LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf First-Round Notes and Interviews

Se Ri Pak
Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Se Ri Pak of Korea hits her first shot on the 6th hole during the first round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf on April 16, 2014 in Kapolei, Hawaii.

LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf
Ko Olina Golf Club
Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii
First-Round Notes and Interviews
April 16, 2014

SE RI PAK -4, Rolex Rankings No. 20
SO YEON RYU -4, Rolex Rankings No. 7
HYO JOO KIM -4, Rolex Rankings No. 34
AYAKO UEHARA -3, Rolex Rankings No. 90
INBEE PARK -2, Rolex Rankings No. 1
MICHELLE WIE -2, Rolex Rankings No. 23
SO YOUNG LEE -2, Amateur

A trio of South Koreans sits atop the leaderboard after battling gusty conditions throughout the first round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf. World Golf and LPGA Halls of Famer Se Ri Pak, Rolex Rankings No. 7 So Yeon Ryu and sponsor invite and No. 34 Hyo Joo Kim all shot 4-under 68 to take the lead after 18 holes at Ko Olina Golf Club. Steady winds of about 15 miles per hour blew throughout the day while gusts reached the low 30’s.

Japan’s Ayako Uehara sits in solo fourth and one shot back at 3-under par. A group of five players are two shots off the lead in a tie for fifth including Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park, Hawaii native Michelle Wie, LPGA Tour rookie Amy Anderson and sponsor exemptions Ha Na Jang and So Young Lee of South Korea.

Ryu was the early leader in the clubhouse after carding five birdies and a bogey on the par 3 8th hole and said the wind was so strong at times it made reading putts difficult. The two-time LPGA Tour winner and 2011 U.S. Women’s Open champion said her iron play was surprisingly sharp in the winds.

“The wind was pretty strong, so it was really hard to play with this much strong wind,” said Ryu. “The most difficult part was sometimes gust wind is super extremely strong, so also it was affecting the putting.  It was really hard to read a line.  The really good thing is my iron shot was really nice, so my birdie putt is almost just short.”

Pak had three birdies, a bogey and an eagle on the par 5 5th hole and recently went back to a crosshand grip in her putting stroke. The 25-time LPGA Tour winner said her father recommended the change and started her career in 1998 with the grip.

“I think that most of the last few years have been giving little time for my putting, but the last couple of weeks have more consistency,” said Pak. “I feel great and I make some more putts that I'm supposed to make, so that's giving more momentum as we walk to the next hole.  That helps a lot.”

Pak is coming off a tie for fourth finish at the Kraft Nabisco Championship and said the momentum from that week has definitely followed her to Hawaii.

“That's all I have right now, it's more comfort with the golf course and hitting a lot more better, like more great tempo, my putting is more solid,” said Pak. “I guess overall my game has gotten together to make it score well.”

Hyo Joo Kim was bogey free through 17 holes and held the lead with Pak at 5-under par until a three-putt on the par 4 9th hole dropped her to 4-under. The 18-year old and KLPGA member said her putting was what kept her in the round on Wednesday.

“Except for the very final hole here, the putting in general was really good for the day,” said Kim. “So I was really happy with my putting in general except for the 9th hole here.”

Michelle Wie had no major hangover from her runner-up finish at the Kraft Nabisco Championship and opened with a 2-under 70 in front of her hometown crowd.

“It's awesome,” said Wie on playing well in Hawaii. “I'm having a blast out here.  It's great to see a lot of friends out there today.  Hopefully more will show up in the next three days.  I like I said, I think I'm in a good position and see what I can do in the next three days.”

World No. 1 Inbee Park got off to a torrid start in the morning picking up four birdies in her first six holes and said she had trouble on the back nine with decisions on her club selection.

“Obviously, the wind wasn't blowing as hard for my first five holes, then it started to really blow,” said Park. “I've never seen this golf course playing this hard before.  It's been definitely the most it's blown so far.”

“The greens seems like it's a little bit more slippery, especially downwind,” Park added. “I had trouble on the back nine with controlling the distance.  I hit it over the couple of greens.  It was almost impossible to get it up‑and‑down from there.  A couple of mistakes on the back nine, but I feel like I'm putting a lot better than I have this season.”

