HSBC Women’s Champions
Sentosa Country Club, Serapong Course
Second-Round Notes and Interviews
February 27, 2014
Rolex Rankings No. 7 Karrie Webb shot a 3-under 69 in the second round of the HSBC Women’s Champions to increase her lead to two shots over American Angela Stanford. Webb sits atop the leaderboard with a two-day total 9-under 135. Taiwan’s Teresa Lu carded a 2-under 70 and is in solo third at 6-under par. A group of five players are in a tie for fourth and five shots back including Americans Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, Danielle Kang and Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall.
Webb had six birdies and three bogeys on the day and stretched her lead to three shots after a birdie on the par 4 6th hole. But Hedwall cut the lead to one shot after back-to-back birdies on Nos. 7 and 8. Webb responded with birdies of her own on Nos. 9 and 12 before some struggles late in the round.
“A few loose swings on the back nine today which didn't happen yesterday but recovered pretty well from them, only two bogeys and to shoot 3-under, I think I'm pretty happy with that,” said Webb. “Anything on the 60s on this golf course is a good day.”
She would drop shots on Nos. 13 and 15 pushing her to 8-under par and into a tie for the lead with Hedwall.
“13 was a pretty soft bogey there, just missed the green there and really wasn't a difficult up-and-down and didn't get it up-and-down there,” said Webb. “Made a good up-and-down on the next for par, and then I hit it in the water off the tee on 15, so actually made a really good bogey in the end.”
But Hedwall had a messy final stretch with a bogey-bogey-double bogey finish to drop her five shots off the lead.
“I was just playing solid golf and made a couple of birdies,” said Hedwall. “I felt really good about my game today it is just sad that I finished that way with two three putts and then this finish on 18.”
Webb finished with a birdie on the par 3 17th hole to extended her lead to two shots.
No. 2 Suzann Pettersen eagled the 18th hole to finish 2-under par for the day and in a tie for ninth. She heads into the weekend six shots off the lead. The Norwegian needs to win this week to have a change to take over the No. 1 spot in the Rolex Rankings. Current No. 1 Inbee Park shot even-par 72 on Friday and is T13.
“Today I think it's -- you know, when we play these events and you get re-paired on score after the first round, being in the last group, it feels like it's the last day of the tournament, and it's not, and you've got to remind yourself that if you do make a mistake, it's only Friday,” said Webb.
She said she thinks having plenty of experience going through bad stretches and reconvering from them helped the Aussie bounce back late in her round on Friday.
“It's not the end of the world, and you know, that's pretty much what I was saying to myself through that three-hole stretch there where things were not going great, and you know, I got back on track on 16,” said Webb. “I hit really two good shots there, and made a good par and a really good iron shot on 17.”
Former champs battle on the weekend: Webb and Stanford both have wins in Singapore and were named ‘Champion of Champions’ when the event was held at Tanah Merah Country Club. Webb won in 2011 and Stanford followed in 2012. Stanford said the two courses have little similarities but the luxury comforts and hospitality remain the same.
“I’ve always loved coming to Singapore. The Fairmont is one of the nicest I’ve every stayed at. The people are so friendly and it’s just a great place to be for the week. And HSBC is obviously an amazing host. It’s just a nice place to be, it’s a great week.”
Stanford is trying to salvage a tough finish at Sentosa Golf Club last year after she finished 56th. Webb cracked the top-20 on this course last season with a T18 finish. Stanford said there’s nothing like a good meal and a good night’s sleep during the week.
“I just think it’s whether you’re comfortable,” said Stanford. “Good meals at night. When I’m in the States I control my environment a little more than when we’re here. But they’ve done a great job for us. I guess I can throw in the Air Weave thing. The beds have been great. I didn’t know what to expect but that’s been a lot of fun to get to sleep on that every night.”
Bouncing back: Anna Nordqvist is coming off her third LPGA Tour victory last week in Thailand and the Swede said she was exhausted the days following her win from all of the excitement. She opened up with a first round 73 and said some much needed rest made all the difference in Friday’s second round.
“I feel a little more alive today,” said Nordqvist. “I was exhausted yesterday. But got a good night sleep and rolled the putter a little bit better today so I’m happy.”
The major champ shot one of the low rounds of the day with a 5-under 67 and moved from T27 into a tie for fourth. She said her caddie, Jason Gilroy, was the one who made sure she got the rest she needed.
“I was going to go to the range to hit a couple and my caddie said let’s get out of here as quick as we can,” said Nordqvist. “But I went home earlier and had physio and went to bed early to get a good night’s sleep. I wasn’t as happy with my ball striking yesterday but I think it came down to being tired and a bit of focus. He told me to get out of here and that’s what I did and it seemed to work out.”
