|First round co-leader Haeji Kang
RICOH Women’s British Open, Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Wirral, United Kingdom, September 13, 2012
First-round interviews with:
So Yeon Ryu -2, Rolex Rankings No. 13
Haeji Kang -2, Rolex Rankings No. 59
Jiyai Shin -1, Rolex Rankings No. 10
Karrie Webb -1, Rolex Rankings No. 21
Charley Hull -1, (a) and Rolex Rankings No. 338
Yani Tseng E, Rolex Rankings No. 1
Cristie Kerr E, Rolex Rankings No. 12
Lydia Ko E, (a) and Rolex Rankings No. 47
Paula Creamer +1, Rolex Rankings No. 14
So Yeon Ryu, Rolex Rankings No. 13
Q. This is your first British and you have not played much links golf and you said that it's a shock but it's a good shock?
SO YEON RYU: Yes, especially yesterday, the weather was so bad. It was really strong wind and really huge rains, so I was shocked. Oh, this is my first time playing the British Open and this is my first time visiting England, so everything is a first experience for me.
But especially I'm staying with my coach, Ian Triggs, and last week I won the KLPGA tournament and I'm confident so that's why I'm playing really consistently. And especially today, the weather was not bad. This whole year, I played the Royal Melbourne, and Handa Australian Open, and it's similar to this one so it helped me a lot.
Q. Did you make any adjustments to your game to compensate for the wind?
SO YEON RYU: Well, at the links course, we have to use the wind, so I don't need to compare to wind or whatever. So I think today, I really trust my swing and trust my game and trust my decision. That's the big thing.
Q. Tell us about your journey here, because you said you played in Korea last week; when did you get here? How are you feeling? Are you battling jet‑lag?
SO YEON RYU: I arrive here on Monday really late, 11.00pm like, that but always home is really sweet home, and I have a lot of energy and I had really great Korean food. So I am charged energy, so now I'm really happy, it's fine.
Q. Can you take me through the round a little bit today and what's working well for you?
SO YEON RYU: I think today my putting was great and I made a lot of birdie putts and especially a lot of par putts. The wind affect today the putting. That one is really tough. But my caddie helped me a lot and yesterday I worked with my coach, Ian Triggs, so I gave me really great advice so that helped me a lot.
I think today my tee shot was really great. You know, I think especially the links course, the tee shot was really important. So I'm really happy with my game today and I just want to keep playing this type of golf.
Q. In terms of the conditions, everybody kept talking about how the wind was really going to pick up this afternoon, but compared to the other days, was today one of the better days?
SO YEON RYU: Actually Tuesday and Wednesday was so bad, so today feels like a really great weather. But you know, in Korea it was a little really strong wind, and a little different from this course. This wind might not be a bad wind ‑‑ I think today the weather was really great.
Q. You said this is your first time playing links golf. Are you surprised by your ability to go out and play so well?
SO YEON RYU: Yeah, especially yesterday I was so shocked. I just can say, wow. Even if the wind coming right‑to‑left or left‑to‑right, especially it's really hard, the side wind, so I practice a lot of low shots and especially I practice a lot of low fade shots.
Today, I think today helped me a lot and maybe the weather is getting a little bit more badly. So I have to keep practicing about the low shot.
Q. Were you surprised today to do so well ‑‑ it's your first time on links?
SO YEON RYU: Yes, it's a big surprise but today the weather is not bad so that's why today I played.
Q. Is this your first time in Britain?
SO YEON RYU: Yes, this is my first, and this is my first time played in England. So this type of golf, I never played this type of golf course. But it's really tough but fun. Always the first experience, really fun and a little tough but I want to enjoy this type of golf course.
Q. Were you in many bunkers?
SO YEON RYU: I think today just one. I think that's why today I played well.
Q. You talked about your win last week at the KLPGA and you won about a month ago on the LPGA; how great is your confidence right now?
SO YEON RYU: Especially last week was so tough because that's my main sponsor hosted the tournament, so a lot of pressure on me. But anyway, I won the tournament, so I felt like really proud of myself.
So now I can a little bit more enjoy the tournament because I already won twice, so feels comfortable, and a lot of people trust me. So I feel like oh maybe if I just enjoy the tournament, a lot of my friends enjoy seeing my playing. So this day I really tried to enjoy the tournament, and last week, I won, I got a lot of confidence.
