Inbee Park, Rolex Rankings No. 3, -11*
Brittany Lincicome, Rolex Rankings No. 61, -11
Lydia Ko, Rolex Rankings No. 2, -8
Suzann Pettersen, Rolex Rankings No. 4, -5
Stacy Lewis, Rolex Rankings No. 1, -5
Gerina Piller, Rolex Rankings No. 31, -3
Inbee Park approached the 17th tee two back of the lead and needing to make noise on two of the toughest holes on the course to put pressure on Brittany Lincicome, who led by two shots. As major champions tend to do, Park came through when it mattered most, draining a birdie on the 17th hole then coming through with a crucial 15-foot par putt on the final hole to push Lincicome into a playoff at 11-under-par. Again, with the pressure on, Park headed back to the 18th tee and made a par on the toughest hole on the course to not only defend her title but win in a playoff for the second straight time at this major championship.
“I think it’s very lucky that I actually got an opportunity today, because you know, I thought I probably won’t get an opportunity with Brittany coming up the last and if she made a par I would not have gone into playoff,” Park said. “And I holed really good putts on number 17 and 18 to put me in the playoffs. So yeah, just very happy the way I played today.”
Park’s fifth major - and 11th tour victory - came as a bitter disappointment for Lincicome, who three-putted from about 35 feet just off the green. Her ball rested up against the collar and she left it about eight feet short, narrowly missing the par putt to send her into a playoff with Park. When both hit it just off the green on the first playoff hole, Park got up and down and Lincicome didn’t to garner Park’s second win of the season.
“Just need to learn how to control the nerves a little bit more. I was really, really nervous coming down the stretch, especially the 18th hole and then the playoff, that putt that I had, the first putt, and then the chip that I had I was shaking like a leaf, which it’s hard to do anything when you’re shaking,” said Lincicome. “I feel like I was like -- I don’t know what I had, but it’s just not a fun feeling.”
Park had lost in the week prior at the LPGA Meijer Classic in a Playoff to Mirim Lee, and she was incredibly pleased that she was able to get back in the winner’s circle the final time the LPGA Championship will visit Rochester after 38 years in one of golf’s greatest cities.
“This is probably one of the favorite weeks that we - for me and probably for all the LPGA players to come and kind of stay for a week, and yeah, this tournament has the history, and this tournament has all the memories with us,” Park said. “So being able to put my name on this trophy twice and being able to do it here in Rochester is such a great honor, and yeah, we’ll be missing Rochester. We definitely want to come back here for another event.”
Lydia Ko, who started the day four back, made a charge at Park and Lincicome in regulation, climbing to within one of the lead heading to the 17th tee, but she bogeyed the final two holes to finish in solo third at 8-under-par. Azahara Munoz and Anna Nordqvist finished in a tie for 4th at 6-under-par.
CONFIDENCE BOOST IN DEFEAT
She relished the thrill of being in the hunt on Sunday but Brittany Lincicome admitted that the nerves got to her down the stretch. She was one putt away from her sixth LPGA title and second major win but missed her eighth-foot par putt on the 18th hole in regulation. The tears flowed after Inbee Park pared the first hole in the sudden-death playoff to defeat Lincicome but she knows she has a lot of positives to take away from this week.
“Obviously they were tears of joy,” said Lincicome. “Finishing second in a major is always a good thing. Obviously I would have liked to have been the one holding the trophy on the 18th green right now, but feel like I played really, really well this week. Hopefully we can keep that going for the rest of the year. I really feel like this will be the stepping stone that I kind of needed to push me to want to keep it going and to be in the Top 10 each week like I kind of was like three years ago.”
Prior to this week in Rochester, Lincicome only recorded one top-10 finish all season and struggled the past two seasons with having all parts of her game in sync. She plans on taking Monday off a the Tour’s next stop in London, Ontario and hopes her positive momentum comes with her north of the border and for the rest of the season.
“Oh, man, I’m playing so good,” said Lincicome. “I might take tomorrow off, though. I’ve been to that golf course before. I already have my yardage book set and ready to go. Just kind of taking the same things, if I keep driving it the way I’m driving it and doing the same things that I’m doing, it’s kind of unstoppable. If you’re driving it straight, it takes so much stress off the rest of your game.”
