|Italian Giulia Sergas -5, Rolex Rankings No. 54|
Rolex Rankings No. 4 Inbee Park fired a second-round low 67 to take the lead at the Kraft Nabisco Championship (@kncgolf). Park came from two-strokes behind first-round leaders Suzann Pettersen (@suzannpettersen) and Na Yeon Choi (@nychoi87) to take the outright lead after carding six birdies and one bogey. As the winds picked up in the afternoon, she says she had to rely heavily on her flatstick to score low today.
“Obviously putted really good out there, and especially on the back nine,” said Park. “The wind picked up so it was tough out there on the back nine. Last four holes I made all pars. I’m really happy with that. We were playing about a club and a half of a breeze there, and it was getting tough out there. And hopefully ‑‑ I’m just happy that I have a chance on the weekend that I can win this week.
“I played this golf course about eight years in my career and never really had a chance on the weekend so I’m happy to be in the mix.”
Known to be a silent assassin on the course, Park is looking to secure her second victory of the season after winning the Honda LPGA Thailand in February. The South Korean has undoubtedly followed up a successful 2012 season when she earned the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average and finished as the top Money List winner. She says her performance last season has helped prepare her to be in this position.
“I had a lot of weeks that I was in contention, I had a lot of experience winning, losing, all different kinds of experiences that helped me a lot coming into this year, also,” said Park. “And, yeah, that definitely gave me a lot of confidence last year. I think everyone would have done that.”
Park only holds a one-stroke lead over second-year member Lizette Salas and a two-stroke lead over Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall and Italy’s Giulia Sergas.
Slope therapy: Eleven-year tour veteran Giulia Sergas took her skiing talents to the Alps in Cortina, Italy this past offseason and said the two-month break from touching a golf club rejuvenated the Italian.
“It’s just put my life together,” said Sergas. “It was very challenging because I was a little scared the beginning of the season, but eventually I think for me, it is the best thing, you know? Just to go away from all the stress and expectations. Maybe it’s the right thing to do, maybe it’s not, but just taking my time off makes me happy, so that’s all that matters.”
It seems to have paid off for the 33-year old who carded four birdies and one bogey en route to a 3-under 69 to push her into a tie for third. She said three states of her game are coming together and is content with the current state of her game.
“My game, I don’t know, I’m just solid. I feel good about, you know, physically and emotionally and mentally, so when those three are together, it’s ‑‑ it’s golf, you know, you gotta have those three together.”
Sergas has not fared particularly well at the Kraft Nabsico and in five starts had a best finish of T38 in 2008. She has yet to record a win on tour and is looking forward to see how she reacts to being in contention on the weekend.
“It’s a good challenge; I’m going to ride it,” said Sergas. “It’s going to be interesting to see how I’m going to react, because I’ve been in this position few times, but ‘few!’ In a Major? No. The U.S. Open I was coming from the back. I don’t feel like I did, ever. So for me it’s going to be a great experience.”
Feeling the love: Jodi Ewart Shadoff (@JodiEwart) carded an even par 72 to keep herself in contention at the Kraft Nabisco Championship and sits three shots off the lead at 4-under par heading into the weekend. The 24-year old from England said she received an outpour of support after she took a share of the first-round lead on Thursday.
“I think I had like 20 messages when I got home, and my Twitter was blowing up like crazy which was good because I got more followers,” said Ewart Shadoff.
But the most love came from her husband, Adam, who she married in January.
“Yeah, I think he sent me about six messages,” said Shadoff Ewart. “I’m like, ‘I’m on the course.’”
Shadoff is a sportscaster in the Sarasota, Fla. and had included a highlight package of his wife’s play from Thursday. Ewart Shadoff laughed when she imagined him calling out her shots on the air.
“Yeah, I haven’t seen it, but, yeah, he said he did,” said Ewart Shadoff. “That must have been really awkward for him to talk about his wife.”
The third-year tour member, whose career-best finish (T7) came last year at the Kia Classic, felt leading jitters early on in the round, but found her form within the first few holes.
“Yeah, I was definitely a little more nervous, but after the first couple holes, I felt comfortable with where my game was and how I was hitting it,” said Ewart Shadoff. “So it kind of went away after maybe 11 or 12.”
Five things you didn’t know about… Jodi Ewart
1. Jodi is a newlywed. She married husband Adam Shadoff on January 19, 2013. Shadoff is a sports anchor at SNN6-TV in Sarasota, Fla.2. She spent her honeymoon in South Africa where she and her husband did a number of adventurous things including going shark diving in a cage to view Great White Sharks in the area of South Africa known as “Shark Alley.”3. Before heading to the University of New Mexico, the native of North Yorkshire, England was close-minded when it came to new food. Now she counts New Mexican food as some of her favorite.4. Her first job was waitressing at her home golf club in England.5. She and her husband have two dogs, a miniature daschund and a Chihuahua.
Keeping it straight: Fifth-year tour member Pornanong Phatlum didn’t have high expectations coming into this week’s major championship, given her track record at the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club. Phatlum admitted to never playing well in Rancho Mirage, failing to crack the top 50 in her two appearances in the event the last two seasons. She’s hoping to improve on a 72nd place finish in 2011 and a tie for 56th in 2012 and looks to be on track after carding her career-best round at the event, a 3-under 69.
