Airbus LPGA Classic Presented by JTBC Tuesday Notes and Interviews

Jennifer Johnson

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail - Crossing Course at Magnolia Grove Mobile, Alabama Tuesday Pre-Tournament Notes
May 20, 2014

Rolex Rankings No. 53 Jodi Ewart Shadoff
Rolex Rankings No. 54 Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson returns to Mobile, where last year she became a Rolex First-Time Winner and is looking to defend her title. Johnson’s first LPGA win came thanks to her final round 65, which allowed her to set a tournament record with a 21-under par total (67-70-65-65=267). She went on to defeat Pornanong Phatlum and Jessica Korda by one stroke.

Phatlum and Korda can seek their revenge while taking on Johnson in this year’s Airbus LPGA Classic
Presented by JTBC. Johnson is joined by other former Mobile champions Stacy Lewis (2012), Se Ri Pak (2010) and Angela Stanford (2008) in the field this year. Johnson, who had a sea- sons-best 12th place finish in last week’s Kingsmill Champion- ship Presented by JTBC

Johnson is excited to be back in Mobile with a chance to defend.

“It’s a lot of fun.” Johnson said. “It feels good to be back just replaying the win in my mind and all the memo- ries are coming back.”

On what her plans are away from the course this week.

“Probably go back to The Shed. It’s pretty good barbecue, just right over by the University.” Johnson said. There have been many low scores on this course over the years so look for more of the same in 2014.

LONG DRIVERS

Jodi Ewart Shadoff became the Airbus LPGA Classic Longest Drive Contest winner on Tuesday. Ewart Shadoff was one of eight LPGA players that participated in the Longest Drive Contest at the Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile, AL. from 2-3pm CST.

“It is my first time ever doing this. I’ve seen it on TV.” Shadoff said. “It’s very unique and definitely fun and again you got to be accurate as well even though the runway is 60 yards wide you still have to be accurate too.

Kim Welch was first to take flight during the contest, sending the ball 466 yards. Each player was given three chances to record their driving distance, and the yardage they tallied was impressive. The average distance for the competitors was 463 yards.

P.K. Kongkraphan held the lead throughout most of the contest posting a drive that went 507 yards, but the final contestant of the day, Jodie Ewart Shadoff, came in with the winning distance of 576 yards - which came on her second drive of the afternoon.

“I mean it’s tricky.” Ewart Shadoff said. “The runway slides on both sides so you have to be accurate as well as long” Ewart Shadoff said.

LONGEST DRIVE COMPETITION TOTALS

Player Name                                   Distance
Jodi Ewart Shadoff                          576 yards
Jaye Marie Green                            534 yards
P.K. Kongkraphan                          507 yards
Alena Sharp                                     487 yards
Yani Tseng                                      473 yards
Kim Welch                                      466 yards
Jennifer Johnson                              465 yards
Jay Daily                                         457 yards
John C. Williams                             457 yards
Brittany Lincicome                          423 yards
Allan McArtor                                 370 yards
Roger Wehner                                 346 yards

LUCKY DRIVER

After forgetting her own driver at the Longest Drive Competition, rookie Jaye Marie Green had to borrow eventual winner Jodi Ewart Shaddoff’s driver. That driver must have had a bit of luck in it since Jodi finished first with a 576 yard blast and Jaye finished second with a 534 yard blast of her own.

AN AMERICAN RESURGENCE

After losses in the last two Solheim Cups, including a romp by the Europeans in the 2013, the Americans have made a resurgence in tour this season. Nine players have won 11 events, six of which have been Ameri- cans. Of the top 16 in the Rolex World Rankings, seven are Americans.

The Americans (Stacy Lewis, Lexi Thompson, Paula Creamer, and Cristie Kerr) can show what they are made of July 24-27, 2014 at the International Crown, when they battle seven other countries for the crown. Lewis, Thompson and Creamer are in the field in Mobile this week.

SWEET (SECOND) HOME ALABAMA

Lexi Thompson had another top-10 finish this past weekend at the Kingsmill Championship Presented by JTBC, after finishing T-2 (67-69-70-69=275) with Yani Tseng and Sarah Jane Smith. The 19-year old heads to Mobile with a track record of playing well in the Alabama tournaments and looks to continue that trend this week.

After taking a month off following her first major win at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, she returned to play in each of the last two tournaments. In those events, Thompson tied for sixth at the North Texas LPGA Shootout and tied for second at the Kingsmill Championship Presented by JTBC.

YANI TAKING CHARGE

Former Rolex World No. 1 Yani Tseng had her best finish of the year at the Kingsmill Championship Presented by JTBC. Tseng was a contender throughout the weekend, but after a double-bogey on the 18th hole, she ended up at 2-under for the day and 9-under for the tournament for a second place tie.

