Canadian Pacific Women's Open Second-Round Notes and Interviews

So Yeon Ryu
Photo Credit: Dave Sandford/Getty Images

So Yeon Ryu of South Korea lines up her putt on the 4th hole during the second round of the LPGA Canadian Pacific Women's Open at the London Hunt and Country Club on August 22, 2014 in London, Ontario, Canada.

Canadian Pacific Women's Open
London Hunt & Country Club
London, Ontario, Canada
Round 2 Notes
August 22, 2014


Rolex Rankings No. 9 So Yeon Ryu (-15)

Rolex Rankings No. 138  Danielle Kang (-10)
Rolex Rankings No. 10  Anna Nordqvist (-10)
Rolex Rankings No. 11  Cristie Kerr (-9)
Rolex Rankings No. 20 Na Yeon Choi (-7)
Rolex Rankings No. 30  Brittany Lincicome (-8)



At 24 years old, So Yeon Ryu has two wins, including the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open, and 36 top-10s to her credit. Never, though, has she opened a tournament like she has here at the Canadian Women’s Open.

15 birdies, zero bogeys and a 36-hole record here at the Canadian Women’s Open – three shots better than this
tournament’s ever seen before to this point.

Ryu, No. 9 in the world, even joked that the 6-under 66 she fired Friday was slightly disappointing after opening with a 9-under 63.

“After I shot 9-under, 6-under isn’t that great, but still it’s a really great score, and I had a lot of great putts,” she said. “I had a bogey-free round two days in a row, so I feel really great about that. I do love Canadian fans so much. I’m really happy I was able to show really great golf in front of them.”

Ryu’s been full of great golf over the last two years, but it hasn’t translated into wins. Since her win at the 2012 Jamie Farr Classic, Ryu has reeled off 27 top-10 finishes without a win. Twice through that stretch, she’s held a share of the lead after 36 holes but never the solo lead she enjoys heading into Saturday.

“I’m aiming for a bogey-free round all day four days, and I’m aiming for a really good win,” Ryu said.

Long one of the best ball-strikers on Tour, Ryu’s putting average has risen from 29.25 in 2012 to 30.38 in 2014 – a
difference in 68 spots in the putting rankings – and she’s pointed to the greens as the reason she hasn’t been in the winner’s circle in the last two years. Her putting’s been great this week, though, with only 52 putts needed so far.

“I think that’s why I couldn’t win a tournament,” she said.

Sitting five shots back of Ryu’s lead is Na Yeon Choi (70), Anna Nordqvist (69) and Danielle Kang (68) at 10-under. Her 129 total is the largest 36-hole lead of the season and in the history of this event.

Ryu and the 7-time winner Choi are close friends and both feel like they’re due. Neither has won since 2012, and Choi’s last win at the 2012 CME Group Titleholders came by two over Ryu in second. Since then, the two have admitted at times that the winless streak has weighed on them; although, they’re trying not to think about that right now.

“I think it’s too far away from Sunday. We just finished the half, and I know she looks like she’s playing so well the last two rounds. 15-under is a big score for two rounds, but my short game is getting better and my patience is getting better,” Choi said. “I missed some good results. So maybe this is my first opportunity to win in a long time. But I’m not going to think about that and I’ll just try to enjoy it on the course with my caddie and all the Canadian fans.”

Cristie Kerr sits six back of Ryu in sole posession of fifth at 9-under 135. Five players – Brittany Lincicome, Lizette Salas, Lindsey Wright, Mi Hyang Lee, and Xi Yu Lin – sit in a tie for sixth at 8-under-par 136.


HELP FROM A FRIEND
Danielle Kang realized when she arrived to London Hunt & Country Club that she had forgotten her ball mark for the day. She hoped the one she got as a fill-in from two-time defending champion Lydia Ko – her best friend on Tour – would become her lucky charm and it proved so on Thursday, posting a 68 to follow up the 66 from Friday to climb into a tie for second.
 
“Well, she was going to give me her ball marker, but she said she wasn’t putting well, so she gave me the one she was putting well with which is this one,” Kang said.
 
Waiting for one of the last tee times of the day, Kang - a habitual scoreboard watcher - continually updated her LPGA app for scores. She wanted to know where she stood and wanted the confidence that comes from seeing players raining in birdies out there. After seeing So Yeon Ryu go to 15-under, Kang had a goal in mind –  get to 10-under to give herself a shot on the weekend. She did on the final hole, nailing an 8-foot putt that elicited a huge smile as she exited the green towards the scorer’s tent.
 
“All I wanted to do was finish at 10‑under today. I started off with a goal of 4‑under minimum, and I was coming in and I was striking the ball well on the back nine and I was trying to figure out the shots, and I skulled a wedge shot on 16, and I had a really tough chip coming back, and I told myself, you know what? It will all even out. Good at putting right now, and I have so much confidence with my putter which makes my game really together.
 
She only needed 27 and 28 putts the first two days, and the only time she has started hotter in her three years on Tour was the 2012 Kingsmill Championship when posted rounds of 67, 64 to open. She was in contention at the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore earlier this year after opening rounds of 70-70 but faded on the weekend to a tie for 40th.
 
“It’s been a while. I’ve had a couple rough years. But I told myself Toledo to just get myself together and that’s enough of this.  I just wanted to get my game back,” Kang said. “I think last time I was in contention ‑‑ I was in contention in Singapore, and I blew it. I blew it. I didn’t finish well there. I was like Top 10, and I shot like 7‑over.”


THESE GIRLS ARE GOOD

Cristie Kerr won here at London Hunt & Country Club in 2006 with a 12-under four-day total. However, she’s not surprised to see So Yeon Ryu at 15-under and her at 9-under already through 36 holes.

“The course is a lot softer though, and players are hitting it longer than they did back then,” Kerr said. “It doesn’t surprise me. We’re pretty good, you know? People need to realize that.”

