Airbus LPGA Classic Presented by JTBC - Third Round Notes and Interviews

Anna Nordqvist
Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Anna Nordqvist of Sweden tees off the seventh hole during round three of the Airbus LPGA Classic presented by JTBC at the Crossings Course at the Robert Trent Jones Trail at Magnolia Grove on May 24, 2014 in Mobile, Alabama.

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail - Crossing Course at Magnolia Grove
Mobile, Alabama
Saturday Third Round Notes
May 24, 2014


Rolex Rankings No. 13 Anna Nordqvist (-16)

Rolex Rankings No.16 Catriona Matthew (-15)
Rolex Rankings No.  2 Stacy Lewis (-14)
Rolex Rankings No. 12 Michelle Wie (-13)
Rolex Rankings No. 180 Belen Mozo (-11)
Rolex Rankings No. 9 Paula Creamer (-8)



Anna Nordqvist (-16) heads into the final round of the Airbus LPGA Classic Presented by JTBC with a one stroke lead over Catriona Matthew (-15). Close behind the duo are Stacy Lewis (-14) and Michelle Wie, Jessica Korda and Charley Hull at 13-under.

Nine players are within four strokes of Nordqvist which will make for an exciting finish at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Mobile, AL tomorrow. A win tomorrow will give Nordqvist three on the year, which will tie Jimmy Walker for the most wins in golf this year.

“You know, stepping up to the tee box every day, they announce you as a four‑time winner and major champion and Solheim Cup, I just feel very proud of myself what I’ve accomplished in my career and hopefully I will just keep adding achievements along the way, but I’m excited for tomorrow and can’t wait.” Nordqvist said about the excitement of leading on a Sunday.

Anna Nordqvist (-16) heads into the final round of the Airbus LPGA Classic Presented by JTBC with a one stroke lead over Catriona Matthew (-15). Close behind the duo are Stacy Lewis (-14) and Michelle Wie, Jessica Korda and Charley Hull at 13-under.

Nine players are within four strokes of Nordqvist which will make for an exciting finish at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Mobile, AL tomorrow. A win tomorrow will give Nordqvist three on the year, which will tie Jimmy Walker for the most wins in golf this year.

“You know, stepping up to the tee box every day, they announce you as a four‑time winner and major champion and Solheim Cup, I just feel very proud of myself what I’ve accomplished in my career and hopefully I will just keep adding achievements along the way, but I’m excited for tomorrow and can’t wait.” Nordqvist said about the excitement of leading on a Sunday.


A CHANCE FOR THREE IN 2014

Anna Nordqvist (68-66-66=200, ,-16) finds herself in a familiar position heading into tomorrow’s final round. She has four career LPGA victories and is in the hunt for her fifth, and third this season. She appreciates what a huge accomplishment it would be but knows she has a long way to go before she’s holding that trophy.

“All I can do is put myself in a position to have a chance tomorrow and I felt like I’ve done that.” Nordqvist said. “Last year I was in the final group and I was playing well and there was a lot of people coming from behind, so I know this golf course, you can never relax.  You always have to keep pushing forward and trying to make birdies because if you don’t, someone else will. “

The excitement of teeing off alone atop the leaderboard is something that Anna will cherish.

“I’ve been working hard the last couple weeks to put myself in this position again and I’m excited and I just can’t wait for tomorrow.” Nordqvist said.

 
IT’S ALL ABOUT WINNING

Stacy Lewis knows the possibilities of a successful tournament in Mobile and what it will bring her. She has the chance to become No. 1 in the Rolex World Rankings, and she doesn’t even have to win the tournament, but just be able to find success. For Lewis, that is not the focus.
 
“For me the goal is to win tournaments,” Lewis said. “I come here to get a trophy at the end of the week. So that’s the goal tomorrow and whatever else happens, happens.”
 