Lincicome said confidence has been an Achilles Heel and has gotten in the way of believing she was good enough to make the cut each week.
“It’s just more retraining my mind to be confident, you know. I’ve lost my confidence,” said Lincicome. “I’ve missed a few cuts in a row at the beginning of the year. And obviously that’s really hard to come back from, because you go into a tournament, you’re like please just let me make the cut. And what top player goes into a tournament just praying that they’re going to make the cut. So it’s kind of just coming back from that and even tricking myself into believing that I’m the most confident player out there, and I think if I can keep doing that, then obviously I’ll be on the top of the leaderboard more and more.
PETTERSEN’S ROUGH START
Suzann Pettersen was one back entering the final round and after a third-round 67, she had to be the favorite. She’d been there before and no one was hitting it better.
But it seemed to go all wrong from the opening tee ball, which she blasted right into the trees. She would go on to make double and never rallied. She bogeyed three more holes on the front to go out in 41 and relinquish any chance she had at pushing the leaders. Her final-round 76 was the second worst final round in a major of her career and left her in a tie for 6th.
“I mean I got off to a terrible start. Took me about ten holes before I kind of got back into it. Just trying to save myself from a complete disaster,” said Pettersen.
It wasn’t a round she saw coming either. She was great warming up and felt like a solid round was in the works.
“Just a little bit, I don’t know too much adrenaline or couple of wrong clubs at the wrong time,” she said. “Just couldn’t really bounce back from it.”
PILLER’S BIG WIN
Gerina Piller was four back entering the day but shot a disappointing 75 to finish in a tie for 13th. However, she was far more nervous about her husband’s round. Her husband, Martin Piller, came through, firing a final round 64 to hold onto his lead and win the Web.com Tour’s News Sentinel Open, guaranteeing himself a PGA Tour card for next season.
“It’s just awesome. I mean I could care less what I did today. I was just really wanting the best for him, and it just makes my heart smile,” she said.
Even if that means her prize money from this week is heading to a toy for her husband.
“Now I have to buy him a new truck, because I told him before the year, I said, if you win a tournament and you get back on the PGA Tour, I’ll buy you a new truck,” she said.
She wasn’t able to check her phone and was going to finish later than her husband, so she didn’t find out until the 15th tee.
“Cristie came up to me, and I had just birdied and obviously I was having kind of a rough day, and she was standing in the ropes and I’m like, ‘What is he doing?’ And she said my husband won,” Gerina said. “And I lost it. And I had the tee. I’m like, ‘Don’t tell me now. I have to hit the ball.’
“So, obviously, I started crying, and it’s just been – it’s just been awesome. Words cannot describe – I just can’t wait to talk to him.”
Say hello to golf’s best couple.
CLOSE BUT NOT QUITE
The push by Lydia Ko to become golf’s youngest major champion in history was noteworthy, but ultimately the deficit proved too much, making bogeys on the final two holes to finish in solo third.
But there’s a lot of positives to take from the third-place finish for the world No. 2. It’s her best finish in a major this season – and second best of her career.
“You know, obviously didn’t really – it was kind of a disappointing finishing with two bogeys, ,but overall I played pretty solid today, and I tried to give myself opportunities and made a lot of good putts,” Ko said.
“So yeah, I’m pretty happy with how the major has finished.”
Needless to say, the confidence is high heading into the season’s final major when the Tour heads to the Evian Championship in September.
“This gives me a lot of confidence. You know, majors are where we try and perform our best, and to have a top-5 finish, I think that’s really good,” Ko said.
BETTER FINISH FOR NO. 1
Stacy Lewis finished 6 shots back of Brittany Lincicome and Inbee Park. When she looks back at the week, she’ll have to blame the 16th through 18th holes. The first days she played those three holes at 7-over-par.
Par golf on those three those three days and she would have won the golf tournament.
She was still able to back door a top-10 finish, though, with a back-nine 32 to finish in a tie for 7th at 5-under-par for the week after a final-round 68. She finally figured out the last three holes as well, playing those three in 1-under on Sunday.
