CN Canadian Women's Open First-Round Notes and Interviews

CN Canadian Women’s Open
Royal Mayfair Golf Club
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
First-round Notes and Interviews
August 22, 2013


Angela Stanford -5, Rolex Rankings No. 16
Lydia Ko -5, Rolex Rankings No. 19
Cristel Boeljon -5, Rolex Rankings No. 120
Paula Creamer -4, Rolex Rankings No. 11
Cristie Kerr -4, Rolex Rankings No. 12
Inbee Park -3, Rolex Rankings No. 1
Jennifer Kirby -3, Rolex Rankings No. 560
Charley Hull -1, Rolex Rankings No. 147

Defending champion Lydia Ko got off to a great start in her title defense at the CN Canadian Women’s Open after shooting a 5-under par 65 in Thursday’s first round at Royal Mayfair Golf Club in Edmonton. The 16-year old New Zealand resident holds a share of the first-round lead with American Angela Stanford and Cristel Boeljon of The Netherlands. Ko was paired with 17-year old and European Solheim Cup team member Charley Hull (69) and 22-year old Canadian pro Jennifer Kirby (67) and said the solid play of the entire group played a part in her strong opening round.

“I started off really well with a birdie, but when I have a birdie on the first hole I haven't really played that well,” said Ko.”I was kind of nervous that I did make a birdie on the first.  But I guess birdies are good, and I think I played pretty solid today.

“But I think I played good because the whole group seemed to play good and make lots of birdies, so we were in a really good rhythm as a whole group.”

The trio of young players combined to card 14 birdies and all said that they didn’t feel inexperienced.

“It didn't really feel like young players,” said Hull. “I think we're all kind of like mature.”

Kirby added that all three players kept a good pace throughout the first round.
 
“And quick,” said Kirby. “That was nice.”

Kirby carded four birdies and a bogey en route to a 3-under 67 and is currently two shots off the lead in a tie for sixth. The Paris, Ontario native and University of Alabama alum said that playing in the LPGA’s first stop in Canada at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in July made a huge difference in her comfort level coming into this week.

“I think that it really helped that I played in the Manulife earlier this season and I had a good tournament there, so I think that kind of eased the nerves into this one,” said Kirby. “I felt very comfortable out there and ended up making a few putts, and good round.”

Co-leader Angela Stanford, who was bogey-free in her round of 65 on Thursday, said she needed to tighten things up off the tee this week. Transitioning from playing at the wide-open Colorado Golf Club last week at the Solheim Cup to the narrow fairways at Royal Mayfair was a priority in her game plan.

“I hit it really well today, really solid, and I've been hitting it solid.  I think finally the ball found the bottom of the hole a little bit faster,” said Stanford. “I think if you can keep it in the fairways on this golf course, you'll have chances at birdie.”

“My instructor has said that when you have wide‑open fairways, a lot of times your swing gets kind of loose because you can miss it more than normal and still hit a fairway.  So I had to really kind of focus in and get lined up correctly, because they are way more narrow.”

Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park shot a first-round, 3-under 67 and is currently two shots off the lead in a tie for sixth.

Helpful ace: Third-year LPGA Tour member Christel Boeljon had an uneventful first 14 holes in the first round of the CN Canadian Women’s Open. But she went birdie-eagle-birdie on Nos. 15-17 to move in to a share of the lead. Boeljon recorded her first LPGA hole-in-one on the 16th hole at Royal Mayfair and said the ace definitely gave her the boost she needed. She holed out from 126 yards with a 9-iron and blamed the sun for not being able to capture the moment.

“I only realized it by the lady that was behind the green that put her hands up, and I was like, I guess it's in, because we couldn't see with the sun,” said Boeljon. “Everyone was high‑fiving, so we got up to the hole, and we see it's in. It helps your score out a lot.”

Boeljon followed it up with a birdie on No. 17 and settled for par on her final hole to finish at 5-under-par and with a share of the lead. It marks the first time the Purdue University product has led or co-led after the first round in her career.

“It's just nice,” said Boeljon. “You know, it's nothing other than you hole a few putts, and I'm lucky that I hit that shot into the hole.  But you do it more often, and for me it didn't feel anything different, it's just you try to just do your thing.  Go through your routine again, just try to play shot by shot.  My finishing hole I had a good bounce from the bunker, and yeah, just pleased with my game at the moment.”

