Honda LPGA Thailand Tuesday Pre-tournament Notes and Interviews

Karrie Webb
Photo Credit: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Karrie Webb of Australia plays a shot on the 12th hole during the fourth round of the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open at The Victoria Golf Club on February 16, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.

Untitled Document Honda LPGA Thailand
Siam Country Club, Pattaya Old Course

Chonburi, Thailand

Pre-Tournament Notes and Interviews

February 18, 2014

Karrie Webb, Rolex Rankings No. 7

This week the LPGA Tour makes its first stop in Asia for the eighth staging of the Honda LPGA Thailand in Chonburi, Thailand. The event will feature a star-studded field of 70 players competing for a $1.5 million purse at the Siam Country Club.

All 10 of the top-10 players in the Rolex Rankings will be in action this week as No. 1 Inbee Park will make her 2014 LPGA Tour debut. The reigning Rolex Player of the Year is also defending champion this week and will have six titles to defend this year.

 

One for one for Webb: Even heading into her 19th season on the LPGA Tour, World Golf and LPGA Halls of Fame member Karrie Webb says she’s never sure how she’ll start off a season after a two month break. The Australian said she had a great break from the Tour circuit and took some time off while visiting home. When asked whether she saw a win coming in her very first start of the LPGA season, Webb said she didn’t exactly expect it.

“No I definitely wouldn’t say that,” said Webb. “It’s always possible that you show up and you’re ready to play. But I think I always approach the beginning of the year with ‘I’m not sure what I have.’ Because coming off of two months off, you can practice all you want but aren’t game ready.”

Webb might not have considered herself mentally ready when she played in the LET’s and ALPG’s Australian Ladies Masters the week before her win when she was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. But she redeemed herself a week later in Melbourne to notch her 40th career victory.

“For what happened the week before, I felt a little more underdone,” said Webb. “But I really just built into the week. I had a fairly up and down round on the first day. But then each day the rounds got better and I think Sunday conditions really helped me and made it achievable to win. Also when you practice for two months I think you also get very technical and you can’t be perfect in those conditions and that takes me away from trying to be.”

Webb hopes to bring some positive momentum to Thailand and has played extremely well at on the Pattaya Old Course at Siam Country Club in the past. She has recorded three top-10 finishes including a tie for third in 2011.

“The Bermuda greens are beautiful as usual,” said Webb. “I think it’s very much a second-shot course hitting your shots into the greens. You’ve got to be pretty accurate with your iron play. I think off the tee you have to shape the ball both ways. I grew up on Bermuda grass so I always like putting on good Bermuda greens. They’re some of the best I’ve ever played on here.”

 

Keeping it traditional: Eight players took part in the tournament’s official photo call on Tuesday afternoon and turned to some traditional Thai culture to create

Thailand native and reigning Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Moriya Jutanugarn said it was quite special for her to take park.

“It was really cool,” said Jutanugarn. “This is my first time doing the Thai dress for a function like this. It’s fun to do something different for a change and I’m really happy they picked me to do it.”

Jutanugarn admits she and sister Ariya get to do interesting off-course activities while they’re in Thailand but she said being included in the big shot on Tuesday might top them all.

“Actually this is one of the cooler things we’ve done,” said Jutanugarn. “Everyone gets dressed up like this and look so much different than on the golf course. Everything looks really different but really good.”

Jutanugarn was pleased to see her fellow Tourmates get involved in some traditional Thai culture and said they peppered her with questions on where people actually wear the ensembles.

“They were asking me ‘when would you guys actually wear this?’ I said I’m pretty sure only at weddings. Sometimes other big events but mostly when you get married.”

Asked what her favorite part of the outfit was, the second-year Tour member couldn’t decide.

“Oh man, everything,” said Jutanugarn.

 

C’mon Aussie!!! Rolex Rankings No. 7 Karrie Webb notched her 40th career victory last week at the ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open. Winning golf tournaments is nothing new to the Hall of Famer but celebrating in front of her home country was. It was her first LPGA Tour title in Australia and those who know Webb well know she loves her country. The Ayr, Queensland native is a huge supporter of golf back in Australia and thinks the inaugural International Crown will be a great platform to showcase the top Aussies.

She said she’s talked about the event with her compatriots and said the players who currently make up the team based on the Rolex Rankings would create a fun squad. Katherine Kirk, Stacey Keating and Lindsey Wright would round out the foursome if the Crown was played today.

“Yea I think it would be a really fun team,” said Webb. “I’ve talked to Stacy Keating about it and she’s really excited to make the team. I’ve talked to Katherine (Kirk) a bit about it. But I know we’re all really excited to play because it’s an opportunity we haven’t all had since we’ve turned pro. We’ve all represented Australia as amateurs so it will be fun. I’m looking forward to the concept of it.”

