Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic Third Round Notes and Interviews

Na Yeon Choi
Photo Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Na Yeon Choi of South Korea waves to the gallery after chipping onto the 18th green during round three of the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic at the Ocean Club course on January 25, 2014 in Paradise Island, Bahamas.

Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic
Ocean Club Golf Course
Atlantis, Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas
Third-Round Notes and Interviews
January 25, 2014

Na Yeon Choi -15, Rolex Rankings No. 7
Lizette Salas -14, Rolex Rankings No. 20
Paula Creamer -12, Rolex Rankings No. 13
Jessica Korda -12, Rolex Rankings No. 40
Stacy Lewis -11, Rolex Rankings No. 3
Karine Icher -5 , Rolex Rankings No. 25

Spectacular shot after spectacular shot went flying on a day that saw five different players either lead or hold a share of the lead during the third round at the season-opening Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. Na Yeon Choi (-15) finished atop the leaderboard after shooting a 7-under 66 on Saturday, which included a birdie on the 18th to give her a one-shot lead over Lizette Salas (-14). The leaderboard is stacked heading into the final round thanks to 12 total eagles holed throughout the day, two of which were recorded by Paula Creamer who sits three shots back of Choi at 12-under. Creamer will be paired in the second-to-last group with second-round leader Jessica Korda, who shot a 1-under 72 and sits in a tie for third with Creamer at 12-under-par.

Choi came into this tournament energized after an offseason away from the game to focus on giving her body a rest. Still Choi felt that her swing was in a great place coming into the week and it showed the last three rounds as she hit 16 of 18 greens on Saturday after not missing a green during Friday’s windy round.

“I had so many solid shots out there.” Choi said. “I missed two greens today. Only two, but I hit a putt from the fringe, so obviously I haven’t chipped the last two rounds. Last two, three weeks I haven’t practiced much, maybe like seven or 10 days only, and every day it’s just work out like two hours, and then I went to Dallas for chiropractor just more like take care for my body and then I got great feeling about my swing.”

Salas, who fought off flu-like symptoms the past two days, is in position to win her first LPGA tour event heading into the final round on Sunday. After making the turn, Salas birdied three of the first four holes on the back nine to take the lead and finished the day 7-under.

“Once I hit the turn, I was just on it and wanted to make as many birdies as I could.” Salas said. “You can’t always play perfect and that’s the thing about this game. I was trying to play it as best I could coming down the stretch.”

While weather was the story of the day yesterday, a wild day full of changes atop the leaderboard was the story during Saturday’s third round. Korda, who tapped in an eagle on 18 to move to 12-under for the tournament was well aware of the leaderboard throughout her round today.

“I definitely watch leaderboards; that's nothing new. Korda said. “I just wanted to see kind of what was going on.  I mean, you don't know what you're going to get.  You have beautiful weather and all of a sudden the golf course plays completely differently.  Instead of yesterday I had 152, I hit 9‑iron; today I had 152, I hit 8‑iron.  It plays completely differently.  You're taking different lines.  It's just like a different golf course basically, so it's a lot of getting used to.”

What a finish! There were a few hiccups for both Jessica Korda and Paula Creamer as they played in the final pairing during Saturday’s third round. But when it comes to finishes, it was hard to top what the pair did on the 18th hole.

Creamer and Korda knocked their second shots on the par-5 finishing hole to near tap-in range. Both made their putts for eagle which moved them to 12-under-par overall, three back of leader Na Yeon Choi, and put the two of them in the second-to-last group for Sunday’s final round of the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic.

“I heard Paula, from the crowd, the reaction was great, so I knew that she was close,” Korda said of their eagle chances. “I was like, I want that.  Nothing has fallen in the hole, and I really want something.  So I hit from ‑‑ I think we had 196 pin, and I hit 5‑iron, and I hit it really nice, so I can't complain.”

