Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship presented by Taiwan Mobile
Miramar Golf Country Club
Second Round Notes and Interviews
October 31, 2014
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park tied the low round of the day with a 10-under, 62, to sit at 18-under for the tournament. Park, who earlier this week retook the top spot in the rankings, holds a three-stroke lead over Shanshan Feng after 36-holes at the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship presented by Taiwan Mobile.
“Everything was working really good out there today,” Park said. “I probably didn’t hit as close as yesterday but I holed a lot of putts today. Obviously, two days without the wind here in Taiwan is really unusual and I thought I should take advantage of that for two days and I feel like I did that.”
How well was Park playing? Well enough that the magic number of 59 crept into her mind during the back nine when she sat at 10-under through 15 holes.
“Yeah, definitely thought it was possible going into 13, 14, because coming down the stretch, I thought there was a lot of birdie holes. Especially the last, it’s a par 5,” Park admitted.
Park, who pared in after the 15th to finish with her 62, came short of recording the second 59 in LPGA history and also came just shy of tying her personal-best round of 2014.
“I had a score this year, 61, which was my best round and I really wanted to beat that one. But yeah, just came one short.”Players were one again able to take advantage of ideal scoring conditions as 15 players finished with rounds of 67 or better. “If the weather stays like this, it’s not going to be a freebie for me,” Park said. “I still need to play quite good. I shot 8-under and 10-under for two days and I’m only leading by three.”
Two Weeks, Two Aces, Two Cars For Danielle Kang:
For the second time in as many weeks, Danielle Kang stepped to the tee at a par-3 with a chance to win a new car with a hole-in-one and for the second-consecutive week Kang did exactly that.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Kang said. “I was standing there and we all screamed. Jodi (Ewart Shadoff) and I were talking about how first week you get a congratulations, second week everyone is just going to yell at you.”
Kang took home a new Audi A6 thanks to a beautiful 7-iron which found the bottom of the cup on the 158-yard 17th hole. Last week, Kang won a new Buick Lacrosse with a similar shot, an 8-iron from 155-yards out.
“I was actually thinking about a hole in one, because I’ve been touching that car, I really wanted the car,” Kang admitted. “It was a right to left. So I wanted to aim a little right of it but then I caught it okay, and then it hit the fringe, like the collar, and it just kicked straight in and just rolled, tracked all the way into the hole. “
Kang was able to accomplish her incredible feat in front of a gallery of her fellow players who were also up on the tee box.
“There was some swear words in there,” Kang joked. “It was pretty awesome. My friend, Lizette Salas, was in the back, and everyone was saying: “Are you kidding me? Again? Another car?” And everyone is saying they wanted the car. It’s an Audi 6, I was like, okay, that’s pretty awesome.”
Mirim Lee Goes Low:
Mirim Lee, already a two-time winner on the LPGA this season, brought herself into the hunt for the weekend thanks to a 10-under round of 62, a 10 shot improvement on her opening round.
“I think my irons,” Lee said of the difference in her game today. “My irons were very good, so I have a lot of chances.”
Lee was consistent throughout the day using five birdies to turn in 31 and five more birdies on the backside to close out her round of 62. Lee has also been on fire with the flatstick this week, needing only 49 putts through her first two rounds.
“I’m so excited. I always enjoy the play, so I’m very happy.”
Six in a Row Paces Ko:
Lydia Ko is in contention yet again sitting at 10-under for the tournament thanks in large part to a stellar stretch of golf where she made six consecutive birdies from holes three through eight.
“I kind of did this at the Australian Open last year, so I kind of knew what kind of a roll I could possibly get into,” Ko said. “But after leaving my putt like an inch short on 9, and that could have been my seventh in a row but I think I played well overall, and you never know what’s going to happen down the last couple holes. “
While Ko may not have finished with the same flurry as she started with she still has a chance to win at a course that she won the Swinging Skirts Invitational on a year ago.
“It’s a course where you can shoot some low scores, but no, I haven’t actually seen the course where there’s been like where there’s hardly any wind. So it’s kind of different. I kind of feel like, man, am I playing the same course."
