Evian Championship Second Round Notes and Interviews

Mika Miyazato The Evian Championship
Photo Credit: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Mika Miyazato in action during the second round of The Evian Championship

Evian Championship
Evian Resort Golf Club
Evian-les-Bains, France
Second-round Notes and Interviews
September 14, 2013

Mika Miyazato -8, Rolex Rankings No. 19
Suzann Pettersen -7, Rolex Rankings No. 3
Lydia Ko -7, Rolex Rankings No. 8
Stacy Lewis -6, Rolex Rankings No. 2


The LPGA Ticker: Japan’s Mika Miyazato leads at 8-under-par after second round of LPGA’s fifth major, the Evian Championship …16-yr-old amateur Lydia Ko in hunt to become youngest major winner…Stacy Lewis looking for second consecutive major title

Mika Miyazato captured her first LPGA Tour victory a little over a year ago and now she is in the hunt to become a major champion. The 23-year-old native of Okinawa, Japan sits atop the leaderboard through two rounds of the inaugural Evian Championship.

Miyazato will be try to capture her first major championship following a 2-under-par 69 in Saturday’s second round at the Evian Resort Golf Club that moved her into sole possession of the lead at 8-under-par, but she has plenty of formidable competitors chasing right behind her.

She leads by one shot over Norway’s Suzann Pettersen and 16-year-old amateur star Lydia Ko while Rolex Rankings No. 2 Stacy Lewis sits two shots back at 6-under-par.

It likely will be a race to the finish as LPGA officials announced on Friday night that they were targeting a 54-hole finish at the Evian Championship instead of 72 holes due to a bleak weather forecast over the next few days. Rain is expected to move into the Evian-Les-Baines area at some point on Saturday night and it’s unclear how much golf will be able to be played on Sunday. But whenever there is golf, it’s bound to be exciting finish with so many solid players atop the leaderboard.

Miyazato followed up a great opening round 66 with a 2-under 69 on Saturday. It was a score that she likely didn’t see coming after opening with back-to-back bogeys on her first two holes of the second round.

“Maybe not today [is what I] was thinking,” Miyazato said. “But after second hole, just try do my best my golf game. I birdied 6 and 7 hole, pretty nice comeback.”

Miyazato isn’t the only player near the top of the leader looking for her first major win, and one of them is trying to make history by doing so. Ko is trying to become the youngest major winner in LPGA Tour history and the third amateur to win a major on the LPGA Tour. The only other two amateurs to win majors on the LPGA Tour were Pat O’Sullivan, who won the Titleholders Championship in 1951, and Catherine LaCoste, who won the U.S. Women’s Open in 1967.

“I've never been really in kind of contention with the leaders at a major before,” Ko said. “And because it's a 54 hole event now, it's only one round to get the work done. Hopefully it will be a good day tomorrow. But, you know, I can't hit it as good as I did today every single day.”

Pettersen, meanwhile, is looking for her second career major title, having won her only major title at the 2007 McDonald’s LPGA Championship. But she is no stranger to being in contention on the big stage with three career runner-up finishes at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, one runner-up at the U.S. Women’s Open and a tie for fourth at the RICOH Women’s British Open.

While this is the first time that Pettersen is competing on the newly redesigned Evian Resort Golf Club, she has embraced the changes that have been made to the course and would love to win this event, which has always been a special one to her.

“If you look at what the course looks like and how it fits your eye, it's the same as it's always been,” Pettersen said. “The layout is exactly the same. The greens have changed, but the tee shots, you have on every tee box has hardly changed for me. You're still kind of playing on the side of a hill. You either have the ball above or below your feet. That hasn't changed much. The par 3s have improved a lot. A lot tougher. But you have some good par 5s out there that you can are in my reach. It's playing pretty fair. Just really got to see what the weather gives us over the next 24 hours.”

Sitting one back of the duo of Pettersen and Ko is Rolex Rankings No. 2 Stacy Lewis, who is trying to win consecutive majors for the first time in her career. Lewis won the RICOH Women’s British at St. Andrews last month for her second career major title.

“I've just played solid,” Lewis said of her week. “I haven't done anything crazy good yet, which is kind of nice. I haven't played my best round yet, which is good. Hopefully we play tomorrow.”