It was an unusual scoring day for both Creamer and Korda, as Creamer tallied two eagles and a triple-bogey due to a lost ball on the 15th while Korda made a birdie just one hole after making double-bogey due to shanking a ball out of bounds on the 13th. It was the type of day that left the two golfers feeling there was nothing to do but laugh at the end due to the craziness of their rounds.

“Many things happened today, yes,” Creamer said. “That’s an understatement. I had a couple bad iron swings out there today.  Obviously the tee shot on the one hole.  But I just didn't play well from there.  You can hit it in the hazard all day and still make a bogey.  There was no need to make a triple.

“But overall I'm proud of the way I finished with my attitude.  I was unfortunate with the triple, but even at the beginning, three‑putting, this par‑3, just kept on plugging away.  It was a roller coaster. “

Beware the sick golfer…
Lizette Salas was unsure Friday morning if she would even be able to finish out her first event of the 2014 season after coming down with a case of the flu. But the 24-year-old Southern California native has gutted through her illness and now has a chance to capture her first LPGA Tour victory.

Salas fired a 7-under-par 66 on Saturday and sits one shot behind third-round leader, Na Yeon Choi. The two will be paired together for Sunday’s final round as Salas tries to become a Rolex First-Time Winner.
But while feeling under the weather might not seem an ideal time to capture a win, many athletes have fared pretty well while ill. Salas said that a friend sent her video of Michael Jordan’s famous performance in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals when the Chicago Bulls star scored 38 points while battling the flu.

So can she deliver an equally impressive performance on Sunday?

Salas acknowledged that her illness might actually be helping her this week.

“You just focus on swinging freely and not really focusing on mechanics, on trying to be perfect,” Salas said of not feeling well. “So yesterday on the range I was just trying to loosen up as much as I could, and when I got on the first hole, I was like, let's just try to have as much fun as I can, and birdied the first three holes.  I'm just really trying to have as much fun as I can and smile a lot, and even though I might not feel 100 percent, hopefully my game can make up for that.”

Eagles are Flying
: With 12 eagles holed by nine different players today, $12,000 was raised for the Wounded Warrior Project®. Paula Creamer (-12) on par-5 11th and par-5 18th , Amelia Lewis (-11) on par-5 4th and par-5 18th, Karine Icher (-5) on par-3 5th and on par-5 18th, Gerina Piller (-5) on par-4 6th, Brittany Lang (-3) on par-5 18th, , Erica Popson (-3) on par-3 17th, Stacy Lewis (-11) on par-4 13th, Jessica Korda (-12) on par-5 18th and Thidapa Suwannapura (-10) on par-5 18th.

Wounded Warrior Project® Weekends is a season-long charity program that will be tied into the Race to the CME Globe. Each Saturday and Sunday at LPGA tournaments, CME Group will donate $1,000 to Wounded Warrior Project® for each eagle that is recorded. This amount will increase to $5,000 for each eagle during the weekend of the CME Group Tour Championship and a formal check will be presented to the Wounded Warrior Project® during the trophy ceremony at the CME Group Tour Championship. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.

18 is a popular number:
Six different players made eagle on 18th hole alone on Saturday.

Quotable: “If you're coming from behind, I think it's a good spot to be in.  If you've got the lead and you've got all these people chasing you, I think it's a hard position to be in.  I actually like where I am and I like that I'm going to get out tomorrow a couple groups early and hopefully can make a couple putts early and then kind of put some pressure on the leaders.” – Stacy Lewis, who is sitting in a tie for fifth at 11-under-par, four shots behind third-round leader Na Yeon Choi

Tweet of the Day:
“2 different stories: PGA Tour playing tough at Torrey Pines....LPGA lighting it up in Bahamas @GolfChannel #MovingDay” -- @Paige_Mackenzie who is currently working for the Golf Channel in Orlando

Another Tweet of the Day:
“Asked Stacy Lewis about the blisters on her feet. Turns out she had to buy an emergency pair of golf shoes in the pro shop. Cost: $337!” -- @GolfweekNichols

