Mission Hills Country Club
Rancho Mirage, Calif.
First round notes and interviews
March 31, 2011
Stacy Lewis -6, Rolex Rankings No. 28
Brittany Lincicome -6, Rolex Rankings No. 18
Sandra Gal -5, Rolex Rankings No. 44
Mika Miyazato -5, Rolex Rankings No. 21
Chie Arimura -4, Rolex Rankings No. 16
Jane Park -4, Rolex Rankings No. 207
Karrie Webb -3, Rolex Rankings No. 8
Yani Tseng -2, Rolex Rankings No. 1
Michelle Wie +2, Rolex Rankings No. 9
What a Gal: After becoming a Rolex First-Time Winner during last week’s Kia Classic, Sandra Gal continued her strong play in the first round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship on Thursday. Gal’s opening-round 67 put her in a tie for second with Mika Miyazato. Gal, who moved up 56 spots in the in the Rolex Rankings following her win at the Kia Classic last week, has now shot eight consecutive rounds under-par dating back to the first round of the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup earlier this month.
Defending champion and Rolex Rankings No. 1, Yani Tseng is poised to defend her title after shooting an opening round two-under par 70. The three-time major champion recorded four birdies and two bogeys to end the day four-strokes behind first-round leaders Lincicome and Lewis. Tseng has already won four times world-wide in 2011 including the season-opening Honda LPGA Thailand. Tseng fired rounds of 69-71-67-68 at the 2010 Kraft Nabisco Championship for a one-stroke victory over perennial Kraft contender and Rolex Rankings No. 5 Suzann Pettersen.
She became the youngest player in LPGA history to win three majors by capturing the 2008 LPGA Championship, 2010 Kraft Nabisco Championship and the 2010 RICOH Women’s British Open. A victory at this year’s U.S. Open will complete Tseng’s quest for the Career Grand Slam.
Karrie Webb is looking to claim her third victory of the season at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Webb is sitting three shots behind Lewis and Lincicome after carding a first-round three-under par 69. The LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member recorded four birdies and one bogey on her opening round. Rolex Rankings No. 8 Webb is looking to secure her 39th career victory and eighth major title. She previously claimed victories at this year’s HSBC Women’s Champions and RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup.
Japan Ladies Golf Association (JLPGA) member and Rolex Rankings No. 16 Chie Arimura is looking to secure her first LPGA victory. Arimura recorded one eagle, four birdies and two bogeys en route to an opening round four-under par 68. She has played in 11 career LPGA events as a non-member, including a runner-up finish at the 2011 HSBC Women’s Champions. Arimura tied Sandra Palmer’s record for lowest nine holes at the Kraft Nabisco Championship after shooting a six-under par 30 at last year’s event.
Former Kraft Nabisco Championship winners feel at home: 2009 Kraft Nabisco winner Brittany Lincicome is tied for the lead but she was far from the only former winner near the top of the leader board after Thursday’s first round. Defending champion Yani Tseng shot a 2-under 70 on Thursday, putting her in a tie for 10th place heading Friday’s second round. Karrie Webb, who won at Mission Hills in 2000 and 2006, fired a 3-under 69 to sit in a tie for seventh and 2007 Kraft Nabisco winner Morgan Pressel is also in the hunt following her 2-under-par opening round.
“Finish Strong for Japan”: In an effort to help all of the children affected by the recent tragedies in Japan, the Members of Mission Hills Country Club along with ClubCorp will participate in the “Finish Strong for Japan” fundraising effort this week during the Kraft Nabisco Championship. They will donate $100 for every birdie, $500 for every eagle and $1000 for any holes-in-one that are made on holes #17 and #18 during all four rounds of the Kraft Nabisco. All of the proceeds from this week’s fundraising effort are going to UNICEF. The “Finish Strong for Japan” program was initially launched by title sponsor RR Donnelley during the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup on March 18-20.