Q. After you won The Open, did you feel under a lot of pressure?
SO YEON RYU: Absolutely. That's a huge major tournament, so everybody said, that's ‑‑ you won the major tournament, but why you can't win any regular tournament.
Well, it's really hard to answer that question. But that's a huge one.
Q. Is it a relief to have won again on the LPGA?
SO YEON RYU: Yeah, after I won the Toledo championship, I was a little more relieved and that helped me a lot. How can I say, even if when I was winning the U.S. Women's Open, a lot of people said it might be just one tournament or just a dark horse like that.
But after I won the Toledo championship, I broke about that, so ‑‑ I want another major trophy, but I know it's a really tough one, and today is just the first day and we have three days, so I just have to concentrate.
Q. How old are you?
SO YEON RYU: I'm 22.
Haeji Kang, Rolex Rankings No. 59
Q. That golf course isn't supposed to be that easy.
HAEJI KANG: I hit it pretty good out there. My iron shots were just inside 20 feet all the time, so I could just putt it out.
Q. Talk about the little run you had up until the turn?
HAEJI KANG: Actually I started with a bogey but I managed myself out there to stay calm. Especially this kind of major, you have to be very patient. I think what's I did really good today so I'm really happy with my round today.
Q. You've been playing pretty well, what has been the difference for new 2012?
HAEJI KANG: Actually I worked on my swing really hard in the winter and also I did a lot of fitness work and also I got more distance which helps a lot, especially in majors, if you are going to hit it far like Yani. I think that helps a lot.
Q. How much experience have you had playing links golf courses like this?
HAEJI KANG: This is my fourth year in the British Open. I think last three years, I had a really good experience.
Q. Do you actually feel as if you're now much better prepared to play links golf than before? Does it take a few years to get used to?
HAEJI KANG: Actually I used to play junior golf when I was in Australia and also that kind of helped a lot.
Q. What about the cold weather? That can't be much fun coming from warm tournaments.
HAEJI KANG: It took me about a day to get used to the weather but yesterday the weather was like, oohh, horrible. I think I got used to it pretty quickly, yeah.
Q. In terms of the conditions, was it a lot better or just slightly better?
HAEJI KANG: Oh, it was much better this morning. As soon as I made the turn, it started blow. But I played yesterday the practise round with the rain, also. I'm ready, yeah.
Q. And what is the secret to playing around here? Is it keeping it out of the rough, the bunkers?
HAEJI KANG: Keeping it out of rough and bunkers, yeah.
Q. Can we go through the birdies quickly? You birdied the sixth, I believe?
HAEJI KANG: No. 6, the wind was hurting so I hit 5‑iron into the wind and I hit it maybe six feet away. 7, I hit a perfect tee shot, so I hit pitching wedge in and also was eight feet away. So I made that putt.
Q. Bad hole at the 8th?
HAEJI KANG: I was in the rough for the tee shot and went for the green and it went into the bunker, but I couldn't go for the flag because I was in that little thing, so I had to come out with a very long putt and I 3‑putted.
Q. Bounced back with a 2 at 9?
HAEJI KANG: Yeah, I hit it close on another one. It was ten feet away.
Q. You said you were hitting your irons close, same story at the 11th?
HAEJI KANG: Yeah, maybe 11‑footer.
Q. And what club did you hit in, what iron?
HAEJI KANG: 8‑iron. 15, it was about three‑club helping wind, so I hit a 9‑iron and it pitched to the front of the green and rolled about six feet away.
17, I got on in two, 5‑wood to the green and made a 2‑putt.
Q. And you parred the last?
HAEJI KANG: Yes.
Q. Overall you must be very pleased?
HAEJI KANG: Yes, I am. I'm ready for the next three rounds.
Jiyai Shin, Rolex Rankings No. 10
Q. You must be come in here feeling very confident?
JIYAI SHIN: Very much, confidence, too.
Q. How hard was it out there today?
JIYAI SHIN: Today actually I think today is lucky because the weather was great and then the wind was just a breeze. It's just like a little bit strong but the local people say it's just breeze.