“Well, the last two days, I really, I played a lot better,” Stacy Lewis said. “And more than anything I just wanted to play 16, 17, and 18 well. I kind of struggled on them all week, and it was just nice to finish off a good day.”
EAGLES FOR WOUNDED WARRIORS
$218,000 has now been raised for the Wounded Warrior Project by the CME Group with two players carding eagles on Sunday. Today, two eagles were recorded to go along with the nine from Saturday. It brings the total money raised this year to $200,000. Through the first 18 tournaments prior to the Wegmans LPGA Championship, $200,000 had been raised.
“Wounded Warrior Project® Weekends” is a season-long charity program that will be tied into the Race to the CME Globe. Each Saturday and Sunday at LPGA tournaments, CME Group will donate $1,000 to Wounded Warrior Project® for each eagle that is recorded. This amount will increase to $5,000 for each eagle during the weekend of the CME Group Tour Championship and a formal check will be presented to the Wounded Warrior Project® during the trophy ceremony at the CME Group Tour Championship.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“But you know, I came so close after that event and knocked on the door so many times, and finally being able to do it here in a major, it gives me a little bit of break from the British Open and I can kind of forget about it a little bit and kind of move on now.”
- Inbee Park on redeeming herself with a major win after a final-round collapse at the RICOH Women’s British Open
Inbee Park, Rolex Rankings No. 3, -11
KELLY THESIER: All right, everybody. We got the winner here. Good evening, everyone. We would like to welcome the 2014 Wegmans LPGA champion, Inbee Park into the interview room. Congratulations.
INBEE PARK: Thank you.
KELLY THESIER: Taking the final day to a playoff. You're no stranger to playoffs, you've been to quite a few of these, last year in a playoff to win, last week actually lost in a playoff and now to come out victorious. Are you getting used to these now? Are playoffs no big deal anymore?
INBEE PARK: Yeah. You know, I just saved it for this week. Last week I didn't win because I wanted to save it for this week. No, just kidding.
Yeah, you know, I've been in many playoffs in the last year. Last year I won in a playoff. Last week I went into playoff, and this week as well.
I mean it's not something that I really look forward to doing because you feel so much pressure and you don't know how many holes you're going to get to play. And yeah, I think it's very lucky that I actually got an opportunity today, because you know, I thought I probably won't get an opportunity with Brittany coming up the last and if she made a par I would not have gone into playoff. And I holed really good putts on number 17 and 18 to put me in the playoffs. So yeah, just very happy the way I played today.
KELLY THESIER: You talked this week about how disappointing this was to lose, to not win the women's British. How long did that loss stay with you and what does it mean now to come back in the very next major and come away as champion?
INBEE PARK: Yeah, it was very tough tournament to forget. You know, since I was so close and I thought I was definitely able to do it. And that's been the tournament that I've really waited all year long, and that's been my only goal this year. And not being able to do it in the final round was very disappointing, and it was very tough to forget.
But you know, I came so close after that event, you know, and knocked on the door so many times, and finally being able to do it here in a major, it gives me a little bit of break from the British Open and I can kind of forget about it a little bit and kind of move on now.
So yeah, already looking forward to next year.
KELLY THESIER: We were just out there at the trophy ceremony where they were talking about the 38 great years of history here in Rochester. You now become only the third player ever to win back‑to‑back events in Rochester joining Nancy Lopez and Patty Sheehan. What does it mean for you to join that elite group, and what has this community meant to the LPGA?
INBEE PARK: I mean it's always an honor to me to put my name amongst Nancy Lopez and Patty Sheehan, those great athletes, great women's golf players. And you know, it's such an honor. And it's been 38 years in Rochester that we've been playing, and so many people have so many great memories. I have great memories, and being able to be a part of the history was such a special feeling.
Yeah, I almost thought it wasn't going to happen today. But it happened, I don't know, maybe Rochester and Rochester people has been helping me a lot to make this happen.
Yeah, it's good that we have this kind of community where everybody is really into golf and they love golf, and they really love supporting us.
KELLY THESIER: We'll open it up to questions for Inbee.