Of Note…Amateur Kristen Park was disqualified following her morning round after she signed an incorrect scorecard…Marcy Hart, who earned entry into the Kraft Nabisco Championship with her top-10 finish at last week’s Kia Classic, shot an opening-round 71. Hart is making just her third start since giving birth to her first child, daughter, Reece, six months ago…The heat was a big topic of conversation during the first round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship. With the temperature reaching 100 degrees in Rancho Mirage, caddies were permitted to take off their jumpsuits during Thursday’s play… Rolex Rankings No. 2 Jiyai Shin shot a first-round one-over par 73 and currently sits in a tie for 41st…Cristie Kerr, Rolex Rankings No. 3, recorded five bogeys, one double-bogey and birdie to card an opening round six-over par 78…Michelle Wie, who finished runner-up at the 2011 Honda LPGA Thailand, currently sits in a tie for 54th after shooting a first-round 74…In a quest for her first major victory, Ai Miyazato, No. 6 in the Rolex Rankings, shot a first-round 71, recording three birdies and two bogeys…Suzann Pettersen carded a first-round three-over par 75…Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand leads the pack of amateurs after shooting a first-round two-over par 74
BRITTANY LINCICOME, Rolex Rankings No. 18
THE MODERATOR: Brittany, thanks for coming in, great round, 6-under 66. You're currently tied for the lead with Stacy Lewis. Can you tell me a little bit about your round?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: It was very easy. It was one of those days where I really didn't have to think too hard and just everything kind of came naturally. My putting was amazing. I made everything. Probably only had two scary par saves. One was about 10 feet on 1, slider, right‑to‑left breaker, which was my 10th hole, first hole. But other than that, it was really pretty easygoing and relaxing out there. I played with Ai Miyazato and she's a darling to play with. She's so nice. So we had a great conversation, just talked about whatever and it was just a fun day.
Q. The course was supposed to get firmer and harder and tougher in the afternoon.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Awesome.
Q. And you and Stacy and a couple other players have posted pretty good scores. Was it just not as tough as we thought or were you making really good adjustments?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah. I think the adjustments, Phoenix we played a couple weeks ago the greens were kind of the same where you had to land them 10 or 15 short and let them release up. They're really, really firm out there. I'm hoping they're going to put some water on them right when we get done, because I would hate for them to lose them like Oakmont did at the Open this year. They're ‑‑ especially No. 1, and there was one other green like turning brown even or purple, which can't be good. I don't know anything about the greens, but being a course that I love and I love to play, I'd hate for them to lose the greens. But yeah, they were super firm. They were firm already when we got here Monday, Tuesday. I guess with the wind, which obviously they can't calculate if the wind is whatever. But just allowing the ball to release and knowing it's going to release, even with lob wedge or sand wedge. Even myself who normally can spin the ball pretty good, I was allowing for about five release with the wedges.
Q. How was the heat this afternoon to play in? Did it bother you at all?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Luckily I'm from Florida, so it wasn't too bad, but there was definitely times where I'm like, all right, I gotta find the shade. I had my umbrella, but it's just a pain to have to carry the umbrella and try to get the numbers and write in the yardage book and do all that. So I didn't carry it as much as I should've. I just tried to find the shade when I could.
Q. Stacy said you two are pretty good friends and stay together. Can you just talk about your relationship with her?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah. Stacy's been a great friend for a little while now. More lately I guess we've been getting a little closer, rooming together. If we don't want our fathers or mothers to go to a tournament, we'll stay together. But she's just a really nice girl. We're kind of the same age. Very low maintenance both of us. So it's very easygoing. I like to go to bed early and I take a nap every day, so she goes and works out while I nap and then I make her go to bed early, so it actually works out perfectly. But yeah, we went to dinner last night. We had dinner with one of our sponsors, Pure Silk and then Rosie Jones was there. So it was nice to talk to her a little bit and then just be together as a group. And I had my family there and her dad was there. It was just a fun night. Maybe we should go to dinner tonight.
Q. So you're not rooming together this week?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: No. Her dad's out; my mom and dad are out.