Q. But the scoring is still quite high, even with very little wind?
JIYAI SHIN: Yes, it's true. The course is really tough. It's very tight and then the greens are very small. Great, every shot, driver, putter. So I'm really happy with my score today. I made the two bogeys.
Q. You birdied the third, how did you birdie the third?
JIYAI SHIN: I chip it in.
Q. From how far way?
JIYAI SHIN: Over 15 yards. Actually third hole is really tough hole for me because I hit a driver and then hit a 3‑wood on the fairway.
Q. Still short?
JIYAI SHIN: Still short of the green and I hit a 50‑degree, my wedges, about 15 yards. I was surprised.
Q. And you bogeyed the sixth?
JIYAI SHIN: I hit it great. I hit on the green but 3‑putt.
Q. And the 10th? Birdie at the 10th, par 5?
JIYAI SHIN: I hit a driver, good 3‑wood and I left it about 75 yards to the pin and then about 15 feet, a little bit right side of the flag and I made it.
Q. And you also birdied the 12th?
JIYAI SHIN: I hit driver and I hit 7‑iron, and it was pretty long putt, about 30, 35 feet and I made that.
Q. Bogey at 14?
JIYAI SHIN: I hit a driver and it missed the fairway. I hit it on the bunker right side, far bunker, 8‑iron on and 2‑putt.
Q. Is the key to hit the ball in the fairway?
JIYAI SHIN: It's very important.
Q. The rough is pretty thick, isn't it?
JIYAI SHIN: Yeah, and the fairways are pretty tight, too. It's hard to stay on the fairway. And on the back nine, lots of holes, the breeze is left‑to‑right direction, so it made it even harder.
Q. Did you par the last two holes?
JIYAI SHIN: 17 was a tough hole, too. But I hit a driver in the fairway and I hit a 5‑wood but I missed the green, right side to the far right, and chipping and like I hit it left.
Q. Overall you must be pleased with your round today?
JIYAI SHIN: Yes.
Q. Still tired after the long playoff?
JIYAI SHIN: Yes, nine holes.
Karrie Webb, Rolex Rankings No. 21
Q. You're a multiple winner of this championship and I'm sure you've seen plenty of difficult conditions. How easy was it today compared to what we were expecting?
KARRIE WEBB: I don't think you can ever say going around this golf course that conditions are easy, but they were definitely a lot more friendly than I think we expected. Definitely probably the nicest day of the week so far. I don't know if it's meant to play like that this afternoon or not, but I'm glad to get in.
Q. How much does experience count in a tournament like this?
KARRIE WEBB: I think it counts for a little bit. But you've still got to go out there and hit the shot, and you've got to commit to the lines that you want to hit your shots on, and do it, because there's really no ‑‑ I think that there's a lot of links courses that there's a side to miss on, and I don't think this course, especially off the tee, there's a side to miss on. You've just got to get up there and hit a good shot.
Q. Is there one part of your game that was helping you get around today, one part that wasn't? How were you doing it?
KARRIE WEBB: Everything was pretty good but my ball‑striking was pretty good today, especially early on, which really set the tone for my round. Hit a lot of greens early on which made me a lot more comfortable on the course.
Q. How key is that in the tournament?
KARRIE WEBB: I think that's huge this week, trying to keep it out of trouble, and you know, not get in too many of the bunkers or the long gorse or anything like that. I did a good job of it today, and I have three more days to do it.
Charley Hull, (a)
Good afternoon, we have Charley Hull with us today, 1‑under par 71 in pretty difficult conditions. You must be pleased with your start.
CHARLEY HULL: Yeah, I'm pretty happy. I'm happy.
I think I overheard you saying the wind was quite strong and dying as you were going in; is that true?
CHARLEY HULL: It got windier when I first teed off and then about nine holes into the round, it died down a bit.
Birdied the seventh hole?
CHARLEY HULL: 7, I hit rescue and 8‑iron to about 5‑foot and holed it. Fifth, I hit driver, rescue wood, half‑pitching wedge to about eight‑foot and holed it.
COLIN CALLANDER: Dropped your only shot of the day at the 8th.
CHARLEY HULL: Yeah, I hit it right and I hit it over the green, chipped up and missed the putt. I should have birdied 7, as well, because I had about a 6‑footer on that and should have birdied ‑‑ well not should have, but I had a good birdie chance on the third, as well.