Moving On: Angela Stanford didn’t have the week she hoped for at last week’s Solheim Cup. The U.S. Solheim Cup veteran didn’t tally a single point in her four matches in the event and no one felt worse about that than the Fort Worth, Texas resident.

But Stanford showed her resiliency on Thursday, bouncing back from last week’s disappointment by shooting 65 in the opening round of the CN Canadian Women’s Open to sit in a tie for the lead with defending champion Lydia Ko.

“Try to take positives from it,” Stanford said of her play at the Solheim Cup. “I don't know, it's hard because I'm the only one that has to live with it.  I'm the one that it's probably haunting the most.  So it's been really hard.  I've thought about going home a few times, and I just don't think that would be ‑‑ the best thing was for me to get back on the horse.  I had to get out and play and I guess just try to put it behind me.”

Stanford certainly found a way to get her game on track in her bogey-free opening round on Thursday. She hit 8 of 14 fairways and needed just 26 putts en route to shooting 65, which tied her lowest round of the year.

“I hit it really well today, really solid, and I've been hitting it solid,” said Stanford. “I think finally the ball found the bottom of the hole a little bit faster.  I think if you can keep it in the fairways on this golf course, you'll have chances at birdie.”

Tournament of Youth? Last year Lydia Ko became the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history by capturing a victory at the CN Canadian Women’s Open outside Vancouver. Ko, 16, now sits in a tie for the lead again after Round 1 of this year’s event but perhaps it might be another youngster who is chasing her down over the final few days.

Seventeen-year-old Charley Hull, who was paired with Ko on Thursday, put herself into contention by shooting a 1-under 69 in the opening round of this year’s CN Canadian Women’s Open at Royal Mayfair to sit in a tie for 18th. Hull looked like she might sit even higher on the leaderboard prior to bogeying the final two holes in here round.

“I played pretty solid,” Hull said. “I just hit one on 17 and then I missed a silly little putt on 18.  I just feel tired because I haven't been home for six weeks because I had quite a few competitions coming into the British Open, and I was back home for four days and then I come here, and then Solheim.  I'm feeling pretty happy with my game and just going to practice some short putts after for a bit.”

The pairing of Ko, Hull and 22-year-old Canadian Jennifer Kirby was promoted for its youth but the trio certainly didn’t play like newbies to this level of competition. They combined to go 9-under-par for the day with Ko shooting a 5-under 65 and Kirby tallying a 3-under 67.

“I think it's pretty good,” Hull said of twhat the group was able to shoot. “I just see age as just a number.  That's how I see it, because I feel like we're both mature.  It's good to have something because then you can just talk about stuff outside golf, but like on the golf course, no, I don't think Lydia plays like she's 16.”

American onslaught: There was plenty of disappointment felt by the U.S. Solheim Cup Team following their loss last week to the Europeans at Colorado Golf Club outside Denver. But there didn’t appear to be too many lasting effects of the loss based on the performance of those players in Thursday’s first round of the CN Canadian Women’s Open.

Three of the American players found themselves in the top 5 after Thursday’s first round with Angela Stanford tied for the lead at 5-under-par while Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr were tied for fourth after shooting 4-under 66. Brittany Lincicome was also near the top of the leaderboard, as she sat in a tie for 11th at 2-under-par after her opening round.

“I mean, there's no excuses for last week,” said Kerr. “They just played better than us.  We tried as hard as we could.  I mean, that's a team competition.  Somebody could go undefeated and you could lose.  Our first Solheim Cup I won one point and lost four and we ended up winning, so it's kind of an interesting competition like that.  But yeah, I'm glad to be in one‑on‑one competition now and ready to go.”

Kerr had a chance to finish tied for the lead but missed a 5-foot par putt on the 9th hole, her final hole of the day, to finish at 4-under 66.

“It's only the first day, too,” said Kerr. “There's three more days, and you have to play solid for four straight days. Even the person that wins the tournament eventually is going to miss a five‑footer during the week, unless you win by 12.  That's just the way it goes.”

Park back in action: Top-ranked Inbee Park got right back to work after a two-week break from Tour action and opened this week with a 3-under 67 on Thursday. The South Korean said that the dry, warm conditions in Edmonton hardened up the course a bit, allowing her to go with shorter club selection and be more aggressive in her approach shots.