Miyazato confusion: Ai Miyazato is well known in Evian-Les-Bains, France, as she’s won the tournament here twice in the last four years. But it’s a lesser known Miyazato who has a chance to capture the first major title at the Evian Resort Golf Club.

Mika Miyazato has heard the comparisons between her and her good friend, Ai Miyazato. The two are from the same area of Japan – Okinawa – and with them competing on the same Tour, there have been plenty of questions as to whether they are related. But while that might seem annoying to some players, Mika Miyazato seems to believe it’s actually a bonus that the two get confused at times.

“I'm thinking lucky because same last name,” Mika Miyazato said. “Looks like everybody say sisters, so everybody may remember me.”

Missed opportunities? Lydia Ko was pleased with her 4-under 67 in Saturday’s second round but she couldn’t help but lament the fact that her round could have been even better.

Ko missed a number of short birdie putts on the front nine and she admitted that it led to some frustration on her part early in the day.

“On 6 I hit to 1.5 meters, the next 2 meters and then like three meters, so I was pretty angry and it was really building up,” Ko said.

But the 16-year-old managed to stay calm despite the misses and closed out her round in solid fashion with back-to-back birdies on her final two holes that brought her within one of the lead. The position is nothing new for Ko, who just captured her second LPGA Tour win after trailing by one entering the final round.

“I was one shot behind the leader, Caroline ewall, at the Canadian Open,” Ko said. “I'm the same I think behind Mika. But there are so many other people that are close. It's not like me and her playing. I just got to play my own game. I don't know how the weather and the pin positions are going to be tomorrow. But, yeah, I heard it's meant to rain, and definitely low scores are going to be the big thing.”

Moving to 54... LPGA Senior Vice President of Tour Operations Heather Daly-Donofrio and Commissioner Mike Whan addressed questions from the media on Saturday morning regarding the decision to target playing 54 holes rather than 72 holes at the inaugural Evian Championship due to a bleak weather forecast over the next few days.

“The golf course has really reached its saturation point,’ Daly-Donofrio said. “It became very clear from the weather models that we were going to have a challenge to finish 72 holes before early next week.”

“Given the amount of rain that's predicted, our weather consultant has told us we're expecting at least five times as much rain as we received Thursday morning which put the golf course under water and became unplayable,” she added.

There was a lot of discussion on what would be the best move considering the amount of rain that had been predicted to fall Saturday night into Sunday. With rain in the forecast for Monday, Tuesday and possibly days beyond that, the LPGA officials decided that the best choice was not to change the cut number but rather to give themselves the best opportunity to get 54 holes completed this week.

“It's a tough week,” Whan said. “It's tough for everybody involved. It's been a tough week for the players and Evian, and certainly for Heather and the rules officials. It's funny, last year I said to Heather, I always feel bad for the weather guy. This year, I do not feel bad for the weather guy. Everybody talks to him and nobody leaves him alone. He's right in the middle of the room and no longer in the corner.”

Sticking around for Sunday: A total of 77 players made the cut, which fell at 4-over-par 146

Quotable No. 1: “Like in the cars they've got wipers. I said they should design one for glasses. I would one myself if I could. It is pretty uncomfortable because I'm having to clean all the time. If I have a hood or umbrella, doesn't really bother me.” – Lydia Ko when asked on the difficulty of playing in glasses in the rain

Quotable No. 2: “Experience? Well, since I'm blonde, I don't really evaluate my experience too well. That's just a part of being blonde. But I'm learning every year.” – Suzann Pettersen joking when asked if her 11 years of experience on the LPGA Tour has helped her.

Of Note…Jee Young Lee and Jeong Jang both withdrew prior to the start of the second round. Lee has been bothered with neck problems while Jang withdrew due to lower back issues…Caroline Hedwall recorded a hole-in-one on the par-3 16th hole. It was part of a birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie stretch for the Swede to finish her round…

MIKA MIYAZATO, Rolex Rankings No. 19

MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome our current leader Mika Miyazato, into the interview room. Congratulations. Sitting at 8 under par after a 2 under round today. Take me through your day. What was really working well for you out there?
MIKA MIYAZATO: I start day first, second hole two on the bogey. And maybe not was today was thinking, but after second hole, just try do my best my golf game. I was birdie 6 and 7 hole, pretty nice comeback.
After 11 I went to the left side, the tree, and good up and down. Made par.
Finish pretty good No. 18. I hit hybrid three and just this much okay birdie. It's pretty tough day for me.

