2012 Kingsmill Championship Final Round Notes and Interviews

Kingsmill Championship
Kingsmill Resort, The River Course
Williamsburg, Va.
September 9, 2012
Final-Round Notes and Interviews

 
Paula Creamer, -16, Rolex Rankings No. 18
Jiyai Shin, -16, Rolex Rankings No. 13

Karine Icher, -14, Rolex Rankings No. 51

The winner of the 2012 Kingsmill Championship will have to wait until tomorrow to be determined as play was called for darkness on the ninth playoff hole.

 In the fifth playoff this season, Paula Creamer and Jiyai Shin both exchanged pars on the first eight playoff holes until play was eventually called for darkness. The duo will return to The River Course at 9:00 a.m. Monday morning where they will begin the ninth playoff hole on the par-4 16th.

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. The longest playoff between two competitors occurred at the 2004 LPGA Takefuji Classic where Cristie Kerr defeated Seol-An Jeon in seven holes.

Shin currently stands undefeated in playoffs on the LPGA Tour as she defeated Angela Stanford and Sun Young Yoo with a birdie on the second hole. Creamer’s playoff record currently stands at 1-1 as she lost to Annika Sorenstam on the first extra hole of the 2008 Stanford International Pro-Am then defeated Juli Inkster with a birdie on the second extra hole of the 2008 SemGroup Championship.

Creamer had held a two-stroke lead over Shin coming into today’s final round and maintained the two-stroke lead until an unfortunate double-bogey on the par-4 sixth that dropped her to into a tie with Shin.

The duo made the turn tied at 16-under par but Shin faltered immediately on the back-nine with back-to-back bogeys on numbers 10 and 11. Creamer’s lead then dwindled to one after a bogey at the par-4 12th. Creamer and Shin both recorded two additional birdies and Creamer looked to be in control with a one-stroke lead with one to play. But while Shin settled for par on the 18th, Creamer three-putted for bogey and the duo turned their attention to the playoff.

Back in Time… Rolex Rankings No. 18 Paula Creamer looked to be in complete control of her final round on Sunday until an uncharacteristic three putt on the 18th hole of regulation play forced a playoff. Creamer had a lengthy putt for birdie but left herself with a testy five foot putt coming back for par.

Creamer failed to make her par putt and according to the 9-time LPGA Tour winner, if she could go back in time, she would do things a bit differently.

“I hit my first putt, that long one, I hit such a great putt,” said Creamer. “It was almost like when it lipped out it went even more exaggerated farther away.  It was a good five and a half feet, five feet.  Yeah, I mean, I pulled it, but I mean, if I could go back in time, I 100 percent would have maybe used my line on my ball or something a little bit different.”

The three-putt on 18 was uncharacteristic of Creamer this week as she only averaged 26.75 putts during the four rounds including 22 in today’s final round.

“It happens, it's golf,” said Creamer. “I've putted so well, and today I putted really well at times and I didn't make as many as what I did the last three days.  You know, that putt could have been on the third hole, it could have been on the 17th hole and it happened to be on the 18th hole at a big, crucial moment, but you learn from it.  My biggest thing was to not let it get in the way of the next eight‑hole playoff that we had.”

Learning Curve… Jiyai Shin’s smile she had been displaying all day on Sunday never left her face even in the interview room after a lengthy eight hole playoff that was left undecided. Shin could be seen during Golf Channel’s extended coverage of the LPGA on Sunday smiling from ear to ear even in the midst of darkness setting in.

Despite the long day, Shin kept everything in perspective and admitted it will be a good learning curve as the LPGA Tour heads across the pond for next week’s RICOH Women’s British Open.

“Well, yeah, it just was really long tough day, but it will be good experience for us,” Shin said. “And well, first couple holes of the playoff I was really, really nervous, but after that I started getting comfortable with it, the playoff.  It's just like so weird.  But we're coming back tomorrow, so hopefully play because we have to go to England before the next week for the British Open.  It's really a good time for me, yeah.”