Q. Clearly you know something about this golf course that other people haven't figured out. I think you have a reserved seat out there the way you've played the last couple of years. What is it about this course that fits your game so well?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Not really sure. It's long. Obviously that's a good thing for my game. Having shorter irons into the greens, especially the way how firm they are this year, playing with Ai, who doesn't hit it as far, she's landing it short, running it up in the middle of the green, there's no way she could attack some of the pins that I could. So the length is definitely helping me on this golf course. And then my putting always seems to be really good here. So just need three more days of doing the same thing I did today, just trying to make sure I hit it in the fairways and just trying to make the birdies when I can.
Q. You've been really consistent this year. Can you talk a little bit about that consistency and how it played into today?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah. It's something that I said I was going to work on in the off season. I don't understand how Annika and Lorena played as many years as they played and they were in the Top 10 every single week and I have no idea how to do that. So I said it was one of my goals in the off season was to be more consistent, which I've done and I have no idea how. I think driving it straighter and keeping it in the fairways and then now putting. Putting and chipping were two things that I feel like I worked really hard in the off season to make better and it's definitely helping.
Q. Brittany, great bogey‑free round.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah.
Q. How many drivers did you hit out there and when did you back off and go down to a 3 or something else?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah. I hit one hybrid, I remember, and then probably two or three three‑woods, and then the other holes I just hit driver. So probably one hybrid and three three‑woods.
Q. So you were sticking to your game plan not scaling back, because a couple of the girls said, yeah, no, we're going to dial back a little bit play for position more because it's so firm?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah. I mean just trying to get it as close to the green as I possibly could just so I'd have a shorter iron into the green was kind of the strategy. But I had my book from the previous years, and I really just kind of go off of that and what I've done in the past years and just tried to follow that and stick to the same game plan.
Q. Anything different in course setup this year than you've had in previous years? Some people said the rough was a little deeper, denser?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: It's pretty thick.
Q. Do you agree with that?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah. Absolutely. It's definitely not a place you want to be. Luckily I have a shorter iron into the green, so it's not really that big of a deal on my last hole, which was 9. I hit it in the rough off the tee and had to hit a 6‑iron out of it. It wasn't easy. You have to be very strong and keep the club going, obviously. But I would agree the course setup is the same as it's been in previous years, but yeah, the rough is definitely thicker. I don't want to find out, though.
Q. People don't come to a major and say they've had a fun day and relaxing day.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah.
Q. When was the last time that you've had a fun and relaxing day? Any particular tournament or any particular round that you can remember?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Kind of just seems when my sports psychologists at Vision 54 ladies are out, they always seem to put a smile on my face. I'm always constantly working on something and we've worked really hard, if I have a bad hole, I can't get upset. I have to be very neutral. And I have pictures in my yardage book that make me smile of my dogs and of fishing. So I try to always stay very positive out there. I saw them in the crowd following me, so every time I saw them, I was like, okay, make sure you're doing what you're supposed to be doing. It was just a fun day. This is definitely a major, but I don't really consider it as like a U.S. Open kind of stress, I guess, especially when I hear every time I walk up 18 and I see the water, it always puts a smile on my face. So there's just a lot of happy moments on this golf course that make me smile.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I have pictures of my dog and my grandmother and I and of a fish, of a grouper.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: No. That would have been a good one, though.
Q. So you didn't have any impression you were grinding like Oakmont or ‑‑
BRITTANY LINCICOME: No. No, no. I mean the first couple holes obviously I was really nervous, and I was nervous last night when I went to bed, just being a past champion here and having just a little added pressure I guess on myself, people wanting me to do good. My family is all here. So the first couple I was a little bit nervous, but once I got it going, I made a couple of birdies and that kind of relaxed me a little bit. Then I think I got to like 4‑under and then I parred like the next five holes, so I didn't think I was ever going to get another birdie out there. I was going to have to stay with the 4‑under, which I would have been satisfied. Then I birdied a couple coming in. So that was nice.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Brittany.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Thank you.
