Ricoh Women's British Open Second Round Notes and Interviews

RICOH Women’s British Open
Carnoustie Golf Links
Carnoustie, Scotland
July 29, 2011
Second-round notes and interviews

Caroline Masson -11, Rolex Rankings No. 141
Inbee Park -10, Rolex Rankings No. 13
Meena Lee -10, Rolex Rankings No. 54
Se Ri Pak -8, Rolex Rankings No. 33
Dewi Claire Schreefel -8, Rolex Rankings No. 294
Yani Tseng -7, Rolex Rankings No. 1
Brittany Lincicome -6, Rolex Rankings No. 15
Paula Creamer -5, Rolex Rankings No. 9
Catriona Matthew -5, Rolex Rankings No. 35
Angela Stanford -4, Rolex Rankings No. 18
Michelle Wie -2, Rolex Rankings No. 14

Caroline Masson of Germany leads after two rounds of the 2011 RICOH Women’s British Open, shooting a second-round 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Rolex Rankings No. 13 Inbee Park and first-round leader Meena Lee. Masson’s 11-under-par total of 133 is the lowest 36-hole score in Women’s British Open history. Masson tallied seven birdies during her bogey-free round on the Carnoustie Golf Link’s Championship course, including one on the par-5 17th that gave her sole possession of the lead heading into the weekend.

Masson, who is a member of the Ladies European Tour (LET), played one year on the women’s golf team at Oklahoma State University and was a teammate of fellow LET member Caroline Hedwall. She has played in 10 events on the LET this season with her best finish coming at the Lalla Meryem Cup where she recorded her first career runner-up finish. Masson was 27th on the LET’s Order of Merit during her rookie season in 2010.

The 22-year-old is a native of Gladbeck, Germany, which is not far from Dusseldorf. Her father, Stefan, is a tennis coach in Germany and Masson grew up playing that sport as well as golf. Masson has worked with swing coach, Guenter Kessler, for around 10 or 11 years. Kessler is also the swing coach for fellow German golf professional Martin Kaymer.

Masson said that she couldn’t remember a time when she had led an LET event and she admitted that there will be a few butterflies when she tees off in the final group for Saturday’s third round.

“I think when you're leading the British Open and playing in the last group you have to be nervous,” Masson said. “That's just part of everything. But I'm confident in my game, and I just hope to play like I've played the last two days. I'll just try to enjoy it and really enjoy this moment in my career. I think just go out there and have fun is the most important thing for me tomorrow.”

Record tying kind of day: Inbee Park tied her career low round by shooting an 8-under 64 on Friday. It wasn’t the only record that Park tied on Friday as she matched LPGA World Golf Halls of Fame member Se Ri Pak for the low round of the championship as both shot 64 on Friday. Their rounds of 64 also tied for the lowest second-round score since the Women’s British Open became an LPGA major in 2001. Suzann Pettersen shot an 8-under 64 in the second round of the 2001 Weetabix Women’s British Open

The 2008 U.S. Women’s Open champion at Interlachen, Park has a strong record in major championships. Since she joined the LPGA Tour in 2007, Park has missed just one cut in 18 career majors. She finished in the top 10 in all four majors in 2010 and has eight top-10 finishes in majors in her career, including a tie for sixth at this year’s U.S. Women’s Open at The Broadmoor.

A Korean legend: Se Ri Pak’s emergence on the LPGA Tour, particularly her win at the 1998 U.S. Women’s Open, helped to dramatically shape the future of women’s golf. Pak’s success influenced a number of young Korean girls to get involved in the game of golf and to set their goal to compete on the LPGA Tour.

One of those golfers was Inbee Park, who was excited to see Pak’s name near hers at the top of the leaderboard, after Pak matched her with an 8-under 64 in Friday’s second round of the RICOH Women’s British Open and trails Park by two strokes.

“Se Ri, not just to me but to a lot of young golfers in Korea, I think she influenced a lot of them,” Park said. “She's up there with me, and I'm really happy the way she played and really looking forward to playing with her.”

Pak, who is now in the hunt for her sixth career major title, has embraced her role as mentor. When fellow Koreans Hee Kyung Seo and So Yeon Ryu competed in a three-hole playoff for this year’s U.S. Women’s Open title, Pak was walking alongside in the gallery. Pak said that her goal is to try to help this younger generation of Korean golfers to learn a little earlier in their careers not to place all of their focus just on golf, like she did for the majority of the past 14 years she’s spent on the LPGA Tour.

“I’m trying to make a better balance of my life and game,” Pak acknowledged while saying she’s regained “a love” of golf recently thanks in part to that balance. “Still the game is the biggest thing in my life, but the other thing I’m doing is more, let’s say, social, like with friends and a couple of beers here and there.”

“Things I've never done before, just being like normal people does,” the 25-time winner on the LPGA Tour added. “Usually every dinnertime or friends trying to have some fun together, that's the thing. It's pretty important, though, but I've never done it before. But now better than before because I spend more time with friends and more hanging out and more together and get to dinners or shopping and things I've never done.”

And that’s something that she hopes this younger generation of Korean golfers – whom she says are all like her “baby sisters” – can take from her.

“All I can do is just try to make it – try to give them the way to go, how to make life a better balance, which is not easy,” Pak said. “For me it takes too long to learn that because I knew it but I didn't know how to do that. But now I can tell them because I've been there before.”

How low can you go? There were plenty of red numbers on the leaderboard in Round 2 of the RICOH Women’s British Open on Friday. Of the 144 golfers in the field, 65 shot under par. In addition to the pair of 64s shot by Se Ri Pak and Inbee Park and Caroline Masson’s 65, there were five rounds of 66, two rounds of 67 and four rounds of 68.

A total of 46 players were under par after 36 holes of play at Carnoustie Golf Links. The golf course has not played to its “Car-nasty” nickname that developed after difficult conditions during the last two Open Championships that were held here in 1999 and 2007. That’s thanks in large part to the sunshine and lack of wind for much of the day on Friday. And right now the weather is predicted to be similar for the weekend.

