ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer Wednesday Notes and Interviews

Jessica Korda
Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Jessica Korda reacts after sinking her birdie putt on the 18th green during the final round of the Airbus LPGA Classic presented by JTBC at the Crossings Course at the Robert Trent Jones Trail at Magnolia Grove on May 25, 2014 in Mobile, Alabama.

Rolex Rankings No. 3, Lydia Ko
Rolex Rankings No. 16, Jessica Korda

The LPGA’s 26th trip to the Jersey Shore for the ShopRite LPGA Classic starts Friday, featuring 10 of the top-10 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings and a $1.5 million purse. The event is one of three 54-hole tournaments on tour this season and the first this year.

The battle for No. 1 is as heated as ever with Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, and Lydia Ko all within .3 points of each other in the Rolex Rankings.

The 59-week run of Inbee Park at the No. 1 spot is in more jeopardy this week than at maybe any point since it began with both Stacy Lewis and Lydia Ko nipping on Park’s heels. Ko, currently No. 3 behind Park and Lewis, has only 31 events feeding into her Rolex Rankings because of when she turned pro, so her finishes are more impactful to her ranking than Park’s and Lewis. In turn, she’s actually more of a threat to take over Park’s No. 1 than Lewis this week. If the two finish tied for second or tied for third together then Ko would actually be No. 1.

For Lewis to take over No. 1
- Solo 2nd place or a win as long as Park or Ko don’t win.
- Solo 3rd place as long as Park and Ko finish worse than 5th.
- 9th or better if both Park and Ko get cut.

For Ko to take over No. 1
- Tied for 2nd or better as long as Park or Lewis don’t win.
- Tied for 3rd as long as Park or Lewis finish tied for 3rd or worse.
- 12th or better if both Park and Lewis get cut.

The LPGA’s announcement Thursday that KPMG, PGA of America and the LPGA would be teaming up to cre­ate the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship to continue the tradition of the LPGA Championship was a major hit amongst members of the tour. 

The move was pretty much a no brainer amongst players. The purse will rise to $3.5 million – one of the highest in women’s golf - and the tournament will be playing right outside New York City at a championship venue in Westchester Country Club. Add that to weekend network coverage on NBC and the ladies couldn’t be any more pleased with the continuing advancement of the tournament schedule and purses under Commissioner Mike Whan’s leadership. 

“I think it was great.  I think that us keeping a fifth major was important, and the fact that our money went up is huge, and the fact that we get more TV time, being somebody that’s always away from home and not having your parents out and your family out to be able to watch you,” said Jessica Korda. “The fact that we’re not only going to be on Golf Channel but we’re also going to be on NBC is very, very neat, and we’re not leaving New York, so it’s going to be awesome. I’m very excited. I’m very pleased with the news.”

The new major will continue the rich tradition of the LPGA Championship and rotate annually among pres­tigious courses in major metropolitan markets. Part of the championship will include a women’s leadership summit that looks to develop, advance and empower women on and off the golf course by bringing togeth­er top women leaders in business, politics, sports and society to network, learn and give back. The partner­ship is a perfect tie-in for KPMG, who takes over for Wegman’s after a tremendous run as a partner for the LPGA.

“Well, I think it’s great. Wegmans has obviously been a great sponsor to the LPGA Championship, but things are going to pass and there’s always going to be those changes. But I think KPMG’s going to be a great new sponsor,” Lydia Ko said. “And I think everyone’s very excited about getting more coverage on TV and that’s what it’s all about, getting more fans and people to support the LPGA Tour. And the purse increasing, that’s always a good sign for everybody also.”

Seventeen-year old Lydia Ko hasn’t been bothered by the lofty expectations set for her when she became the youngest LPGA Tour member this year. The New Zealander has ascended to No. 3 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings in her first season as an LPGA Tour member but says she hasn’t gotten caught up in the hype of becoming the No. 1 player in the world.