STACY LEWIS, Rolex Rankings No. 28
THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Stacy Lewis into the interview room. First off, congratulations on your first round 6‑under 66. First off, can you just tell us a little bit about your round today and how things went out there?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, it was playing really hard, so I knew I just needed to hit some good golf shots and get some putts to fall. That's what happened. I just judged the numbers really well going into the green and just kind of hung in there and made par when I needed to.
THE MODERATOR: One thing I wanted to bring up, we all know about your battle with scoliosis and a couple of weeks ago you got to visit with young girls who have gone through the same surgery that you've gone through. Talk a little bit about your battle with scoliosis and what it was like meeting those girls and talking to them.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah. It was in Phoenix and I played for the Scoliosis Research Society. So it was cool just meeting kids. I get emails and letters and things all the time from the kids and from the parents. So any time I can be a positive role model to kids, I try to.
Q. Can you just take us through the three straight birdies? I think that came after your only bogey. It was almost like a fighting response to that bogey.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah. I made bogey on 12, but I actually made about a six, seven‑footer for bogey, so it kind of kept me in there a little bit. And hit a good shot into 13, hit it to about four feet. And then 14, hit it to 10 feet and made it. And then 15 hit it to 16 and made it. So it was just controlling the distances really well and making putts.
Q. How was the heat out there?
STACY LEWIS: It was very hot. They came around, we were on the ‑‑ we were on our back side, halfway through the back side and they told the caddies they could take their suits off. Once it gets over 100 you can take your suits off. It was hot and the golf course is burned out and it's just going to get harder as the week goes on.
Q. Two things. You played here in a qualifier in September of '08.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah.
Q. And it was, I think, hotter that week. And you had success on the golf course. Obviously from the area that you're from, is heat as big an issue for you maybe as somebody from Minnesota?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah. I really don't mind the heat at all. I'd rather have hot and humid heat than dry heat, but I grew up in Texas in the summers, so I'm used to playing golf when it's over 100 degrees. I say bring it because the ball goes a mile, so I like it.
Q. And you mentioned the greens or the course is a little baked out out there right now. I think the players who played this morning might have thought they had the easier half of the draw because it was cooler and the greens hadn't gotten ‑‑ and yet the afternoon flights seem to be scoring as low if not a little better.
STACY LEWIS: Well, the fairways started to roll out, so I think we had probably some shorter irons into the greens. Usually you play in the morning and you have an advantage, so I don't know if maybe there was some wind this morning. It was pretty calm out there this afternoon. It was actually pretty scorable, I thought.
Q. Yeah, that was my question. Karrie Webb said the wind came up 10, 11, 12. You didn't have any breeze out there at all?
STACY LEWIS: I mean we had a little bit, but it was kind of moving all over the place and not really enough ‑‑ I don't think I took more or less club on any shot for the wind, so it wasn't really a factor at all.
Q. Do you have to do anything for your back, special exercises or do you pay attention to certain things because of it?
STACY LEWIS: I mean I just ‑‑ I always like to work out and my back feels better when I work out. I just try to keep it strong and loose, and I don't know, just try to take care of it as best I can.
Q. Does it ever bother you, are there certain conditions where it hurts more?
STACY LEWIS: When it's cold out, it's tougher, obviously, just to kind of get moving a little bit, but knock on wood, I haven't had any troubles in a long time.
Q. Since the surgery basically?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah.
Q. Are you hitting it a little longer in this season?
STACY LEWIS: I am. I am hitting it a lot further right now.
Q. Can you give us some numbers and tell us how you got extra yardage?
STACY LEWIS: I think off the tee I'm probably 20, 25 yards longer, and I picked up probably half a club with my irons. And it's kind of been over the last three or four months, but I've been working with my coach on trying to make my swing a little bit more efficient. And in the process my swing gets better and I've picked up distance, and I'm also a lot stronger. It wasn't something we were trying to do. It just kind of happened.
Q. Do you have a new fitness person or different routine in the gym?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah. I started working with a guy down in Florida January of last year. So did it all last year and kind of ‑‑ I started to see a little bit in the middle of the year, but definitely towards the end of the year I kind of started to see the benefits of it.