A Year to Remember… Many would think the task of juggling parenthood and life as a professional golfer on the LPGA Tour would take a toll on a new mother’s golf game. Karine Icher however is defying all odds and since giving birth to daughter Lola last August, her game has been in top form.

Despite admitting to being less focused on the golf course, Icher has posted eight top-20 finishes this year including two tied for third finishes at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic and this week’s Kingsmill Championship.

“The big difference is I'm really less focused on my golf, so maybe give me like more air and to be more relaxed on the course, and that's true,” said Icher. “I mean, I can have a bad shot or a bad day, but nothing worth a smile from my baby and I take that like an advantage and it helps me a lot.”

During today’s final round, Icher posted six birdies en route to a 6-under par 65 which marks her lowest round of the year. One of 27 moms on the LPGA Tour, Icher also had a chance to become a Rolex First-Time Winner at the Mobile Bay Classic but finished two-shots behind Stacy Lewis.

Golden ticket winners: Danielle Kang, Maria Hjorth, and Dewi Claire Schreefel punched their "Ticket to CME Group Titleholders" at the Kingsmill Championship, each earning a spot in the season-ending CME Group Titleholders event, which will be held Nov. 15-18, 2012 at The TwinEagles in Naples, Fla. The second annual CME Group Titleholders is a season finale with a field made up of three qualifiers from every LPGA Tour tournament.

Of Note… LPGA Tour rookie and 19-year-old Danielle Kang fired a final-round 2-under par 69 to finish tied for third which marks her best career-finish. Kang won back-to-back U.S. Women’s Amateur titles in 2010 and 2011 to become the first player in 15 years to successfully defend her title.

 

Paula Creamer, Rolex Rankings No. 18
Jiyai Shin, Rolex Rankings No. 13

 MODERATOR:  All right.  I would like to welcome Paula Creamer and Jiyai Shin into the interview room.  It's been quite an adventurous day for you.  First off, take me through the playoff and (inaudible.)

PAULA CREAMER:  I mean, we played it eight times around and 16 pars, that's pretty good.  But it's a tough hole.  I mean, it's tough to make a birdie with that back pin location and we're hitting it in the same spot.  I think I was within, with my drives, like 10 yards every single time.  It's a difficult hole from right there.  It's unfortunate that we couldn't change the pin or do something a little bit different, but I guess that's learning, and next year I'm sure and other tournaments down the road they'll probably change the rules about the playoff.

JIYAI SHIN:  I agree with that.  Well, yeah, it just was really long tough day, but it will be good experience for us.  And well, first couple holes of the playoff I was really, really nervous, but after that I started getting comfortable with it, the playoff.  It's just like so weird.  But we're coming back tomorrow, so hopefully play because we have to go to England before the next week for the British Open.  It's really a good time for me, yeah.

MODERATOR:  Take me through that decision at the end.  I know you guys had gone back to the tee.  What were the thoughts?  I mean, we all know it was getting pretty dark, but did you hope to play one more hole and then just realizing it was just too dark?

PAULA CREAMER:  Well, I think I really wanted to play another one and Jiyai was kind of ‑‑ I mean it's hard when it's just us two and trying to make a decision.  I respect what she wants and she respects what I want.  It's difficult.  I said, well, let's go back to the tee to see.  And then we talked about it a little bit and we were like, okay, let's just play.  I teed it up and I was like oh, my goodness, my driver, my white ‑‑ my driver was brighter than the golf ball sitting down there and I'm thinking this probably isn't a good idea.  I looked at Jiyai and Jiyai said no.  So it's unfortunate that we have to do that, but like I said, we respect each other's decisions and like look at it now, we would be still out there and we can't play in that.

MODERATOR:  The longest playoff in LPGA history is 10 holes.  You guys have already gone eight already, that's the longest between two players from what we looked at, making a little bit of history.  Did you ever imagine when you teed it up on that first playoff hole that you would be going into tomorrow?

PAULA CREAMER:  No, I definitely didn't think so.  Especially we made some great saves, some really good up‑and‑downs out of the bunkers and I had that one, but it's just tough to make putts on that hole.

JIYAI SHIN:  Yeah, it's very tough.