“You know, like even right now, I’m world No. 3, and I really don’t think about my ranking,” said Ko. “I just feel like I’m another golfer going out there to play some golf, and you know, to be at the top, and I guess when you’re ranked the best female golfer in the world, that’s something special.”

She already has three career LPGA victories to her name and has her sights on becoming No. 1, but is in no rush. Ko is concentrating on pacing herself with her full-time playing schedule and having fun during her rookie season.

“I mean, hopefully I can be the world’s No. 1 golfer,” said Ko. “It doesn’t need to be now.  That’s what I’m thinking.  I just want to pace myself and really enjoy it, and I mean, yeah, I have just got to have fun, and to me that’s the most important thing.”

Jessica Korda is quick to admit that there were growing pains early on in her professional career and that she took the bumps and bruises of being a professional athlete at a very young age.

“There’s not one key to success,” said Korda. “Everybody takes a different path.  I wouldn’t be able to tell you what the key is.  My key was to be more comfortable out on Tour.  I started traveling on my own, I started figuring out what I liked and what I didn’t like.  It’s the same thing when a kid goes to college.  They figure out who they really are, what they really like, and they carry that on with them throughout life.  That’s kind of where I am right now.”

The 21-year old said she’s hoping to get her fourth win at an event that her family will be able to attend. Her first three wins have come with her parents watching from afar. She said they were busy attending junior golf and tennis tournaments with younger sister, Nelly, and younger brother, Sebastian.

“I wouldn’t say I’m the highest priority anymore.  I’m 21 years old, I travel on my own, I live on my own, so they’ve got my brother and my sister, my brother who’s 13, my sister who’s 15, and they’re both playing golf and tennis tournaments, so my parents are all over the map right now.

Jessica Korda said she didn’t feel an overwhelming sense of difference following her third win of her career last week in Mobile. The young American star said after her second win there was a huge relief since her first win in Australia in 2012 wasn’t a fluke. By her third victory she felt comfortable being in the position on Sun­day in the hunt for another win.

“Not really,” said Korda. “You know, it’s actually just I’ve kind of settled into it now.  I think after my second win I was really, really excited and it definitely kind of showed me that the first one wasn’t a fluke, and this one I felt more like myself.  I felt really comfortable out there, and I just knew how to go through all the mo­tions and emotions.”

Korda became the third multiple winner this season joining Hall of Famer Karrie Webb and Anna Nordqvist as players to notch two victories in 2014. She jumped to No. 16 in the Rolex Rankings and moved up to 8th on the Tour’s official money list. 

Pro-Am participants will have to forgive Lydia Ko for missing the Pro-Am party Wednesday night. At 17, she can’t exactly get in the casino, so she spent her Wednesday night volunteering for two hours at the local food bank with fellow rookies Jaye Marie Green and Kelly Tan - all rookies too young to get in the casino.

“I think it was great that I was under 21 and I could go to the food bank because I really enjoyed my time there,” Ko said. “It was an honor for me to get to help out.”

“I’m still a kid myself, so for families to get this, I think this is great. It was an honor for me to actually get the opportunity to help out,” said the world’s No. 3 ranked player.

220 food boxes were packed in all. The irony? Usually, Ko doesn’t even make her own meal. With high school and professional golf occupying the majority of her time, the everyday tasks are passed to her travel buddy – her mom – and she gives her as much credit for her success as anyone.

“My mom does so much for me. She cooks for me. She’s cooking for me this week. She does the laundry. She’s outside the ropes. She packs snacks, lunch. All she is not doing is hitting the ball,” Ko said. “Even with how my plan goes on the golf course, she helps me with that, also.”

In other words, a supermom for a superstar teen.