Currently, Lewis is in third place for the Airbus LPGA Classic Presented by JTBC, and trails the lead by two-shots. Lewis will look to pull in front on her final round Sunday, and possibly become the world’s No. 1 ranked player.

 
MOZO MAKES A MOVE

Spanish native, Belen Mozo, showed signs of improvement during her third-round of the Airbus LPGA Classic Presented by JTBC Saturday. Mozo has been struggling this season and it looks like she is making strides.
 
“I’ve been working a lot on my mind,” Mozo said. “I’ve been struggling mentally quite a bit. I went back to my coach at the beginning of the year.  It was a very wise decision because I was just missing something there.  So I wanted to go back to my roots.”
 
Mozo will step on the course Sunday tied for eleventh place, with 11-under for her tournament total, looking to make a few more moves up the leaderboard.

 
MARINES WELCOME WIE

As part of Memorial Day weekend, special guest Marines from the Naval Air Station Pensacola, had the chance to interview Michelle Wie after they cheered her on to finish her third round Saturday.
 
Wie worked her way up the leaderboard to end the day three shots behind the leader, Anna Nordqvist.
 
“There’s a lot of wedges on this golf course so you have to get into a rhythm where you hit driver in the fairway and give yourself a good opportunity for birdie” Wie said.
 
Wie hopes to carry her 7-under round Saturday momentum into Sunday’s final round, but not before she joined the group of marines in a loud “Ooh-rah” to end the interview.


CHEERS TO THE MILITARY

Strong military supporter, Paula Creamer, celebrates and gives thanks to the military men and women during this special Memorial Day weekend tournament. As part of a military family growing up, and engaged to an Air Force man, she has grown up expressing gratitude for the troops.

 “I say thank you to every soldier and every person who’s a part of their family as well,” Creamer said. “It takes a team. We’re so blessed that we live in this country and to have those  men and women fight for us, thank you isn’t enough.”


QUOTE OF THE DAY

“She brings so much joy to my life that I’ve been struggling since the beginning of the year and I knew my game was going to come.  I mean, the best is not even out yet, I know I’m going to play really good.  And I just needed to be happy, I just needed to be the Belen that I am, just enjoy myself, be funny, a goofball, and dogs bring that side of me.”

-Belen Mozo talking about her new dog, Coco, who she recently welcomed into the family.


A CHANCE AT #1

There are a few scenarios that have to play out for Stacy Lewis to regain the Rolex World #1 Ranking with current Rolex Ranking #1 Inbee Park not making the cut this week.

For Stacy to take over #1:
• She needs to finish solo 3rd or better - she will NOT take #1 with a T3.
• She will not take it with a 5-way tie for 2nd but she WOULD with a 4-way tie for 2nd.


TV COVERAGE

Golf Channel will once again be covering the LPGA in Mobile, AL The airtime for tomorrow is as follows:
Sunday                 2:00-5:00pm (CST)


EAGLES FOR A CAUSE

“Wounded Warrior Project® Weekends” is a season-long charity program that will be tied into the Race to the CME Globe. Each Saturday and Sunday at LPGA tournaments, CME Group will donate $1,000 to Wounded Warrior Project® for each eagle that is recorded. This amount will increase to $5,000 for each eagle during the weekend of the CME Group Tour Championship and a formal check will be presented to the Wounded Warrior Project® during the trophy ceremony at the CME Group Tour Championship.

Today, two eagles were recorded which brings the total money raised this year to $109,000. Through the first 11 tournaments prior to the Airbus LPGA Classic Presented by JTBC, $107,000 had been raised.


A FAMILY AFFAIR

Mallory Blackwelder made some noise on the Symetra Tour today, winning the Symetra Classic in Charlotte, NC. There was someone out on the course today at the Airbus LPGA Classic who was closely monitoring her progress throughout the day.

Jodi Ewart Shadoff’s caddie, Myles Blackwelder, is Mallory’s brother and was calling Jodi’s husband throughout the day anxious for updates on how is sister was doing.