“The course dried out a lot so it played a little bit shorter than it did in the practice round, so I was hitting a little bit shorter irons, so I was able to attack some pins and I was able to make more birdies than I thought I could have made out there,” said Park. “I putted really good out there today, so I feel really good about it.”

Park had 26 putts in her first round, nearly three less than her season average (29.02) and didn’t let a poor start hold her back. She had two bogeys in her first three holes, but didn’t get hung up on her early blunders.

“The first three holes doesn't really mean anything because you still have 15 more holes to play, and I was just 1‑over, and on this golf course that's not that bad of a score,” said Park. “The first couple bogeys were not that bad of shots, but out of the rough it's just tough to judge how much release you're going to get.  I have been getting like 20 to 30 releases, sometimes I get 10, sometimes I get 30, so a couple of bad bounces on the first couple holes were the bogeys.”

She recovered with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 and another set on Nos. 2 and 3. The 25-year old said she’ll be ready for some softer conditions at her 8:15 a.m. tee time on Friday and said how she loves the challenging track at Royal Mayfair.

“Tomorrow morning it'll play a little bit longer probably with the cold weather, but the course is playing very fair, and I think it's a very good challenging course,” said Park.

Praising the course: Paula Creamer played well the last time the CN Canadian Women’s Open was held at Royal Mayfair Golf Club back in 2007. Creamer, who finished runner-up that year at the event, got off to another hot start this year in Edmonton, shooting a 4-under 66 to put herself in a tie for fourth.

“I hit the ball really well,” Creamer said. “I started off with a bogey on the 1st hole but kept giving myself some chances after that and kind of settled down into the round.  8:15 is an early tee time, so my body wasn't quite awake when we were teeing off.  But I finished really strong, started to make some good putts and hit it close.”

One day after Karrie Webb lauded the condition of the golf course here at the Royal Mayfair to a local paper, saying that the course is one of the best conditioned they’ve had on Tour this year, Creamer echoed her sentiments. She also that this course should provide a good test for the player this week.

“I agree with that,” Creamer said of Webb’s assessment. “The golf course has some bounce to the fairways and the rough is really thick, so you miss fairways and you're pretty much in trouble.  You've got to figure out how to salvage a 4.  And the greens are great.  It really is a good test of golf out here, and you've got to be able to put the ball in the right spot.  If not, it's going to be a long day out there.”

Quote of the Day: “I think that they're wise beyond their years and they're both great players, so it wasn't too bad, and I didn't feel too old.” 22-year old Jennifer Kirby on playing with 16-year old Lydia Ko and 17-year old Charley Hull

Of Note…Rolex Rankings No. 2 Stacy Lewis withdrew from this week’s event due to illness after finishing the first round. Lewis shot a 4-over 74 in Thursday’s first round…

 

INBEE PARK, Rolex Rankings No. 1

Q. Just talk about the round, the course, how everything unfolded today.
INBEE PARK:  Well, the course dried out a lot so it played a little bit shorter than it did in the practice round, so I was hitting a little bit shorter irons, so I was able to attack some pins and I was able to make more birdies than I thought I could have made out there.  I putted really good out there today, so I feel really good about it.

Q.  Is that something Brad helped you with a lot in terms of yardages and changing clubs?
INBEE PARK:  Yeah, I mean, a lot of the holes we needed to change our plans, hitting like 3‑wood, 5‑wood off the tee instead of hitting driver almost every hole.  Tomorrow morning it'll play a little bit longer probably with the cold weather, but the course is playing very fair, and I think it's a very good challenging course.

Q.  When you have to do that throughout a round do you think that helps you concentrate and really kind of look into each and every shot in terms of yardage, or when you said you had to change your game plan does that throw you off?
INBEE PARK:  It doesn't, because it's most likely we're hitting a shorter club, and we're almost having the same distance.  I mean, the course was playing a little bit shorter, so it really played to my advantage, hitting a lot of short irons.  I don't mind changing plans.  It always happens in golf.  We don't play the same golf course every day.

