MODERATOR: We’re here with Mika Miyazato, who shot a fabulous 5 under par rounds today. Standing a little 9 under par for the tournament, and the leader by three in the clubhouse as the now. Can you talk about your round and the conditions of the golf course? Start with your round first.
MIKA MIYAZATO: (Through translation.) For the front nine I wasn’t able to play as steady, but the back nine I was able to keep all my shots in and to play very solid. I was very happy that I was able to put in a birdie for the last shot.
Today there was a rain delay, and I just tried to keep my concentration and make sure that I was very, very focused today.
MODERATOR: Do you think the rain delay helped your score on the back nine? Because it seemed like the conditions were less rainy and less windy. Was that an advantage?
MIKA MIYAZATO: (Through translation.) I think that that was very good, but in the beginning, the first nine, my driver wasn’t as steady.
But with the rain delay, I was able to refresh my mindset and have a good back nine.
MODERATOR: I heard that you have a unique way that you mark your golf ball. Can you tell me the story behind that?
MIKA MIYAZATO: (Laughing.) Everybody say pumpkin, so I say tangerine because my name is Mika.
(Through translation.) Mikan is tangerine in Japanese, if you put an N on the last part of her name, so that’s the reason why that’s her nickname.
MODERATOR: I like it. Tangerine. Perfect. Do we have any questions in English?
Q. Have you won many times in Japan?
MIKA MIYAZATO: No.
Q. How old are you?
MIKA MIYAZATO: I’m 20.
Q. And this is the second time at Evian Masters?
MIKA MIYAZATO: Yes, second time.
Q. What do you think about the golf course?
MIKA MIYAZATO: Golf course, I like golf course, but fairway so narrow, greens so small.
Q. Is this your third year in America? Second year on the LPGA Tour?
MIKA MIYAZATO: Second year.
Q. Can you tell us how do you cope with life in America and how you enjoy it over there?
MIKA MIYAZATO: I like it here. (Laughing.)
Q. Where do you live?
MIKA MIYAZATO: I live Florida.
Q. Did you go to school in Japan and then go to America after just for LPGA Tour?
MIKA MIYAZATO: So I finish high school. I came 2008, in July, so I practice IMG Academy almost two years.
Q. And how close are you, do you think, to making your breakthrough and getting your first win?
MIKA MIYAZATO: I think almost. (Laughing.)
Q. How common is your name, Miyazato, in Japan?
MIKA MIYAZATO: How many?
Q. Is it very a lot of people with Miyazato?
MIKA MIYAZATO: I don’t know how many.
Q. Not too many? Is it like Smith in the English language?
MIKA MIYAZATO: (Through translation.) It’s a common last name in the prefecture Okinawa in Japan, which is a small island. Yeah.
MODERATOR: Gwladys, congratulations on a good round. Can you talk a little bit about your round and about the course conditions?
GWLADYS NOCERA: Well, I played really well today. I hit the ball really well and I putted well, which is a big change for me.
The course is it rained a lot last night and this morning, so the course is pretty wet. I guess I like it like this, because I can go for the pin because I have a pretty offensive game. On the greens, I can also like be offensive on the putts.
But the course is really good considering all the water that dropped all night and this morning. Yeah, it was a good day.
MODERATOR: How does it feel playing on French soil? Do you feel more pressure? Do you put more pressure on yourself?
GWLADYS NOCERA: Well, I did for quite a few years. I’ve decided to stop that, because that was not good for me.
So this year, I got invite from the sponsors of the tournament, so, you know, I decided, and I told my coach, my caddie, my mental coach, and myself, that I will leave 18 every day with a smile, and I will smile on the course.
That was the whole point, and I’m doing all right now and I need to keep on going. This is such a great event, and I’m so lucky to be part of it. You know, you have, at some point, to enjoy it, otherwise it’s a waste.
MODERATOR: You’ve had a really interesting career. You played the LET for years and still are a member of the LET. You won ten times on the LET, but you chose to play the LPGA Tour on a pretty full time basis this year. Why did you decide to make the jump this year?