Much needed R&R

So Yeon Ryu had a bad stretch through the LPGA’s swing in California after a T55 finish at the Kia Classic and a T46 finish at the Tour’s last stop at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. The 23-year old said after a final-round 77 at Mission Hills, she needed a quality break during the off week to clear her mind.

“I had a pretty bad round at the Nabisco Championship, so I was pretty disappointed in myself,” said Ryu. “After that I had a really great week off with my mom.  My mom was in L.A., so I had a really great time with my mom sightseeing in L.A.”

The 2012 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year said she did a good job on not dwelling on the bad shots the week before and tried to move forward while remaining in the present. That included tourist stops in the Los Angeles area and plenty of eating.

“It pretty much just cleared my mind, and I don't think about any score or my performance,” said Ryu. “I pretty much think about ‑‑ not worried about any particular hole and I didn't think about the past one.  Just pretty much think about the present. I went to Getty Center and I went to Malibu, Santa Monica, and I went to really great restaurants.  So we ate a lot.”

Ryu, a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour, is trying to snap a 38-event winless streak that dates back to the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic in August 2012.

     
Hard to go low

Windy conditions had the track at Ko Olina Golf Club playing considerably harder than last year. Only four players posted rounds in the 60’s in Wednesday’s first round compared to 22 players in 2013. Forty-nine players shot 70 or better a season ago while only nine players recorded a score of 2-under or better.

LPGA LOTTE Championship – First Round

  2-under or better rounds in the 60’s
2012 9 players 5 players
2013 49 players 22 players
2014 9 players 4 players

                                      

Masters influence

No. 1 Inbee Park didn’t have much time to herself during the Tour’s off week after the Kraft Nabisco Championship and was busy with a trip to Augusta National and to Las Vegas for a house hunting trip. The 25-year old was honored at the Golf Writers Association of America awards dinner last week after being named the Female Player of the Year.

It was an honor to be recognized by the writers of golf,” said Park. “They know me better than I know myself.  It was great to get that kind of recognition, and it was a special experience going to Augusta.  Never been there before and never really seen the guys playing before.  I probably learned a couple of lessons from the guys, looking at them playing.  I think that will help me playing this week.”

Park said she used her time watching the best male players in the world as a study session. She said she picked up tips on their practice routines. She followed fellow South Koreans K.J. Choi and Sang Moon-Bae and her GWAA Player of the Year counterpart and 2013 Masters champion Adam Scott.

“I think I was watching them a lot on the range and the putting greens,” said Park. “I didn't follow them much on the golf course, trying to see what they do on the range and what they do on the putting green, what kind of drills they do and what are they trying to do. I'm trying to figure those things out to really help me think about my swing and imagination for my swing.”

“Out of the guys, like I followed K.J. Choi and Sang Moon‑Bae,” said Park. “I was trying to watch them play.  And I saw a little bit of Adam Scott play, and obviously they are a little bit different.”

Quote of the Day

“My caddie and I, we decided the next time I make a hole‑in‑one, we're going to give like an epic chest pump.  We're getting all ready, we're both getting ready.  I was like, wait a second, how did that not go in?  I got a little bit confused for a bit, but I'll take it on that hole.”­
-Michelle Wie on her near hole-in-one on the par 3 16th hole on Wednesday


Se Ri Pak, Rolex Rankings No. 20

Q. I'd like to welcome in one of our three leaders here at the first round at the Lotte Championship, Se Ri Pak. 4 under, 68, very impressive number out there today, maybe not any other week or any other day, but talk about conditions today and how you ended up getting through this round.

SE RI PAK: Well, first of all, it was really windy out there, a lot windier than last year. We don't have this wind before, but it's just stronger and stronger and never did slow down. I mean, really hard to choose a club to every hole. Off the tee, off the fairway, on the green, all day just have so much focus on the wind because just being really hard wind to adjust it.

Just out there, trying to keep the same tempo and trying to get relaxed out there as I could. I mean, there is nothing I can do about the wind.

I guess that makes my game consistent and my putting actually a couple of putts really nicely fall in and then ended up slowly (inaudible) so I'm glad to finish, yes, definitely.