“Every year I’m not playing very good on this course,” said Phatlum. “This year everything is better, and I’m trying to keep my good confidence.”
Phatlum is full of confidence coming off a career-best finish T3 at the tour’s last event at the Kia Classic and is using her precision off the tee to set up birdie opportunities. The Thailand product missed only three fairways on Friday and said that her accuracy kept her out of trouble for most of the day. She’s one of the straightest hitters on tour, currently ranked 9th in driving accuracy.
“Like today the course was very good, and the driver is very straight,” said Phatlum. “And I keep on the fairway for every hole, and it was easy to get near the pin. Today I played very good, my putting, everything was very good.”
Kraft Nabisco Championship
Mission Hills Country Club
Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Second-Round Notes and Interviews
April 5, 2013
Inbee Park -6, Rolex Rankings No. 4
Lizette Salas -5, Rolex Rankings No. 40
Giulia Sergas -5, Rolex Rankings No. 54
Jodi Ewart Shadoff –4, Rolex Rankings No. 110
Pornanong Phatlum -4, Rolex Rankings No. 50
Paula Creamer -2, Rolex Rankings No. 10
Michelle Wie -2, Rolex Rankings No. 86
Stacy Lewis E, Rolex Rankings No. 1
Yani Tseng +3, Rolex Rankings No. 2
Inbee Park, Rolex Rankings No. 4
THE MODERATOR: We would like to welcome clubhouse leader, Inbee Park to the interview room. A 67 today with 6 birdies and 1 bogey. Tell us about your day, pretty consistent?
INBEE PARK: Obviously putted really good out there, and especially on the back nine. The wind picked up so it was tough out there on the back nine. Last four holes I made all pars. I’m really happy with that. We were playing about a club and a half of a breeze there, and it was getting tough out there. And hopefully ‑‑ I’m just happy that I have a chance on the weekend that I can win this week.
I played this golf course about eight years in my career and never really had a chance on the weekend so I’m happy to be in the mix.
THE MODERATOR: You won your first major in 2008 at the U.S. Women’s Open, but last year you had your break‑out year you got a couple of wins and then you won the money list and then won the Vare Trophy for low‑scoring average. Tell us about how much last year helped your confidence coming in here?
INBEE PARK: Sure did. I had a lot of weeks that I was in contention, I had a lot of experience winning, losing, all different kinds of experiences that helped me a lot coming into this year, also. And, yeah, that definitely gave me a lot of confidence last year. I think everyone would have done that.
THE MODERATOR: Do you feel like you’re under the radar? Like people maybe they’re not surprised to see you on the leaderboard but you don’t get a ton of attention.
INBEE PARK: Yeah, I know that, but I just like to stay a little quiet and just doing my own thing. If I win a little more I think I’ll get a little bit more attention.
Q. When did you start feeling the wind and knowing it was picking up?
INBEE PARK: I think it was No. 14, I hit a good shot but wind took it to left and went into a bunker and made my first bogey today.
Q. Do you feel like you’re good in the wind? Or do you not like playing in it?
INBEE PARK: I do and I don’t. I don’t think I’m bad in the wind because, you know, the golfers, you got to be used to the wind. We play wind probably at least one round out of four days so you got to be used to it.
Q. What does it feel like to be a leader in a Major like this going into the weekend? Do you like coming from behind or would you rather play from ahead?
INBEE PARK: I think it’s good to be ahead because you’re in better position than anybody else for the weekend.
Q. Obviously you have a strong record in Majors. What do you think has stopped you from being there on Sunday afternoon in this tournament?
INBEE PARK: I don’t know, I think it was because of ‑‑ this golf course ‑‑ it was playing pretty tough for me. I never had a good two days. This is something new on this golf course for me, and I don’t know. It’s good.
Q. The shots that you hit in on those three straight birdies and the putt lengths?
INBEE PARK: No. 11 was sand wedge about 2 feet and No. 12 was 9‑iron about 7, 8 feet and same on No. 13. It was 9‑iron about 7 to 8 feet.
Q. I remember when you won the Women’s Open, your caddy took a dive in the water there. I don’t know if you remember that.
INBEE PARK: Yeah, yeah.
Q. I think somebody pushed him in. Have you thought about what you might do? Thought that far ahead?
INBEE PARK: I’m not trying to think too far ahead but my dad keeps talking about whenever I play this week, he’s been talking last eight years he’s going to fly from Korea if I’m in contention, so maybe he’s going to fly in after tomorrow, I don’t know.
Q. How often is your dad out here?
INBEE PARK: He comes three, four tournaments a year.
Q. You won your first Major a while ago. Are you surprised it’s taken this long? Did you think they would come faster?
INBEE PARK: I don’t really ‑‑ it would be good to win a Major, but I think in normal tournaments are as important as the Majors, and if you can play good in normal tournaments you can do good in the Majors. So it’s a tough course, challenge for the week, and I like the challenge, and we’ll see what happen on the weekend. I play my best on the weekend.
Q. What makes you such a good putter?
INBEE PARK: I think I’m good at judging the speed and the up ‑‑ the breaking on the greens.
Q. So if your dad flies from Korea you better tell him to bring a swim suit.
INBEE PARK: I don’t think ‑‑ it’s too far to come for one day, I don’t know.
