Canadian Pacific Women’s Open
London Hunt & Country Club
London, Ontario, Canada
Final Round Notes
August 24, 2014
So Yeon Ryu knew the routine well over the last two years. The last putt goes in, the champion celebrates in their own unique way, and their friends rush on the green, showering the champion with champagne. She’d rushed the green frequently over the last two years for her close friend Inbee Park, but she wanted that feeling for herself, the one only the golfer drenched in champagne with the cameras flashing at them can feel. She had it twice in her career, but the last one was two years ago. 27 top-10s since had left her frustrated and wondering when her next breakthrough was.
It came Sunday, finishing what she started Thursday when she fired a course record 63 to kick things off, leading wire to wire here in Canada with a 23-under-par 72-hole total.
“I’ve been waiting so long for the champagne,” Ryu said. “I was ready to get champagne. I put champagne on Inbee maybe more than five times, but finally she gave it to me. So it feels great.”
Wednesday night before the first round, the sushi restaurant doors down from the hotel had three visitors – So Yeon Ryu, Na Yeon Choi, and Inbee Park. The trio occupied the top three spots on the final leaderboard Sunday.
“After I signed my card, Na Yeon asked me, why don’t we go to have dinner every Wednesday night,” Ryu said with a laugh. “So I think that’s a good tradition, so I think we’re going to stick with that.”
Choi nearly caught her though after Ryu made the turn with a six-shot lead Sunday. By the 15th hole, that lead was down to one thanks to a couple of bogeys by Ryu and some spectacular golf by Na Yeon Choi chasing. Ultimately, Ryu – who had chased her third career victory for over two years – broke through after 27 top-10s since her last win, making a birdie on the 16th hole to finally put Choi away.
“It could sound like cocky, but after I made a birdie at the 9th hole I was sure I could win. But actually, you know what, Na Yeon almost chased me down, so I was pretty nervous at that moment,” Ryu said.
Ryu’s 23-under-par total ties the best score in relation to par on the LPGA Tour this season – the other coming in Canada as well with Inbee Park’s 23-under total down the road in Waterloo at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic. And after a front-nine 32 pushed her to 24-under for the tournament, Annika Sorenstam’s 27-under-par LPGA Tour record looked like it could fall.
Choi left admittedly disappointed that her career-best four-day total of 21-under turned out to not be good enough. Still, she was thrilled to see her friend breakthrough and thinks it could be a sign of things to come for herself.
“A lot of people talk about me and So Yeon can’t win, it’s been a long time, but somebody has to do it first, and then maybe next time I can have it,” Choi said.
Azahara Munoz posted her second consecutive fourth place finish at 17-under-par. Kim Kaufman and Danielle Kang finished in a tie for fifth at 15-under-par.
ROOKIE DOUBLE UP
Rookie Kim Kaufman reeled off a tie for fourth in only her second LPGA Tour start at the North Texas Shootout, so it was natural that her expectations for herself ramped up. Since then, she had missed cuts in six of eight events with her best finish being a tie for 23rd heading into this week. So she was thrilled Sunday when a final-round 66 vaulted her into a tie for 5th.
“It’s what I needed. I had a great week in Dallas months ago, and I haven’t had a great week since. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time, and I hope it’s going to get me into Asia really.”
Kaufman’s talking about the six-week stretch in Asia starting in early October in which the fields are limited to 72 players and there isn’t a cut. That’s the goal for everyone over the next three events – make the cut for Asia – and her $83,061 check this week will almost double her season’s earnings of $87,192 and push her into the top-50 on the money list.
“If you’re kind of on the bubble that’s what you’re thinking about right now,” she said.
On Sunday, she did more than that finishing as the low amateur and low Canadian with a tie for 46th. Rounds of 70-71-71-74 meant Henderson has now made the cut in each of her four starts on the LPGA Tour this season.
“Luckily I’ve made it to the last four days in all of my LPGA Tour events this year, and like I said, it’s a huge learning experience and you learn so much being able to play the weekend because it’s different than the first two days, and you get to play with the best players,” Henderson said. “It’s a great experience and I’m very grateful to have been in the position.”