Although Kerr’s 4-under 68 was one short worse than a day prior, she said she hit the ball far better than a day prior, knocking it on 17 of 18 greens Friday. However, the flat stick wasn’t where it needed to be with 32 putts on Friday and the pin positions were far tougher – especially on the front nine – in her estimation.

“I definitely hit it better today. I had a lot more opportunities for birdie, and I definitely missed some putts out there still, so there is a lot to work on,” Kerr said. “I’ve just got to start the ball on line a little bit better, but overall I played pretty well.”


WORKING FOR A THREE-PEAT
Lydia Ko’s dreams of a three-peat here at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open didn’t dissipate Friday, but there’s certainly work to be done on the weekend after a second-round 69. Ko sits in a tie for 24th currently.

Ko was tied for the lead entering Saturday’s third round during her 2012 win but trailed Inbee Park and Cristie Kerr by two after 36 holes in 2013.


KEEP IT GOING
Brittany Lincicome found herself in contention again at last week’s Wegmans LPGA Championship, an event she led after round 2 and 3 before falling to Inbee Park in a playoff. She’s rebounded well this week, firing a 65 today and is 8-under for the tournament.

“Obviously, there is a little bit more attention looking at you than normal just because you did play well the previous week.” Lincicome said. “So it was nice to get a good round in today, because yesterday was just kind of I felt like I was having a great time. I felt really confident when I stepped up on the first hole and just nothing really kind of got going. It was just a very smooth kind of day. So it was nice to get some putts to fall today.”


SHOT OF THE DAY
Jessica Korda aced the 8th hole for her first hole-in-one on Tour. She used a baby cut 8-iron, 147 yards.

“Three, I had one when I was 8, one when I was 18, and the way I was going I thought the next one was going to be 28.” Korda said when asked how many aces she’s had in her career.


TRYING TO KEEP UP
Anna Nordqvist finished Rd. 2 of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open feeling like she played really well today, but in a way was trying to keep up with leader So Yeon Ryu, who she was paired with, for most of the day.

“I was trying to keep up with her on the greens.” Nordqvist said. “I played really well today too, and just couldn’t seem to make any putts. I burned six or seven edges today, so it’s a bit frustrating, but she played really well, and I tried to feed off her. I don’t think she’s made a bogey in two days, and I think I made one. So it’s been really good golf in the group, and we had a lot of fun.”

Despite leaving some strokes out there today, Nordqvist will head into Saturday in position to win her third
tournament of the year and her best finish at the Canadian Women’s Open since a T6 in 2012 (74-70-68-69=281).

“Yesterday was great, off the block and shoot 7 under the first day, and then today I felt my game was even better than yesterday.” Nordqvist said. “It’s funny how a day can turn around. But I’m obviously very happy with what I’ve been doing, and I felt I would struggle a little bit after the U.S. Open in Arkansas and the British Open, but I feel like I’m back on track and I’m happy with the way I’m hitting it.”


THE SOCIAL SCENE
After two consecutive bogey-free rounds and record-low 36 hole scores for both her and the tournament, So Yeon Ryu showed her happiness with a post on her Instagram page.

“Glad to have bogey free round, specially 2days in a row :) #CPhasHEART
@cpwomensopen”      
    - So Yeon Ryu on Instagram (@1soyeonry)


TV TIMES THIS WEEK
The airtimes for the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open on Golf Channel are as follows:

Saturday                              3:00-5:00pm ET
                                                1:30-3:30am ET (Replay)

Sunday                                 2:00-5:00pm ET
                                                1:30-3:30am ET (Replay)
 
Note that on Thursday and Friday, TSN has an additional 3:00-6:00pm telecast.  On Saturday, TSN will air from 2:00-5:00pm.


QUOTE OF THE DAY
“It’s awesome. I love it. It’s a challenge to be able to play well for them and I love it. I know they’re all cheering for me, so it’s really positive energy.“

- Brooke Henderson when asked if there was any pressure in having the kind of attention that she does being a
 Canadian and playing in the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open.


CANADIAN NOTABLES
Jennifer Kirby (-5), sponsor invite Jennifer Ha (-3), Brooke Henderson (-3) and Sue Kim (-1) made the cut and will play this weekend. Other Canadians who missed the cut are Natalie Gleadall (E), sponsor invite Elizabeth Tan (E), Rebecca Lee-Bentham (E), Sara-Maude Juneau (+1), Jessica Wallace (+1), Alena Sharp (+1), Lori Kane (+1), Maude-Aimee LeBlanc (+2), Samantha Richdale (+3), Erica Rivard (+4), Nicole Vandermade (+5).


NOTABLES NOT TO MAKE THE CUT
Top 70 and ties made the cut this week and the -1 cut line was ties for the lowest cut line of the year (JTBC Founders Cup and Airbus LPGA Classic presented by JTBC each were both 1-under). Notable players to miss the cut were Beatriz Recari (+1) and former Canadian Women’s Open winners Katherin Hull-Kirk (2008) and Meena Lee (2005).


NO. 1 SCENARIOS
Inbee Park would go to No. 1 if:
•   She wins and Lewis finishes in a four-way tie for second or worse.
•   Finishes second and Stacy finishes 47th or worse and Lydia does not win.
 
Lydia Ko would go to No. 1 if:
•  She wins and Stacy finishes in a three-way tie for second or worse.
•  Even if Inbee and Stacy are cut, a second place finish won’t push Ko to 1.


SO YEON RYU

Q.    It's not 63, but you've got to be pretty pleased?
    SO YEON RYU:  Yeah, after I shot 9‑under, 6‑under is not that great, but still it's a really great score, and I did a lot of great putts.  I had a bogey‑free round two days in a row, so I feel really great about that.  I do love Canadian fans so much.  I'm really happy I was able to show really great golf in front of them.