Nordqvist said the outreach of congratulations over the past few days has been overwhelming and even felt a little sorry for not being able to respond to all of the messages.
“Yea it was overwhelming for sure,” said Nordqvist. “A lot of my friends have been supportive of me through the ups and the downs. It’s fun to hear from my friends who know nothing about golf. They told me they’re not really watching but saw that I won and that they’re happy for me. There were quite a few people in the golfing world that reached out to me and I’m really proud of what I did and it was a great start to the year.”
She also said she was happy to pick up a some more followers on Twitter.
“I probably gained a couple more followers last week and I wish I could respond to all of them,” said Nordqvist. “But I really appreciate the support.”
Quotable: “Yeah, well, two old ducks I guess. Would you ask any of the young players if it's hard to play against girls in their 30s, because you always ask me the opposite question.” -Karrie Webb when asked what her thoughts are on being paired with fellow Tour veteran Angela Stanford for the third round
Tweet of the Day: “What an awesome fan who came out and followed me all day and encouraged me! #Singapore #hsbcwomenschamps” -@JayeMGreen
Q. 73, 69, what did you do differently?
LYDIA KO: I holed many for putts. I had two 3-putts and I thought, maybe another day like I did yesterday, but I felt, okay, par 5, next hole, let's get it done and two birdies in a row coming after two bogeys, so okay, start again, make some more birdies, and did not make anymore bogeys after the two. I tried to play as consistent as possible and I'm pretty happy.
Q. How do you feel about form coming into this tournament?
LYDIA KO: I played really good golf in Australia and then I played well last week, so I just wanted to keep that same form up to this week, obviously the world's best players are out here playing, so you kind of have to give it all you've got and yeah, that's what I tried to do.
Q. Is there anyone we should watch out for?
LYDIA KO: The top players are out here. Anna played great last week and she seems like she's playing well today again and so are the others. So I can't really eliminate one, but like I said, the world's best players are out here and you've just got to try your best.
Q. Have you seen any of Singapore? You got here on Sunday -- have you seen any of the city yet?
LYDIA KO: Not really. I came here a couple years ago with the Singapore Flyers and I could see a lot of the city. It's beautiful and a lot to do and a lot of shopping, as well. Yeah, I've been enjoying it so far.
Q. So getting on to the weekend, can we expect anything --
LYDIA KO: I think if I shoot the scores I did today, I think that will be pretty good, and, you know, it will keep me up there, may not get me to win, but I'm still up there.
MEGHAN FLANAGAN: You had some up-and-downs on the front but on the back, a little faltery.
KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, a few loose swings on the back nine today which didn't happen yesterday but recovered pretty well from them, only two bogeys and to shoot 3-under, I think I'm pretty happy with that. Anything on the 60s on this golf course is a good day.
MEGHAN FLANAGAN: What about the wind, I think people said it was a little windy on some holes, a little less on others?
KARRIE WEBB: I felt like it played pretty similar to yesterday. I think the wind cornered a little differently than yesterday, so it's trusting the direction it was coming out of.
MEGHAN FLANAGAN: What about 13, was that a downer on the back nine?
KARRIE WEBB: 13 was a pretty soft bogey there, just missed the green there and really wasn't a difficult up-and-down and didn't get it up-and-down there. Made a good up-and-down on the next for par, and then I hit it in the water off the tee on 15, so actually made a really good bogey in the end.
Q. Is there something you like about playing in Singapore, having won here before?
KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, well, I think -- I don't know, I have played well here before, obviously not here at Sentosa but I just enjoy coming to Singapore I think, so when you feel good about a place generally more often than not, it translates into good golf.
So I feel a lot more comfortable on this golf course than I did last year, and I think for me, it just took playing it a few times to understand where you can hit it and where you can miss it.
Q. Do you think your experience helped you out today, given how Caroline finished, it seemed like her game sort of got a way from her. You were able to recover after making a couple small mistakes. Is that experience?
KARRIE WEBB: I guess maybe a little bit. Some days you handle it better than others. Today I think it's -- you know, when we play these events and you get re-paired on score after the first round, being in the last group, it feels like it's the last day of the tournament, and it's not, and you've got to remind yourself that if you do make a mistake, it's only Friday.
It's not the end of the world, and you know, that's pretty much what I was saying to myself through that three-hole stretch there where things were not going great, and you know, I got back on track on 16. I hit really two good shots there, and made a good par and a really good iron shot on 17.
Q. You have plenty of experience leading the way; can you talk about being chased by Angela and does the weekend setup nicely for you?
KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, well, two old ducks I guess. Would you ask any of the young players if it's hard to play against girls in their 30s, because you always ask me the opposite question.