Lizette Salas, Rolex Rankings No. 40
THE MODERATOR: We would like to welcome Lizette Salas to the interview room, here at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, a great day in the second round, 68, 4‑under par. Tell us about your day, 5 birdies, 1 bogey, easy golf, right?
LIZETTE SALAS: I try to make it as easy as I can. I started off with a birdie and had my first 3‑putt, my only bogey of the day, so that made me a little frustrated, missed a couple of birdie putts on the front nine and turned it around on the back nine and started rolling them in.
I knew the wind was going to kick in, and I took advantage of each putt I had and almost chipped in on 17 and made a smart decision to lay up on my third shot on 18 and saved par. So all in all a good day and stayed patient and lots and lots of smiling. Even though I wasn’t ‑‑ I’m just really pleased how I played today.
THE MODERATOR: You grew up about 100 miles or so from here. The first person in your immediate family to graduate from college; you went to USC. Talk about how you got into the game. You’re the daughter of Mexican immigrants, your dad worked at the golf course. Tell us more about that story.
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, my dad is the head mechanic at Azusa Greens Golf Club, and he’s been working there for over 30 years, and I’m the youngest of three, and none of my siblings wanted to play golf. And I went to work with Dad one day, and I picked up a golf club, and the head pro asked my dad to do a couple of favors for him, handyman work, and wanted to pay my dad, and my dad said, “No, can you teach my daughter how to play golf?”
So I started at seven and did not know how to dress, did not know ‑‑ barely had a full set of golf clubs, and got my first pair of shoes at the age of nine, and it’s been a roller coaster from that point.
Played Junior Golf, didn’t play much nationally, but I got exposed to a couple of colleges and universities and made the decision to go to USC, and it was the best decision of my life. Won a National Championship in ’08 and was a four‑time All‑American, so it’s just been ‑‑ this game has changed my life completely.
THE MODERATOR: You then went on to play on the Symetra Tour a little bit, you traveled with your dad in a car, occasionally sleeping in that car; is that true?
LIZETTE SALAS: We decided to take my dad’s 2006 Tacoma, red Tacoma across country three times just to save money because I didn’t have any sponsors, and my dad was my caddy so that saved a lot and, you know, I did not like it.
But it was a great experience. Just to share lots of stories in the car with my dad and, yeah, we had some tears, we had some laughs and some smiles and all in all I wouldn’t have changed it for the world, and I think that’s what made me the player I am today.
THE MODERATOR: Come full circle now, you’re here in Palm Springs, you’ve got family here now, sponsors, how nice is it to have a cheering section in the desert?
LIZETTE SALAS: It’s a blessing to be so close to home and having my mom and dad here and my Trojan golf fans and my USC golf coach is here, my sponsors, MLC are out here supporting me and it’s all in all a great week.
Last week I had my fan club come out, too, and that’s what keeps me going is to hear “Fight On” and those screams and cheers for me. I can’t explain how blessed I am to be out here.
Q. Are you nervous or does it feel good to contend for this major? Also, did you ever come out here and watch this when you were growing up?
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, I did. I remember watching Lorena, and I came out with a little banner for her that said “You can do it” in Spanish, and I had great memories from outside the ropes.
I’m trying to make some from inside the ropes. I’m ‑‑ I’m sorry, what was your first question? Am I nervous?
Q. To contend for a major?
LIZETTE SALAS: It’s something that I’ve kind of trained my mind in the last six months, playing solid golf and being in contention last week and the week before, so I’m just trying to get used to it as fast as I can.
I actually like seeing my name ‑‑ all players like to see their name on the leaderboard but to be on it, on a consistent basis, is a positive note for me.
Q. What holes did you miss birdie putts that you think you should have made?
LIZETTE SALAS: Nine. It was less than 5 feet and I didn’t even touch the hole. It was not a good putt. But, you know, putts come and go and you have to ‑‑ Nancy taught me to get excited for the next shot. So I just kind of erased that from my mind and just attacked the pin on the back nine.
THE MODERATOR: That’s Nancy Lopez. She has served as a mentor to you?
LIZETTE SALAS: Definitely. I met her for the first time a year ago and she just ‑‑ she watched me in Phoenix, all 18 holes, and I went to dinner with her and she has been calling and texting me with more advice, and that’s something that’s amazing about her. She reaches out to a second‑year player and just kind of be my second mom on tour. I just can’t thank her enough for all the advise she has given me.
Q. Lizette, you have been in contention, a strong start to the season. What do you think the difference is between being in contention and potentially winning?
LIZETTE SALAS: I think it’s just minimizing the mistakes you make and really believing that you can win. I was very frustrated last week, two shots off and I knew I could have made a couple of birdies, but it’s experiences like those that keep me ‑‑ that make me hungry to win.
Having my family here, too, just keeps pushing me, they keep supporting me and having support from the LPGA fans, I’ve been getting a lot of support, and that’s been what’s been helping me a lot this year.
Q. What would qualifying for the Solheim Cup mean to you?
LIZETTE SALAS: Oh, wow, it would mean a lot. Growing up I was never picked for the Junior Solheim Cup team or the Curtis Cup team; I don’t know why. That’s a goal this year. It’s in the back of my mind, but I know it’s not going to be handed to me, and I know I’m going to have to prove myself that I deserve to be on the team and Meg and Scotty have been watching me lately, and I think they have their eye on me. That’s all I can ask for now, and I’ve got to go out there and do my thing, make some birdies.