GWLADYS NOCERA: Because I like to challenge myself. I guess I wanted to play with the best players in the world. They play there, so I just went where they are. I really love it. I really enjoy it. I think this tour is great. It’s very competitive.
I mean, the players have been great to me, and I love the golf courses. I was scared when I left that I would not like it that much, but I guess I love it. I do miss Europe a lot and I miss my friends a lot, but sometimes you have to about your career and about what is gonna help you to become better.
And so I decided to jump in the big thing, and I’m pretty happy did I it.
MODERATOR: Do you think that’ll help you this weekend, the experience in the States this year make you stronger heading into the weekend this week?
GWLADYS NOCERA: Yeah. It’s already help me during these first two rounds. I see these girls every week now, and I guess that’s big help for me.
Over the weekend will be, yeah, the same as in Springfield when I was in the top 10. I hope I will able to do what I’m saying. It’s easy to say, but sometimes it’s hard to do. But that’s the plan. Just play and not worry about anything else.
Q. Have you looked at the leaderboard? And what do you think of your position tonight? What do you think of Mika Miyazato and the other girls in the top 10 today?
GWLADYS NOCERA: Well, I know Mika. I played with her a practice round. I don’t remember where, but I’ve played with her. She’s a very good player.
Everybody is a good player this week. There’s 111 players. All of them are good, and pretty much each of them can win.
So I’m not gonna look at what they do. I have to concentrate on what I do and what I can do best, and that’s it. You cannot control what they do. You just have to take care of your own business.
Q. Would you have preferred to be in the first position, or is it better to be in the second position?
GWLADYS NOCERA: Well, I mean, it’s always better to lead. What’s done is done. If you can be ahead, it’s better.
But once again, I made that good putt on 18 that saved me from making a double bogey. So I take it. Everything has been so great so far that I don’t worry about that. I just want to enjoy the next two days and leave with a smile.
Q. Last question: do you plan this week to beat your record, minus 29?
GWLADYS NOCERA: Well, I think it’s gonna be hard, but I can try, yeah.
NA YEON CHOI
MODERATOR: Na Yeon, great playing today. You’re the leader in the clubhouse at 6 under par. Can you talk a little bit about your round.
NA YEON CHOI: Yeah, today was rain this morning. Now is better weather. But I had a good up and down today, and I start tough. I got two bogey start, but I had a good finish.
MODERATOR: How did the rain affect the golf course? Did it play softer? Easier?
NA YEON CHOI: Yeah, I think today was really soft, that’s why play long. I got a lot of rescue for second shot, par 4.
MODERATOR: How do you like the golf course? Does it suit your game?
NA YEON CHOI: Yeah, I feel like same like Korea course, like mountain break, so I feel comfortable.
I played well two years ago, and I think I played well last year, too, so I feel good about here.
Q. Do you feel disadvantaged because of the change of the weather?
NA YEON CHOI: Well, I just well, I don’t know. Just bad luck. I can’t control weather. Just I try think positive, you know, like afternoon yesterday gonna be the same condition, and today morning group is same condition. Just think positive.
Q. Can you just go through the birdies?
NA YEON CHOI: I got birdie on 7, par 5; and 11, par 4; and…
Q. Four long putts or…
NA YEON CHOI: Like on 7, like two yard. Like six feet, yeah.
And then 11, like five yard putt.
Then 17, four yard putt.
18, one yard.
MODERATOR: You’ve won once this year and tied for second at the U.S. Open. What makes you such a good player? Is it ball striking? Putting? A combination?
NA YEON CHOI: I think a combination, and I thought like mental was really good for me. So I need more study like good mental, and then I think the mental fix golf I think.
MODERATOR: Congratulations on a good round today Suzann. You’re at 5 under par, standing one off the lead. Talk your round and the conditions today.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: You know it’s gonna be a pretty rainy day throughout like yesterday afternoon, and today the forecast was just rain all day. So you kind of prepare mentally for that.