    Q.  The conditions of the greens today compared to yesterday the same?
    SO YEON RYU:  I think quicker than yesterday.  Yesterday I played mornings, so maybe afternoon the grass will a little firm up, that's why today morning was more quicker than yesterday.  But I'm pretty sure it's going to be quicker the last few days.

    Q.  The head pro here said a 63 is still out there in this tournament.  Do you see that?
    SO YEON RYU:  When I played this golf course as practice, I thought it was a really tough golf course, so after I shot 63 I couldn't believe I shot 63, so I'm really happy to get a bogey‑free round.  I think it's really nice on a tough golf course.

    Q.  Were you playing more conservative to not have the bogeys the last two rounds?
    SO YEON RYU:  Actually, that is my goal.  I aim for a bogey‑free round all four days, and I'm aiming for a really good winning.

    Q.  So you're more impressed with the no bogeys than with the 15?

    SO YEON RYU:  A lot of birdies still this time, but no bogeys is still more a great sign because it means I've played really consistent.  When I was in trouble, I proved I can prove it with a bogey‑free round, so I'm more happy with a bogey‑free round.

    Q.  What's it feel like to be playing a round like that where you know you're on a roll.  It's a long golf season, there are ups and downs, but to be in a spot like that.
    SO YEON RYU:  You know what?  Why I'm playing golf is because I'm happy.  So I'm happy to be just traveling all around the world, around the state, and I'm really happy to show my golf swing and golf game to all golf fans.  The thing is not really think about the reserve thing.  I'm playing golf and I'm happy, that's why I'm playing golf.  So I'm really more thinking about my happiness thing.

    Q.  Bet you're more happy when you shoot a round like this though, right?

    SO YEON RYU:  Absolutely.

    Q.  We look at the majors, and you had British Open good, and then 79, and do you remember?  Have you done it this year?
    SO YEON RYU:  I cannot remember any bogey‑free round the last three major tournaments.  But I'm looking forward to this week.

    Q.  When is the last time you played with Na Yeon in the final group?  Has that ever happened?
    SO YEON RYU:  I think the last one is I think two years ago in CME, I believe.  She won the tournament, and I finished second, but hopefully I can play with her.  I really look forward to competing with each other.

    Q.  You talked about going to work with Dave Stockton on your putting.  You felt like that held you back from a win.  You've putted great this week.  Is that a sign?

    SO YEON RYU:  Yeah, not every round, but sometimes I text with him.  But every time just he told me to trust yourself and get relaxed.  He really was not talking about any skill things.  Just talked about my mental ability thing.  So I'm just going to stick with what he told me, and I'm just going to relax and have fun with my golf.

    Q.  Do you have a number per round?  Even out here with the big greens and that, you had 25 putts or something yesterday.  Are you probably around there today?  Do you think you can keep it under 30?

    SO YEON RYU:  I'm pretty sure it's under 30, but I'm really not sure how much I've putted, but I think around 27, yeah.

    Q.  But is that the big part?

    SO YEON RYU:  Yeah, absolutely.  I remember two years ago my putting average was top three, then last year I wasn't putting really well.  I think that's why I couldn't win a tournament, but hopefully I can finish with a top 10 and with my putting average saved.

    Q.  Danielle Kang thought this was a putting contest here because the greens are so big.  Do you agree with that?
    SO YEON RYU:  Yeah, yeah.  If the greens are really small the more important thing is maybe chipping.  But these wide greens are really big, so when you miss the putt, still your ball on the green, then you have to do like 30 yards putt.  So today, my long putting, like putting distance was really great.  So it was really easy to make a par.
    If you make a par that's really tough, you kind of keep under your pressure, so it makes you really tired.  But today my long putter feels really great, and my birdie putt is really great.  So I think that's why it feels more comfortable to playing.

    Q.  Playing with Anna who was kind of on your heels, was that a good preview for the weekend?

    SO YEON RYU:  I think this year her golf has a lot improved.  She's hitting really well and her putting is really well.  Then yesterday was kind of really fun to kind of competing with Anna, like make a birdie every hole.  Then actually, honestly today's iron shot, Anna's iron shot was much better than mine, but her putt was not enough, so I'm pretty sure she's going to have some great golf the next two days.

    Q.  Did you go to the same restaurant last night?

    SO YEON RYU:  Yeah, we same.  But, yeah, it's a Korean restaurant, so I just take away the food and just had the food in the room and just relaxed.  But I always pick my food menu and dinner menu, and yesterday I really wanted to take a Korean meal, so my mom was takeaway.

    Q.  Oh, takeaway this time.  Are you superstitious?
    SO YEON RYU:  No, I don't have any superstitious with food things, but I don't really eat meat and wheat during the tournament because my /STOPL's not good for meat and wheat, so it's not superstition, but it's more for my conditioning.

    Q.  Are you going back to the same restaurant you had the last two nights?
    SO YEON RYU:  I should think about that.

    Q.  Did you and Na Yeon talk last night?

    SO YEON RYU:  No, I couldn't talk with Na Yeon yesterday, she was a bit struggle with her game.  Then after International Crown she was feeling really sad because she didn't play well at the International Crown.  But she shot 64 yesterday, so I was really happy that she was back in charge.

    Q.  How cool would it be if she won even if you don't win?  Wrote that be cool to see her win because you've gone through the same thing?

    SO YEON RYU:  If I cannot win any tournament, I'm glad to see my close friends going to win the tournament.


DANIELLE KANG

DANIELLE KANG:  All I wanted to do was finish at 10‑under today.  I started off with a goal of 4‑under minimum, and I was coming in and I was striking the ball well on the back nine and I was trying to figure out the shots, and I skulled a wedge shot on 16, and I had a really tough chip coming back, and I told myself, you know what?  It will all even out.  Good at putting right now, and I have so much confidence with my putter which makes my game really together.