Q. You talked about minimizing mistakes and it’s apparent today you had less fairways and less greens and ended up with a better score. Is that what you’re aiming at, as far as trying to get the most out of a round as possible?
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, when I say “minimizing the mistakes” a year ago I would have been way off, and this year I’ve minimized them to where I can still hit the green and not be in trouble. I’ve been working on that with my instructor and making those bad rounds even par or better. Yesterday I had a not very good round but it was minus 2, and today I’m keeping it simple, and he’s been a great help and helping me mentality on the golf course.
Q. Talk about 18 and the decision you went through on that hole.
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, I was in the rough off the tee on the left side. I hit a 4 hybrid out of the rough and got stuck and went to the right rough, and it was not a good lie and I knew if I would go for it it would probably go in the water, so I talked ‑‑ we talked it over, my caddy and I, and I said, “Look, if I go in the water I’m going to have a big number. If I chip out I can get up and down for par” and that’s what I did. I chipped out, I had 88 yards to pin, hit a three‑quarter wedge, wind was into my face, and I knocked it in for 3‑foot, and I knocked it in for par.
Q. Is that the same decision you would have made last year or would you have decided to go for it?
LIZETTE SALAS: I would have gone for it and I’m comfortable in my short game and I’m not a long hitter so I have to make it up some way, so I’ve been working hard and dialing in with my wedged because that’s your go‑to club. I just trusted it and went with my first instinct and tried to save par.
Q. You mentioned your siblings did not play golf. Two, three, brother, sister, where are you?
LIZETTE SALAS: I’m the youngest of three. My brother is 29, my sister is 32, and they just did not ‑‑ they didn’t like golf. My sister played soccer and my brother played football. It was just not the thing you did where I grew up, but it was probably the only thing I was good at. I played basketball, just wasn’t tall enough, but golf was something that I was really good at. So my dad and I worked really hard because that was my key to go to college and from college came to the LPGA.
Q. After listening to you tell your story about your dad and driving across country and all that, when you were out here playing, I would assume that you feel like you’re not playing for yourself, you’re playing for a whole lot more than just you.
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, definitely I sometimes feel like I’m playing for not only myself but for my family and people from Azusa, my community, my Trojan family, but that’s all in the back of my mind, and that’s what I learned from last year to this year. I have been more comfortable in my own skin. I’m not intimidated by anything now. Last year I was just, you know, really nervous, really scared of every shot I hit.
Now I’m just much more confident and these last three weeks being in contention, that’s been a boost of confidence. What I think about is I have nothing to lose out here. I’m not really supposed to be out here, but ‑‑ by my story. So I have nothing to lose and I’m going to go out there and give it my all and if not, there is the next shot, if not there is another tournament. I just try to be very optimistic and just give it my all. I played with Oscar de la Hoya at the Pro‑Am, and he was telling me to “go for it, go with your gut feeling,” so I’m trying to listen to what all these Hall of Famer athletes did. They have been a great help.
Q. (Away from mic.)
LIZETTE SALAS: My caddy, Greg is good friends with Oscar, so he called him up and said would you like to play in the Pro‑Am and Oscar is a big golfer, and he came out and he was like, “I want to play with Lizette” so I played with him on Wednesday, and my sister missed work just to see him. We’re big fans of him, and her jaw dropped when she saw him. He’s just so humble. It’s great having people like him and Nancy Lopez in your corner who are so humble and bubbly. They never say no to an autograph or picture and they’re optimistic and positive and yet so passionate and fierce. They’re not scared of anything.
I’m just trying to surround myself with people like that, so I can have the same success or even more success than they did.
Q. Were you a boxing fan?
LIZETTE SALAS: Yes, I watched a lot of his boxing matches and we’re big Oscar de la Hoya fans, and my sister was going to name her son Oscar if he won his fight, and he lost, so she didn’t name him Oscar. She named him Joseph.
Q. Was that the other boxer’s name?
LIZETTE SALAS: No, it wasn’t. She is not going to be happy that I said that.
Q. You had a pretty accomplished college career but it seems like you’ve taken your game to the next level and I know you talked about confidence and stuff. Is there something else you can put your finger on that allowed you to be able to go out and get a score?
LIZETTE SALAS: I can’t really pinpoint it. There are so many things that happened. Winning the playoff at Q School and coming out here and being one of the top rookies and I think over time and over each tournament I got more confident.
The caddy does a lot for a player and I made a lot of changes in October that boosted my confidence, boosted my game. I switched instructors, I switched caddies, I switched clubs. It was a big risk but definitely a big reward, and just surrounding myself with a great team around me, my agents are doing an amazing job of taking care of things outside the golf course which allow me ‑‑ I saw that, Jeff. And they allow me to go out there and do my things which is hit the golf ball and that’s make as many birdies as I can. So I have to thank my outside team that help me basically play golf.
Q. How often do you think about the way you advanced out of Q School? Is that something you draw on? That’s kind of like the ultimate pressure situation.
LIZETTE SALAS: I think about it every ‑‑ probably every tournament. And, you know, if that hadn’t happened my road, my start to LPGA would be a lot different. But that’s how much I wanted to be out here. I think with last year being my rookie year, I got my feet wet, I didn’t get as comfortable as I wanted, but I was in contention at the U.S. Open, I shot 80 there, and just a lot of emotions last year, but I wouldn’t have change it. This year I was more consistent and just trying to win as ‑‑ like any other player wants to win out here.