THE SOCIAL SCENE

LPGA Player Belen Mozo is one of the players on tour who have to get creative to meet their dietary needs. After seeing everyone eat the delicious banana pudding in the clubhouse, she made her own, gluten-free version.

“My first Gluten Free banana pudding! #Southernbound”

- Belen Mozo on Instagram (@belenmozo)


ROUND 3 INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT:      ANNA NORDQVIST            
Saturday, May 24, 2014

MODERATOR:  All right.  I'd like to welcome Anna Nordqvist into the interview room today.  Anna, great round today, 66.  You find yourself atop the leaderboard, alone atop the leaderboard.  How were you feeling today?

ANNA NORDQVIST:  I felt very confident and very comfortable out there.  Got off to a really good start and just tried to keep the momentum and, you know, had a pretty good finish the last three holes, so I'm very happy with the day.

MODERATOR:  And have you thought about at all the enormity of the fact that a win tomorrow would be three in a year?  I think on the PGA TOUR side Jimmy Walker was three wins.  It would be you and Jimmy atop the golf world.

ANNA NORDQVIST:  All I can do is put myself in a position to have a chance tomorrow and I felt like I've done that.  Last year I was in the final group and I was playing well and there was a lot of people coming from behind, so I know this golf course, you can never relax.  You always have to keep pushing forward and trying to make birdies because if you don't, someone else will.  

MODERATOR:  I think you only had one bogey this entire week.  How have you avoided any sort of mistakes on the golf course?

ANNA NORDQVIST:  I've been hitting it very solid tee to green this week and felt like I've been rolling the putts very well.  Just a matter of getting good reads.  Made a really good par putt on the last to save par there.  Overall, you know, kept giving myself a lot of birdie opportunities and just a lot of tap‑ins for par.

MODERATOR:  And again, two wins this year already.  Are you excited headed into tomorrow and what's your approach?

ANNA NORDQVIST:  Absolutely.  I've been working hard the last couple weeks to put myself in this position again and I'm excited and I just can't wait for tomorrow.

MODERATOR:  Perfect.  We'll open it up for questions.

Q.  Obviously last year on Saturday you had such a great round and you started out really strong today.  Is it the setup that works or is it just the way things happen?


ANNA NORDQVIST:  Last year on Saturday I shot a career low 61, so I definitely know I can score on this course.  I feel like they moved a couple tee boxes back this year so it's playing a little longer, but, you know, I came off to a really good start and just try to push myself forward.  Couldn't get the putts to go in on the back, but any day you have a great Saturday and you put yourself in a good position to win on Sunday you're very happy.

Q.  Do you feel like you left some strokes out there at all?

ANNA NORDQVIST:  Yeah, I mean, I had a short one on 7, maybe three, four feet for birdie that lipped out.  I put a couple good strokes on the back, just seemed to have a lot of double breakers today and I just couldn't quite get the reads right.

Q.  With the way the course ‑‑ the way the tournament has played out this week with so many low numbers, is there an aggressive part that you have to be, you have to stay aggressive out there and go after birdies?

ANNA NORDQVIST:  Definitely.  I think we all knew coming into this week that this is a scorable golf course, even though they made it a little bit tougher this year, and you've got to keep trying to make birdies and keep your best foot forward so you put yourself in position to make birdies because there's a lot of low scores.  For tomorrow, just try to post a low number and we'll see how it goes.  

MODERATOR:  Final question, Anna.  You have the experience of winning out here twice this year.  Can you talk a little bit about that feeling of heading into Sunday, you're in the lead, what's it like on the first tee box?   

ANNA NORDQVIST:  This is what you work so hard for.  Obviously I was working very hard to win for a couple years and then all of a sudden I won in Thailand and Kia this year.  You know, you feel really proud of yourself.  You know, stepping up to the tee box every day, they announce you as a four‑time winner and major champion and Solheim Cup, I just feel very proud of myself what I've accomplished in my career and hopefully I will just keep adding achievements along the way, but I'm excited for tomorrow and can't wait.

