Canadian Pacific Women’s Open
London Hunt & Country Club
London, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday Pre-Tournament Notes
August 20, 2014
Canadian and World No. 2 Amateur Brooke Henderson enters this tournament feeling the support of her family, friends and the country and she happens to be playing some pretty good golf too.
It’s been a great summer for her on the course, with highlights including a T10 and the Low
Amateur at the U.S. Women’s Open and a runner-up finish at the U.S. Women’s Amateur
“Yeah, it’s been an amazing summer.” Henderson said. “I shot my lowest score of 62
leading into the U.S. Open at the Porter Cup, and was able to take a win there. I’ve won quite a few tournaments this summer which has been great and helped my ranking and helped my confidence a lot. Moving forward, I’m still committed to the University of Florida.
In the future I’d love to play on the LPGA Tour and have a career here.”
Being labeled the “face of amateur golf in Canada” is a great compliment and woudl normally carry some pressure, except for this particular 16 year old who has a unique ability to see the big picture.
“It’s an amazing compliment, and I take it that way.” Henderson said of being called “the face of Canadian amateur golf”. “Of course there is a little bit of pressure, but I enjoy it. I love a challenge, and I’m just playing my best every day and trying to improve for myself and along the way if I can represent my country and Team Canada, I’m really happy to do that.”
Her popularity at home is highlighted by the fact that in her hometown of Smiths Falls, Ontario has a “Brooke Henderson Day” each October in her honor.
“Last year was the first year. “ Henderson said. “It was a little bit shocking when the Mayor came up to me and said, hey, there is going to be a day named after you. But it’s pretty cool. My hometown is so awesome. It’s small. Only 9,000 people, but the support I get is amazing.”
HELP FROM A FAN
Tuesday of last week at the Wegmans LPGA Championship a fan brought Stacy Lewis a stack of DVDs. Each DVD was a different one of her wins. She thanked him but didn’t think too much of it until Friday after two subpar rounds – by her standards.
She headed to the range and had her caddie record her swing to compare to the stack of DVDs and immediately knew which of her wins she wanted to compare her current swing to.
“My coach has been kind of telling me the move that I need to do, and a fan just happened to give me these videos, so I figured why not watch it? It’s always good to see a few wins,” Lewis said. “So I picked out the final round at Texas, which was probably one of my best ball-striking rounds of the year, and just watched the swing.”
Something clicked. Since her win at the end of June in Arkansas, she hadn’t exactly felt like herself and her swing wasn’t the same one that helped her win three times in two months.
“I’ve been working on my golf swing now for really the last month or so,” Lewis said. “After the win in Arkansas, life got crazy and the swing just got a little bit off track, so I’ve been slowly working it back into where it needs to be.”
It showed on the weekend at Wegmans, where she shot 71 and 68 to finish and backdoor her way into a top-10 finish. That weekend finish tied Carlota Ciganda and the eventual champion Inbee Park for the best weekend.
“I could actually see the positions that my instructor was trying to get me into. I was comparing it to the videos I took on my phone from earlier in the week,” Lewis said. “So I think just having that visual just kind of helped get the golf swing more in place. I’m still working on it. It’s always a work in progress.”
A TEENAGE THREE-PEAT
Lydia Ko, at 17 years old, will tee it up Thursday as the second youngest player in the field. However, she’ll do so as only the second player in the 41-year history of the event to tee it up as the back-to-back champion.
Ko could become the only player in the history of this event to three-peat if she emerges victorious on Sunday.
“The first year it kind of came on as a surprise, and the next year it was kind of the same
situation,” she said. “I just really love playing here.
“I’m excited for this week, but I’m not going to go out there and go, okay, I really need to win this because I just want to play the best I can, and it’s kind of not all up to me. There are always great players, so I’m just going to go out there and do my best.”
Making the potential three-peat even more special is this championship doesn’t return to the same golf course year after year. Different courses suit different players games but Ko’s still managed to master it the last two years. And although she’s singular focused on herself, she won’t deny how neat it would be to three-peat here in Canada where she got her first LPGA Tour win as a 15-year-old amateur.
“I mean, last year I really wanted to win, but it wasn’t because I was trying to defend my title, it was just okay, I’d love to win here. Obviously, it would be great to do a three-peat, but you just never know, because the world’s best are all here playing in this field,” she said.
BETTER UNDER PRESSURE
Externally, Lydia Ko seems immune to pressure. Internally, she’s always feeling it she says, even if nothing seems to faze her.
That was the case each of the last two years when she won the Canadian Women’s Open. Her two wins this season, though, might be the best example of overcoming the nerves. Heading into the final hole during her wins at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic and Marathon Classic Presented by Owens Corning and O-I, she needed a birdie to win. Both times she did.