Na Yeon Choi, Rolex Rankings No. 7

NA YEON CHOI:  I think the last three rounds I had a really good swing, I think.  I had so many solid shots out there.  I missed two greens today.  Only two, but I hit a putt from the fringe, so obviously I haven't chipped the last two rounds.  Like I said 18 greens with that wind, so I had pretty good confidence with my swing.  But just some weird things, like last two, three weeks I haven't practiced much, maybe like seven or 10 days only, and every day it's just work out like two hours, and then I went to Dallas for like chiropractor, just more like take care for my body, and then I got great feeling about my swing.  It's a little bit like weird for me, but I think I learned something.

Q. And would you like tomorrow to be like today or like yesterday?  Would you like wind tomorrow or calm tomorrow?

NA YEON CHOI:  Well, I heard that wind not going to be like strong tomorrow.  Everybody has a chance, I think.  I still have to play aggressively.  My putting was great, and especially my driver and irons, like from the fairway.  I think I have to more focus from the second shot, make a lot of birdie chances out there.

Q. Your decision to concentrate more on your body, was that because you were in pain or because you thought maybe I won't practice as much?
NA YEON CHOI:  Last year after the season I was talking a lot with my swing coach because what was the problem, like usually I hit a lot of straight shots, like consistent player, but last year I didn't hit many straight shots out there.  We were thinking, and then kind of my balance losing during swing, so we were more focused on my balance.

I spent like six years on LPGA, and every year I've played like 28, 30 tournaments.  For my big goal like 2016, I still have to play well three, four more years, so I needed more kind of like reset for my body and just keep it going for next three, four more years.

Q. You're a top player; last year you weren't part of the big three.  Was that like a motivation coming into this year to get into that mix?
NA YEON CHOI:  Kind of.  So many like sponsors, fans, media, they ask me ‑‑ every time they ask me why, why, why.  I thought I did my best every tournament, and still I had a good position, even like end of the season last year.  But a lot of people, I think, expect like victory or major champion or something.  But I think when I started the season for 2013, I was like No. 2 in the world, and like so much focus on being No. 1, and I forgot like what I have to do on the course or on the range.

I mean, I think I kind of really learned so many things last year.  I think it's being more mature from last year.

 

Lizette Salas, Rolex Rankings No. 20

Q. Great round today.  Actually Choi just made birdie, so she's at 15‑under.  You finished 14‑under.  You're in a great position for tomorrow.  Can you talk a little bit about how you feel headed into tomorrow?
LIZETTE SALAS:  I feel great.  I've been bogey‑free the last two days, and just feeling great on the greens, visualizing a lot, and the fact that I've been feeling a little under the weather kind of just makes my mind blank and just focus on targets and just having fun.  I'd rather be playing than lying in bed and feeling sorry for myself.

I was just feeling really great out there and having my caddie with me, too, just making everything simple and fun.  7‑under to start the year is a great score for me.

Q. You said you were feeling great out there.  Physically you're feeling great?
LIZETTE SALAS:  Yeah, like 75 percent physically great, and mentally I was feeling awesome.  I was feeling like myself, and I was working really hard during the off‑season with my coach.  Seeing results this quickly, I've been feeling really good about it.

Q. Pulling a Michael Jordan action, really focusing do you feel?
LIZETTE SALAS:  Someone sent me that video, too, the Michael Jordan –

Q. The flu game?
LIZETTE SALAS:  Yeah, the flu game.

Q. You talked a little bit about that, it does make you focus, feeling under the weather like that.
LIZETTE SALAS:  Yeah, you just focus on swinging freely and not really focusing on mechanics, on trying to be perfect.  So yesterday on the range I was just trying to loosen up as much as I could, and when I got on the first hole, I was like, let's just try to have as much fun as I can, and birdied the first three holes.  I'm just really trying to have as much fun as I can and smile a lot, and even though I might not feel 100 percent, hopefully my game can make up for that.