“If it stays like this it's going to be a low winning score for sure,” said Paula Creamer. “That's just kind of the first time we've ever been here, so it's difficult to set it up for us, but the pin placements, they can definitely put us in some hard spots, so that might make it a little bit more difficult.”

While the weather conditions were nearly ideal on Friday, the extremely low numbers still opened the eyes of a few players.

“I'm surprised that the scores were so low today,” said Angela Stanford, who shot even-par 72 and is 4-under through two rounds. “I didn't think the pin placements were that easy, so I was surprised that a couple girls went low. But I guess maybe they played early. I think it does help to not have any wind blowing around here.”

Six is the magic number: Stacy Lewis appeared on her way to missing just her second cut in 12 career starts in majors after a bogey on No. 8 on Friday dropped her to 3-over-par. But instead, Lewis got hot on the back side at Carnoustie, making six straight birdies on No. 10-15. The six consecutive birdies moved Lewis to 3-under for the tournament. She bogeyed her final hole of the day to move to 2-under-par and in a tie for 37th.

The only cut that Lewis has missed in a major championship came at the 2009 RICOH Women’s British Open. In her last seven major championships, Lewis has finished no worse than T34.

Staying on for the weekend: A total of 68 players made the cut, which fell at 1-over-par 145.

Of Note…Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng shot a 66 on Friday to move to 7-under-par for the tournament, jumping from a T30 to seventh place after two rounds…2010 LPGA Money List leader Na Yeon Choi shot a 5-under 67 on Friday to move into a tie for third place…England native Laura Davies was on track to fall just inside the cut line at 1-over-par when she teed off on No. 18 on Friday. But Davies’ hopes of playing on the weekend were dashed with a 9 on the final hole. Davies, who won the Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale in 1986, hit into Barry Burn twice on the hole and found herself in a bunker before three-putting to finish at 6-over-par and miss the cut by five strokes.

 

CAROLINE MASSON, Rolex Rankings No. 141

THE MODERATOR: Good evening, all. We have Caroline Masson in with a 65, 7‑under par leading to a one‑shot lead in the championship. How does it feel to be leading the Ricoh British Open?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, awesome. Unbelievable right now. Of course I didn't expect to lead at any time here, but I just had two great days and I'm very happy about playing so well and leading it now.

Q. What has gone so well for you so far?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, everything was just really solid. I mean, I hit the fairways, I hit the greens, hit some really close, made some putts. Hardly made any mistakes, so I think that was just the key the last two days.

Q. Have you led an LET event before?
CAROLINE MASSON: No, I don't think so.

Q. Good one to start with?
CAROLINE MASSON: Pretty good, yeah.

Q. I see your father is a tennis professional. Is he a well‑known figure in Germany?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, no, he's just a local tennis coach and doing some stuff with the different teams from different countries and Germany. But he's been a good tennis player, didn't make his ‑‑ turn pro or anything, but yeah.

Q. Can you tell us about yourself?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, I'm 22, was born in Gladbeck, kind of a small city near Düsseldorf. What else? I have a brother who's here with me this week, very nice support, so yeah.

Q. Are you still coached by Guenter Kessler, and can you tell us what you've been working on coming into this championship?
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, I still am. I'm with Guenter Kessler, who's Martin Kaymer's coach, as well, and I've worked with him for I think 10 or 11 years now. It's worked pretty well and we're just trying to prepare for British Open conditions, so tried to hit some low balls, and that was pretty much it. I saw him for two weeks before I came here, and we worked on these things, just keep the ball low, and he gave me some tips. What was probably most important, he told me some stuff Martin told him about his British Open and his attitude and all that. You really have to like links golf and accept whatever comes, whatever conditions you have, and I think that helped me quite a lot.

Q. You must have had some idea you were playing quite well coming into here because you've had a run of pretty good results on Tour, haven't you.
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, I'm playing really well this year, had a couple of top tens, a second place, and I've hit the ball really well the whole year. Right now it feels like it's all coming together. I'm putting well, my short game is all right, and I'm just not in trouble very much on this golf course. Yeah, it feels really, really good right now.

Q. Have you played much links golf in the past?
CAROLINE MASSON: I don't want to say much because we have no links courses in Germany. I played the British Am, of course, and I played last year at Birkdale. Not very good, but it was a very good experience. I was playing some links courses and I have some experience, I think, but probably not as much as the local players.

Q. Were you made to play tennis as a youngster?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, I was starting playing tennis ‑‑ I was playing tennis I think until I was about 14, 15, just because it's a great sport for kids to run. My dad didn't make me to play, but he like me to. And yeah, I could always do what I wanted. My parents played golf a little bit, my grandfather, they took me to the golf course, and I picked it up and started liking it when I was about 10 or 11, and yeah, just worked really well. I got better and just chose it over tennis then.

Q. Had you ever played Carnoustie before this week?
CAROLINE MASSON: Nope.

Q. Had you seen it on TV in Open Championships?
CAROLINE MASSON: Yeah, a little bit. I mean, of course you remember Van de Velde, in golf history. I had some pictures in my mind, but I haven't played the course. I was just trying to focus on the practice rounds, just play the course and see how it is, and it's been good to me so far.

Q. Have you spent some time at Oklahoma State?
CAROLINE MASSON: Yes.

Q. Can you just tell us a bit about that? You didn't come across Rickie Fowler?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, yeah, Rickie was there and Peter Uihlein was there and Caroline Hedwall was there. So there were some really good players when I was playing for Oklahoma State. It was a really good time. It was just one year because of different things coming together where I didn't stay, but it's a great experience over there. College golf is really good to learn and make a lot of experience and meet great people. So it was a wonderful experience for me, but one year was enough.

Q. (No microphone.)
CAROLINE MASSON: No, not right now, no.

Q. Any idea what you might do to while away the time tomorrow?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, I have some experience in entertaining myself before the round. I started at 3.30 today. I don't know, just get some sleep, just sleep in, and I don't know, maybe Facebook. But just try and entertain myself a little bit.

Q. How do you think you'll feel tomorrow, nervous, confident?
CAROLINE MASSON: Well, definitely nervous. I think when you're leading the British Open and playing in the last group you have to be nervous. That's just part of everything. But I'm confident in my game, and I just hope to play like I've played the last two days. I'll just try to enjoy it and really enjoy this moment in my career. I think just go out there and have fun is the most important thing for me tomorrow.