PAULA CREAMER:  Every time you see it, there's all these little bumps everywhere getting worse and worse.

JIYAI SHIN:  When we keep playing, we can see a lot of spike marks.

PAULA CREAMER:  Everywhere.

JIYAI SHIN:  Yes.  So until we play last hole, a lot of fans out there, so really appreciate for that.

Q.  For both players, did your strategy on 18 change at any point during the playoff?

PAULA CREAMER:  No, I mean, not for me.  I just kept trying to hit it down that right side and hopefully get a good iron.  I kept kind of missing it to the right a little bit off the tee, but, you know, I started to groove that number so it was kind of my spot over there.  Didn't really change, just trying to make a birdie, match play; just trying to do one better than Jiyai, that's it.

JIYAI SHIN:  Well, yeah, I think so because lot of people were there and they want to see the good birdie, but last hole with the back tees and then the pin was close to the back edge, so it was really hard to get aggressive shot, so make keep save the par.

Q.  It seems like yesterday, but Paula, you came to the sixth hole, you were 18‑under, you're in the fairway, it seems like you're in control of the tournament.  You birdied two of the first four holes.  What happened there and have you ever almost been in a tunnel before?

PAULA CREAMER:  I know, I was in a tunnel, yeah.  No, I've never been ‑‑ never hit that before.  I'm surprised no one took one for the team down there; the ball's coming, you've got to save it.  You know, it happens and it's an unfortunate mistake.  But like I said, things happen, that's golf, and if I could go back and hit one last putt, sure.  If I didn't pull it maybe five, six yards, who knows.  It was a lucky and also unlucky break that I could even hit it from there.  The shot I was trying to hit off the cart path went way farther than what I thought.  I mean, I wasn't even looking at that bunker and it just kind of like a rocket ship off my clubface, that pitch shot.  And I left myself ‑‑ I mean, how it didn't get in the bunker I was shocked in the first place, but it was hanging on the edge and it was such a hard flop shot, and at that point, you know, just trying to minimize the mistakes right there and okay, walk away with maybe bogey and at the worst 6, and I had a par 5 ahead.  I hit a lot of good shots after that.  Like I said, it was unfortunate.  It was early on in the round so I could still come back.  It wasn't like a huge momentum killer.

Q.  Paula, the putt to win on regulation, was that just a bad putt or bad read or what?

PAULA CREAMER:  I hit my first putt, that long one, I hit such a great putt.  It was almost like when it lipped out it went even more exaggerated farther away.  It was a good five and a half feet, five feet.  Yeah, I mean, I pulled it, but I mean, if I could go back in time, I 100 percent would have maybe used my line on my ball or something a little bit different. 

But I can't lose sleep over it.  It happens, it's golf.  I've putted so well, and today I putted really well at times and I didn't make as many as what I did the last three days.  You know, that putt could have been on the third hole, it could have been on the 17th hole and it happened to be on the 18th hole at a big, crucial moment, but you learn from it.  My biggest thing was to not let it get in the way of the next eight‑hole playoff that we had.

Q.  Could you both just tell us what you were hitting over and over again in the fairway and what the yardage was that you typically had?

PAULA CREAMER:  I had about 165, I hit a 6 iron, I think, seven out of the ‑‑ no, I think five out of the eight.  No, six out of the eight times.  I hit two 5‑irons.

JIYAI SHIN:  When she hit a driver, it was very consistent but I wasn't.  Well, let me see.  I hit one time right side and then a couple times a left side down fairway.  The shortest club I hit an 8‑iron, longest club is 7 wood, so it was a big gap, but normally I hit a 6‑iron a couple times and 23 hybrid a couple times.

Q.  Were you guys thinking that much about the British and your flight?  Were you thinking ahead to your flights and the British or were you trying to block all that out?

PAULA CREAMER:  I don't think I said anything to Colin until I think the seventh playoff hole.  I said I don't think we're going to make our charter.  He said no, I don't think so, it leaves in 20 minutes or something.  And I said, yeah, okay, and that was really the only time.  Afterwards when they asked us about the darkness, we realized, well, that's why we were trying to play one more.  It wasn't like we were thinking British, British, British, but yeah, we want to get there, too.