-10 - The 10-under rounds tallied by both Mirim Lee and Inbee Park ties the lowest round in relation to par on the LPGA this season (Chella Choi, ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, 62; Inbee Park (Manulife Financial LPGA Classic) and Hyo Joo Kim (Evian Championship), 61)
-18 - Inbee Park’s two round total of -18 ties the second lowest 36 hole score in relation to par in LPGA history6 - Lydia Ko had six birdies in a row from holes three through eight, the six-consecutive birdies ties the longest sub-par stretch on the LPGA this season
15 - Number of players who had rounds of 67 (-5) or better during the second round
13 - The par-4 13th has played as the hardest hole on the course at 4.2456 - The par-5 sixth has played as the easiest hole on the course at 4.478
“She’s got two really nice cars back in L.A. So I think she’s got four great cars now. I would love to have one.” –Lydia Ko on her friend Danielle Kang winning her second car in as many weeks with a hole-in-one
“I would like my twittersphere to know that @daniellekang won a car last week for a hole in one...And again today. 2 for 2. Comprehend that.”-@KimKaufmanGolf
THE MODERATOR: Happy to be joined by Inbee Park after a great 10-under today. What was really working for you out there?
INBEE PARK: Well, everything was working really good out there today. I probably didn't hit as close as yesterday but I holed a lot of putts today, and this season, I've been struggling with my putter.
This week has been totally different to what I've been putting this season. I'm doing really well on the greens this week and obviously two days without the wind here in Taiwan is really unusual and I thought I should take advantage of that for two days and I feel like I did that.
THE MODERATOR: You really had it going in the middle of your round. Did 59 enter your mind at all?
INBEE PARK: Yeah, definitely thought it was possible going into 13, 14, because coming down the stretch, I thought it was a lot of birdie holes. Especially the last, it's a par 5. Yeah, I definitely had that in my mind. I had a score this year, 61, which was my best round and I really wanted to beat that one. But yeah, just came one short.
THE MODERATOR: How important was it for you to go low today? A lot of people put good rounds together. How important was it for you and your chances this weekend to keep putting up numbers?
INBEE PARK: Yeah, if the weather stays like this, it's not going to be a freebie for me. I still need to play quite good. I shot 8-under and 10-under for two days and I'm only leading by three. That tells how the course is playing really easy and everybody is playing well on this golf course.
Yeah, playing with Shanshan today helped me a lot to go lower obviously because Shanshan played really good, especially on the front nine, we were making birdies on pretty much every hole through like, four, five. We got off to a really good start which was the key to playing well today.
Q. On 18 green, you tried to make the birdie, were you aware that you might be breaking the record again? Mirim Lee already broke your record before?
INBEE PARK: Yeah, I didn't know Mirim shot 10-under before. I remember shooting 9-under here in the first event and I didn't know if 10-under was enough to beat that record. I was trying to make a birdie to go lower and tie my own record.
So yeah, I think I had that in my mind, but also the chip was not good.
Q. Did you feel you were struggling before the LPGA Championship and if you do, how do you adjust?
INBEE PARK: I was struggling on the greens but not overall. My game has improved a lot this year. I'm hitting the ball a lot consistently and I've been consistent all this season. I just couldn't hole the putts. That's why I couldn't win but I was still finishing in the top 5s, top threes, just not really winning any tournaments until Wegman's.
But after, Wegman's played really good golf but just a couple of putts didn't drop. So I finished a lot in second and third place. But I think I definitely want to take this opportunity to win.
Q. So there are two more rounds to go, and you are right now 18-under. What's the champion's score you think will be?
INBEE PARK: I think it all depends on the weather. If it stays like this, then I think like my goal number to go is probably going to be like 20, 30.
Q. What's your personal record for 18 holes in relation to par?
INBEE PARK: I remember when I won -- I think it was like 27 -- I think the LPGA record is like 27, 28. I shot like 11-under the last day so 23 is my record.
Q. Can you describe the eagle for us?
INBEE PARK: It was about 82 yards. I had a 58 degree wedge.
Q. You go back to the world No. 1 place after you're married and now you play very well in this tournament. Do you think it's brought luck?
INBEE PARK: I think it doesn't make me feel that much of a difference to me to be honest. I feel like I feel more comfortable -- I haven't won any tournament since I got married, so this is going to be my first one if I win this week.
Yeah, I feel like marriage life is a new beginning, so yeah, hopefully I start this week.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
Q. Your front nine, very explosive start?
LYDIA KO: Yeah, I had a little bit of a shaky start. Wasn't hitting it too well the first two holes but then I kind of got things rolling. I was close to hitting the pin on the par 3, third and just gave myself a lot of opportunities. I think two or three of them were just within like two feet. And that's good having those kind of short birdie putts, but I think I played well overall today.
Q. You're only 17 years old but you've played a wealth of golf. Were you nervous stringing that many consecutive birdies together?
LYDIA KO: I kind of did this at the Australian Open last year, so I kind of knew what kind of a roll I could possibly get into. But after leaving my putt like an inch short on 9, and that could have been my seventh in a row but I think I played well overall, and you never know what's going to happen down the last couple holes. You've just got to concentrate down the last. And then I hit kind of loose ones down the end but I think 7-under is a good score.
