Diaz, the 39-year old mother of two, started the day with a three-shot lead but found herself in trouble on the par 4 fourth hole after being assessed a one-stroke penalty when her ball moved from her caddie removing a twig from the area. She settled for a double bogey and cut her lead to one.
“I mean, it’s an accident. It could have happened to anybody,” said Diaz. “The fact of the matter is he is trying to help me and he’s out there trying to help me. There was no reason or need to get upset. Nothing we could do about it. I had hit a bad tee shot. I had put myself in the position. So it’s unfortunate what happened, but you just go with the flow.”
But an eagle on the par 4 ninth hole remedied the mistake and saw her tee shot just miss the hole for a near albatross.
“The way I look at golf is you don’t get strokes back,” said Diaz. “We start a round and we add strokes to our scorecard on every hole. I think that it was nice to have a two instead of a three our four on 9. I think that I’m grateful for the opportunity that I had to make a two on 9.”
Pace, who was playing one group ahead of Diaz, made the turn at 10-under but picked up back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 10 and 11 to fall three shots back. But the South African clawed back with two birdies on 13 and 14 to get within one shot.
“I think I play a very similar type of game every time I go out there: try to hit the fairways and try to hit the green and make the putt, and so far it’s been working,” said Pace. “Hopefully coming down the stretch it’s going to be enough.”
Diaz would bogey No. 12 and par her final six holes, leaving the door open for Pace to grab a share of the lead with a birdie on the 17th hole.
Both leaders find themselves in unfamiliar territory heading into Sunday’s final round. This week marks just the second time in her 15-year career that Diaz has led or co-led after 54 holes. Her first and only other time came 12 years ago at the 2002 LPGA Corning Classic, where she won her second LPGA title. Pace, who recorded three victories on the LET last season, knows how to close out tournaments but finds herself holding a share of the third-round lead for the first time on the LPGA.
“I make myself nervous, but I really focused today on just going out and having fun,” said Diaz. “I was able to enjoy myself out there. Let a couple things slide that I think in the past may have irked me. But I felt good about today. Just go out fun tomorrow.”
Pace is coming off her best finish of the season, a T29 at the RICOH Women’s British Open, and has devoted herself to playing as much as she can on the LPGA with her conditional status.
“Obviously Europe is quite a bit different from America,” said Pace. “I think the courses are a little more strict. The pins are a bit more difficult. So just for my own golf it’ll mean quite a lot to be able to come out here and play well. It already has made my week. So was tired in the beginning of the week and now this happened, so I’m very excited.”
Rolex Rankings No. 2 Lydia Ko heads into Sunday’s final round two shots off the lead at 9-under par. The 17-year old from New Zealand birdied her final two holes to finish with a 1-under 70. The LPGA Tour rookie is playing for her second win of the season and fourth of her career.
“I didn’t have a great day. I only made two bogeys, but felt like I made much more,” said Ko. “I made two bogeys on the first day; the only difference was I wasn’t making as many birdies. I definitely know that the birdies are out there. Hopefully I’ll be able to get them tomorrow.”
THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD JAYE MARIE
Twenty-year old rookie Jaye Marie Green said the list could go on forever when referring to what challenges she has faced during her first year on the LPGA Tour. The laid-back and charismatic Florida native said the biggest struggle this season has been staying true to herself.
“I think the main thing is to stay true to who are and not really change. I’ve changed a lot since being out here,” said Green. “So the last two weeks been really working on getting back to being old Jaye and just being who I am.”
Green found herself imitating other players in order to achieve certain results but has realized her own game and style have been the things that got her to the big stage. She even said she started wearing outfits that didn’t particularly suit her.
“I was trying to mimic Michelle Wie’s swing because I thought it was awesome. I love her ball flight,” said Green. “Trying to mimic Stacy Lewis’ putting. Natalie Gulbis’ style. You know, wearing clothes I wouldn’t wear, doing stuff I didn’t even know how to be someone that wasn’t me. It was so stressful. I learned you can improve by being who you are.”