Webb realizes she would be the unspoken leader of the team due to her experience and great success and thinks the event could serve as platform for her fellow Aussies to shine on a big stage.

“I think it will be a great experience for all of them. Katherine and Lindsey have played on the LPGA for a while but it will be good experience for them,” said Webb. “But if Stacey were to qualify, it’d be really great for her. She would be playing against some of the best players in the world which she hasn’t played much with. She needs right now to have that belief in herself that she belongs on the LPGA Tour and belongs in that event. She has some status this year but if she were to play in that and play fairly well, I think that would help her tremendously.”

Below are the standings based on the Rolex Rankings that were released on February 17th.

1) South Korea 25   2) United States 28   3) Japan 123
Inbee Park 1   Stacy Lewis  3   Mika Miyazato  22
So Yeon Ryu 5   Lexi Thompson 9   Ai Miyazato 24
Na Yeon Choi 8   Paula Creamer 10   Sakura Yokomine 37
I.K. Kim 11   Cristie Kerr 12   Rikako Morita 40
               
4) Spain 255   5) Thailand 256   6) Sweden 311
Beatriz Recari 20   Pornanong Phatlum 30   Caroline Hedwall  21
Azahara Munoz  33   Ariya Jutanugarn 34   Anna Nordqvist  27
Carolta Ciganda 38   Moriya Jutanugarn 81   Pernilla Lindberg 112
Belen Mozo 164   Thidapa Suwannapura 111   Mikaela Parmlid 152
               
7) Chinese Taipei 358   8) Australia 364      
Yani Tseng 45   Karrie Webb  7      
Teresa Lu 52   Katherine Kirk  107      
Candie Kung 95   Stacey Keating 123      
Hsuan-Yu Yao 166   Lindsey Wright 127      

 

Tweet of the Day: Goes to Karrie Webb who took a screen shot of Yahoo’s homepage that showed she was the top-trending topic after her 40th career win in her native Australia on Sunday.

“Not sure if can c this pic well but I'm apparently trendier than Bruno Mars! Trending #1 on yahoo yesterday!” -@Karrie_Webb

 

Karrie Webb, Rolex Rankings No. 7

Q. Did you feel like you were staged for such a strong start in just your first LPGA start of the year?
KARRIE WEBB: No I definitely wouldn’t say that. It’s always possible that you show up and you’re ready to play. But I think I always approach the beginning of the year with ‘I’m not sure what I have.’ Because coming off of two months off, you can practice all you want but aren’t game ready.

For what happened the week before, I felt a little more underdone. But I really just built into the week. I had a fairly up and down round on the first day. But then each day the rounds got better and I think Sunday conditions really helped me and made it achievable to win. Also when you practice for two months I think you also get very technical and you can’t be perfect in those conditions and that takes me away from trying to be.

Q. Your last win was come from behind on Sunday in pretty windy conditions as well. What is it about coming in on Sunday and closing out?
KARRIE WEBB: All my wins last year were from behind and last week was but I honestly think there’s an easiness to it because you don’t have anything to lose. I think that plays in anyone’s favor. But I’ve won from in front and behind but I knew it made it uncomfortable for the leaders because it was so tough out there. So to post a number was a big advantage.

Q. Being such a proponent to Australian golf, what are you looking forward to the most about having a team in the International Crown? Have you talked to the rest of the teammates? It looks like a fun team.
KARRIE WEBB: Yea I think it would be a really fun team. I’ve talked to Stacy Keating about it and she’s really excited to make the team. I’ve talked to Katherine (Kirk) a bit about it. But I know we’re all really excited to play because it’s an opportunity we haven’t all had since we’ve turned pro. We’ve all represented Australia as amateurs so it will be fun. I’m looking forward to the concept of it.

Q. With the other three players being a little less known, how will it go with you being sort of the unnamed captain and leader of the team?
KARRIE WEBB: I think it will be a great experience for all of them. Katherine and Lindsey have played on the LPGA for a while but it will be good experience for them. But if Stacey were to qualify, it’d be really great for her. She would be playing against some of the best players in the world which she hasn’t played much with. She needs right now to have that belief in herself that she belongs on the LPGA Tour and belongs in that event. She has some status this year but if she were to play in that and play fairly well, I think that would help her tremendously.

Q. You like this course here and have done well. Sounds like it’s a bit drier than usual?
KARRIE WEBB: Yea definitely drier but that’s a good thing. The Bermuda greens are beautiful as usual. I think it’s very much a second-shot course hitting your shots into the greens. You’ve got to be pretty accurate with your iron play. I think off the tee you have to shape the ball both ways. I grew up on Bermuda grass so I always like putting on good Bermuda greens. They’re some of the best I’ve ever played on here.

Topics: Notes and Interviews, Honda LPGA Thailand

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