No, Angela is obviously, I think her last win was here in Singapore, so she obviously feels good about playing here and I enjoy playing with her so it should be a good pairing tomorrow.
Q. You talked yesterday about how you still work hard but it's a different kind of working hard from 20 years ago when you started out. How has it changed your preparation change now?
KARRIE WEBB: When I was younger, I still believe that -- I grew up in an era of golf where fitness wasn't a part of the game. Some people who did it, some people who didn't, and the people who didn't, got away with not working out.
Now, it's definitely a part of the game and all of these young players coming up are athletes from when they decide that they are pretty good at golf and want to focus on becoming good and working at it, training is a part of golf. For me, I've had to learn to get in the gym and do the work required, and for me, it's more about -- at my age, maintaining my body and trying to be as injury-free as possible.
So I probably don't spend the hours on the range that I used to but I work out and I have a traveling osteopath that travels to every event which I think is a necessity for me at the moment.
You know, just there's different areas that I work on, where I put my body -- I've had to mentally convince myself. I always thought that if you put in the hours practicing, then everything will take care of itself and I always saw working out as not part of practice.
So I've had to mentally get over the fact that I don't have to be on the range for three hours; I can spend an hour on the range and an hour in the gym and that's okay. But it's been hard convincing myself of that.
MEGHAN FLANAGAN: Did you hire a trainer in Florida or Australia? How did you get started?
KARRIE WEBB: I worked with a trainer for about 15 years and he's been really good because he knows my dislike for working out. So my workouts have just gradually increased.
So it wasn't hard core to start with where I had never done it, so he understands where I'm coming from. And in the last four years I've added Pilates, as well, and it's something I enjoy doing, so you don't have to force me go and do that.
MEGHAN FLANAGAN: What's your trainer's name and where is he based?
KARRIE WEBB: He's in Boca Raton Florida, Chris Banah (ph).
Q. Do you feel that there are enough Australian players coming through the Tour ready to take over for you in the future?
KARRIE WEBB: Yeah, you know, it's an interesting question. I think we've definitely got a great group of young players coming through. It's just a matter of them -- sometimes you need a little bit of luck or finish well in a tournament at the right time and it gives you that confidence to kick on.
Minjee Lee, she's an amateur but she won the Victorian Open last week in Australia and is the No. 1 ranked amateur in the world. We have a couple of young girls that are 17 coming through that could have the potential to be good and there's still a bunch of girls on Tour that I think have potential. It's just whether they realize that or not.
Q. The osteopath and the trainer, are they the same person?
KARRIE WEBB: No. I do work out with an osteopath on Tour, but he isn't with me on off-weeks.
Q. Is he concentrating on your back or neck or what?
KARRIE WEBB: On my whole body. And I worked out with him on Tuesday, so maybe my legs are a bit sore, so he's been concentrating on making them less sore.
Q. Could you elaborate on your trip to the water on 15?
KARRIE WEBB: I hit a snap hook off the tee and just short in three and got it up-and-down and nearly chipped in.
Q. So arrived with a splash, did it?
KARRIE WEBB: No, it was out into the middle of the water.
Q. So you have been in pretty amazing form in recent weeks, how high do you think you are going, Top-10 -- No. 1?
KARRIE WEBB: I'm 7th currently. I touched on this a little bit yesterday but you know, I'll just try and focus on playing good and wherever that takes me, it takes me. I don't -- like I said yesterday, you know, 15 years ago, I was going to do whatever it took to be No. 1, and I know I'm capable of doing that, but I don't -- it's not something that I live and die for. I'm still going to enjoy my life away from golf, and let the game maybe consume me as much as it did when I was younger.
Q. Is that a healthy way to be in golf? It helps you stay more grounded when you're on the course.
KARRIE WEBB: It is now for me. I'd shoot some amazing things being completely and solely golf only, 10, 15 years ago, but I wouldn't -- if I was that person now, I wouldn't even be playing. I wouldn't enjoy it. So you know, I enjoy my good golf way more than I used to, and I try not to carry that onto my life away from the golf course.
Q. Today was a fantastic round. You were brilliant with those shots into the greens.
ANNA NORDQVIST: Thank you. I feel a little more alive today. I was exhausted yesterday. But got a good night sleep and rolled the putter a little bit better today so I’m happy.
Q. You were just spectacular last week- yesterday a little bit tired and you were suffering a bit?
ANNA NORDQVIST: We got here Monday afternoon and had a long pro-am Wednesday afternoon and a lot of things going on. A lot of emails which has been great but I was tired and had a hard time focusing. You really need to stay on it when you’re out here.
Q. The adrenaline must have been pumping when you’re out there?
ANNA NORDQVIST: You just try to put your best foot forward everything and I think I went in a positive direction. Have two more days before going home for two weeks. Just try to make the best out of it and get some rest the next two weeks.