Green found a sense of familiarity this week with her dad, Donnie, back on her bag. Donnie, who has been her regular caddie her entire career until a hip injury sidelined him for her past six LPGA events. Donnie gave her some inspirational words before her round on Saturday and proved to be exactly what she needed to hear.
“He told me, ‘Jaye, you’re getting really close to being back to Jaye Marie Green,’” said Green. “Just keep plugging along and a low one is going to come for you. I was like, ‘All right. Sounds good.’ I didn’t really believe him, but now I do.”
Green said she feels back to her old self and acted like a normal 20-year-old off the course yesterday, dying her hair a color she couldn’t exactly name but finally settled on “deep burgundy.”
“Like I dyed my hair last night,” said Green. “I do the craziest, weirdest stuff.”
Maybe the craziest thing would be to pull out a win on Sunday and join Lydia Ko as the only rookies to win on Tour this season. Green’s best position heading into the final round this year was at the JTBC Founders Cup where she started five shots back. She shot 70 and recorded her best finish of the year, a tied for 19th.
JUST A MATTER OF TIME
So Yeon Ryu, the No. 9 player in the world, has eight top-10s this season but the two-time winner hasn’t been able to breakthrough with a win.
She was right there at the Ricoh Women’s British Open only a couple shots back heading into the final round, but a final-round 79 in terrible conditions were the end of that. She was there at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G the week before, too, but finished two shots back after a final-round 69 wasn’t enough. And she was in it at the U.S. Women’s Open, too, but finished in a tie for 5th.
This week could be the breakthrough for the two-time winner after a third-round 3-under 68 has her just one shot back of Lee-Anne Pace and Laura Diaz heading into the final round after making birdies on three of her final four holes.
“You know, I can feel my game is definitely improved. The thing is, just as you say, just the wins are not coming yet,” Ryu said. “I think it’s really a matter of time. I hope I can get a win at this tournament.”
She did in 2012 and thinks it’s an advantage that she’s won on this track.
“No matter if I play great right now or not, I still can feel comfortable because I had a really great memory here,” she said. “So I just love to be here.”
A RETURN TO THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Lydia Ko’s watched as her fellow members of the Rolex Rankings top three, Stacy Lewis and Inbee Park, have won tournaments since her last win at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in late April. Lewis got three since and Park got one at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in early June. If this star-studded season of winners is any indication, Ko’s about to get another this week at the Marathon Classic Presented by Owens Corning and O-I.
Ko’s rounds of 67, 67, 70 have her at 9-under, just two shots back of Laura Diaz and Lee-Anne Pace and is ready for her turn back in the winner’s circle.
“I try and put myself in a good position every week to go and be close to a win on Sunday. Stacy and Michelle and Inbee, everybody else, they’ve been playing really good,” Ko said.
The great first three days for Ko comes on the heels of the worst round of her career – an 8-over-par 80 the last round at the Ricoh Women’s British Open in brutal final day conditions – and the fourth win of the young 17-year-old’s career would more than make up for the disappointing final round at the Open.
“I’m pretty close. I think I’m in a good position,” Ko said. “Looking forward to tomorrow.”
EAGLES HELPING WARRIORS
A total of four eagles were made Saturday, bringing the total donated to Wounded Warriors at the end of the year by the CME Group up to $196,000. Four more eagles on Sunday and the $200,000 threshold will be crossed.
Notably, all of the eagles came on par-4s today. Two eagles were made with Christina Kim and Dori Carter knocking in their second shot from the fairway on the difficult first hole at Highland Meadows. The ninth hole was also moved up to make it a 256-yard drivable par-4 for Saturday’s round, and both Na Yeon Choi and Laura Diaz made eagles. Diaz nearly made an albatross with her tee shot just narrowly missing going in before coming to rest 10 feet behind the hole, which she would go on to make.
“I mean, I got the right kick on my tee shot. By the way the crowd reacted, I could tell that it was close,” Diaz said. “It’s always nice to make eagles and give one for the Wounded Warriors.”