MODERATOR: When you look at 18, everyone is talking about what a tough par 4 that is. You had to hit hybrid in. How excited were you when you saw how close that shot was to the hole?
MIKA MIYAZATO: I was thinking just to on the green, not thinking to made a birdie. It's lucky.

MODERATOR: You won last year the Safeway Classic for your first win on the LPGA Tour. This tournament is only going to be 54 holes due to the possible weather. What would it mean leading now with 18 holes? With 18 holes left at the moment, what would it mean to you to win a major championship?
MIKA MIYAZATO: I had that experience last year. I won the Safeway Classic. Not same situation, but this is a major.
But just I heard rain tomorrow all day, but I still keep try more aggressive play I just thinking.

MODERATOR: When you guys are now looking and you can see the weather forecast of so much rain tonight and tomorrow and you don't know when you might play, how hard is that when you're kind of unsure of when you're going to get back out on the golf course?
MIKA MIYAZATO: That's pretty tough question. (Laughter.) But I don't know. I try any situation, but I try to my golf game more important.

Q. You are the second Miyazato. The other one, more famous?
MIKA MIYAZATO: Talking about Ai Miyazato?

Q. Yes.
MIKA MIYAZATO: Yes.

Q. What was that like? How much confusion has there been over the years?
MIKA MIYAZATO: I'm not confused, but I'm thinking lucky because same last name. Looks like everybody say sisters, so everybody may remember me.

MODERATOR: And you and Ai are very close friends and grew up in the same area of Japan. I think that makes it more confusing for people that you're from the same area and have the same last name but are not related.
MIKA MIYAZATO: laug

Q. Have you ever checked to see if you are related going back?
MIKA MIYAZATO: I don't know. I never check.

Q. How difficult was it to get your confidence back after the first two holes with the bogeys?
MIKA MIYAZATO: I just mistake in the second shot yardage wise, so just figured out it's pretty easy, so...
MODERATOR: So once you were able to get through those two holes and you knew it was just mistakes in yardage, you were able to get yourself back on track and didn't worry too much about the two bogeys?
MIKA MIYAZATO: Just two holes.

Q. Are you pleased with 54 holes? Are you happy that it's just 45 holes?
MIKA MIYAZATO: Not happy. Usually major 72 holes, so I don't know.

Q. We just noticed the back of your jumper. Who's little Pete?
MIKA MIYAZATO: I need to answer? I don't know. This is my sponsor's shirt. I don't know.

Q. Pete is not a good looking boyfriend or anything?
MIKA MIYAZATO: (Laughter.)
MODERATOR: Just a sponsor shirt, right?
MIKA MIYAZATO: (Laughter.)

SUZANN PETTERSEN, Rolex Rankings No. 3

MODERATOR: Suzann Pettersen, welcome back to the media center. Been a busy week for you; you've been in here a few times. That's a good thing when we get to, what day is it today, Saturday.
So congratulations on another good round. You're up at the top of the leaderboard.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yeah, today I didn't play my perfect game of golf out there, but I made a few really good pars; I missed a few greens, holed a few good par putts; had a few easy birdies; few easy tap ins. That obviously helps around this place.
Really tried to take advantage of good playing conditions. That being said, it's not overly easy to get close to some of those pins. There are a few out there that you think you would never see.
At the same time, it's fun, with a challenge, and I'm starting to actually like the new changes.

MODERATOR: In what way?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I just think it takes time to know the greens. I think obviously if you're in the middle of the fairway you can use the clubs from the greens to get close to some pins. There are some pin placements where it's going to be impossible to get close.
If you can just accept that and try and take advantage on the easier approaches, you can actually put a good score together.