    Q.  Feel pretty confident going into the weekend then?
    DANIELLE KANG:  Yeah, I'm still going to stick to my game plan.  The greens are so receptive that I can just hit it at the pin.  My swings just got to hold up, and no more skulling over the green.  But I really like this golf course.  If you make a mistake, it's a mistake.  So if you miss the green or miss the fairway, it's really tough rough out here.  It's actually really long, so it's kind of a shock.

    Q.  Any idea what you think the score is going to need to be to win this?

    DANIELLE KANG:  I'm not sure.  15‑under is in the lead after two days, so you never know.  There are a lot of birdies out there, so we'll have to wait and see.  There are a lot of people contending, and there are a lot of birdies out there, and everyone's shooting low.  So you've just got to keep making birdies.

    Q.  What will be your strategy as you head into tomorrow?

    DANIELLE KANG:  I'm going to be aggressive, attack the pins.  I love looking at the scoreboard to see what I have to do.  So I'll keep looking at it.  I'm going to be really aggressive to be honest with you.  Some holes here you're going to have to take a par and leave, but other than those the greens are really, really receptive so you can throw darts on it.

    Q.  How did you putt today?

    DANIELLE KANG:  I putted really good today.  Really, really good.  I have so much confidence with my putter.  I had a lot of six‑footers that I need to save, and I feel great about my wedge game.  When I make a mistake, I don't feel panicked.  I feel, oh, it's okay, I'll just figure it out, which I did on the last hole.  I told my caddie on the last hole I think I figured it out.  Last skull I think I figured it out, and I did, and stuck it in and made a birdie.

    Q.  Many players don't like watching the scoreboard.  Why do you like to?

    DANIELLE KANG:  I love it because I know there are birdies out there, and I'm refreshing score this morning to see who is shooting what.  I just like to see that.  I just like to know that I need to do more.  Instead of saying I'm going to play my game.  Of course you should play your own game, but I like to see what the competition is doing.  If they're 15‑under, I've got to get to 10.  I can't be finishing at 9.
    I keep looking over to see who is shooting 6 or 7‑under, and Lizette's at 6‑under, and 8‑under, and I'm like all right.  There are birdies out there.  There are pin placements you can attack and let's keep going.  Let's get birdies.

    Q.  Did that give you confidence that you saw So Yeon was at 15 when you teed off or did that freak you out?

    DANIELLE KANG:  No, I just said I think So Yeon really likes this golf course.  I'm guessing she really does.  Seeing that she has 15‑under coming in, and a lot of players shot 7‑under, 8‑under, 6‑under, and 5‑under, that tells me there are birdies out there.  I was talking to Lydia before the round, I took her ball marker because I forgot to bring one, and I asked her how is the course looking?  And she's telling me, there are birdies out there.  You've got to go by the scoreboard, scoreboard tells you everything you need to know.  That's why I like to look it.

    Q.  Is this Lydia's?
    DANIELLE KANG:  Yeah, this one's Lydia's.  I stole it.  I'm going to keep it.

    Q.  Maybe steal some of her mojo here?

    DANIELLE KANG:  Well, she was going to give me her ball marker, but she said she wasn't putting well, so she gave me the one she was putting well with which is this one.

    Q.  That's not a bad person to steal from.
    DANIELLE KANG:  Yeah, I was like where is she?  I have to go get a ball marker.

    Q.  How did you two become so close?
    DANIELLE KANG:  I don't know.  I think we just clicked.  She's like a little sister.  I've always supported her.  I'm watching her too, just refreshing scores and always rooting each other on.  You've just got to feed off other players and it's a good energy.

    Q.  When did that start?
    DANIELLE KANG:  I've known her for a while, few years ago, many years ago.

    Q.  When did you first meet?

    DANIELLE KANG:  I don't know.  She's still so young, I'm not sure.  I want to say like 12, but I'm not quite sure.

    Q.  When is the last time you were in contention out here?
    DANIELLE KANG:  It's been a while.  I've had a couple rough years coming up.  But I told myself Toledo to just get myself together and that's enough of this.  I just wanted to get my game back.  I think last time I was in contention ‑‑ I was in contention in Singapore, and I blew it.  I blew it.  I didn't finish well there.  I was like Top 10, and I shot like 7‑over.
    But just my mom keeps telling me stay calm and don't get too excited because I'm very emotional.  So I hit that shot, I was like oh, gosh.  She was just like just relax and play your game and you'll be fine.  Really excited to be in contention right now.

    Q.  You had some huge amateur wins on stages pretty similar.  Do you lean back towards looking at that?  It's not like you'll be fresh out there know not knowing what this is like.

    DANIELLE KANG:  Yeah, I hear what you're saying.  I recall shots that I hit and putts that I've putted even back in 2010 and 11.  I still remember.  It's very fresh.  I had actually that putt on 16, I had about a 25‑footer for par on a par‑5 and I could reach it.  I look around and it's weird to say, but I feel my dad around me.
    I remembered all of a sudden me betting a TV against him.  So I said, oh, my gosh, I think this is actually going to go in.  And I made it.  I kind of replay things and when I do something bad I kind of look around and see I kind of look for him and know he's there so it makes me feel better.  I do recall shots many times.

    Q.  Has it gotten easier playing without him?
    DANIELLE KANG:  No, it's never easier.  Now I just imagine him there.  He's been there so much now so if I make a birdie, I see him giving me thumbs up.  If I make a mistake, I see him going like it's okay.  He always used to just go it's okay, just calm down, just calm down.  Or if I hit a good shot he always gives me thumbs up, and I look around and I know it's weird.  He hasn't been here, but when I look around and I see certain trees that he would be under.  It's really weird.  I know where he would be standing.  It's an odd thing to do.
    But there is one hole, I think number ‑‑ what hole is it?  The uphill par‑4, I know he'd be standing under that tree.  I just look and imagine him being like it's okay, let's go because I had an 8‑footer for par again.  I see it and feed off of that, and I go all right.  I'm going to make the putt, and I made it.