“Nerves, it’s kind of with your hands, you know, when you’re nervous because you don’t feel like totally relaxed,” Ko said. “To me in situations like the last hole where you’re in the lead, I guess that’s where I get most nervous. But I try to keep those nerves, but I realize when I don’t get nervous, I don’t play as good. So it’s kind of good nerves. I think having a little nerves is really no harm.”
Lydia Ko entered the media center Wednesday with tape on her trademark glasses. Turns out her mother, who travels with her to every event, was to blame.
“I actually asked my mom could you please clean my glasses, but in that sense I never knew that she would break them,” Ko said, laughing. “I actually got them in Korea, and I actually got sent four new pairs but they’re all a little different to what I have. So for now I’m surviving on tape and super glue. I mean, it’s been okay. We’ve been trying to tape it up again. But I mean it shows, but I’ve already been on TV the last two weeks with it on, so what is the big difference?”
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE NO. 1?
Stacy Lewis is in her 12th week as the world’s No. 1 player. She spent four weeks there in 2013 and on the golf course, nothing’s changed. Away from it, everything has, and she’s still adjusting to the microscope that comes with it.
“I mean, I think the hardest part about being No. 1 is the balance. I mean, yeah, it’s something that I’ve noticed. I’ve noticed a lot over the last three or four events is that everyone is now kind of realizing that I’ve been here. Now that I’ve been at No. 1 longer, that’s who I am and there is extra attention,” Lewis said. “People are paying
attention, there is more autographs, there is more stopping in between holes during practice rounds and during
Pro-Ams and it takes time. It’s a lot of time.”
When Yani Tseng relinquished No. 1, she actually mentioned that it was somewhat relieving not having the moniker hanging around her neck anymore. Lewis wouldn’t go that far. She sought the No. 1 ranking and doesn’t want to
relinquish it, but there’s been an adjustment trying to manage it. She’s had to adjust the way she practices, like coming out at 6 AM on Wednesday before the crowds got here.
“You just have to alter things a little bit. I worked way too hard to be No. 1 in the world to say that I’m happy to give it up,” Lewis said. “I would never do that. I’m going to continue to work hard because this is right where I want to be.”
THE ONTARIO GROUP
Few, if any, pairings Thursday will draw the attention of Thursday’s 1:38 PM tee time off the first tee. It’s the Ontario group with Toronto native Rebecca Lee Bentham, Smith Falls native Brooke Henderson and Jennifer Kirby all grouped together.
All three have been a part of Team Canada for years and know each other well, but it’ll be quite unusual to play
“I can’t remember the last time I played with Rebecca, funny enough. But Brooke probably would have been maybe a CN event a few years ago,” Kirby said. “But I know it’s going to feel like an Ontario Amateur, basically, but it’s good to have two good players and we’re having a really good time, so I’m excited to play with them again.”
FROM PARIS TO LONDON
Paris, Ontario native Jennifer Kirby is feeling at home this week in London, Ontario. With just an hour separating the two Canadian cities, Kirby will have at least a dozen friends and family patrolling the property this week.
“It’s really nice to be back in Canada, not too far from home,” Kirby said. “Came up here about a month ago, played the course so at least a little bit familiar with the area.”
Kirby comes into this event after making the cut at her first major championship with a tie for 53rd last week at the Wegmans LPGA Championship. Kirby was particularly special on day one when she vaulted onto the leaderboard with a 5-under 67 to open. She followed with a 79 in round two but the first round and a 1-under 71 on Saturday showed her she has what it takes to get into contention out here.
“It was nice. Unfortunately my second round wasn’t as hot as the first, but I definitely learned a lot through that
experience and just to go through that and also to have just a great round in really tough conditions that afternoon,” she said. “It’s something to build off of. Whenever something happens like that, I just always try to take the positives out of it that can help me moving forward.”
The challenge for rookies is always backing up one great round with three more. Kirby’s seen that but is getting more comfortable in her rookie season and feels like she’s making progress.
“Definitely in the beginning of the year it was kind of getting those first two rounds together,” she said. “But now that I’ve gotten more comfortable, it’s kind of taking less pressure off the weekend, because, obviously, you know you’re getting your check on Sunday, so you have to play well to move up the leaderboard. But I think I’ve been putting a little bit too much pressure on myself going through the weekend.”
The Social Scene: CP Has Heart>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Each time a player makes a birdie on the 17th hole during tournament play, CP will donate $5,000 to the Children’s Health Foundation in support of pediatric cardiac care. Join us as we cheer on players in the 17th Green CP Fan Zone by using the hashtag #CPhasHeart!
Jessica Korda was one LPGA player that got on board to support the great cause. She
posted the following on her Instagram.