MODERATOR: Let's take that a step further. Based on the scores you've shot, there are enough birdie opportunities out there. The things I am hearing is the course is playing longer. Obviously it's course wet.
From your eye, you know how certain courses fit your eye. How does in this one fit your eye?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: If you look at what the course looks like and how it fits your eye, it's the same as it's always been. The layout is exactly the same. The greens have changed, but the tee shots, kind of the steel you have on every tee box has hardly changed for me. You're still kind of playing on the side of a hill. You either have the ball above or below your feet. That hasn't changed much.
The par 3s have improved a lot. A lot tougher. But you have some good par 5s out there that you can are in my reach. It's playing pretty fair. Just really got to see what the weather gives us over the next 24 hours.
I feel like I'm in a good position to try get it to 9 under. Didn't manage, but still a solid round of golf. Couple under is never going to hurt you in a major championship.

Q. What were the greens like today compared to yesterday?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: They were a lot better this morning than they were yesterday. Tried to take advantage of being well, somehow some of the first groups out the greens were faster to start. Obviously they dried out a little bit.
But overall it's playing very similar to yesterday. It's still very soggy. The ball is plugging on the fairways; it's plugging on the greens. So, yeah.

Q. What has experience done for you over the years?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Experience? Well, since I'm blonde, I don't really evaluate my experience too well. That's just a part of being blonde. But I'm learning every year.
I think I'm just smarter. I train smarter; I prepare smarter; I still get my freaky moments, but it's less of 'em.
Yeah.

Q. (No microphone.)
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I guess we're all very into this. We're a very competitive. It's sometimes easy to lose your head. That's what this game can do to you sometimes. It can make you crazy, but can also be very satisfying at the same time.
Just feel it trying to even out that balance. Just accept that you're not going to play perfect golf every single day and still work on your weakest shot.

MODERATOR: Talk your training. When you say you train and prepare differently, how differently is it today than maybe it was, say, five years ago?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well, I think in the past, I mean, I could spend all day on the golf course and practice hours after hours after hours. Now I feel there's better structure and discipline to my practice. I'm a lot more time efficient.
During the week of a tournament, you would like to just maintenance work, just literally try and spend the most time on and around the greens.
During weeks off, when you have weeks off in a pretty busy schedule, you don't want to spend 10 hours on the golf course. If you can, maximize the hours you're on the golf course and give yourself a break to do something different, that is where I'm trying to go. It's not that easy when you literally love to practice.

Q. (No microphone.)
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I mean, I literally decided from the second I put my feet on this course early in the week not to kind of have too much bad energy going around. When you see changes, if you don't like it personally, you can easily get on the wrong side.
I've been very laid back. I understand we're in a difficult position. It's not ideal for either the championship or for the players or the tour in general to cut down on major rounds. So we do the best we can.
We can't really do much before we see what the course is like in the morning. I'm going to stay in Europe, so I can stay Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Doesn't matter. I'll stay as long as it takes to finish this off.

MODERATOR: Let me ask you one before you go. You talked yesterday about what motivates you right now and so forth. You're No. 3 in the world; you won two events at the end of last year and won two this year.
What is left for Suzann Pettersen? If your career was going to come to a close, what's the most important thing to you at this point?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well, it's not coming to a close yet. I feel like I have a lot of unfinished business out here. I have my best golf ahead.
Until I feel like the day comes and I feel like I've reached my point and I'm starting to go reverse, then I'll think about it. But I feel like my best game is still ahead, and that is what kind of keeps me going and on my tippy toes.

MODERATOR: Is No. 1 hugely important to you?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I think the pros says so, but I'm going at it, winning tournaments, is what I am striving for. If you do that, the rest will kind of take care of itself.
You can't control what your opponents are doing. Inbee has had a fantastic season. I've been up against a few pretty good No. 1s in my career. I've pretty much been No. 2 behind the last three, almost four, so I know what it takes.
I just think it makes you want it even more. Grind it out even better every day. No, it's fun competition. It's tough.