    Q.  Will your mom be here this weekend?

    DANIELLE KANG:  You never know.  I don't know.  She might make an a appearance.  I'm not sure.  I leave her with a lot of pets so, yeah, I hope so.  She's very spontaneous.  She's supposed to come out in Portland, and she missed all my amateur wins, so she might get on a flight.  I'm not sure.

    Q.  You might not want her to if she missed all the amateur wins?
    DANIELLE KANG:  No, I'd love for my mom to come out.  I'm like, Mom, when are you going to grace me with your presence?  Anytime soon?  So you never know.

    Q.  Where's your mom live?
    DANIELLE KANG:  In California, thousand Oaks.

    Q.  That's a nice long flight for her.
    DANIELLE KANG:  Yeah, we'll see after tomorrow.  She's funny.  My brother said, hey, mom, did you record the TV yesterday?  I think Danielle was on.  She said, no, was she on TV?  I didn't record it.  She's usually never on.  I was like, oh, thanks, Mom.  She said, oh, I see it.  Because she's a doctor, so her patients send her videos of it.  So she said, okay, I'm recording it today, but I think you're not on.  You know, TV times.  I'd love to just come out ‑‑ I want her to come out and watch live.

    Q.  Now you're going to be potentially in the final group, at least the last group tomorrow, so you'll be on TV?

    DANIELLE KANG:  Yeah, honestly, I wanted to be on TV so my mom could see it.  Not for any other reason, I just wanted her to.  Sometimes she can't be here and I wanted her to be able to see it sitting at home with all my luggage, my pets.

    Q.  After seeing the last two days, are you pretty committed to keeping that putter long‑term?  Are you going to quit giving it away?

    DANIELLE KANG:  Yeah, he's going to stay.  I think my putter rep will be really happy that he doesn't have to make me another putter.

    Q.  How many did you go through?
    DANIELLE KANG:  A lot.  I went through a lot.  He built me whatever I wanted, how I wanted, he built it, and I just didn't like any of them.  I switched back to this one, and he goes, thank you.  Back to the old one that you're comfortable with.  So he's going to stay.  There is no reason not to.

    Q.  Do you think part of that is the confidence of maybe remembering some of those past successes?
    DANIELLE KANG:  Yeah, I looked down and I see that ugly little white thing, and I just know that that putter has made putts.  I know how it's going to go in.

    Q.  In some huge situations.

    DANIELLE KANG:  Yeah, I just feel really good with that putter.  Some days it doesn't go in, but I feel really good with it.  I feel like it's me, not the putter.

    Q.  You can't blame it on the putter?

    DANIELLE KANG:  No, not anymore.

    Q.  Why do so many teenage girls manage to grow up fast in the sport as opposed to boys?  Do you have any theories on why?  Lydia has won this twice now and she's 17 years old.  Any theories on why?
    DANIELLE KANG:  Just in this sport or in general?

    Q.  Yeah, why so many teenage girls are so much better at golf than maybe boys of the same age?  Girls grow up quicker?
    DANIELLE KANG:  I don't know if I would put it in those words.  I would say that they're ‑‑ I think the guys our age are still very, very talented, it's just there's more competition, I guess that are in their 30s to 40s for men.  I mean, they're still shooting 10‑under par.  But I think this game is growing, so there are much younger players that are coming up faster.  I don't know, maybe girls are just more mature than guys earlier.  I don't know.
    I think the rookie age in men's Tour is 31, is that what it is?  Rookie average age, and LPGA, I don't know what LPGA is.  I'm thinking is it 12?  Because I'm way past 12.  But I think everyone ‑‑ it depends.  I don't think it's an age at this point, I think it's the maturity of how you handle the game of golf.
    Sometimes you see Lydia and you wouldn't think that she's 17.  I would see her as golf maturity‑wise, she's been around for many years and you can see some 25‑year‑olds playing, and you could say, okay, she needs to mature in the game a little bit more.  My game's still very immature, and I think it's the maturity of the game more than the age.  That's my opinion.  I don't know.


ANNA NORDQVIST

Q.    Great round today, especially with So Yeon.  Did you feel a little extra pressure seeing how low she was going to keep up with her?
    ANNA NORDQVIST:  No, well, I was trying to keep up with her on the greens.  I played really well today too, and just couldn't seem to make any putts.  I burned six or seven edges today, so it's a bit frustrating, but she played really well, and I tried to feed off her.  I don't think she's made a bogey in two days, and I think I made one.  So it's been really good golf in the group, and we had a lot of fun.

    Q.  You've played well all year, pretty consistent.  How's the level of your confidence right now?
    ANNA NORDQVIST:  My confidence is great.  I played great last week, just couldn't seem to make a lot of putts last week.  Yesterday was great, off the block and shoot 7‑under the first day, and then today I felt my game was even better than yesterday.  It's funny how a day can turn around.
    But I'm obviously very happy with what I've been doing, and I felt I would struggle a little bit after the U.S. Open in Arkansas and the British Open, but I feel like I'm back on track and I'm happy with the way I'm hitting it.

    Q.  Do you have to match these two days?  Do you think the way the scoring is going, do you have to match it?

    ANNA NORDQVIST:  Yeah, you have a lot of birdie opportunities.  I don't know how many I gave myself today within ten foot, so you're definitely going to have to make a lot of birdies.  Hopefully, the greens firm up a little bit.  It makes it a little tougher, but it's definitely going to be a (Indiscernible), and I expect there to be some low scores this afternoon.

    Q.  I saw you on the range the other day.  When did you pick up the orange ball?

    ANNA NORDQVIST:  I've been using it since I would say April, May.  It's one of my drills that I do with my coach.