Q.  What was the wind like today?
INBEE PARK:  There was no wind out there today, so it was a perfect day for scoring, and also the fairways dried out a lot.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
INBEE PARK:  Well, the first couple bogeys were not that bad of shots, but out of the rough it's just tough to judge how much release you're going to get.  I have been getting like 20 to 30 releases, sometimes I get 10, sometimes I get 30, so a couple of bad bounces on the first couple holes were the bogeys.

Q.  A lot of the girls in the later tee times were struggling with the greens.  Were they really quick in the afternoon?
INBEE PARK:  Well, overall I think the greens are just really quick and pure.  Even if we play in the afternoon, they might quicken up a little bit, but they are still so pure it doesn't get bumpy.  I love these greens.

Q.  Nice little break between the British and here.  What did you do in that time off?
INBEE PARK:  Well, just pretty much everything.  I had to do some things for sponsors, I did some charity work, I did some TV stuff, I did some media, I spent time with family.  I was just really busy.  Everything really kept my busy.

Q.  Why do you think this year has been such a breakout year?  You're at the top; what happened?  How did it evolve?
INBEE PARK:  Well, I think I've played really well in the tournaments that I had chances.  I don't really have a good answer for that.  It just clicked.

Q.  It's amazing how many Korean players are at the top right now.  There's an overall movement.  Why is that?
INBEE PARK:  Since I got on the Tour there was always a lot of Koreans on the top.  I think everybody is just inspiring each other, and when your friends are playing so good, you want to play so good as her.  I think it's really good, and it's pressure for each other.

Q.  You've formed sort of a club almost, haven't you?
INBEE PARK:  There is no clubs, but we hang around a lot together, yeah.

Q.  If somebody sees an issue with your swing, will they tell you?  Do you guys discuss that with each other?
INBEE PARK:  Well, sometimes we try to help each other out on the greens.  Sometimes we help each other out on the swings, yeah.

Q.  If this would have been last year and you hadn't had the start you had, would you have been bothered by your start today, or is it your confidence coming through a little bit that you didn't get rattled when you were down quite low on the leaderboard early?
INBEE PARK:  Well, I mean, the first three holes doesn't really mean anything because you still have 15 more holes to play, and I was just 1‑over, and on this golf course that's not that bad of a score.

 

PAULA CREAMER, Rolex Rankings No. 11

THE MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, everyone.  We'd like to welcome Rolex Rankings No. 11 Paula Creamer into the interview room.  Congratulations, a great 4‑under par round to get this event started.  Take me through the day, what was really working well for you out there.
PAULA CREAMER:  I hit the ball really well.  I started off with a bogey on the 1st hole but kept giving myself some chances after that and kind of settled down into the round.  8:15 is an early tee time, so my body wasn't quite awake when we were teeing off.  But I finished really strong, started to make some good putts and hit it close.

THE MODERATOR:  You were talking about feeling good about your game coming into this week.  Are you starting to see all the changes you've been making really come into fruition?
PAULA CREAMER:  Yeah, a lot of it is confidence and just repeating it over and over again.  Like I said, I hit the ball well last week, and I've been playing well in the last couple of months, it's just putting four good days together.  Things are starting to come around, and it's just a matter of making a couple key putts out there, and we'll see.

THE MODERATOR:  We were talking with some of the players yesterday about the condition of the golf course.  Karrie Webb actually said it's one of the best conditioned golf courses she's seen all year.  How is it playing out there?
PAULA CREAMER:  I agree with that.  The golf course has some bounce to the fairways and the rough is really thick, so you miss fairways and you're pretty much in trouble.  You've got to figure out how to salvage a 4.  And the greens are great.  It really is a good test of golf out here, and you've got to be able to put the ball in the right spot.  If not, it's going to be a long day out there.

Q.  When you look up at the top of the leaderboard and you see Lydia Ko up there leading again after she became the youngest winner last year, you guys have seen her out at a number of events, but how impressive is her game overall?
PAULA CREAMER:  I haven't even looked at a leaderboard.  I don't even know who's leading.

Q.  She's tied for the lead with Angela.
PAULA CREAMER:  I think that's great.  Like I said in the press yesterday, in here, she's a really good player.  She's solid.  She's a good putter.  She's actually a great putter, and that's what this golf course kind of takes is creativity, imagination with the greens, and I would expect to see her name up on the board.  It treats her well, this course.