LYDIA KO, Rolex Rankings No. 8

MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Lydia Ko into the interview room at the Evian Championship. A second round 67 with four birdies and no bogeys. But more importantly, you say you left a few birdies out there. Are you happy or are you frustrated?
LYDIA KO: Like when I look back, yesterday seemed like a better day. Yeah, it seemed like a better day yesterday, but it's probably because I was off the green a lot and I putted the par putts in.
But, you know, I didn't make any bogeys today and I made a chip in for par. Yeah, of course really happy in that kind of area.
But I definitely gave myself a lot of opportunities. I missed a lot of putts. I made two birdies in a row on 3 and 4, and then on 5 was probably furtherest i away.
On 6 I hit to 1.5 meters, the next 2 meters and then like three meters, so I was pretty angry and it was really building up. When I putted my birdie putt on 17, I said, Oh, come on, please. It's time to go in. I know I don't expect myself to hole everything, but getting 2 putts isn't real.

MODERATOR: Sure. Do you expect to be in this type of position, especially now at a major championship, given the success you've had on the LPGA as an amateur?
LYDIA KO: Yeah, I mean, I played some really good golf and I was really happy about that. I came off a really good week in Canada. Like I said, that was a couple weeks ago. I've never been really in kind of contention with the leaders at a major before.
And because it's a 54 hole event now, it's only one round to get the work done. Hopefully it will be a good day tomorrow. But, you know, I can't hit it as good as I did today every single day.

Q. Do you feel any pressure going into tomorrow, or what's your mindset? Obviously you're in contention.
LYDIA KO: Yeah, I was one shot behind the leader, Caroline, at the Canadian Open. I'm the same I think behind Mika. But there are so many other people that are close. It's not like me and her playing. I just got to play my own game.
I don't know how the weather and the pin positions are going to be tomorrow. But, yeah, I heard it's meant to rain, and definitely low scores are going to be the big thing.

Q. What time do you go bed?
LYDIA KO: Um, on the day that it got canceled, Thursday, because I was meant to tee off at 8:07, I went to bed a little like 8:00 the day before. That night I went to bed at 7:30. I need at least nine hours of sleep. People say beauty asleep, but I don't think so.
Yeah, you know, I had plenty of sleep. I think I slept for 11 hours. As I'm getting older I'm sleeping more and more. Like before I used to only sleep until 6:00 a.m. and it was just immediate wake up call. Now I can sleep until 3:00 p.m. if the alarm is off.

Q. You look very calm and in control on the golf course. Do you get nervous? Will you be nervous tomorrow?
LYDIA KO: To me, like the most important hole is the first and the last hole. Like in the past, if I've missed a short putt on the first hole, then it becomes a whole bad putting day.
So really the first hole is where I get the most nervous, and the same with the 18th.

Q. (Question regarding glasses.)
LYDIA KO: Yeah, I really want to get contacts. Like in the cars they've got wipers. I said they should design one for glasses. I would one myself if I could.
It is pretty uncomfortable because I'm having to clean all the time. If I have a hood or umbrella, doesn't really bother me.

STACY LEWIS, Rolex Rankings No. 2

Q. Just take me through. What were some of the highlights for you out there today?
STACY LEWIS: I just played solid. Wasn't really anything crazy. Definitely played better on my back nine. Hit couple close on the par 3s. Made a couple easy birdies.
It was just a steady day. Could have been better; could have been worse, too.

Q. Conditions today, I know it's cold in the morning, but other than that pretty good?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, the golf course played about the same. Greens are a definitely a little better playing in the morning versus the afternoon.
It was nice. Made a few putts. It was nice out there so far.

Q. Overall with your game this week, what have been the highlights and something you can keep improving?
STACY LEWIS: I don't know. I mean, I've just played solid. I haven't done anything crazy good yet, which is kind of nice. I haven't played my best round yet, which is good. Hopefully we play tomorrow.
I think my putting has got better today. It can still get better. I mean, the good part is I haven't played my best golf yet.

Q. Playing with Suzann, did you feed off that? Do you pay attention?
STACY LEWIS: I don't think you really pay attention. We were all struggling yesterday with the greens. But I mean, I don't know. Suzann and Shanshan, they're easy to play with. Just makes it a nice day.