    Q.  What is the theory?
    ANNA NORDQVIST:  I'm working a lot on connection in my swing, and it's one of the drills I do.

    Q.  Have you noticed it working?

    ANNA NORDQVIST:  Yeah, I'm hitting very solid, and generally it's 16, 17 greens.  Yesterday I had 16, so it's definitely paying off, and ball striking is one of my strongest parts, so I'm very happy with the way I'm hitting it.  I'll just keep working on my drills and I'll be right there.


NA YEON CHOI


NA YEON CHOI:  Actually, if I compare today and yesterday, my driver wasn't great, especially the front nine, but I tried to stay in the moment.  I didn't give up until last hole.  So I really like where I am right now.

    Q.  The afternoon scores don't seem as low.  Is this course beginning to change a little bit?

    NA YEON CHOI:  I'm not sure.  I mean, the course seems not dry much, so still we can hit to the flag.  It's no problem.  But maybe the wind was a little bit switching like every two seconds, so it wasn't easy to choose the club on the fairway.  But still we have a lot of golf left, so I might go to the driving range and try to find a good feeling with my driver and come back with a good feeling.

    Q.  You're chasing your friend and International Crown teammate So Yeon Ryu this weekend, can you catch her?

    NA YEON CHOI:  I don't know.  But I'll do my best.  I read something yesterday.  We had dinner together on Wednesday night, Inbee, and So Yeon and I had a dinner together.  We did two different friends, and we all played good, so it feels great we did this tournament.  Yeah, I want to see what's going to happen through Sunday.

    Q.  Do you remember the name of the restaurant you went to?

    NA YEON CHOI:  It's Shogun, Japanese, Korean.

    Q.  So Yeon said she got take out there again last night.
    NA YEON CHOI:  Oh, they went there again?

    Q.  No, just her mom got her food.

    NA YEON CHOI:  Oh, okay.

    Q.  Did you?

    NA YEON CHOI:  No, I didn't.  I actually went to shopping mall and I went to the movie theater, so I just tried to relax.  Always when I think about too much golf even off the golf course it sometimes gives me a lot of stress.  So I just tried to release and relief from the golf, and I think it worked.  The 8‑under and 2‑under, maybe some people think there is a big score there, a big number there, but I think I'm still playing well today, and I'm really happy how I finished until the last hole.  Yeah, I mean, I just told the camera I think I'm going to the range after this and just trying to find a good feeling with my driver.

    Q.  What was it?  Were you hitting it too far?  Were you off?

    NA YEON CHOI:  No, actually, I hit a couple times to the left especially with the driver.  I really tried to find a good rhythm on the course, but actually the back nine I hit better than the first nine.  So I think maybe my caddie can help me.  My coach was here this week, and then they talked a lot about my swing, so maybe he can find something.

    Q.  What movie did you see?
    NA YEON CHOI:  Into the Storm.  It's a good movie.  It's a little bit scary about the tornado.  It's about a tornado.

    Q.  And you guys fly all over the place?
    NA YEON CHOI:  Yeah, yeah.

    Q.  So Yeon said the last time you played together on the weekend was at the CME in 2012.  Was that right?  Was that third round or final round?
    NA YEON CHOI:  It was the final round definitely.  But really?  That long time ago?  I can't really remember.  But we know each other very well, especially our games, also we've played practice rounds a lot during International Crown.  So I don't know.  Do I play with So Yeon tomorrow?

    Q.  It depends on what Kang finishes?

    NA YEON CHOI:  Yeah, we're good friends of each other.  We might have to do the ice bucket challenge today.

    Q.  You're doing it today?

    NA YEON CHOI:  Yeah, Inbee got called, so before the round started, Inbee said I'm going to call me and So Yeon.

    Q.  You won that 2012 CME.  She finished second.  You hope this one ends the same?

    NA YEON CHOI:  I think it's too far away Sunday.  We just finished the half, and I know she looks like she's playing so well the last two rounds.  15‑under is a big score for two rounds, but my short game is getting better and my patience is getting better.  I missed some good results.  So maybe this is my opportunity to win for a long time.  But I'm not going to think about that and I'll just try to enjoy it on the course with my caddie and all the Canadian fans.

    Q.  She said at crown that you all both talked about it had been two years since you won and how frustrated you were both about that.  Do you remember that conversation?  She said that really helped her that someone else was going through the same thing she's been through.
    NA YEON CHOI:  Yeah, actually, when we drove to the restaurant every night we talked about ‑‑ I think we never really talked that deep with each other, but everyone has, I think the same problem, not problem like stress, problem from fans or media or about the golf results.  But we just decided we can't control that.  Even when we played the International Crown we had a lot of pressure for the Korean flag, but we can't control it.  If we play our best without regret, I mean, that's what we need.  So, yeah, after that I think we're closer to each other.


CRISTIE KERR

Q.    Pretty pleased with the round today?
    CRISTIE KERR:  Yeah, I definitely hit it better today.  I had a lot more opportunities for birdie, and I definitely missed some putts out there still, so there is a lot to work on.  I've just got to try to start the ball on line a little bit better, but overall I played pretty well.

    Q.  Is it a little firmer out there today?  The scores overall don't look quite as low as yesterday?

    CRISTIE KERR:  Not really.  I think the pins especially on the front nine are way tougher than they were yesterday.  I mean, we hit 3‑wood, and I hit a decent drive on 5 and I had 228 yards to the hole.  So they put the tee back.  It was into the wind, and they put the pin back as far right as they could.  It was the only hole I bogeyed.  I had a long two‑putt and left it short and missed it.  So that was the only bogey I had today, but I played pretty well overall.

    Q.  Did your experience here in 2006 show you could be staying up close to the lead going into the weekend?

    CRISTIE KERR:  I think so.  So Yeon right now is probably making everything she looks at.  I mean, as somebody up by four or five would be doing.  I've definitely missed over these last two days, 7 or 8 putts that could have gone in, so if those go in ‑‑ but I've got to focus on the weekend just getting those putts to go in.