COLIN CALLANDER: And you finished with nine straight pars.
CHARLEY HULL: I did. I had three pretty good up‑and‑downs. And then I missed about a 10‑footer on 18, it was downhill left‑to‑right.
What is the key to playing around here?
CHARLEY HULL: You've got to hit it straight. And you've just got to hit ‑‑ pretty much your game has to be good. You have got to putt well and you have to scramble well if you're not on the greens in regulation. You've got to play well.
You've played four pro events this year so far and made the cut in all four. You're obviously not over‑awed.
CHARLEY HULL: Yeah, it's been good. I just pretend I'm out there playing with my mates. I know it's like a major but that's how I think of it.
Q. How difficult as an amateur around this Hoylake course, which is notoriously very, very difficult, even the men at The Open found it difficult; how did you find it out there?
CHARLEY HULL: I enjoyed it out there. It's a good challenge. And when I go out there ‑‑ yeah, you have to hit it straight so you have to drive it pretty well. I didn't drive it that great today but I still managed to hit fairways and I hit a lot of 3‑woods and rescues off the tee.
Q. Do you like challenging courses?
CHARLEY HULL: Oh, yeah, I like them long. I like them narrow, as well. I come from Woburn and that's quite tight. So that's probably I didn't get it from.
Q. So you look into sort of build a platform, a good, solid round, are you hoping to go forward ‑‑ how higher you aiming to finish up the leaderboard?
CHARLEY HULL: I don't think about it at all. I just play one shot at a time, one hole at a time and just see what my score is at the end of the day.
Q. Do you think you can win?
CHARLEY HULL: It's possible, but I'm not thinking of that at the minute ‑‑ but you could ‑‑ (indiscernible).
Q. Do you know Lydia Ko?
CHARLEY HULL: Yeah, well, I've heard of her.
Q. Have you met her ever?
CHARLEY HULL: No, but I think she's pretty awesome though isn't she.
Q. Are you inspired by what she's done as a teenager?
CHARLEY HULL: Oh, yeah, yeah. She's got a lot of experience and she's only 15. But golf, it's not a race, you know. But she's great. But I think there's still a lot more to come and for me as well.
Q. You mentioned about hitting the fairways being important, did you go in the rough at all?
CHARLEY HULL: Yeah, I actually went in the rough on the first, like the deep rough, and then on the eighth hole.
Q. What did you do when you went in the rough?
CHARLEY HULL: Actually I had a pretty good run. I hit 6‑iron out and it turned the club head over and went over the green. But I couldn't really get up‑and‑down because I was in another bit of rough. But on the first, I hit it left, but as well, kind of was attached ‑‑ got one out.
Q. It seems a fairly decent sense of achievement, breaking par in the Women's British Open and sitting here, sitting where you are; what's the sense of accomplishment for you?
CHARLEY HULL: What do you mean ‑‑ well, I shot 1‑under. It felt pretty good. And I birdied actually the first hole at the Kraft, and I tried do that here, to make two birdies on the first holes, but yeah, it feels good. But I have experience from last time so hopefully I will get better in the second round.
Q. You and your caddie had a bit of an adventure getting here this morning?
CHARLEY HULL: Yeah, apparently I just found out he came on a motor bike and it got stolen and he had to catch a taxi.
He had to catch a taxi which cost him 30 quid, which I don't think he was too pleased with, but he made it on time, didn't he.
CHARLEY HULL: Yeah. He made it in plenty of time. I didn't even know until he told me after the round.
Q. What's his name?
CHARLEY HULL: Mark.
Q. How did he come to caddie for you?
CHARLEY HULL: I played in the Irish ladies Open on the Ladies European Tour about five weeks ago, and he was looking for a bag and I didn't know to caddie and he said he was coming over to the British Open and he qualified, caddied for me in the qualifier.
Q. There's another famous player from Woburn; do you follow him very closely?
CHARLEY HULL: I played like a golf day there, played a couple of holes with him, and yeah, he's nice. I think he follows me on Twitter, as well. I got Tweets from him, like gave me a few pointers on match play and stuff. So he's nice.
Q. What sort of pointers did he give you?
CHARLEY HULL: He said in match play, he said to me, like even if they are in the bunker, expect them to hole it. Just stuff like that.