Q. Did you see this round coming today? Did you feel this week that you were going to score this well?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah. I had my coach out last week, so we worked on some things last week to get ready for this week, and I've been playing well for, I mean, a couple months. It's just been kind of waiting on putting a round together where the putts fall. So I've kind of been expecting it for the last couple weeks, but I'm glad it came today.
Q. What did you work on last week with your coach for this tournament?
STACY LEWIS: Just a few little things, trying to hit the ball flight a little bit higher because we knew the greens were going to be firm, and just kind of ‑‑ just doing little things just to get ready for the long rough and things like that.
SANDRA GAL, ROLEX RANKINGS No. 44
THE MODERATOR: Sandra, thanks for coming in. Good round today 5‑under 67. You're currently in the lead. Can you tell me a little bit about your round?
SANDRA GAL: Yes. Thanks, first of all. It kind of went by really quickly today. I don't know why, but you know, I think at the beginning I struggled a little bit with my irons, just made a few up‑and‑downs that were good. You know, just happened to roll a few putts in and got more comfortable as the round went on. So I'm happy with the start.
Q. You alluded to the up‑and‑downs. You had that really clutch par putt on 1 and then even the birdie on 2. That wasn't an easy putt, and then the chip‑in on 4. So how did just hanging in and making those help you persevere for when the birdies came?
SANDRA GAL: Yeah. It definitely helps. You know, it makes you more comfortable. If you miss the green, you can make up‑and‑down, or you know, I always focus on chipping it in from anywhere. So that definitely helps you to do that early in the round.
Q. What club did you use for the chip‑in? Can you describe the shot you hit?
SANDRA GAL: Yeah. I hit a 58‑degree lob wedge, and there was a lot of break in it, so I kind of had to stop it quickly and kind of trickle it left‑to‑right. So yeah, it was just a little kind of small fluff shot.
Q. And did you think it was going in when you hit it?
SANDRA GAL: Yes.
Q. And how are conditions? Can you compare this week to last week where you were bundled up in long shirts?
SANDRA GAL: Yeah. Very, very different. It's quite hot out there, but we had an early start, which was nice. And then obviously the greens, you know, as the day went on, they went firmer and firmer. I had quite a few shots that actually went over the greens. So that's something to consider for tomorrow for sure.
Q. How long was the hole‑out there at 4? How long?
SANDRA GAL: Maybe 15 yards.
Q. And do you feel like you just picked up where you left off on Sunday? Were you curious how you would respond after winning?
SANDRA GAL: Yes and yes.
Q. What were you wondering about?
SANDRA GAL: Obviously, you know, with your first win, you kind of still don't know what to expect coming into the next week, all the people that came to me and all the congrats from everyone, which I really appreciate them. It was a lot, and so I probably didn't prepare as well as I would for a major championship normally. But I've played this course three years already ‑‑ or this is my third time. Sorry. So I just lost my track of thought.
Q. What were you wondering about?
SANDRA GAL: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. So I was a bit nervous, yes, coming out today, you know, just coming off your first win, but I did kind of feel like I picked up where I left off.
Q. Sandra, you mentioned being a bit nervous today. You said yesterday you wanted to try and bring the same level of calmness to this week as you did last week. How successful do you think you were today in that regard?
SANDRA GAL: You know, even Sunday I was nervous. I mean you know, obviously in a calm way, but you still have adrenaline up. And you know, I felt the same way today. I don't think it was much of a difference.
Q. Did you learn anything about yourself as a competitor or about an inner confidence by winning finally last week?
SANDRA GAL: Oh, sure I did. You know, playing against the No. 2 in the world or No. 1 in the world today, you know, there's just ‑‑ obviously I respect what they do. They've won many tournaments, and they're great players, but kind of knowing that I can beat them, I think that gives you a little extra confidence and kind of knowing that I can compete with them.
Q. Do you feel like maybe in a different way you belong with them out on the course now, that you're not the 100th ranked player in the world, you're somebody to contend with?
