|Inbee Park seals a five shot win on the Blackstone Course
Press conference with Inbee Park, So Yeon Ryu and Minjee Lee
Inbee: how does it feel to be a double winner in the team and individual competition?
Last year I came here and finished second. I lost to Suzann and we almost had a replay this year. It’s always nice to play with Suzann and being a team with So Yeon this year gave me a lot of confidence, Coming into this year as a team gave me a lot of confidence, so I’m just very happy to be playing this week with So Yeon and all the friends here. Winning the individual and the team event is a huge honour, a double honour, so I’m very happy.
So Yeon, playing for Korea motivated you this week. How did Inbee inspire you?
It’s always a great honour to represent your country but also gave me some pressure because I didn’t want to play badly in the team event. That gave me a lot of motivation.
Also, this tournament is sponsored by Fila and Inbee and I are sponsored by Fila so it was quite funny that Inbee and I matched our outfits twice, on Thursday and Saturday, that gave me a lot of confidence and was fun. I had so much fun at this tournament.
Minjee: you tied for fourth. How pleased are you with your performance?
I’m really happy with where I finished today. The conditions were tougher than the previous days so I’m really happy with the result.
Do you think the team element played an important part in how you performed over the four days?
Inbee Park: I definitely think so because, I was not just playing for myself but also for my country; we were both playing for the country, so that definitely gave me a lot more motivation to go lower.
We have something similar: the International Crown and So Yeon is going to be in the same team, so I think this was great practice for the 2016 Olympics and this year’s International Crown. I think we are going the right way and we always play with each other so we know our games. It’s been a lot of fun this week.
At what point did you think you won the trophy?
I was off to a good start today. I birdied the first two holes. Usually when I have a good start in the final round, I usually have a good result. I got a lot of confidence after two holes but you still don’t know what’s going to happen. When I had a four stroke lead with about four or five to go, that’s when I thought, ‘I’m going to win today.’
You are getting married this year. Would you consider Mission Hills as you honeymoon destination?
This is a really good place to come but this is a golf course and I want to do something other than golf for my honeymoon so I’m thinking about going to the Maldives. I would love to come here for a vacation but not for a honeymoon because I don’t want to play golf. I don’t want the clubs in my hand.
Inbee, how does your mum help you?
She always worries about a lot of things and reminds me where the trouble is so I can stay out of the trouble. She is like a normal mum and tries to look after you. Having your mum by your side is always a big help, I think.
How hard do you work for golf?
I think starting when I was 10 years old when I started playing golf, my life has been golf, golf, golf. There is nothing really else to think about because I love it. I do it for my job and I think it’s the best job in the whole world. I realised how fortunate I am and I’m just thankful. Every morning you wake up and play golf and that’s what I feel my happiness in.
So Yeon, it seems you are always smiling.
Golf is golf. We cannot always hit really good shots. I just accept it and I already hit the shot, my ball is already in the bunker, it just happened. I don’t think about the past, I have to think about the present and future, so I try to think in a more positive way so I smile, forget it and let it go.
So Yeon, do you check the forecast before the final round?
I didn’t really check the forecast but we pretty much travel all around the world so we always play in different types of weather and already prepared everything.
You looked more serious this year. Was it a different mind-set this year?
That’s who I am when I’m playing golf. I don’t express my feelings that much on my face, especially when I’m playing. I’m not always mad on the golf course, but I concentrate on what I have to do. I think that’s just natural and there is no need to smile if there is nothing to smile at. I can smile when I play well or when I win but during the round I just do what I have to do.
Minjee, did this give you confidence?
It definitely gives me confidence that I can mix it with the pros and compete with them. This tournament was so good and I finished with a great result so it gives me confidence for my next pro event and throughout the year as well.
Quick quotes from Inbee Park
Inbee, how did you do it?
Today was obviously the toughest day out there because the weather was very bad. I think everything seems to be working quite well for me, from ball striking to putting. Everything was great today so I’m just happy to be here and win my first tournament of 2014.
Last year you lost to Suzann and this year you won. How does it feel?
Last year I was leading going into the final round and I lost to Suzann. I knew that I left something out there last year so coming back this year I definitely wanted to win this year and that’s what I just did. I had good memories from last year and better memories from this year, so I’m happy to be here. It has been a fantastic tournament.
A great opening to the 2014 season. What is your plan for 2014 and are you planning to win four majors this year?
I think that would be my dream. It is a great start to the 2014 season, especially winning in my three starts. I’m just very happy with how it’s started, because it’s almost better than last year. Hopefully things click on and I can win some tournaments later in the year.
How would you summarise this final round?
Inbee played fantastic today under a little tougher conditions. There were a few extra elements of weather that we hadn’t seen earlier but I feel like I played average, nothing better. I didn’t go out and shoot six under like she did. There’s room for improvement but it’s been a good week overall. My game has become a lot better over the week and I’ll be happy to come back and play this course again.
What’s your next move?
It’s a week off and then we go back to US and play Phoenix, three weeks on with the third week being Kraft so that’s the next big one.
It got very close.
It was one stroke there at the turn and then tough conditions. I felt like she birdied 11 and 12 and I should have birdied 12 and then she just got a gap that I couldn’t quite close. I tried my hardest but I couldn’t get the ball to drop when I had the chances. Some days it’s just like that. Its not that I didn’t have the chances I just didn’t convert them.