MODERATOR:  All right.  Well, thank you.


ANNA NORDQVIST:  Thank you.   


ROUND 3 INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT:      CATRIONA MATTHEW            
Saturday, May 24, 2014

Q.  Once again, great round for another third round for you today.  You started off the front nine, you had three bogeys out there and you were able to rebound, which is great.  Three birdies leading up to the 18th hole here.  What was the mindset?  How did you turn that around?

CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Yeah, I obviously got off to a terrible start with the three bogeys when everyone else is making birdies.  Just knew there was a lot of chances there on the back nine if I could just hang in and try to give myself ‑‑ start hitting greens again and give myself chances.  Made four birdies on the back nine, so not the greatest round but not played myself out of it.

Q.  There you go.  Well, now coming in here to Mobile out here, what was your expectations coming to this tournament and did you have certain goals you're trying to reach each round or was it more just personal play?


CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Yeah, I mean, I think you come into every tournament wanting to win it, so that was my goal, to come here and win.  You know, I've been playing well all year, just not holing any putts.  So if I can get my putter going, things can go well.

Q.  Well, you've been playing great here, right now you're second on the leaderboard, so good luck tomorrow.

CATRIONA MATTHEW:  Thanks very much.


ROUND 3 INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT:      STACY LEWIS            
Saturday, May 24, 2014

Q.  Stacy, one shot off the lead.  This is a position I feel like you're in a lot.


STACY LEWIS:  Yes.

Q.  Another solid performance.  How do you feel right now?

STACY LEWIS:  I felt good.  It was a pretty solid day.  Definitely could have been a lot better, so I like that going into tomorrow that I didn't play the best round today.  I left quite a few out there but still made a lot of birdies and got the ball in the hole and it was a good day.

Q.  Now, you mentioned a lot of birdies.  What is it about this course that makes everyone go so low?


STACY LEWIS:  You have perfect greens.  We don't get it a lot, truthfully, and it's nice to just if you hit a putt on line, you know it's going in.  You have great greens.  They're a little more receptive than years past so you can just fire at pins and it's fun, it's fun for the fans, it's fun for us.

Q.  Now, at any other point in your career have you ever felt as good as you do right now?  You're playing so well.


STACY LEWIS:  I don't know, I think the game's close.  I'm just picky, I guess, but it's still not quite where I would like it to be.  The run I've been on over the last year, it's been a lot of fun.  It's just been fun to see how I've developed and how I've played better and better under pressure.  This is where I want to be.  I want to be with a chance to win on Sunday and it's what I work hard for.

Q.  Stacy, obviously if you win you jump to No. 1.

STACY LEWIS:  Yeah.

Q.  Is it hard to push that part out of your head?

STACY LEWIS:  It's really not because for me the goal is to win tournaments.  The rankings, the money list, that all happens because you win.  So I don't come ‑‑ I know all the scenarios, I know the second, third thing, but that's not what I came here this week for.  I come here to get a trophy at the end of the week.  So that's the goal tomorrow and whatever else happens, happens.

Q.  Did you play a little more aggressively today because there was some distance there, and will you do that again tomorrow?

STACY LEWIS:  I did, and honestly it was more because of the clubs I had into the greens.  I felt a little bit more comfortable and had a few more wedges in where I was able to make some birdies, but I had some good numbers today and that was the reason I was a little more aggressive.  You've seen the scores, you've got to make some birdies and that's not going to change tomorrow.  I just need to play the par 5s a little bit better.

Q.  You've been around this track before and they set it up pretty good on Sunday.  Does that familiarity having been here on Sunday help?

STACY LEWIS:  It does.  I think lately the Tour has gotten a little bit goofy with some of the pins and so I think that's going to help me just knowing what side of the hole to be on.  These greens, if you get above the hole you've got a really fast putt.  So just playing smart being on the right side of the holes, that's really what I'm going to try and do tomorrow, and if I make a few putts here and there, it's even better.