 

INBEE PARK, Rolex Rankings No. 13

THE MODERATOR: Inbee, thank you very much for coming in. Great round of 64 today, 8‑under par, currently leading the championship. How did the round go today if you could just start with some general comments.
INBEE PARK: It was a very solid day. I putted really good out there, and I hit it really good out there. Really happy with the way I played today and looking forward to the next two days.

THE MODERATOR: Are you surprised how calm the wind has been the last two days?
INBEE PARK: Yeah, the wind has been really nice to us until now, but we'll see the next two days.

THE MODERATOR: You've played this championship a few times. It is quite unusual for a links course to be like this, isn't it?
INBEE PARK: It is. At the moment it's really scorable golf course right now, but links golf course, you really don't know what's going to happen the next two days.

THE MODERATOR: Would you be surprised if it doesn't get a little bit windier?
INBEE PARK: I think we might get at least one day with the wind.

THE MODERATOR: You came in here having finished tied 6th at the U.S. Open, so you're obviously confident coming into this tournament.
INBEE PARK: Yeah, it has been a good season and really satisfied with the way I'm playing right now. The U.S. Open gave me a lot of confidence, so I'm looking forward to it.

Q. Can you talk about Se Ri and how she's motivated you?
INBEE PARK: Se Ri, not just to me but to a lot of young golfers in Korea. I think she influenced a lot of them. She's up there with me, and I'm really happy the way she played and really looking forward to playing with her.

Q. When you were growing up you obviously respected her. Do you think you would be here without Se Ri?
INBEE PARK: I don't know, probably not. But she's been playing good ten years ago, but still she's playing good, so it's really surprising the way she's done it. It's just very good.

Q. Was she the first player in Korea to create headlines?
INBEE PARK: In the U.S., yes, I think.

Q. So you yourself, you've actually lived in America for quite a long time?
INBEE PARK: I've lived in America about ten ‑‑ close to ten years now, yeah.

THE MODERATOR: Could I get the details of the birdies, please, and the very few bogeys.
INBEE PARK: I holed a 20‑footer on No. 1. I hit 8‑iron into it. 2, I hit 50‑degree wedge to about ten feet, made that one. 4th, I think I hit A‑wedge there to about ten feet. Par‑5, 6th, I hit 3‑wood second shot, and I was just off the green short, and I two‑putted from there. And the 7th, I hit A‑wedge again and then to about eight feet there, made that one. Birdie on 8, I hit 8‑iron to about five feet, four feet.

Bogeyed the 12th, missed a driver to the right, and second shot rescue into the bunker, then just hit it out of there and two‑putted from there. Birdied the 14th, I hit it on in two with a 5‑wood ‑‑ 3‑wood, sorry, and then two‑putted, about 30 feet. 16, 5‑wood off the tee, 20 feet, made that one. 18 I was in the bunker. Second shot was 5‑wood. I was in the short right bunker and then hit it to about five, six feet?

Q. Before you came here, had you ever heard any of the stories about how hard Carnoustie was?
INBEE PARK: Yeah, I heard a lot about it, and it was one of the toughest golf courses we would play all year, and it's seemed nice to us so far.

Q. The fact that you were out in 30 today, that must be quite a surprise?
INBEE PARK: I think it is. I think it's still really good scoring out there and really happy with it.

 

MEENA LEE, Rolex Rankings No. 54

Q. You birdied hole 18. Can you talk about the last hole?
MEENA LEE: I hit the driver and the 4 rescue about 33 feet and I made it.

Q. That's a long putt.
MEENA LEE: Yes, it is.

Q. So now you're at 10‑under, and I believe now Masson is at 11‑under, so currently tied for second, possibly you'll be tied for the lead going into tomorrow. What do you think about going into tomorrow's round?
MEENA LEE: I mean, today I was really good, but I have a lot of chances but I didn't make them today. But tomorrow, getting better, my putting, working on it tomorrow. Hopefully I'll do my best tomorrow, yeah.

Q. What about the course today? Was it windy or no wind?
MEENA LEE: I played the front nine a little bit windy, but the back nine was okay but really nice weather today, but I heard tomorrow is really good weather. The other players are really good because the weather is so nice, and the course is really good, too, good shape.

Q. How many birdies did you have today?
MEENA LEE: Five, but then two bogeys.

Q. Is there one birdie that stands out the most, maybe the last hole? Does that stand out as most important or most significant birdie?
MEENA LEE: Yes, uh‑uh, last one, because tomorrow more confidence I have.

Q. Right, finishing with a birdie helps for confidence going into the weekend?
MEENA LEE: Yes.

 

SE RI PAK, Rolex Rankings No. 33

THE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, we have Se Ri Pak in the interview area. She just scored a tremendous 8‑under par 64, the low round of the tournament so far, and is currently one shot off the lead. Congratulations. How did you feel today?
SE RI PAK: Well, I feel really great. I feel really comfortable, really calm, too, because I'm trying to manage being out here this week having really low expectations because it depends on the weather, because the golf course is not the same as U.S. So I'm trying to just play around. I'm kind of with my caddie, he tells me where to hit it, and okay, I'm trying to ‑‑ makes it easy for me to be out there playing, and I guess it's working pretty well because I'm not thinking too much.

Trying to make it very simple, this golf course, because you never know which way it's going to bounce. Around the green, around the tee, probably, I mean, if you hit a good shot it could be ‑‑ end up really bad with a bounce that's really bad luck. Actually thinking about it that way, overall it was a really solid round today.

Q. Are you saying that even though there is very little wind, the course is still quite difficult?
SE RI PAK: Of course not easy. There's a lot of bunkers, tricky, and even a little wind. But it seems like the ball has been definitely ‑‑ really different carries, the number. I would say Monday even that day's wind you could still carry, was long enough to be hitting short iron, and after the rain yesterday, it seems like it's totally different numbers now. Even less rain doesn't mean it's going to be easy. It sounds like it played so easy today but it wasn't. I tried to focus as much as I could, and every shot without having any pressure. Overall of course 8‑under is a really good number, and I'm very happy the way it is.

