CME Group Titleholders Second Round Notes and Interviews

CME Group Titleholders
Tiburón Golf Club
Naples, Florida
Second-Round Notes and Interviews
November 22, 2013

Sandra Gal -11, Rolex Rankings No. 52
Sun Young Yoo -8, Rolex Rankings No. 46
Cristie Kerr -6, Rolex Rankings No. 13
Pornanong Phatlum -6, Rolex Rankings No. 57
Inbee Park -4, Rolex Rankings No. 1
Lydia Ko -2, Rolex Rankings No. 5

Rolex Rankings No. 52 Sandra Gal extended her lead at the season-ending CME Group Titleholders to three shots after a 3-under 69 in the second round on Friday. Gal’s two-day total of 11-under 133 leads South Korea’s Sun Young Yoo. Yoo carded back-to-back rounds of 68 and sits in solo second at 8-under par. A trio of players is in a tie for third at 6-under par including Americans Cristie Kerr and Gerina Piller and Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum.

Gal, whose only win on Tour came at the 2011 Kia Classic, said she was feeling some nerves to start Firday’s second round holding the lead over one of the Tour’s strongest fields. She said the breezier conditions at Tiburon Golf Club proved to give players more of a challenge on day two.

“I think I was a little nervous in the start but it was also quite tough out there,” said Gal.  “It was a lot windier than yesterday so all the holes played really different.  It took me a little bit to kind of get used to the conditions and hitting more 3-woods instead of drivers because a lot of the shots were crosswinds or into the wind.  So I just was trying to keep the ball down a little bit or straighter, which is easier with a 3-wood.  It took me a while to get used to that.  As you said, I like the back nine, I think there's more birdie opportunities there and it was nice to just drop a couple putts in the end.”

Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park shot even-par 72 on Friday and sits seven shots off the lead in a tie for ninth at 4-under par. Park will receive the Rolex Player of the Year award on Friday night at the Ritz Carlton Golf Resort at the Rolex Awards Celebration. Park said she’s used to pressure situations on the course but will be much more nervous giving a speech in front of hundreds of people.

“I mean, this year there were moments they had a lot more pressure than the speech, that's for sure.  I'm just trying to enjoy the speech today,” said Park. “I'm sure I'm going to be nervous up there once everybody just looking at me and having the spotlight, I'm sure.  Golf, if you make a mistake it's not forgiven, but up there I make a mistake and do it again, that's okay so I guess that makes it easier.”

No. 2 Suzann Pettersen (72-72) and No. 3 Stacy Lewis (71-73) are in a tie for 33rd at even par. No. 5 Lydia Ko shot her second-consecutive round of 71 and is nine shots back in a tie for 23rd.


Tonight’s the night…
South Korean Inbee Park may not have had the best start to the season-ending CME Group Titleholders, sitting seven shots behind the lead in a tie for ninth at 4-under. But the No. 1 player in the Rolex Rankings isn’t going to let her start ruin her day, as tonight she’ll be recognized as the 2013 Rolex Player of the Year.

“The last hole was just a bad second shot and it was a disappointing round today with the putting and with the iron shots, distance controls, but I'm not going to, you know, make the whole -- I'm not going to make this ruin my day,” said Park. “I have a more important thing coming in today.  It's a little bit disappointing, but it's not finished yet.  We have two more days to go so I still feel good about the day.”

At tonight’s Rolex Awards Celebration, Park will become the first South Korean to earn the prestigious award.

“I'm so glad I became the first Player of the Year,” said Park. “That's been something I've been going for all year and I've been really stressing about it in the last half of the season and I finally got it done and this week's stress fee and I'm just trying to enjoy the week.”


Major expectations:
Sun Young Yoo was crowned a major champion at the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Champions and while the victory boosted Yoo’s confidence on the course, it also acted as a bit of a burden on the South Korean. She turned to a perfectionist attitude and said both her mental game and her swing took a toll.

“After the tournament I was pushing myself a little too hard, so it was kind of stressful for me because I want to play better and better every week,” said Yoo. “So at the same time I had my confidence after winning the tournament, I felt like oh, I can win the big tournament so it was a little bit of both.”