Q. You rested last night?
LIZETTE SALAS:  Oh, yeah, I was in bed.  Everyone was at the beach party, and I was just saying I had my own party in my hotel room.  You know, you just kind of have to roll with the punches.  I have my mom here, so she took great care of me yesterday, and we've been helping each other out.  She was feeling under the weather, as well.

It's a team effort.  The trainers here have been helping me out.  I felt great today, a lot better than yesterday.

Q. More of the same tonight, rest and ‑‑
LIZETTE SALAS:  Yeah, a lot of rest, a lot of hydration and drink lots of liquids.  I was catching up on my Spanish soap operas last night, so maybe that helped, I don't know.

Q. Tomorrow you're in a position to win your first Tour event.  How are the nerves right now?  Are you feeling good?
LIZETTE SALAS:  You know, I felt a little nerves coming down the stretch, but that's normal.  A win is always something on my mind, and it's been a goal of mine since last year, and I came close in Hawai'i and been in contention a couple times.  It's something I've worked on for so long, but now it's my third season on the LPGA and got some experience under my belt, and being on the Solheim Cup, working on those nerves.  So I feel like I've gone through experiences where it can help me tomorrow.  Tomorrow is just another day, and I'm going to try and go as play as best I can, and tomorrow is purple day, so hopefully that'll help, too.

Q. You mentioned Hawai'i.  You love island golf apparently.
LIZETTE SALAS:  I guess so.

Q. Can you talk about that?  Is there something specific?
LIZETTE SALAS:  You know, just a lot of imagination.  You can't fight this wind, and you just have to play with it.  You can't always take fire at the pin.  You just have to pick a palm tree or pick a bunker that you have to aim at and just let the wind feed it to the hole.  I really like that, and I like Bermuda greens.  I don't know, it seems to fit my game, so we'll see what happens tomorrow.  Tomorrow I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing, and if I hit a bad shot, well, you've got to go with it.  If I hit a good one, then same deal.

Q. After you made the turn, can you talk a little bit about the back nine?  You birdied three of the first four holes to jump into the lead.  Talk about your play on the back nine
LIZETTE SALAS:  Yeah.  You know, those putts were over 10 feet, so it wasn't like I was knocking it close to the pin.  I was just giving myself good chances for birdie.  I hit a great shot on 13, the par‑4, and almost made birdie on 14, as well. 

So I was just giving myself good rolls for birdie.

The birdie on 15 was just ‑‑ gave me that extra momentum to keep going.

16 is always just a tough pin, so par is a great score on that hole.

For the first time I hit a really bad shot on 17, so luckily I got up‑and‑down.
But yeah, once I hit the turn, I was just on it and wanted to make as many birdies as I could.  You can't always play perfect, and that's the thing about this game.  I was just trying to play it as best I could coming down the stretch.

 

Q. Five different players had a share of the lead today.  Could you sense out there that a lot was happening?
LIZETTE SALAS:  To be honest, I wasn't really looking at the leaderboard up until I got to the 14th hole.  Yesterday you saw a lot of deep rounds going on, and Saturday is called moving day for a reason, so I was kind of suspecting someone was going to ‑‑ it's going to be tight up on the leaderboard.  To see scores like this today, I'm not at all surprised.  I'm just lucky to be one of those leaders up on the leaderboard.

Q. As a player does a packed leaderboard generate excitement?  Does that have an effect on you?
LIZETTE SALAS:  Not really.  You know a lot of these players.  You're good friends with them, and so whichever pairing you're with, you know you're just going to have a good time.  It's also great for fans to have such great leaders, being more involved with the fans.  Everyone loves watching us, so that makes it a lot better for us, too.

Q. Does it make a difference for you mentally going into second position one shot behind Na Yeon rather than having a share of the lead
LIZETTE SALAS:  Well, to be ‑‑ I don't know if I have been this close after the third round.  One shot does make a difference in my mind.  Regardless if I was co‑leading or one shot back, my goal for tomorrow is just to play the best I can and to play the golf that I know how to play, and come tomorrow if someone else is holding that trophy or if I'm holding it, I'm going to react the same way or I'm going to go about it the same way as if it was a different tournament.