“Maya and I showing our hearts for #CPhasHeart #birdiesOn17”
TV Times This Week
The airtimes for the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open on Golf Channel are as follows:
Thursday (Early) 12:00-2:00pm ET
Thursday (Late) 1:30-3:30am ET (Taped)
Friday (Early) 12:00-2:00pm ET
Friday (Late) 2:30-4:30am ET (Taped)
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
“You just have to alter things a little bit. I worked way too hard to be No. 1 in the world to say that I’m happy to give it up. I would never do that. I’m going to continue to work hard
because this is right where I want to be.”
- Stacy Lewis on how being the No. 1 player in the world has changed the way she approaches things. She came out to practice at 6:00 a.m. today because it was going to be quiet and she could get her work in.
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.
THE MODERATOR: All right, everyone. I'd like to welcome World No. 1, Stacy Lewis, to the media room. Stacy, just coming off the Wegmans LPGA Championship, you said a fan gave you some videos of your wins on Tuesday. What did you take away? I know you went and filmed your swing and look at it Friday night? What did you take away going into the weekend? You played great on the weekend.
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I've been working on my golf swing now for really the last month or so. After the win in Arkansas, life got crazy and the golf swing just got a little bit off track, so I've been slowly working it back into where it needs to be. My coach has been kind of telling me the move that I need to do, and a fan just happened to give me these videos, so I figured, why not watch it? It's always good to see a few wins. So I picked out the final round at Texas, which was probably one of my best ball‑striking rounds of the year, and just watched the swing. I could actually see the positions that my instructor was trying to get me into. I was comparing it to the videos I took on my phone from earlier in the week.
So I think just having that visual just kind of helped get the golf swing more in place. I'm still working on it. It's always a work in progress.
Q. Seven players with two wins or more this year. You have three leading the pack. How tough has it been at the top this year?
STACY LEWIS: It's been great. It's been a lot of fun. It's been really competitive. We've had a lot of close finishes, a lot of tournaments going right down to the wire. I feel pretty lucky to have the three wins. It's hard to win out here. It doesn't get any easier. So just happy to have the wins and been playing really consistent. So it was nice to kind of get, for me, I guess, get back on track last week.
Q. You're from the south, but you have some connections to Canada. You're up here pretty often. What's it like being back up here to play again?
STACY LEWIS: Well, it's great. We were just down the road a couple months ago with Manulife, and we love coming to Canada. The Canadian Open, specifically, we always get great golf courses to play on. This one is no different. So it's a tremendous golf course, fans. The weather I think is keeping some away today, but hopefully we get some good crowds this weekend.
Q. What's it going to take on this golf course? It looked pretty open off the tee out there. Do you prefer the Classic style courses like this?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I think obviously I haven't played here before, but I think scores will be good. It's a course you can make a bunch of birdies on, just because the greens are really big. You do have to hit it straight off the tee, so that will kind of be one thing that I'll look to do well this week is to drive the ball straight. But past that, you've just got to putt it well and hopefully make some putts at the end of the rounds.
Q. You kind of mentioned that up to drive the ball really well this week. Because of how undulating the greens are, how important is ball placement on the fairways and on the greens?
STACY LEWIS: The biggest thing, I think off the tee is a lot of the doglegs. If you get it on the right line, you can get it down a little further and have some shorter clubs into the greens. So the biggest thing is picking the right line and getting it there. Obviously, with the rain last night and what we're probably going to get the rest of the week, it's slowing the golf course down a lot. So it's a little bit more targeted golf, but you're also having longer clubs into holes, so it equals out.
Q. I know Lydia Ko kind of mentioned earlier and you did as well that the fairways are fairly wide open here. A lot of players have been saying that the rough is really thick especially around the greens. How important is scrambling going to be if you do miss a shot this week?
STACY LEWIS: The greens are so big that I think if you get too aggressive, yeah, you're going to be in trouble with the rough. But the rough, I think is more of an issue off the tee. You get a ball that is six inches into the rough and you could be just hacking it down the fairway. So I think the biggest thing for me is tee ball and then just making putts. The greens, you can hit probably 18 greens pretty easily on this golf course, so you've just got to hit the right shot and stay aggressive.
Q. This course took quite a beating over the winter. What were your impressions of the conditions of it now that it's been refurbished over the past couple months?
STACY LEWIS: I think the golf course is great. You can definitely tell in the greens areas there are some different grasses in there and areas where water sat on it. The fairways are probably some of the best fairways we've had to hit off all year, so I mean, you can't tell there. I mean, you really can't tell. If we were here a month ago, it might be different, but you can't tell at all all the stories that we've heard.
Q. Stacy, the last two people who were No. 1 in the world and I'm not counting your initial spot there, said they never imagined how difficult it was being the No. 1 player in the world. In fact, Yani Tseng after she dropped out of the number 1 spot is on record as saying she is relieved. Do you find that it has been that tough and the extra attention that you have to give to everybody, can it be preventing you from doing the things that you need to do to remain number 1?