Yoo has recorded only five top 10’s in 41 starts since she made her leap into Poppie’s Pond. She said just playing well is enough motivation for her this week and hasn’t really thought much about the $700,000 winner’s purse that will be awarded on Sunday.

“It's not about money, it's the last tournament of the year so I want to finish good so I can feel better for next year, also if I play good,” said Yoo.


Needing a Recovery…
Sixteen-year LPGA Tour veteran Cristie Kerr wasn’t too happy opening Friday’s second round with a double bogey on the first hole followed by a bogey on the third. Faced with a formidable comeback to her 3-under start she posted yesterday, Kerr quickly shook it off and managed to make the turn with three straight birdies on Nos. 6, 7 and 8.

Kerr said she managed to get her round under control with a par on the par-3 fifth hole.

‘[On No. 5] I had really horrible shot in the bunker, got up and down and that was really kind of the tide turner because if I had gone to 4 over after 5 it would have been really demoralizing and I have a lot of golf left,” said Kerr.

Kerr posted another birdie on the No. 12 but it was all thanks to an eagle on the par-5 17th that Kerr crept up to the leaderboard to sit in a tie for third at 6-under and five shots off the lead.

“I mean I was just due, I don't know how to describe it any other way than that,” said Kerr. “I hit a great drive -- well, not a great drive, but enough to I could get there in two and then I was -- they're really quiet up there.  In between hybrid and 5-wood.  Hybrid wasn't going to carry the bunker, so I said I'll just try and hit anywhere on the green and it ended up going to the back and I made it.”

Kerr credits her new caddie, Craig Castrale, for her change in focus after the rough start.

“He takes care of me out there and he's got good intuition,” said Kerr. “He used to play college golf.  He's Nicole's husband, obviously you guys know that.  We were having fun out there and he never got down on me.  He was like c'mon, you've got to kick yourself in the butt right now and just whatever it takes to make it happen.  So I got more focused.  I was just so tentative starting out the way I started the 1st hole thinking you're going to pull off a shot getting it on the green and you'll have an ease into your day, and then bam, you get slapped in the face.  So that's kind of the way the round started, but I'm proud of the way I came back.”


No difference:
Lydia Ko hasn’t made a resounding statement in her professional debut just yet this week in Naples but the 16-year is well aware that there is a lot of golf to be played. She said her strong play on the weekends in her LPGA Tour appearances this year was not a proactive strategy.

“I don't know if that's strategy, I'm not trying to do it, but yeah, hopefully I'll score better the next two days,” said Ko.  “We're only halfway there.  You know, I think I'm playing all right, so if I can get that going and hopefully some putts will drop and I'll be okay.”

Ko said she hasn’t felt any different out on the course now that she has the ‘professional’ tag next to her name. She played alongside No. 3 Stacy Lewis on Friday and said that

“Stacy did ask if anything felt different and I said, ‘oh, not really, it doesn't feel too different,” said Ko. “She said yeah, that does make sense, it shouldn't feel really that different.’ It's still me playing golf.  The sport hasn't changed, a lot of the competitors haven't changed.  I think it's the same, no big changes.”

Ko posted consecutive rounds of 71 the first two days but said she felt better on Friday.

“I thought I played much better today than yesterday but the score was the same,” said Ko. “I left a couple of my putts short just in front of the hole.  Then when I got my speed right, the direction was wrong, so that was kind of frustrating.  It did get a little bit windy at the start, but I was lucky to start on the back nine which I think is easier.”

Tweet of the Day: “Exciting news! Great job @LPGACommish! “@lpga: Video: Here's today's full @LPGA 2014 schedule announcement! #LPGA14 http://tinyurl.com/m786l9r” - @Karrie_Webb, on LPGA schedule release

 

SANDRA GAL, Rolex Rankings No. 52

MODERATOR:  I'd like to welcome Sandra Gal into the interview room.  Sandra, another great round for you.  You seem to really like the back nine.  Just talk about your day and what was working well.