Q. You've obviously played a lot of British Opens on links. Are you surprised how little wind there is?
SE RI PAK: I know, I was expecting more. I tried to make the best scores I could today, but yes. I was expecting a lot of wind, of course, and the weather is not going to be like yesterday. But I see some sun today. I'm trying to enjoy as much as I could. I don't know if we're going to see sun again, but that's what it is.

Q. How hard is it going to be to take it easy now that you're at the top of the leaderboard?
SE RI PAK: Well, I mean, it's good to be on the top, but there's a half game to go, which is two days to go. I'm trying to keep the same routine as I'm doing it, and I'm going to do so many times. Of course you're leading you're probably a little more comfortable, like more confidence about this game. So that's a good thing. But this golf course, as I say, you never know, so I'm trying to get focused as much as I did the last two days.

Q. How have you been so dedicated for so long, and did you have a patch where you weren't?
SE RI PAK: Well, I mean, right now I'm trying to really love golf, which is more enjoyable. Before I'm trying to have so much focus on myself being as best as I could, and then I got so much ‑‑ last three, four years been downtime, and then I learned from that, actually how lucky I am to play again and to be loving golf. I don't know if I've got the right answer for it.

As far as loving golf, probably trying to stay as healthy or physically or mentally just like more as part of same routine the last 14 years, never change anything, even like good time or a bad time. I’m probably the same person, but I feel like more relaxed more because instead of having four years training, I had a really hard time to get back the way I am. And now I learned from that actually just how lucky I am because I really love golf, trying to play, and then I come out here and play and trying to enjoy it as much as I could.

Overall, golf is a very difficult game mentally and physically, but golf you can never actually can give up on it. Like that much still ‑‑ golf is so special. Keep continue your challenging each time, even though it's tough or you're winning, it doesn't matter. Now it feels like you can still work to be better. That's why golf is such a fun game, I think, yeah.

Q. Did you develop any sort of hobby to balance the ledger so you weren't just playing golf?
SE RI PAK: I'm trying to. I'm trying to make a better balance of my life and game. Now I'm doing not really too much things, but still the game is most biggest thing in my life. The other thing I'm doing is more, let's say, more social, like with friends and a couple beers here and there. That's what a huge difference is. I thought one beer maybe not helps my game, but it doesn't really affect anything, just more mentally thinking you're off the line a little bit, kind of shouldn't do that. That's the way I was before. But now with the players, with my caddie, with friends and having dinner together and now I'm drinking beer instead of coffee, which makes it a little more relaxed (laughing).

But anyway, things like that. Things I've never done before, just being like normal people does. Usually every dinnertime or friends trying to have some fun together, that's the thing. It's pretty important, though, but I've never done it before. But now better than before because more spend time with friends and more hanging out and more together and get to dinners or shopping and things I've never done.

Overall I feel like more game time I'm really focused on it. I really work really hard all day, and off the golf course I'm trying to more relax with the friends. It's pretty hard to do and it's pretty difficult to learn this way, but now I'm getting there, getting better.

Q. Obviously you were the first Korean. How do you feel now that there's so many on the Tour? Do you feel proud, surprised?
SE RI PAK: First I was really surprised. Last seven years there's been such a big number of Koreans from my country. And then now I feel very, very proud of because, you know, you're coming from different countries, it's so difficult to lead a new life, which is new country, new language, new food, and especially with golf you're travelling so much, it wasn't really easy to do that. But now even at a young age they do really well, and they get used to it.
When I see them I'm very proud of them and very happy for them. And then of course when I watch them, it gives me a lot of energy, too, makes me keep going. So that's a good thing.

Q. We watched you walk with that playoff at the U.S. Women's Open when it was two Korean players, and both of them talked about what you meant to them as a mentor. How did that make you feel to kind of hear them talk about you and how you kind of helped them be able to do what they were able to do at the U.S. Women's Open?
SE RI PAK: I mean, actually the two players next to me remind me of 1998 as far as first year, first rookie season my career started. It actually makes me a lot proud, proud of myself and proud for them, which is, as I said, so difficult to decide to move to new country and lead new life, which is not easy at all, especially as a golfer. You're travelling week to week, hotel to hotel, you're packing all the time. It's more difficult to do.

I know with their playing career on the Tour, they're probably going to be two or three days out and they come back home, which is not easy to do that, but now totally especially with a new language, this is not easy to adapt to, and it always makes me smile because I'm just happy for them, happy to see them because they try to really work hard to learn more about the new language and life, and at the same time they're learning golf. That's basically looking at them just being very happy, just very warm, and they seem like all my baby little sisters. On the other hand all I can do is just try to make it ‑‑ trying to give them the way to go, how to make life a better balance, which is not easy. For me it takes too long to learn that because I knew it but I didn't know how to do that. But now I can tell them because I've been there before.

They work so hard, 24/7, each day, every single second, every moment. We're so focused on it all day long, and they never have any relax or light time. That's basically the most difficult thing to do. So now I tell them, I say as much as I can, I tell them if 100 percent if you're focused on your game, make sure 100 percent you're trying to get release, and you can really play better and you're really taking care of yourself better and you can play better. So they're actually really listening well, but as I said, I'm here long enough, and they probably know what's going on. It's just they listen and they ask me the question I always say this, and really, just happy to be here.

Q. In a few weeks' time you will look on perhaps from the outside while the United States of America play against Europe in the Solheim Cup. What would be your thoughts about having a tournament, a team from your part of the world, against say the rest of the world, the Se Ri Pak Trophy or something along those lines?
SE RI PAK: Actually kind of do ‑‑ not this year but a couple years they call Lester's Cup. So we've done it before. But it sounds really great, but it's ‑‑ you know, these plans are really difficult to make some special event because of the economy. But we're actually thinking about having like Lester. Lester is probably played like Asian Tour‑International, so that's basically a team match. But we were really having so much fun with it, but we got lost because the economy has been hitting so bad. We're probably trying to work hard to get back to the tournament.

