round to win at this course. You can see how strong the LPGA is right now. You don't know who's going to shoot 10 under tomorrow to win the tournament. You never know. But I wasn't thinking that much, and I just want to play as I did today and the last two days and play one shot at a time and not thinking about winning.

Q. When you started to struggle this year, was it more of a swing kind of thing or was it more your approach or your mental thing?
YANI TSENG: I think both. Swing affect mental, mental affect the swing.


ANNA NORDQVIST, Rolex Rankings No. 23

THE MODERATOR: I'd like to welcome Anna Nordqvist into the interview room. Good day. You took full advantage of your day, a nice little 9 under 63 moves you right up there. What worked for you.
ANNA NORDQVIST: Well, I hit it pretty solid today and got a couple putts to go in early, and then it just gave me a little bit of momentum, and then I eagled 7, so that's always nice, and I started hitting it a little bit closer on the back nine.
Obviously there's a lot of birdies out there, a lot of girls tearing it up out there. Greens are pretty soft. They're getting a little firmer, but you can still fire at them. If you hit driver, it's good, you can take advantage of just hitting it close with short irons and make a lot of birdies.

THE MODERATOR: You were a member of the victorious Solheim Cup a couple weeks ago. How grueling have the past couple weeks been and how are you feeling?
ANNA NORDQVIST: I think we were also running pretty high at the Solheim Cup. Obviously a lot of them are my friends, and we seemed to come together, even in the weeks after. There's so many memories. It's just hearing a song yesterday, driving from the golf course, and I was a little upset at my game, but it was one of the team songs, and it just seemed to get me in such a good mood.
Overall I'm running very high, and a lot of Europeans have been playing very good since, and I think it gave us a huge boost.

THE MODERATOR: What song was it?
ANNA NORDQVIST: It was in Spanish and I don't know a single word, but we all tried to sing it anyway.

THE MODERATOR: You were teammates with Sophie Gustafson during a Solheim Cup. She just announced yesterday that she's stepping away from the LPGA Tour. Can you talk about your relationship with her and the impact that she's had on the game?
ANNA NORDQVIST: I mean, Sophie Gustafson was out there when I grew up. I remember I was probably 12, 13, my family and I would go up to Stockholm to watch her play in a Ladies European Tour event. She's always been a great player for Swedish golf and really kicked off the Swedish era. We had good players to look up to. I've been fortunate to play with Sophie Gustafson on two Solheim Cups. She just brings out the best in me. Me and Sophie actually won the European Nations Cup together as a two man team in 2010 or 2011, so I sure have a lot of good memories of Sophie.
I did not know that she was stepping away from the LPGA. That was very sad news yesterday. But I'm sure she's in a good place, ready to start a new chapter of her life, and I just wish her well. But she's just done so much for Swedish golf and for the LPGA overall.

Q. Did you see the 62 that was posted earlier, and what did that tell you about the course?
ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, I mean, I was looking at Twitter this morning trying to figure out the pin placements, and then someone just tweeted out "59 watch." I just didn't know what tour it was, and then when I went to LPGA scoring and saw Austin was I think 8 under after 10 holes or something like that, so she sure was tearing it up. She finished pretty quick, but yeah, I definitely saw she posted a 10 under before we teed off. I just tried to put myself in a good position for tomorrow, and obviously there's birdies out there, so just try to be aggressive and give myself a lot of opportunities.
But definitely you saw it was out there, so I think that boosted a lot of players.

Q. Could you describe your eagle?
ANNA NORDQVIST: I hit it there was such a long wait on 7 actually. I think there were two or three groups on the tee just waiting around. I hit the drive just in the first cut on the left. I think I had 235 to the pin. I hit a great 3 wood to about six feet below the hole, and the putt was right center. It was short and sweet, and already 2 under for the day, it sure gave me some momentum going forward.

Q. How eager are you to win again?
ANNA NORDQVIST: That's why I'm out there, you know. I love competing, I love winning. I work so hard every day to put myself in position to win. I haven't won the last couple years, but I feel like my game is heading in the right direction. I'm probably as motivated as ever to win out here.

Q. Has it been frustrating or are you impatient about winning?
ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, I think the one thing I've learned the last couple years is to be patient. I can only control what I'm doing. You know, it seems like I'm getting the pieces of all the puzzle together. I have a good swing coach, I have a great team around me, a great caddie. I seem to be in a very good mood. So it just seems like the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place, it's just a matter of making putts. I feel like I've been hitting it pretty well tee to green this year, but just haven't made many putts.