“It’s great. It kind of just shows that I’m just not Petr Korda’s daughter. I have more to me than kind of what my dad accomplished, what my mom accomplished, and coming into my own is really nice, as well.”
 –  Jessica Korda on what her third career win meant to her and celebrating her success with her sports-driv­en family


Rolex Rankings No. 3, Lydia Ko

THE MODERATOR:  It's now my pleasure to welcome in the Rolex Rankings No. 3 player in the world, Lydia Ko, into the interview room.  Thanks for coming in today.  Coming off a very strong week.  You've been playing very well.  You have a win this season.  We know coming into your rookie year there was going to be a lot of expectations.  Talk about how you felt overall this season almost a third of the way through.
Yeah, you know, it feels like week by week, it's kind of ‑‑ it takes a long time for the week to go.  You play week after week, and yeah, so it's kind of like tough, because before I would play one week and have a couple weeks off and then maybe play another.  It's definitely a new experience, and I've been really enjoying myself, playing on the Tour, and yeah, I think every moment has been really special.  Yeah, I can't believe that already a third has gone by.

Q.  Besides the win, I'm sure that was probably the highlight, what's been the highlight of the season other than the win so far?
  I think just getting more experience on the Tour.  I'm so grateful that I can actually play on the Tour at age 17, and most of ‑‑ you need to be at least 18, so to me it was a huge privilege for me to come out here.  That's why I can't thank the commissioner more.  Yeah, it's just been really great just playing week by week and enjoying different courses in different States.

Q.  You got to visit a food bank yesterday.  You couldn't even go to the pro‑am party because you're not 21.  Talk about doing some things off the course and being involved as an ambassador of the Tour.  You went to the food bank and did some good things for the community.  What does that mean to you to be able to do that?
  Yeah, you know, I'd better stay away from the casinos.  But yeah, it was great to I guess visit the community food bank.  It was actually my first time kind of doing, I guess, community service.  It's really good that I guess especially for children who are receiving these kind of foods.  I think it's great that there is people like that that can actually support them.  I'm still a kid myself, so for I guess families to kind of get this, I think this is great.  It was an honor for me to actually get the opportunity to help out.

Q.  You mentioned week after week that it's getting to be ‑‑ it gets to be a grind, and you are only 17 after all.  How do you keep mentally sharp from week to week, and do you wish maybe you could take a little more time off just to get your batteries recharged?
You know, I've been trying to pace myself as much as I can this year.  I skipped last week and I skipped the tournament in Texas, as well.  Obviously I would like to play the whole schedule and get to every tournament, but it is definitely tough playing all 32 events.  Yeah, I think just being ‑‑ if I come off a good week, that kind of helps with the confidence, and it kind of makes the week go by faster, which has been really good.
I've been trying to enjoy the moment, and that has definitely helped with being tired.  I don't feel tired maybe in the second week, but I feel tired when I'm actually flying back home to Orlando because you're not worried about anything and you're kind of stress‑free, and that's when I feel tired.
But other than that, just having fun on the Tour, that has definitely helped, and like I said, I'm just so thankful that I'm out here.

Q.  Also, could you like chart your development?  Obviously you're out here at 17 and you could have been out here last year or the year before given your ability.  What made you a good golfer and when did you realize that, hey, I'd really like to play women's professional golf for a living?
I don't think there was like a secret way.  I think everybody expects like there's this equation to kind of make this thing, but yeah, things have come really fast, much faster than I thought would happen.  Yeah, you know, I got to win my first professional event in Australia, the New South Wales Open, so that kind of started with the confidence.  When you play well, you're only wanting to go higher than lower.  That has really helped, and I mean, now I've been getting a lot of support back in New Zealand, and that has helped, as well.
At the end of the day, everybody wants to win and be up top, and I think that's what has helped me to kind of strive to, I guess, get better every day.

Q.  A story line each week is the fight for the No. 1 ranking in the world, and we've talked about it all the time.  What would that mean to you to see your name at the top of that World Ranking, especially at such a young age?
  You know, like even right now, I'm world No. 3, and I really don't think about my ranking.  I just feel like I'm another golfer going out there to play some golf, and you know, to be at the top, and I guess when you're ranked the best female golfer in the world, that's something special.  I mean, hopefully I can be the world's No. 1 golfer.  It doesn't need to be now.  That's what I'm thinking.  I just want to pace myself and really enjoy it, and I mean, yeah, I have just got to have fun, and to me that's the most important thing.

