Guadalajara Country Club
November 13, 2011
Final-round notes and interviews
Catriona Matthew -12, Rolex Rankings No. 34
I.K. Kim -8, Rolex Rankings No. 11
Anna Nordqvist -8, Rolex Rankings No. 33
Rolex Rankings No. 34 Catriona Matthew fired a 1-under 71 on Sunday to finish at 12-under-par and capture a four-shot victory at the $1 million Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex and Jalisco It Happens Within You. Matthew outlasted co-second-round leader Anna Nordqvist and defending champion I.K. Kim, who both shot 71 to finish at 8-under par.
Matthew, who led by three strokes entering the final round, got off to a hot start en route to her victory. She tallied birdies on her first two holes of the day. She then added birdies on No. 6 and No. 9 to shoot 32 on the front and make the turn at 15-under-par with an eight-shot lead. A bogey on the par-4 12th hole cut Matthew's lead to five. It was only the second bogey of the tournament for Matthew, who had a streak of 52 consecutive holes without a bogey. Matthew dropped two more shots with bogeys on 15 and 17 but managed to hold on for the win.
"I think in a way it's just that much more difficult when you've got such a big lead," Matthew said. "I didn't know whether to keep trying to go for birdies or just play for pars and see if they make birdies, and in the end I kinda did neither and just kind of messed up a couple of holes there, but luckily I had a big lead. In a way it's more difficult when you've got a big lead because you know it heats up at the turn and if you lose that, it's not very good, so it's more pressure."
The victory at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational is Matthew's fourth career victory on the LPGA Tour and her first in over two years. Her last LPGA win came at the 2009 RICOH Women's Open, when she captured her second major title just 11 weeks after giving birth to her second daughter.
"I'm absolutely delighted," Matthew said of her win. "Already I don't think it's quite sunk in yet. I got off to a good start and hung in there in the last few holes, so exhausted at the moment but I'm sure I will pick up after a margarita."
A mother's drive: The 42-year-old Matthew had a rare occurrence this week as no one from her family was with her on the road in Guadalajara.
Matthew's husband, Graeme, is her full-time caddy and their two daughters Katie and Sophie, who are 4 and 2, often join the couple during tournament weeks. But with Matthew having to play internationally and be away from home without her kids for a stretch of six out of seven weeks, she had her husband stay home with their daughters in Scotland while she headed to Mexico this week. She had an old friend, Chuck, who is a caddy on the PGA Tour, carry her bag for the week.
"I think in a way it makes me try to concentrate and focus harder, because I'm away from family so I try and make the most of it," Matthew said after her round on Saturday. "They travel maybe 60% of the time with us. They have a good daycare system in the States so that works out well. Yeah it's difficult when you're away but I'm going to be home for two months so back to being a normal mom. (Chuckles.)"
Lorena! Lorena! Even though the tournament's namesake, Lorena Ochoa, couldn't play in this her own event for the first time this year as she's due to give birth to her first child next month, the 27-time LPGA winner was certainly still a big part of the event.
In addition to hosting a clinic on Tuesday afternoon, Ochoa spent time visiting with all of the players, sponsors and helping to promote the tournament's charity, the Lorena Ochoa Foundation. For all of the players, it's very special to still have Ochoa around the tournament even though she retired last year. And winning the event with her name is an extra honor as well.
"Lorena is doing such good work with her foundation," Matthew said. "You come and you think I'm not doing enough when you see all the things she does, so to have won her tournament is a special moment for me."
Close yet again: I.K. Kim wasn't able to make it back-to-back titles at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational but she did post her best finish of the 2011 season, finishing in a tie for second with Anna Nordqvist. Kim, who won by two shots over Suzann Pettersen in 2010, finished four strokes shy of Matthew and fell just shy of becoming a repeat champion.
"She played awesome, you know," Kim said of Matthew. "We didn't really get any closer to her, so I don't think she got much ‑‑ you know, any bit nervous or pressure. I think she had her own kind of momentum going, so I'm very happy for her and, you know, it was nice for her.
"What can I say? I was in contention and I got to watch Catriona play, and I've learned a lot today."
Kim wasn't the only runner-up finisher who posted her best finish of the season. Nordqvist recorded a second palce finish for the first time in 2011. Her previous best finish came in a T4 at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship last month.