On Monday, Henderson - the No. 2 amateur in the world – will reverse roles and fly to California to caddie for her old sister Brittany in Qualifying School for the LPGA Tour.
Inbee Park’s used to Na Yeon Choi and So Yeon Ryu rushing the green and dumping champagne on her. They’ve done it eight times since Choi or Ryu last won, but it was Park waiting off to the side of the 18th green Sunday to see which of her friends was going to ultimately take home the trophy. Park, for her part, finished third at 18-under-par, then ran on to the green to shake up the bottle and spray champagne all over her friend, Ryu.
Luckily for Park, Ryu won without it needing extra holes.
“Unless they go in a playoff [I’ll be there],” Park said after her round, “because I’m really tight on my flights. Hopefully they don’t go in a playoff.”
They didn’t and Park got to celebrate the maid of honor in her wedding’s big breakthrough after 27 top-10s without a win.
“I’m really happy to see them playing really good, finally breaking through,” Park said. “They haven’t won for a couple years, and I really feel for them. Hopefully one of them can pull it off.”
Player: Karin Sjodin Round: 1 Hole: 2 Club: 9-iron Yardage: 133
Player: Jessica Korda Round: 2 Hole: 8 Club: 8-iron Yardage: 147
Player: Katie Burnett Round: 4 Hole: 13 Club: NA Yardage: 162
Player: Karrie Webb Round: 4 Hole: 2 Club: 5-iron Yardage: 177
CHILDREN’S HEART HEALTH WINS BIG
Canadian Pacific (CP) announced during the final round today that they will be making a cash donation of $1,100,045 to the Children’s Health Foundation to support continued world class research and treatment for children’s cardiac care at Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC).
“We’re so happy that our CP has Heart program gift will positively impact the lives of children with heart disease in London and throughout Southwestern Ontario,” said Canadian Pacific CEO E. Hunter Harrison. “Through the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open we’re helping to ensure that the leading edge paediatric cardiology program at Children’s Hospital continues to advance children’s cardiac research and care for years to come.”
To celebrate this significant milestone, the paediatric cardiac program at Children’s Hospital will be renamed the Canadian Pacific Centre for Paediatric Cardiac Care. CP’s gift will be put towards expanding the program’s capabilities through the purchase of paediatric-specific stress testing equipment, which will help with research and improve the quality of life of patients as they mature into adulthood.
- Na Yeon Choi when asked if she wasn’t in the final pairing with So Yeon Ryu, if she would have been out on the green with Inbee Park spraying champagne on So Yeon.
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.
This week, eight eagles were recorded which brings the total money raised this year to $225,000. Through the first 20 tournaments prior to the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, $217,000 had been raised.
THE MODERATOR: Good evening, everyone. I'd like to welcome the new 2014 Canadian Women's Open winner So Yeon Ryu. How good does it feel to hear that?
SO YEON RYU: I've been waiting and wanting it so much that I really cannot feel anything right now. It's always good to be the champion at the front of the trophy. The other thing is Na Yeon made a birdie at 15 and I made a bogey, so it was only one shot difference, so I was really nervous, and I was really scared because I didn't want to kick out my really great opportunity and I didn't want to chase down, so I was scared about it on the 15th hole, but I made a really great birdie at 16, and after that I was a bit relieved. It feels really great to play with really great golfers.
THE MODERATOR: You mentioned Na Yeon's name. What was it like playing with such a good friend out there, especially when it got down to a one‑ and two‑shot lead?
SO YEON RYU: You know what, almost one month ago we played as a team. Also we always help each other at tournaments, and we always like discuss about how we're going to hit this shot, that kind of thing. But now we were rivals on the golf course, and that one was quite tough. The good thing is Na Yeon and I still had a chat and still were having so much fun, and after I decided to win, Na Yeon came to us and don't cry and just enjoy your winning. I feel really happy with it.
Also Na Yeon hasn't won any tournament the last probably 15 months or something, so also I really look forward to another win for her.
THE MODERATOR: You've been one of the more consistent players out here on Tour, 27 top 10s since your last victory in 2012. What do you feel like put you over the hump in this tournament?