    Q.  You were at 12 here when you won in 2006.  Were you surprised how low they've been so far?

    CRISTIE KERR:  Yeah, the course is a lot softer though, and players are hitting it longer than they did back then.  It doesn't surprise me.  We're pretty good, you know?  People need to realize that.

    Q.  I wanted to ask you about that.  There are so many golfers who at the age of 13, 14, 15 in the women's game who can compete with veterans.  Why do you think that is more so?
    CRISTIE KERR:  They're just a lot more prepared.  It seems like I get this question a lot.  They're just a lot more prepared to play professional golf than I was when I came out.  I just had my dad.  But they have their swing coaches, their mental coaches, their trainers, everything, everything.  They have sponsorships when they come out, and we didn't.  So it's a lot different world for them.  It's a lot of money involved in it now, so it's a business.


BRITTANY LINCICOME

Q.    Some other players were saying the pin placements were a little harder, but what did you see on the course that gave you such a nice round today?
    BRITTANY LINCICOME:  You know, I was putting well.  I made a lot of good putts out there.  I think I had 27 putts today, which is always good.  Anytime you're in the 20s it means you've probably had a good day.  I hit a lot of greens and the few that I missed I had little putts just off the greens, so didn't have to stress about chip shots or anything.  Hit the rough a lot off the tee, but overall I was hitting it closer today than yesterday and putting it pretty well.

    Q.  Did you notice much of a difference in yesterday's round in terms of like on the course?  Was it soft still?

    BRITTANY LINCICOME:  No, obviously playing in the morning as opposed to the afternoon.  The greens are a little fresher, more fresh.  So I think that's obviously an advantage.  The earlier you can play, being one of the first ones out, the greens were a little better, but the fairways and everything were the same.

    Q.  They asked you before the mindset coming in from last week, great tournament overall.  What was your mindset heading into yesterday and today?
    BRITTANY LINCICOME:  Just to try to keep it going.  Obviously, when you play well, you want to keep it going, and not backtrack a little bit.  Obviously, there is a little bit more attention looking at you than normal just because you did play well the previous week.
    So it was nice to get a good round in today, because yesterday was just kind of I felt like I was having a great time.  I felt really confident when I stepped up on the first hole and just nothing really kind of got going.  It was just a very smooth kind of day.  So it was nice to get some putts to fall today.

    Q.  Overall level of confidence right now?

    BRITTANY LINCICOME:  Really high.


JENNIFER KIRBY

Q.    Greens are still soft.  Some of the girls have mentioned it's been hard to read the breaks today.  Did you find that?

    JENNIFER KIRBY:  Yeah, definitely.  It was a little tricky, but overall I don't think they're breaking as much as it was.

    Q.  Probably be firmer tomorrow.  Will that help you?
    JENNIFER KIRBY:  Yeah, I mean, I don't mind it being soft because I hit it a little bit further, so it's kind of an advantage, but obviously lower scores with softer greens.

    Q.  You're where you want to be right now though?  You're in position for tomorrow.
    JENNIFER KIRBY:  Yeah, hopefully I can go a little lower on the weekend.

    Q.  How was the state of your game when you came into this tournament?

    JENNIFER KIRBY:  Yeah, I was feeling good about it I had a couple good rounds in Rochester, and a couple not so great, but overall I was hitting well and felt good about my putting and so it was in a good state.

    Q.  Putting is the name of the game around here?

    JENNIFER KIRBY:  Yeah.

    Q.  I talked to you last year and you said your main goal was to make the LPGA Tour.  What is your main goal for the rookie season?

    JENNIFER KIRBY:  Honestly, just keep plugging away and trying to improve on all my results.  Obviously, you want to make the cut every week and get as close to the lead as possible.  So every day just try to see what the leaders are at and what the top 10 is at, just trying to get it as close as I can.

    Q.  How tough is it for a player to keep their card?  It's so hard to get here and then to keep that card.  What is the weekly pressure of having that?
    JENNIFER KIRBY:  Yeah, it's obviously a reality.  You need to keep your card to continue to play out here.  But as long as you just keep trying your best and keep playing well.  The hardest thing is just being consistent throughout the entire year, and I think that's what's really important.

    Q.  Is that tough to do when you're traveling to how many different countries over the course of the year?
    JENNIFER KIRBY:  Yeah, it's tough because there are a lot of four‑week stretches that we go through.  You don't have as much time to work on your game.  So it's kind of a work in progress while you're on the road.

    Q.  How about the pressure this time of year of trying to get into those Asian events?  Everybody wants to be in those.  What's it like?
    JENNIFER KIRBY:  Yeah, that is the main goal.  To travel over there, no cut.  It's just free money, so that's everyone's goal, working towards the end of the year.

    Q.  Do you let it push you the idea that the card is not something that everyone just holds on to?  It's something that's got to be attained and held on to, does it push you to make sure you don't lose it?
    JENNIFER KIRBY:  I mean, that's not really my goal.  I want to play as well as I can, and that should be just a result of good play.


BROOKE HENDERSON

Q.    You said you wanted to make the cut.  Do you feel good about the place you've put yourself in now?

    BROOKE HENDERSON:  Yeah, I played pretty well today.  I left a lot of opportunities out there and missed a lot of birdies, but that's okay.  If I play the weekend, I'll get them tomorrow.

    Q.  How much pressure is it to have the kind of attention that you have here?
    BROOKE HENDERSON:  It's awesome.  I love it.  It's a challenge to be able to play well for them, and I love it.  I know they're all cheering for me, so really it's positive energy.