 

Paula Creamer, Rolex Rankings No.13

Q. A lot of things happened today, didn't they?
PAULA CREAMER:  Many things today, yes.  That's an understatement.  I had a couple bad iron swings out there today.  Obviously the tee shot on the one hole.  But I just didn't play well from there.  You can hit it in the hazard all day and still make a bogey.  There was no need to make a triple.

But these greens, they're just really drying out, and my speed wasn't as good.  I had a couple three‑putts.  But overall I'm proud of the way I finished with my attitude.  I was unfortunate with the triple, but even at the beginning, three‑putting, this par‑3, just kept on plugging away.  It was a roller coaster.

Q. On the third shot on 15 after the drop, was your mind just not there on that ‑‑
PAULA CREAMER:  No, I don't think we really committed to our target.  I think we could have gone a lot farther left than what we did.  I was on a pretty big upslope thinking it was going to hook, but I still think we were trying to cut it too close down the right side.  In hindsight, yeah, I probably would have backed off and said what do you think.  But I was a little bit too far right, and I got unlucky in the face of the lip, and I think I hit a pretty good shot into the green.  It landed in between like sprinklers or something and stopped super fast.  Putting down that slope in that area was just so bumpy.  It shouldn't have been a three‑putt by any means, but it was, and eight shots right there.

Q. What was the yardage, and what did you hit in here?
PAULA CREAMER:  To this one?  I think we had 209 pin.  It was around 200 front, and I just hit a little 5‑wood, tried to just kind of chase it up there.  I really couldn't even see.  That's the first time Colin has lined me up all week, and I asked him, hey ‑‑ the sun was just so bad, and I said, can you line me up.

Q. So you couldn't tell how close it was?
PAULA CREAMER:  Oh, no, I had no idea where it even left my ‑‑ I hit it pretty good, where I wanted on the club face, but I never saw it land or anything.

Q. Did you pay attention to the leaderboard and how much fluctuation was ‑‑
PAULA CREAMER:  Never.  I looked at it on 16 green, and that was the first time I looked at one all week.  At that point I just knew I had these two holes left.  17 is always a good par, but coming into the par‑5, I just kind of wanted to know at that point.  I thought enough time has gone by where I can see where I stand.

Q. It's a good‑looking leaderboard.
PAULA CREAMER:  Yeah, it is, I know.  I briefly saw it when we walked off, but it'll be a good day tomorrow.

 

Jessica Korda, Rolex Rankings No. 40

Q. Can you just talk overall about how you'd sum up your round?
JESSICA KORDA:  Today you could see the rust.  You start feeling a little bit of pressure where you want to play well, and you can tell I'm still working on a lot of things out there.  But I'm really happy with the way I finished.  Yeah, I hit a lot of good shots today, really a lot of good putts that just didn't fall, so I can't be disappointed with that.  I honestly had one bad shot.

Q. Can we talk about that one bad shot?
JESSICA KORDA:  That swing change, I've done that out on the range plenty of times.  It's one of those things where my body got ahead of my hands and the ball was below my feet, and there's nothing you can do about it.  I'm sure that everybody saw my facial expression after that.  I can't believe I did that.  I don't think I've ever shanked a shot, ever, on the golf course playing in a tournament.

But it's January, first tournament of the season, swing changes, and I've been working on a lot of stuff.  The shot after that I just stood a little further away from it.

I made a birdie after that; that's all that matters, right?

Q. What bad shot?
JESSICA KORDA:  I should have started with that.

Q. We only remember the eagle.  Can you tell us about finishing this round on a high note?
JESSICA KORDA:  It was great.  I mean, I heard Paula, from the crowd, the reaction was great, so I knew that she was close.  I was like, I want that.  Nothing has fallen in the hole, and I really want something.  So I hit from ‑‑ I think we had 196 pin, and I hit 5‑iron, and I hit it really nice, so I can't complain.

