|Post-round comments from Inbee Park, Hyo-Joo Kim, Suzann Pettersen and Shanshan Feng on Friday at Mission Hills Haikou.
Second round interviews from the Mission Hills World Ladies Championship
Friday 8th March 2013
Interview with Inbee Park (-11) and Hyo-Joo Kim (-6)
Well done, Inbee. Can you take us through the whole journey?
INBEE PARK: I played very solid today. I missed no greens today. I hit all the greens and the fairways. I hit the ball even better then yesterday and also putted better than yesterday, but I was still having a little bit of a tough time on the greens because the breaks were really tough to read and it seemed like everyone was having the same trouble. I am pleased that I am getting better and better every day, so I’m taking that as a lesson and try and play even better in the next two days.
Yesterday you made a bogey on no. 15, and today you made a birdie, what a comeback. Can you tell us what sort of changes have you made?
INBEE PARK: Today there was a lot less wind than yesterday. Yesterday, that hole was right into the wind and I hit an 8-iron into the green yesterday and today I only hit a wedge, so I used a different club and there was a lot less wind today so it was a lot easier to take the shot. I was able to hit it close enough so I could hole a putt today.
What sort of game plan do you have for the weekend?
INBEE PARK: I played very good the last two days and I am happy with the way I’m hitting the ball at the moment. I want to try to hole some more putts in the next two days and I am confidence at the moment and will try to keep the feel and be myself on the golf course and play shot by shot.
Do you know that 50% of the top ten players on the leader board are Korean players?
INBEE PARK: I am very used to seeing this everywhere I go, even the LPGA tour and the KLPGA tour. I am very happy to see Korean players playing well and especially the younger ones. And Korean women’s golf is getting better and better, that’s always good to know.
Would you encourage your fellow Korean players to come over to China to play more?
INBEE PARK: I think I will. There are good golf courses here and good competition so this is a great stage to play. It’s a good experience. This is my second time to China and I am having a great time here.
Can you take us through all the 18 holes today? What did you feel really good about today?
HYO-JOO KIM: I felt that I didn’t do so well today when compared to yesterday. I felt insecure when I putt on the greens, but I will do better tomorrow. Afterwards I will be doing a bit more practice to have a better result tomorrow.
There was a fog delay this morning for 1 hour 50 minutes. What did you do?
INBEE PARK: I just tried to take it easy, all my family was here this week so they kept me company. I tried to take it easy and just relax. Everybody is dealing with this situation. I try to think really positively about the situation since you can’t do anything about it and the time ended up passing really quick.
HYO-JOO KIM: When I woke up I saw the fog outside, so I knew it was going to be delayed. So I just tried to relax and go back to the room and watch drama, then I went out for some practice.
First of all, congratulations on Hyo-Joo Kim performance on the second day. I have a question about putting on the greens. After day one of play, you seemed to hit them really well today. Can you describe hole 15 and hole 18?
INBEE PARK: On hole 15, I made a bogey yesterday. I used a different club to hit to the green today. There was a lot less wind today and it was easier to play today with irons. I had a bit of trouble with the breaks on the green, I still find them tough to read and I’m trying to get used to them still. I hit the ball really well today, I missed no greens and everything was probably within 15-feet. I gave myself a lot of chances and I was able to hole a putt.
You have been playing with Suzann Pettersen and Feng Shanshan. On the 15th, Feng Shanshan made a double bogey, can you share with us what you think she did wrongly on that hole?
INBEE PARK: I think it was that she hit the putt a bit too hard and her bogey putt was about 10-feet. I could happen on these greens, the speed is wrong. Except for that hole she played great today, she finished great at the last. She always has the ability to play well, so she is still in the mix.
Kim has been the leader in China before and Park and Kim they both are Korean players. Will they share an experience together when they play together on the green? For example, do they share golf tips?
INBEE PARK: She plays in Korea most of the time and I play in America and all over the world. We don’t get to see each other that often yet but I’m sure I’ll see her more in the future and hopefully we will be able to encourage each other and make each other better.
HYO-JOO KIM: We play at different locations, but here we do play together so I try to do better with information from Inbee Park.
Carlota Ciganda 71-63 (-10)
How do you describe that round?
It was unbelievable. I was playing good but I didn’t think that I was playing that good. I started with pars and then I made a few birdies on hole number three, same as yesterday, and then I made three birdies in a row, on six, seven and eight. I was very comfortable, hitting good shots to the green and then my putting was working, so the back nine, I just tried to be in the present, hit one shot at a time and the final holes were very good. I finished with two birdies for a total of nine under and that’s my best score.
You won in China in November. Is it a lucky place for you?
Yes, I feel very comfortable. I like the way they treat us and the course is very nice so I feel very calm, very relaxed. It’s one of my favourite places because I played well last year and it seems like I’m playing well this year so hopefully I can play good over the weekend and be at the top.
You came up top last year.
It was great because it was my first year as a rookie so I wasn’t expecting that at all. I won two events and at the end I was lucky to win the Order of Merit because Caroline Masson was playing great too.
How will you approach tomorrow?
I’m just going to take it easy. Tomorrow is another day and I’m just going to play my best, I know there are great players here so I will focus on my game and enjoy this beautiful golf course, enjoy China, which is great.
Suzann Pettersen 70-67=137 (-7)
Unfortunately you didn’t quite make the eagle putt on the last hole, but take us through the 18 holes.
Suzann Pettersen: It was a pretty easy five under par. I got it going there around the turn and had four straight birdies but then three-putted 11, which was a bit disappointing. Other than that it was a good round of golf and my game is getting better and better. It keeps getting better down here each day so that’s pretty much what I’m working at.
As this year’s tournament’s strong competitor, who do you pick as strong contenders for the weekend?
Suzann Pettersen: I don’t know. I don’t really care to be honest. I’m just trying to go as low as I can. The course is giving a lot of birdie opportunities so I’m trying to be efficient and just as long as the game is in progress I’m very happy.
How do you find the greens, because all the players are saying the greens are really tough, how do you find them?
Suzann Pettersen: I think they’re just slow and grainy. I think they could have cut them a little more as the greens aren’t that severe, so if you ask me, they could cut them more, but now they’ve started with this I think they should just keep the pace.
How are you going to prepare for the weekend?
Suzann Pettersen: I don’t know. First of all I’m going to have some lunch as it’s been a long day. It was an early start with quite a long delay, so I had a much longer warm-up than normal but I took it as a practice session and hopefully they will all finish today so they don’t have to get up early tomorrow.
Shanshan Feng 60-69=139 (-5)
Can you assess your round?
Shanshan Feng: I started with a birdie on the second and a bogey on four, so I was even par and stayed even par for some more time. I think I made two birdies in a row, so I was two under and then on the 14th hole, the par three, I didn’t hit it on the green and I was trying to make a flop shot. Actually I hit it too long. I couldn’t see it but it hit something and when I got up it was in, so it landed in the hole and I made a birdie, so I was three under.
It was 20 yards from the hole. I got to the 16th, another par three, I didn’t hit on the green again but that time I wasn’t that lucky because I chipped and kind of miss hit it a little and then three-putted so it was a double. That was quite a pity. I’m really happy that I got it back on the last hole because even though it wasn’t a very good strike, the result was good. It was three feet from the hole so I made the eagle. I hit a soft 3-wood into the green.
How confident are you feeling about defending your title?
Shanshan Feng: I would say I’m behind, but I think Inbee played really well for two days and I know I have missed a lot of chances, so I need to play very well over the weekend to catch her.