FIRST TIMERS IN THE HUNT
Several fresh names find themselves toward the top of the leaderboard heading into Sunday’s final round. Nine players who are playing for their first LPGA Tour victories are within four shots of the lead. Co-leader Lee-Anne Pace has eight career victories on the Ladies European Tour but looking for her first on the LPGA.
Others in the hunt for their first LPGA Tour victories include: Jaye Marie Green (-10), Austin Ernst (-8), Brooke Pancake (-8), Kris Tamulis (-7), Mirim Lee (-7), Kelly Tan (-7), Lindsey Wright (-7), Kayla Mortellaro (-7).
BEARS RACING CADDIES
Lexi Thompson saw Paula Creamer starting to run Friday on the 14th hole famous for its caddie races and party-like atmosphere. So Thompson took off, bringing a player race into the equation.
She didn’t race Saturday but could only laugh thinking back to Friday’s race with Creamer, which Creamer won after getting a slight headstart.
“She did!” Thompson said when asked if Creamer got a headstart. “She snuck up on me. She’s fast! I didn’t think she was going to be that fast. She was. But she did sneak up on me.”
The 14th hole has also become quite humorous for its bears racing caddies. The Labatt Blue, a dressed up bear, has been racing caddies down the fairway to the green to a thunderous roar from the crowd!
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I can’t say that I knew how to do it then, and I don’t know that I know how to do it now.”
- Laura Diaz on if winning is like getting back on a bike after 12 years without a win.
ROLEX RANKINGS NO. 2 LYDIA KO
Q. Obviously that helped a lot on 18. Talk about the position you're in. Feel like you put yourself with a chance to win tomorrow?
LYDIA KO: Yeah, you know, I'm pretty close. I think I'm only two or three shots off the lead. Yeah, I think I'm in a good position.
Yeah, looking forward to tomorrow.
Q. Is there an idea of what it's going to take tomorrow, a number of what it's going to take to win?
LYDIA KO: I think it was around 12 last year. Definitely you can see by now maybe it's playing a little easier and the score seems is a little better.
Like today some people shot 7 , 8 under. That may be the scenario tomorrow. I don't know what the final winning score may be, but definitely need to make lots of birdies.
Q. You didn't play your best but still trimmed one shot off the lead.
LYDIA KO: I didn't have a great day. I only made two bogeys, but felt like I made much more. I made two bogeys on the first day; the only difference was I wasn't making as many birdies.
I definitely know that the birdies are out there. Hopefully I'll be able to get them tomorrow.
Q. It was only three months ago you got your win. Then you see Michelle, Stacy, Inbee get a win. Does that make you think about getting your own win again?
LYDIA KO: Yeah, definitely. I try and put myself in a good position every week to I guess go and be close to win. Stacy and Michelle and Inbee, everybody else, they've been playing really good.
Like Mo last week, she had an incredible win at the British. You never know he's going to win out here. It's not always the top three that's winning. There are a wide variety of players that are playing well.
Q. How big were the two birdies to finish?
LYDIA KO: I think my last couple holes were pretty good. I had to hit my shot close on 15 to make a hard bogey.
I would've never expected myself to hit a lost ball and make a bogey. I was hitting my driver pretty well today.
ROLEX RANKINGS NO. 9 SO YEON RYU
Q. Real quick, thoughts going into tomorrow.
SO YEON RYU: Actually, today my putting was not good as what I expected. Still I had so many great birdie chance, so means I still have a really good chance.
Really happy with what I had closing. You know, I three birdies at the last four holes. I can feel really positive energy, so I hope I can make more birdie tomorrow.
Q. On the 9th hole you had to mark Diaz's ball after she had driven onto the green.
SO YEON RYU: Yes.
Q. That was kind of an odd sensation, because you were on the exact same line she was on.
SO YEON RYU: Yeah.
Q. How did you like having moved up the tees on the 9?
SO YEON RYU: Oh, you know, it's so much fun. Sometimes if golf course is so boring, you know, if we don't have any option sometime it can be boring.
But I think this year setup is more exciting. For example, they move forward tee at the 8th hole. It's really short par 3, but still hole location is tricky. Short distance but not easy.