Q. What are your plans now for the rest of the year?
CHARLEY HULL: I'm going to go to LET Q‑School at the end of the year, and if I get my card, I'll turn pro then.
Q. Will you turn pro before then?
CHARLEY HULL: No, not yet. I've got World Amateur Team Championship that's in Turkey and that's in about four weeks' time. And the week before that ‑‑ (Inaudible.)
Q. What is the official age that you can just be full‑time on the Tour for the LET?
CHARLEY HULL: Well, I asked if I could go like early but I think it's really 18 or 17, I'm not quite sure. But you have to ask.
CHARLEY HULL: In the second round, and I got under pressure and I started hitting it really hard, and I think in the third round, I shot 4‑under and it should have been a lot better than that, as well. That's definitely one thing that I've learnt, because I like being quite ‑‑ swinging it hard, the way I've been brought up since I was young. But now I've been getting older and ‑‑ indiscernible.
Q. Where are you education‑wise?
CHARLEY HULL: I finished school ‑‑ I finished school a couple months back. So I'm not going to go to like college or anything.
Q. How nervous were you today?
CHARLEY HULL: I wasn't nervous on the first tee because I didn't have any expectations. I think there was more media, I shouldn't expect anything out there.
Kraft Nabisco I was a little bit more nervous but pretty much the same to be honest. I was probably a little bit more nervous qualifying for The Open. I was nervous on the first tee but not as nervous as I thought I would be.
It was a shame last year at qualifying, I was making it easy, and then I had a 6, 7 on the last to miss by one. So then I was probably a bit more nervous.
And on the third hole, some guy goes to me, here is your ball. So I hit it, didn't check it and it was the wrong ball. So if it wasn't for that, I'd cruise through.
Q. Are you among kids that ‑‑
CHARLEY HULL: Yeah, well, I couldn't take ‑‑ because of my home school, we didn't have time, and I couldn't take two of them because of the kind of stuff that I needed to do for next year. But I feel really good, like I've got ‑‑ I have to cheat on my assignments every month and I was like 90 per cent, 95 per cent, 96 per cent in my subjects, so I'm doing pretty good.
CHARLEY HULL: Not yet. I'm doing a few of them next year.
Yani Tseng, Rolex Rankings No. 1
YANI TSENG: I feel pretty good, first day of the tournament, I feel like I'm hitting so many good shots out there, making some good putts to save the par, and I'm very happy and very enjoyed playing with Ai and Paula today.
The major, it's four days tournament, just have to be patient on this tough golf course, and today maybe it's kind of a good day to make some more birdies but I don't think you want to try too hard out there, because the harder you try, the worse you get.
Q. The wind is such a factor on this course; did you feel when you got up this morning that it might just be ‑‑
YANI TSENG: This morning was a little windy for the first few holes but after that, it's kind of quiet. But I mean, I wasn't thinking too much. I still try to be patient, stay with my same strategy because I know the wind can make it very tough, but you have to stick to your routine.
Q. Do you feel like you left a few out there today or that's the score you should have shot today?
YANI TSENG: You always feel like you left some out there, but I'm still very happy. I wasn't thinking about, if I can do that, that would be great. It's over today. I'm very happy what I've done, even par, and I know I had a 4‑putt on No. 11, but that's it. That's probably the only thing that I can say I left some out there. But I give it my hundred percent every shot out there, I make 6, but everything I was very happy.
Cristie Kerr, Rolex Rankings No. 12
Q. Good score today?
CRISTIE KERR: You know what, from what I understand, today is going to be the nicest day so we had to shoot a good score today.
Q. You had a bit of extra practice going into this week, you missed the cut in Virginia, did that turn out to be an advantage?
CRISTIE KERR: Actually, you know, what I thought it was going to be an advantage, and then with the weather delays on Saturday night in Richmond, we miss‑connected and we didn't get here till Monday morning. So it ended up not being an advantage.
But I was able to play nine straight off the plane with no sleep Monday and I got to see the course twice. With these conditions, you have to have a good caddie and be a good team and be able to judge what's going on out there.