ROUND 3 INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT:      MICHELLE WIE            
Saturday, May 24, 2014

Q.  We're here with Michelle Wie.  Michelle, on this Memorial Day weekend we have some very special guests from NAS Pensacola who would like to interview you and I would like to welcome Lance Corporal Tyler Treadway to the interview.

TYLER TREADWAY:  How are you doing, Michelle?


MICHELLE WIE:  Good.  How are you?  

TYLER TREADWAY:  You started the day 7‑under, now you're heading to the clubhouse two shots off the lead.  How do you feel about that?

MICHELLE WIE:  I feel good.  I felt like there's a lot of low scores out there so I was just trying to keep up with everyone else making birdies and hopefully I can have another low one tomorrow.  

TYLER TREADWAY:  What about this course personally do you think allows you and other golfers to shoot such low scores to come out every day and do this?

MICHELLE WIE:  You know, I think the par 5s you have to really take advantage of a lot of them.  You can get on in two or get close.  There's a lot of wedges on this golf course so you have to get into a rhythm where you hit driver in the fairway and give yourself a good opportunity for birdie.  

TYLER TREADWAY:  Up to this point you've been playing immaculate, so any secrets or training you've been doing for this?

MICHELLE WIE:  No, just been doing the same thing that I've always been doing, I've kind of told everyone in the past just be patient and just been doing what I'm doing, just want to improve a little bit each and every day.  And I've been working really hard, so it feels good that it's been paying off and I've been playing really well.  

TYLER TREADWAY:  It surely has, but all of us have one favorite in this.  We did an ooh rah for you so you've got to join in with us in this great interview.  On the count of three you have to go ooh rah with us.  One, two, three ... ooh rah! 
 


ROUND 3 INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT:      BELEN MOZO            
Saturday, May 24, 2014

Q.  We're here with Belen Mozo.  Great round today, today's moving day, you made quite the jump, finished 5‑under.  What was working for you?  How were you feeling on the course today?

BELEN MOZO:  I felt really good since this morning, I woke up and felt really good.  Actually the entire week I felt like I had an amazing control of my game, and we've been working a lot, very hard on my swing and I've been in an amazing control of my ball.  I've been shaping balls right to left, left to right the way I wanted it.  I've been around the greens way better, more accurate than other weeks, and I've been really happy with my game.

Q.  There you go.  Now I was going to ask you, this is one of your best third‑round finishes you've had in a while.  As you mentioned, you're working on your swing.  What else in your game have you been working on and have you seen the progression here in Mobile?

BELEN MOZO:  Yeah.  Well, there's a lot of things, a lot of factors that they're making me play good this week.  The first one, if I don't say it my boyfriend will get really mad, my boyfriend came last week, so that was great and gave me a lot of momentum.  He's an athlete as well.  So I've been working a lot on my mind, I've been struggling mentally quite a bit.  I went back to my coach at the beginning of the year.  It was a very wise decision because I was just missing something there.  So I wanted to go back to my roots, to the kind of golf that I played when I was an amateur and that was my best golf anyways.  So we worked a lot on my swing just to get a lot of control in the swing because, I mean, I was missing extremely to both sides and we just wanted to narrow down the misses.  The clubs that I have are right now the best that I have.  I'm playing with Callaway clubs, very firm shaft, and they're actually D5, that's a very heavy club.  That's the type of club that I like and we figured out a little bit later in the season, but it's okay.  I feel really comfortable and now I'm actually shaping the ball left to right, so that's what I think was the best improvement, just being comfortable shaping the ball left to right.

Q.  There you go.  Just going back to kind of the roots of how you started playing golf, of course.  Now, we did notice that you have a different travel buddy?

BELEN MOZO:  Yep.