Also 9, you know, we can reach the green, but at the same time the green is so, so tough. If you miss even five yards right it can be roll up to 50 yard. If we miss a little left, it could be stuck in the trees.
So I love it. Yeah, I love the setup.
Q. Is it an advantage for you that you've won here before?
SO YEON RYU: Oh, absolutely. No matter I play great right now or not, I still can feel like comfortable because I had a really great memory here. So I just love to be here.
Even I still can remember the crowd was really nice to me when I won this tournament, so I always had really great energy.
Q. Feels like you've had a lot of Top 10s this year but haven't been able to break through with a win. Do you feel like that's coming?
SO YEON RYU: You know, I can feel my game is definitely improved. The thing is, just as you say, just wins not coming yet.
I think it's really matter of time. I hope I can make a win at this tournament.
Q. What do you feel like is holding your game back this year? Is it putting?
SO YEON RYU: Yeah, putting. I always struggle with my putting.
Q. Because you hit the ball as good as anyone.
SO YEON RYU: Thank you, though. I met Dave Stockton before I go to British Open. We found out some really great stuff, so I'm still working on with it.
Then now, you know, I know I can improve about the putting, so it's really matter of time.
Q. Where did you meet Dave at?
SO YEON RYU: Dave lives in Redlands, so I live like two hours from that way. So I drove to Redlands to see him. It was quite great time.
Q. Who set you up with that?
SO YEON RYU: No, I already working with Dave Stockton since 2012. Our tournament schedule is kind of busy so I haven't had so much time to see him, but before I'm going to British Open I had to see him. Because after US Open I could feel, Oh, my gosh, my putting is a terrible.
I really wanted to see him. Then we found a really great problem and great solution, so I think it's still working out.
Q. What was the problem and solution?
SO YEON RYU: Oh, well, every time my problem is my arm is too tight. Well, especially if I'm nervous my body is getting tighter and I use too much hand work.
We try to be more focus on lighter hand pressure and bit more working with the arm.
Q. How much will you thinking about that tomorrow? Obviously nerves will be there. You're one back of the lead more than likely.
SO YEON RYU: I mean, sometimes feels like processing is more important than result. So I just want to be focus on where I am right now and what I have to shot right now.
I just want to pretty much focus. I don't want to think about result or winning trophy, that kind of thing. Still, I think I can play well.
ROLEX RANKINGS NO. 26 MO MARTIN
Q. A fun time, but I'm guessing a long two weeks by now. How are you holding up to the emotion coming off the British?
MO MARTIN: The last two nights it's really caught up to me. 7:00 and I'm exhausted and ready to go to sleep. I am looking forward to two weeks after that.
Yeah, I have been pretty tired but able to focus on this week, so I am proud of that.
Q. How are you maintaining the energy to put up you're still scoring pretty well. You would think you would break down after some point.
MO MARTIN: I think part of it is adrenaline, and another part is I'm in housing this week and being taken care of very well. Good food, good sleep.
The energy here with the crowd is really nice, so that keeps us going as well.
Q. You want to try to win every time you go out, but is it a little anticlimactic coming off a major to a regular tournament?
MO MARTIN: You know what? This tournament is so fun and the community is so involved. It's really nice to be back in America, too. My Aunt Mary came out, so it was nice to give her a hug.
The community is keeping the energy up, and it's nice to be here.
Q. Is that a good validation of your game to finish up the major win with another good finish this week?
MO MARTIN: I'm glad I've been able to keep my focus, because clearly I'm playing well right now. I don't think it's validated anything, but I think I'm proud of the fact that I'm still being able to focus and change what I've needed to change for this week.
Q. Come from behind victory last week. Another one this week?
MO MARTIN: (Laughter.) You know what? I had fun doing it last week; I'm sure I would enjoy it this week, too.
Q. The closer you get on the leaderboard I am guess and a few more minutes of sleep tomorrow.
MO MARTIN: Yeah, definitely. I am probably going to be exhausted come 7:00, 8:00 again tonight. I will be in bed.