A little European flavor: Four of the top 8 finishers at this year's Lorena Ochoa Invitational were a part of the victorious 2011 European Solheim Cup team, which included Matthew. Her European teammate Anna Nordqvist finished tied for second while Suzann Pettersen was seventh at 4-under and Maria Hjorth was eighth at 3-under.
Golden ticket winners: Juli Inkster, Natalie Gulbis and Beatriz Recari punched their "Ticket to CME Group Titleholders" at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, each earning a spot in the season-ending CME Group Titleholders event, which will be held next week on Nov. 17-20, 2011 at Grand Cypress Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The inaugural CME Group Titleholders, a season finale with a field made up of three qualifiers from every LPGA Tour tournament, is a format never previously used in professional golf.
Matthew is going to Canyon Ranch. With her victory at the 2011 Lorena Ochoa Invitational, Catriona Matthew earned an all-inclusive stay for two at a Canyon Ranch resort. In a combined effort to promote health and overall well-being among Tour players, Canyon Ranch will provide every winner of an LPGA event with one all-inclusive stay at one of Canyon Ranch's two destination resorts.
Of Note…Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng shot an even-par 72 on Sunday and finished in a T20 at 3-over-par for the tournament…Juli Inkster, who was tied for the lead with Nordqvist through two rounds, shot an even-par 72 on Sunday. The 51-year-old LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member finished in a T4 at 5-under-par.
CATRIONA MATTHEW, Rolex Rankings No. 34
THE MODERATOR: We would like to welcome the 2011 Lorena Ochoa Invitational Champion, Catriona Matthew, into the interview room. First off, congratulations on the win. Your first win on the LPGA TOUR in over two years. Can you tell me what the feeling is like?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I'm absolutely delighted. Already I don't think it's quite sunk in yet. I got off to a good start and hung in there in the last few holes, so exhausted at the moment but I'm sure I will pick up after a margarita.
THE MODERATOR: You got off to a hot start, four birdies on the front nine. Take me through that front nine and kind of what happened on the back.
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, I played well. Really good shot to the first, with a wedge, then 20‑footer for birdie, then wedge into two and holed it 15‑foot for birdie, so a great start. Then No. 6, the par 3, I holed that, and that was a bonus one. Then on 9 I two‑putted for a birdie and I should have birdied 10, missed a little putt there, then bogeyed 12 and then didn't quite play as well the last couple of holes. I was just glad when 18 came along.
THE MODERATOR: I know you had another victory on the LET earlier this year, but what does it mean to have gone so long without winning on this TOUR to finally come through again.
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, obviously to win on this TOUR, this is where all the best players in the world play and to win in such a limited field with all top players playing, it's such a boost of confidence. And even though it's tough being out here now, I have two children at home, so I feel like I've got to be playing well to justify myself being out here and not being at home with them more, so it's a bonus Christmas present now.
THE MODERATOR: Every victory is special but when you win a tournament that's associated with Lorena Ochoa's name, how much more special does that make it?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: That makes it so much more special. Lorena is doing such good work with her foundation. You come and you think I'm not doing enough when you see all the things she does, so to have won her tournament is a special moment for me.
Q. Congratulations. Over four days you played some tremendous golf there. What do you think has gone right for you? What was the key to it?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I just felt quite relaxed this week. I hit the ball really well last week, so I knew I was playing well. I didn't hit that many bad shots until probably the last 7 or 8 holes, so that takes the pressure off a little bit when you're on your game. So I tried to concentrate on things and keep my back straighter, so that's what I was thinking about all week.
Q. You were 8 ahead at the turn. What happened? Did you lose focus, a little bit of concentration?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, I think in a way it's just that much more difficult when you've got such a big lead. I didn't know whether to keep trying to go for birdies or just play for pars and see if they make birdies, and in the end I kinda did neither and just kind of messed up a couple of holes there, but luckily I had a big lead. In a way it's more difficult when you've got a big lead because you know it heats up at the turn and if you lose that, you're not very good, so it's more pressure. (Chuckles.)
Q. Congratulations. They were saying that this is one of the favorite tournaments for the players. From your point of view what makes this tournament so special for the players?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I think really the food in the clubhouse is fantastic, you know, with it being a limited field it makes it a little bit more special, and Lorena's name on the tournament as well, the players really appreciate that and the hospitality is so great this year, I think everyone enjoyed it.