Q.  How do you pass time on the road?  Do you have any hobbies or what do you do when you're not out there golfing?
When I'm not on the course, I'm probably on my computer watching stuff.  I watch way too much.  I get told off a lot by my mom.  But to me it's great that I have a travel companion such as my mom because then we can do stuff and then talk about stuff.  But yeah, I like to practice and I guess kind of grind my game out, so I don't get too much time where I can go out and do stuff.  But to me just even watching TV or talking to my friends is a treat.

Q.  You mentioned obviously you couldn't go to the pro‑am party because of your age, but do you feel left out of that stuff, or do you wish you could have been there?
  No, I think this one, I think it was great that I was under 21 and I could go to the food bank because I really enjoyed my time there.  I didn't really know what to expect.  I knew we were going to package food, but I thought we'd put like maybe a banana, an apple and a sandwich or whatever, but it was a big deal, cans of food.  It was different.  That's not what you'd do on a normal basis as a golfer.  To do things outside of playing golf and outside of just working for yourself, it was good that you could actually share and I guess have the teamwork.

Q.  You have the personality that you've made enough friends on the Tour right now.  I was walking in, Jessica Korda and you were joking.  Did you think it was going to be that easy to make friends, or did you come onto the Tour thinking I'm going to be so young, I'm going to be the outcast?
  It was better for me because I had already played a couple LPGA tournaments before turning pro, and I think that kind of helped me to, I guess, have more opportunities to meet with the players, play with them, and that's when you kind of interact.
Yes, to me I think that was the advantage in that, but I kind of came in and I didn't want to get in their way.  I know they're all into their game and into their zone, and the last thing I want to do is kind of disturb.  It's great that I have become friends with the players out here.  It's such a great Tour where everybody knows each other and it's so nice, and they were very welcoming to me.

Q.  Have you ever watched yourself play a round that's been taped?  And just from my observation, you're doing something that's not just competitive, you have a fierce nature about your game that you're so intent on that one shot.  Have you ever seen yourself play golf?
  I only see myself when I won a tournament or when I've played good because ‑‑ no, to me I feel like there is no real point in me watching a bad round or a round where I've gone, man, I could have done so much better because I realize when I come off the course I've already reflected and I go, these are the things I need to work on.
But to me if I do watch a round, it's because I want to kind of feel the confidence, so I watch the round, me winning at the Swinging Skirts.  I was really happy to see that.  And then sometimes I see my Canadian Open wins.  Those weeks, they were very special moments to me.  It kind of feels different when you're watching it because when you're in that moment, you only think about that one shot.  But when you're watching, you're like all relaxed and you're like, oh, maybe I could have done this.
But yeah, it's really good, I guess kind of feedback.  But if I do watch it, I watch it for a confidence gainer.

Q.  Are you a fierce competitor?
  I mean, I don't know.  I don't know.  I kind of just go out there and just try to concentrate on my game, and I mean, that's my game plan.  If I'm fierce, that's great.

Q.  At what point do you think you might want to travel alone without parents?  Have you given that much thought?
  I don't think I can imagine what it would be like to travel without my mom because I've done traveling where I've been with my teammates and then we have a manager there, and she cooks for us and she does this.  But I guess that's the only time I've been really independent.
But like my mom does so much for me.  She cooks for me.  She's cooking for me this week.  She does the laundry.  She's outside the ropes.  She packs snacks, lunch.  All she is not doing is I guess hitting the ball.  Even with how my plan goes on the golf course, she kind of helps me with that, also.
She puts a lot of input into my game, and I mean, even like eating and I guess laundry, that's all part of it, I think, because laundry and stuff, I mean, they may just be like pushing a button, but it takes time.  That's why I'm so grateful that she is there to help out.