Q.  Tell me about your new addition to the family.


BELEN MOZO:  That was actually a great decision, an addition to the team.  She's part of the team, she's in there.  People thought that I was crazy, and they might still think that I'm crazy because that's a lot of responsibility and one thing more to think about, but honestly, she brings so much joy to my life that I've been struggling since the beginning of the year and I knew my game was going to come.  I mean, the best is not even out yet, I know I'm going to play really good.  And I just needed to be happy, I just needed to be the Belen that I am, just enjoy myself, be funny, a goofball, and dogs bring that side of me.  So she's an amazing travel buddy.  Every time I go back, it doesn't matter if she's in her crate for seven hours, I go back and she's loving me and I'm like, I love this.  So yeah, I'm very happy.  She's an amazing dog.

Q.  Well, it sounds like it was a good choice and you're playing great here.  Good luck this weekend.


BELEN MOZO:  Thank you very much.


ROUND 3 INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT:       PAULA CREAMER            
Saturday, May 24, 2014

Q.  Okay, we're here with Paula Creamer.  Paula, great round today, 6‑under, it's moving day.  Now you find yourself at the top of the leaderboard; among the top of the leaderboard, not at the top.  What about today made you play so well?


PAULA CREAMER:  Well, obviously going out third off, you know, I knew all I had to do was go out and make some birdies.  It was pretty still this morning.  Greens get really, really fast in the afternoon, so kind of had a little bit of an advantage of that until the back nine and it started really picking up.  But the golf course is in such great shape.  If you hit good shots and you hit good putts, you're going to be rewarded by that.

Q.  As a competitor, what's your mentality heading into this weekend to keep up with all the low scores people are posting out there?


PAULA CREAMER:  Well, I'm obviously trying to go out and play the golf course just myself.  I can't control what other people do.  I kind of shot myself in the foot the first two days with only a couple under.  This golf course has always set up very well for my game, just kind of struggling with a couple things.  But going out today felt really good, trying to make as many birdies as I can.  I shot 6‑under with a bogey, too, so it's out there and hopefully I can do it again tomorrow.  Hopefully I don't get too far away from the top, but just to continue on with the positive energy that I have and take it from today into tomorrow and into the next week as well.

Q.  And finally, as a military supporter, what does Memorial Day weekend mean for you?

PAULA CREAMER:  Oh, my goodness, more than words can describe.  My dad is a retired Navy captain, I'm marrying an Air Force man, so the military to me, it's my life, it always has been.  My cousin's a Marine.  I say thank you to every soldier and every just person who's a part of their family as well.  It takes a team.  We're so blessed that we live in this country and to have those men and women fight for us, thank you isn't enough and one day isn't enough to celebrate what they have done for us.  I try to do that on an everyday basis, but it is nice when we have the ability to actually make it a special holiday.  It truly is amazing that we're able to come out and play golf while there's still men and women over there fighting for us.

Q.  How much does it help that you've won here before as a junior and as a pro?  You know this golf course pretty well.  

PAULA CREAMER:  Yeah, I do.  I obviously won the junior before it changed and things.  It's such a good golf course for me.  You have to be very precise with your irons.  The longer players are getting a good advantage because the fairways are a little bit firmer this year.  I do like it and there's no reason why I can't go out and play good golf out here.  Just kind of overcoming some things on the golf course right now and today was much better and I can only improve from that.

Q.  Being in one of the earlier groups, just go out and play?


PAULA CREAMER:  I've got nothing to lose out there, so I'm definitely going to be a little bit more aggressive at times.  But when you're trying to make putts out here, they can get away from you.  I had one three‑putt today.  These greens, they're fast.  I think these are one of the fastest greens we'll play all year round, even considering the U.S. Open and things.  Just the sand on it, they just kind of skid across and you've got to be very precise with your line, your speed out here.

Topics: Airbus LPGA Classic, Creamer, Paula, Mozo, Belen, Matthew, Catriona, Nordqvist, Anna, Lewis, Stacy, Wie, Michelle, News and Notes [+]

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