SANDRA GAL:  Yeah, I think I was a little nervous in the start but it was also quite tough out there.  It was a lot windier than yesterday so all the holes played really different.  It took me a little bit to kind of get used to the conditions and hitting more 3-woods instead of drivers because a lot of the shots were crosswinds or into the wind.  So I just was trying to keep the ball down a little bit or straighter, which is easier with a 3-wood.  It took me a while to get used to that.  As you said, I like the back nine, I think there's more birdie opportunities there and it was nice to just drop a couple putts in the end.

MODERATOR:  Yesterday you were saying that it's the last tournament of the year, you're going to pull out all the stops and play with so much aggression.  How have you carried that mindset into today and how will you carry that into the weekend? 

SANDRA GAL:  I think I was a little less aggressive today, but it was a combination of the weather and the pin positions.  I don't know how many miles per hour the wind was blowing, 20 miles per hour or something.  It's hard to kind of go for pins that are tucked and shaved off.  So I was trying to work the ball from the center of the green towards the pins hitting draws and fades.  So still staying aggressive but a little bit more smart maybe.

Q.  Sandra, were you surprised with the wind making it hard that you've been able to open up a three-shot lead, get a little bit of separation from everybody going into the weekend?

SANDRA GAL:  Am I surprised?  Yes, maybe a little bit.  I think my advantage was yesterday.  Today I played solid, but shooting 8-under yesterday was big, especially since the conditions got tough, and today it was hard for other people to catch up so I think that's what gave me that three-shot lead.

Q.  Can you take us hole by -- not hole by hole, but shot by shot through 17?

SANDRA GAL:  Oh, well, I hooked it into the trees and I was happy to find my ball, and I had a swing, which was very happy.  So it was pretty much like bubba golf -- you have a swing, you're happy.  I got it down there and then I just had an 8 iron in and I was thinking, okay, 8 iron, that's go range so let's go for the pin and I almost holed it out.  It just pitched right on the edge of the cup and then I made the putt.  So it was very simple.  I mean, never in doubt.

Q.  Is that one of the holes that you can maybe -- obviously like you said yesterday was a great round, but this is maybe the difference between maybe being even after today and being up by 3, don't you think?

SANDRA GAL:  Yeah, true.  But on the other side it's a reachable par 5, so if you hit a decent drive you should be going in in two and you should have a birdie chance anyways, so I think I just kind of saved it.

Q.  How long was the putt?

SANDRA GAL:  15 feet.

Q.  Sandra, I know at the beginning of the year you weren't happy with your swing and you were really searching.  Can you talk about how your confidence has evolved since then and maybe how much Gary Gilchrist has to do with that?

SANDRA GAL:  Yeah, definitely.  I started working with Gary in April and he simplified a lot of things, just kind of shortened my swing a little bit and then worked on a lot of ball shaping.  So if you watch me warm up in the morning, that's all I do is hitting just draws and fades and high, low.  I think it really suits this golf course and I think from this kind of more of a childlike attitude just playing more, seeing the shot, reacting to it, that gave me a lot of confidence.  Less thinking.

Q.  How much have you been motivated by not playing in the Solheim Cup?  How disappointing was that for you and did that sort of get you going or did you feel like you were already on the way up even before that?

SANDRA GAL:  I was very disappointed not being on the Solheim Cup team, but my good play after that had nothing to do with the fact that I wasn't nominated.  My good play was coming probably three weeks before the Solheim Cup, which was too late.  So I understand the captain's decision that I wasn't picked.  My good playing now is just a result of the work before. 

MODERATOR:  Sandra, we have a really exciting night tonight at the Rolex Awards celebration.  Can you just kind of tell everybody what you're going to be doing tonight on the red carpet?

SANDRA GAL:  I'll be doing your job, everyone else's job.  I'll be interviewing all the girls that are coming to the Rolex Awards tonight and I'm going to ask them questions, fun questions hopefully, and I'm looking forward to that.

MODERATOR:  Have you thought about what you're going to wear and how you're going to do your hair?