Q. Inbee, when Brittany was in here, I asked her if the golf gods are just kind of mean. And she said absolutely. Now, on the flip side do you feel like the golf gods were maybe with you today with those putts on 17 and 18 and then in the playoff?
INBEE PARK: Yeah, I mean being able to become a winner there has to be some kind of luck on your side. You know, I have always felt that whenever I was winning I felt like I had probably a little bit more luck than everybody else did.
You know, I kind of struggled all day today kind of and then I dropped really important two putts on number 17 and 18. And yeah, I mean the way I've been putting today I thought I wasn't going to hole those putts, but it just happened, so I think that's really explaining how you can win.
Q. And when you saw her ‑‑ after you made your great up‑and‑down at 18, did you think knowing how hard 18 is, even though she hits it a mile, did you think that you had a chance of getting in a playoff because that hole was so hard this week?
INBEE PARK: Yeah, I definitely thought that there is a chance if I made a par because, you know, 18 is a very tough hole and the pin position was quite tough. And you know, with the pressure conditions, you just don't know what's going to happen. So I really wanted to make that putt and give myself somewhat opportunity.
Q. Inbee, to win the LAST two championships here in Rochester, what has this community meant to you over these last few years?
INBEE PARK: This is probably one of the favorite weeks that we ‑‑ for me and probably for all the LPGA players to come and kind of stay for a week, and yeah, this tournament has the history, and this tournament has all the memories with us. So being able to put my name on this trophy for twice and being able to do it here in Rochester is such a great honor, and yeah, we'll be missing Rochester. We definitely want to come back here for another event.
Q. Can you just talk about your nerves going back to the ‑‑ you've done this over and over, but surely you just still have them cranking inside you even though we don't see it going back on the tee on the first playoff hole. Can you just describe that?
INBEE PARK: Yeah, I mean today overall I just felt so comfortable, since last night and this morning, all day today, just before playoff I just felt like it was just a third round almost. I didn't feel any nerves at all today really.
Once Brittany missed that par putt, I just ‑‑ all of a sudden I felt the nerves, and when I was going to the tee for the playoff. I think that's when everything really started to come into my mind because I actually have an opportunity to win this tournament. And like all different thoughts really came into my mind when I was riding that cart to that tee.
And yeah, I just tried to tell myself that I just did this last week, and you know, it's nothing else or it's just another hole. Just tried to do whatever I did all day today. And yeah, I think having the experience definitely helped. It kind of flashed back how I played last year here in the playoff, and yeah, I think I felt a lot more comfortable after thinking that I've been into many playoffs so it'll be just another one.
KELLY THESIER: Inbee, last year six wins and now you've been able to capture two so far this year. And I know everybody was talking about how difficult it was going to be to repeat last year. How are you feeling so far about how you've been able to come back this season and still play some tremendous golf?
INBEE PARK: Yeah, I think this year was always going to be a tough year after having such a great year last year and being able to match that this year and match the expectations I had last year was always going to be tough.
You know, I feel like so far this season I've really handled myself well in this position, and you know, it feels like I've played some good golf. And I played very consistently this year. Yeah, just like I said, I just sometimes didn't get that lucky as last year. Sometimes I just didn't putt as well. But I feel like I'm doing pretty good.
Q. Inbee, two shots. How difficult was the chip at 18 in regulation, which you didn't hit real good but you made the great putt, and then the chip in the playoff. How tough was that coming down elm?
INBEE PARK: Yeah, both times, first time I had probably the worst lie. Grasses were all like tangled together. I was really into the grass. And yeah, it was a very tough chip. It was going up the slope where I had a bad lie. It was very tough shot.
I just told myself maybe give some kind of opportunity at a par and we'll deal with the putter, not thinking so much about the chip. And in the playoff hole I was actually not that bad of a lie, and it was just a downhill grain, so you just have to be really careful. And you know, I felt like my chipping was, you know, pretty good this week, so I felt quite confident over that chip.
Q. How does it feel to be the two‑time Wegmans LPGA champion?
INBEE PARK: It definitely feels a big honor to actually put my name on the trophy for twice and obviously to defend my title. I think I've been in too many playoffs lately. Yeah, feel very exhausted.
