Kingsmill Championship Final Round Notes and Interviews

Photo Credit: Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Jiyai Shin of South Korea holds the championship trophy after winning the Kingsmill Championship at Kingsmill Resort on September 10, 2012 in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Kingsmill Championship
Kingsmill Resort, The River Course
Williamsburg, Va.
September 10, 2012
Final-Round Notes and Interviews


Jiyai Shin, Rolex Rankings No. 13

Paula Creamer, Rolex Rankings No. 18

The two-year winless drought is over for Jiyai Shin who outlasted Paula Creamer in a lengthy nine hole playoff to win the Kingsmill Championship. In the fifth playoff this season, Shin and Creamer were forced to return to the par-4 16th at The River Course Monday morning to determine a winner.

The playoff marks the second in Kingsmill Championship history following the 2007 tournament where Suzann Pettersen defeated Jee Young Lee in three-holes.

The playoff also set a record for the longest playoff between two competitors with the other taking place at the 2004 LPGA Takefuji Classic where Cristie Kerr defeated Seol-An Jeon. The longest playoff in LPGA Tour history came at the 1972 Corpus Christi Civitan Open where Jo Ann Prentice defeated Sandra Palmer and Kathy Whitworth in 10 holes.

On the ninth playoff hole, both players hit routine drives in the fairway and Creamer left herself with a testy 30-foot birdie putt while Shin was faced with a 15-footer.

First up to play was Creamer and the 9-time LPGA Tour winner grazed the lip of the hole but had a tricky six foot putt coming back for par. Shin’s left-to-right birdie putt never saw the hole but the Korean left herself with an easy one-foot putt for par.

Creamer could not convert her 6-foot par putt and left the door open for Shin to knock in her 2-foot par putt for her ninth career LPGA Tour victory.

Since Shin’s victory at the 2010 Mizuno Classic, she has had to wait 31 tournaments before she found the winner’s circle this week. Shin will now turn her attention to this week’s RICOH Women’s British Open where she won as a non-member in 2008.

Learning While Under Pressure… While Jiyai Shin was focused on winning her ninth LPGA Tour victory, she had a bit of time to learn a new language from her newly acquired French caddie.

The duo spent the first four days of play and Monday at the Kingsmill Championship teaching one another how to speak French and Korean. Shin however didn’t let the tutoring session take up a large amount of her time as she survived a nine hole playoff to take home the title.

“Actually he's from France, so I really like to learn some French,” said Shin. “Actually we're teaching each other because he teaching me a little bit of French, I teaching him a little bit Korean.  And also I really appreciate for my caddie because he tried to make it very comfortable of my feeling, so I think it was we was great team and then I really happy to work with him.”

The victory was even all the more impressive as Shin has recently been faced with a nagging wrist injury that required surgery this June and a two-month layoff. Since the surgery, Shin has finished in the top-10 three times, including her win this week.

“Yes, still a little bit,” said Shin. “It hurts right here and then it still make it a little bit tight, my arm and a little bit of pain, so I did a lot of stretching and lot of massage myself, but I think it still good enough.”

Knocking on the Door… Rolex Rankings No. 18 Paula Creamer narrowly missed capturing her 10th career LPGA Tour victory at this week’s Kingsmill Championship after losing in a nine hole playoff to Jiyai Shin.

“I can't take away the way that I played,” said Creamer. “I played great this whole tournament and I'm going to think about it, but then I'm going to think it over and then I'm going to go and try and win a major.  That's what you want to do.  I couldn't ask for more positives and confidence going into this week or next ‑‑ whatever this next tournament is, and we'll see what happens.  Just try and have a good attitude.” 

Despite not recording a victory this year, Creamer has not miss a cut and notched five top-10 finishes including runner-up this week.

“I think the biggest thing for me is I can see the difference, I can feel the difference just within myself out on the golf course and the confidence,” said Creamer. “What more could you ask for going into a major?”

Since winning the 2010 U.S. women’s Open, Creamer has gone two years and played in 50 tournaments without recorded a victory. As the LPGA Tour heads across the pond this week for the RICOH Women’s British Open, Creamer likes her chances to record her second LPGA Tour major victory.

