Friday Second Round Notes
May 23, 2014
Rolex Rankings No.16 Catriona Matthew (-13)
Sponsor Invite Charley Hull (-12)
Rolex Rankings No. 22 Hee Young Park (-10)
Rolex Rankings No. 26 Jessica Korda (-10)
Rolex Rankings No. 113 Christina Kim (-8)
The second round birdie-fest at the 2014 Airbus LPGA Classic continued where the first round left off. There have been plenty of low scores out on the course through the first two days, with more expected throughout the weekend. Scotland native Catriona Matthew (64-67=131, -13) finds herself at the top of the leaderboard heading into the weekend, leading teenager Charley Hull (65-67=132, -12) by a stroke.
Hull finished just before 1pm (CST) today and headed to the clubhouse with the lead, but had a feeling it wouldn’t last long with Matthew getting set to tee off at 1:32pm (CST)
“I think Catriona Matthew could go low today this afternoon because she’s at 8 under anyway. “ Hull said at the time. “But, you know, just keep -- it’s a low scoring golf course. I don’t know, we’ll see at the end of the day.”
The end of the day came and sure enough, Matthew caught up to Hull and it will be a Scotland-England battle to the finish this weekend. Shoot low or go home should be the motto the rest of the way.
Matthew knew what the morning wave had done and expects that trend to continue.
“We had gone out in the morning yesterday and had low scores and you knew they were going to do the same this morning.” Matthew said. “Just have to stay patient and give yourself chances and hopefully you’ll hole some of them.”
MATTHEW MASTERS THE BACK NINE
Scotland native, Catriona Matthew, continued her steamroll Friday, finishing 5-under for the day and claiming the solo spot atop the leaderboard. Matthew’s second round put her at 13-under for the tournament and she holds a one-shot lead on teen sensation Charley Hull.
“I hit 17 greens so I gave myself a lot of chances,” Matthew said. “I didn’t hole many on the front nine, but then the putter got going a little bit on the back nine. Nice to shoot 5‑under.”
The field this week has been bringing in low scores, forcing the players to bring their best game onto the course. Matthew set herself up nicely as she birdied both the 16th and 17th hole to head down the home stretch.
“There’s still 36 holes to go,” Matthew said. “If it’s anything like the first two days, we’re going to have to keep making birdies.”
A HULL LOT OF BIRDIES
18-year old Charley Hull had it going again today and heads into the weekend leading the Airbus LPGA Classic Presented by JTBC. Hull finds herself in position to win her first LPGA event if she can hang on through the weekend.
She didn’t start the day off as well as she had hoped but after making the turn she had five birdies. Through the first 36 holes of this event, she had just one bogey and the birdiefest was something she fed off of.
“I try and set my goals as like I want to birdie -- not so much have goals, but when I make, I think oh, I want to birdie the next five holes in.” Hull said. “I didn’t quite do that today, I had like three instead. Yeah, stuff like that when you get on a birdie roll. This morning when I started off par, par, par, I was a bit frustrated because I wanted to make birdie straightaway, but I got one towards the end.”
MOTIVATED BY MATTHEW
Hee Young Park was paired up with Catriona Matthew the past two days and after watching all the birdies pile up on her scorecard, she was motivated to perform well and she did, shooting 10-under for the tournament.
“I played with Catriona Matthew and Jodi [Ewart Shadoff].” Park said. “We played so good and I think really good competitor team yesterday and today, so I really enjoyed it. And I played really well last week, too, so my feel is not really gone. I am pretty ready and I’m going to do two more days same like this.”
Thanks to an eagle on 16, Park heads into the weekend T3 and in a great position to win.
“I felt good on the tee box and then today I missed the fairway No. 16 and I thought, okay, today might be difficult chance to reach the par 5 two on, and I got the close to the pin and my caddie Kylie said, Hee Young, just like yesterday, just feel free and then visualize and then keep it simple.” Park said. “Okay, and I hit the chip and it hit the hole.”
CATCH THEM CHRISTINA
Christina Kim started her second round tied for 35th on Friday, but she took full advantage of the course as she rallied to shoot 6-under heading into the clubhouse.
“I was just going out and enjoying myself,” Kim said. “Jessica Korda is playing great, Se Ri Pak is playing great, so it’s always nice when you’re able to feed off one another.”
Momentum is building for Kim this year after she played well, finishing sixth, at the North Texas LPGA Shootout. Kim feels comfortable and looks to bring Friday’s momentum into the weekend.
“I’m feeling as well as I have in a long time,” Kim said. “I’m happy, so life’s just starting and I’m really looking forward to being out there and enjoying myself.”
KORDA CONTINUES TO ROLL
Last year’s Runner-Up, Jessica Korda, had another stellar performance on the course Friday. She finished her round 5-under for the day, 10-under overall. Korda made sure to optimize her opportunities on the course to stay on the leaderboard.