Q. Looking ahead to the Women’s Open, to Sebonack, not a lot of players have played here. What’s it like to prepare for a place you’ve never been?
LIZETTE SALAS: Never played there. I heard it’s a difficult golf course, just like any other U.S. Open golf course, definitely going to rely on my short game in case I miss some greens and a couple of fairways, but I’m just happy not to have to qualify for this this year, had to qualify the last couple of years so I’m excited to be there and play one of the biggest golf tournaments in the world. We’ll see what happens. We’ll see if I can get a couple of top‑10 finishes before the Open.
THE MODERATOR: Can you elaborate more on when you came here to watch Lorena, how many days did you come, did you follow her 18 holes, did you meet her at the time?
LIZETTE SALAS: Let’s see, I’m trying to remember. I came out here a couple of times to watch her. I came out here, one of my friends who is also a ‑‑ now she is playing at UCLA and we’re best friends and she is of Mexican descent, so we came out to watch Lorena and following her with our banner, trying to catch up to her.
I think my dad had brought a newspaper article that they wrote on me from back home and he had Lorena sign it, which I thought it was weird, “Dad, why are you having Lorena sign my article?” But it was funny! Again, she is very humble, very outgoing, just super nice to everyone.
You know, that’s the reason why I looked up to her, not just because she was a phenomenal golfer but what she did for the game of golf and for people like me of Hispanic descent. Her and Nancy opened the door for me and I always thought if they can do it, I can definitely do it, too.
Q. What years did you come?
LIZETTE SALAS: I was 14 so 2004, 2005, around there.
Q. (No microphone.)
LIZETTE SALAS: Yeah, I definitely feel this. I definitely feel like I can bring another crowd to the LPGA and just like Nancy and Lorena did for me, I do see a lot of younger girls in general just following the LPGA, which is what the LPGA is to bring more children and more females into the game of golf. Obviously when I was younger it was hard for me to play golf, but nowadays it’s so easy for young girls to pick up the game.
They’re the future of this game so the more we bring them out it’s going to be an all‑around good outcome for the LPGA.
Giulia Sergas, Rolex Rankings No. 54
Q. Another solid day, sub par, you got a lot of birdies on the front nine. How bad was the wind in the stretch?
GUILIA SERGAS: Yeah, it was ‑‑ you could feel it. So, I don’t know, maybe 25 miles. Yeah, it’s pretty strong, you know, gusty. Anyway, tried to keep them low, under the wind, but sometimes catch you.
Q. You’ve had two good finishes, past two starts. Anything in your game that you feel is coming together or something that’s putting you in a good spot?
GUILIA SERGAS: You know, it’s ‑‑ I guess it’s just a little bit of ‑‑ thank you, all right. My game, I don’t know, I’m just solid. I feel good about, you know, physically and emotionally and mentally, so when those three are together, it’s ‑‑ it’s golf, you know, you gotta have those three together.
Q. So you think all three are just flowing together?
GUILIA SERGAS: Yeah, and it’s steady, it’s nothing like ‑‑ so I’m in a good spot, you know? I’m not thinking about anything special, just playing golf.
Q. You’ve been on Tour for a while; you’re one of the veterans. Anything coming into this season preparationwise? I know you said being healthy and strong ‑‑
GUILIA SERGAS: I ski a lot, two months. Two months skiing and two months away from golf, not hitting a golf ball.
Q. Where do you ski?
GUILIA SERGAS: In the Alps, in Cortina, Italy, it’s just put my life together. It was very challenging because I was a little scared the beginning of the season, but eventually I think for me, it is the best thing, you know?
Just to go away from all the stress and expectations.
Q. So keeping stress low and managing that?
GUILIA SERGAS: Yeah, and maybe it’s the right thing to do, maybe it’s not, but just taking my time off makes me happy, so that’s all that matters.
Q. Did you used to live here?
GUILIA SERGAS: Yeah, I used to ‑‑ now I’m resident in Phoenix, cool spot, too, and I used to live here.
Q. For how long?
GUILIA SERGAS: Five months.
Q. Obviously going into the weekend in great position.
GUILIA SERGAS: It’s a good challenge; I’m going to ride it. It’s going to be interesting to see how I’m going to react, because I’ve been in this position few times, but “few!”
Q. When do you think the last time was going into a Major?
GUILIA SERGAS: In a Major? No. The U.S. Open I was coming from the back. I don’t feel like I did, ever. So for me it’s going to be a great experience. And even though I’m a veteran, it’s ‑‑
Q. Every day is a new day ‑‑
GUILIA SERGAS: Exactly!
Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Rolex Rankings No. 110
MIKE SCANLAN: We’d like to welcome Jodi Ewart Shadoff to the interview room here at Kraft Nabisco. Currently the co‑leader in the clubhouse after your second round. What’s the last 24 hours been like for you? I think when we saw your name at the top of the leaderboard yesterday, people were searching, and googling, and trying to find out more about you. Did you hear from a lot of people overnight?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Yeah, I think I had like 20 messages when I got home, and my Twitter was blowing up like crazy which was good because I got more followers.
