Canadian Pacific Women's Open Third-Round Notes and Interviews

Canadian Pacific Women’s Open
London Hunt & Country Club
London, Ontario, Canada
Round 3 Notes
August 23, 2014

Rolex Rankings No. 9 So Yeon Ryu (-20)
Rolex Rankings No. 16  Azahara Munoz (-16)
Rolex Rankings No. 20 Na Yeon Choi (-16)
Rolex Rankings No. 3  Inbee Park (-14)

So Yeon Ryu not only has the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open’s scoring record in sight, she’s got the LPGA career scoring record of 27-under shaking at this point after a 5-under 67 Saturday has her at 20-under-par 196 for the tournament.
 
“I think my lowest score was 29-under when I was 16 at the Asian Games. If I have a chance, I want to break my current record. Also, if I can, I want to break another LPGA record,” Ryu said.
 
Ryu’s owned the 54-hole lead three times before. Twice it resulted in a win – 2011 U.S. Women’s Open and 2012 Jamie Farr Toledo Classic – and the other time at the 2013 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G, she finished second. But she’s never led by this much at this point, owning a four-shot lead over close friend Na Yeon Choi and Azahara Munoz, who sit at 16-under-par.
 
27 times since her last win, Ryu’s finished in the top-10. 10 times already this season Ryu’s finished in the top-10 but come up empty on Sunday. However, at 20-under, Ryu has smashed her previous 54-hole LPGA best of 201 and is on pace to destroy the tournament’s scoring record of 18-under, which was set by Brandie Burton in 1998 and Meg Mallon in 2004.
 
“I think she is due. I think she was due a long time ago, but she probably threw her opportunities away,” said Inbee Park, one of Ryu’s best friends on Tour and dinner companion on Wednesday and Friday night. “Hopefully, if I can’t do it this time, hopefully she does it. I’m really rooting for her.”
 
Added Ryu of Park’s comment: “She is definitely a really great supporter for me. I feel really great. If I get a champagne ower from her, it’s going to be more awesome.”
 
The ridiculous pace Ryu continued to set is the only reason Azahara Munoz isn’t the major story Saturday after charging back into contention by tying So Yeon Ryu’s course record, which was set all of two days ago, with a spectacular 9-under 63 that included six birdies in seven holes from No. 11 through No. 17. And never before had the owner of three previous 64s gone this low.
 
“First round I played really well, and today I played really well, too. I just didn’t make the putts. Today I think the made the most,” Munoz said. “Hopefully my putter keeps being hot like it is now and just have fun tomorrow.”
 
Crazily, Choi, a seven-time winner on Tour, and Munoz, a one-time winner, both top-20 players in the world, have never shot as low through 54 holes as they have here in Canada. It’s two better than Choi’s best and five better than Munoz’s best. Yet, still, they trail by four.
 
“I never even really think about like close to even 20-under. I mean, even my score is like 16-under, and some friends called, I’m on fire this week,” Choi said. “But look at So Yeon.”
 
Everyone will be looking at Ryu on Sunday. Her hope is that finally after two years waiting and too many close calls to count, all eyes will still be on her when the last putt drops on the 18th Sunday.
 
“I haven’t won a tournament in the last two years. It’s a really tough time for me,” Ryu said. “I really want to stop it. I just want to make it a really fantastic experience.”

CAREER-LOW ROUND
Azahara Munoz had the round of the day and the round of her career today, after firing a 9-under 63. Her previous low round was 64, done three times previously, last during Rd. 3 at the 2014 JTBC Founders Cup where she finished tied for second (68-71-64-67=270).

Munoz is looking for the second win of her career, with the last coming in 2012 at the Sybase Match Play Championship at Hamilton Farm Golf Club. She was also aware that she had a chance to set a course record with a birdie on 18. She missed her putt on the high side of the hole.

“I knew that, too.” Munoz said when asked about the course record. “I just didn’t want to miss it low, so it wouldn’t have the chance, like Inbee, to run by three, four feet.  So I gave it plenty of break.  It just stayed a little high up, but it was a really good putt so no complaints there.

She didn’t want to look at the leaderboard but knew after a 9-under that she would have a chance on Sunday.

“I knew that, too.” Munoz said. “I just didn’t want to miss it low, so it wouldn’t have the chance, like Inbee, to run by three, four feet. So I gave it plenty of break. It just stayed a little high up, but it was a really good putt so no complaints there.”

KEEP IT UNDER PAR
Inbee Park wasn’t particularly pleased with a 17-par stretch to start Friday’s round and felt like it carried over to Saturday’s round when she parred the first seven holes. She knew she had to go low to make a charge. Luckily, whatever she was missing, she figured out on the back nine, firing a 6-under-par 30 on the back nine to post the second best round of the day – a 7-under-par 65.
 