Q.  Did the course play any different today than it did in the practice rounds?
PAULA CREAMER:  Yes and no.  The fairways are getting pretty bouncy.  I didn't play in the morning here the last couple of days.  I've been pretty much late afternoons, so I've been playing it a little bit firmer.  The mornings are cold here, so the ball doesn't go as far.  So these two days, Thursday, Friday, it's kind of a key because everybody is on opposite waves, and come the weekend you'll be pretty much the same tee times.  But they are; like I said, the fairways are a little bit bouncy, and the greens are pretty receptive, so you can't ‑‑ it's not too hard coming into them.

Q.  Did you make any really long or really short birdies?
PAULA CREAMER:  At 14, par‑5, I hit it just in front of the green and got up‑and‑down, made about a four‑and‑a‑half footer.
           
15, hit it to about, geez, a foot and a half.
           
And then 16, made about a nine‑, ten‑footer.  But had good looks even on 17 and 18 coming down both, maybe eight feet, nine feet on 17 and 18.  So I started to hit the ball really well.

Q.  On 15 what did you hit in there?
PAULA CREAMER:  It was 9‑iron from 125, a little 9.

 

CRISTIE KERR, Rolex Rankings No. 12

Q. Other than 18 how were things going for you today?
CRISTIE KERR:  I played really well.  I barely pulled my tee shot on the last hole and kind of ‑‑ just kind of came a little funny out of the lie in the rough, and I tried to keep my chip under the hole, which I did, but I left too long a putt and I just missed it.  Kind of bounced off line.  It was starting to really bounce towards the end of the day, and luckily I made enough birdies today.

Q.  You're taking minus 4 out of the day rather than bogey on 18 I think would be your lingering ‑‑
CRISTIE KERR:  Yeah, I played too well really to just focus on that.  I'm just going to go hit a couple shots, hit a couple putts and go get some dinner and be back out here tomorrow.

Q.  Course conditions overall?  We've heard the course is in really good condition.
CRISTIE KERR:  It is.  The greens got kind of mushy towards the end of the day, which they do on poanna greens, but all in all they held up really well.  It seemed like when they were in the shadows they got a little bit more bouncy.

Q.  I know in terms of last week was a disappointment for the Americans not winning, but you guys all seem to be playing well, and if you look at the leaderboard there's a bunch of you guys up at the top this week.  Does it just show that the putts just didn't fall last week?
CRISTIE KERR:  Yeah, I mean, there's no excuses for last week.  They just played better than us.  We tried as hard as we could.  I mean, that's a team competition.  Somebody could go undefeated and you could lose.  Our first Solheim Cup I won one point and lost four and we ended up winning, so it's kind of an interesting competition like that.  But yeah, I'm glad to be in one‑on‑one competition now and ready to go.

Q.  And fun to be in the position you're in right now?
CRISTIE KERR:  Definitely.  It's only the first day, too.  There's three more days, and you have to play solid for four straight days.

Q.  Better to be in ‑‑
CRISTIE KERR:  Even the person that wins the tournament eventually is going to miss a five‑footer during the week, unless you win by 12.  That's just the way it goes.

Q.  Is that about how long the last putt was, about five?
CRISTIE KERR:  At least five.  Yeah, about five feet.  Just kind of bounced right in the beginning, and it just never had a chance to stay up.

Q.  You birdied your 15th and 16th holes, right?
CRISTIE KERR:  Yeah, and the putt on the 16th hole bounced as bad as that one and ended up catching the left lip and lipping in.  One misses, one goes in.  That's just the way it is.

 

ANGELA STANFORD, Rolex Rankings No. 16

Q.  Just talk about the round, obviously a very solid round.  Just take me through birdies and all that good stuff.
ANGELA STANFORD:  Do you want me to go birdie by birdie?

Q.  No, just general is fine.
ANGELA STANFORD:  Well, I hit it really well today, really solid, and I've been hitting it solid.  I think finally the ball found the bottom of the hole a little bit faster.  I think if you can keep it in the fairways on this golf course, you'll have chances at birdie.