SO YEON RYU: You know, I don't know when was it, but one of my friends asked me, So Yeon, do you want to finish top 10 every tournament or do you just want to win one tournament and miss the cut every tournament, and I said, you know, it's a really hard question, but at this stage I really need to win, so I'm just going to take a win just rather than finish top 10 every week.
But the good thing is I still had a lot of opportunity the last couple months and couple years, then finally I made it, so it feels really great. I played really consistent and finally made it.
THE MODERATOR: So you set a course record here this week, 23‑under in relation to par, and you were chasing a very historic record in LPGA history. How big of a factor did that play for you after you made the turn when you struggled just a little bit?
SO YEON RYU: Well, yeah, I'm a bit disappointed I couldn't reach the record but it still feels good. I still have the tournament course record, and it still feels really great, the historical part of the thing, like Annika, Karrie Webb, Inbee already made a lot of historical record, but something I can do is really honest.
Q. A couple of quick questions: First of all, did you see anything in your game heading into this week that you said, you know what, I've found something, I think I'm going to put up a good number?
SO YEON RYU: You know what, I spent quite a lot of time, but before I'm going to tee it off every day, my warm‑up was so bad. First day I had zero expectations, so I think that was why I could play well, because sometimes it's better to be less expectations, because after you hit a great shot, it feels like that's a really great shot. But if you had a really great warm‑up, but after that if you miss one shot, it feels so bad. So I think that kind of process helped me a lot.
But one thing I found out is when I do putting, I just hit my putt too much, so I just try to roll it, and I know how I could roll it, so I think that's the one thing is a really great key for us, for me.
Q. Other than your ball‑striking what really impressed me this week is how calm, cool and collected you were. You looked as fresh after your round as you did before you teed off. Where does this come from?
SO YEON RYU: I think enjoyment. I really wanted to enjoy this tournament because, you know, somebody asked me why do you play golf, because I'm happy. I'm happiest girl when I'm playing golf. I had a lot of opportunity to make a win, but I couldn't. After that you could be hate the golf, but I still really enjoy playing golf, and I wanted to be happy girl on the golf course. I think that's kind of the attitude that makes me fresh.
Q. My one question was after nine holes today you had a six‑shot lead at that point. Were you aware of that lead, and did it affect your mental game at all?
SO YEON RYU: Well, you know what, I was ‑‑ it could be sound like cocky, but after I made a birdie at the 9th hole I was sure I could make a win. But actually, you know what, Na Yeon almost chased me down, so I was pretty nervous at that moment.
I think maybe my biggest mistake is I made a 6 at the 10th hole. That's kind of make me push myself because Na Yeon made a birdie at 11. But the good thing is when I missed the putt, still I hit it great, but I just misread the line, and when I miss the green, I still hit a great shot but just missed the club selection. I could keep trusting myself. That's the more important one.
Q. You said a friend told you do you want to be top 10 all the time or do you want to win a tournament. So what changed? Did you decide to be more aggressive? Did you decide I'm going to take some chances so if I don't finish top 10, fine, but it will give me more of a chance to win the tournament?
SO YEON RYU: Yeah, I think that kind of attitude will be more helpful for my game. Other things, when I had a really great chance to win, I was thinking about I couldn't Wayne any tournament the last two years, I really need to make this. If I cannot make this, I'm going to be loser. That kind of attitude just make me crazy, but now definitely I made a win, so maybe I could more enjoy my golf and I could more enjoy toughness time.
Q. What was going through your mind when it was down to a one‑stroke lead going into that 16th hole? What were you thinking when you went to tee off and what were you thinking when Na Yeon hit her shot into the bunker there?
SO YEON RYU: You know what, Na Yeon is one of the great bunker players on the LPGA for sure, so I thought Na Yeon was going to make a birdie, so I really needed to make a birdie. When I hit that shot I was really focused. The other good thing is I thought, okay, let me think about take this nervous because everybody is nervous and Na Yeon is nervous definitely, so I just accepted my nervous thing, so I just tried to enjoy it, and I hit a great shot, and I made a really great birdie, birdie putt. When Na Yeon shot the bunker shot, I think she missed the shot, but still, she had a birdie chance.
