Chang-Hee Lee (South Korea)
A great round today. Do you like the course?
Yes, I like the course. There are many bunkers so it is difficult.
Are you surprised to be on top of the leader board?
She said she has not finished playing yet. She does not want to think too much about whether she is leading. She is trying to stay calm and not think about the score.
Does she think she has played well enough to be up near the lead?
She said she played well but she did not think she would be leading. She says it is too early to tell. She does not want to jump ahead.
What are the strengths of her game?
All of it. Her tee shots are good and her iron shots are good and her putting is good. And if she was in a bunker, she got up and down. It was all good. Putting was the strongest. She made a lot today.
How did she manage to shoot 68 yesterday in the difficult afternoon conditions.
Before she teed off she said if she had a bogey it was (because of) a tough day, I’ll just accept it. If it is down wind, she will have less left, if it is into the wind, she will have more left. She just had to play it like that. She just accepted the fact that it was going to be a hard day.
Does she like to play the Sand Belt style of golf course?
She likes it. It is quite flat. In Korea it is very hilly.
Are there any courses like this in Korea?
No, because all the courses in Korea are in mountains. They are very hilly.
Can you ask her if she has won any professional tournaments, whereabouts in Korea she lives and how long has she been playing golf.
When she was playing in the Dream Tour, which is the secondary Tour, she won one. She won a few when she was an amateur but not in the main Tour. She started when she was 10. She comes from Gumi. It is nowhere near Soeul.
Has she played in Australia before?
No, this is the first time here.
Does she plan to play on the US LPGA Tour?
Yes, that is her top goal. She wants to play well enough in Korea first and when she feels she is ready she will go straight to America.
How many years has she played on the KLPGA Tour?
Georgina Simpson (England)
A great round with plenty of birdies.
Lots of birdies. I felt my way around the course, putting really well. I had a tip from a friend Tuesday on the putting green and that seems to have really worked. I am very happy.
Elizabeth Esterl helped me. She told me that the last time she gave a tip, Tina Fischer won. I can’t tell you. I am not doing that. It is working so far. It probably won’t work for the rest of the week but so far, so good.
You have increased your distance from the tee. How have you done that?
You’ve been doing your homework. I have started a strength and conditioning program. I have been in it five months with Ben Langdown at the PGA. I am feeling a lot better for it and there has been a big difference.
Has it given you confidence?
Yes. At the moment it is still in the transition stage. Sometimes I get it and sometimes I don’t. That’s fine. The thing is that I am on the right path. I feel good about that. It also helps me because I am stronger and my core is stronger, I have been able to work with my coach, Graham Walker. Things that I have not been strong enough in the past to do, now I can do. That is the biggest thing.
Karrie Webb has also been working out. Is this a new thing among the women?
It is huge. I am late in starting, to be honest. I am probably a year and a half after everybody else. That main thing is that I have started it. A lot of girls have been doing it from a very early age. It is something that all the federations around the world are looking at now.
Is it mandatory now?
I think so. Women were not built for core strength. We are not built to be powerful. If you want get to another level, definitely you’ve got to look at every option.
How much further are you hitting your driver?
I thought I’d picked up 20 yards. I played with Joanne Mills up on the Gold Coast. Last year I was the same length as her. Now I am 20 yards past her. I have played with Jo a lot. We have a similar ranking n Europe.
People say the modern equipment is the reason the ball is going further but this seems to help as well.
It is core strength. If you look at the men on the European Tour, they are doing everything to try to get that edge. People like Trevor Immelman are unbelievable. What I am doing at a very basic level, he is ridiculous with weights. I don’t know if I would take it that far but I definitely like the direction it is taking.
Does the extra length help you here?
Not really. It is more thinking your way around, knowing the dangers, knowing where not to go. And then praying that you get nice bounces and not an odd bounce. I got an odd bounce on 17th for the second day running, which annoyed me a little bit. I managed to get up and down out of the bunker. It is that sort of course. It is like a links course like we play at home. You don’t always get the bounce you think you are going to get. You have to take it on the chin, take your medicine.
How pleased were you with your round today?
I am very pleased. Last week I missed the cut by one. We had a two-shot penalty, unfortunately. A friend was caddying, a 15-year-old who plays off four. He made the mistake of raking footprints before I was in the same bunker. I was a little unhappy with that and it gutted him. It was a shame really, but I knew I was playing well. To come and not just make the cut and got that extra bit is very pleasing. It is big satisfaction after last week.