Rolex Rankings No. 16, Jessica Korda

THE MODERATOR:  It is my pleasure to welcome in Rolex Rankings No. 16 Jessica Korda into the interview room.  Jess, thanks for coming in.  Our newest champion on the LPGA Tour coming off your third career win in Mobile.  Let's talk about the third win.  First win could be lucky, second win it wasn't a fluke.  Third win, does it feel different coming into this week with No. 3‑under your belt?
Not really.  You know, it's actually just ‑‑ I've kind of settled into it now.  I think after my second win I was really, really excited and it definitely kind of showed me that the first one wasn't a fluke, and this one I felt more like myself.  I felt really comfortable out there, and I just knew how to go through all the motions and emotions.

Q.  So many American winners.  It's a big story line this year.  I know you're very patriotic, a lot of your Solheim Cup teammates winning.  What do you think has been the key to this resurgence?  A lot of people said maybe the loss in Colorado, but what has been the key point of the resurgence of the Americans?
  I think the girls are coming up now.  We're getting more comfortable out here.  It's Lizette's I think third year, my fourth year, Lexi's third year, as well, and obviously Lydia has been playing very well.  Even though she's not an American, it's still great for our Tour.  And Paula is kind of starting to come into her own.  She's very happy.
Definitely Solheim kicked us in the butt a little bit.  But I would just say we're coming into our own and starting to be comfortable on the LPGA Tour.

Q.  What are your thoughts on the course conditions?  I know people have said greens are great, fairways are rolling.  What are your thoughts?
  I think it's in really good condition.  The rough is definitely very high this year, and it's going to be very important to stay in the fairway.  I think the greens are in really good shape.  They're a little spongy, so definitely a lot different from last week where they were a little bit firm, so had to get used to chipping into the green being a little bit more aggressive, just seeing a little different line.

Q.  Now, your parents weren't in Mobile to see your win again.  They're at your brother's tennis tournament.  Tell us about just your entire family situation where you might not even be the biggest star just yet.  Sebastian and your sister are coming up the ranks, too.  Talk about how happy you are to share your successes with them but them being great athletes, as well.
  Yeah, it's great.  It kind of just shows that I'm just not Peter Korda's daughter.  I have more to me than kind of what my dad accomplished, what my mom accomplished, and coming into my own is really nice, as well.  I wouldn't say I'm the highest priority anymore.  I'm 21 years old, I travel on my own, I live on my own, so they've got my brother and my sister, my brother who's 13, my sister who's 15, and they're both playing golf and tennis tournaments, so my parents are all over the map right now.
I think one day it would be really nice just to have them out with me for one of these wins.  But love the fact that we're at least on Golf Channel and that it was live so they got to watch everything, so that was really nice.

Q.  You mentioned the American players like yourself feeling more comfortable after a couple years out on Tour.  Did the media expect too much of people when they came on Tour at 16, 17, and expect them to be immediate winners or win right out of the gate?  How important is that experience having a couple years under your belt as far as playing well out there?
  I think for everybody it's different because when I came out here, I had no professional experience.  It was literally the first time I went and played professional golf full‑time.  I never Monday qualified, I only played on one sponsor's invite, and the only experience I had was playing in a U.S. Open, and that's completely different to any other week that we have out here.
So for me it was very difficult, and I had to get used to the life.  I had to get used to playing 20 tournaments in a year instead of 10 or 11 like I would in junior golf or amateur golf.
For me personally, it was a lot of getting used to, and that's what took to come out here.  You have girls like Lydia and Lexi who played a bunch of professional tournaments before they actually turned pro.  Lydia won as an amateur, and she's just so young.  And Lexi has been out here for a very long time.  We've heard Lexi's name since she was like 12 or 13 years old.
You do expect them to play well.  They're great players.  I'm very impressed how early they won because I did have a very hard time coming into my own.

