2008 CHAMPION, JI-YAI SHIN
COLIN CALLANDER: Ladies and gentlemen, we welcome Ji Yai Shin, the 2008 Ricoh Women’s British Open Champion. For the record, Ji Yai wins a check for £160,000, a ten year exemption to the Women’s British Open, and she also secures her way into the LPGA season ending ADT Championship. She is, we believe the youngest to win this event as a major at 20 years, three months and six days. The previous youngest was her compatriot, Se Ri Pak, at 23 years, ten months and eight days when she won the title.
Congratulations. How does it feel to be Major Champion?
JI YAI SHIN: Actually, last night I can’t sleep because very nervous, and then now still nervous.
This morning, today my driver and my iron, putting, everything was very well, very good, and so gave me confidence. Today, I felt comfortable.
COLIN CALLANDER: How do you think winning a major will change your life?
JI YAI SHIN: I don’t know, because my whole life, I’ve been waiting for this time and my dream comes true now. Actually I’m not joined as an LPGA member, but now with this win, I can join as a member and maybe change my plans.
Q. Well done, first of all. Do you do a lot of physical training away from the golf course?
JI YAI SHIN: Only wintertime, because Korean wintertime, there are no tournaments and it’s very cold, about two months, three months almost. So I train in the wintertime only, training.
Q. Is any of your family here with you and if not, have you spoken to them?
JI YAI SHIN: Actually coming here, this is my first time. It was very difficult at nighttime, eating dinner, but it’s fine, because my English oh, yes, I spoke with my father.
Yesterday, last night, he said, oh, now, good job, so comfortable play tomorrow.
Q. How much impact do you think your victory will have on your golfing career?
JI YAI SHIN: Actually next two years my plan is to play in Japan because I’m already joined as a Japan member, but I think this time maybe next year maybe play in America.
COLIN CALLANDER: When did you start playing golf? What age were you?
JI YAI SHIN: 11.
COLIN CALLANDER: What did you do before then? Did you play other sports?
JI YAI SHIN: Archery.
COLIN CALLANDER: Archery?
JI YAI SHIN: Just a little bit.
Q. Were you a good player from the time you started?
JI YAI SHIN: No. I started at 11 years old and before that, never know the golf. Not bad, but after middle school
COLIN CALLANDER: What was your handicap when you were 14?
JI YAI SHIN: Almost zero.
COLIN CALLANDER: Scratch?
JI YAI SHIN: Yeah.
Q. Were you inspired by any other young Asian players, like Se Ri Pak and Jeong Jang?
JI YAI SHIN: Yeah, Jeong Jang, she’s a long driver and very good, and Se Ri Pak, she’s my almost hero because watching golf, I’m watching her and then now I’m watching her and still she’s my hero.
Q. Did you care for the play of the other Oriental players
JI YAI SHIN: Before one time just played in inaudible Yuri Fudoh plays, before I’m playing in Japan, we played two rounds. She’s a great player, because driver, irons, they are straight. I am two times playing in Japan tournaments, but Japan is really good for many players I think.
Q. When did you think you might have won today, maybe on 13 when you holed the putt? What were you thinking then? When did you think, okay, maybe I’ll win?
JI YAI SHIN: 18th hole, finishing the last putt, because No. 13 and 14, I make a birdie putt, but No. 15, 16, 17, 18, tough holes, very difficult holes, so maybe one miss, but tough holes.
Q. The bunker shot at 18, did you intend for it to come out like it did or did you mean for it to go higher in the air?
JI YAI SHIN: The bunker here is very high, so I can’t
Q. Did you play it as you intended?
JI YAI SHIN: Yes.
Q. Whose been the biggest influence on your golf career?
JI YAI SHIN: Training with me and training pitching.
COLIN CALLANDER: Does your father play golf?
JI YAI SHIN: Yeah, but so so.
Q. Why were you going to play in Japan next year, as opposed to coming over to the U.S. to play on the LPGA?
JI YAI SHIN: My father, actually he wanted me to play in the Japan tournament, because he thinks I’m not yet, my potential for LPGA, and he wanted more training for Japan.
But now that I’ve made a win, maybe he will change his mind.
Q. Do you think you’ll come play the rest of the year on the LPGA?
JI YAI SHIN: Yeah, I want to play here, because very big tournaments, many big tournaments and great players, yeah, I want to play here.
Q. You want to play in the U.S.?
JI YAI SHIN: Yeah.
Q. What is your dad’s name, and what will you do tonight? How will you celebrate?
JI YAI SHIN: My father’s name is Shin.
Tonight, I’m leaving tomorrow, so tonight, I’m hungry, I want to eat something.
COLIN CALLANDER: Are you going back to Korea tomorrow?
JI YAI SHIN: Yes, back to Korea.
Q. Who did you travel with this time? And second question, you went to the bathroom a few times, once in the front nine and a lot on the back nine; did you get some stomach ache or because you were nervous?
JI YAI SHIN: Yeah, I’m just nervous, and then my stomach, no good.
Q. You’ve won the first time on the JLPGA, and I think you are very charming and your smile is very beautiful, do you know you are very famous among Japanese fans?