Then headed back to California to visit the family on Monday.
Q. Seen some low scores out there; 62 first rounds, Laura; 63 from Jaye today. You think that is coming tomorrow from someone? Are you sitting out there going, I've got to go low tomorrow it win?
MO MARTIN: There is the potential for sure. I think the lead is going to keep being lower and lower, so this is definitely going to be one to chase.
Q. You like the finishing holes here? Seems like there are a lot of opportunities for birdies coming in.
MO MARTIN: There is. I'm not able to reach either one of them unless we get wind.
Q. Only one person has reached 18.
MO MARTIN: Oh, okay. Yeah, but it puts a short wedge into my hands, so that's nice.
ROLEX RANKINGS NO. 55 LEE-ANNE PACE
Q. Tied for the lead. What do you think your chance is going into tomorrow?
LEE ANNE PACE: I'm not going to think about that. I think I play a very similar type of game every time I go out there: try to hit the fairways and try to hit the green and make the putt, and so far it's been working.
Hopefully coming down the stretch it's going to be enough.
Q. Having won eight times in Europe, what kind of breakthrough would this be for you in the States?
LEE ANNE PACE: Obviously Europe is quite a bit different from America. I think the courses are a little more strict. The pins are a bit more difficult.
So just for my own golf it'll mean quite a lot to be able to come out here and play well. It already has made my week. So was tired in the beginning of the week and now this happened, so I'm very excited.
Q. To be in contention and have a chance, just steady and even going? What do you think?
LEE ANNE PACE: Yeah, I'm going to do the same thing. Like I say, fairways which wasn't great today. Hopefully tomorrow a little bit more fairways so I can get the good impact on the iron shots into the greens.
Just playing the safe side of pin every time and having a (indiscernible) putt.
Q. For you having a 68 here, you feel like that's not necessarily a good round for you; is that right?
LEE ANNE PACE: No, I'm not saying that. I did miss a lot of putts sort of in the beginning of the round. But, no, 68 is always a good round. Never going to laugh that. I'm happy with that, so...
Q. There will be somewhere around nine or ten players within three strokes of the lead. How chaotic might that be tomorrow?
LEE ANNE PACE: Yeah, the whole LPGA is chasing. No, I think if you can just remain within yourself and play for your strong points, the way I'm playing my putts normally, I think if you keep doing that hopefully have a good day.
End of the day coming down the stretch, I hope I'm one shot ahead, maybe too two. If not, I'll take it as it is.
Q. What went into your decision to play mostly full time on the LPGA this year? Going back to Q School?
LEE ANNE PACE: Yeah, went back to Q School. I was a bit disappointed obviously missing out on the full card because I had a really good season last year in Europe.
Just very happy to be in America and playing here. Obviously it makes a big difference in the way that I'm feeling that I'm playing well. Getting progressively better every week, so just loving to be out here and playing on the LPGA.
Q. So pretty far into your career, I guess by age wise; considered a veteran. Still new on the LPGA full time. What would it mean to just get a really good finish here, let alone a win for you?
LEE ANNE PACE: I'm trying not to think about it, but I guess you have to ask those questions. It would be awesome. It will set me up obviously for next year and hopefully some good events at the end of the year.
All in all, I would like to have a good finish. Am I going to go for the win? Yes, of course I'm going to push for that. At the end of the day you never can tell who will win. There are a lot the factors involved in that.
I'll just try and do my best.
Q. When was the last time you found yourself in the final group? An event in Europe or...
LEE ANNE PACE: Europe, yes, last year.
Q. You remember the event?
LEE ANNE PACE: Three events. I won three event last year.
Q. So you were in the hunt.
LEE ANNE PACE: Probably October.
ROLEX RANKINGS NO. 152 AUSTIN ERNST
Q. Getting closer to putting four good rounds together. I know you aren't pleased with the one yesterday, but you feel like this is a good step forward having two in a week like this?
AUSTIN ERNST: Yeah, you know, yesterday just a little off kind of off with everything. Scraped a round better than I would have last year though.