Q. Right before you got to 17th, I noticed that you looked at the score and saw you were 3 strokes ahead. What went through your mind at that moment?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I knew ‑‑ I'm always looking at the scoreboards; I knew where I was. I knew Anna hit a couple of birdies, and I knew on the 17th tee I was 3 ahead. I watched her play the hole and she bogeyed it, and it went back to a 4‑shot lead, so I was confident I could close out with a 4‑shot lead with two holes to go.
Q. Congratulations. Who did you feel was your strongest rival and what do you think about the trophy?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: The trophy is fantastic; it's certainly the heaviest one I've won. I think anyone was capable of winning this, but the last day obviously I.K., Suzann, I knew they were both capable of shooting low rounds. I.K. won it last year, she likes the course. Anna, if she got her touch going, I knew could make a lot of birdies. Going into the final round, I knew it was going to be tough. I just got off to a great start.
Q. Not having your husband on the bag this week, how do you feel about it, winning without your husband on the bag?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, I mean, he was flying over today so he probably didn't see any of it. He was en route to Orlando. Obviously, you know, two three weeks a year he doesn't caddy for me. He caddied when I won in Scotland, and that was good, so he will be happy for me. He caddied for me last week, so he knew I was playing well. Yeah, he'll be happy, and it will be good to see him tomorrow.
Q. What was the name of your caddy?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Chuck.
Q. And did you have any words for Lorena? I know you were talking to her there, any tips on being a mom?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I can't honestly remember what we spoke about. I think I obviously was wishing her luck, all the best.
Q. To whom do you dedicate this tournament victory?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I would say probably I would dedicate it to my grandparents, my mom and dad, and my in‑laws, looking after the two children for the past six weeks, so I'm sure they're ready for a break! (Chuckles.)
I.K. KIM, Rolex Rankings No. 11
THE MODERATOR: Let's talk about the day and you got to watch it firsthand when Catriona Matthew got off to such a big lead in the front.
I.K. KIM: That's what I was trying to do on the front nine, but she kept making putts. She was so high so she could stop the ball on the green. She played awesome, you know? We didn't really get any closer to her, so I don't think she got much ‑‑ you know, any nervous or pressure. I think she had her own kind of momentum going, so I'm very happy for her and, you know, it was nice for her.
THE MODERATOR: Another strong finish here at this tournament. It must feel good for you.
I.K. KIM: Definitely. Even last year, other than last year I have not finished top‑10 before, so this is ‑‑ second? Did I finish tied for second?
THE MODERATOR: Yes, tied for second.
I.K. KIM: You know, what can I say? I was in contention and I got to watch Catriona play, and I've learned a lot today.
Q. What was the toughest part of this tournament for you?
I.K. KIM: Catriona went to Japan as well, so I can't complain about jet lag or anything, but definitely this week I think that the green was firmer than last year, and Catriona hits ‑‑ basically it fits her game well. You still got to make putts, and I think that's what she did today.
Q. Looking forward to next year, I guess?
I.K. KIM: Yes, I will be ready for next year, I guess. Long way to go, but this is definitely one of my favorite tournaments and the weather has been ‑‑ we're just telling each other how great the weather it, so I look forward to coming back next year.
ANNA NORDQVIST, Rolex Rankings No. 33
MODERATOR: You finished runner-up, your best finish so far of 2011. Take me through your round today and the week overall.
ANNA NORDQVIST: I'm happy, I had a great week. I rolled a lot of good putts today; none of them would really drop on the front nine, got it going on the back nine. I hit a bad tee shoot on the 17 and made bogey there, got caught in the rough, but hit a good putt to go in for par on the last hole. Overall I'm happy, and things are starting to fall into place. I'm happy.
THE MODERATOR: When you see Catriona get off to a start like she did on the front nine, what are the thoughts out on the course?
ANNA NORDQVIST: I played with her yesterday, and she played great. When she gets on a run it's hard to stop.
I hit as many birdies as I could, and I thought I did a lot of good things but my putts didn't really drop. Overall just really happy.
THE MODERATOR: Great finish in Taiwan and a great performance here. How do you feel about your game right now?
ANNA NORDQVIST: Things are starting to click, so it's right where I want to be. I got two more tournaments so hopefully I can keep the good work up and be ready for next year.
Q. Catriona never falls. That's her, huh?
ANNA NORDQVIST: No, she is a great player, and she played the best this week so she deserved to win.
Q. Is this your best tournament here?
ANNA NORDQVIST: Yeah, I'm really happy.