Q. Well, great front nine, two birdies on the front and a birdie after the turn. Let's talk about the eagle on 5.

SE RI PAK: No. 5 is a par 5. It's really strong downwind, I had a really good drive. I had a 5 iron. Of course, not the No. 5 iron, but still strong wind, so I need to hit it like short and hopefully get it close to the green, I can chip close to make birdie. I didn't make the second shot too, a little off the green to the right. It was about, let's say, a couple of yards off to the right, so I chip a 59 degree, my sand wedge, and landed it short of the pin and hopefully on the green and easy birdie.

It was pretty good, perfect landing and the speed is perfect and it went in the hole. So that was a really surprise, good bonus for me.

Q. You have been playing very solid golf the past two events, Top 6 finishes. How much influence did your play at Kraft two weeks ago carry on in here? Was that momentum that was carried over from the major?

SE RI PAK: Definitely. Actually starting this year, I play a lot more consistency. I guess I just find a lot better tempo in my swing.

And the last couple of weeks my dad is with me. Obviously, he went back last week. But he was here and he helped my first coach, but he knew better than anybody. Of course, I have my own swing coach, too, we work together. My dad is giving a lot more simple thought at the golf course and he know me better than anybody. So he give me a little bit of tips, and that gave me a lot of change in my mind.

And just more relaxed out there and just helped me out. Then the biggest part is I change my grip style, which is right now left hand low, crosshand, and more bigger grip. Actually he just my dad I go to the pro shop and change the grip. That's my (indiscernible), but yeah.

I think that most of the last few years have been giving little time for my putting, but the last couple of weeks have more consistency. I feel great and I make some more putts that I'm supposed to make, so that's giving more momentum as we walk to the next hole. That helps a lot.

That's all I have right now, it's more comfort with the golf course and hitting a lot more better, like more great tempo, my putting is more solid. I guess overall my game has gotten together to make it score well.

Q. When did you make the change to the crosshand? When was that?

SE RI PAK: From Kia. Starting at the Kia finish.

Q. Your dad was the one that brought that up and said maybe change it up and it worked?

SE RI PAK: I did use my crosshand. I was early in my season, '98 to about 2003 or so, and then I am going back to the normal grip, and now I just get back to the crosshand.

Q. I know that it's just the first round and I know that it's been like this before, but there must be a certain amount of national pride in so many people from your country dominating this leaderboard today?
SE RI PAK: I mean, you know, last many years, Korean players were consistent in the top, so not surprising, everybody knows about it. And of course we had already win this year. Normally my country win already a couple of events.

Not only our country, but you can see all Asian players come from all over. They are young, too. Just things change in the LPGA now. I mean, not only Korean, not only Asian, but I think more from international, and the age is going a lot more younger, and there is more talent and they are in better shape and they play well.

So it's really good to see it happen. And to see it more public and that people know that is really different than old days, actually. More fun to watch and more better games, actually, so that's really great for the LPGA. I mean, I like to see it happening, too.

Q. How did that bogey happen?
SE RI PAK: It was on the green, but today's green was really hard, on the top left, and I was the short side right. I thought I hit it the green is slow, I got down there, I wanted to hit it firm, but I did really hard.

Then I find about I think about 11, 12 feet behind to make a 3 putt there.

So all was perfect except for that. It was a 8 for me. With that happening, all day I was swinging really well and made great up and down a couple of times. It's happening, so that's okay with me.

Q. Lydia Ko he said that you were the first player that she saw play when she was a little girl and it inspired her. Comment a little bit on Lydia.
SE RI PAK: I played with her not last year, two years ago at Swinging Skirts. This is (indiscernible) LPGA event. That was the first week of December.
So I heard about her, but I never did get to actually play with her. I played with her that third round or second round together, and she was only 15, 16.

It really is fun to watch her play. Her age, I mean, she knew what's going on. She had her game, actually. Sometimes age come out professional, play with the pro, it's good thing, bad thing, but they are learning. As soon as I play with her, I realize it really surprised me how good she is at her age. I mean, she knew how to play the game. She knew her game and it just really controlled really well, too. So I knew she was going to be really, really good. I'm still sure she will be one of the best players there is.