JI YAI SHIN: Thank you. (Laughter) Thank you very much.
Q. When you started playing golf, was there any influence about putting?
JI YAI SHIN: Yeah, the first time watching the golf, Se Ri Pak wins in 1998, U.S. Open win, and then before, I never know the golf.
Q. On TV, you said you had a nickname; what is your nickname?
JI YAI SHIN: I have Korean nickname is Finals Queen, Queen of Finals. I usually make it to the finals, so I’m the finals queen. My fans named me Finals Queen because I’m in the finals so often, so frequently.
Q. What is it about your personality? Why are you so good at final rounds?
JI YAI SHIN: First round, second round, third round, everything is course management and then my shots, everything, I remember. So more I think plus course management and then experience is much better in final rounds.
Q. Do you ever brothers and sisters and do they play golf?
JI YAI SHIN: Yeah, I have one younger sister and one younger brother, but just in school, they don’t play. My sister and brother are watching me, very hard training, and then my father always pitching in, so they don’t want to play golf.
COLIN CALLANDER: Thank you very much.
COLIN CALLANDER: How do you feel about your round of golf.
YANI TSENG: I played great and it was another solid day for me. I just do my best to have a great finish, and I’m very happy with that.
COLIN CALLANDER: Do you play most of your golf now in America?
YANI TSENG: Yes, I just moved to America last year.
COLIN CALLANDER: Do you know anything about the leader of today?
YANI TSENG: No, I don’t.
COLIN CALLANDER: Can we go over your birdies and bogeys first?
YANI TSENG: First hole, I have a 4 iron for second shot and I chipped onto one feet for birdie.
Second hole is 5 iron second shot and I hit it on the green for a 2 putt from 28 feet.
No. 8 I had a bogey, 6 iron, I hit to the bunker, chipped on and missed a 4 foot putt downhill.
No. 9, I chipped up to two feet.
No. 10, second shot, 6 iron and 2 putts for 20 feet.
No. 14, the par 5, I had a 5 wood second shot and put n it in the bunker and chipped onto five feet.
No. 15, I hit a rescue to 18 feet for my birdie putt.
And No. 18, I had a 9 iron for second shot, 24 feet.
COLIN CALLANDER: You’ve already won a major this year, so you must be very pleased with the way the season has gone this far.
YANI TSENG: Yeah, I’m not surprised and I feel a lot of confidence. I know that I can do it and just every week, I know what I’m going to do and I know I can be at the top of the leaderboard.
COLIN CALLANDER: What do you think of Sunningdale here this week?
YANI TSENG: It’s a great course and it’s in great shape. It’s a very, very hard course for us and it’s a great course and I would be happy to come back.
Q. Why are you playing so well this year? What is it about your game this year that you’re playing very well?
YANI TSENG: I think I just got a good team and I’ve worked hard, and every week I try to learn something for every week, so I think I’ve got a lot of experience from playing the LPGA Tour.
Q. How many hours a day would you say you work on your game?
YANI TSENG: Sometimes I play nine holes and 18 holes and I will be like two or three hours on my short game and one hour for my long game, so it quite a long day.
COLIN CALLANDER: You said you tried to learn something every week. Have you learned something this week?
YANI TSENG: This week, I really just do my best, and just head up and walking with confidence. I don’t want to be walking with my head down and feeling sad. Just have every chance for me to make something good happen.
Q. Did you think you could catch the leader today or was she always just a little too far ahead?
YANI TSENG: Before I was thinking I could catch the leader, but after the 18th hole, I saw the leaderboard, 18 or 19 under, so I do my best, I don’t know.
COLIN CALLANDER: Thank you very much.
Q. You kind of threw up your hands and looked up in the sky when you made the putt; was it like, finally?
LORENA OCHOA: Yeah, I felt good today, it was a good way to finish. It just feels good to finish with a birdie on 18. I’m happy. I really tried my best, and I see how low the scores are, I don’t know what happened. I just didn’t really make anything. I thought I played good and I’m a few behind. It was just nice to finish with a birdie on 18, and now I’m resting for a week.
Q. The leaderboards, do you think this is what the future is going to look like, a lot of Asians on the leaderboard?
LORENA OCHOA: I think we all knew that, there are so many and they are playing so good, so consistent, and they work so hard. I think it’s something that so many of them had a good week again for a few of them. I’m going to really think on that, I think about my game and I need to improve and I learned a lot this week and I’m going to prepare for next part of the season.
Q. What’s your impression of the incredibly young Shin at the top of the leaderboard?
LORENA OCHOA: How old is she?
LORENA OCHOA: Well, you know, she played in the States this year, and she’s very good. I actually played with her, and she pretty much dominates, and now we can see that the Asian Tour is becoming very strong, the top players are coming to the States and they can also win in the states, and I think that before that was a different story.
So the golf, we just need to prepare and continue working hard with so many good players.
Q. Would you like to see a Rest of the World Team in the Solheim Cup now?
LORENA OCHOA: That would be nice. You know, I would love to play a tournament representing my country, individually or team wise, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon.