Q. Looking at a 54 hole event, how do you change your mindset in terms of a major championship and knowing one more round to go?
STACY LEWIS: Well, it's unfortunate. I think a major should be 72 holes. I would have liked to have seen a cut to 50 instead of 70 and try to get 72 in.
But 54 holes is a shootout, so you just got to go out there tomorrow and do the best you can. It's hard not playing 72 holes for a major.

Q. How much do you guys watching these weather forecasts in terms of knowing when you play, what might happen, how uncertain is that?
STACY LEWIS: I think it's been pretty clear to everyone what happening today. It's going to be fine today. As the day goes on it's going to get worse. We know it in the back of your mind. You go out and play the best you can.
Coming back tomorrow the course is going to be completely different. It's going to be muddy and wet. You just got to adjust and see what you can do.



HEATHER DALY-DONOFRIO, Senior VP, Tour Operations
MIKE WHAN, LPGA Commissioner

MODERATOR: It's a pleasure to welcome LPGA commissioner Mike Whan and the LPGA's senior VP of Tour operations, Heather Daly Donofrio, and also the media. Thanks for coming this morning. Hopefully we can answer a few questions based on last night's announcement.
I will let Heather kick it off. Heather, you can comment on the decision to target 54 holes of play here at the Evian Championship.
HEATHER DALY DONOFRIO: Well, as we all know, we got rain on Thursday morning which caused us to cancel play. The golf course had really reached its saturation point having had now more than four inches since Saturday.
The golf course last week was very dry. Actually, when we were here last week before the rain came on Saturday, we were concerned that the greens would be too firm and were talking about ways to make them a little bit more receptive for the players.
The rain caught us by surprise. It caught the course by surprise. We've been tracking the weather hour by hour and looking at all the forecasts and all of the models.
Yesterday we had a lot of discussions, and it became very clear from the weather models that we were going to have a challenge to finish 72 holes before early next week. I even can't tell you what early next week is. Given the amount of rain that's predicted, our weather consultant has told us we're expecting at least five times as much rain as we received Thursday morning which put the golf course under water and became unplayable.
So it's quite a bit of rain coming. We're not sure what the weather looks like after that. There is more rain coming on Monday.
In the interest of the players and the competition, we elected to shorten the tournament to 54 holes. We felt like it was important heading into the second round that players knew what they were playing for. Having been a playing, it's hard particularly in the week of a major championship to have a lot of uncertainty as far as how many holes they're going to play? What's the cut going to be? What's the plan?
Felt like it was very, very important for the players to make sure they knew exactly when they tee'd it up in the second round what they were playing for. That's where we ended up 54 holes and a cut of 70 and ties.

MODERATOR: Mike, from you, just some comments on the perspective of the commissioner in a situation like this. Obviously not the first time we've had to play breviate schedules at majors this year.
MIKE WHAN: Yeah, it's a tough week. It's tough for everybody involved. It's been a tough week for the players and Evian, and certainly for Heather and the rules officials. It's funny, last year I said to Heather, I always feel bad for the weather guy. This year, I do not feel bad for the weather guy. Everybody talks to him and nobody leaves him alone. He's right in the middle of the room and no longer in the corner.
It's been a unique year on the LPGA, but as Heather said, and we talked about it yesterday, what was the right thing to do with the players? We had the same conversation with Evian and they completely agreed. The right thing to do was give the players clear direction as early as we could give it.
A couple people asked me, What if the weatherman is wrong and it's a beautiful, sunny day tomorrow? I said, I would love to apologize if we play a beautiful, sunny 18, and the winner walks down the 18th green and 160 countries are watching us on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Evian. That would be a dream to me if we were wrong and the weather reports were wrong.

Q. Can you address the decision to cut to 54 rather than try to get it with the low 50 and ties?
HEATHER DALY DONOFRIO: I think we're to the point where if you look at what the cut is going to be, if you're committing to 54 holes, the difference between 50 and ties, 60 and ties, 70 and ties in the end might not make a difference as to when we finish.
This is one of the biggest purses of the year, and we have players who are playing for the championship, to hold up Evian for the first year as a major; we also have players that are trying to play their way into Asia and secure their status for 2014.
This is a huge week for players, not only because of the major but the level of the purse. We felt like it was the right thing to do for the players to give everybody that opportunity to play the three rounds.