STACY LEWIS: I mean, I think the hardest part about being number 1 is the balance. I mean, yeah, it's something that I've noticed. I've noticed a lot over the last three or four events is that everyone is now kind of realizing that I've been here. Now that I've been at No. 1 longer, that's who I am and there is extra attention. People are paying attention, there is more autographs, there is more stopping in between holes during practice rounds and during Pro‑Ams and it takes time. It's a lot of time.
I just think you have to kind of alter the way you practice and your routine, the way you do things. Maybe you come out earlier and practice before a lot of the people get here so you can get your work done. That's what I did this morning. I came out at 6:00 this morning and got some practice in just because I knew it would be quiet out here. You just have to alter things a little bit. I worked way too hard to be No. 1 in the world to say that I'm happy to give it up. I would never do that. I'm going to continue to work hard because this is right where I want to be.
Q. You are coming off the LPGA Championship Wegmans, and I know when Rory had his three wins in a row and he's going for his fourth this week, everyone was talking about how hard it is to continually win. How hard is it for you to rebound after a huge win like that? Do you find it mentally tougher coming into a tournament like this?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I think you look at what Rory did three weeks in a row like that, you don't see it a lot for that reason. I think mentally it's so hard to stay on that high. I mean, you're really on a high for a long time. The golf is probably the easiest part because once you're playing well, it feeds off of that. You see good shots, you see the ball going in the hole, and it continues.
Like for me, I came off of the win at Arkansas, and that was to me that was like winning a major. That was the ultimate. If I could have won a tournament this year, that would be one of them. I came off of that, and you kind of come off this high and then you actually relax a little bit. So it's a hard place to stay in but once you're there, your golf game, if your game is good, you can actually stay there for a while.
Q. So off the course I'm just wondering how the hospitality has been so far? The freebies and accommodations and that sort of thing as well what sort of makes the event special?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, it's just a cool city. It's nice to actually be in a city where there are a lot of cool restaurants, a lot of things to do, and everything is relatively close too. I just got over Monday night so I haven't had a whole lot of time to do anything. But we'll definitely hopefully check it out as the week goes on.
Q. Any players parties you've been to or attended so far?
STACY LEWIS: I have not had time, no.
Q. Is being No. 1 what you expected when you were dreaming of it as a little girl?
STACY LEWIS: I don't think I ever dreamed of it as a kid. It's definitely not what I expected as far as the commitments and the times and things like that. I thought there would be some extra things, but I didn't think it would be quite to the extent that it is, but it's a great thing because our Tour is having more coverage where purses are going up, where social media is going crazy. Our numbers are just going crazy right now, and that's part of it. It's part of the deal, you've got to do it.
But other than that, the pressure, I put more pressure on myself, so that side of it is what I expected.
Q. You had three wins there in two months. Seeing Lydia and Inbee win on your heels, does that push you going forward?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, it does. I think we're all three of us, and even you throw Suzann in there too, we're all pushing each other. We're all raising the bar. We've each gone on runs where we're playing better. I went on a run there early in the year and kind of forced Inbee. They kind of picked things up and started working and we're making each other better. That is the biggest thing. As long as we keep making each other better and keep having great finishes like we had last week, we're going to be around here for a long time.
Q. Is that pretty crazy to you to see Lydia could potentially threepeat here at 17?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I played with her when she won two years ago. It's just unbelievable at 17 that she has a chance to threepeat. I mean most 17‑year‑olds haven't even been on Tour yet. It's really impressive. She's a great kid. It wouldn't surprise me if she did it again.
THE MODERATOR: Good morning, everybody. I'd like to welcome two‑time defending champion and the No. 3 ranked player in the world, Lydia Ko, into the media center. Lydia, so every champion becomes a part of tournament history, but you have a chance to threepeat here. What is it about Canada that you love so much that you play so well here?
LYDIA KO: I don't know. The first year it kind of came on as a surprise, and the next year it was kind of the same situation. Yeah, I just really love playing here. I mean the last two courses that I got to play have been pretty amazing. They were in great conditions, and so is this one here. Yeah, I mean the support, how many spectators come out and watch, it's really great to play in that kind of format. I mean, I'm excited for this week, but I'm not going to go out there and go, okay, I really need to win this because I just want to play the best I can, and it's kind of not all up to me. There are always great players, so I'm just going to go out there and try my best.
Q. You said there are always great players out there, but there are seven players on Tour this year with two or more wins and you're one of them. So can you talk a little bit about the quality of play out there and how much of a challenge it is to actually win a tournament this year?
LYDIA KO: I mean, it's really tough. The majority of the winners are American players, and I think it's more than what it was the last couple years, so I think it shows that the LPGA is growing, all the players are getting better and better, and it's really hard competing out there with the world's best. But it's been really tough. Even my two wins, I had to try to make a birdie on the last hole to kind of get it done, and it was kind of nerve‑racking.