Q. Scoring is hot today, Inbee once again is leading the charge. You're going to have to really step into gear come the weekend?
LYDIA KO: Yeah, Mirim Lee, she shot 10-under today and Inbee seems like she's going to shoot one of those, too. It's not been too windy the last couple days. I think that's what is making it a little easier. But there's still two more days to go, and you never know until that last putt comes down on that Sunday.
Q. Playing 18 with Yani, when she snapped herself iron; that the first time you have seen that?
LYDIA KO: I haven't seen something fly out that far in a tournament. I was really surprised. I was trying to see where the ball was going but all I could see was something bigger. That wasn't too good but she finished well making that up-and-down. If I was in her position, I would be like, oh, my God, what's happening. But she kind of got herself together and made a good par there.
Q. You won on this course before. What particularly about this course suits your eye and what do you like about it?
LYDIA KO: It's a course where you can shoot some low scores, but no, I haven't actually seen the course where there's been like -- where there's hardly any wind. So it's kind of different. I kind of feel like, man, am I playing the same course.
But it was great to play in these conditions and also get the windy times. It's a great course setup, so always excited to come into this week.
Q. And finally, your good friend, Danielle Kang, another hole-in-one, another car. Did you hear about that and what are your thoughts about that?
LYDIA KO: She's just crazy. I think I made three birdies out of the four par 3s today and I thought I was doing well. But two hole-in-ones in two weeks, I would take that. Obviously she's striking the ball very well to be aiming straight for the pin, so good on her. Maybe she might get one next week at the Mizuno Classic, you never know.
Q. Two cars, what's that like? Are you guys going to give her flak for that?
LYDIA KO: No, she's got two really nice cars back in L.A., too, back at home. So I think she's got four great cars now, yeah. I would love to have one (laughing).
Q. So 10-under round today, what was the best part to your game?
MIRIM LEE: I think my irons. Irons was very good, so I have a lot of chance, so play good. Play was good.
Q. The golf course today, it's been putting some low scores. What was the difference in the golf course today for you to shoot 10-under compared to even par yesterday?
MIRIM LEE: In Thailand, it's always windy but today it's no wind. So I think the course is easier.
Q. Yesterday you shot 72 and today 62.
MIRIM LEE: Iron was good but putting was no good. Two bad drives yesterday.
Q. And today you hit all fairways?
MIRIM LEE: Not all the fairways, but like yesterday, we had two penalty shots, so looking at four- or five-shots there.
Q. And this is your rookie season on the LPGA Tour. How has the experience been for you? You've already won twice and you're having a heck of a year?
MIRIM LEE: I'm so excited. I always enjoy the play, so I'm very happy, yeah.
Q. Your second hole-in-one in as many weeks, another car, what's that like?
DANIELLE KANG: It's pretty awesome. I was standing there and just like all screamed. Jody and I were talking about how first week you get a congratulations, second week everyone is just going to yell at you.
Q. Take us through the actual shot. I heard it was a 7-iron?
DANIELLE KANG: Yeah, it was a 7-iron. I was managing -- I was actually thinking about a hole-in-one, because I've been touching that car, I really wanted the car. It was a right-to-left.
So I wanted to aim a little right of it but then I caught it okay, and then it hit the fringe, like the collar, and it just kicked straight in and just rolled, tracked all the way into the hole.
Q. What did your playing partners say when they knew it was your second one in a row?
DANIELLE KANG: There was some swear words in there. It was pretty awesome. My friend, Lizette, was in the back, and everyone was saying: "Are you kidding me? Again? Another car?" And everyone is saying they wanted the car. It's an Audi 6, I was like, okay, that's pretty awesome.
Q. And what are the plans for the two cars that you just won?
DANIELLE KANG: You know what, I think this car is for my brother, so we'll see. I think I've got to take this one.
Q. Your brother is here this week?
DANIELLE KANG: He is.
Q. What does that mean to you to have him here?
DANIELLE KANG: It means the world to me. I love seeing him out here. I love that he just follows and he loves watching. Yeah, it's so much fun when he's here, because he's completely opposite of me and he's really relaxed. So we go to massage and stuff like that. It's fun to have him out here.
Q. You put together a pretty good round on top of the ace, and put yourself in a little bit better position heading into the weekend. What's why you are approach going into that?
DANIELLE KANG: Well, me and my friend, Cole, have an aggressive play during the whole week, throughout the next two days, I'm still going to attack the pins like I usually do and hope for a hole-out.