“I mean, front nine today was really bad. I only had one birdie, and I had probably nine looks at birdie and just holed one. I wasn’t really comfortable with putting at all,” Park said. “On the back nine they seemed to drop. My pace on the greens was really good on the back nine and it started to drop. It’s good that I can have an opportunity tomorrow.”
 
She posted birdies on six of seven holes from No. 11 on, including five straight birdies. Playing partner Azahara Munoz made as many birdies during that seven-hole stretch and the two seemed to feed off of each other.
 
“I think it’s actually easier because you see a lot of putts going in and you see her playing well and that kind of gives you confidence and has a good momentum,” Park said. “She shot 8 or 9-under today. I played really well as well. So it was fun to play with her.”
 
Park predicted after the first round that the winning total would be 20-under-par or more, and she’s proven correct so far as the winning total looks like it will go well over 20.
 
“It’s going to be over 20, that’s for sure. I don’t know how So Yeon is going to play tomorrow, but if she goes really low tomorrow, 25-under-par is definitely possible,” Park said.

THE SOCIAL SCENE
The players had a great time at a party put on by Canadian Pacific last night. It was a great turnout from the field and many players took to social media to show how much fun they had at the event. The band even had Brittany Lang go up on stage for her birthday to help play a song.

“Thanks CP for having Bare Naked Ladies perform tonight!!! #selfietime @mpressel
@madisonpressel @brittanylang @karrie_webb @mfrancella”      
    - Paula Creamer on Instagram (@paulacreamer1)

TV TIMES TOMORROW
The airtimes for the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open on Golf Channel are as follows:

Sunday                                 2:00-5:00pm ET
                                             1:30-3:30am ET (Replay)
 
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Yesterday we went to the party, so maybe I need talk to CP (Canadian Pacific) and have the party again. It was a lot of fun. It was fun to be there..“

- Azahara Munoz when asked what if she plans to do exacttly what she did last night to have such a successful round. Canadian Pacific hosted a party for the players last night and had the Bare Naked Ladies perform.

NO. 1 SCENARIOS
Inbee Park would go to No. 1 if:
•   She wins and Lewis finishes in a four-way tie for second or worse.
•   Finishes second and Stacy finishes 47th or worse and Lydia does not win.
 
Lydia Ko would go to No. 1 if:
•  She wins and Stacy finishes in a three-way tie for second or worse.
•  Even if Inbee and Stacy are cut, a second place finish won’t push Ko to 1.

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

Today, three eagles were recorded which brings the total money raised this year to $220,000. Through the first 20 tournaments prior to the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, $217,000 had been raised.


SO YEON RYU
    Q.  Can you believe how low the scores got?
    SO YEON RYU:  Well, you know, honestly, I was really try to not look at the leaderboard.  So I just realize after I shot 9‑under today then I'm only 4 shot, you know, leading by it.
    Amazing that the girls played so well.  Also if I going to win this tournament, it is going to be more honor.

    Q.  Does it feel good that you can shoot 9‑under and you still have a four‑stroke lead given how consistently you've played?
    SO YEON RYU:  Yeah, honestly, my starting wasn't that great.  I made a bogey at the third hole that I think about, okay, let's forget about the bogey.
    Then today I'm going to need five more birdies.  After that I'm going to be happy.  Then I made a fifth birdie at the 16th, and I made a sixth birdie at the 17.  I played better than what I thought.
    The other happy thing is that if you make a birdie at 17, CP is going to donate $5,000.00 to the Children's Health Foundation.  I'd really be happy to be part of that.

    Q.  What is that threesome going to be like tomorrow?  You're good friends.
    SO YEON RYU:  You know, it's all my good friends.  Na is really a great friend.
    Outside of the golf course, we are really good friends.  Inside the golf course, everybody is a fighter.  I'm pretty sure we're going to play really good golf tomorrow.

    Q.  You said you didn't take a look at the leaderboard at all.  Yet someone crawls within one shot of you and someone crawls within two shots of you, you didn't notice any of that?
    SO YEON RYU:  I didn't know anything.  I didn't know anything.  I was really strictly avoid leaderboard, because I know if I pay attention to other people's play I cannot pay attention to my game.
    I really wanted to bring A game today, so I didn't look at the leaderboard at all.

    Q.  Would you tomorrow at all, especially if your playing partners are playing well?
    SO YEON RYU:  Well, you know, if I'm playing with another two competitor, I just automatically know their scores.  So I think it's not really a matter of seeing the scores.
    Just so the other thing is just pay attention to other player's shot or putting, then just focus to my game.

    Q.  You are chasing the LPGA record, 26‑under par.  Are you aware of that?  How much pressure does that add?
    SO YEON RYU:  I think my lowest record was 29‑under, when I was 16 at the Asian Games.  If I have a chance, I want to break my current record.  Also, if I can, I want to break another LPGA record.