Q.  After having played 18 redundantly, are you glad that tomorrow you're going to start on 16?

PAULA CREAMER:  Sure.  I mean, why not?  It will be interesting to see if we would go back to 18 again.  I don't know if they're changing the pins or what they're doing.  They haven't come up with anything yet, I don't think.  Yeah, either way it's kind of a good and bad thing.  We're going to have to decide a champion on one hole and we've done both so well and we've fought so hard, but I guess that's sports and that's golf and we've got to come out tomorrow and start on 16, so here we go.

JIYAI SHIN:  Yeah, another tough hole, too.

 

Karine Icher, Rolex Rankings No. 51

Q.  First off, a great finishing round, 6‑under par.  Just take me through that day.

KARINE ICHER:  Yeah, I'm very happy with my round today because we had really tough pin position.  The first three days was okay but today it was always on the back and with the wind and the wind changed direction, so it was a completely different course.  So yeah, I'm pretty happy and it gives me good confidence for the British next week.  It was fun to play here, nice course, it's fun to come back here.

Q.  Did you hit it close all day or did you make a lot of long putts?

KARINE ICHER:  Yeah, both.  It was sometime close to the pin and I had some good putts, so putting was good today.

Q.  In four previous tournaments here, you had never ‑‑

KARINE ICHER:  No, never.

Q.  ‑‑ made the cut.  I mean, I don't mean to bring up bad things.

KARINE ICHER:  I know.

Q.  But all of a sudden you come here, you're under par all four days.  I mean, did you feel good coming back here?

KARINE ICHER:  Yeah, yeah, we had a break from '09, I think.

Q.  Right.

KARINE ICHER:  It was fun to come back here and I can see the difference in my game.  I was longer on certain holes and better short game, so differently it's a course that I like, so it's nice to come here.

Q.  Are you a scoreboard watcher?  Were you watching on the back side to see how close you were?

KARINE ICHER:  No, no, I don't.  I don't want to watch and to be focused on the leaderboard because until the 18th hole in the hole, it's never finished golf, it's just about that.  So I was just about playing my better golf and best that I can and that's it.

Q.  So do you know where you stand right now?

KARINE ICHER:  I think I'm second or something like that.

Q.  You were within one but Creamer just birdied 14.

KARINE ICHER:  Yeah, 14, 15, 16 are easier today because of the wind, but 17 and 18 are not easy holes, so we'll see.  But anyway, it's a good week and I'm happy with that.

Q.  Your play this season has been so steady, it's like you've been playing more consistently, and it's after having Lola.

KARINE ICHER:  Yeah.

Q.  What's been the biggest difference and how have you been able to play so well with now balancing with being a mom?

KARINE ICHER:  The big difference is I'm really less focused on my golf, so maybe give me like more air and to be more relaxed on the course, and that's true.  I mean, I can have a bad shot or a bad day, but nothing worth a smile from my baby and I take that like an advantage and it helps me a lot.

Q.  She travels with you?

KARINE ICHER:  Oh, yeah, she's here.

Q.  Do you have a nanny?

KARINE ICHER:  No, we have a daycare on Tour, so they're taking care of her.  Now we're going to rush to take her back and take a shower and go to the plane.

Q.  Are you taking the charter to the British tonight?

KARINE ICHER:  Yeah, I think they're going to wait for us.

Q.  Yeah, you might want to stay loose.

KARINE ICHER:  And we have a short connection.

Q.  And your daughter is 13 months?

KARINE ICHER:  Yeah, 13 months.

Q.  Mine turns one next Sunday.

KARINE ICHER:  Oh.

Q.  It's the best, isn't it?

KARINE ICHER:  It's fun.  But she's teething right now so we have, again, our time to sleep.  Yeah, we are a little bit more relaxed and take the things as they come, and if I miss a shot, I miss a shot, I'm going to try to do better on the next one.  But definitely sleeping issue, it's a problem.

Topics: Kingsmill Championship, Creamer, Paula, Shin, Jiyai, Icher, Karine