I mean, everybody's playing their best out here, and to compete and to win at the end of the day, you have to play your best also.
Q. At just 17 years old, we had 16‑year‑old Brooke Henderson in here, you've become the face of this young generation of very good, talented golfers out here. Does that put a little pressure on you? How does that feel being so young still?
LYDIA KO: It doesn't put much pressure because I know there were other girls that started at a young age, and they were superstars, for example, like Lexi, Michelle, Paula. Lexi she's still only two or three years older than me, she's still in her teens, so yeah. To kind of feel like I'm not the only young one out here, it feels good. Even though I'm still the youngest one on the Tour.
Q. How would you compare your personality on the course to your personality off the course? Being so young, there has to be some differences.
LYDIA KO: On the course, I try to keep my mouth shut, not get in people's way, but still interact with the other players. Just kind of be focused as much as I can and just get the work done. Off the course I try to have more fun, watch TV when I get back to the hotel, and try to do more of the teenage things.
Q. Finally, I noticed a little bit of tape there on your trademark glasses. What happened to them?
LYDIA KO: I actually asked my mom could you please clean my glasses, but in that sense I never knew that she would break them. I actually got them in Korea, and I actually got sent four new pairs but they're all a little different to what I have. So for now I'm surviving on tape and super glue. I mean, it's been okay. We've been trying to tape it up again. But I mean it shows, but I've already been on TV the last two weeks with it on, so what is the big difference?
Q. I was watching the final round of the LPGA tournament this past weekend, and the Golf Channel announcers were talking about Inbee Park how she looks so cool on the outside, but she's stated she's nervous on the inside. Then they talked about you saying Lydia Ko's cool on the outside, but we have no idea what she's like on the inside. So on that last round there, what do you feel? Do you feel nervous going down the fairways in the championship?
LYDIA KO: I mean, I was feeling nervous. The last day, the first couple holes they put the pins in quite difficult positions where it would be hard to actually even get near it. So I tried to give myself a lot of opportunities and try to stay calm. I was like four or five shots behind the lead anyways. So for me to, I guess, win at the end of the day, I needed to shoot a really good, low score. So I just try to go out there and make as many birdies as possible. Make as many bogeys or mistakes.
Yeah, I think I played pretty solid 2‑under. I bogeyed the last two holes, but I was in kind of tough conditions. Especially the 18th. It was playing quite a tough hole. But at the end of the day, I think I finished third, and it's a pretty good finish in the majors for me.
Q. What does nervous mean to you?
LYDIA KO: Nervous, I mean, nerves, it's kind of with your hands, you know, when you're nervous because you don't just feel like totally relaxed. To me in situations like the last hole where you're in the lead, I guess that's where I get most nervous. But I try to keep those nerves, but I realize when I don't get nervous, I don't play as good. So it's kind of good nerves. I think having a little nerves is really no harm.
Q. Can you put your finger on ‑‑ you talked about the number of good young players, and I asked Brooke a little about this. But why is it that a sport like women's golf breeds so many young players that are good? Not just young players that play, but young players that are very good. Can you put your finger on it? Do you have any explanation why that is? There are not one or two, but there are a half dozen, probably more than that.
LYDIA KO: I'm not really sure. When you actually see the names of the different players, we're not from one country or one place. There is Canada, the United States, Koreans, and they're all different countries. I don't know what is linking it correlation‑wise, but I mean it's great. I guess people like myself, there have always been these great players like Annika where we could look up to them and go, man, I want to be like her one day. I think having those kind of Legends on the Tour kind of brings young golfers to go out there and start the game, see how fun it is, and I guess build your game from there.
Q. You had a good tournament last week as we were just talking about. You're the two‑time defending champ, so kind of all eyes are on you a little more. Maybe a little more pressure on you this year than previous years. How is your game right now? Do you feel like you could win over the next four days?
LYDIA KO: Yeah, I've been playing pretty consistently well, I think. I've been pretty pleased with how everything is going. Yeah, I'm just going to go out there. It's a whole new week. You never know what's going to happen. You don't know what the conditions are going to be like. Every course is a little different, so sometimes it suits longer hitters, sometimes it suits really good putters, et cetera. So to me I'm just going to go out there and try my best.
I mean, last year I really wanted to win, but it wasn't because I was trying to defend my title, it was just okay, I'd love to win here. Obviously, it would be great to do a three‑peat, but you just never know, because the world's best are all here playing in this field.
Q. Can you tell us how your mindset has changed since turning pro?
LYDIA KO: It hasn't changed much. I mean, mindset‑wise I'm just trying to play and enjoy golf. I mean, it's a little tiring because I play a couple weeks in a row. But last year I had a week and maybe a week off and kind of did it like that. So I guess time‑wise, time consuming, it's a little. There are more tournaments played. But I've been trying to take a whole new week as just a fresh one. Go out there, relax, try my best. It kind of helps after like a win or you play well, then you kind of get confidence and everything kind of goes a lot easier.