So Yeon Ryu, Rolex Rankings No. 7

THE MODERATOR: I'd like to welcome in So Yeon Ryu into the interview room, our leader in the clubhouse at 4 under. Great round today. Looks like it might stay. Everybody thought they'd come into this course and shoot some low numbers, but the wind was a huge factor. Talk about your round overall and the wind today.
SO YEON RYU: Well, first of all, the wind was pretty strong, so it was really hard to play with this much strong wind. The most difficult part was sometimes gust wind is super extremely strong, so also it was affecting the putting. It was really hard to read a line. The really good thing is my iron shot was really nice, so my birdie putt is almost just like (indiscernible). But that one is kind of is no matter of the wind.

So I'm pretty happy with my iron shot today. Hopefully tomorrow there's going to be like less wind.

Q. Take us through the birdies. Inbee just said very very difficult to be able to make some birdies. Coming in people were thinking they could put up some low numbers.
SO YEON RYU: First hole was I made a one foot birdie putt, and also second hole I made a two foot birdie putt. It's a really great start. If you make two great holes before you start, it can be really big confidence.

When I hit an iron shot, I pretty much press myself because I already had a great experience and made a lot of great birdies. I think it was a help.

Once again, the wind was really hard to judge, so that was why it was really hard to make a birdie chance.

Q. Talk about club selection and how difficult that is in this kind of wind.
SO YEON RYU: Well, that's why I discuss a lot with my caddie today. Sometimes it feels like right to left wind, but actually it was into wind. And it was really hard to see and really hard to judge.

But if someone hit it first than me, I can see the ball flight and I can see how much effort into the ball, the wind. So it's pretty much copied a lot with my fellow competitor.

Q. What was your mindset going into today and did you have any expectations? Did you have any goals?
SO YEON RYU: I had a pretty bad round at the Nabisco Championship, so I was pretty disappointed in myself.

After that I had a really great week off with my mom. My mom was in L.A., so I had a really great time with my mom sightseeing in L.A.

It pretty much just cleared my mind, and I don't think about any score or my performance. I pretty much think about not worried about any particular hole and I didn't think about the press once. Just pretty much think about the present.

Q. What sights did you see in L.A.?
SO YEON RYU: I went to Getty Center and I went to Malibu, Santa Monica, and I went to really great restaurants. So we ate a lot.

Q. Is that the first time mom has visited you in L.A.?
SO YEON RYU: No, not really. My mom hasn't done much sightseeing in L.A., so it was a great time to look around L.A. then my mom loved it and my mom just (indiscernible).

I just pretty much happy with I have a really great opportunity to look around with my family in the States.

Q. What about Hawai'i here? Do you love coming here?
SO YEON RYU: Yeah, I always love to be here, you know. Especially, you know, all of us at the hotel and resort is pretty close to golf course. Every day we can walk around the beach. Also it's a really great place to run at the beach. I love this place. Also, this golf course is a really great golf course, but just the greens make it really hard.

Q. You said the best part of your game is your irons. Isn't that the hardest part?
SO YEON RYU: Absolutely the hardest part. Before I started the tournament, I sent my swing video to my swing coach. He gave me a couple of tips and I think that was helpful. I used my wrist too much, so he requested for me to use less the wrists when you start the backswing. I think that was pretty helpful with my iron play.


Hyo Joo Kim, Rolex Rankings No. 34

Q. Just take me through the round. Obviously you had a very, very solid round up until the last hole was your only bogey. Take us through the round today.

HYO JOO KIM: It was windy, but I had two different matches before LPGA Lotte Championship, so I am getting used to the wind.

Q. Where were the matches?
HYO JOO KIM: In March, I had a match in Japan and last week I had a match in Jeju Island.

Q. What was that?
HYO JOO KIM: In Jeju Island, in Korea.

Q. How many LPGA events have you played in? Is this your first?
HYO JOO KIM: This year?

Q. Total, as a pro.
HYO JOO KIM: This is my second.

Q. This is your second. What was the first one?
HYO JOO KIM: This tournament last year.

Q. So you played
HYO JOO KIM: I was an amateur.

Q. This is your second
HYO JOO KIM: Actually, this is my third LPGA event. We participated in our first in 2012, as an amateur. Now I turned pro in 2013 and I participated last year.

Q. So all have been here?
HYO JOO KIM: I also participated in 2012 in the Evian Championship, so four.

Q. So not nervous at all? You've obviously been used to playing in professional events?
HYO JOO KIM: No.

Q. Plenty of professional experience. What was your goal this week? Did you have a goal? Win? Make the cut? Shoot a certain number?
HYO JOO KIM: You got it right, Top 10.