SANDRA GAL: I still think I am an underdog. You know, they have won way more than I have, but I believe I can contend with them, yes.
Q. For those of us confused by the Solheim Cup situation, can you just go over, I saw in 2009 you said you were going to try to qualify for the European Tour so that you would be eligible, but I guess you still are not; right?
SANDRA GAL: Yes. You have to be a member of the European Tour to play in the Solheim Cup. And the timing of Q‑School has just been bad. So I didn't get the chance to do it. Obviously last year wasn’t my best year, so I didn't qualify for the Money List, and I'm not a member right now. But there is ways to be a member if you show exceptional qualities, or you know, exceptional wins or whatever it is. But that's up to a committee of the LET. So it's not up to me. We'll see what happens.
Q. If you were to win this week, with last week's win also factored in, do you think that would be enough to convince the committee that you belong?
SANDRA GAL: That's a very tough question. You know, it's really not up to me and I have no experience with what their decision making is like, so I'm sorry. I can't answer.
Q. How was it playing with Yani? It seems like you two were in a good rhythm with each other.
SANDRA GAL: It was nice playing with her. You know, she's a great player, and you know, just watching her ball striking kind of, you know, I think improves your own ball striking. And you know, you kind of want to hit good shots. And you know, we're both very competitive, and I played with her a couple rounds at the Tour Championship as well, and I've always enjoyed playing with her.
Q. Just some follow‑up on the Solheim Cup thing. Is there anything that you know if you do this, you will make the team, or is it all up in the air?
SANDRA GAL: It's all up to them. There's nothing I can do. Play well. Play very well.
Q. Do you want to make the team?
SANDRA GAL: Of course. Yeah. I'm all for it. I can't wait to be part of the team.
Q. And when was the qualifying for the European Tour?
SANDRA GAL: I believe it was during Tour Championship.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
SANDRA GAL: Thanks.
MIKA MIYAZATO, Rolex Rankings No. 21
THE MODERATOR: We're here with Mika Miyazato who just shot a 5‑under par round in the first round of the 40th anniversary of the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Congratulations on a great start to the tournament. Talk a little bit about your round.
MIKA MIYAZATO: Okay. I had a good day today. And then I made a birdie on No. 10, 11 and 12. Like No. 10 is maybe four feet and 11 is maybe two feet, three feet. 12 is like maybe 15 feet. And also the front nine I made birdies on No. 9, like three feet. So I played so good today because no bogey and I am so happy.
THE MODERATOR: Talk a little bit about how the course was playing with the heat, the firmness of the greens.
MIKA MIYAZATO: The weather is soggy hot. I like hot weather, but greens so like very hard.
THE MODERATOR: Do we have some questions?
Q. Mika, did you birdie the 18th, the par‑3?
MIKA MIYAZATO: 18? I made 10, 11, 12 ‑‑ no, 17.
Q. 17, the par‑3?
MIKA MIYAZATO: Yeah.
Q. What did you hit into the green and how far of a putt did you have?
MIKA MIYAZATO: I hit a 4 hybrid and like six feet.
Q. And did you feel ‑‑ when you birdied that late in the round and you tied for the lead like that, does that give you some momentum going into tomorrow? Do you feel like you're on a hot streak right now?
MIKA MIYAZATO: Yeah. I think so.
Q. How many players are wearing the logo, the Japan logo?
MIKA MIYAZATO: How many?
Q. Did you give some to other players?
MIKA MIYAZATO: Yeah. I gave to some players, but I don't know how many, yes.
Q. You seem very happy not to have had a bogey today. Is that surprising that you can play 18 holes, as tough as the course is, without a bogey?
MIKA MIYAZATO: Not surprised because I hit very good today tee shots and second shot. Like No. 16 I went to the left side, fell off, then good up‑and‑down, like 10 feet par putt.
Q. Do you know how many greens you hit today? It sounds like you were hitting your iron shots very close to the hole.
MIKA MIYAZATO: How many greens. Hmm. I don't know.