Q. If the weather does turn out as bad as you may be expecting, how long would you stay here?
HEATHER DALY DONOFRIO: That's something we'll take day by day at this point. Today looks good, and we're hopeful we'll get a full round in today. Tomorrow does not look good. It's all going to depend on how quickly the rain stops and how quickly we can prepare the golf course on how much we can play tomorrow and/or Monday.
Our goal right now is to finish 54 holes.
MIKE WHAN: The weatherman said he though there was good window to play on Sunday and there was a good window to play on Monday. But when we talked about the time of that window, it didn't seem realistic to say, You're going to play 18 holes both days, but rather you have the potential to get 18 holes in in the course of those two windows seemed a lot more realistic.

Q. Early morning or is it...
HEATHER DALY DONOFRIO: In the afternoon. The groundscrew and the agronomists are working around the clock right now to do everything they can to keep the course dry. We have a lot of volunteers coming in tomorrow to help prepare the golf course. A lot of squeegees. I'm going to take one if I have to.
We'll do everything we absolutely can to prepare the golf course as quickly as we can tomorrow.

Q. Explain to me, not understanding a whole lot about course architecture, when the golf course is more mature will it drain better?
HEATHER DALY DONOFRIO: We expect it to be definitely less of a problem. Better question for an agronomist. But as you know, the course was built over the course of the last nine months. Now that we have another year before next year and the after to implement all the maintenance practices with aeration and top dressing and verti cutting.
But we're confident that we've got a really good plan in place, and we'll be working on that when the championship is done as well with Yannick and his team and having a good plan in place for the next year to make sure we do all the right things maintenance wise to prepare the golf course to hold water better.
MIKE WHAN: Sounds maybe humorous or painful to say now, but one of the decisions when we decided to play in September was to play in what we called dry September. We brought Steve Smyers and a lot of the design crew of here in the September the last two years, middle week in September, and they would send back pictures every day.
We he kept saying, Look at those pictures. It was a beautiful time of year. When we talked to Evian and the tournament staff, they said the same thing. September is a beautiful time here. Usually the rains come in July and August. And we've all experienced the rains of July.
We were here in June and July, and in July it was raining a lot. I remember sitting at the Hotel Royale saying, Aren't we glad we decided to move to dry September? Maybe that was the final jinx.
I also think we're not you know, in a typical year we're not looking at the kind of rains this has been, but this has been anything but a typical year.

Q. Usually in September the weather is absolutely gorgeous. We're having bad luck. It's like building the course this year, which was a bad year to choose. The whether forecast for tomorrow must be really awful, really awful, to take such a decision; is that right?
HEATHER DALY DONOFRIO: Yes.
MIKE WHAN: Yes.
HEATHER DALY DONOFRIO: I think everybody in this room has probably been looking at their weather app for the last few days. That's what really precipitated us making the call early, is that the weather forecast is pretty extreme for tomorrow.
MIKE WHAN: It's really the overnight. It's tonight into early morning that is really the awful part. My weather app depresses me; my weatherman depresses me even more. Goes deeper than my app.
It's to be a tough night and early morning of rain, and the we're going to see if we can be ready for that window in the afternoon when it comes if that's how it plays out. I don't think it's a moderate forecast at this point. Looks like it could go either way.

Q. When was the last time major men or women was reduced to 54 holes?
HEATHER DALY DONOFRIO: 1996 when Laura Davies won the LPGA Championship. Similar conditions. Weather, lots of rain. Ron, you may remember that.

Q. Just following up on the September, what is this penciled in in for in the future? Does it remain in September?
MIKE WHAN: Second week of September. Yeah, given what we've lived through this year, too, sounds strange to say sitting here today, but we're more convinced of September than ever. We see July as consistently rainy. It's been rainy here and we've played through more than our share of rainy Evian days or weekends. It's definitely better almanac wise, it's good for our season in terms spacing it out, and I think it also gives us more time year to year as we continue to work on course improvements.

Q. Also, I know you have different scenarios, but do any of them include Tuesday?
HEATHER DALY DONOFRIO: Again, we're taking it day by day, but we haven't ruled Tuesday out yet.

Topics: Notes and Interviews, The Evian Championship

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