Q. Your position on the leaderboard changes quickly.
JESSICA KORDA:  Yeah, for sure.  Okay, I didn't see that Na Yeon finished 15.  Yeah, that's awesome, still in it.  Basically I'm still in it; that's all.  I'm going to go to the range and kind of work on a couple of drills so I can be a little bit more comfortable out there tomorrow.

Q. There was just a lot going on with everybody.  I saw at 6 you did look at the leaderboard.  Were you kind of seeing how much things were changing?
JESSICA KORDA:  I just wanted to see how it was going because yesterday I was expecting kind of higher scores and everybody was shooting low.  I just wanted to see what today kind of looked like.  I definitely watch leaderboards; that's nothing new.  I just wanted to see kind of what was going on.  I mean, you don't know what you're going to get.  You have beautiful weather and all of a sudden the golf course plays completely differently.  Instead of yesterday I had 152, I hit 9‑iron; today I had 152, I hit 8‑iron.  It plays completely differently.  You're taking different lines.  It's just like a different golf course basically, so it's a lot of getting used to.

 

Stacy Lewis, Rolex Rankings No. 3

Q. Eagles were flying today.  It was amazing.  You holed out on the 13th.  Take us through that hole.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I had 94 yards, and into 11 I had 92 yards, so it was a similar shot that I just had and didn't hit a good one on 11, so I wanted to be aggressive there, even though it probably wasn't a pin you should be too aggressive on, and just flew it back there perfect and one hopped and went in.  It was nice because I wasn't really making any putts, so it definitely helped not having to putt there.

Q. You know, it's the first day for the Wounded Warrior contributions, so we're at seven today?
STACY LEWIS:  We're at nine right now.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about how important that is?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, the Wounded Warrior Project, they've been associated with our Tour for a long time, especially the events in Alabama seem to do a lot with it.  This golf course today was set up for eagles.  A lot of the par‑5s on the front you could reach, and then the tee was up on 6, so it really set up to make some eagles today.  So it made it exciting, and you've got a pretty stacked leaderboard.  The course was set up to shoot a number today.

Q. You mentioned that stacked leaderboard.  There was five different players either in the lead or a share of the lead today.  How aware were you when you were out there playing of what was going on?
STACY LEWIS:  You know, I didn't really look at a leaderboard or really even see one until after 14 and saw I think I was either tied or one shot back.  I knew if I could get to 11‑under today, which is where the leaders started, I knew I would get into position for tomorrow.

That was kind of the number I had in the back of my mind.  But finally birdieing 18 this week was a good way to finish and definitely got me in a spot where I can have a chance tomorrow.

Q. Today seemed like a perfect day out there, especially compared to yesterday.  Talk about the difference in play between yesterday and today.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, so much easier today.  Our front nine, which was the actual back nine, was brutal.  We were out 13, 14, 15 probably in the worst of it, and on 15 you could ‑‑ I think I was swaying over the putt.  It was definitely a lot easier today.  Still had to manage the wind a little bit, but there wasn't a three‑club wind today.

Q. (Question regarding her position on the leaderboard.)
STACY LEWIS:  Well, it depends what position.  If you're coming from behind, I think it's a good spot to be in.  If you've got the lead and you've got all these people chasing you, I think it's a hard position to be in.  I actually like where I am and I like that I'm going to get out tomorrow a couple groups early and hopefully can make a couple putts early and then kind of put some pressure on the leaders.

But I think when people are making birdies and eagles, it's hard to ‑‑ it's a hard place to be up there in the lead.

Q. (Question regarding her position on the leaderboard.)
STACY LEWIS:  Well, it depends what position.  If you're coming from behind, I think it's a good spot to be in.  If you've got the lead and you've got all these people chasing you, I think it's a hard position to be in.  I actually like where I am and I like that I'm going to get out tomorrow a couple groups early and hopefully can make a couple putts early and then kind of put some pressure on the leaders.