Q. Going back to the previous question, when you say you help these girls and you give them advice, don't be ‑‑ just sort of take time to relax, does that not contradict the advice they get from their parents?
SE RI PAK: I mean, there's a lot of different cultures, but the parents, they understand that more because they know the week to week of travelling is a lot, and week to week you're always a different schedule. Part of it with the parents is going to be very difficult, because trying to help them, the parents there, and sometimes part of their parents won't understand that. But actually getting better. Parents want what's better for their own child.

My parents do the same thing and never change. They always say no, I mean, to the same thing. But the young players, they're smart enough to control the parents and then their own lives, I think. I hope so. But they do. They listen and they try to do it and they probably talk with the parents more, communicate better, I guess.

A couple years ago parents had a really hard time, giving the hard time to the players because they tell you exactly what they want you to do, the player to do, so that's the most difficult thing to do. But now after four, five, six years later, the parents are like more understanding, like easy to get to it. Parents learn. Parents are learning at the same time as the players, so that's part of it. That's part of the game, golfers, the parents, family. That's a huge thing.

Q. You haven't played here the last couple of years; is that right?
SE RI PAK: I didn't play last year. I wasn't injured, but I just needed a little break from golf. Sometimes I need a break, I just take a break now.

Q. I watched most of your round today. Apart from the 17th hole would you say that today was one of your best putting rounds? I watched you sink a lot of great birdie putts today.
SE RI PAK: Yes, probably the comfortable and very confident putting overall. But No. 17, I mean, I thought it was a good putt. But it could happen, right? Even though I've got such a great putt for long, short all day long.

Q. The rest was pretty good, wasn't it?
SE RI PAK: Yeah.

Q. Were there any really long putts?
SE RI PAK: Really long ones? How long?

Q. 10, 15 feet.
SE RI PAK: Yeah, I got ‑‑ oh, No. 7, yeah. That's, what, 30, a little over 30 feet.

Q. Were all the others reasonably close?
SE RI PAK: About 15, 10 feet, around that area.

Q. You obviously missed a chance at 17. Were there any other chances you missed?
SE RI PAK: There was, like around eight feet. I got probably one or two missed.

Q. Sounds like a pretty good round of golf, though?
SE RI PAK: It was good, yeah. It was really good. That's why I'm sitting here.

 

DEWI CLAIRE SCHREEFEL, Rolex Rankings No. 295

DEWI CLAIRE SCHREEFEL: I qualified on Monday, couldn't play on Tuesday, so just 18 holes on Wednesday. I sneaked in eight holes on Monday evening, but yeah, not too much.

Q. How comfortable are you on this golf course?
DEWI CLAIRE SCHREEFEL: I mean, I think pretty comfortable. It's just wait and see if the wind is going to come up, but you've just got to hit your drive in a good spot and attack the greens because they're pretty ‑‑ at certain spots they're undulating, but pretty flat, so if you hit your spots, you're going to have a few opportunities.

Q. Do you feel like the setup is a little bit, I don't want to see easy, but on the ‑‑ not as difficult as you may have expected?
DEWI CLAIRE SCHREEFEL: I think they set it up with the wind in mind. I mean, if it's going to blow 15, 20 miles an hour from the normal direction, it's going to be a totally different golf course. So with the wind and the weather that it is right now, yes, the scores are going to be lower, as you know. We get par‑5s that we can reach easily and some par‑4s they are expecting us to hit with short irons, too. So hopefully the wind picks up and we get a couple higher scores.

Q. How comfortable are you being on the leaderboard in a major championship heading into the weekend?
DEWI CLAIRE SCHREEFEL: I guess we'll see. I mean, I'm feeling pretty confident, I've just got to stick to my game and what I'm doing, and we'll see where it goes.

Q. Can we go through your birdies and bogeys?
DEWI CLAIRE SCHREEFEL: 2, hit my drive a little bit left in the semi, 7‑iron to about 20 feet, straight putt in. 5, 3‑wood, 8‑iron to about 20 feet again, made that. 6, par‑5, made an eagle, driver, rescue, and then had a roller‑coaster putt that went in. I mean, you've got to do that.

Q. How far was that?
DEWI CLAIRE SCHREEFEL: I'm going to say 40 to 50 feet.

Bogey on 9, hit my driver, 9‑iron left in the bunker, didn't make my eight‑footer for par. Hole No. 10, driver, 4‑iron in the right bunker, holed out from the bunker. Then 14, I believe, par‑5, driver, rescue, not on the green, but I putted from about 40 feet to three feet, birdie. 17, 4‑iron, rescue, just on the front of the green, two‑putt.

Q. Overall how do you feel about your round today?
DEWI CLAIRE SCHREEFEL: I mean, I've got to be pleased. I played really well. I hit my driver good in spots that I wanted to and hit my irons the same as yesterday, just rolled in a few longer ones. In the beginning you're not expecting to make 20, 25 footers all the time. It was nice that they rolled in, and today I really took advantage of the par‑5s. Yesterday I let them go at 14 and 17. But I'm very happy.

Q. Have you much experience on links courses?
DEWI CLAIRE SCHREEFEL: With amateur golf, I mean, I played a lot of British Girls, British Am and all that. But I was saying when I hit the qualifier, I was hitting balls before the practice round, I'm like, hmm, got to adjust a little bit. I wasn't used to it anymore because in college we don't play that. I think it's been six years ago since I've played links. Yeah, but obviously it's going quite well.

Q. What are your hopes now this weekend?
DEWI CLAIRE SCHREEFEL: Just stick to my game plan, stick to what I'm doing and stay relaxed, and we'll see where it goes.

Q. How many majors have you played?
DEWI CLAIRE SCHREEFEL: This is my third this year, plus another two so far.

Q. Quick question about Golf Team Holland. When I was at the Open two weeks ago, I followed Floris and Joost a little bit and then again I'm just seeing Christel has just watched you putt out. Is there some sort of team feeling that goes beyond just the fact that you're all looked after by one organisation?
DEWI CLAIRE SCHREEFEL: I don't think it's necessarily because of Golf Team Holland. I think it's because we grew up in amateur golf. Christel and I have known each other since we were 15, so we played all through amateur golf, and then in college we were there ‑‑ not at the same college but we saw each other, and in the summer you play together again. I think it's more that. We just have a very good relationship because we've known each other for so long.