SANDRA GAL:  Not too much.  Yeah, I have a couple options but I'm not really too worried about that.  I just had my head into playing and I'm just going to enjoy tonight.  It's all about the people who get honored tonight, it's not about me, so I'll just be asking questions.

Q.  Can you write this story before you go do their job, too?

SANDRA GAL:  Write the story?

Q.  You're doing everyone else's job today, right?

SANDRA GAL:  Right, right, but I'm not going to write a story, no, sorry.

Q.  I know you play for wins, but as the weekend goes on will it be hard to ignore $700,000 for first place?

SANDRA GAL:  Yeah, it's probably always easier to say I don't care about the money, I just want to play well.  Everyone says that, but do they really mean it, right?  I am still going to say that and I'm still going to try and mean it because I'm not out here to play for the money, really.  I'm out here with my heart.  I want to play my best game and inspire other young people to play well.  Obviously it's a huge purse, but at the end of the day I think when you win a tournament, you're happy about fighting and overcoming some fear or just playing confident, hitting good shots, but you're not motivated by oh, I'm going to have some money in my bank account.

Q.  When you won the Kia you were 16-under.  Do you remember the last time you were in double digits under par?

SANDRA GAL:  I was a few times in the last few weeks, I think.  I'm not quite sure.  Even this year, but I really don't know.

Q.  What do you think will be the key to maintaining that here for the next couple days and taking a shot at winning this thing?

SANDRA GAL:  It depends on the weather.  If it stays like this, you've got to be patient and probably not be as "go for it" as I was yesterday.  If the wind calms down, you will have to play more aggressive because obviously, you know, you can score on this course, there's reachable par 5s, so everyone's going to go low, so it all depends on the weather.

MODERATOR:  Thanks so much for coming in and good luck this week.

SANDRA GAL:  Thank you. 

 

SUN YOUNG YOO, Rolex Rankings No. 46

MODERATOR:  I’d like to welcome in Rolex Rankings No. 46, Sun Young Yoo, into the interview room.  Sun Young, thanks for coming in.  4-under today, 68, you're 8-under for the tournament after two rounds, currently 2nd.  Tell us how you're feeling.  You're playing some very, very good golf.
SUN YOUNG YOO:  Yes, last two days I played really well, so I'm very pleased the way I played the last couple days.  I'm in good position to play next two days so I'm very happy.

MODERATOR:  You got to play with Inbee today, you said you go a little ways back.  Talk about playing with her today and trying to play off of her greatness and playing alongside of her.
SUN YOUNG YOO:  It's always fun to play with her because we had a chat a little bit outside golf, we had a good time. 

MODERATOR:  What do you guys chat about, anything nongolf?
SUN YOUNG YOO:  Yeah, private. 

MODERATOR:  Don't share, that's fine.  You said one of your best shots was on 18.  Take us through that shot.
SUN YOUNG YOO:  It was about 166 to the front of the green, which I wanted to land, and the wind was helping left to right but the pin was on the left side so it was hard to get close.  Then I hit 6 iron to little right side of the green and even it didn't get close, I still think that was the best shot of the day.

MODERATOR:  Did you see this good play coming at all?  I know you said you've kind of been struggling, kind of trying to be a perfectionist, you've had some struggles mentally, with your swing.  Did you see this coming at all or were things starting to piece together?
SUN YOUNG YOO:  Yeah, last couple weeks I feel like my game is coming back and I had my friend traveling with me and she used to play on this Tour, so she knows golf and she really helped me with everything.

MODERATOR:  What's her name?
SUN YOUNG YOO:  Her name is (indiscernible) Park.  She's married to my coach.  She knows about my swing, so yeah, she really helps me.

Q.  How much tougher did today play because of the wind?
SUN YOUNG YOO:  Yeah, it was a little different because yesterday was so calm so we played a little bit shorter and today was little bit windy, so we had couple long holes, par 4 like No. 18.  It was a little bit tougher.

MODERATOR:  What would the $700,000 winner's check mean to you?  I know you said this year's been up and down, you had a lot of struggles to finish out with that or even just a top finish.  Would that make things better?  How would that be in terms of success of the season?
SUN YOUNG YOO:  Yeah, definitely.  It's not about money, it's the last tournament of the year so I want to finish good so I can feel better for next year, also if I play good.