Q.  Everyone has said the fairways are a lot more narrow just in general so obviously a lot more narrow than last week which were wide open.  Did you have to gauge into that a little bit making sure you were accurate off the tee?
ANGELA STANFORD:  Yeah, playing yesterday in the pro‑am ‑‑ and my instructor has said that when you have wide‑open fairways, a lot of times your swing gets kind of loose because you can miss it more than normal and still hit a fairway.  So I had to really kind of focus in and get lined up correctly, because they are way more narrow.

Q.  Now, you felt like you played well last week, and ball‑striking and everything looked okay.  Did you kind of just push it behind or take positives from it, because you didn't play badly by any means?
ANGELA STANFORD:  Try to take positives from it.  I don't know, it's hard because I'm the only one that has to live with it.  I'm the one that it's probably haunting the most.  So it's been really hard.  I've thought about going home a few times, and I just don't think that would be ‑‑ the best thing was for me to get back on the horse.  I had to get out and play and I guess just try to put it behind me.

Q.  I was going to say, I think you're back ‑‑ how big is that to think you were like, oh, I can't physically and emotionally do it and then get back on track and go low today?
ANGELA STANFORD:  Yeah, it just felt good to get out there and hit the golf ball and just do my best to put it behind me.  I mean, like I said, it's something that I have to live with more than anybody else.

Q.  Was it nicer to kind of slow it down, not have to kind of ‑‑ you're one of the more ‑‑ you're fiery even on normal events, but was it nice for just you and your caddie to get back into that mindset?
ANGELA STANFORD:  Yeah, and they say you learn the most from your losses, and I learned a lot from last week.  A lot of that is I need to learn how to control my emotions, and that hasn't been a secret.  Everybody kind of knows that about me.  It was nice to be more flat‑lined out there today.  I didn't get real upset because I have kind of been ‑‑ the last few days have been tough.  It was just nice to hit the ball.

Q.  Anything about this course that you think might pose a bigger challenge?  A lot of golf to be played, but anything in particular?
ANGELA STANFORD:  I think it's just hitting fairways.  Obviously they're not going to mow the rough, so if you miss fairways you're going to not have opportunities for birdies.

 

LYDIA KO, Rolex Rankings No. 19
CHARLEY HULL, Rolex Rankings No. 147          
JENNIFER KIRBY, Rolex Rankings No. 560

THE MODERATOR:  Good afternoon, everyone.  We'd like to welcome one of our featured pairings today.  We were talking about how the youth was kind of rising in this grouping, and they seemed to deliver on the golf course, as well.  I will introduce, we've got to my immediate left, Charley Hull, shot a 1‑under 69 today; Lydia Ko, defending champion, who shot a 5‑under 65 and is currently tied for the lead; and then Jennifer Kirby, who may be known to you, she's from Canada, she shot a 3‑under 67.  Great rounds by all three of you today.  Lydia, how does it feel to get off to such a hot start in defending your title?
LYDIA KO:  You know, I started off really well with a birdie, but when I have a birdie on the first hole I haven't really played that well.  So yeah, I was kind of nervous that I did make a birdie on the first.  But I guess birdies are good, and I think I played pretty solid today.
           
Yeah, but I think I played good because the whole group seemed to play good and make lots of birdies, so we were in a really good rhythm as a whole group.

THE MODERATOR:  Charley, you're coming off a great week last week at the Solheim Cup where you played very well.  I know probably not the finish you wanted today, finishing with two straight bogeys, but just how overall your round today, how did you feel about your game and how you played?
CHARLEY HULL:  Yeah, I played pretty solid.  I just hit one on 17 and then I missed a silly little putt on 18.  I just feel tired because I haven't been home for six weeks because I had quite a few competitions coming into the British Open, and I was back home for four days and then I come here, and then Solheim.  I'm feeling pretty happy with my game and just going to practice some short putts after for a bit.

THE MODERATOR:  And Jennifer, great start for you, as well.  What is it like when you come back playing in these big events here in Canada?
JENNIFER KIRBY:  I think that it really helped that I played in the Manulife earlier this season and I had a good tournament there, so I think that kind of eased the nerves into this one.  I felt very comfortable out there and ended up making a few putts, and good round.

THE MODERATOR:  I have to ask you, as well, you're playing with a 17 year old and a 16 year old, and at 22 you definitely would be considered one of the younger players in the field.  How did it feel to be the elder statesman of this group?
JENNIFER KIRBY:  I think that they're wise beyond their years and they're both great players, so it wasn't too bad, and I didn't feel too old.