Q. Today might have even been a little bit better. You left some short putts out there today?
ANNA NORDQVIST: The one on seven I thought it was a left to right putt but it broke left so it was a good stroke on it just missed it. But I made my fair share of birdies out there.
Q. Windier today?
ANNA NORDQVIST: I thought it was windier at the start but wasn’t as bad at 6, 7, and 8. Just in a different direction. It definitely was windy at the start.
Q. Did you do anything specifically to rest up or just a good night’s sleep?
ANNA NORDQVIST: I was going to go to the range to hit a couple and my caddie said let’s get out of here as quick as we can. But I went home earlier and had physio and went to bed early to get a good night’s sleep. I wasn’t as happy with my ball striking yesterday but I think it came down to being tired and a bit of focus. He told me to get out of here and that’s what I did and it seemed to work out.
Q. Did you hear from anyone that surprised you? Any old friends?
ANNA NORDQVIST: Yea it was overwhelming for sure. A lot of my friends have been supportive of me through the ups and the downs. It’s fun to hear from my friends who know nothing about golf. They told me they’re not really watching but saw that I won and that they’re happy for me. There were quite a few people in the golfing world that reached out to me and I’m really proud of what I did and it was a great start to the year.
Q. Word travels fast in the day of the Twitterverse.
ANNA NORDQVIST: I probably gained a couple more followers last week and I wish I could respond to all of them. But I really appreciate the support.
Q. Anything you’ll be concentrating on the next two day?
ANNA NORDQVIST: Just get some more rest. I had an early tee time today so get in some practice and get out of here.
ANGELA STANFORD: I think my putter has really been working this week. Rolling it really good. Seeing the lines really good. I’m putting myself in good spots and making putts.
Q. A couple weird lies on the back nine. Are those shots you walk up to and think these are ones I’ve practiced or what am I going to do?
ANGELA STANFORD: I don’t know what it is about that 13th holes but it is out to get me. It was weird. To have two on the same hole and walk up in the middle of the fairway and it’s sitting down in the hole. To be in the bunker is fine but the rake had stopped it so it was sort of weird. But it makes you feel better when you getting it up and down and make par.
Our history starts last year. We have a long history together.
Q. Any similarities you’re playing off of the course you won on?
ANGELA STANFORD: They’re very different. I think just when you leave here – I’ve always loved coming to Singapore. The Fairmont is one of the nicest I’ve every stayed at. The people are so friendly and it’s just a great place to be for the week. And HSBC is obviously an amazing host. It’s just a nice place to be, it’s a great week.
Q. What happened on 12?
ANGELA STANFORD: Just a bad tee shot got me going. And had a funny lie in the rough and we were kind of in between on what we thought the ball would do on the third shot on that lie. It just jumped and took off. I must have gone down the cart path. I thought it was going to be right behind the green and I get up there and it’s down the cart path. I just kept thinking just keep it to a bogey and try to get out of this jam and keep going.
Q. Too early for you to be looking at the leaderboard during today’s round?
ANGELA STANFORD: You know, last year is still fresh in my mind and I struggled on this golf course. I’m not getting ahead of myself. I know what’s still out there.
Q. Out of a hundred.
ANGELA STANFORD: I just think it’s whether you’re comfortable. Good meals at night. When I’m in the States I control my environment a little more than when we’re here. But they’ve done a great job for us. I guess I can throw in the Air Weave thing. The beds have been great. I didn’t know what to expect but that’s been a lot of fun to get to sleep on that every night.
People always said I can feel the bed week to week which I thought was crazy but the older you get, your body takes it.
Q. New sponsor this year?
ANGELA STANFORD: I’ve worn Polo my whole life. For as long as I can remember. Back into junior golf and I love the brand. It’s a very classic brand. I love it. I feel comfortable in it and have no problem with them being on my shirt.
Well I’ve worn them for a long time and normally have a logo there and changing now so I said let’s just leave the horse on. The lady that I work with has been great. She know what I like now and she sends me stuff and I write her back and say that was perfect.
Interviewer: That was a tough finish to the round after some highlights…
Caroline Headwall: Well I played really well. It was just bad luck on the last one
Interviewer: Can you explain what happened?
Caroline Headwall: It was just a bad lie and I was trying too hard to get it close, I don’t know, it was just one of those moments when you want to walk off the golf course
Interviewer: You were up to 8 under at one point a?
Caroline Headwall: I was just playing solid golf and made a couple of birdies. I felt really good about my game today it is just sad that I finished that way with two three putts and then this finish on 18
Interviewer: What hole were the two 3-putts?
Caroline Headwall: 16 and 17