Then last couple holes she made a really great birdie putt, so I thought she was going to make it, but she missed it. So I think that made me more relax because if I'm going to make it, it's two‑stroke difference, but if Na Yeon made first, I think I couldn't make it at all because I really had to make it because I need to get winning the tournament.
I think today is really like biggest hole was 16, and my biggest putt was 16 birdie putt.
Q. The fans were very supportive of all the Canadians here this weekend, but of course they were also very supportive of you. What was your overall impression of the fans this weekend?
SO YEON RYU: You know what, I've always been really happy to be in Canada. I mean, all the golf fans are really nice, but especially I do love Canada because like I have a lot of connections. My English teacher is Canadian, and I always like sharing my heart with my English teacher, so I just feel like more like Canadian.
The other thing is Canadian fans really love to encourage all the golfers, not as their mind, they're always like shouting, clapping for us, so I feel really great about that. Also this is not only one tournament in Canada. Also we play the Manulife. I had such a great memory with a lot of Canadian fans, so I have really big help for all the Canadian fans.
Q. What are your thoughts of all the great volunteers here this week?
SO YEON RYU: I don't want to say just this week's volunteers is best, because every tournament volunteer is awesome and every volunteer for LPGA is just awesome. But the thing is this is my special moment, and they were being with me, so I'd like to say they are wonderful.
Q. What advice would you give to a young woman just starting out to golf?
SO YEON RYU: I'd like to say think about what you really like it. Actually golf is my job, so I need to play well because this is my job, you know, but otherwise this is one of my hobbies. When I'm playing golf, I'm so happy. That's why I keep playing well and I keep can play golf. Then LPGA schedule is quite tough. I'm always traveling and I'm always packing and unpacking. Sometimes it's crazy, but still I do love to play golf, that's why I can do that. I'd just like to say just really think about what you like it, and if you really like playing golf, just play golf.
Q. So Yeon, you went to the same restaurant the first three days of tournament play. Did you do that last night, too?
SO YEON RYU: Yes, I do. The funniest thing is I had a dinner with Na Yeon, Inbee and I.K. on Wednesday, and then after I signed my card, Na Yeon asked me, why don't you go to have dinner every Wednesday night, so I think that's a good tradition, so I think we're going to stick with that.
Q. What was the name of the restaurant you went to every night?
SO YEON RYU: Shogun.
Q. What did you think of the champagne shower on the 18th green by Inbee?
SO YEON RYU: You know what, I've been waiting so much the champagne. I was ready to get champagne, so I smell like champagne right now, but I'm still so happy. The other thing is I put on the champagne to Inbee maybe more than five times, but finally she gave it to me, so it feels great.
SO YEON RYU: The really good thing is I did trust myself. I was sure I didn't care about anybody, I was really focused on my game, but still, when I hit the great shots, it wasn't that great. So I thought, oh, it's really hard to make another one, so I would just keep through it, and finally I made it. 16 was really a big hole. I was sure if I make it, I was going to win, so I just did my best and I really had to try to make it.
Q. How much did it help playing in threesomes knowing at the start of the day your two closest chasers were right there?
SO YEON RYU: You know, if we played in twosomes it could be more pay attention to other (inaudible), but playing threesomes still we can talk with each other and it's more healthy to make me feel ease.
Q. When you got to one stroke back, how much did you think you had a chance to win?
NA YEON CHOI: Well, like all day I didn't really think about I can win this week, today. After the 15, I got birdie on 15, and when she missed that putt, maybe I thought like maybe I could have a chance, too. I really focused on every shot, and I just played my game. Still, 67 is a good score on Sunday. I don't have really a regret out there. I'm playing well all week, and I just end up there in third place.
Q. Did you feel any pressure on 16 to go for the green in two?
NA YEON CHOI: The distance‑wise I can reach to the green, but maybe my rhythm was a little quick, so I hit to the right bunker. But still, I mean, sometimes I finish a round and I have a lot of regret, but this week, not really. I've got a lot of confidence after this week, and still, we have a lot of tournaments. Even So Yeon, I just asked her last hole when was the last time you won on the LPGA Tour, and she said more than two years, and that's more than me, and I said, you know, maybe right now my time might come. I just have a good feeling about my game, and we'll just see next week.