Q. Have you thought about wanting to play on LPGA full time at all? Have you thought about plans for that yet?
HYO JOO KIM: I eventually want to play full time here. I will be participating in San Francisco in the next event.

Q. What is the strength of your game today? The strongest point of your game today?
HYO JOO KIM: Except for the very final hole here, the putting in general was really good for the day. So I was really happy with my putting in general except for the 9th hole here.

Q. Is that typically your strength, the putting?

HYO JOO KIM: (Off microphone.)

Q. How old are you?
HYO JOO KIM: I'm 18.

Q. When did you turn pro?

HYO JOO KIM: Last year.

Q. You were 17 then. Do you play primarily on JLPGA or KLPGA?

HYO JOO KIM: KLPGA.


Ayako Uehara, Rolex Rankings No. 90

Q. Very solid day. How big of a factor was the wind?

AYAKO UEHARA: It was extreme.

Q. It got worse throughout, the wind, you think?
AYAKO UEHARA: It was all the way, like since early in the morning, it's the same.

Q. What was working for you today? What did you think was really strong of your game?
AYAKO UEHARA: Club selection was good. Even though I had 3 putted a couple of times, or once, twice, two or three times, however, basically, my putting was very good.

Q. Talk about 15, 16, 17, all those birdies. Did you make some good putts on those?
AYAKO UEHARA: My putting was just as I imagined, planned. It went in, it was pretty long.

16 was very long, 15 footer, kind of.

Q. How did you do at Kraft?
AYAKO UEHARA: I missed the cut.

Q. What did you do in the off week? Did you work on anything specifically?
AYAKO UEHARA: Nothing special, but my cousin lives in San Diego. Swinging Skirts, the new course in San Francisco.

Q. You went and played it?
AYAKO UEHARA: Two days.

Q. You went and played two days up there? What did you think of the course up there?
AYAKO UEHARA: Very, very difficult.

Q. So you didn't take too much time off, you went out and practiced and grinded?
AYAKO UEHARA: I did some touristy things at the same time as I practiced.

Q. What did you do?
AYAKO UEHARA: Even here in Hawai'i, hiking, it's really hilly or a mountain. My caddie told me where to go. There's a waterfall, and then I swam over there in the waterfall.

Q. What did you do in San Francisco?
AYAKO UEHARA: Two rounds of practicing.

Downtown San Francisco, Fisherman's Wharf. I didn't see the bridge or anything. I was in the city.

Q. When did you get to Oahu?
AYAKO UEHARA: Friday.

Q. How many times have you been here?
AYAKO UEHARA: First time.

Q. What do you think of it? Beautiful?
AYAKO UEHARA: Very windy, blistery.

Q. Did you expect it?
AYAKO UEHARA: More than I expected.

Q. What are you looking forward to continue with your strong play for the rest of the week?
AYAKO UEHARA: Making good decisions. And then I need a good rest for my brain, and then make good decisions every time and go on like that.

Q. You mentioned club selection. How much more difficult is that with this wind?
AYAKO UEHARA: The trajectory depends and like the wind blows, it takes it away and things like that. So I need to think about that. And then draw the ball and the fade is completely different with the wind, hitting the ball.


Inbee Park, Rolex Rankings No. 1

THE MODERATOR: It's my pleasure to welcome Inbee Park into the interview room, a great 2 under today, four birdies, two bogeys. Take us through the day. Obviously the wind was a big factor. Talk about the conditions today and your round overall.

INBEE PARK: I got off to a really good start today, four birdies early, in six holes.

Obviously, the wind wasn't blowing as hard for my first five holes, then it started to really blow. I've never seen this golf course playing this hard before. It's been definitely the most it's blown so far.

The greens seems like it's a little bit more slippery, especially downwind. I had trouble on the back nine with controlling the distance. I hit it over the couple of greens. It was almost impossible to get it up and down from there. A couple of mistakes on the back nine, but I feel like I'm putting a lot bit better than I have this season.

I got to watch out for a little bit of distance controlling the next three days, and obviously everybody is going to make mistakes in this wind. Obviously it's really tough to control the distances, so I'm just trying to make I really scrambled for pars on this golf course. Today all day was scrambling for pars on the back nine. Trying to give myself more opportunities for the next three days.