MIKE SCANLAN: I think your biggest supporter is maybe your husband. You were a newlywed in January?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Yeah, I think he sent me about six messages. I’m like, “I’m on the course.” So, yeah.
MIKE SCANLAN: If you would just take us through your round. 72 today, couple birdies, couple bogies. You said you felt maybe a little more nervous than you did yesterday, but you handled it fairly well.
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Yeah, I was definitely a little more nervous, but after the first couple holes, I felt comfortable with where my game was and how I was hitting it. So it kind of went away after maybe 11 or 12.
Q. Can you take us through your birdies, what clubs you hit in, and how far the putts were on 11 and 4?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: 11, I went to the green in two and just pulled a 3‑wood into the rough. It was kind of long, and I just hit a 60‑degree out to about six or seven feet and holed that. Then on 4, I had about 130 to the pin. I hit a 9‑iron. I came up a little short off the ridge, but finally managed to get a birdie putt to go in. It was probably about 25 feet. Then 5 and 6 were shots out to the right, and it just cost me a couple of shots.
Q. Does your husband travel with you?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: No.
Q. Is it hard to be newlyweds?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Yeah, it is. But I mean, he’s got his own job. He’s a sports anchor at a local TV station, so, yeah, he’s working. He comes out to a couple of events during the year.
Q. How hard is that to be a newlywed and not be with your new husband?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: I mean, we’ve had to ‑‑ it’s always been like that during our whole relationship. When I was in college playing college golf I was always away as well, so it’s not any different, really. We handle it well.
Q. Do you think the fact that you have such a quick turnaround, finishing late and going off early worked to your advantage at all given that you were sitting on the lead?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Yeah, definitely. To finish late and then come back out at 9 again this morning, it would have been a lot worse to have the opposite way around to sit and dwell on where I was at the time. So it definitely helped.
Q. Your father was a jockey. Is there any transferrable ‑‑ anything from his experience and his work that is transferrable to what you do out here?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: I think ‑‑ well, both of my parents were involved in horse racing, so my mom ran track and my dad boxed as well. So we’re a very athletic family. I think the competitiveness definitely shines in me too.
Q. How long have you been anchoring and using the belly putter, and where do you stand on that whole situation?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: I have been anchoring since November of 2011, just before I went to Q‑school. I mean, honestly, I’ve said this a lot of times, but all you have to do is look at my putting stats to know it’s not a huge advantage. To be honest, if they do decide to ban it, it wouldn’t be a huge issue for me. I’d have to spend a couple months really working out with a short putter, but it wouldn’t be a huge deal for me.
Q. How did you find your way to the University of New Mexico?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: I went on a recruiting trip, looked at the practice facilities and thought it was amazing. The airport is ten minutes from school. The golf course is ten minutes from school, so everything was just really nice and comfortable, especially coming from the middle of the country in England. It’s not a huge, huge city, and it wasn’t a huge school so it wasn’t too much of a shock for me.
Q. How did you get into golf if your parents were jockeys?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Well, my granddad used to play, so he took me out. He took me to the coach that I’m still with when I was eight years old, and the rest is history, I guess.
Q. Where did you play when you were young?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Just a small club called Catterick in North Yorkshire.
Q. What is your coach’s name?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Andrew Marshall.
Q. We know your dad was a jockey. What did your mom do in the horse racing business?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: My dad wasn’t a jockey for very long, but they both worked for trainers to exercise the horses and take them to the races and sort of prep them.
Q. Could you talk about what it was like to shark dive? I think you’ve got to be pretty fearless to get into a shake and have a shark coming at you. Are you pretty fearless on the golf course too?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Yeah, well, we were on a boat with maybe 30 other people.
Q. This is on your honeymoon?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Yeah. They could take eight at a time, so I was like I’m not going first. I’m going to watch the first eight do it, and then I watched them. It honestly looked really safe. The worst part about it was the water was like minus something and it was awful being in the water itself. But once you go down and see the sharks, it’s pretty awesome.
Q. How many sharks did you see?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: I think we saw six different sharks when we were out there.
Q. Would you just tell us about your thoughts going into tomorrow? Is it a scary position to be in? Is it exciting? How do you not allow yourself to get ahead of yourself?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: I’m honestly just going to go out there and do what I’ve been doing in the last two rounds. I’m really comfortable with where my game is. I wasn’t really hitting my driver that well yesterday, and I hit it probably the best club in my bag today. So I’m really happy with where I am there.
Obviously, putts weren’t dropping today, so, hopefully, I can find a middle ground on that tomorrow. But I expect there to be a couple of good rounds. I like to chase the lead rather than be in the lead, so it kind of spurs me on a lot.
Q. It sounds like your experience in U.S. golf has been in a desert setting having been at New Mexico. Did you feel comfortable coming out here? You played well at this tournament last year.
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Yeah, I like the west coast a lot. I love playing in Phoenix. It reminds me a lot of playing in New Mexico. I love the west coast. Out here it’s not really desert golf, as it were, but it still feels really comfortable for me. I know my long game is definitely the strongest part of my game, so I really do suit tougher among the courses.
Q. Will your husband and his parents come out and watch you this weekend?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: They’re not planning on it unless I’m in the lead or close to the lead on Sunday.