    Q.  You feed off of it?
    BROOKE HENDERSON:  Yeah, exactly.

    Q.  How much better do you feel than the first two Canadian Opens when you didn't make the cut?
    BROOKE HENDERSON:  A lot more comfortable on the big stage which is awesome, because when I was in here and I was 14, I was pretty nervous, and didn't really know anybody.  Now I know the other pros and they know me, and I'm more comfortable in the big setting with all the fans and all the cameras.

    Q.  What part of this course works to your advantage do you think?

    BROOKE HENDERSON:  Definitely tee shots it's a little wide open, but you have to be smart in your position.  My strength is definitely ball striking, so being able to hit the greens in the right spot because they're large, being able to point yourself in a good position to make birdie is key.  I still have to work on some putting, and hopefully I'll clear that up for tomorrow.

    Q.  Is that four for four now on the LPGA Tour this year as far as making cuts?
    BROOKE HENDERSON:  Yeah, if I make it today, it will be.

    Q.  Are you glad you went out and grabbed it?  You could have been around even and wondered, right?  But now you're ‑‑

    BROOKE HENDERSON:  Honestly, today I could have been easily 5‑under.  I had so many opportunities for birdie inside 10 feet and didn't capitalize on them.  Unfortunately, I missed that last putt on 18 to be only 1‑under for the day.

    Q.  You played with Doug Alexander.  Did he share any local knowledge with you that you brought to the course this week?
    BROOKE HENDERSON:  Yeah, for sure.  It was fun being able to play with Doug, he's President of Golf Canada and a member here, and another member and his friend, Jeff.  I mean coming out here three weeks ago the greens weren't in the best of shape, but he was able to show me around and show me some of the elevations and some good spots to be in the fairways.

    Q.  You're playing so much golf lately, but your mental aspect is still very keen.  Is that going to continue throughout the year?  There is still a lot of golf left.

    BROOKE HENDERSON:  Yeah, it's been a busy summer.  I only have one more tournament left for a little while.  So I'll go to the World Amateur in Japan in two weeks, and I'm really excited for that.

    Q.  You're 16 years old, and you seem to be handling this so well.  What is your secret?
    BROOKE HENDERSON:  Oh, I don't know.  That's a tough question.  There are a lot of young players out here.  Lydia Ko, Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, that's just to name a few.  I know I still have a long way to go to get to where I want to be, so I'm always trying to get better.

    Q.  What would be your ultimate goal?

    BROOKE HENDERSON:  My ultimate goal this week?

    Q.  No, in general.  You ask a player and they say in five years they want to reach this point.  What is your ultimate goal?
    BROOKE HENDERSON:  Definitely I want to have full status on the LPGA Tour and have a successful career out here for a long time and be able to win tournaments and hopefully win a major someday.

    Q.  Brittany on Monday suggested you were going to caddie for Q‑school?

    BROOKE HENDERSON:  Yeah, I'm caddying for her next week at Q‑school and then I'm leaving for Japan.

    Q.  To go to Q‑school and look at it, what's that mean after all the summer?  Does that feel like a holiday break or is it to work again?

    BROOKE HENDERSON:  No, it's fun.  I love caddying for my sister, and she caddies for me a lot, so it's nice to return the favor.  It will be nice to go out and scout out the course for Q‑school because hopefully I'll be there in the next year or two.


REBECCA LEE‑BENTHAM

Q.    That birdie at 18 may be massive in the scheme of things, right?

    REBECCA LEE‑BENTHAM:  I'm not sure.  I haven't really been keeping track of what the cut is.  I knew that to give myself a best chance that I wanted to make it.  So I left the ball short out there, so the last putt I told myself, don't leave it short.  If I'm going to miss, knock it by ten feet.  I don't care.

    Q.  So some tougher pin placements today?
    REBECCA LEE‑BENTHAM:  I think I just didn't hit it well today.  Yeah, just myself.

    Q.  So you going to the range afterwards?
    REBECCA LEE‑BENTHAM:  Probably, you'll find me.

    Q.  What are you working on?
    REBECCA LEE‑BENTHAM:  Just go back to fundamentals.  I just didn't feel quite like my foundations weren't there today.  I tried to go back to it on the golf course, but it's hard to commit to shots just out on the golf course.

    Q.  Just not trusting it today?
    REBECCA LEE‑BENTHAM:  Yeah.

    Q.  How important is it at this point in the season to make cuts?  This is a crucial part of the year.
    REBECCA LEE‑BENTHAM:  This is my living, so to make cuts is how I feed myself, so every stroke matters to me, for sure.

    Q.  Rebecca, I was following you.  You had a couple of very close calls.  Just wanted to get your thoughts on those holes, 16 and 17?

    REBECCA LEE‑BENTHAM:  Yeah, I mean, coming down the stretch, I knew I had to make birdies.  I tried to give myself chances, but like I said, I just wasn't feeling my swing today, so it's tough out there.  I tried to grind as hard as I could.

    Q.  Now you wait, right?
    REBECCA LEE‑BENTHAM:  I do.  I wait and see what happens.

    Q.  What do you do for the rest of the day on a day like this?  Do you watch the screen, stay away from it?  What do you do?
    REBECCA LEE‑BENTHAM:  I might check every now and then.  Obviously, I'll check at the end of the day to see if I made the cut.  So I have family here, so I might as well enjoy the rest of the day, work on my swing a bit and see what happens.

    Q.  Does the pressure start to mount at this time of the season to try to qualify for the Asian events and to get into those?  What is that like?
    REBECCA LEE‑BENTHAM:  For sure.  Right now I'm on the cut of making it to the Evian.  Obviously, if I do well the next few events I can make it to Asia, and that's obviously my goal.  So right now I'm just taking it one tournament at a time.

 

Topics: Canadian Pacific Women's Open, Kang, Danielle, Kerr, Cristie, Ko, Lydia, Korda, Jessica, Kirby, Jennifer, Ryu, So Yeon, Nordqvist, Anna, Lincicome, Brittany, Notes and Interviews [+]