Welcome Back! The crowds at this week’s Kingsmill Championship have been impressive to say the least and that didn’t change on Monday when Jiyai Shin and Paula Creamer were forced to return for the ninth playoff hole.

“I couldn't believe how many people were out there, that feels great,” said Creamer. “I wasn't expecting that.  When we drove up on to the tee, Colin (Creamer’s caddy) and I are like, my goodness gracious, there's a lot of people out here.  That was exciting.  That means a lot for everybody to come out and cheer us on.” 

While fans only got to see one playoff hole as Shin defeated Creamer with a par, fans lined the fairway and green to witness history unfold.

Shin is going to Canyon Ranch…With her victory at the 2012 Kingsmill Championship, Jiyai Shin earned an all-inclusive stay for two at a Canyon Ranch resort. In a combined effort to promote health and overall well-being among Tour players, Canyon Ranch will provide every winner of an LPGA event with one all-inclusive stay at one of Canyon Ranch's two destination resorts.

Jiyai Shin, Rolex Rankings No. 13

MODERATOR:  All right.  We'd like to welcome the 2012 Kingsmill Championship winner, Jiyai Shin, into the interview room.  Congratulations on your ninth career LPGA Tour victory, this one only took nine playoff holes to capture.  Take me through today's playoff hole and just what this win overall means for you.

JIYAI SHIN:  First time ‑‑ my first time do some interview Monday.  It was really tough to win.  I know last night was, it take so long so I was really tired and when I came this morning, still tired.  Like a little wind and chilly, so much different conditions of the weather, so I just keep focused about my tempo because sometimes too much you think make more complicate.  So I just think simple, I tried to.  And also I very impressive early morning a lot of people was there, so I really appreciate for a lot of fans are here.  Especially I can't believe because I did a hand operation in June and then after that two month I didn't play, so I feel like I take a little bit long time for the win, but I really happy it's coming quick.

MODERATOR:  Were you surprised considering how much the two of you had battled at the end of today only one playoff hole was needed and, you know, it took a par to win?

JIYAI SHIN:  Um‑hmm.

MODERATOR:  How tough was it to watch, I guess, for you.  Happy for the victory but to see Paula miss the par putt and win on a par?

JIYAI SHIN:  Yeah, I watching her par putt and then when I thinking she is great putter, too, so I just waiting for ‑‑ I just look forward to the next hole, too.  But when she missed it, I, oh, wow.  I left with this one putt, but this one is still too long for me, so I was really nervous with it.  But after when I make that, I was really happy.  And then also I really thanks for Paula because she was great competition, and then I think we're great play this week and then also we have still more a lot of tournament, so I think good competition come up.

MODERATOR:  For both of you, Paula hasn't won in two years and it's been almost two years for you since you've won on the LPGA Tour.  Do you think that factored into the long playoff and that you both are such strong competitors but both really had that desire to get back in the winner's circle?

JIYAI SHIN:  That's true because we were so hungry for the win.  That's why I really want and I really waiting for the win, for the trophy.  So that's why I know her feeling, too.  It was great match play yesterday, and then I think lot of fans, they really enjoyed to watching us.

MODERATOR:  Take me through on that playoff hole, you know, after your drive, kind of what was your approach into the hole, what were you thinking throughout the hole?  Just take me through the entire hole shot by shot.

JIYAI SHIN:  First Paula honor so she hit it first on the fairway so I just keep focused, okay, make the fairway, hit a fairway.  And then I hit it great with my driver and then I left 150 yards to the pin.  I hit a 6‑iron because yesterday I was saying I got the same distance but yesterday I hit a 7‑iron.  But this morning it was a little chilly and then a little wet fairway, different condition, I think it take a couple yardage, so I hit just an easy 6.  Then I hit it great and I left about 15 feet to the hole.  It was hard to read the break actually, it was double break and then fast downhill putt. 

So when I look ‑‑ when I watch the first putt of Paula, it was really fast, so I really surprised.  And then I still left a downhill putt and I'm just thinking, okay, get focused for the speed, get focused for the speed, and it was okay.  The speed was okay but wrong direction, but good enough for the win.