Q. Can you give us your impressions of the city of London so far?
LYDIA KO: I haven't really looked around. I didn't really get a chance to look around because we came here early Monday morning, and I've been trying to get on the course to see the conditions. But we went to this great Japanese restaurant yesterday and just driving around I think Canada feels a lot closer to New Zealand than America does, so it kind of feels good when I'm here in Canada. Yeah, it feels closer to home, which makes it more relaxing.
Q. You've had a couple chances to see the course now and from out there walking around I've heard some of the players remark that there are not many places to miss here. The rough, especially around the greens, is a little thicker, and if you find yourself off the fairway it's going to be tough to score. How do you feel the course is set‑up? I know the last couple years you've gone 13 under and 15‑under to win. Do you feel those scores are attainable right now with the way the course is or do you have to be extremely accurate to shoot that?
LYDIA KO: I mean, the fairways aren't extremely narrow. I think they're just on the average width. I mean, I saw the rough, and it is quite thick, but that's what it's all about. I mean, here you've got kind of deepish bunkers also. They're not pot bunkers, but they're a little, I guess, on the deeper side if you look at a normal golf course.
I mean, it's going to be tough. I think the big things here are the greens are quite large, so you kind of have to play in sections where if the pin is on the left side you kind of want to think that the green is only that left half. But it's going to be tough especially when you miss a couple shots, because even around the greens it's not like there is fairway and then rough. It's just rough straight on. So it's going to be tough when you have a couple missed shots, but I guess scrambling and making up‑and‑downs is all part of playing because not everyone is going to hit the fairway every single shot, and every single shot's going to go on the green and you have a birdie opportunity.
I think this kind of course you have to play good in all areas, where you have to be accurate. But if you miss a shot and you have to punch something out, then you've got to be good at the approach shot to give yourself an opportunity to make par.
Q. You've probably been asked this question a few times as you've moved your way up into the standings and so on. But what were your influences? Who did you look up to as a golfer when you were just getting started? Who were some of the pros or people that you looked up to?
LYDIA KO: I had a couple players. I mean, like Michelle, everything kind of went fast for her too. She did some things that no other player did. Annika and Michelle both played some men's professional events. I mean, Michelle had been called team phenom for a long time, so she had always been one of my idols, same to Annika. She's legendary. She's one of the people that made the LPGA itself kind of gave a face for the LPGA. I mean, Se Ri Pak, she is a legendary Korean golfer. I guess being born in Korea and being raised there the first couple years of my life, you kind of have to look up to her. Golf wasn't that big until she came and made the Se Ri Kids and made golf a little more in Korea.
I've always loved Phil Mickelson. He's a pretty amazing short game person, and I envy him of that. Hopefully I can get a lesson or a tip soon. Yeah, I mean, they're all just great players. There are so many great players out here, so I always feel thankful that I get to play along side them.
Q. When you talked about the grind of playing every week, is it harder physically or is it the mental grind that's more difficult? Because I know it's great to have a rest after a week and have another week off, which one do you find more difficult?
LYDIA KO: Both, it's hard. That's why I think a lot of players go out to the gym and work out for stamina and everything for the physical strength. But you can't really work out like intensely during the week because then it's another energy consuming thing. So I think that's why a lot of players work hard in the off‑season to work out, kind of get their bodies and mentally prepared. I guess when you play better and play good golf, everything kind of goes easily and you're excited for the week after the next. But everything. It gets tiring. That's why at the end of the year everyone's kind of excited to have like a couple weeks off and kind of get ready to play the next season.
THE MODERATOR: Good morning, everybody. I'd like to welcome the No. 2 amateur player, Brooke Henderson, into the interview room today. Brooke, you've been referred to as the "face of amateur golf in Canada." How does that feel and does that give you any pressure?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It's an amazing compliment, and I take it that way. Of course there is a little bit of pressure, but I enjoy it. I love a challenge, and I'm just playing my best every day and trying to improve for myself and along the way if I can represent my country and Team Canada, I'm really happy to do that.
Q. You've been playing some pretty good golf lately, including a T10 at the U.S. Women's Open this year. It brings up the inevitable questions about what's next for you. How do you get your next challenge?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it's been an amazing summer. I shot my lowest score of 62 leading into the U.S. Open at the Porter Cup, and was able to take a win there. I've won quite a few tournaments this summer which has been great and helped my ranking and helped my confidence a lot. Moving forward, I'm still committed to the University of Florida. In the future I'd love to play on the LPGA Tour and have a career here.
Q. So you finished second at the U.S. Women's Amateur. That was now two weeks ago, correct? So what did you learn from that experience and what do you take away going forward?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It was such an amazing experience. Such a beautiful golf course, and USGA runs such amazing events and always so much fun to be a part of. It was a little bit disappointing on Sunday finishing second, but Kristen played extremely well, and I thank the lord for the opportunity to be there and to have a chance to win and a chance to contend for the title.