Q. I think the last time you won, you beat her by two?
NA YEON CHOI: That was the CME in 2012, yeah.
Q. Do you think she learned from maybe trying to chase you down?
NA YEON CHOI: I don't know. She's been playing so well even, like just she couldn't win. I think she's still top 10 in the world. She always finishes in contention. It's not like she has like going down or whatever, like at the top one level there. So it's not just how much are we learning, it's how we're managing our game on the course and focus our game.
Q. Everyone knows the Koreans are a great golfing nation, but you come to Canada and one, two, three, obliterate the course. Is this another statement that you guys are alive and well kind of?
NA YEON CHOI: Yeah, I think even after International Crown, we're getting close to each other, we're knowing each other a little bit more, actually more true knowing each other. We talk a lot at International Crown, and it seems like after that tournament we a little bit grew up and matured after that lot of pressure. Hopefully we learned something from International Crown, and I hope all the Korean team from International Crown, even I.K., hopefully we play well until the end of the season.
Q. Do you think if you weren't in the final round you would have been on the green with Inbee and the champagne?
NA YEON CHOI: Yeah, that was cool, all the International Crown members were there, but they just gave me a hug. Even really, like 21 is my record in my life, like four rounds, so ‑‑
Q. That should be enough to win.
NA YEON CHOI: Yeah, just she's playing well, so I can't control her score.
Q. Now you're going to be a bridesmaid for Inbee?
NA YEON CHOI: Yeah, with So Yeon, too, and I.K.
Q. So your whole group?
NA YEON CHOI: Yeah, since like elementary school we are good friends to each other, so yeah.
Q. It's obviously tough not to win, but are you pretty happy for So Yeon?
NA YEON CHOI: Yeah, I'm happy. A lot of people talk about even me and So Yeon can't have win, it's been a long time, but somebody has to do it first, and then maybe next time I can have it.
INBEE PARK: They're playing great golf. They're shooting 5‑, 6‑under par every day. I'm really happy to see them playing really good, finally breaking through. They haven't won for a couple years, and I really feel for them. Yeah, hopefully one of them can pull it off.
Q. I know they're both in your wedding party coming up in October. Is this an even bigger reason to celebrate?
INBEE PARK: Yeah, I think so. It's really hard to pick who I'm rooting for, obviously, but I don't know, whoever is winning I'm rooting for. Yeah, I'm sure they're really enjoying themselves out there. I know it's going to be tough when you lose, but obviously they're going to have a chance next week.
Q. I want to focus more on what it means to see both of them in contention, that kind of thing, what it means to you to see them both out there.
INBEE PARK: Yeah, I know how hard they work. They were having a very tough time a couple years when they couldn't win for a couple years, so I really was rooting for them to finally break through because they're such great players. Once they start winning, they can be up on the top very quickly. Yeah, they have definitely good potential, so yeah, I'm sure even if one of them finishes first and one of them finishes second, that's still going to give them so much confidence playing the rest of the season. Yeah, I think you'll see their names up there more often.
Q. So Yeon in particular said you gave her some advice on how to break through here. Do you feel like she felt a little bit of pressure there or are you even aware of what was happening?
INBEE PARK: Well, obviously it's tough to play with the lead all four days. It's always easier to come back from behind. But So Yeon has had that for four days on her shoulders, so if she really does it this time, I think it's going to be a great win. Obviously wire to wire is the toughest win to do, so obviously I'm rooting for her.
Q. Are you going to be dumping champagne on the winner out there?
INBEE PARK: Yeah, unless they go in a playoff because I'm really tight on my flights. Yeah, hopefully they don't go in a playoff.
Q. What does this do for you going into the rest of the season, and how big is this?
KIM KAUFMAN: You know, I'm not sure. I think I'm going to sneak in a top 5.
Q. Tied for fourth right now.
KIM KAUFMAN: It'll be close, but it's what I needed. I had a great week in Dallas months ago, and I haven't had a great week since. I've been waiting for this for a long time, and I hope it's going to get me into Asia really.