Q.  (Inaudible.)

JIYAI SHIN:  I take the flight 4:00 today, Manchester, so I think it will be another long day, so I look forward to the British Open next week ‑‑ this week, this week, this week.  I know I still really tired and then so I'm focused about the condition (indiscernible.)

Q.  Jiyai, you talked about your surgery.  Do you have lingering pain in your hand, and with it a little chillier this morning, do the temperatures affect it?

JIYAI SHIN:  Yes, still a little bit.  It hurts right here and then it still make it a little bit tight, my arm and a little bit of pain, so I did a lot of stretching and lot of massage myself, but I think it still good enough.

Q.  (Inaudible.)  What did you guys talk about?

JIYAI SHIN:  Actually he's from France, so I really like to learn some French.  Actually we're teaching each other because he teaching me a little bit of French, I teaching him a little bit Korean.  And also I really appreciate for my caddie because he tried to make it very comfortable of my feeling, so I think it was we was great team and then I really happy to work with him.

Q.  So what can you say in French?  What did you learn?

JIYAI SHIN:  Merci beaucoup.  

 

Paula Creamer, Rolex Rankings No. 18

MODERATOR:  We'd like to welcome Paula Creamer into the interview room.  First off, thanks so much for coming in and I know definitely not the way you wanted to finish after such exciting golf yesterday, but just take us through that playoff hole this morning and seeing all the crowds out there.

PAULA CREAMER:  I couldn't believe how many people were out there, that feels great.  I wasn't expecting that.  When we drove up on to the tee, Colin and I are like, my goodness gracious, there's a lot of people out here.  That was exciting.  That means a lot for everybody to come out and cheer us on.  I mean, who knows how many holes we were going to play, but unfortunately it was only one. 

Yeah, honestly, I hit not the best of drives, but I hit a decent 5‑iron; I just needed a couple more yards and it would have been right up next there.  I thought I hit a great putt, the first one.  It's so much faster than the putting green, the practice putting green.  Colin and I, my caddie, were talking about maybe because the practice green was in the shade, this or that and that was a little bit more exposed to the sun.  My speed's been pretty good all week and that one went about five and a half feet by.  And I felt good over the next one.  It's tough making a left‑to‑right five‑and‑a‑half footer to go, but that's why you practice and things like that.  Like I said, I felt really good and it just broke a little bit more than what I thought.

MODERATOR:  How tough was it last night going back and having to sleep and then come back?  I mean, it's very rare that you see a playoff have to go to the next day.

PAULA CREAMER:  Chalk it up for experience right there, that's for sure.  It's hard, yes, but you know, I was just strictly ‑‑ people were asking, Are you tired?  I was like, not at all, so much adrenaline, I was so excited.  I said in my interview, which was pretty hard to do right after you three‑putt, but I said if somebody would have said you're going to go to a nine‑hole playoff and this is what's going to happen and you're going to shoot 65, 66, these numbers, would you have taken it, and I would have taken it in a heartbeat. 

The way this year's gone and I've overcome a lot of things, it's like I said, it's hard to come down to one hole.  But it was going to be a mistake, I think, that was going to have to ‑‑ unfortunately with Jiyai, she's such a straight player, but she hasn't won either for two years so you never know.  She played well and I had to make a putt.

MODERATOR:  When you talk about taking the positives, when you look at your ball striking this week and, as you were saying, your putting, is there so much you do take out of this week heading into the British?

PAULA CREAMER:  Yes, just a lot of things.  You know, worked my golf swing, once again my putting was better.  I think just my overall demeanor out on the golf course is so much better.  I hate using the term the old Paula, the new Paula.  I'm the same person that I've always been, but just to have that little bit more fire inside me.  If's fun, with Colin out there, we're enjoying it.

Q.  You've been in other close calls, other playoffs.  Just kind of where did this rank emotionally?  It feels almost as somber as a major when somebody comes in on a Sunday. 

PAULA CREAMER:  Well, goodness, this is a mental just battle constantly playing the same hole over and over again.  The fans were so great, almost like ‑‑ in that little area around the green, it was almost like a Solheim Cup feeling, hearing USA and all this stuff. 

Like I said, I'm going to learn so much from this no matter what it is.  I lost in the playoff to Annika and then I won the following week against Juli in a playoff, so it's not like I've never been in this situation. 