Q.  You mentioned the Solheim Cup.  There's kind of two ways you can go after an experience like that, down and up.  You guys seemed to all go up.  Was that loss motivating?  Did you talk about what happened that week, or why do you think all of you seemed to have responded in such a positive way out of that experience?
You know, I don't think that we really played bad.  We didn't hit bad shots.  We didn't hit bad putts.  They just didn't go in the hole.  It wasn't our week I don't think.  We looked at it in a very positive way.  As soon as we lost, we're like, you know what, Germany, let's go.  We're already like, all right, so what are we going to do to get better.  We didn't really get down.  We were really down on Sunday.  We were sad, obviously, we lost the Cup on home soil, but we were already looking forward, and I think that's a huge motivator for a team.  We want to bring that Cup back and we want to be on the team.
First Solheim, it's amazing, it really is, walking up to the first tee, hearing them chant "USA" or your name, and just the team aspect of it and representing your country, it's something very, very special, and you want to fight back and be back on that team and play even better.

Q.  You mentioned experience is very important and getting wins out here, but in your case and the case of other young players, is it all experience or is there something to do with your mental makeup or your training?  I know you and Lexi were in AJGA together.  What else contributes to that success as an early age?
  There's not one key to success.  Everybody takes a different path.  I wouldn't be able to tell you what the key is.  My key was to be more comfortable out on Tour.  I started traveling on my own, I started figuring out what I liked and what I didn't like.  It's the same thing when a kid goes to college.  They figure out who they really are, what they really like, and they carry that on with them throughout life.  That's kind of where I am right now.
And also obviously being in contention and having those emotions out there and just knowing how to control it definitely helps a lot, and I went through a lot of changes this off‑season.  Obviously I have a new coach, a new caddie and a lot of people in my life that are supporting me and helping me be better, and so I kind of just changed ‑‑ I changed a lot of things for this season, but ultimately I'm still trying to do the same thing as when I came out here at first.

Q.  Talk about your relationship with your caddie.  I know you said last week he played a huge role within your success of just this season.  Talk about how that relationship started and how you guys got hooked up and how big of a role he's played this year.
You know, obviously Lexi and I are friends, and she came out with a caddie in México and won with Benji Thompson on the bag.  Knowing Benji in the past, he caddied for Casey Wittenberg, and I've known Casey since I was a little girl.  I came up to him, and I'm like, look, I'm looking for a new caddie.  Who's like you?  I obviously can't have you, so who's like you.  And he's like, oh, my best friend, he's played, he made it to second stage.  So I called him up, and I was like, hey, this is Jess, and he's like, oh, hi, I'm Kyle.  I was like, I like your southern accent.  We came out to Bahamas and we just had a really good time on the bag.
Obviously everybody saw how I shanked a shot and it was clearly out of bounds.  There was no question about it.  He picked up the bag, didn't even let me go grab for another ball and walked away and made me cool off and came back, and he's like, okay, you can now grab the ball and hit another shot.  He obviously helped me there a lot.
Last week it was really cool because he just had a baby girl, his third child with his wife, and he came out and I was really happy, and he just helped me through that whole week.  I was struggling a lot and we were just making sure that I had fun out there and always was relaxed, and it was just a lot of fun.  Definitely I don't think I could do it without him on the bag.

Q.  Now, two wins already this season, and we're about a third of the way through.  Do the goals change as you thought about how many wins you wanted to get this year?
I set my goals really high for this season.  I played very well last year, was in the top 10 a lot, I had a couple of chances to win.  So I set my goals very high this season, and no, I'm not changing them.  They're still staying the same.