    Q.  Inbee said that you are due for a win.  Would you take that as a compliment?
    SO YEON RYU:  Yesterday, I had dinner with Inbee.  Inbee was really highly encouraging me.  It feels great that the world's best player was encouraging me.  She is definitely a really great supporter for me.  So I feel really great.  If I get a champagne from her, it's going to be more awesome.

    Q.  Do you have a number in mind tomorrow?
    SO YEON RYU:  You know, today my goal was five birdies.  I'm just going to aim for seven birdies tomorrow.

    Q.  Or minus 30, right?
    SO YEON RYU:  Yes, yes.

    Q.  Did you go back to the same Shogun restaurant last night?
    SO YEON RYU:  Yeah, we did.

    Q.  What are your plans for tonight?
    SO YEON RYU:  Don't know yet.  Actually, today my shot wasn't that great, so I'm just going to be more working on my swing.  Then going to think about it.

    Q.  What is your routine on a Sunday?
    SO YEON RYU:  Actually, it's no matter if I'm in contention or not, always my routine is the same.  I wake up and stretching and having lunch or breakfast, then came out to the course one and a half hour before, starting with the putting, chipping, then long game, then putting again, then going to tee shot at the first hole.
    It's really great.  The really routine for tomorrow is just being confident.

    Q.  Final question, what would this mean to you to win?
    SO YEON RYU:  I haven't won a tournament in the last two years.  It's a really tough time for me.  If I'm going to win this tournament, I'm going to have a break about that, so I really want to break it.  I really want to stop it.  Kind of like not a great experience.  I just want to make it a really fantastic experience.


AZAHARA MUNOZ
    AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I had so many chances and then I made lots of putts.  I made a couple of really long ones and quite a few shorter ones.
    I think the key of my round was on 4.  I was going for it in 2 with a 4‑iron, and I hit it in the water.  You know, I kept it calm.  I knew I could still make up and down for par, and so I did.  After that, everything just went my way.

    Q.  When was the last time you had a round like this?
    AZAHARA MUNOZ:  9‑under?  I think my rookie year in Morelia, in Mexico, but the course wasn't the same.  I'll take this one.  I is really happy with my round.

    Q.  How about on the 18th hole and that last putt?  Did it look like it was going in?  Would have been a course record?
    AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I know.  I knew that, too.  I just didn't want to miss it low, so it wouldn't have the chance, like Inbee, to run by three, four feet.  So I gave it plenty of break.  It just stayed a little high up, but it was a really good putt so no complaints there.

    Q.  A lot of the players in the first two days had trouble reading the greens.  Obviously you're not having that problem?
    AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I did a little bit yesterday, but not the first round on today.  No, I'm rolling the ball really well.  These greens are pretty true.  If you start the ball on line, it's going to go in.

    Q.  Some of the players may be giving too much break?
    AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I don't know what they are doing.  I know what I'm doing.

    Q.  It's working.
    AZAHARA MUNOZ:  I mean, I'm only playing with where I'm playing.  I don't know what everybody else is doing.

    Q.  You're a couple of back right now of So Yeon.  Have you played with her before?
    AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Yeah, plenty of times.  We're actually really good friends.  She's such a good girl.  I think tomorrow is going to be a lot of fun.

    Q.  Do you look at what somebody ahead of you is doing or do you want to play consistency and put pressure on them and see what happens?
    AZAHARA MUNOZ:  That's what I'm going to do.  Actually, I don't think any of these days I've been looking at the leaderboard.  On Thursday, when I got here, I already saw the 8‑under obviously.
    Since I've been on the course, I haven't looked at the leaderboard.  So not until I finished I knew where I stand.  Obviously, I knew with a 9‑under, I was going to be pretty up there.  I'm going to focus on myself and see where that takes me.

    Q.  Is it a little daunting when you saw that 8‑under before you even teed to know that this course had that, to know that's what you are catching up to?
    AZAHARA MUNOZ:  No.  It's actually good because you have a number in mind, you know it's possible.  At least you go out there thinking you can make a lot of birdies.

    Q.  You adjusted pretty well from the first two days to now on the course.  Is something better in your game than it was the first two days?
    AZAHARA MUNOZ:  First round I played really well, and today I played really well, too.  I just didn't make the putts.  Today I think the make the most.
    Hopefully my putter keeps being hot like it is now and just have fun tomorrow.

    Q.  Going to stay with the long sleeves if it's sunny and warm tomorrow?
    AZAHARA MUNOZ:  They are supposed to keep you cool from the sun.  I will definitely keep them on.

    Q.  So Yeon kept going back to the same restaurant.  Where did you go to eat before a round like this?
    AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Yesterday we went to the party, so maybe I need talk to CP and have the party again.  It was a lot of fun.  It was fun to be there.