JANE PARK, Rolex Rankings No. 207
Q. Okay. Great playing today, Jane. You got into the tournament through good play last week at the KIA CLASSIC. Do you feel like you're just taking advantage of the opportunity?
JANE PARK: Definitely. I love this tournament. I believe this is my seventh or eighth time playing here, so it was kind of in my backyard, and I really wanted to play, so I gritted it out last week and got in.
Q. And just make a couple comments about your game today. You obviously played well. I would think that this course suits your game well?
JANE PARK: Well, the course, you gotta drive the ball well, and fortunately I've been driving it pretty well the last few weeks, so coming into the week I did feel good about my game, especially my putting. And you know, everything worked out today.
Q. When you grew up, did you play here much? Did you come out here to watch ever?
JANE PARK: I never came out to watch a tournament, but I did come out to play some junior golf on the Palmer course, so we never really played the Dinah course. But I did practice here with a couple of members that I knew and have gotten very familiar with the course, fortunately.
Q. What do you like about it?
JANE PARK: You know, the greens are very pure. I do love it when, you know, you hit a putt and it goes right where you want it to go. And just visually it's a very ‑‑ it's an intimidating course, but it just provides a really good challenge, and it challenges all aspects of your game, short game, driving, irons, everything.
Q. Do you feel more pressure when you're playing close to home or do you like playing here?
JANE PARK: I love playing in California. I just love California, so it's definitely ‑‑ it's nice to get off to a good start this week.
Q. Did you like the way you could qualify your way in through last week, this new idea that they ‑‑
JANE PARK: Yeah, that was very fortunate for, you know, all ten of us that got in. And it just gives the rest of the field to play their way up the leaderboard and up the Money List, so that definitely was a good call.
CHIE ARIMURA, Rolex Rankings No. 16
Q. How happy are you with how you shot?
CHIE ARIMURA: The score was a great score, but the ball striking wasn't really good because the hitting is not really good for the iron shots. So that's why I really needed to work on the iron shots for tomorrow.
Q. And you had an eagle on hole 2. Can you kind of take me through that hole?
CHIE ARIMURA: From 250 yards, the driver I shot on the fairway, 250 for the sweet wood. About 33 feet for the eagle putt and then I made it.
Q. And just what does it mean playing so well in the first round of this tournament being a major tournament?
CHIE ARIMURA: Still only first day, and if you want to win a major, you really have to play four days of good rounds. So it's only first day. You have to concentrate for the rest of the three rounds.
Q. And I see you're wearing the button on your hat. What does that mean to you to be able to represent Japan?
CHIE ARIMURA: I don't really understand what does it mean, but still, if I can send some encouragement to people, it will make them a little bit happier in Japan. That's really cool.
KARRIE WEBB, Rolex Rankings No. 8
Q. Can you tell me about your round today?
KARRIE WEBB: Pretty solid. I was a little tight to start with. I feel good about how I got through that, but I three‑putted the first for bogey and birdied the second, so it settled me down a little bit. But probably played the first six or seven holes a little bit tight. And I settled in after that.
Q. After all these years, you can still get tight for a first major?
KARRIE WEBB: Yeah. I don't think I should be out here if you're not a little bit nervous and, you know, have your expectations high going into the first round. So yeah, I mean I shouldn't be out here if I don't feel that.
Q. Just generally the conditions, was it good? Was it tough?
KARRIE WEBB: Pretty mild until we got to play 11th, 12th, the wind started picking up. And then just trying to work out what directions sort of switched, cornered back and forth but I was actually surprised at how firm the greens were today, I think even from when I finished my Pro Am to teeing off at 8:00 this morning they were really, really firm and probably picked up at least six inches of speed overnight as well.
KARRIE WEBB: Yeah.
Q. Does that kind of tell you that it'll be a tough weekend?
KARRIE WEBB: Yeah. You know, when we played the practice round on Monday, the greens were pretty slow, you know, for this tournament, this standard. And you know, Monday you would have thought that there was going to be low scores out here, and that's still the case. I mean if you're hitting fairways and hitting good iron shots, you know, you can shoot a low number out here, but you know, as the week goes on, we've got the heat. I just don't see the greens getting any slower or softer, so it's going to be a tough challenge come Sunday.