Q. How does Golf Team Holland work? They pay you a wage the first three years?
DEWI CLAIRE SCHREEFEL: They're set up that beginning golfers in Holland can have the opportunity to try and play out here. I mean, I don't know if I can go into details, but yeah, they pay us and the expenses are paid, and we get the opportunity to go out here and have the coaching that we want, not having to worry about how do we travel.

Q. Do you stay together or not really?
DEWI CLAIRE SCHREEFEL: 50/50, a little bit more. When I play in Europe I mostly stay with the Dutch girls, so yeah.

 

YANI TSENG, Rolex Rankings No. 1

THE MODERATOR: Good morning, everyone. We have Yani Tseng, who just scored a 66 to be at 137, 7‑under par for the tournament. Congratulations. How did it feel today? Was the course as easy today as it looked?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, I think so. I think the course is a little easy today because there's no wind, it was just very quiet out there. I went out in the morning, so the course was not as hard like yesterday. I feel very good before I tee off. I know I'm going to shoot a low score. Today when I went out on the course I don't know how many birdies I have, I kind of just focus on every shot and focus on every hole.

Q. What was different this morning from say yesterday morning? How did you feel out there today?
YANI TSENG: Yesterday the weather is not as good. We played in the afternoon and got a little rain and windy but today was much better. We don't need rain gear, which is really nice, and really enjoy it out there.

Q. Are you surprised how calm the weather is here this week? Did you expect more wind?
YANI TSENG: Yes, for sure. This is the British Open. I expect much more tough, raining, windy. Yesterday the weather is bad, but today I was really enjoying it. The weather is so good. But it's still very enjoyable. So many people come out here to support with the nice weather, and I think people enjoy here, too.

Q. Would you like it to stay this weather for the weekend or would you like more wind, more difficult?
YANI TSENG: More wind. More wind, more rain, everything. But supposed to be good weather this weekend I heard.

Q. You've obviously looked beyond the course. What have you seen in the area? You saw Glamis Castle, for example. What did you make of Glamis Castle? What were you taking in there?
YANI TSENG: This is my first time there, and after that I kind of searched online to see what was the castle's history and it was more interesting if you know the history and you went there. It was really exciting, and I put it on Facebook with my picture, and it was just really nice, very enjoyable there. It was beautiful, big castle.

Q. You had your picture drawn there, as well, didn't you?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, like funny cartoon picture, yeah.

Q. Can we just go through the birdies and bogey today. You birdied the second hole?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, I birdied the second hole, I hit a wedge and had a 12‑footer. No. 4, I had a pitching wedge and like a 10‑footer. Par‑5, I had a rescue second shot, and it was like a 30‑footer for eagle and I didn't make it and had a tap‑in for birdie. No. 7, I hit it short of the green and made a putt from there and had a four‑footer and didn't make it.

Q. How far off the green were you when you putted?
YANI TSENG: Like a 30‑footer.

Q. You birdied 10?
YANI TSENG: No. 10, I hit a wedge and had a three‑footer. No. 11, I hit my second shot in the left bunker and didn't hit it out and hit out again, like 10‑footer, made bogey there. That was a really good bogey. Eagle on 14, hit a 7‑iron for second shot and had a five‑footer for eagle. 15, I hit a 6‑iron for second shot and 20‑footer. 17, I hit a rescue and just short of the green about 20 yards and tap‑in for birdie.

Q. Do you still keep in touch quite a lot with Annika and does she still give you advice?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, like this year before the U.S. Open trying to get some advice, but she's always so nice to text me before rounds to say good luck and be patient, and she's kind of given me lots of motivation, the way like she's always texting me to support me. She trusts me a lot, so I feel like I have to trust myself more to believe I can do this.

Q. Is one of your goals to beat her ten majors?
YANI TSENG: No, I just kind of focus on ‑‑

Q. The next one?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, probably on the next one. If I win the next one I'll focus on another one, so I don't think about the record too much.

Q. We're very proud of our bunkers on Scottish links. What do you think of our bunkering and faces?
YANI TSENG: The bunker is so deep. I mean, when you get in a bunker you just try to hit it as high as you can. Sometimes you get into a bunker and you've still got to play and sometimes you might hit it into the back or hit into the sides. It's really very interesting.

Q. Do you think they're fair bunkers?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, I think they're fair because if you get a good lie you can still get out. I think it's playable.

Q. Have you seen bunkers like them anywhere else?
YANI TSENG: No, probably just at links course. At normal courses there's no bunkers like this. We only have one chance to play the links course like once a year, so I'm always excited to play links course, and I love it.

Q. You knew that Rory McIlroy has built himself a bunker in his garden like the one at St. Andrews on the Road Hole?
YANI TSENG: Oh, really? I didn't know that.

Q. You don't fancy making one for yourself?
YANI TSENG: No, it's okay. I get in a bunker, I just hit out of it.

Q. If the conditions stay like this for the rest of the day, how far behind do you think you will be?
YANI TSENG: I would think four or five, three shots behind. I will probably stay top ten but I don't think I will be very close to the lead. Three or four shots behind I think for sure.

Q. But that will be close enough do you think?
YANI TSENG: Yeah, after two days I'm very happy with that. Very good position.

 

BRITTANY LINCICOME, Rolex Rankings No. 15

Q. Overall you've got to be pretty happy with what's happened the first two days.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, more happy about what happened yesterday than today. Just couldn't get anything going. I had 32 putts out there, which kind of means you weren't hitting the second shots close enough or I just wasn't making anything. Hopefully going into the next two days, now we've made the cut, let's keep moving up the leaderboard and keep it kind of close.

Q. Are you surprised by the way this golf course has been set up?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: No, because I mean, they're anticipating bad weather, and it's been such a beautiful time since we've been here. Only yesterday was a little bit of rain, but other than that it's been really weird actually. It's really pretty. It's set up the way that the wind and the rain, they're anticipating, but it's just not coming. So the golf course is right there in front of you. It's not easy, but it's not super difficult, either. The greens aren't really fast. So we'll see.