However, coming back to play sudden death, I mean, all that, that doesn't happen very often.  So like I said, it does, it's tough, it's hard, but it is what it is and it does have ‑‑ this Kingsmill event has always been such a fun event for everybody to come to.  They love us here and I love coming here, I love this golf course, and when are we here, in May again, so hopefully I can do it then.

Q.  Paula, that last putt, that had a little downhill in it too, right?

PAULA CREAMER:  Which?  Yeah, it's kind of like the first part of the putt in the shadow went uphill and then it kind of went back downhill.  And then kind of where Jiyai was was downhill.  It was kind of like in this little bowl and I made birdie on it on Sunday in our final round and I remember I was a little bit right of it, maybe about 10, 12 feet to the right, and Jiyai was almost on my line for the last putt.  So I remember seeing the way ‑‑ what hers did because she made birdie. 

Like I said, I thought I hit a great putt and it just ‑‑ you know, it was a little bit faster than what I thought.  Then the next one, the downhill one, was tough, too, because it was one of those dying ones and I had to play about a cup and a half of break from five feet pretty good.

Q.  Was the pin in the same location?

PAULA CREAMER:  Yeah, same pin.

Q.  Can you just talk about what the rest of your day now?  Are you going to England at some point?

PAULA CREAMER:  Yeah, tonight, so I have a long time to sit here and think about it.

Q.  Are you driving up to D.C.?

PAULA CREAMER:  I think so, yeah.  Same flight that we were supposed to be on yesterday, so we'll just take it today. 

What am I going to do today?  I'll probably think about this for a little bit but not too long.  It's hard ‑‑ that's the thing about golf and sports is you've got to have that great short‑term memory.  And Colin told me afterwards, remember Nancy Lopez telling me to have about short‑term memory.  

I can't take away the way that I played.  I played great this whole tournament and I'm going to think about it, but then I'm going to think it over and then I'm going to go and try and win a major.  That's what you want to do.  I couldn't ask for more positives and confidence going into this week or next ‑‑ whatever this next tournament is, and we'll see what happens.  Just try and have a good attitude. 

I think the biggest thing for me is I can see the difference, I can feel the difference just within myself out on the golf course and the confidence.  What more could you ask for going into a major?

Q.  With your new swing, you're trying to build new memories, I guess.  Are there a couple of shots from yesterday maybe that you'll look back on where it really worked what you were trying to do in a pressure situation?

PAULA CREAMER:  Yeah, like do you want specifics?  I mean, well first hole, No. 1, out of the gate on that downhill lie and I had ‑‑ I think I hit a ‑‑ jeez, what did I hit in there?  I think I hit a little 6 iron.  Because the wind was totally different yesterday.  The other days I was hitting 9‑ and 8‑irons and I hit five, six feet.  I would say just coming down the stretch, too, 16 was a great shot.  15 or 14, the par 4 before that, you know, got a little shaky on that par 3, didn't really hit a good one.  But it's going to come and I'm going to have my misses here and there.  My miss is right or it's a pretty good pull left, it's the same thing, just which way is it going to go. 

Even in the playoff holes I hit some great iron shots there.  I wish I could have maybe taken my drive a little bit farther left each time, but I just liked that little spot up there and kept hitting in a blanket.  Even today, that was a good shot, just needed a couple more yards. 

My confidence in my irons, I have a really good swing thought and it's a lot about my rhythm, just my grip pressure, things like that in the past was getting a little tight and just nervous.  I think this definitely has helped me with, you know, feeling what it's like to be back in contention and nerves.  I mean, sudden death, you've got to be on the ball and I think that that helped a lot.  I did, I hit some good shots.

Q.  (Inaudible)

PAULA CREAMER:  I hit a little 5.  We had about, I think it was, I think I had 67, 77 pin?  77 pin, we were trying to land it around 70 and it was downwind, but it was also morning so it's not going to go quite as far.  My 5‑iron's about a 75, 76 club and I was just trying to hit a low one and I did, I just needed a couple more yards.

                                                           

Topics: Notes and Interviews, Creamer, Paula, Shin, Jiyai, Kingsmill Championship