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Interviews with the third round leaders Minjee Lee and Chella Choi


Q. Another fantastic round of golf, can you keep it going tomorrow?

                MINJEE LEE: I hope so [LAUGHS].


                Q.  We're all looking forward to that. Was it as easy today as it was yesterday?

                MINJEE LEE:  I think today was similar conditions but yeah, we were playing in twos so it was pretty quick.  I was on a mission kind of today [LAUGHS].


                Q. Did you feel that you left any shots out there today, any birdies?

                MINJEE LEE: Yeah, on the front nine I hit a couple of really good putts but they just didn't drop.  Hopefully tomorrow I will [LAUGHS].


                Q. You're looking forward to tomorrow?

                MINJEE LEE: Yeah, yep, I'm really excited.


Q.   What was your mission?

                MINJEE LEE:   Well obviously to make as many birdies as possible but just keep it in play and just keep hitting good shots and getting it close so I can hole the putt, because they weren't really going in.  I'm happy with 4-under, yeah; I'm stoked with 4-under really.


                Q. Yesterday it was said to me after your round you just looked like you were playing in a chook run at your club in Perth.

MINJEE LEE: Probably, I don't know, I'm pretty cruisy on the golf course.  I don't really show much emotion, smiling all the time; yeah.


Q.  Do you feel it inside though, the pressure?

MINJEE LEE:  Not really.  No, not really, I just play.  I think it kind of lightens it up a little bit because I'm smiling all the time.  I have a good chat with my coach.


Q.  Tomorrow you're in the last group - I'm not trying to put pressure on you, but do you wake up differently?

MINJEE LEE:  No, I'll just wake up, eat, come to the golf course and play [LAUGHS].


Q.  Just another around.

MINJEE LEE: Just another round.


Q.  You looked on the 16th that you weren't happy with your tee shot there but you rolled in a really nice putt. You've shown that a few times this week.

MINJEE LEE: Is that a par 3?


Q.  Yeah, that one.

MINJEE LEE: Okay.  No, I had a good club but I just leaned a little bit right, but I holed my putt so it cancels it out.


Q.  You scrambled several times really well this week when you have made that rare error, haven't you?

MINJEE LEE: Yeah, yep.  I think when I was off the green, they were in the bunkers, I think I played them pretty good and just covered when I had to.


Q.  Did you learn anything from your experience last week that you will take into the final day?

MINJEE LEE:  Not really, it was just - it's just another round.  Yeah, I'm sure there will be a little nerves on the tee, but other than that.


Q.  Will you have any extra friends or family come and visit or are they all still back in Perth?

MINJEE LEE: My Mum and Gran's here with me, so that's all I really need.  My friends over here, hopefully they come out and support me but other than that, just everyone else has been really good.


Q.  Has your Gran always been a big supporter of your golf?

MINJEE LEE: Yeah, she just supports me in whatever, so yeah she always travels and she comes over to Perth all the time.


Q.  Can you ever remember being nervous at any tournament at all?

MINJEE LEE: I’m sure everyone gets nervous on the first tee, but yeah, just try to…


Q. Does that just go away after you've hit the first shot and you're walking down the fairway?  Do you feel then I'm into it now or does sit sometimes last longer than the first hole?

MINJEE LEE: I think the last couple of holes, it's not something that you can control really, it's just when you kind of settle down.  It just always varies.


Q.  Have you had anything odd happen to you social media-wise or people noticing you that hadn't known you before in the last couple of weeks?

MINJEE LEE:   Yeah, I guess so, like Twitter and stuff, but I don't really know how to use it yet.  I’m getting around that.  Just like the volunteers and people around watching, they're just like, oh well done and things like that; so it's been really good.


Q.  Nice to be recognised?

MINJEE LEE: Yeah and also because it's great support.  You can't really go wrong with that.


Q.  Minjee, can I ask you about Karrie Webb's influence on you.  I know that you're a member of her scholarship squad and I think maybe went over to the States to stay with her or something.



Q.  That influence, has she been a bit inspirational to you and has she been helpful to you?

MINJEE LEE: Yeah, we got to stay with her during the US Open, last year I think, year or two.  She's been really great.   I think she really inspires a lot of young golfers and she's a great role model for us; so yeah.


Q. Are you more at ease this week than you were last week or it's just the same, in this position you're in?

MINJEE LEE: I'm just really excited, I think because once you've been in this situation once you're like, I think I can do it again, so I'm glad it's this week.


Q.  Minjee, tomorrow going out as the current leader, you talked about hitting the greens and not making any mistakes.  Do you set out a specific game plan for each hole with your caddy at the start of the round?

MINJEE LEE: Yes, it's been like that since I started.  We always have a plan and how we want to hit, like where we want to hit it and where it's going to roll to and all that kind of stuff.  But, yeah, just stick with what I've been doing all week and it will be good I guess [LAUGHS].