Had a little break there around the 9th for us, and ended up three putting just before they blew the horn. Had to sit and wait on that 10th tee for like 40 minutes, and that’s not the funnest tee shot to start a break off.
But I’m playing solid. Giving myself a lot of chances. Missed couple greens today and got it up and down. I’m in a good position.
MODERATOR: You have a good opportunity for eagle on the 18th hole, and there are some other eagle opportunities out there. Do you feel that plays to your strengths.
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Sure. But, I mean, on 18 you have really have to hit a really good drive to even have a chance to be in the fairway. Then you’ve just got to pull it off, and I didn’t really give it a go. It was pretty bad drive.
I’ll take 2 under today, 2 under par in a little bit tougher conditions. The speed of greens is a little slower. With the lake here, sometimes they’re fast; sometimes they’re slow. Overall pretty good.
Q. You’re quite close to the world No. 1. Is it a realistic goal? Do you think about that?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Oh, I know I’m very close. Probably as close as I’ve ever been. But there are some great players I’m fighting with for that one spot.
Everyone has been playing really well this year. I just think everyone makes each other better. It’s just good to have some rivalries and make the best out of it.
Q. How much would it mean to be to be world No. 1?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Not that much. What I’ve been trying to do my entire life is to become the best golfer in the world.
I’m very close, but it’s not something I think about standing on the first tee. I mean, I have all these small goals, and if everything clicks it might happen.
Q. And you’re very healthy at the moment?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I wouldn’t say “healthy” is the word to describe, my body at the moment, but I’m hanging in there.
Q. Do you feel disadvantaged compared to the others who are playing now?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: No. I think these guys have had nine holes with a pretty nice weather of the afternoon draw. I’m hoping that they’re gonna get some breaks and the storm is gonna come in so it gets pretty fair for everybody. It’s just a shame when one side of the draw gets everything.
So I think some of the players yesterday got very unlucky. Looked like we got it again. I think overall it’s gonna be tough. It’s a little bit more windy, a little bit gusty.
Overall I think it’ll be pretty much the same for everybody.
Q. You said your body is not very healthy. What’s wrong with it? Is there anything wrong with it?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Earlier in the year I had a problem with my hip. I don’t know how much longer this will hold, but I’m playing right on the limit of what I can do.
To be honest, it’s not good. But I just want to make it through these few weeks first. Hopefully I can get to Irish. I want to just make it through Canada, because then we have a four week break. It’s only getting worse.
But I’ve been I have a lot of experience playing through pain, so as long as I don’t make it a lot worse so it won’t heal.
Q. How do you play through pain?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I don’t know. There’s just some of these shots out here where the ball is so below your feet, you just got it ignore it and take the aftershock of it.
But this is definitely not the course for me right now.
Q. Do you feel like you’re fighting a bit?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Yeah, for sure. I mean, I’m hitting a lot of the great swings. But when the body is just say no, it’s hard to commit 100%.
Q. Do you think you might need an operation?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: No, I hope not. It’s just chronical tendonitis, and now I’m just afraid I ripped it off. We’ll see.
Q. You had back operation, didn’t you?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: No, I never had I pretty much had everything except my head.
Q. What do you think about the Evian Masters becoming a major championship?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: Um, I think the course needs a little bit of an improvement to become a major course. I think every other aspect of this tournament is a major tournament. I still think the course is not quite there for defining a major champion.
But like I said, it’s our favorite stop on tour. It’s the biggest tournament in Europe. They’re doing a fantastic job for the players, for the fans, for everybody.
I don’t think it matters if it’s a major or not, because they will have the best field throughout the year anyhow.
Q. What did you think they can do to the golf course to make it tougher?
SUZANN PETTERSEN: I don’t know. The course is what it is. It’s just right on the hill. Obviously they can grow the rough and make it more penalizing.
But it’s just hard. We play a lot of great tournaments and great golf courses. Just hard to find what is a major golf course. This has its own character. Everybody comes back, so I guess we all love it.