THE MODERATOR:  We had a very exciting announcement today, and that is the rebranding of the LPGA Championship, now the KPMG PGA Women's Championship.  Talk about that announcement and just impressive the changes that are going on with this Tour in terms of branding and sponsors and new things coming.  Talk about what you thought when you saw that announcement.
  I think it was great.  I think that us keeping a fifth major was important, and the fact that our money went up is huge, and the fact that we get more TV time, being somebody that's always away from home and not having your parents out and your family out to be able to watch you.  The fact that we're not only going to be on Golf Channel but we're also going to be on NBC is very, very neat, and we're not leaving New York, so it's going to be awesome.  I'm very excited.  I'm very pleased with the news.

Q.  Can you talk about the two back‑to‑back missed cuts you had, what was going on with ‑‑
  Kind of a missed cut.

Q.  Can you talk about what was going on with your game and what factors into you getting a new coach?  What factors in that change?
  Well, I mean, I changed coaches obviously because I was very ‑‑ I was injured a lot last year, and it was coming from my swing and just wasn't very happy with things that were going on.  That was a very long relationship that I had to end.  I went a different direction, and obviously it's been working very well.
And the two cuts that I've missed, it happens out here.  I don't know, I wasn't hitting the ball well.  I wasn't being myself.  I wasn't happy all the time.  It's something that I think everybody goes through.
I was really disappointed because I was going on a really good made cut streak, so I was really disappointed, especially I missed the cut by one shot, wasn't playing my best golf, didn't think I was anywhere near the cut line.  But it's just one of those things that happen.  You just have to keep moving forward from it.

Q.  Can you talk about consistency, what that means to you, not necessarily being in the hunt all the time but being around for the entire weekend?
Well, my goal last year was to be more consistent, and I did do that.  I didn't win.  And this year I was like, you know what, if I miss a cut, I miss a cut, but I want to be able to give it my all and not try and play super consistent.  Like not try and constantly be in the top 10.  I want to be able to win, and if it's missing a cut one week, that's fine, because that means that whatever I'm working on, I'm still constantly working on my swing changes.  So one week it might work and then the next week it might not.  It's golf.  Sometimes the putts fall, sometimes they don't.

Q.  A lot of positive things happening with the LPGA, but still, if you look at what the men are making, at Memorial this week, the top two players will make more money than this entire field here.  Does that bother you?
  You know, I think that's just the way it is for women's golf right now.  Growing up obviously in tennis, I see men and women are making the same amount of money at majors, and I think that we're slowly moving towards that direction.  Obviously our Tour is getting ‑‑ improving every year with tournaments, with money, we're adding more, we have more exposure, we have more TV time, and that's really what matters right now.  I think we're on a great path, and hopefully we can work our way up to that.

Q.  Have you played Pinehurst No. 2 before?
  No, I haven't.

Q.  What are you expecting of it?  Are you going to try and get there beforehand?  And do you have any concern about playing on it so soon after the men, the condition it might be in?
You know, no, I'm not going to go early.  I've never been out there before, and it's a Donald Ross golf course.  I've played so much on Donald Ross; I live five minutes from Sara Bay, which is a Donald Ross golf course in Sarasota, so I'll be out there for a little bit.  Obviously everybody is going to be concerned about what the week has to bring.  You know what the golf course is going to look like every year when you get to a U.S. Open.  You've got fresh cut grass.  It's amazing condition.  It's untouched for I don't know how many months or weeks.  Obviously it's going to be way different than what we're usually used to.  But concern is there for everybody, but it's going to be the same for everybody at the end of the day for the women.  So just have to take it how it is.

Q.  And piggy‑backing on his question a little bit, what do you think it'll do for the women's game to have back‑to‑back tournaments, Opens, like that on the same course at the same resort?
It's going to give us some good exposure, I think, definitely.  It's already attracting a lot of media attention because it'll be the first time this is ever going to happen, and we'll see how it goes, but we're definitely going to get a lot of media attention from it, and hopefully it'll be an interesting week not only for the viewers but also for the players.



Topics: Notes and Interviews, Korda, Jessica, Ko, Lydia, ShopRite LPGA Classic

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