Yeah, I played good today, especially coming in number 17 and 18 I holed really good putts. I think that put me in the playoff and actually have an opportunity.
Just very happy to be part of the history, and yeah we'll be missing Rochester.
Q. What was going through your mind as you saw Brittany Lincicome bogey on the 18 hole and you found a chance to win the trophy?
INBEE PARK: Yeah. I knew 18 was a tough hole, but obviously Brittany is a long hitter, and she just less club into the greens like that, and she'd probably make a par and I probably didn't get an opportunity, but I was just lucky that I got an opportunity and actually made that a win.
Q. Drawing back on last year's experience in the playoffs. I know it's a different course, but you're experienced in this in a major. How much did that play to your advantage?
INBEE PARK: I didn't feel that nervous at all today when I was just playing the final round, but once I got to the tee on the playoff hole, I just felt the nerves right away, and kind of it was like a replay of last year. And experience definitely helped me out, and I think I was able to stay calm.
Q. How were you able to overcome 7 after you hear the explosion on 8 you had to back off your ball and then you missed that putt. How did you overcome that?
INBEE PARK: I think, you know, No. 8's been the most disappointing moment of today for me. I think it wasn't ‑‑ three‑putt wasn't really necessary at all, but yeah, I mean just a little bit of disappointment, but you gotta forget about it and just kind of move on.
Q. Do you feel you can dominate the rest of the year?
INBEE PARK: I mean I have been playing very good golf the last month or so. So hopefully I can keep this going.
I mean I still feel like last year's putter, that's really tough to beat. I gotta work really hard to beat last year's putter. So yeah, I'll keep working hard and see if I can do it again.
Q. Congratulations, Inbee. How disappointed you were in losing the British. What does this mean now to come back and win this one?
INBEE PARK: Obviously I've been waiting for British Open all year, and I actually got an opportunity in the final round, but I wasn't able to do it, and obviously having a very poor Back 9 was really disappointing, and I really wasn't able to forget about the tournament for a while.
Yeah, I mean I think after this tournament I can kind of feel free and kind of forget about the tournament a little bit.
Q. After last week, losing in a playoff, to come back the next week and win in a playoff for a major championship, how much were you focused on that when you found out you were in a playoff?
INBEE PARK: I almost felt like I was getting used to playing in playoff because I was in it last week, I was in it this week. It didn't happen last week, so hopefully I was thinking maybe it didn't happen last week, so hopefully this one is coming in. Obviously experience really helped me a lot. Last year I went to playoff here and last week, and I've been in just a lot of playoffs. So yeah, I felt more comfortable.
Brittany Lincicome, Rolex Rankings No. 61, -11
MEGHAN FLANAGAN: All right. Well, it is my pleasure to welcome in this evening the runner up here at the Wegmans LPGA Championship, Brittany Lincicome. Britt, a lot of emotions out there on the 18th green, but you turned it around very quickly and replaced it with a smile. You have a lot to be proud about this week. Talk about the emotions that were running and just turned it around and saying how it kind of turned into a positive.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I think it was just a combination of everything, you know, playing good the first day, doing media, not being in this position for a while. I think it all finally caught up with me.
Obviously they were tears of joy. Finishing second in a major is always a good thing. Obviously I would have liked to have been the one holding the trophy on the 18th green right now, but feel like I played really, really well this week. Hopefully we can keep that going for the rest of the year. I really feel like this will be the stepping stone that I kind of needed to push me to want to keep it going and to be in the Top 10 each week like I kind of was like three years ago.
MEGHAN FLANAGAN: You said looking around and looking at the fans, you said you couldn't help but smile. Talk about what it means to play well here the final year here in Rochester.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah. I mean it's so sad. It makes me sad just thinking about not coming back to this area next year. We were here for so many years, and you know, I was feeding off of their emotions. So many people out there were rooting for me today that it was kind of hard not to smile when I was out there.
I'm a player that the more I smile the more I talk the more I sing songs, the better I play. So it was kind of nice. I was feeding off their emotions, and we were just having a good time. I was making jokes with people and we were just having a good time.