Q. When you look at your score and you don't look at the leaderboard, would you be happy or unhappy with how you sit?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Oh, I would be happy, especially going into the weekend. Any time you go into a British Open, all you're thinking is maybe a 71 or a 70, a couple under each day and you should be pretty close, anticipating the wind and the rain and everything. Under par for two days, that's pretty good.

 

PAULA CREAMER, Rolex Rankings No. 9

PAULA CREAMER: I think it has helped a lot. I got to see the course in different conditions this week. The beginning of the week was pretty still and it was very sunny, when I played it was pretty windy, so that definitely has helped me. Hopefully the weekend it will pick up and blow.

Q. There's been some criticism that perhaps the course has been made a bit too easy. What do you think?
PAULA CREAMER: You never know about Mother Nature, if it's going to blow hard or rain or whatnot. The scores yesterday I was very surprised with how low they were. I know the morning half had beautiful weather, but the afternoon, still, there was a lot of really good scores under par. You look at it both ways.

Q. There could be more low scoring if these conditions stay the same over the weekend?
PAULA CREAMER: I mean, if it stays like this it's going to be a low score for sure. That's just kind of the first time we've ever been here, so it's difficult to set it up for us, but the pin placements, they can definitely put us in some hard spots, so that might make it a little bit more difficult.

Q. How are you enjoying the tournament in general?
PAULA CREAMER: Oh, this is one of my favourite events. I think that the Ricoh women's British Open is a great event. It means a lot to us all, and it's very special especially to be here at Carnoustie this year.

Q. Can I just ask what happened on the first tee?
PAULA CREAMER: Oh, I just got my rain pants.

Q. Just in case it rained?
PAULA CREAMER: Just in case.

Q. It didn't, though?
PAULA CREAMER: No.

Q. Do you feel like you've done enough over two days?
PAULA CREAMER: Yes and no. I've felt that I've left a lot out there, made some mistakes that I wish I could go back and take over again, but I've done a lot of really good things, too. I put myself in a pretty good spot going into the weekend. I'm sure I'll be about five back going into tomorrow. That's a lot of golf, and if I get hot on Saturday, who knows.

Q. You said you needed to do some work before this event. What were you doing, and is it paying off?
PAULA CREAMER: With my game you mean? It's just I've been trying to tighten things up. I've been hitting the ball really well, I just have to make some more putts out there, and I've actually rolling the ball really well this week, and that's a positive from the past couple tournaments. That's what I have to take from it.

Q. 18, it hasn't been friendly to you.
PAULA CREAMER: I don't know. I don't know what's going on. Tomorrow I'm going to stand on that tee and I'm going to make a par and that's it. That's all I want to do. I don't know, the tee shot I get a little fooled out and I keep giving myself a really long club in. And this green is not acceptable when you hit a 6‑iron in; you should be hitting a 9‑iron in.

Q. Judging by the scores, can you set a target for Saturday?
PAULA CREAMER: Well, I know I am going to be pretty far back, probably five or six back going into the weekend, but if I just go out and make as many birdies as I have been and just eliminate those bogeys, then I feel that I'll be right in there on Sunday.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about your round in general today?
PAULA CREAMER: I hit the ball well at the beginning. I kind of missed some tee shots here and there out there where it kind of put me into trouble, two times where I had to hit out sideways from pot bunkers. I made some really good putts, gave myself some opportunities and capitalised on it, and that's really all you can do out here is take what it gives you. Unfortunately I had two bogeys today, but other than that I played pretty solid.

Q. Can you talk about your birdies and bogeys?
PAULA CREAMER: Yeah, No. 1, birdie, I made it to about ten feet just left of the pin. I was just on the fringe. It was about a 15‑footer. And then the birdie on 4, I went driver, I think I had about 120 yards, hit a little 9‑iron to about eight feet. And then birdie on 8, hit a little 6‑iron to about ten feet. Bogey on 9, hit it in the bunker, had to go out sideways and hit a good rescue but didn't make the 15‑footer. Birdie on 17, 3 rescue, and then I hit a 3‑wood today to about 30 feet, two‑putted. And then the bogey on 18, I missed my tee shot way right, and if you hit it right on that hole you have so much club into that green. And then I hit a 5‑iron into the left bunker and missed about a 10‑footer.

Q. What do you think the winning score will be?
PAULA CREAMER: It's going to be pretty low. If it stays like this there's a lot of birdies to be made out there. Unfortunately I wish it would be as windy as it can be. I like those kind of conditions. I showed yesterday I like playing in the tough stuff. But you have to take what it gives you, and if it's a nice day then you've got to go with it and you've got to make as many birdies ‑‑ I'm making a lot of birdies, I just need to eliminate the bogeys.

Q. Are your bogeys coming because you're hitting it in the bunkers?
PAULA CREAMER: No, it's not necessarily from the bunkers, it's just either course management myself or bad shots.

 

CATRIONA MATTHEW, Rolex Rankings No. 35

CATRIONA MATTHEW: Two rounds to go, five shots is nothing around this course. Obviously I would have liked to have had another couple of birdies, but 5‑under is not too bad.

Q. Good one at the last.
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, another good save there. Managed to hit that fairway sometime.

Q. What kind of lie did you have there?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: For the second shot it was just a chip‑out. It was pretty deep.

Q. All the other players, Yani and Se Ri, they've all been talking about they want the wind to get up, nothing they'd like more than some heavy showers. Do you take that view?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Not really. I'd quite like just nice weather. I've played enough golf in that in Scotland.

Q. Why do you think that's the case?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Well, I think they think it's like that all the time here, so they want to do that. But I'm quite happy with sunshine.

Q. How far off the lead were you in 2009?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: I think I took like a three‑shot lead going into the last day.

Q. And at the halfway mark?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Was I leading? I can't remember. I was either leading or close to the lead, yeah.

Q. Do you feel the atmosphere is building up around the course?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, definitely. There are a lot more people here today, obviously a nicer day and things. I think it is a good forecast for the week. Yeah, I think they'll get some good crowds out.