Q. Can you talk about how you got into anchoring to begin with, and if it helped you right away and that’s why you stuck with it?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Yeah, there was a point a couple months before Q‑school in 2011 where I think I played a Sun Coast event down in Orlando. It was, I think I had like 37 putts or something in that round. I was just like I need to make a change because I’m not going to get anywhere doing the same thing over and over again. It was about the time when the belly putter and the long putters were like in. So I tried it, and I just loved it.
I mean, the problem I have with my putting with the short putter is I get kind of wristy and short and stubby, so it kind of helps take away that. But it still happens, even though a lot of people say it doesn’t, it still does.
Q. Your husband talk about you last night, do you know, on his sportscast?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Yeah, I haven’t seen it, but, yeah, he said he did.
Q. He Tweeted me that he was going to put highlights in the 10:00 o’clock show?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Okay. Nice (laughing). That must have been really awkward for him to talk about his wife.
MIKE SCANLAN: Yeah, I don’t know how he’d reference you.
Q. So if it came down to your husband having to put together a sports package on TV and it came down to Syracuse highlights or your round highlights, which way would he go?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: I would hope he’d put my highlights, but he’s a huge Syracuse fan. Since the semifinals are on Saturday, I don’t know (laughing).
Q. In the United States there seems to be a less strident reaction to anchoring than on your side of the pond. I’m wondering what kind of a reaction you get from people back home who it seems from this vantage point seem a lot more aligned with the R&A and the USGA on the topic.
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Honestly, I try not to read what other people’s opinions on it. If the USGA and R&A decide to ban t then so be it. But, in my opinion, from somebody who uses it, I don’t feel like it’s a huge advantage. But everybody’s entitled to their opinion. I didn’t know they’re more against it over there than they are here, that’s kind of interesting to me.
Q. Ernie Els used the short putter and said he’s going back to the long putter for The Masters. Can you imagine switching back and forth like that, and how much, if at all, are you even practicing with the short putter in anticipation of what might happen?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: I do not practice with the short putter. If they go ahead and do ban it, then I probably expect to use it and start making the switch in the off‑season. I did actually go back to the short putter in Malaysia at the end of last year for the first round. That didn’t go so well.
I actually hole more long putts with the short putter, but I hole ‑‑ I’m very consistent with the belly putter within six feet. So that’s really the reason I went back after the first round.
Q. How is it your husband is a Syracuse fan? Did he go there?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Yeah, he went there.
Q. To become a broadcaster?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Yeah, he studied broadcast journalism there.
Q. So he’s a college basketball fan?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Yeah, he is, huge.
MIKE SCANLAN: Before we let you go, one more question. Big year in Europe for the Solheim Cup coming off a big win in Ireland in 2011. They talked a lot about it with Annika Sorenstam in the booth today, one of the assistant captains. She has her eye on you. Just talk about sort of thrusting yourself into the race to make the European Solheim Cup team and how much that would mean to you?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: That is my number 1 goal for this year to be on the Solheim Cup team. There are so many great European players out here, and I wouldn’t want to be in the captain’s seat making captain’s picks at all. It’s such a hard decision.
But I love Match Play. I wish we had more Match Play events. I love playing aggressively.
MIKE SCANLAN: At last year’s Match Play, you managed to take down a couple of European Solheim Cup stars in Suzann and Sophie. What is it about Match Play?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: We play in Europe, we play so much Match Play as amateurs. I don’t know. I’m just so competitive, and it’s just nice. If you had one bad hole, you can just forget about it and get it back right away.
I definitely play more aggressively in Match Play and never give up. That is one key thing to Match Play is to never give up. Strange things happen in Match Play.
Pornanong Phatlum, Rolex Rankings No. 50
Q. Take me through the day. Obviously, really strong. How did the birdies go?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: Like today the course was very good, and the driver is very straight. And I keep on the fairway for every hole, and it was easy to get near the pin.
Today I played very good, my putting, everything was very good.
Q. Did you find yourself in trouble in any bad areas?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: No, not today.
Q. Coming off a really strong finish at Kia. You had a really good last round there. Did you try to just keep those good vibes coming into this week, or what did you do in the off week to keep that momentum coming?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: Yeah, just keep good confidence last week and do my best this week.
Q. When did you and your brother start the matching? We have to ask because that’s always a fashion question. When did you guys start dressing the same?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: Last year. I think in Thailand at Hyundai last year.
Q. So when you were back home, you started matching?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: Yes.
Q. Is he upset he has to wear the one piece over, because you can’t tell? Are you still matching?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: Yes, uh‑huh.
Q. So game plan going into the weekend? You’ve got yourself into a good position. Anything you’re going to concentrate on going into tomorrow and Sunday?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: Yeah, I’ll try to hit on the fairway because the loft is very long, it’s hard to play on the loft. Just keep my confidence like it is and just putt well.
Q. Do you think you’ll be nervous tomorrow?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: I think I will be a little bit, but I’ll try my best.
Q. How do you like this course?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: Yeah, it’s a very nice course. Every year I’m not playing very good on this course. This year everything is better, and I’m trying to keep my good confidence.
Q. So this year has been the best you think you’ve performed on this course?
PORNANONG PHATLUM: Yes.