Was yesterday’s round good in the conditions?
I was really happy with that. Today the putts dropped for birdies, which was great. Yesterday I needed them for par. I just fought my way around yesterday which is what you have to do in the wind. Today it was nice not to be fighting it and just play the golf course. I would not want another day in that wind. We were all exhausted after yesterday.
How would you compare today’s conditions to yesterday?
Night and day, really. There was a bit of wind out there. It picked up a bit on the back nine but nothing like yesterday. I don’t know what the wind measured in the afternoon yesterday but it felt pretty strong. Just keeping your balance and hitting the shots and on the putting green was pretty tough yesterday. It was nice today just to play the golf course. It is a great course. It has been a pleasure to think up shots and enjoy when they come off.
Have you played on the Sand Belt before?
Last year at Kingston Heath. I think I missed by one or two. I thought I played it very well but it caught me out with the bounces and things. I really paid attention to that this week. You can hit good shots into the green all day long but if you don’t put them in the right place, they are over the back or in the bunker. You have to think of so many things about where you want the ball to land and stop. I have done that better this week.
How will five under stand up at the end of the day?
Karrie is a great player. Anything under par yesterday was amazing, let along seven under. I’m sure she can go under par today. I would not want to guess, to be honest, because she is too good a player. I am sure she will still be there at the end of the day. She has not teed off yet and the wind is nothing like yesterday.
The players who had the morning start yesterday got the better of it.
Yes, but next week it might be the other way around.
Karrie Webb (Australia)
Not what you wanted but you are still just two out of the lead. Are you surprised to be so close?
I really did not think there would be low scores this afternoon and seven under was in before I teed off. I am glad that I hung in there and am only two shots behind.
Do you think you were on the wrong side of the fine line?
Ah, yes. I did not play the par fives well. I parred all of them. I left a few shots out there on the par fives. Other than that, I did not feel that I played too badly. Even my double bogey on 13, I did not hit one shot bad. We misjudged the wind there and hit it over the back. The chip shot from there landed exactly where I wanted. I hit a great putt that lipped out. The second putt broke left when it should have broken right. The next putt broke left as well. It was one of those things. From there I parred in. I parred the two par fives again. That was a bit tough but the wind really got up there for the last six or seven holes.
Was it hard to regain your thoughts after the bogey on one?
Not really. It wasn’t a really confident first or second putt. I had a birdie on the third hole which settled me right in. It just went from there. There were just not enough birdies on the somewhat easier holes today to compensate for the tough finishing holes.
Did that account for your irons being 20 feet away instead of five feet?
Yes. It was much easier putting yesterday when I was tapping them in. I hit a number of good putts today but my speed was slightly off or my line was slightly off. I was hitting the putts where I wanted to hit them. I was getting the ball consistently past the hole. I have putted pretty tentatively of late. It was good to see good rolls at it and giving myself a chance of getting it in.
Is there much that needs to be changed for tomorrow?
No. I think just keep doing what I am doing. Obviously I would like to play the par fives better and then go from there. It was difficult. The greens night and day today compared with how we played them yesterday. It was quite a big adjustment to play the course yesterday and then today.
What did you hit at 13 and what was the problem?
The wind all day did not come from the same direction. It was coming south-east, east, north-east. It was swinging around. On that tee we had 144 yards. Actually, the pin was three yards out. We had 141, which really would have made a difference to what I would have hit. I definitely would have hit a nine iron in there. Regardless of hitting a bad club or misjudging the wind, which was more crossing from the right than helping a whole lot. The wind out there tends to knock the ball down when it is helping. I did not feel that nine iron was the club. I hit a little hold-up eight and hit exactly the shot I wanted. As I hit it, it was straight down wind, apparently. It was clearly the wrong club.
That chip shot is one of the toughest on the course.
Especially in the long grass. Again, I hit a very good chip shot at the very steep bank. I did not expect it to land at the base of the hill and one-hop it up onto the green. It had to catch hill half way up.
We missed the replay of your second shot on 15.
It is just one of those things when you are hitting into the teeth of a 20 mph wind. I was trying to hit a really low draw and I hit a big hook.