2009 Final Qualifying Tournament - Round Two Notes and Interviews

LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament
LPGA International, Legends and Champions Course
Daytona Beach, Fla.
Dec. 3, 2009

*Third-round play of the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament will resume no earlier than 1 p.m. local time due to unplayable course conditions. 

Inclement weather suspends third round of LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Dec. 4, 2009 – Due to heavy rains hovering around the Daytona Beach area for the majority of the day, third round action of the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament was called due to unplayable course conditions and will resume at 11:00 a.m. local time Saturday morning. Australian Nikki Garrett remains the leader of the five-round event after playing just three holes on Friday.

When play was initially suspended at 10:29 a.m., Garrett was at 6-under-par overall through the first three holes of her third round. As important as this week of final qualifying for 2010 LPGA Tour membership is for the 105 hopefuls, the 25-year-old Garrett remains calm and collected despite the inclement weather delays.

“You know, that's what just comes with it,” said Garrett. “It's really not that hard. I suppose you just have longer this afternoon to think about it. We can go shopping. We've gone shopping about every afternoon – that's our downtime. But, you just treat it like any other day I suppose. We're only three holes through. It's been fun.”

Every player began their third round on Friday, and on Saturday every player will finish their third round on the Legends and Champions Courses at LPGA International.

The five-day qualifier is played on both the 6,452-yard Legends and 6,389-yard Champions courses at LPGA International, with a 72-hole cut to the low-70 players and ties.  Those players will then compete on Sunday on the Champions course for the final 18 holes of play.
           
The top 20 players at the conclusion of the event will earn Priority List Category 11.  In the event of a tie, a playoff will decide the 20th position.  Players finishing in the 21st through 30th spots will earn Priority List Category 16, followed by 31st to 40th, who will receive Priority List Category 20.

Nikki Garrett, -6

Q. A day like this can make it a long week. How can you psych yourself up to finish such an important week of golf?
NIKKI GARRETT: You know, that's what just comes with it. It's really not that hard. I suppose you just have longer this afternoon to think about it. We can go shopping. We've gone shopping about every afternoon, that's our downtime. But, you just treat it like any other day I suppose. We're only three holes through.

Q. You've played three holes today. Three pars?
NIKKI GARRETT: Yes, three pars. I've hit my second shot on to the green on four.

Q. You're still playing well.
NIKKI GARRETT: Yeah, yeah. Other than that I'm still playing well. It's been fun. We've had a little bit of fun trying to think that we're in Queensland.


Second-round interviews: Jane Chin | Nikki Garrett

Chin, Garrett share lead at LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Dec. 3, 2009 – With two rounds in the books and three to go at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament, Californian Jane Chin and Australian Nikki Garrett find themselves atop the 36-hole leaderboard after playing through another day of gusty winds. Chin fired a 7-under-par 65 on the Champions Course at LPGA International, tying her career-low, which put her at 6-under-par 138 (73-65) overall. Meanwhile Garrett (67-71=138, -6), who began her day as the leader, finished at 1-under-par 71 on the Legends Course to match Chin's two-day total.

Chin, who hails from Mission Viejo, Calif., went all out on the front nine of Champions. After bogeying the second hole, she went on to birdie the next five in a row, and six of the next seven holes. Making the turn at 5-under for the day, the 23-year-old closed out the second round with birdies on 12, 13, 16 and a bogey on 18. Overall, Chin is pleased with how she handled day two.

“I just wanted to keep hitting fairways and greens because yesterday I started struggling a bit,” said Chin. “I hit more greens. Yesterday I hit only like seven, so today was better.”

Chin is a 2009 graduate of the University of California, Irvine, in Criminology, and her successful collegiate career helped her prepare for this week's grueling five days of qualifying for 2010 LPGA Tour membership.

“Well, I think it helped me to realize like what I'm facing, you know,” she added. “So, that's kind of what I learned the most I guess. I know I'm not the longest hitter, so that kind of put me down I guess during the season, but I just have to keep playing.”

During her collegiate career in the Southern California area, Chin became the first women's golfer at UCI to be named a first-team All-American by the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA). In her senior season, she won three consecutive tournaments, becoming the first player in school history to win three straight.