Q. Is 63 your career low?
ANNA NORDQVIST: I actually had a 61 in Alabama at the end of April, so I shot 11 under.

THE MODERATOR: I know we were talking on the way up here, but there's been a lot of discussion I know between the communications team about what TV show you would be on if you could pick any. Can you just kind of share with everybody?
ANNA NORDQVIST: Well, we always get questionnaires every year. Kraig Kann is always on, okay, if you could be on one TV show, what would it be. I always say I have a love for design and interior design, and I love fixing stuff around my house. So I told him that I wanted to redo my kitchen. My dream is actually to get on some HGTV show and get my kitchen redone, so he has a bit of a challenge there.

THE MODERATOR: So when golf is all said and done, do you think you could see yourself being a designer at the end of the day?
ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, I mean, if I wouldn't be a golfer I would definitely be a graphic designer. I love it. Woodwork was probably my favorite subject growing up. You know, it's just fun, scrapbooking and doing stuff around your house and stuff like that has always been an interest of mine. But who knows what the future holds.

Q. Do you remember if you made any long birdie putts today?
ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, I made a long one on 3. It was probably 30, 35 feet, and then I made one from probably 25 feet on 17.


PORNANONG PHATLUM, Rolex Rankings No. 56


Q. Another good day. Not as good as the last two, but just take us through your round, how you felt and how you're feeling now afterward?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: I'm just okay with my score today, and putting not really good today. Just try my best tomorrow.

Q. You said you thought there was going to be pressure coming into today and tomorrow. Did you feel nervous on the first tee or were you nervous waking up today? Was it any different than the past two days?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: Not really different, but I can't like putting not very good like the last two days.

Q. When you don't feel like your putter is really working, is there a mental block, or how do you get over the fact that not as many putts are dropping as were in the past?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: Maybe the pressure today. Today is like slow today, and I feel like not comfortable.

Q. Not as comfortable; you weren't really kind of getting into a rhythm as much as yesterday?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: Yeah.

Q. Did you notice a lot of the low scores early on?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: Yeah, I saw.

Q. Did you feel pressure like you maybe had to shoot a low score to keep up?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: I didn't think about that, just try my best. Kind of today the lie, and long putt today not hitting good much.

Q. What about the game plan for tomorrow? You're right in the mix, only three back from Yani, but a lot of good players up at the top. Anything you're going to try to do tomorrow to hopefully keep you right there?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: I will try to focus on putting. This course is going to be like can make the birdies, like focus on putt more.

Q. It seems everybody who is ranked high in putting this week is up on the leaderboard, so do you think it's going to come down to who's putting the best?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: Yeah.


AUSTIN ERNST, Rolex Rankings No. 186

Q. What worked for you out there?
AUSTIN ERNST: Really everything. I hit it really well, but I made a ton of putts. The front nine, I made every putt I looked at except for I think two. No. 2 I lipped one out, and 4 I left one short in the heart. It was just pretty easy on myself. Greens were fresh. But yeah, I just made a ton of putts.
Only hole I really got into trouble with was on 11. I missed it right. Just kind of had to punch back out in the fairway. I made bogey there, and then everything else I think I had a birdie look on just about every hole.
So really it was just I made it pretty easy on myself.

Q. But realistically it probably could have been lower?
AUSTIN ERNST: I mean, maybe, yeah. But I made pretty much I maybe had two putts on the back nine that I could have made that were 15 feet that I just rolled over the edge, 14 and 18, and other than that I made pretty much got everything I could have out of the round.

Q. What was it like playing by yourself first off?
AUSTIN ERNST: It was nice. It was fast. I didn't really have time, I guess, to kind of realize what I was doing, too, because you don't really have a lot of time to look at the board or anything like that. I did glance at it a couple times, but I mean, I shot 29 on the front, and my goal score today was 64. Obviously shooting 62 I'm more than happy with that. Now depending on what they do in four hours when they tee off just kind of depends on how many shots I'm out of the lead. But I think now I'm kind of back in the tournament. Definitely more so than I was at the start of the day.

Q. Yeah, it's only 10:00 in the morning. What do you do the rest of the day now?
AUSTIN ERNST: I'm going to go watch some college football. We're going to go meet Brooke and go watch some of the games.

Q. How nice is it to look up at the leaderboard and have that number posted before anybody even thinks about going out?
AUSTIN ERNST: I know. It's nice. Now the pressure is off. I just kind of get to wait and see what time I'm playing tomorrow and where I'm at at the end of the day. Obviously I think I proved scores can go low today. Some of the pins are accessible but some of them are kind of hard to get to. Out here you just really have to putt well, and that's what I did today.

Topics: Notes and Interviews, Tseng, Yani, Pettersen, Suzann, Phatlum, Pornanong, Lewis, Stacy, Nordqvist, Anna, Ernst, Austin [+]

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