Q. With a crowded leaderboard do you prefer conditions like today or yesterday?
STACY LEWIS:  I don't know.  I mean, the first tournament of the year I'd prefer today's conditions.  I don't think first tournament of the year anybody wants to be out there struggling trying to stand still over putts or anything.  I think if you ask any player, they're going to prefer the better conditions.

But I don't know, at the same time I like where I'm at

Q. Would you also comment on the two players who are currently atop the board, Na Yeon Choi and Lizette Salas.
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, Lizette, we played a lot of golf together, played a couple ‑‑ played a match at Solheim together.  She's a great player.  She grinds it out.  She's a really good putter.  I think in situations where she's had chances to win, she's gotten nervous, so I hope that she's learned from those situations and can handle it a little bit better tomorrow because she's a player that should be winning, should have won by now, and I think it's just a matter of time.

And Na Yeon, she's one of those ‑‑ she's like Inbee, you just expect her to be there.  You know she's going to be there at the end of the week.  She may not play ‑‑ I don't think she won at all last year, but she's a player you just expect to be there, and she's somebody that she's really good with her putter when it's on, and she's definitely tough to beat when she's rolling the ball.

Q. Do you think it sends a message to Suzann and Inbee by winning the first week out?
STACY LEWIS:  Yeah, I definitely think it would.  I think just playing well here, I think that would send a message.  I don't know how much golf they're actually watching right now.  They probably aren't paying attention to it, knowing those two, but yeah, I mean, I think ‑‑ do you think they're watching?  I don't think they're watching it.  I mean, for me it's just more confidence.  The first tournament you just never know how you're really going to come out after that long of a break, and just to come out and play well, it's a confidence builder.

 

Karine Icher, Rolex Rankings No. 25

Q. Nice hole‑in‑one out there on No. 5.  Take me through that hole.  What were you thinking?
KARINE ICHER:  The goal was just to put the ball on the green.  The pin was tough because it was short and left, and with the wind left to right, so I just hit like a 5‑iron, 172 yards, went in.  But the ball went perfectly straight, a little bit left of the pin, and pitched just in front of the pin and then rolled, and nobody was there, which is what it's like when you play at 8:00.  So we came, and there was just one ball on the green, and I thought the ball went behind, and Fred told me just look in the hole, just for sure, and I looked and the ball was there.  It's only my second one during my career.

Q. Second one total career or second ‑‑ first LPGA one?
KARINE ICHER:  Yes.

Q. I was looking back in our history and couldn't find one.
KARINE ICHER:  No, I had many close, but second one in 15 years.  Can you believe that?

Q. I haven't had one yet, and I've been playing a long time.  I don't know if you know, so as part of the Race to the CME Globe we have the Wounded Warrior Project weekends, which a thousand dollars is donated for every eagle made.  You made the first one, so yours is the first thousand dollars.
KARINE ICHER:  And another one to finish at 18.

Q. So $2,000 total in your round.
KARINE ICHER:  Good.

Q. What does it mean in terms of as this race, to have this charity component, and with you guys now as part of earning points, but you also get a chance to donate money towards a really good cause?
KARINE ICHER:  Sure, it's very important to be involved in that.  Maybe playing golf when you have a bad day, you say, well, I know, I know what I compete for, and maybe I'm going to help someone.  It doesn't matter, you can shoot like 3‑, 4‑over and maybe make an eagle, and okay, you make a thousand dollars.

And the race to CME Globe, it's nice, because it's like the men's.  We get closer and closer to the men's.  We have more tournaments this year.  We have this like the men's does.  Getting better and better, and I hope it's going to grow like this in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: Notes and Interviews, Choi, Na Yeon, Creamer, Paula, Korda, Jessica, Lewis, Stacy, Salas, Lizette, Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic [+]