Q. Today was a quite a nice start in terms of ‑‑
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, I really got two ideal times, two morning times, 6:50 and 11:30, so yeah, they were perfect.

Q. We've seen players like Garcia and Van de Velde blow up on this 18th. Is it as daunting as perhaps we've been led to believe?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Obviously it's forward and we've not had the wind that they had when they played, but yeah, certainly still if you miss the fairway, I think you've just got to maybe take your meds and chip out and chip on.

Q. Do you think that will be a deciding hole come the final day?
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, I think the last three holes. 16 is a tough par, and then 17 you've got the chance of eagle or birdie, so I think the last three holes a lot could happen.

Q. Everyone is going to be right in the mix right down the final stretch.
CATRIONA MATTHEW: Yeah, with 14 and 17 with realistic eagle chances, anything could happen. You could pick up quite a few shots. They always help.

 

ANGELA STANFORD, Rolex Rankings No. 18

Q. Just give us your understanding of the events at the 18th fairway.
ANGELA STANFORD: Well, back in the fairway actually we were told that it was out, so I never said provisional because everybody just kept saying it's out. Well, drop it and hit another one. So once we got up there, they said, well, it wasn't really out. I learned something today. I just thought that ‑‑ I didn't think I had to ever say provisional but I guess you always say provisional.

Q. It's a tough school, as we know, it's golf. But when you got to that hole which one would you have rather played anyway?
ANGELA STANFORD: That was the problem. I guess I could have made bogey now, I don't know. At the time I thought I only had to play the one on the green, so I don't know. I guess I would have to figure out a way to advance that ball and then try to get it up‑and‑down.

Q. That's where the ball ended up, but where it was originally was right up against a fence. You were obviously unable to see that.
ANGELA STANFORD: I probably would have hit it the same way, though. I was already thinking I was going to flip my putter, go on the other side of the fence, turn my putter and hit it off the toe just to advance it. I kind of knew the shot I was going to hit. But I guess it doesn't matter now.

Q. You showed a great deal of honesty. Where do you view your position now? You could have been four shots off the lead but now you're six going into the weekend.
ANGELA STANFORD: Well, happy it's Friday. Fortunately we get two more days, and you never know. I hit it in places today that I thought the ball was okay, and when I got up there it was not. Apparently anything can happen around here.

Q. When you look at the scores and what's been possible today with a couple of 64s, what do you make the way you and the rest of your compatriots are tearing this place up this week?
ANGELA STANFORD: Well, I'm surprised that the scores were so low today. I didn't think the pin placements were that easy, so I was surprised that a couple girls went low. But I guess maybe they played early. I think it does help to not have any wind blowing around here.

Q. You've been playing in this championship for decades now. The best you've had is a tied 13th on your first appearance here. How much more used to the links shot selection have you become these days?
ANGELA STANFORD: Getting there, but it might be Mr. Hogan pulling some strings for me up there. That's what I'm thinking.

Q. You're still firmly believing in destiny. We're firmly with you.
ANGELA STANFORD: Thank you.

 

MICHELLE WIE, Rolex Rankings No. 14

Q. What time did you leave last night?
MICHELLE WIE: Well, before David left yesterday we went out on the range, and it was raining when I was hitting balls on the range and it cleared up right afterwards. But I went back to my room to take a little nap and I came back and putted for quite a bit and hit a couple of balls, and I came back to the room at about 7:00.

Q. How long were you putting? Seemingly forever.
MICHELLE WIE: Seemingly forever. I think it was much necessary, though. But it was good. Maybe for like an hour or so. Not too long.

Q. What did you correct for the day?
MICHELLE WIE: Obviously it's my second week really using this putter, so just really fooling around with the grip and what feels comfortable. I kind of changed the grip a little bit today, and hopefully this will be the last change that I have to make. But we'll see tomorrow and the next day, just keep working.

Q. What did you change about the grip?
MICHELLE WIE: Kind of going to Matt Kuchar style right now, putter on the left forearm. Changing it up a bit.

Q. Did you feel confident with it today then?
MICHELLE WIE: I did. I felt pretty good with it. Obviously there was a couple of shots here and there, but overall it felt a lot better than yesterday.

Q. You're quite quick. Is that part of your routine now?
MICHELLE WIE: I always try to be quick. I never play well when I'm slow, and sometimes I tend to be a little bit slower than I want to. But I just kind of ‑‑ you just have to go in and hit it, I guess. Nothing more you can do.

Q. People were talking yesterday about switching between studies and golf. How difficult has it been for you the last few months?
MICHELLE WIE: It hasn't been difficult. I've had no school for the last few months ‑‑

Q. But when you have.
MICHELLE WIE: I played well actually when I had school. But it's just something that I kind of go through and kind of ‑‑ I put myself through it. I really believe that education is important. It's a very important step for me especially, and I just couldn't have sat on it.

Q. I know you're looking forward to being able to have a good run at it once you're out of it, at golf, that is.
MICHELLE WIE: Yeah, I'm looking forward to it, I think. It's been a good life experience so far. I've been playing in a lot of tournaments. I haven't really missed much at all. I've played in all the tournaments except for one this year, so even with my studies, I don't really miss out. But it is really nice to come back and have no homework.

Q. I can remember Tiger Woods being almost in the same spot, talking about just enjoying getting out and about in the countryside while he was here. Have you had any chance to do that?
MICHELLE WIE: Not so much. We went and toured the town of Carnoustie. We've been going out to eat, and it's been great. I saw an awesome playground just over there, I think. But it's very pretty with the ocean and stuff.

Q. When do you graduate?
MICHELLE WIE: March.

Q. What exactly are you studying?
MICHELLE WIE: Communication.

Q. Who helps you most with your putting, mom or dad?
MICHELLE WIE: I think they both put a lot of input in. Yesterday it was a good session. We kind of all kind of brainstormed. I kind of give them my feedback because obviously they spend the most time with me so they kind of see a couple things. But it was good. I can't say one or the other because then they're going to start fighting when they see this.

Q. So you can't give anyone credit?
MICHELLE WIE: No (laughing).

Topics: Notes and Interviews, Ricoh Women's British Open

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