“I was in contention last year so I know what it takes,” Korda said. “Just trying to make birdies when you have the opportunity would be the best I could do.”
WORKING FOR THE WEEKEND
70 players made the cut at 142 (-2). Notable players who missed the cut include Rolex Ranking #1 Inbee Park (+6), 2011 Avnet LPGA Classic Champion Maria McBride (+2), Rolex Ranking #20 I.K. Kim and 2008 Bell Micro LPGA Classic champion Angela Stanford. Inbee Park had not missed a cut since May 26, 2013 at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I turned 30 in March and I’m happy, so life’s just starting and I’m just really looking forward to being out there and just enjoying myself.”
-Christina Kim explaining why she is feeling and playing so well lately.
A CHANCE AT #1
There are a few scenarios that have to play out for Stacy Lewis to regain the Rolex World #1 Ranking and below are five of them.
For Stacy to take over #1:
-Will take #1 with a win regardless of other finishes
-Will take #1 with a solo second and Inbee Park finishes T4 with two or more players or worse.
-Will take #1 with a T2 with one other player and Inbee finishes 9th or worse
-Will take #1 with a T2 with two other players and Inbee finishes 17th or worse
-Will take #1 with a solo 3rd and Inbee finishes 26th or worse
Players and spectators took their focus off of play Friday afternoon as a plane conducted a flyover. It was not just any plane taking flight; it was the Airbus A350 XWB (extra wide body) that circled the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course.
The plane flew over at only 1000ft. above the course and made a few circles after stopping by the local Airbus plant to “say hello” to the engineer center in Mobile. Jessica Korda was on her final hole when the plane made an appearance.
“It’s beautiful,” Korda said. “It’s hugs, it’s very big, but it’s very pretty.”
Golf Channel will once again be covering the LPGA this week in Mobile. The airtimes are as follows (CST):
THE SOCIAL SCENE
LPGA player Paula Creamer took to Instagram today in advance of Memorial Day to remind people why we have a long holiday weekend.
“Rocking some good colors today’!!!! Thank you to our military for allowing us to be safe and giving us freedom. We should all say thank you everyday. #neverforget #freedom #godbless”
- Paula Creamer on Instagram (@paulacreamer1)
ROUND 2 INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT: CATRIONA MATTHEW
Friday, May 23, 2014
Q. All right. We're out here with Catriona Matthew. Great round today, end of the day actually on top of the leaderboard. Lots of birdies today, front nine, back nine. Kind of take me through your round and what was really working for you today.
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I played actually probably pretty well today. I hit 17 greens so I gave myself a lot of chances. I didn't hole many on the front nine, but then the putter got going a little bit on the back nine. Nice to shoot 5‑under after, so it was tricky after the day before.
Q. The birdie on 17 definitely had to pull the solo lead there, got to feel great heading into the weekend. What's your mindset as you do go into the weekend and kind of what's your strategy to approach Saturday and Sunday?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Obviously there's still 36 holes to go. If it's anything like the first two days, we're going to have to keep making birdies.
Q. There you go. You did have a late start today. Seeing all the low scores once again, did that make you play a little bit more aggressive or did that change up your game from yesterday to today at all?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: No, it didn't really change at all. We had gone out in the morning yesterday and had low scores and you knew they were going to do the same this morning. Just have to stay patient and give yourself chances and hopefully you'll hole some of them.
Q. Thank you. Good luck this weekend.
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Thanks very much.
ROUND 2 INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT: CHARLEY HULL
Friday, May 23, 2014
CHARLEY HULL: Hitting it pretty straight, hit my irons good and holing some good putts. Missing a few putts but you're always going to miss a few putts when you're playing well. But I'm just excited about this golf course and I quite like it.
Q. It's been a bit of a birdie fest for you out here. Do you start to feed off all of those birdies as you accumulate them?
CHARLEY HULL: Yeah, definitely. Like I try and set my goals as like I want to birdie -- not so much have goals, but when I make, I think oh, I want to birdie the next five holes in. I didn't quite do that today, I had like three instead. Yeah, stuff like that when you get on a birdie roll. This morning when I started off par, par, par, I was a bit frustrated because I wanted to make birdie straightaway, but I got one towards the end.
Q. Do you feel like at the end of the day you head toward the clubhouse in the lead, do you feel like this is a score that's going to hold?
CHARLEY HULL: No, I don't think so. I think Catriona Matthew could go low today this afternoon because she's at 8‑under anyway. But, you know, just keep -- it's a low scoring golf course. I don't know, we'll see at the end of the day.
Q. As far as being in Mobile, how's it been so far?
CHARLEY HULL: Yeah, it's been good. The weather's been pretty hot but I quite like it. So I think it's a great place and it's very green and a bit different than I expected. The trees are a lot different, but I enjoy it a lot.