Q.  That won't change tomorrow, perhaps being more conservative or being more aggressive; it will just be exactly the same?

MINJEE LEE: Yep, I think the game plan is always the same.  It's been working so far, so why change it?


Q. Will you go out to dinner with your Nan and your Mum tonight?

MINJEE LEE: I think they've already prepared something; so just at home.


Q. Great.  We hope to see you here tomorrow and one better than last week.




Q.  Great to see you.

                CHELLA CHOI:  Good to see you.


                Q.  Seven birdies, two eagles, that was some kind of round.

                CHELLA CHOI:   Yeah, really, really good round hey [LAUGHS]?


                Q. Excellent, the best.

CHELLA CHOI:  Yeah, I think so [LAUGHS].


Q. I read that your last lowest round was 63, so is this the lowest round that you've ever had in competition?



Q. 62?

CHELLA CHOI:  Yeah, this is my best score today.


Q. When you woke up this morning did you think this is going to be a great day?

CHELLA CHOI:   I don't know, I just eat cereal and bread, so I try the same tomorrow [LAUGHS].


Q.  Your previous best score, 63, where was that?


                Q. What golf course?


                CHELLA CHOI:  Manulife in Canada, Ontario, two years ago.


                Q. Are you a streaky player, do you get hot and have these days where you just can't miss?

CHELLA CHOI:  I miss a short iron last couple of days, yesterday and today, so I just try focus on just my short iron because if I have a lot of chance short iron, make a lot of birdie chance right, but I got a lot of miss yesterday, so I just practice after round yesterday.  So my pace much better and my putting is much better than before.


Q.  You are equal eighth today.  What changed, did you feel like you were going to ever miss the cut?

CHELLA CHOI:  I just concentrating on the moment and my stroke and I made a putt [LAUGHS] so I don't know why [LAUGHS].


Q.  What do you normally have for breakfast?

CHELLA CHOI:   Some fruit and milk, but I not drink milk today, so I try orange juice today [LAUGHS] so I try same tomorrow.


Q.  Are you normally superstitious?  Do you follow routines, like you say, to produce the same result?

CHELLA CHOI:  I'm sorry.


Q. Do you do the same thing every day, like a routine?

CHELLA CHOI:  I try but not same because yesterday I at the hotel at tournament here, but today is 10 o’clock so I in golf course.  I think in here dining is much better, right [LAUGHS].


Q. You eat at the golf course tomorrow again?

CHELLA CHOI:  Yes, same.


Q.  There are obviously a lot of awesome Korean golfers, who's your inspiration and do you have someone who's your hero out here?

CHELLA CHOI:  Se-Ri Pak, but she not play here.  When I starting golf, I watch her play but Karrie is same, so I play with Karrie last week, so yeah.


                Q.  You said that you played with Karrie last week, did you learn anything from playing with her?

                CHELLA CHOI:  I play with her last week and last year too, but last year she won, so she really hit farther than me and her putting is so good.  So I learn with Karrie playing.


                Q.  You haven't won on the LPGA Tour yet, have you?  What would it mean to you tomorrow to stand up and get that?

                CHELLA CHOI:  I try enjoy playing and just focus on one shot and one shot and just putting.  I think if I hit a - if I just always hit the green, I have a lot of birdie chance.  So I just focus on just my shot, before shot and shot.


                Q. Do you realise how famous these courses are around the world?

                CHELLA CHOI:  I like this golf course shape because beside the green, bunker is so hard.  I like this golf course.


                Q.  The course record, you've got the course record on one of the renowned courses of the world.

CHELLA CHOI:   I don't know why, I don't know why I played 10-under today, it's just amazing [LAUGHS].  I made two eagle today, so first time, so yeah.


Q.  First time two eagles in a round?

CHELLA CHOI:   Yeah, so I'm so excited this week.


Q. Is your Dad excited at the prospect…

CHELLA CHOI:   I think so.


Q. …of him retiring?



Q. Just tell us how you started your golf?  How old were you and was it a case of going to the driving range with your parents?

CHELLA CHOI:  I started 10 and I watch Se-Ri Pak play because she is really, really hero in Korea, 1998.  So I think if I practice every day one hour I can stay in Se-Ri Pak [LAUGHS].  So I started, but like so hard, before 10 years ago I practice in Seoul, just 100 yard driving range and no putting green and no chipping green.  So I want to learn and I want to study golf, so I move 16 years ago, came US, so I made with Mike Bender, so yeah.


Q.  That's where it started.  You live in Jacksonville?



Q. Okay ladies and gentlemen, thank you.

CHELLA CHOI:   Thank you very much, thank you very much.



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