Q. Now you have a great opportunity here this week. What are your goals heading into this tournament?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Definitely first step is to make the cut, and after that, hopefully climb up the leaderboard a little bit. This is such an awesome event with such amazing Canadian support, and having some teammates here and my national coach and a lot of family and friends here too, because it's just seven hours away, which is pretty close to home for a lot of my tournaments. I'm just really excited and hopefully I'll play good.
Q. You mentioned home, you mentioned your family and friends, is it true there is a Brooke Henderson Day in your hometown of Smith?
BROOKE HENDERSON: That's correct. October 6 is Brooke Henderson Day.
Q. How long has that been going on?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Last year was the first year. It was a little bit shocking when the Mayor came up to me and said, hey, there is going to be a day named after you. But it's pretty cool. My hometown is so awesome. It's small. Only 9,000 people, but the support I get is amazing.
Q. You were also, being from Canada, hockey is obviously a sport that you all play. You were a hockey goalie; is that correct?
BROOKE HENDERSON: That is.
Q. Do you still play at all or is it all golf now for you?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It's all golf now. My first year on the national team I was traveling a lot more and focusing on more of my golf game. So I decided it was time to pack the sticks away, but I had so much fun playing. It was such an amazing experience. I was a goalie, and you face a lot of heat in that position and you learn to handle stress. And I think that's really helped me out on the golf course.
Q. What do you make of the pressure or whatever comes with the expectations of playing a tournament that is 7 hours from home and is in Canada?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Definitely there is pressure. But I'm excited to be able to play for my family and friends and show them what I can do. They're out there cheering for me and I know every shot they're going to be happy either way.
Q. This is the third time you've played in this tournament the last two years and missed the cut both times. I think last year by one shot though. Do you take anything from those experiences this week to be more successful perhaps?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, definitely. I've missed the cut in this event twice, but in the meantime I've played in three majors and made the cut each time, and playing in the U.S. Open this year and finishing tied for tenth was definitely a huge confidence booster. Since my first time here I was 14 and pretty nervous all week getting to meet the big pros and playing on the big stage. But I've become a lot more comfortable and gotten to know the pros a little bit better, which is nice.
Q. How many times have you played in the last couple weeks coming in? You've been around this area for the last month really, right?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, I've been really busy all summer with a lot of tournaments. Before the U.S. Am two weeks ago I was playing at FireRock just down the road from here, and I was able to come away with a win at the PGA of Canada Championship with a score of 13‑under for two days, and I got to play with Alena Sharp who also like Lorie Kane has been very supportive of my game and young golfers coming up.
Q. Lorie Kane had mentioned you sought advice from her. What is some of the best advice she's given you about your career in general and playing at this tournament?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Lorie Kane is an amazing role model for me. So supportive. Even this week she's come down and chatted with me a couple of times just about my future and how I should be playing this week and what I should be expecting. She's a huge role model for all Canadians and she means a lot to me. I love just being able to talk to her and just gaining from her experience.
Q. You were asked this a little bit earlier. Lorie Kane's career is a little on the down side. She hasn't won for a while. There doesn't seem at least to me to be any other Canadian women moving their way up the ladder, other than yourself, it appears. Do you feel that pressure that I've got to be the next Canadian star on the LPGA Tour?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Definitely I think the game in Canada is growing, and there are some young pros coming up like Sue Kim, and Jennifer Kirby, and Rebecca Lee Bentham that are great players and have full status on the Tour this year. Maybe they haven't played as well as they would have liked, but I think the future is bright for them. I, myself, like I said, I'm just trying to improve every day and trying to get better. I see the pressure and I hear it. I hear that I'm the face of Canadian golf, but I'm just trying to improve and drying to get better, and if I can represent my country, I'm happy.
Q. Who is on the bag for you this week? It's normally your sister, isn't it?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yes. Normally my sister's on the bag, but she's going to go to Q‑school next week, so she's practicing up and getting ready for that. This week I have a great family friend who has caddied for me four or five times this summer, so he's experienced also. He's great. He knows a lot about the game and he's a good golfer himself.
Q. You've done a lot this summer. Is it starting to feel like a long season?
BROOKE HENDERSON: It's been a busy summer, but it's a long winter in Canada, so I'm happy to get as many tournaments in as I can. After this I have the World Amateur, but then I'm back to school. Yeah, it's been such an amazing summer.
Q. I don't know how much you know about the course, but the winter in Ontario wasn't great around here. What do you think of the course now after it's gotten refurbished over the past couple months?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, it's been a really harsh winter for a lot of Canadian golf courses, especially in Ontario. I played this course two or three weeks ago and the greens were a little bit rough. But coming into this week I was pleasantly surprised of how well they were rolling. I can't imagine the amount of work they must have put in to get this course in such immaculate condition. The course itself is so beautiful, and I've never seen fairways, and the practice facilities of this caliber. I'm really excited to play.