Q. Do you sometimes just question the golf gods? I mean you played so well for really two and a half days and it came down to that at the end. Do you just kind of look at the sky and wonder sometimes?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Absolutely. I mean obviously they always say things happen for a reason, which I kind of hate that saying, because I want to determine ‑‑ I want to have it my way.
But you know, like I said, we have Canada next week. Wee still have Evian. We still have a couple of big tournaments coming up, and if I keep playing the way I did today, my time is coming soon. I really feel.
Just need to learn how to control the nerves a little bit more. I was really, really nervous coming down the stretch, especially the 18th hole and then the playoff, that putt that I had, the first putt, and then the chip that I had I was shaking like a leaf, which it's hard to do anything when you're shaking. I feel like I was like ‑‑ I don't know what I had, but it's just not a fun feeling. I mean obviously I'm human and it's part of life and growing, so just hopefully I learn from this and kind of move forward.
Q. Did you at the 18th hole in regulation, did it affect you that Suzann took quite a long time to play her third shot there? It seemed like it took forever.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: It did take forever, but I think it was actually giving me time to kind of calm down. I had my caddie go get my water and took a couple of sips of that, took some extra practice strokes. It was more just the lie. It was up against the collars of some thick roughs and most times with those putts you either below it by or you leave it way short, and unfortunately I left it short which is not where you want to be because my next putt was straight downhill, and couldn't be overly aggressive with that putt.
It was kind of the theme for the week. I left a lot of putts short that I feel like if I would have got to the hole or past the hole it would have been a better opportunity to try to save par.
Q. Could you take us back to 12 when you bogeyed the par‑5? What did you tell yourself after that?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Oh, yeah. That was a good one. It was actually, I think, just talking about how much under par I was on the par‑5s all week finally caught up to me.
And that chip shot I made I was literally telling myself, like knock it over the green. Like long was better than being short. And just kind of under estimated how steep that embankment actually was. And then that second chip, I mean that was so unlike me. I had been chipping really, really well all week, so it never crossed my mind that I was going to basically duff it. But you know, I had birdied some other holes, so I was like it's not the end of the world, just kind of keep it going. There was a couple more holes, another par‑5 even coming up that I could take advantage of, and obviously I was pretty upset and my caddie just told me we're not showing any emotion, no emotions, not getting mad. We're going to the next hole and try to birdie that one. So it was pretty frustrating, but I was trying not to be too upset about it.
MEGHAN FLANAGAN: You said Missy was so helpful this entire week, kept you calm, and I know she shared words with you afterwards.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Missy is great. We need to learn more of the words to the songs, because we kind of like will sing and then we're like hmm, hmm, hmm, and then we start singing again.
But it's great. She keeps me calm out there. We talk about God only knows what. We talk about anything other than golf, and it's nice to just have somebody by your side who's going to make it light and keep it fun and not so serious. I mean you can only concentrate so many minutes over the shot and then after that I just want to be like flying in the air and not talking about golf.
MEGHAN FLANAGAN: We talked about your struggles in the past couple of years. How big of a boost in confidence is this for you, I know you said looking forward to Evian and next week in Canada. Is this a huge boost for you.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I think so. It's just more retraining my mind to be confident, you know. I've lost my confidence. I've missed a few cuts in a row at the beginning of the year. And obviously that's really hard to come back from, because you go into a tournament, you're like please just let me make the cut. And what top player goes into a tournament just praying that they're going to make the cut. So it's kind of just coming back from that and even tricking myself into believing that I'm the most confident player out there, and I think if I can keep doing that, then obviously I'll be on the top of the leaderboard more and more.
Q. Brittany, how difficult is it to go right from the end of regulation, the disappointment there into a playoff? What was the challenge?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I actually think it was better because obviously I had just hit the tee shot. It only took a few minutes to sign the score card and then I was back out there again. So my body didn't have time to get cold or anything. I still felt loose and wanted to hit that tee shot. It felt like I had just played the 17th hole. So other than just trying to calm myself down and just took a few extra deep breaths and just put a good swing on it.