Q.  The former pro player that you talked about, what kind of tips did she give you?  Was it either during the round or before the round?
SUN YOuNG YOO:  Like before the round and after the round, just talk about what was wrong when I missed a shot and stuff like that.

Q.  Did she actually talk about either mechanics -- does she talk mechanics with you?
SUN YOUNG YOO:  If I ask, but not much, more like rhythm and just simple things.

Q.  When did she play on the Tour?
SUN YOUNG YOO:  I think her last year was 2007, 8.

Q.  What was her name? 
SUN YOUNG YOO:  (indiscernible)

Q.  Because you had three relatively early birdies, did your strategy change as the day went on with the wind and how you were playing and all?
SUN YOUNG YOO:  Yeah, it kind of got me going through the round, but it was tough.  I just wanted to make par every hole, that's all we want, but the three birdies definitely helped.

MODERATOR:  The last win was at the Kraft, major championship, what a huge milestone in your career.  I know you said the pressure with being a major champion, you feel you should be winning every week and to win that type of prestigious tournament.  Have you been able to kind of manage expectations?  I know you said you were very hard on yourself following that and not playing well.  Do you think you're at the point where you're handling those expectations?
SUN YOUNG YOO:  Yeah, after the tournament I was pushing myself a little too hard, so it was kind of stressful for me because I want to play better and better every week.  So at the same time I had my confidence after winning the tournament, I felt like oh, I can win the big tournament so it was a little bit of both. 

MODERATOR:  Anything to do to relax?  I know you said you're very intense on the course and you're known as a very relaxed and funny player actually off the course.  Talk about your off-course interests for people who don't know you too well.
SUN YOUNG YOO:  Actually, I don't do too much off the course because I feel like I'm so tired after playing, so I just go right to room and just lay down and watch TV and relax.

 

CRISTIE KERR, Rolex Rankings No. 13

CRISTIE KERR:  Really bad start.  Tried to pull off a shot on the 1st hole I had no business pulling off and just barely didn't pull it off, went in the water, made double.  Like it was a good double, too.  I ended up taking a drop in the pine straw and then I hit it in the pine straw again and almost holed it.  

Q.  What did you have left on your second?

CRISTIE KERR:  No, I actually thought I hit a pretty good tee shot and we thought it kicked straight and it kicked straight and then it kicked left like into the left stuff and I was just trying to punch an 8 iron out, had a little tree issue in the backswing.  I hit a good shot out but I kind of hooked it trying to get more on it, so then I had the trees kind of in my way and there was an opening in the trees for my third shot and I thought I could pull it off and I didn't pull it off.

Q.  What did you try to pull it off with?

CRISTIE KERR:  6 iron.  In hindsight trying to hit it over a tree, probably should have taken more loft than less loft.  I could have got it on the front of the green with a 7 iron and that was probably the play.  It was kind of stupid.

Q.  So three in the water, four out, dropping in the pine straw?

CRISTIE KERR:  Yeah, five over the green.  I almost holed the sixth shot from the pine straw trying to bump through it through like up in the green, hit the pin.  Probably would have been 10 feet instead of two.  I got up and down for a 7.

Q.  I wanted to ask you about 17 actually.

CRISTIE KERR:  Well, then I just hit this horrendous iron on 3, a bad chip and then I actually -- 4 was okay, 5 really horrible shot in the bunker, got up and down and that was really kind of the tide turner because if I had gone to 4 over after 5 it would have been really demoralizing and I have a lot of golf left.  I tell it the way it is. 

I can make a lot of birdies and I snapped something into my head and I'm like I'm swinging tentative at it.  We haven't played in the wind in a while, and three birdies in a row and almost made birdie on 9.  Then I had a lot of good shots on the back and actually missed, you know, like a 10-footer on 15 and 14.  Then on 17, I mean I was just due, I don't know how to describe it any other way than that.  I hit a great drive -- well, not a great drive, but enough to I could get there in two and then I was -- they're really quiet up there.  In between hybrid and 5-wood.  Hybrid wasn't going to carry the bunker, so I said I'll just try and hit anywhere on the green and it ended up going to the back and I made it.