Q. Is that kind of the goal the next two weeks, three weeks?
KIM KAUFMAN: It is, yeah, for sure. If you're kind of on the bubble that's what you're thinking about right now.
Q. That was quite the fist pump on 18. Did you know how much that putt meant?
KIM KAUFMAN: No, but I know it usually means a lot. I had three‑putted 16 for par, so I wanted one more real bad. It was just downhill, kind of a tough putt, so I was glad to see it go in.
Q. How is your rookie year going so far?
KIM KAUFMAN: It's been pretty great, I think. You know, I have missed a lot of cuts, it hasn't been easy, but I've been positive, and thankfully I've had a couple weeks like this.
Q. What does this do for your confidence going forward?
KIM KAUFMAN: It's huge because I was getting a little bit ‑‑ I was kind of losing some confidence the last couple weeks, and it's hard to stay positive when you're missing cuts. I think I'm going to feel great going to Portland.
Q. Fourth is even bigger here because it's the biggest purse non‑major, right?
KIM KAUFMAN: I believe so, yeah. I hope so. I don't know what the purse was in Dallas, but yeah, it's got to be a pretty good jump.
Q. You were playing with Laura Davies today. I think you're the youngest in the tournament, she's the oldest. How was it playing with one of the veterans on the Tour today?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It was awesome. Laura is an amazing player as we all know and such a great role model for everyone coming up to play and one of the best ball strikers I've ever seen in my life. A couple months ago I caddied for my sister in the U.S. Open qualifying and we were paired with Laura there, so I knew her a little bit going in, but it was a real pleasure.
Q. Was this week what you expected it to be?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It was, for sure. There was tons of support from Canadians and family and friends, and it was such a great experience. This is the first time in three years that I made the cut here, which was definitely a big goal coming in, and I was able to do that. Today was a little bit ‑‑ not quite the finish I was looking for, but I mean, to play the weekend here is awesome.
Q. How do you value the experience?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It's huge, yeah. I've played more LPGA Tour events over the last couple years, and I'm getting more comfortable, and the more weekends I can play, the more experience I really do gain, and I get to know the pros a little bit better and get to play with some new ones and really learn from them.
Q. What happens to you tomorrow?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Tomorrow I'm flying to California to caddie for my sister in qualifying school for LPGA Tour school and then off to Japan for the World Amateur, and then back to school.
Q. Tough adjustment going back to school do you think?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It'll be cool and nice to see my friends again and get back to Swiss Falls. It'll be nice.
Q. Have you caddied for your sister before?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I've caddied for her quite a bit, and she's caddied for me lots, so it's nice that we can both return the favor to each other. Yeah, we have a good support system, and we're like best friends, so it's easy to tell it the way it is.
Q. So in Japan, is that a team event, and who are you teamed with for Canada?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It's the World Amateur Team Championships, so I'm with Augusta James from Bath, Ontario, Brittany Marchand from Orangeville, and myself, and the three of us will go and represent Canada and try to do it well.
Q. How do you think it's going to be? Have you sized up the opposition?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It'll be tough. 53 countries, I believe, and the top three players from each country, so tough competition, and I'm excited for it.
Q. Do you have one specific favorite moment here or memory?
BROOKE HENDERSON: This week? There was a lot of great moments. Like I said, a lot of family and friends were out watching, which it was nice to be able to play for them and show them what I can do. Lorie Kane this week was huge for me. She helped me out every day, even like starting on Monday, the practice rounds, I was talking to her, and yesterday ‑‑ she missed the cut on Friday, but she came out and watched me the last five holes, and that support from such a veteran on the Tour and such a role model of mine is amazing.
Q. What did you learn about what it's like to play four days on the LPGA? What is it like by the end of the last day?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It's cool. Yeah, luckily I've made it to the last four days in all of my LPGA Tour events this year, and like I said, it's a huge learning experience and you learn so much more being able to play the weekend because it is different than the first two days, and you get to play with the best players. It's a great experience, and I'm very grateful to have been in the position.