Q. What did you hit on 18 in regulation, what did you hit?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: 6.
Q. And then the playoff?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: 7.
Q. 7‑iron. Little pumped on that second shot?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: I actually feel like I hit both of those drives really bad. But yeah the second one went 10 yards further.
Q. And the putts, the first one I had about 25 feet in regulation. Was that about right, the one that was up against the collar?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: The one off the green?
Q. The one off the green in regulation?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: At least.
Q. Also, Inbee in front of me, she made a couple ‑‑ she just wouldn't go away. She made that 18‑footer at 17 and then 12‑foot par save at 18. How aware were you of what she was doing right in front of you?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: You know, I always say I don't look at the leaderboard, but it's really hard to not let your eyes wander. So on 16 I think I saw her leaderboard because we had a huge backup, so I saw her leaderboard leave, and I believe it was at 10 and I was at 12. So I was like, okay, just make par, and then I hit it to like 10 feet on that hole. And I should have made birdie but just missed.
And then going into 17 I saw she birdied and then I thought she birdied 18, so I thought she was at 12 when I was coming to 18 green, and then my caddie was like don't look at the leaderboard, or if you do, it doesn't matter what it says. We're just going to go put the best stroke on it we can. So yeah, I thought she was actually at 12 when she was only at 11.
Q. What's your emotions now after that?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Lots of tears, actually. Just felt like I worked really hard and was playing really, really good, and just, you know, Inbee is so darn good that, you know, not taking anything away from her. Just it was so close, and another step behind.
But you know, I'm playing so well. Maybe next week in Canada is my week.
Q. You seem to find a way to smile, even right now. Just talk about how you rebound from this day and go forward.
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah. I mean I think 38 years of being at this venue and all these fans around, you have to be smiling right now. Obviously I'm disappointed with myself for not winning, but I'm planning on going to sign all the autographs I can because they've embraced us, and they're so welcoming of the LPGA and it's so great to be in Rochester.
Q. I know it's so tough right now, but you really seemed to have fun this week between the pro am, between the Red Wings game. Can you talk about how you embraced Rochester?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah, other than missing the bowling on Tuesday I feel like I did most things that I like to do when I come to this area.
It was exciting. I played the pro am on Monday. I played the pro am on Wednesday. It was nice to get to see the golf course one extra time, and obviously baseball is big in my world. I love going to games. So it's just great to come back, and the community around here is so great. It's going to be a bummer to not come back here next year.
Q. Can you talk about 18, twice you were in similar spot I guess you would say. Can you talk about what was going through your mind at that point?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Yeah. I think it was just the nerves again, just not being in this position a lot. My hands were shaking pretty bad trying to hit that first putt, which anytime you're up against the collar it's always going to be a tricky putt. Either you're going to hit it short or you're going to bust it 20 feet by. So I think long would have been better than where I was because it was still a downhill putt on the second try.
And then the chip was, again, I was just trying to get it past the hole and it just ran out a little further than I anticipated. It was nice to be in contention again, nice to kind of feel those nerves again. Makes you feel human and alive when you feel that. All in all it was a good week.
Q. What can you learn? What can you take from this?
BRITTANY LINCICOME: Oh, man, I'm playing so good. I might take tomorrow off, though. I've been to that golf course before. I already have my yardage book set and ready to go.
Just kind of taking the same things, if I keep driving it the way I'm driving it and doing the same things that I'm doing, it's kind of unstoppable. If you're driving it straight, it takes so much stress off the rest of your game.
Lydia Ko, Rolex Rankings No. 2, -8
Q. Lydia, it looks like you're in pretty good spirits. Take us through today's final round.
LYDIA KO: You know, I obviously didn't really ‑‑ it was kind of disappointing finishing with two bogeys, but overall I played pretty solid today, and I tried to give myself opportunities, and made a lot of good putts.
So yeah, I'm pretty happy with how the major has finished.
Q. Round one you didn't have your ball markers and you had to borrow a quarter. Did you have that today in round four?
LYDIA KO: Yeah. I actually had it in my bag, but I didn't realize it. But I had it the next three. I had to remember to put it on my hat before the next day.
Q. We've been talking about this all week. 17 years old. You're right at the top of this leaderboard as a 17‑year‑old in a major. Just build on this going forward?