Q.  How far?

CRISTIE KERR:  How far is that?  60-something feet.  

Q.  You're right in this.  After the start that you had and the way you closed out, you're right near the top right now.

CRISTIE KERR:  Yeah, huge.  Honestly I got so PO'd like I wasn't going to let this tournament go down the toilet.  So I just, yeah, I just got really determined and I said I don't care if I'm not hitting it great, I'm going to have to just be better mentally and today mentally was a struggle, too.  So I just made it happen out there and that's the kind of round I needed today in the wind.

Q.  When you had the birdies, were you just close with your irons?

CRISTIE KERR:  Yeah, on the par 5 I made about a 10-footer.  The next hole I made about a 15-footer, then like about an eight-footer.  And then the other birdies I made were I think I made about a 15-footer on the par 3 or 12-footer, something like that.  It's been a while.

Q.  What did you do, pump fist?

CRISTIE KERR:  I just went like this.  I was like this going don't stop, don't be short.  He was on the side, he could see it had the speed but I couldn't see it had the speed.  I could see that it had the line.  I thought it was going to stop like a roll short of the hole.  I was like don't stop, please don't stop.  It looked good the whole way.

Q.  How would a $700,000 payday shape your mind going into the off season?

CRISTIE KERR:  Very nicely, thank you.

Q.  I mean, it's a huge purse.

CRISTIE KERR:  Yeah, I mean, I want to get another win this season.  I've got a caddie change the last couple weeks but Craig's great.  He takes care of me out there and he's got good intuition.  He used to play college golf.  He's Nicole's husband, obviously you guys know that.  We were having fun out there and he never got down on me.  He was like c'mon, you've got to kick yourself in the butt right now and just whatever it takes to make it happen.  So I got more focused.  I was just so tentative starting out the way I started the 1st hole thinking you're going to pull off a shot getting it on the green and you'll have an ease into your day, and then bam, you get slapped in the face.  So that's kind of the way the round started, but I'm proud of the way I came back.

Q.  You seem like a good butt kicker, though.  Do you ever have problems getting back, getting mopey?

CRISTIE KERR:  Sometimes.  Like the first round last week in Mexico, I just was like too, I don't know, just not fiery, not like PO'd at myself, you know?  When it's like that, you need somebody to like hit you over the head with a two by four and kick yourself in the butt and say let's go.  You can't get down on yourself.  If you're going to play professional golf, you're going to have starts like that, you have to be able to bring it back.

Q.  What happened to Worth? 

CRISTIE KERR:  It was just time, it was just time, it really was.  We kind of said we were going to go as long as we were having fun together and it wasn't fun for a while.  So I got a couple wins with him, and before the first win I was kind of feeling oh, maybe I should switch.  Then we won and then we won again, and then it wasn't fun for a while.  I have total and utmost respect for Worth, he's a great caddie.  It was just kind of time.

Q.  How long were you guys together this time?

CRISTIE KERR:  A little over a year, year and a half maybe, year and a half maybe.  His mom had a horrific -- he came over to China, he shouldn't have.  His mom almost died, fell down the stairs, broke her neck and it couldn't have been on his -- it was totally on his mind the whole time in Asia, too.  So it was just kind of time.

Q.  I want to clarify something, the turning point for you was the horrible shot into the bunker where you got up and down?

CRISTIE KERR:  Yeah, I made about a 10-footer.

Q.  That was 5, right?

CRISTIE KERR:  On 5, yeah.

Q.  So the schedule came out today. 

CRISTIE KERR:  Did it?

Q.  Yes.

CRISTIE KERR:  Not January?

Q.  Yes, isn't that great?

CRISTIE KERR:  We can actually plan for things now?  That's cool.

Q.  First tournament's in April.

CRISTIE KERR:  The Masters?

Q.  32 events plus Crown, so a sizeable increase, five new events.

CRISTIE KERR:  So did Nantucket get on the schedule?