Q. When you win one, does that make your year
LORENA OCHOA: I think it could be better. You know, I’m always trying to win more than one, but this is what happened this year, and I’m really disappointed. I think I played pretty good, all of them. The U.S. Open was the one that hurt me the most, but you know, hopefully we win a few more next year.
Q. Has the rest of the Tour kind of caught up to you from the beginning of the year; is that what you feel like? Do you feel like you’re playing worse and everybody else elevated their game?
LORENA OCHOA: That’s a good question. I think, you know, it just depends on the off season you have and the way you start the year and how you manage yourself after 12 or 15 weeks of playing, how do you feel about your swing and if you’re tired or what’s changed around you, how busy you get. A lot of things happen and it’s not all about golf.
I think it’s easier for me and it’s been a learning experience, and all of the things that happened besides winning tournaments, you watch just before the Open and after the Open, I was pretty much just drained and very tired and it was hard for me to concentrate and focus.
Again, it’s a learning experience. I think if you learn to pace yourself I’m very focused on my game and I’m excited for the next tournament.
Q. How is your game right now compared to when you won those four tournaments in a row?
LORENA OCHOA: I think hopefully better. You cannot win all of them. I think I always mention that I like to be in contention every week and stay at the top. Nothing wrong having two Top 10’s in the last two weeks, and I’m going to be patient, waiting for the right time to win, hopefully next week.
Q. How long was your putt on 18?
LORENA OCHOA: 12 feet.
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I it felt a little been on the first tee and last few holes, but other than that I was just focusing on my game. Today I played well. I hit 18 greens, so what can I say, it’s an ironic game.
Q. Finishing like that
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: It was, it was funny, I hit a 6 iron just like did I at the U.S. Open and saw the bounce and saw it going toward the pin. To finish with a birdie is obviously extra and didn’t seem like there was any doubt that it was going in. It’s just amazing when you will something, it just happens.
Q. And you had wonderful irons in the previous holes.
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Thank you, I did. I played well, I putted well. I broke 70 and moving up a little bit.
Q. Were you more aggressive today?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Well, today you could be a little bit more aggressive because of the rain. It didn’t bounce as much and the pins were I think a little more accessible.
Q. Walking up 18
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Well, it’s amazing, when I made the corner from the leaderboard, it says, “Annika, you’ll be missed.” And I thought that was very special and I waved at the guys and they clapped and I came up 18 and everybody was cheering. You know, it just makes you feel good when you get that type of applause.
You know, I’ve been out here for 15 years, and I’ve experienced a lot of joy, a few setbacks, but overall, it’s been great. All of a sudden, everything just reflects on your mind and you’re just grateful.
Q. After nine years together, a major part of your career
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Yeah, he’s a great guy, we’ve become friends and it’s fun to share these moments with people you care about. He’s carried that bag and he’s walked miles behind me, as he says, and supported me all along, and it’s special for him to be here with me. He was trying to get away. I said, you come over here, get under the umbrella and share it with me.
Q. Having a bit of fun with the weather?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Yeah, it seems like they have been for a little while. But didn’t really care about the rain. I just enjoyed the moment walking up 18 and it didn’t really matter.
Q. Was it more emotional than you expected?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: It’s different. I mean, once I’m inside the ropes I’m so focused, and you push a button, it’s work, focus. And there are times when there’s a little opening and it comes in and feelings start to play and that’s what happened here on the last hole, which I’m glad. This game has meant too much to me and if I didn’t feel anything, it would be weird. So I’m glad.
Q. Were you trying to make it on the last?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I was just looking at the hole and this is it, and just put a good stroke on the line and it was fun to see it go in.
Q. In the final round was there any point where the intensity was not the same?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: You know, I think I was born with intensity. I think I was born to compete. There was times I wish I didn’t have it, but I probably wouldn’t have achieved what I have. 90 per cent of the time, it’s good to have that. At times like that, maybe you want that and maybe there are times the last few months, I wish I had the desire and the motivation and the drive, and then I wouldn’t step away, but I just don’t have that. When you have the mind of a champion and the mind of a competitor, but then there’s a few pieces missing, and that’s hard to accept sometimes.
Q. What will you miss most?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I love the competition, the cheering, being under the limelight, to hit that perfect 6 iron and make that putt and to win championships, that’s why I spent all of the time on the putting green and the driving range. Those are the moments I miss. And it’s taught me a lot of lessons about life, and well, actually I know I wouldn’t be who I am if it wasn’t for golf, so I have a lot to be grateful about.
Q. Do you enjoy the time on the practise range?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I do, but not as much and that’s my problem. Growing up I practised more than I played.
Q. Do you feel like
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I don’t look at it that way. Life, it’s all about opportunities, I have a lot of opportunities ahead of me. If this was the end and I had nothing to do that would be very sad, but I have new ones and I’m creating a new chapter in my life.
Q. Where are you going now?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: I’m going to Sweden tonight, the TPC, the tournament I’m hosting on the LET.
Q. You’re playing in it, as well?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: Oh, yes.
Q. Have you heard from Tiger at all this week?
ANNIKA SORENSTAM: No, I have not.