LYDIA KO: This gives me a lot of confidence. You know, majors are I guess where we try and perform our best, and to have a Top 5 finish, I think that's really good. Yeah, so I'm excited for next week, and yeah, you know, just I think I've got a lot of confidence from this week.
Q. A lot of people would expect a 17‑year‑old maybe to be a little tight heading into something like this. You seemed loose all week, smiling. Is that kind of your approach throughout?
LYDIA KO: Yeah. Obviously I do get nervous at some points, but you know, I just try and go out and have some fun, and if it goes my way, great. If it doesn't, I can't do much about it.
Q. Can you give people an idea of how difficult those last three holes were?
LYDIA KO: Um, I mean, no. I think 16, 17 and 18, they're pretty tough holes, you know, especially on 16 you've got a long hybrid in, and also the next couple. But for me, you know, I didn't really hit the fairway on 17 and that was kind of the crucial point. I kind of was in the side of the rough and it's not an easy chip there.
But no, I try my best and that's all I can do.
Suzann Pettersen, Rolex Rankings No. 4, -5
Q. All right. Obviously not the last round you typically wanted?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I mean I got off to a terrible start. Took me about ten holes before I kind of got back into it. Just trying to save myself from a complete disaster.
Q. Did you think it kind of got away from you on the Front 9? Did you feel like it was completely away from you?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: No. I felt great during the warmup. Just a little bit, I don't know, too much adrenaline or couple of wrong clubs at the wrong time. Just couldn't really bounce back from it.
Q. Anything with the back?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: No. I'm feeling great. Just very disappointed.
Stacy Lewis, Rolex Rankings No. 1, -5
Q. Are you happy with the way you played?
STACY LEWIS: Well, the last two days, I really, I played a lot better. And more than anything I just wanted to play 16, 17 and 18 well. I kind of struggled on them all week, and it was just nice to finish off a good day.
Q. Four birdies in a five‑hole span. Did you just simply run out of time?
STACY LEWIS: I don't know. I think I just got my act together a little bit. Just I've been struggling with my game and I've been trying to work on things.
I feel like yesterday I hit the ball a lot better, so I was excited about coming in today. I felt like you could make some birdies on the Back 9 there, especially the way the par‑5s were playing. So just happy that I did.
Q. What did you hear from the galleries today?
STACY LEWIS: You know, all week everybody's ‑‑ you know, they've been so supportive for so long, and everybody is sad that we're leaving, but I think we'll be back here in a few years. You know, these crowds today just show that we should be playing here, and I think we'll be back.
Gerina Piller, Rolex Rankings No. 31, -3
Q. What was that like for both of you, like for you today to be playing and knowing what she was doing?
GERINA PILLER: Well, obviously I didn't know what he was doing, and I definitely was more nervous for him than I think I was for me.
Like I ‑‑ I wouldn't say it affected me, but I was just more concerned with, because he's worked so hard, and ‑‑ it's just been ‑‑ like it's hard to see him fail, and like going into this year obviously he wasn't guaranteed any tournaments, and for him to work his tail off and play his way back in, that's just been awesome. I couldn't be more proud.
Now I have to buy him a new truck, because I told him before the year, I said, if you win a tournament and you get back on the PGA TOUR, I'll buy you a new truck.
Q. Now you owe him a new truck.
GERINA PILLER: I do owe him a new truck. So it's just awesome. I mean I could care less what I did today. I was just really wanting the best for him, and it just makes my heart smile.
Q. When did you find out that he won?
GERINA PILLER: On 15 tee, Cristie came up to me, and I had just birdied and obviously I was having kind of a rough day, and she was standing in the ropes and I'm like, what is she doing. And she said my husband won. And I lost it. And I had the tee. I'm like, don't tell me now. I have to hit the ball.
So obviously I started crying, and it's just been ‑‑ it's just been awesome. Words cannot describe ‑‑ I just can't wait to talk to him.
Q. We looked on the Money List and he's like 29th or whatever and you're 28th. So it seems like you two are quite a little pair in terms of making it work.
GERINA PILLER: Yeah. I couldn't be more happy for him.