Tseng hasn’t found her place in the Winner’s Circle since the 2012 Kia Classic. Her strong performance in Kingsmill shows a glimpse of the former top player as she looks to build on her recent success.

“It’s Kingmill a good week compared to others because I know my game is. I can have a chance to win a tournament now. “ Tseng said. “So still very looking forward for another tournament.”

Tseng competed in the Airbus Long Drive competition on Tuesday at the Brookley Aeroplex and finished fifth, with her longest blast traveling a distance of 473 yards.

Fun Facts About Yani...

  1. During the off-season, Yani went on a 430 mile cycling caravan around Taiwan and stopped in villages to drop off Christmas presents to children.
  2. Yani is the “Loving Heart Ambassador” for the Qlove Golf Charity Foundation. She donates $50 for every birdie she makes and $200 for every single eagle.
  3. Considers Annika Sorenstam a mentor and purchased her house in Lake Nona, near Orlando, in 2009.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“I’m pretty used to being in an airport so its really not that much different being out here with my golf clubs.” -Jodi Ewart Shadoff describing what it was like

THE SOCIAL SCENE

“Love Alabama! Honored to be playing in the @AirbusLPGA as a sponsor’s invite this week.” - Kim Welch on Twitter (@misskimwelch)

TV COVERAGE

Golf Channel will once again be covering the LPGA this week in Mobile. The airtimes are as follows:

Thursday          5:30-8:00pm (CST) Friday                5:30-8:00pm (CST)
Saturday           2:00-5:00pm (CST)
Sunday             2:00-5:00pm (CST)

PLAYER AVAILABILITY SCHEDULE

The Airbus LPGA Classic will host three press conferences in the media center tomorow (Wednesday) with LPGA players in the field.

Inbee Park,  Rolex Rankings #1 - 1pm (CST) Stacy Lewis, Rolex Rankings #2 - 1:30pm (CST)

Jennifer Johnson,  Rolex Rankings #54 - 2pm (CST)

Rolex Rankings #12, Michelle Wie is scheduled to meet with the media outside of tee #1 at 11:50am (CST).

Transcriptions from Longest Drive Winner Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Defending 2013 Mobile Bay Champ Jennifer Johnson

Q: How do you translate 576yds on concrete to what you normally hit on dirt and grass?
Ewart Shadoff: Yeah, that would be nice wouldn’t it. To go out there and do it on the golf course. But um I mean it’s tricky. The runway slides on both sides so you have to be accurate as well as long.

Q: Is this a fast runway or a slow runway? Ewart Shadoff: I think it’s pretty fast (laughs).

Q: So what’s it like to see a runway, you’ve seen golf courses and greens, but to be on concrete on a TARMAC with the golf clubs has got to be a pretty unique experience.
Ewart Shadoff: Yes it is my first time ever doing this. I’ve seen it on T.V., people doing it. It’s very unique and definitely fun, and again you got to be accurate as well even though the runway is 60 yards wide you still have to be accurate too.

Q: You know, you had a little bit of extra room down there you could have kept going. Ewart Shadoff: Yeah it was good (laughs).

Q: As much time as you guys spend in airplanes, I’m sure you have to sit around and say ‘gah can I get out of this plane’.
Ewart Shadoff: Yeah, I’m pretty used to being in an airport so its really not that much different being out here with my golf clubs

Q: Let’s talk about Thursday, now you’re going to have to gear up and get ready for round one, just your thoughts on your game and the competition this week here in Mobile.
Ewart Shadoff: I played 9 this morning and I will play 9 tomorrow, I know the golf course pretty well I have played here three or four times already. I love the golf course and the greens are running perfect so I’m just getting the game right and I’m excited to start on Thursday

Q: I’m here with Jennifer Johnson, first off welcome back to Mobile. How does it feel to be back?
Johnson: It’s a lot of fun. Feels good to be back just replaying the win in my mind and all the memories are coming back.

Q: Coming out to the Longest Drive, have you ever done a competition like this?
Johnson: No, no I’ve never been. Well I have been on the runway to get on little planes, but never been on a physical runway.

Q: Yes, it was pretty cool driving in on the actual runway. Any longest drives or competitions like this with friends or family before
Johnson: I’ve played in scramble tournaments, but no I don’t have that much experience. I’m just trying, I think the white line is the best way.

Q: Alright I have to ask, who is your money on today?
Johnson: Well I think I have to say myself right. But I think anyone can win because it all depends on your bounce.

Q: Is weather or wind going to be a factor today?
Johnson: Well it’s downwind, so maybe. Hopefully I get a big gust on my swing.

Q: Any food spots your plan on going back to here in Mobile?
Johnson: Probably go back to The Shed. It’s pretty good barbecue, just right over by the University.

 

Topics: Notes and Interviews, Airbus LPGA Classic

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