THE MODERATOR:  And overall what was it like to have a younger pairing?  Did it make any difference to be playing with people who were around your own age and who might not have as much experience as some of these other players on the LPGA Tour?
CHARLEY HULL:  It didn't really feel like young players.  I think we're all kind of like mature.
JENNIFER KIRBY:  And quick.  That was nice.

THE MODERATOR:  What is it like when you get going, and Lydia, you're making birdies, and Charley, you're making birdies and everybody was getting off to a good start.  What is it like in a grouping when you're feeling the momentum of everybody else having a good round, as well?
JENNIFER KIRBY:  Yeah, like Lydia said, we just kind of fed off each other and there was a lot of birdies and everyone had a lot of good chances, so it was nice to see.

Q.  Lydia, could you go through your round a little bit?
LYDIA KO:  Up to the seventh hole I went birdie‑par‑birdie‑par, that kind of pattern, and I made par‑par on 8 and 9 and then birdied 10 and then par all the way until the par‑5, 14th, and then I bogeyed 15 and then just pars coming in.  Yeah, I wouldn't mind the color ratio on my scorecard if I looked on the computer.

Q.  I was just wondering if you had any really long birdie putts.
LYDIA KO:  I had a tap‑in one on 3, and most of them were just reasonable distances.  It wasn't extremely long or extremely short.

Q.  Do you stay in touch with Brian Alexander, your caddie last year?  And talk about how you got in touch with Bruce, your caddie this year.
LYDIA KO:  I know last year I had a local caddie in Vancouver, and that was Brian, and we kind of did the same thing here, decided to get a local, and Bruce has been a member here for many years, so we decided to have him on the bag.

Q.  What's it like being on Tour with so many youthful players?
LYDIA KO:  Yeah, I used to be one of the youngest ones out here, but I was really happy to see I think Brooke Henderson, she's younger than me, so I think that's how I kind of got off the youngest girl out here.
           
I think like when you see the players on Tour, it's definitely getting younger and younger, and I'm not sure why that is happening, but yeah.  But especially when we're playing, I don't think it's all about age and everything.  Obviously there is respect for people who are older than you, but other than that, age really doesn't mean as much as it would maybe in just a normal life situation.

Q.  What's it like for you other girls?  Is it comfortable with so many youthful players on the Tour?
CHARLEY HULL:  Yeah, I think it's pretty good.  I just see age as just a number.  That's how I see it, because I feel like we're both mature.  It's good to have something because then you can just talk about stuff outside golf, but like on the golf course, no, I don't think Lydia plays like she's 16.

Q.  Is there much interaction between the veteran players and the younger players?
JENNIFER KIRBY:  I think a bit, yeah.  I would say also with the younger players, for me at least, growing up, I've been playing with them through college and then the younger Canadians that are out here, so it's almost more comfortable to see as many familiar faces around.

Q.  Can you talk about the gallery you had out there and what it was like and how it would compare to what you've seen recently in the Tour, and the conditions of the golf course and all that sort of thing and how this tournament feels to you?
JENNIFER KIRBY:  I'd say we had a great following today, especially for such an early tee time.  It was nice to see, and a lot of people out there following for the majority of the round, so that's always nice.

CHARLEY HULL:  Yeah, I'm still kind of ‑‑ from the Solheim I am kind of used to the greens being a bit faster and more bouncy because I only got to see the golf course once and that was on Tuesday, and I was pretty tired then, because I wasn't in the pro‑am yesterday.  So it was my first time out today and still getting used to what clubs to hit off the tees and stuff.
           
But I think the course is in great condition.  The crowds, we had a nice following out there today.  The crowds at the Solheim were absolutely massive, so I don't think anything will be as big as that.

LYDIA KO:  Yeah, we had crowds ‑‑ well, it wasn't huge, but we had people watching even from the first hole, and personally if one of the players were playing, I wouldn't go out at 7:00 to watch people hit.  It was really good seeing that people came out to support us.
           
Yeah, the course is in really good condition.  I came here early so I was able to see kind of the progress.  The greens and stuff was pure when I came, but it's definitely getting better and better.