YANI TSENG, Rolex Rankings No. 1
THE MODERATOR: All right. We'd like to welcome Rolex Ranking's No. 1 and defending Kraft champion Yani Tseng into the room. Yani, can you just tell us about your round today?
YANI TSENG: It was very exciting for me today to go out and play on the first one. I shot 2‑under. Not bad, but sort of tough day out there. I didn't make lots of putts, especially when I see that Sandra Gal make every putt, every hole I was like, gees, I need to get some balls drop in the hole. But there's still three more days to go and I'm still looking forward to the next three days. Just going to go there have fun, be aggressive, make more putts and get some more birdies.
Q. The pairing with Sandra who just won, so you're playing with a player who you know is hot, does that make any difference out there?
YANI TSENG: No. I've been with her a couple of times. It doesn't make any difference out there today. Yeah, she's a good player and I was very happy to see her first win last week. And she seems really confident today. She's really making lots of putts. I think she only putted like 20 today. So I really need to putt like her.
Q. I think it was 15 you had a putt to maybe go to 4‑under, and it curled off. Was it 14? I mean 15, the par‑4.
YANI TSENG: Yeah.
Q. Was that the kind of putting it was today where you were just missing a little low or a little high?
YANI TSENG: Yeah. I didn't get a good speed today. I thought I could see the line, but my speed was a little off. Sometimes hit too hard, sometimes too soft, but I just need to work on more speed on the green and make sure everything is good. Like you said, sometimes I go too low, sometimes too high. So it was a little tough out there.
Q. Yani, how did the course play and how much tougher is it going to get out there?
YANI TSENG: Especially the rough this year. It's so thick. Like 120 yards I hit 8‑iron off the rough and you only could hit like 120. It was tough. You really need to hit on the fairways to get more chance to make birdies, and the greens were really firm. I mean we played in the morning. Afternoon is going to get worse, so just need to get yardage right, hit on the green and make the putts.
Q. When I was watching, I saw a lot of 3‑woods off the tee. What holes were you able to hit driver on today and how comfortable did you feel with the driver?
YANI TSENG: Yeah. Not many holes I hit driver out there. Like No. 10 I hit 3‑wood and No. 11 I hit a driver, but I pulled to the left. And I just played a little bit ‑‑ not aggressive, but just very like aggressive and then be smart and then my strategy I think is better because when you're hitting driver and 8 out of the fairways it's very hard to hit on the green for second shot.
Q. Did it start to feel warm out there?
YANI TSENG: So hot today. It was so hot. There's no wind and then I had an umbrella out there.
THE MODERATOR: Any more questions? Thank you, Yani. Good luck the rest of the week.
MICHELLE WIE, Rolex Rankings No. 9
Q. What was the one best thing you did today?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, I think I could have gotten a lot worse on the front nine, but you know, I think I made a lot of good up‑and‑downs, and I kind of kept it together on the back nine. I had a lot of birdie opportunities. But it's a tough golf course, and tomorrow hopefully in the morning I can go to another round.
Q. You look totally different than last week the way ‑‑ just the way everything was going with your game and the way the course was. You weren't getting any action on the ball.
MICHELLE WIE: You know, just a couple of missed shots here and the rough is really penal.
Q. Is that why you couldn't get anything on the ball because you were in the rough early so much, especially?
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I was trying to get things going. Just my first nine didn't really go the way I wanted to, but like I said, it could have gotten a lot worse. So I did a lot of damage control today, so hopefully tomorrow I'll do a lot better.
Q. What's the first thing you're going to practice right now?
MICHELLE WIE: Usually I always practice putting first when I go to the range, so same deal.
Q. Is your hand low now, left hand low?
MICHELLE WIE: It's been like that for a long time.
Q. I thought maybe you made a change.
MICHELLE WIE: No.
Q. Good luck tomorrow.
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