Q. Brooke, you're one of the many young players and probably the only sport, women's golf, that has so many young players that are so strong and in many cases win tournaments against high‑caliber competition. As a young player, what kind of support system do you have? It must be difficult stepping in there against some of the top players in the world and doing as well as you do. It is in a way a phenomenon. What kind of support system do you have? Who do you lean on? Do you have specialists?
BROOKE HENDERSON: With the National Team, I have an amazing support team, I have two coaches, Tristan Mullally and Ann Carroll who help me out with my golf game and life in general. I have a fitness trainer, Jason A. Glass who works me really hard and works the whole team very hard. Greg Redman, a physiotherapist, Nicole Springle our nutritionist, and Adrian (Indiscernible), our psychologist. So it's an amazing support system there.
I also have parents that have given up so much and sacrificed a lot in their lives to allow me to follow my golfing endeavors and follow my dreams.
Q. Is that a necessity today for young players? Do you have to have that kind of support system?
BROOKE HENDERSON: I think so. The game is growing and players are getting better and better. I think the stronger your support system, the better you can ‑‑ you don't have to focus on things outside of golf. You can just focus on your golf game itself.
Q. You'll hear the history. 40 years since a Canadian won it. You've played in majors. Does this feel like a major to you being that it's here and that history?
BROOKE HENDERSON: Yeah, definitely. It's very close to home. It's our National Championship. So it's very exciting. It used to be a major back in the day, and to me it still is one.
THE MODERATOR: All right, I'd like to welcome Jennifer Kirby to the media room. From just down the road, how many friends and family do you have here from Paris, Ontario?
JENNIFER KIRBY: I'm not sure. I've definitely seen a lot of people out here that know me, but probably for friends and family, about a dozen, probably.
Q. How comfortable is it just being here? What is it, 30, 40 minutes down the road?
JENNIFER KIRBY: It's just over an hour, but, yeah, it's really nice to be back in Canada, not too far from home. Came up here about a month ago, played the course so at least a little bit familiar with the area.
Q. You had a great first round at the Wegmans, 67 the first day. What was that like seeing your name on the leaderboard at a major and what did they teach you going forward for the rest of the year?
JENNIFER KIRBY: Yeah, it was nice. Unfortunately, my second round wasn't as hot as the first, but I definitely learned a lot through that experience and just to go through that and also to have just a great round and really tough conditions that afternoon. It's something to build off of. Whenever something happens like that, I just always try to take the positives out of it that can help me moving forward.
Q. A lot of the girls have talked about going through their rookie year and the struggle is they can put a couple rounds together, but figuring out how to put four together in the weekend. Has that been the case for you and what's your rookie year been like in?
JENNIFER KIRBY: Yeah, definitely in the beginning of the year it was kind of getting those first two rounds together. But now that I've gotten more comfortable, it's kind of taking less pressure off the weekend, because, obviously, you know you're getting your check on Sunday, so you know you have to play well to move up the leaderboard. But I think I've been putting a little bit too much pressure on myself going through the weekend.
Q. How have you found this course? It seems pretty open off the tee. What have been your impressions and what's it going to take out there?
JENNIFER KIRBY: Yeah, I think it's going to be low scoring this week. It's a great golf course. The rough is thick, but it's not too, too bad. Now, I mean, now it's pretty soft from the storm last night, so I think that the scores will be pretty low, but the greens are massive, so I guess it all depends on where they put the pins.
Q. Just looking at the starting times here, what do you make of playing an all Ontario group? It probably hasn't happened since playing in Canada.
JENNIFER KIRBY: Yeah, I can't remember the last time I played with Rebecca, funny enough. But Brooke probably would have been maybe a CN event a few years ago. But I know it's going to feel like an Ontario Amateur, basically, but it's good to have two good players and we're having a really good time, so I'm excited to play with them again.
Q. What have been your impressions playing with Brooke before? She was in the media room earlier. She's only 16 but obviously has had some great finishes.
JENNIFER KIRBY: Yeah, obviously, she's a great player and she's accomplished a lot even at such a young age. She hits it really far, and she really grinds it out and she's very fiery, so I think a lot of that is her determination to do well and win.
Q. With Manulife being in Waterloo which is really close to Paris, as well, and then CB. Being here. Do you find more pressure knowing there are going to be more of your hometown friends and family at the tournaments?
JENNIFER KIRBY: No, honestly, I enjoy it. I like having people come out and support. I like to wear the logo on my hat and just be a proud supporter of their brand. I enjoy it, and I enjoy playing in front of home crowds, so I kind of feed off of it.