Q. How much does the bag play a factor with you in yardages and clubs and all that?
INBEE PARK: I mean he thinks he's not always right, but most of the time he's right.
Today we both made a mistake on calculating the wind for a couple of holes. Except for that, I think we did pretty good on distance controlling and reading the wind. You have to have a perfect contact to actually ride the wind. If you have a little bit of a bad contact, your ball is going to go everywhere.

Q. You had a week off after Kraft and you had kept saying, I've been working on the putting, need to find my putting. What were you working on in the offseason? Was there anything specifically that something start clicking this week?
INBEE PARK: Last couple of days in Kraft Nabisco where I felt like I was putting a lot better. I wasn't hitting the ball great at Nabisco, so it didn't really look like I was putting good. But I was definitely putting better in Kraft than I I felt like my confidence was coming back in the last couple of days.

And then obviously I didn't get much time to practice last week because I was everywhere. I was in Vegas. I was in Atlanta. I mean, I was in Augusta. I was pretty busy trying to forget about golf, trying to refresh.

Still pretty tired from a ten hour flight, but I feel good about coming this weekend. Obviously I have my close friends living here, so it feels like home to me.

Q. You got to go to Augusta for the very first time. It was a special event for you. You were the Female Golfer of the Year at the GWAA award ceremony. Talk about that experience. To be recognized is such a good honor.

INBEE PARK: It was an honor to be recognized by the writers of golf. They know me better than I know myself. It was great to get that kind of recognition, and it was a special experience going to Augusta. Never been there before and never really seen the guys playing before. I probably learned a couple of lessons from the guys, looking at them playing. I think that will help me playing this week.

Q. What kind of lessons was the biggest takeaway?

INBEE PARK: I think I was watching them a lot on the range and the putting greens. I didn't follow them much on the golf course, trying to see what they do on the range and what they do on the putting green, what kind of drills they do and what are they trying to do.
I'm trying to figure those things out to really help me think about my swing and imagination for my swing.

Q. Who impressed you the most?
INBEE PARK: Out of the guys, like I followed K.J. Choi and Sang Moon Bae. I was trying to watch them play. And I saw a little bit of Adam Scott play, and obviously they are a little bit different.

Q. What kind of difference does the wind make on the putting?
INBEE PARK: It was tough to concentrate and you have to with this strong wind, you have to read the wind also. Even the break is left to right a little bit. Sometimes the wind is going to right to left, you have to play straight. It definitely comes into the play, and obviously the concentration part.

Q. What were you doing in Vegas?
INBEE PARK: We were house hunting again. And I was with my friends and family, so they wanted to go over there and look at the house together and I found a house.

Q. (Inaudible?)
INBEE PARK: I've only be there in Vegas twice this last year. It was my second attempt and I got it.

Q. So what are some amenities? You were trying to look for a pool?
INBEE PARK: No, no pool, just a normal house.

Q. Why Vegas?
INBEE PARK: I went to high school there, I grew up there my high school years. I think flying in and out is quite easy. I like the West Coast side of the U.S.

Q. You mentioned the wind wasn't as bad when you teed off this morning. At what point did you notice it picked up?
INBEE PARK: I think it was about No. 4 or 5, it really picked up. When we were warming up, it was almost calm. When we teed off, it started to blow and got stronger and stronger.

Q. Did it surprise you, the wind?
INBEE PARK: We were expecting the wind. All week this weekend we played in the wind in the Pro Am and the practice round. I think it's going to be like this all week so it will be tough.


Michelle Wie, Rolex Rankings No. 23

Q. Very solid day for you. Just take us through the day. Obviously a windy, windy day. Talk about conditions as well.
MICHELLE WIE: It was quite windy out there today. Just started off with bogey, but just kind of hung in there. I just was patient all day today. It felt good.

Q. Round of 70 and it seems like you probably could have done better than that. Do you feel good, if the conditions start to settle down a little bit, about your chances tomorrow?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I just had (indiscernible) by to 2 under par today. Se Ri is kind of killing it with 5 under out there.
It's not easy, but I'll take it. I positioned myself quite well today. Three more days to go, so I'll see what I can do.