Q. Speaking of the hot weather, something you're used to?
CHARLEY HULL: I'm getting used to it lately because I was in Turkey a couple weeks ago and I was in Kingsmill the other week, so I think it's good.
ROUND 2 INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT: HEE YOUNG PARK
Friday, May 23, 2014
Q. All right. We're joined by Hee Young Park. Hee Young, great round today, 10‑under, you head into the weekend in a great position. How are you feeling?
HEE YOUNG PARK: Well, I played with Catriona Matthew and Jodi. We played so good and I think really good competitor team yesterday and today, so I really enjoyed it. And I played really well last week, too, so my feel's not really gone. I am pretty ready and I'm going to do two more days same like this.
Q. And you mentioned your play at Kingsmill, you played so well. Do you feel like you're getting close to being in the winner's circle?
HEE YOUNG PARK: I think so. I got a little bit injured, my wrist, pushing hard myself and getting better every day. I learned from last week, Kingsmill, and yeah, it feels like getting there.
Q. And physically you are feeling fine, no problems?
HEE YOUNG PARK: Yes, physically and mentally fine.
Q. And you did get to play with Catriona today, who is the leader heading into tomorrow. Was the fact that she was playing so well, did that motivate you today?
HEE YOUNG PARK: Yeah, Catriona and Jodi, we were like pretty much same iron distance and then same management pretty much, so we never missed really. It helped a lot when she played well.
Q. It also helps when you had an eagle there on 16. Can you take us through that hole a little bit?
HEE YOUNG PARK: Yeah, I actually had eagle yesterday. I felt good on the tee box and then today I missed the fairway No. 16 and I thought, okay, today might be difficult chance to reach the par 5 two on, and I got the close to the pin and my caddie Kylie said, Hee Young, just like yesterday, just feel free and then visualize and then keep it simple. Okay, and I hit the chip and it hit the hole.
Q. That's great advice from Kylie. Good luck this week and thanks for joining us.
ROUND 2 INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT: JESSICA KORDA
Friday, May 23, 2014
Q. All right. We're joined by Jessica Korda. Jessica, another great round for you today, 5‑under, 10 overall, you head to the clubhouse 2nd. What was working for you today?
JESSICA KORDA: Kind of just seemed like yesterday I got the ball close and was able to kind of make a couple putts on my front nine, which was the back nine, so hopefully I can keep that momentum going.
Q. Coming out today did you feel like you had to be a little bit more aggressive than normal considering how low the scores are?
JESSICA KORDA: Not really. I was in contention last year so I know what it takes, so I just knew that playing my game and trying to just make birdies when you have the opportunity to would be the best I could do, and I definitely did do that today.
Q. Now, you were on 18 when Airbus did a flyover. What did you think of that plane?
JESSICA KORDA: It's beautiful. It's huge, it's very big, but it's very pretty.
Q. Are you impressed at all by what Airbus has done out here on the course, some of their tee markers?
JESSICA KORDA: Yeah, I was saying I want to take one home, they're so cool. They're so realistic, too, it's amazing.
Q. Thank you, Jessica, and good luck the rest of the weekend.
JESSICA KORDA: Thank you.
ROUND 2 INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT: CHRISTINA KIM
Friday, May 23, 2014
Q. I'm here with Christina Kim. Christina, you had a great round today, finishing ‑‑ you started the day actually tied for 35th, ended the day tied for 3rd. What was your mindset going into today?
CHRISTINA KIM: You know, I had a phone call with my dad last night and he said, you know, you've accomplished your first mission. Yesterday I birdied the first two holes and then had 16 pars. He said no bogeys, so just try and see what you can do, go out there and be aggressive and just try to hold onto as many birdies as you can. And so I was 6‑under through 10 with a bogey, so I had as many pars in the first 10 holes as I did birdies yesterday, but I was just going out and enjoying myself. Jessica Korda is playing great, Se Ri Pak is playing great, so it's always nice when you're able to feed off one another.
Q. Oh, yeah, you had a great group out there. You ended the day with seven birdies, is that correct?
CHRISTINA KIM: Yes.
Q. So awesome day for you coming out here. Now, you did pretty well in Dallas as well finishing 6th out there, so you got some momentum coming in here. What are you kind of looking for, what's the strategy to carry this momentum into the weekend?
CHRISTINA KIM: You know, just making sure that I'm continually hitting the ball well. I'm just coming off an injury that I suffered for the last three years and I'm feeling as well as I have in a long time. I turned 30 in March and I'm happy, so life's just starting and I'm just really looking forward to being out there and just enjoying myself.
Q. That's awesome. Thank you, Christina, and good luck this weekend.
CHRISTINA KIM: Thank you so much.