Q.  Lydia, coming in as defending champ, did it change anything how you approached the round today?  How were you feeling coming into the first round of this as defending champ?
LYDIA KO:  You know, it was a pretty special week last year.  No, I didn't have that week coming.  So to kind of have that kind of week again this week would be like a double miracle for myself.
           
But yeah, I did feel a little bit of pressure, not from others but from myself thinking because you're the defending champion people are going to expect more and I'm going to expect more from myself.  I called my dad a couple days ago, and he said just relax.  You can't control everything, and just play the game that you want to play and that you planned.

Q.  Jennifer, who were your role models in your career so far?
JENNIFER KIRBY:  I mean, I love Tiger, and the fact that I work with Sean, who also works with Tiger, I mean, he's always been a great golfer to look up to.  For the women's side, I mean, obviously Lorie Kane is a huge role model for the younger Canadians, and she's very sweet and very comforting to all of us when we're out here.  I would say those.

Q.  You're obviously very calm individual.  Is that your mother's side or your dad's side?  Where does that come from?
JENNIFER KIRBY:  I would probably say my dad's side.  Yeah, my mom is usually always pretty nervous when she watches me play.

Q.  Lydia, how much did it help getting here as early as you did?
LYDIA KO:  As you say, when you're on your home course you know the course really well.  Because I got to play a couple times more than the other players, I was able to obviously get a better feel for the course, but that doesn't mean I'll always play better in saying that.  But yeah, it was really good to see the course like a week ago, and yeah, I can notice that the rough is getting longer, the green is getting faster.

Q.  You were talking about the comfort level.  While you don't play like your age, you probably do have similar interests in terms of being the same age.  Any good conversations out there today about topics that maybe you guys kind of share a common interest in?
JENNIFER KIRBY:  For me there wasn't a ton of conversation going on.

LYDIA KO:  Yeah, when I tried to wake up this morning my eyelids weren't coming up.  I said, oh, my God, I'm just tired.  But after you've woken up, you're fine, you're ready to go.

 

CRISTEL BOELJON, Rolex Rankings No. 120

Q. Nice finish, birdie‑eagle‑birdie?
CHRISTEL BOELJON:  Yeah, birdie‑eagle‑birdie‑par.  It was good, yeah, happy.  I think this round is the best I could have done.  Of course the hole‑in‑one was super nice.  That helped me out a lot.  But overall I put the ball in play, was lucky a few times, got a good up‑and‑down, but game is pretty solid, so off to a good start, so it's nice.

Q.  How far was the hole‑in‑one?
CHRISTEL BOELJON:  I had 116 meters to the pin.

Q.  It was a 9‑iron?
CHRISTEL BOELJON:  Yeah, small 9‑iron, yeah.

Q.  Have you had an ace before?
CHRISTEL BOELJON:  I have, but not in professional golf.  When I was an amateur, yeah.

Q.  What was that like when you actually saw it roll into the hole?
CHRISTEL BOELJON:  Well, I only realized it by the lady that was behind the green that put her hands up, and I was like, I guess it's in, because we couldn't see with the sun.  Everyone was high‑fiving, so we got up to the hole, and we see it's in.  Yeah.  It helps your score out a lot.

Q.  When you have a stretch like that, birdie‑eagle‑birdie, what goes through your mind as you're kind of going through that score?
CHRISTEL BOELJON:  It's just nice.  You know, it's nothing other than you hole a few putts, and I'm lucky that I hit that shot into the hole.  But you do it more often, and for me it didn't feel anything different, it's just you try to just do your thing.  Go through your routine again, just try to play shot by shot.  My finishing hole I had a good bounce from the bunker, and yeah, just pleased with my game at the moment.

Q.  How is the course?  Greens seem a little faster than in the morning?
CHRISTEL BOELJON:  Well, I think for me they weren't really fast because they got a little bumpy in the afternoon because it's the poa annua that tends to grow a little in the afternoon.  But they were still really fast, and they played really nice.  The course is in great shape.  It's so green, and tees are great, fairways are great, rough is good, it's up high, so yeah, it plays really nice.

 

Topics: Canadian Pacific Women's Open, Boeljon, Christel, Stanford, Angela, Ko, Lydia, Kerr, Cristie, Creamer, Paula, Park, Inbee, Notes and Interviews [+]