The other two-day leader at LPGA International, Garrett, finished her round on the Legends Course on Thursday with a 1-under-par 71 scorecard, good for the 6-under-par 138 mark to stay on pace with Chin. Garrett recorded two birdies and one bogey, and while settling for a steady day on the links, the Australian thought she played better than she did in the first round.

“I did hit a few better shots today,” said Garrett. “I did hit a few different ones as well and I putted really well again today. I probably didn't sink as many, but I didn't really leave myself very many testers. I got a couple of really good up-and-downs. I only had two birdies today. I probably hit one of the best drives I had all day in there.”

Garrett has experience on the Ladies European Tour (LET), as she was named the rookie of the year in 2006. In her first year on the European circuit, the 25-year-old finished in the top-10 six times and the top-5 four times. In 2007 she won twice, and this year she's played in 12 events, recording three top-10 finishes.

The five-day qualifier is played on both the 6,452-yard Legends and 6,389-yard Champions courses at LPGA International, with a 72-hole cut to the low-70 players and ties.  Those players will then compete on Sunday on the Champions course for the final 18 holes of play.
           
The top 20 players at the conclusion of the event will earn Priority List Category 11.  In the event of a tie, a playoff will decide the 20th position.  Players finishing in the 21st through 30th spots will earn Priority List Category 16, followed by 31st to 40th, who will receive Priority List Category 20.

Second-round interviews: Jane Chin | Nikki Garrett

Jane Chin, 73-65=138, -6

Q. What do you think about your round?
JANE CHIN: Well, I just wanted to keep hitting fairways and greens because yesterday I started struggling a bit. I did that today. I hit more greens. Yesterday I hit only like seven, so today was better.

Q. Any bogeys?
JANE CHIN: Yeah, I had a bogey on two and I bogeyed 18. I went in the water from my tee shot.

Q. Do you think you just played better today than yesterday?
JANE CHIN: Yeah. This course is just so wide open, so I just kept doing what I'm doing. I feel pretty confident about my game.

Q. You had a great collegiate career. How did that help you transition and get ready for this week?
JANE CHIN: Well, I think it helped me to realize like what I'm facing, you know. So, that's kind of what I learned the most I guess. I know I'm not the longest hitter, so that kind of put me down I guess during the Tour, but I just have to keep playing.

Q. Obviously your length didn't hurt you today?
JANE CHIN: Yeah. I mean I thought the wind would kind if hurt a lot on some holes, but it really didn't.

Q. Are you surprised to have a round like this given this is a pretty stressful tournament?
JANE CHIN: I mean yesterday I was pretty nervous the first few holes, and then it kind of all sunk in. Then I'm just thinking that it's a regular tournament. That's what I'm trying to keep in my head at least.

Q. Do you have to pace yourself a little bit, maybe not hit as many balls?
JANE CHIN: I mean I think I just will do what I normally do. I usually warm down just a little, maybe hit a few balls or put or chip a few, and that would be it. I've never been a big practicer after.

Nikki Garrett, 67-71=138, -6

Q. You said yesterday that you didn't think you hit it well, but that you putted well.
NIKKI GARRETT: Yeah. I did hit a few better shots today. I did hit a few different ones as well and I putted really well again today. I probably didn't sink as many, but I didn't really myself very many testers. I got a couple of really good up-and-downs.

Q. How many birdies?
NIKKI GARRETT: I only had two birdies today. I birdied the first, well my first hole was 10, and then I birdied six. One bogey on the first, actually number one, my tenth hole. I had a really good drive. I probably hit one of the best drives I had all day in there. I hit a 5-iron in there and it landed just before pin-high, and rolled over the green just into the fringe.

Q. Do you have a set game plan that you follow when you play, or do you just play your own game?
NIKKI GARRETT: No, no. Well, definitely every time you step on the tee you have to have a game plan. You know, I changed it twice today pretty much. So, definitely you have to have a game plan.

Q. How did that work out?
NIKKI GARRETT: Oh it worked out fine. So, you know, you have to have a game plan, and then depending on the weather you just have to be able to adjust.

Q. When it's kind of a marathon tournament like this, do you have to pace yourself a little more? Maybe not hit as many balls?
NIKKI GARRETT: No, just the same routine. I'll go hit a few, probably not as many today, but I like to hit a few, a lot of wedges after. We'll see what happens. My back is getting a little stiff, so I might have to go in for a stretch.

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