Then I think hopefully right back in it after the round today. Obviously got to wait and see what the leaders post, but should be within striking distance tomorrow.
That's what I wanted to do going into today.
Q. Third round is moving day and you moved. You got four strokes closer to the lead. What is your mindset now?
AUSTIN ERNST: Just stick to the same things I've been doing. Today I played a really good round of golf. Gave myself a lot of looks at birdie and made it very easy on myself.
Only missed a couple greens out there, which is what you got to do. Especially when you've got low scores; you've got to give yourself a lot of looks. I did a good job of that today.
Q. Did seeing the 62 out there the first day give you the hope that maybe if I put something really low together, like you did in Portland last year, that you could come from behind and maybe...
AUSTIN ERNST: Yeah, it's out there. I mean, I know Jay played really well today. She shot 63. If you're hitting the ball well, there is a lot of birdie opportunities out there.
The greens don't have a ton of movement. So you can be pretty aggressive. If you're hitting greens you're not having very long putts.
Q. How does that affect your strategy tomorrow? Does that make you almost be more aggressive knowing someone could shoot a number that's in that territory to get a win?
AUSTIN ERNST: Yeah, it stays the same. You know, I'm trying to go out there and shoot a low number every day. Obviously there are pins you can go after. Depends on the clubs you got in your hands.
Main thing you got to get in the fairway. Can't be aggressive if you're not in the fair way. Just basically set the game plan of hitting a lot of fairways and hitting a lot of greens.
Q. What happened on 18?
AUSTIN ERNST: I hit it to about probably 15 feet above the hole and hit a really good putt. Thought it might lip in the left edge, but just barely lipped out.
ROLEX RANKINGS NO. 241 LAURA DIAZ
Q. Thoughts on the round?
LAURA DIAZ: A little up and down. Pretty steady. It was exciting to make a two on 9.
Didn't hit it very close so I didn't have tons of great looks at birdie. I made a lot of good putts that didn't go in. The last hole was another one of them. Didn't have a solid read on it really.
It was a fun day. I enjoyed myself. We'll see what tomorrow holds.
Q. You talked about like the pressure yesterday. Tomorrow you'll have even more being in the final group. What's that going to be like and how much fun are you having?
LAURA DIAZ: I don't know that I said I liked the pressure. There is in pressure. My gosh, I'm grateful to have the opportunity to play golf for a living.
I make myself nervous, but I really focused today on just going out and having fun. I was able to enjoy myself out there. Let a couple things slide that I think in the past may have irked me.
But I felt good about today. Just go out fun tomorrow.
Q. Do you have an idea what it's going to take tomorrow, a number, to win this thing?
LAURA DIAZ: No. I never think that way. I had the opportunity to make 18 birdies for the last three days and I didn't, so I'll go out tomorrow and give it my best shot and see what happens at the end of 18 holes.
Q. What did No. 9 do to your round?
LAURA DIAZ: It meant a two. Really, it was great. I mean, I got the right kick on my tee shot. By the way the crowd reacted, I could tell that it was close. It's always nice to make eagles and give one for the Wounded Warriors.
Q. How much will you watch the scoreboard tomorrow?
LAURA DIAZ: I don't watch the scoreboard. In fact, I said to Pete yesterday, that's my caddie, as we were leaving 17 green, I said, Okay, we have 37 holes to play. I don't want to see a scoreboard the entire time. I had seen one on 17 yesterday.
I'm not a scoreboard watcher. I can't control what anyone else is doing. I can only control a few things that I do, so I won't watch it at all.
Q. What happened on No.4 there, the penalty stroke?
LAURA DIAZ: I was moving a stick and Pete was trying to be helpful and help me move the stick. When he came in, the two sticks collided and moved the ball.
Q. Okay. Called it on yourself, right?
LAURA DIAZ: Oh, yeah. I mean, my gosh, yeah. No, yeah.
Q. That's something that really could have upset your game.
LAURA DIAZ: Yeah, I think so.