Q. What did you make of the golf course today playing it competitively?
CRISTIE KERR: It's one of the best courses I've ever played. It's so good. It's probably the best ladies British course that I've played, and I used to say Royal Lytham and St. Annes was my favourite and it's still one of my favourites, but this is an unbelievable golf course because you have to have it all, patience, a lot of long clubs into greens; it's just not worth it. Suzann took driver on a couple of places and I took 3‑wood off the tee and she's in those bunkers pitching out, and you just can't challenge them.
Q. Lately you've said putting has not been up to your normal standards but we always think of you as one of the best putters in the game; what's going on?
CRISTIE KERR: I think I'm just moving the handle a little too much and that's kind of making me move my head a little bit. So I'm going to go work on that when I get done.
Q. As we go into. The next three days we have won multiple times around the world and you know what it's like when you have that feeling that you're going to win ‑‑
CRISTIE KERR: I'm just trying to take it day by day right now. I haven't won in a while and I know I'm going to win some more in the future and it's just a matter of when.
Sometimes you'd like to think it's in your control and sometimes it isn't. I'm just going to try to be patient and play every day as good as I can.
Lydia Ko, (a)
Q. What are your impressions of Royal Liverpool and of this championship?
LYDIA KO: This is definitely a tough golf course. I think this is one of the hardest golf courses I've ever played. I would kind of expect that because it is a major. I mean, it was really tough but shooting even par, it's not a bad round and I think it's a pretty good start. I could have reduced a few bogeys, but I mean, save them up for tomorrow.
Q. You had a remarkable year and it's extraordinary what you've achieved, two professional titles and you come here as a 15‑year‑old amateur and the reigning Canadian Open Champion. What sort of expectations do you think people put upon you know as a result of all of this?
LYDIA KO: I think some people say that I should be able to win again, but I mean, you never know. You could be playing good the day before and not so good the day after, and I think that's all about golf, you play every shot and every round.
Yeah, they are probably expecting a big thing from me and yeah, but I'm not going to take that much interest. Just got to play my own game. It's not like I'm going to play any better by thinking that they want me to play really good.
Q. Tell me about growing up in New Zealand and how you first got involved in golf. What was it that lit the torch for your interest in golf?
LYDIA KO: Well, I started golf in Korea, so because of golf, we moved to New Zealand, and it's a comfortable place to play golf and pretty much a good golf course somewhere nearby. So I guess that's why my parents chose New Zealand and it's been pretty good from the start and there has not been any up‑and‑downs really. So yeah, it's been really good.
Q. And of course, you and Lexi Thompson are out in the same grouping this morning, the star pairing, the under‑18 teen sensations?
LYDIA KO: It was really good. I got to play with her in Australia in the RACV Masters, and it was good to play with her again, and it had been a while, a couple of months. I enjoyed it and I think she's a very talented player. I always enjoy it when I play with her.
Q. I remember reading that you were very, very nervous playing in your first major and you didn't really get to perform well; how was it playing today, did you feel a little less nervous?
LYDIA KO: I definitely feel a little less nervous, and I was still nervous and I'm pretty much nervous for any tournament, doesn't matter how big it is.
Yeah, it's quite natural to be nervous and I think if I'm not playing good at some point, I would have been nervous. You know, I think it's a good reason to be nervous, but it's not the best thing that could happen.
Q. Feels better this time?
LYDIA KO: Yeah, definitely I feel a lot more comfortable.
Paula Creamer, Rolex Rankings No. 14
Q. You started off really well on the back nine, what was the key?
PAULA CREAMER: I played really well all day. I just had seven 3‑putts or something. But I think just like I said, I hit a lot of great shots, and I just couldn't really 2‑putt out there. I missed a lot of short putts, even birdie opportunities, and that was the difference of being a great round and shooting 1‑over.
Q. So the conditions were quite tricky but not as tough as they could be; how would you assess them?
PAULA CREAMER: No, I wouldn't say that for sure. It was kind of windy early on and then designed of died and then came back to being a little bit windy. Like I said, a little bit hard on myself, because I did play so much better than shooting 1‑over in these conditions.
Q. You came very close to winning Monday; do you feel like that is going to set you off or affect anything?
PAULA CREAMER: No, I play in a lot of tournaments, that kind of thing. It's just something that happened unfortunately but I still was in a playoff and had a chance to do well and that's all I can really take from. I hit the ball great. I putted really well that week and try and do it again this week.