Q.  No?

CRISTIE KERR:  I was going to say before Asia, I mean --

Q.  The second Asia event --

CRISTIE KERR:  I think, you know, he knew it was going to be a couple years to be able to get it to this point and he's not satisfied because I had a talk with him this week about it.  I still can't believe it's released already, that's fabulous.  He's doing that, he's trying to arrange them so it's a little easier travel schedule for us so when we go overseas we're over there for tons of time and then we're here, we're here for tons of time.  He has a focus on -- we have a lot of international events, but he has a focus on getting more in the U.S. and making the schedule flow better.  It's going to be another three to five years until we get it where we want it in my opinion.

PORNANONG PHATLUM, Rolex Rankings No. 56

Q.  Nice round, just a couple shots off the lead.  Just talk about your round and what was working well today.
PORNANONG PHATLUM:  Today had a good, better than yesterday and like hitting straight and like not miss the green much and I'm happy with today and my caddie helped me a lot like mental.

Q.  How did he help you mentally today?
PORNANONG PHATLUM:  Like he talked, made me (indiscernible.)

Q.  You're coming off a tie for 5th at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational where you were leading for a couple rounds.  Just talk about maybe how that helped you into this week in keeping up that momentum?
PORNANONG PHATLUM:  I think like experience last week and I got confident on my game and like I try hard on my game to get better and I hope I can like get champion on the tournament on LPGA.

Q.  I know you've been looking for your first win for a while.  How nice would it be to have that at the last event?  How would you feel if you got it here?
PORNANONG PHATLUM:  I just enjoy my game and like enjoy this week.  Yeah, last week on the LPGA, just have fun, yeah.

Q.  Do you have anything exciting planned for the off season?
PORNANONG PHATLUM:  No.

Q.  After the season's over, you don't have anything?
PORNANONG PHATLUM:  I have the Dubai.

Q.  What's your mindset going into tomorrow's round?
PORNANONG PHATLUM:  It just going to be like no pressure myself and have fun tomorrow and like play shot by shot.  I know everyone want to win except me, yeah.  Just try my best.


INBEE PARK, Rolex Rankings No. 1

Q.  Six shots back of the lead, but I have to congratulate you right off the bat for achieving Rolex Player of the Year honor.  You sewed that up last week.  You're the first player from South Korean to earn that honor.  Can you describe how proud you are at that moment?
INBEE PARK:  I'm so glad I became the first Player of the Year.  That's been something I've been going for all year and I've been really stressing about it in the last half of the season and I finally got it done and this week's stress fee and I'm just trying to enjoy the week.

Q.  You said when you sewed it up last week finishing 4th you felt like it was your 4th major and that you could relax this week.  Why was it so pressure filled for you?
INBEE PARK:  I mean, I think because at the end of the season and first six wins I had and I felt like Player of the Year was mine because I had such a big lead.  After that I struggled a little bit and then Suzann and Stacy played very, very good and gave me a challenge.  And then it was actually I had to play really good to finish it off.  Yeah, I did my work and it was definitely worth it.

Q.  Can you give us a little sneak preview on what you're going to say tonight as you accept the award?
INBEE PARK:  Yeah, it's going to be a little bit of a surprise because I'm not a person that talks a lot, and for me to talk for like 10 minutes is going to surprise everyone.  Yeah, wait to see.  I can't tell you here.

Q.  Well, we look forward to seeing what you're going to wear and what you're going to say.  Congratulations again and have a good weekend as well.
Q.  Talk about today.  Was a bit of an adventure for you, was it?

INBEE PARK:  Yeah, I started off really good, made some putts earlier in the round.  Then just the back nine, my iron shots, the distance was really on and off I think because the wind.  Some holes was affected by the wind, some holes it wasn't, it was tough to judge. 

The last hole was just a bad second shot and it was a disappointing round today with the putting and with the iron shots, distance controls, but I'm not going to, you know, make the whole -- I'm not going to make this ruin my day.  I have a more important thing coming in today.  It's a little bit disappointing, but it's not finished yet.  We have two more days to go so I still feel good about the day.