Q. How did you put it back in check?
LAURA DIAZ: I mean, it's an accident. It could have happened to anybody. The fact of the matter is he is trying to help me and he's out there trying to help me.
So there was no reason or need to get upset. Nothing we could do about it. I had hit a bad tee shot. I had put myself in the position. So it's unfortunate what happened, but you just go with the flow.
Q. Was the eagle then the universal way of putting it back in order there, getting the two strokes back?
LAURA DIAZ: The way I look at golf is you don't get strokes back. We start a round and we add strokes to our scorecard on every hole.
I think that it was nice to have a two instead of a three our four on 9. I think that I'm grateful for the opportunity that I had to make a two on 9.
Q. Do you like that when they jockey holes like that?
LAURA DIAZ: Yes, I do, a lot. Well, just because I think that, from what we hear they do it a lot on the PGA Tour. They have a lot of holes that are reachable, a lot of par 5s that are reachable, and I really think that that makes it more fun for us.
It puts a little more thinking into the day, what you're going to do instead of what you do every time you get to the hole.
Q. Will your son be watching tomorrow, do you think?
LAURA DIAZ: I think so. I've gotten a phone call ever day saying, Go, mommy. He is getting ready for a banquet, if not already at a banquet right now.
Q. I was going to say, did he win?
LAURA DIAZ: We'll just have to see. Mom knows. I guess at this point I can say, yes, he's getting most valuable player for his age group on his swim team for the first year. So it's pretty exciting.
Q. It's been 12 years since you won a title. Are you able to transport yourself back? Maybe like getting on a bike again?
LAURA DIAZ: I can't say that I knew how to do it then, and I don't know that I know how to do it now.
I think that it's one of those things that anything is possible. You know, I've worked for how many years to go out and shoot the lowest score possible; that's what I'll be doing.
Q. There will be ten players within three shots of you. How chaotic might that be tomorrow with that many people with a chance?
LAURA DIAZ: It's not chaotic for me. I haven't looked at a scoreboard in total for the whole week. I think it's great for the fans. I'm grateful for Marathon for having the opportunity to have this event back in Toledo again.
ROLEX RANKINGS NO. 289 JAYE MARIE GREEN
Q. Your dad said he felt this yesterday coming, that he told you before the round you were going to shoot 61; 63 is not bad.
JAYE MARIE GREEN: Yeah. He told me, Jaye, you're getting really close to being back to Jaye Marie Green. Just keep plugging along and a low one is going to come for you.
I was like, All right. Sounds good. I didn't really believe him, but now I do.
Q. You were a birdie machine today. How did you get that done? What was working?
JAYE MARIE GREEN: Pretty much everything. I hit all of my tee balls pretty much in the fairway. I knocked them close. I made 'em.
Yeah, I don't think I missed any greens today actually. I only missed one, I believe. So that helped a lot.
Q. Talk about the momentum you picked up early. You really got it going.
JAYE MARIE GREEN: Yeah.
Q. How did that help you?
JAYE MARIE GREEN: Yeah, I wasn't feeling great this morning. Felt like just down. So when I birdied the first hole I was like, Okay, let's go.
When I finished the turn at 4 under I was like, All right, my goal is to get to 10. To finish at 10 was huge for me.
Q. First year on the LPGA Tour, what's been the biggest adjustment?
JAYE MARIE GREEN: It's hard to name just one, honestly. The traveling; different hotels and houses every week; trying to stay who you are; not really knowing anyone at the beginning; making friends; sponsors. It goes on and on.
I think the main thing is to stay true to who are and not really change. I've changed a lot since being out here.
So the last two weeks been really working on getting back to being old Jaye and just being who I am.
Q. Who is old Jaye?
JAYE MARIE GREEN: Like I dyed my hair last night. I do the craziest, weirdest stuff.
Q. What color is your hair?
JAYE MARIE GREEN: Like a dark red, brown? I don't know. It was red two days ago. A deep burgundy.