    Q.  Did last week give you confidence going into this week?
    AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Yeah, for sure.  My game has been pretty good all year.  The last couple of months wasn't as good as in the beginning, but still playing really well.
    Ever since the International Crown, I started hitting my irons again really well and last week was super nice.  This is a good ‑‑ it was obviously a good feel for this week.

    Q.  When was the last time you were the final group on a Sunday?
    AZAHARA MUNOZ:  Singapore, I think.  A long time ago.



INBEE PARK
Q.  Nice to be able to stay in it for the past couple of days and have a nice round like you did today.
    INBEE PARK:  Yesterday's round was kind of disappointing.  I hit the ball pretty much the same all three days, but I just could not hole anything yesterday.  It was 17 straight pars, which was very disappointing on this kind of golf course.  I managed to drop one on the last hole, and I think that kind of started the day off today.
    I mean, front nine today was really bad.  I only had one birdie, and I had probably nine looks at the birdie and just holed one.
    I wasn't really comfortable with putting at all.  On the back nine I seemed to drop.  My pace on the greens was really good on the back nine and it started to drop.  It's good that I can have opportunity tomorrow.

    Q.  Does it help when you are playing with someone like Azahara who's playing well?  Does that push you?  Does that make it harder?
    INBEE PARK:  I think it's actually easier because you see a lot of putts going in and you see her playing well and that kind of gives you confidence and has a good momentum.  She shot 8‑ or 9‑under today.  I played really well as well.  So it was a fun to play with her, yeah.

    Q.  You had said on Thursday that it could 20‑under to win this tournament.  That seems conservative now.  Could it be 25?  What is the score now that you think it will take to win this?
    INBEE PARK:  I don't know.  It's going to be over 20, that's for sure.  And then I don't know how So Yeon is going to play tomorrow, but if she goes really low tomorrow, 25‑under par is definitely possible.

    Q.  You came from behind last week in the Wegmans.  Anything is possible.  What do you expect for tomorrow?
    INBEE PARK:  I just got to go out there and probably shoot 8 or more tomorrow to actually have a chance.  I'm kind of a few back, like four or five shots back, at the end of the day.
    So hopefully I can go out there a hole some putts and play like how I played the back nine.

    Q.  So Yeon has had 27 top 10s since her last win.  It seems like she's up there every week.  Is she due in your opinion?
    INBEE PARK:  I think she is due.  I think she was due a long time ago, but she probably threw her opportunities away.  Hopefully, if I can't do it this time, hopefully she does it.  I'm really rooting for her.

    Q.  Normally in the second to the last round, you are playing in twosomes, is normally the case on the LPGA Tour?  You are not today.  Was that any problem today?
    INBEE PARK:  I love to play because I'm a quick player.  It was really slow out there today waiting on every single shot.  Hopefully it will quicken up tomorrow.


NA YEON CHOI
    Q.  When you shot 8‑under the first day, could you have imagined the kind of scores that everyone else has put up this week?
    NA YEON CHOI:  No.  Actually, after the first round, some media asked me, Inbee said maybe over 20‑under.  I never really think about like close to even 20‑under.  I mean, even my score is like 16‑under.  Some friends just call me, I'm on fire this week.
    But look at So Yeon, I don't know how she finished on the last hole, but she is 20‑under already, like three rounds.  That's a lot, you know.
    I feel confidence with my game.  I think that's really important for me.  Even last season or a lot of tournament this year, after the rounds I have a lot of regrets.
    But even today ‑‑ even yesterday, I shoot only 2‑under, but I didn't have many regrets after the round.  I'm very happy, a lot of confidence about my game.  So I'm really looking forward to tomorrow.

    Q.  By the way, she parred the last hole.  She ended up minus 20.  You're still within four shots, that's pretty good.
    NA YEON CHOI:  I think this course is two, three, four shot, I think it's not really matter.  Someone can shoot like 9‑under or 8‑under.  Even I could have shoot like 8 or 9‑under tomorrow.
    But I promised myself I'm not going to think about score, a number, anything for tomorrow, just focus every shot and even ‑‑ I don't know where I'm going to finish, but whatever I finish, I think I'm very happy after this week.  My game is most improved.

    Q.  Tomorrow you'll be playing with Azahara Munoz.  Have you played with her before?
    NA YEON CHOI:  Yeah, I played with her a couple of times, yeah.

    Q.  And what do you think about her game or did you notice?
    NA YEON CHOI:  I think she can really focus her game, and I think she is playing so well this year.  I think she is really looking forward even to tomorrow, only four shots behind.

    Q.  Should be quite a group then?
    NA YEON CHOI:  Yeah.

Topics: Canadian Pacific Women's Open, Notes and Interviews, Munoz, Azahara, Ryu, So Yeon, Park, Inbee, Choi, Na Yeon [+]

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