Q.  So Yeon Ryu said that she thinks that you're going to be inspiring to the next generation of golfers, not just your play but your independence and your just happiness.  Can you talk about what that means, that it's just how you go about the game and not just your results?
INBEE PARK:  I think the young generations of Korean golfers has to learn being yourself, that you be the center instead of other people trying to drive you.  I think that's one thing that you really have to learn.  Second, you really have to enjoy the game.  I mean, if you don't like playing golf and even if you're good at it, you're not happy and you're unfortunate playing golf even if you're good.  I think that's a couple things that's really important.

Q.  Where do you get that independent streak from?
INBEE PARK:  I don't know, I think being, you know, in America at such a young age.  American culture, you are independent right after high school and I think that's been what I've been really growing up with.  I think I'm really a good mixture of Korean culture and American culture.  I think I try to take the good side of each side and try to mix it up a little bit.

Q.  That second shot, pretty tough shot?
INBEE PARK:  It wasn't that tough shot actually.  I think I could have easily put it on the green, but I think I got too scared, too much club, I was going to hit it too fat and I took too small swing.

Q.  Are you more nervous about having to give this speech than any golf shot you've hit this year?
INBEE PARK:  I mean, this year there were moments they had a lot more pressure than the speech, that's for sure.  I'm just trying to enjoy the speech today.  I'm sure I'm going to be nervous up there once everybody just looking at me and having the spotlight, I'm sure.  Golf, if you make a mistake it's not forgiven, but up there I make a mistake and do it again, that's okay so I guess that makes it easier.

Q.  Are you done with your speech?  Did you stay up late working on it?

INBEE PARK:  I probably worked like an hour every day, yeah.

LYDIA KO, Rolex Rankings No. 5

Q.  Just talk about your round.  What was working for you today?
LYDIA KO:  I thought I played much better today than yesterday but the score was the same.  Yeah, I left a couple of my putts short just in front of the hole.  Then when I got my speed right, the direction was wrong, so that was kind of frustrating.  It did get a little bit windy at the start, but I was lucky to start on the back nine which I think is easier.

Q.  Now talk about the two different nines.  A lot of people are saying the back nine plays a little easier than the front.
LYDIA KO:  Yeah, a couple of the holes are I think slightly shorter, so I thought there were many more opportunities on the back.  Like today, 17, you could go for in two on the par 5.  Yeah, I think there are a little bit more opportunities.  Holes like 2 where the green kind of falls off on both sides.

Q.  I feel like every time I watch you you're kind of silent on the first two days and then you make your biggest statements on the weekends, on Saturday and Sunday.  Do you feel like that's maybe your strategy or just kind of how your golf game goes?
LYDIA KO:  I don't know if that's strategy, I'm not trying to do it, but yeah, hopefully I'll score better the next two days.  We're only halfway there.  You know, I think I'm playing all right, so if I can get that going and hopefully some putts will drop and I'll be okay.

Q.  Are you going to the Rolex Awards tonight?
LYDIA KO:  No.

Q.  That's okay, I was just going to ask you about that.  Talk about who you played with today.
LYDIA KO:  I played with Chella and Stacy.  I played with them a couple times before.  It wasn't a whole different group.

Q.  Did they talk to you at all about like maybe what it's like making your professional debut today or any advice or anything like that?
LYDIA KO:  Stacy did ask if anything felt different and I said, oh, not really, it doesn't feel too different.  And yeah, I said, well, it doesn't feel that different.  She said yeah, that does make sense, it shouldn't feel really that different.

Q.  Yesterday Stacy was saying that she remembered when she turned professional and really the only thing that changed was that you just check a different box when you check in.  Do you feel the same way?  
LYDIA KO:  Yeah, you know, it's still me playing golf.  The sport hasn't changed, a lot of the competitors haven't changed.  I think it's the same, no big changes.

Topics: Notes and Interviews, CME Group Tour Championship, Gal, Sandra, Kerr, Cristie, Ko, Lydia, Park, Inbee, Phatlum, Pornanong, Yoo, Sun Young [+]