Q. Solid round seems like the theme you've had this season. How much fun is this to come back home and start off the tournament on such a good note?
MICHELLE WIE: It's awesome. I'm having a blast out here. It's great to see a lot of friends out there today. Hopefully more will show up in the next three days. I like I said, I think I'm in a good position and see what I can do in the next three days.

Q. Is it nice to see Se Ri playing so well considering that she is a pioneer for a lot of players out there?

MICHELLE WIE: For sure. I looked up to her growing up. She was definitely the role model. I just wanted to be like her. She was so cook and she still is very cool. She is 5 under today, and it was not easy today out there at all.

Q. (Inaudible?)
MICHELLE WIE: I mean, you expect the trade winds, but at certain points you just needed stuff in your pockets, I felt like I was going to blow away.
It was pretty strong out there. There were some holes where the balls were moving a lot bit, not moving but wiggling. It was tough.

Q. Talk about the shot on 16. Near hole in one. How bad did you want that?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, you know, my caddie and I, we decided the next time I make a hole in one, we're going to give like an epic chest pump. We're getting all ready, we're both getting ready. I was like, wait a second, how did that not go in? I got a little bit confused for a bit, but I'll take it on that hole.

Q. Talk about the way you bounced back from that bogey on par 5, to be able to come back and go birdie birdie the way you did, seems like that was a big part of the round?
MICHELLE WIE: Just a bad tee shot on that hole, just stupid hitting it in the water. That hole is going to be playing really hard, but just made some putts coming in which felt good.

Q. You don't do any change in game plan, I know. Kraft you were hitting kind of line drive shots? Does that change here?

MICHELLE WIE: Definitely hitting a lot of low shots today.

Q. Curious, you have been playing such consistent golf that might work if the wind kind of sticks in the mix. Would you welcome that a little bit or would you like to see it die down a little bit?

MICHELLE WIE: I am going to take whatever comes. I think that I definitely like a challenge, definitely like if the wind blows. If it dies down, it would be fun to make more birdies and stuff like that. I'm not going to expect anything, just take whatever comes at me.


So Young Lee, Amateur

Q. How did you feel out there? Obviously the wind probably played a factor?
SO YOUNG LEE: It wasn't too windy in the morning, but it got windy in the afternoon.

Q. Did you change your game plan at all as soon as the wind started picking up?
SO YOUNG LEE: No just stuck to my game plan.

Q. Were you nervous?
SO YOUNG LEE: I was nervous, but I was enjoying it.

Q. How old are you?
SO YOUNG LEE: Sixteen.

Q. And still an amateur, but playing in professional events. Have you thought about turning pro or do you think you'll stay amateur for a little while?
SO YOUNG LEE: I want to turn pro after the Asian game in 2014.

Q. What was your mindset going into today?
SO YOUNG LEE: I was going to be par.

Q. You wanted to shoot 72 was your goal?
SO YOUNG LEE: Yeah.

Q. Do you have a goal for this entire week? Did you want to make the cut, finish Top 10? Did you have a certain goal or just to shoot par?
SO YOUNG LEE: I want to be in the Top 20.

Q. So you were not really surprised by the score?
SO YOUNG LEE: No.

Q. How do you like Hawaii so far?
SO YOUNG LEE: I feel like I'm on vacation here.

Q. Were you surprised by the wind or ready for it?
SO YOUNG LEE: It's more windier than where I play.

Q. What are your goals for the next three rounds? There is a lot of golf to be played, but anything that you want to do in the next three days that you did today?
SO YOUNG LEE: Just like today, I want to play just like today.

Q. Where is your hometown?
SO YOUNG LEE: Seoul.

Q. Do you know any of the LPGA players? Have you played with any of the South Koreans or do you know anybody on tour?
SO YOUNG LEE: Ha Na Jang and Mi Hyung Lee, I know.

Q. You do you up playing with them or knew them from playing in
SO YOUNG LEE: She's been playing with me since she was little.

Q. Did they give you any advice coming into this week? Did they tell you any tips or what to do?
SO YOUNG LEE: Just to have fun.

 

                                               

Topics: Notes and Interviews, LPGA Lotte Championship, Pak, Se Ri, Park, Inbee, Uehara, Ayako, Wie, Michelle, Ryu, So Yeon [+]

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