Q. You set a Q School record. Did that give you some confidence to start your pro career?
JAYE MARIE GREEN: Oh, definitely. I think it was a blessing and a curse at the same time kind of. It's huge because it got me out here, but then at the same time, I put so much pressure on myself. Shooting that many under par every day, you know, to feel like, well, I should be doing that all the time.
And then not doing that all the time, I was just kind of bumming. But it's slowly but surely coming back together.
Q. You feel like the rookie breakthrough is coming soon?
JAYE MARIE GREEN: Yeah, it's just making new friends and having them be supportive and my mom and dad and brother, you know, just always getting encouragement from your family has been huge.
Q. Michelle said that Stacy gave you a three hour chipping putting lesson about a month ago. Did that help?
JAYE MARIE GREEN: Yeah, she gave me in Canada she stood with me for, yeah, about two and a half, three hours just chipping. Helped a lot just in the sense of like, yeah, it helped my chipping, but really helped me know, wow, there are a lot of girls out here on tour that can genuinely care about because it's such an individual sport.
To see someone care about someone other than themselves while they're ranked No. 1 in the world was just the coolest thing. Taught me a lot, too.
Q. You think you can continue today's play ingot tomorrow's final round?
JAYE MARIE GREEN: I hope so. Ever since the first round I kind of pulled stuff together. Long story short, yes. I feel like I'm going to try my best to do it.
Being in Q School helped a lot for me to understand how to back up a low round. So we'll see. I don't know. Golf is golf. You never know, so...
Q. What were some of the things you said you were maybe diverting from when you said not doing the old Jaye thing. I know you said mimicking other people's swings. What were some of the things?
JAYE MARIE GREEN: Yeah, I could go through pretty much everyone. I was trying to mimic Michelle Wie's swing because I thought it was awesome. I love her ball flight.
Trying to mimic Stacy Lewis' putting.
Natalie Gulbis' style. You know, wearing clothes I wouldn't wear, doing stuff I didn't even know how to be someone that wasn't me. It was so stressful. I learned you can improve by being who you are.
Like if I like Michelle's ball flight, I'm going to find a way to do it on my own.
Q. Love it. The Symetra emblem on your chest, seeing Mo win last week, what did that do for you guys that have honed your skills there and maybe the girls still on tour?
JAYE MARIE GREEN: Yeah, the Symetra Tour really is a steppingstone. It was good and bad for me because I was only out there one year. So this is my second rookie year in a row, where it's like I can't just get settled.
Just being out there traveling, it gave you a little taste of what it's like out here. I think it's huge for players to come up that way.
Q. I know dad is back on the bag. How many weeks was he off and how many other caddies did you have?
JAYE MARIE GREEN: My dad has always caddied for me, and he wasn't for about six weeks. I had Meaghan Francella on the bag and she was doing a great job. It was hard because I'm like, Dang, she's doing everything right. I just felt something in my heart just telling me, You need to go back to your dad because everything is just so new right now.
I just wasn't in the best spot in life. I was just kind of down on myself a lot. I was like, I just kind of need my dad to travel with me. I can't do it all on my own. I'm only 20.
Q. I need help. And you say you just look at him and laugh. You think that's the biggest plus?
JAYE MARIE GREEN: Oh, that's the hugest thing. Like on the last fairway he was doing the funniest walk and face. I go, You're so funny. Dad, I'm trying to focus here. I think I just got in the lead.
I'm just cracking up. He's the best.
Q. You started this week in the dreaded 101 spot on the Money List. How important is a big finish here going to be for you?
JAYE MARIE GREEN: I actually had no idea what I was ranked until you just told me.
Q. Difference between 101 and 100 is going to Q School and not going to Q School.
JAYE MARIE GREEN: Someone asked me the other day, and I'm like, I don't really know what I'm ranked and I don't really care. Just because how I play out here, I still can't yeah, I could play well and change that, but I can't control everyone else.
What if five other people that are ranked that do just as well. I don't want add any more pressure to myself.
I just go out and do the best I can. At the end of the year when my mom says, Good job. You're going to CME Titleholders and you're good, or, Hey, Jaye, you're going back to Q School. Either way I'm like, All right.