Paula Creamer, Rolex Rankings No. 10
Q. Solid day, anything different? You sound a little hoarse. I hate to ask; how you feeling?
PAULA CREAMER: I’m definitely sick. My grandma passed away, and I’m just not sleeping and my body kind of shut down. But last night was a rough night, but other than that, I’m feeling a little bit better, so…
Q. Anything different today on the course?
PAULA CREAMER: No, I just made more putts. I worked on my putting afterwards yesterday for a good half hour, with Colin and my dad. Kind of came up with a little ‑‑ just tried to get out over it a little bit more and just stuck with it. I had a couple of bogeys early on, but fought back hard and played well on the back nine which is the front nine.
Q. I apologize if this has been asked, but is this an emotional week for you because of your grandmother?
PAULA CREAMER: Oh, yeah, very much so. We were very close. She had Parkinson’s.
Q. Was she a golfer?
PAULA CREAMER: A little bit, but she loved watching and was a huge fan of mine. She would come out here and come to the west coast events. So, yeah, it is hard. It’s never easy losing someone that you’re close to especially your grandmother.
Q. Was she here last year?
PAULA CREAMER: She did come, yes.
Q. She did. What did she like about you playing golf?
PAULA CREAMER: Just that I loved what I was doing. It didn’t matter if I shot 85 or 65. Really, like I said, it was my mom’s mom, and grew up about 45 minutes from her and got to see her as much as I possibly could.
Q. So you would go to grandma’s house a lot?
PAULA CREAMER: Uh‑huh.
Q. Was she a great cook? Did she do anything?
PAULA CREAMER: She was just a fun ‑‑ she was a grandma that took care of herself so well. I’ve never met someone that was more into that and was very, very health conscious. It’s a shame Parkinson’s, when you have that. But I think she lasted as long as she did because of that.
She’s the one I think that kind of got me ‑‑ my mom has always been into fashion and things like that. But my grandma always looked great, always. She would always have her make‑up on, always looked perfect. Actually to the day she passed away, we’d always put her make‑up on.
Q. Did she have a favorite outfit that you wore?
PAULA CREAMER: Anything. I could have worn sweatpants and she said I looked cute. She was great. It has been hard. A lot of my mom’s side of the family lives here.
Q. Did you think about not playing this week?
PAULA CREAMER: No, she wouldn’t have wanted that. No way. She would have been very upset if I didn’t play.
Q. Are you able to concentrate though and turn it into a positive on the course?
PAULA CREAMER: Unfortunately, with my grandpa passing away last year, I kind of have to learn how to, in a sense, deal with loss, especially out here. My grandfather and I were incredibly close.
Q. Was this her husband?
PAULA CREAMER: No, that was my dad’s dad. He was amazing. One of the most amazing men I’ve ever met in my life. So I kind of have gotten to ‑‑ not used to in a sense, but how to deal with emotions off the golf course and on the golf course. They have the best seat in the house now. They’re walking the fairways with me.
Q. Are they helping you?
PAULA CREAMER: I hope so. I hope so. I’m sure they’re not hurting, that’s for sure.
Q. What is your grandmother’s name?
PAULA CREAMER: Florence Stanton.
Q. And your grandpa?
PAULA CREAMER: His name was Thomas Creamer.
Michelle Wie, Rolex Rankings No. 86
Q. Making a lot of birdies?
MICHELLE WIE: For sure, I made a lot of great birdies. I would have to say the front nine ‑‑ well, actually the whole round was pretty interesting in general. I hit some interesting shots around the trees, but just going out there and having fun, like I said yesterday, going out there and not taking anything for granted and being excited that I’m actually here and using that mind‑set today and I just felt it.
Q. Did you have an embedded ball on the first whole?
MICHELLE WIE: Oh my God, I have never had anything like that in my entire life. The edge ‑‑ and it was literally sloped 80 degrees, 70 degrees, and I got to it and I was like, where is my ball and I thought it was going to roll back and Duncan was like, “It’s right there,” and I saw a centimeter of the ball.
So I had to take it out, identify it and then create the same exact lie, and I was looking at the rule official like, “Why am I doing this again? Why am I covering this up?” He was like, “Cover it up more,” and I was like, “Okay.” But I got it out thankfully, but never had anything like that happen.
Q. Talk about the up and down at nine when you had to call for the ruling and it just seemed like when you walked off that green you felt good about walking away with par.
MICHELLE WIE: I hooked one good. I hooked my 5‑iron into the tree, and I hooked that well, bounced over the bunker, never hit it into the scoring tent before, that was interesting but overall afterwards it was like, that was a good 5. I’ll take it.
Q. Do you have any ‑‑ obviously you have memories around here. Are there specific holes to where you think back to a great moment from your youth?
MICHELLE WIE: From my youth! You know, there is a lot of them, really. I think just really when I ‑‑ well, most memorable one, I don’t know if it’s good or not but the most memorable, I was leading at one point on 14 or 15 and I hear a big roar and I’m like, what just happened and Karrie pulled it out on the last hole, and that’s the most memorable. I don’t know if it’s good or not, but a lot of great memories here.
I played some of my best golf here so I’m excited.
Q. What about the Women’s Open in Sebonack? Have you played there before?
MICHELLE WIE: I have not. The owner at Sebonack is a member at my golf club. I talked to him a lot, trying to get inside tips, and I’m excited, heard a lot of good things about it, never been to the Hamptons before, seen a lot on TV, so excited.
Q. What kind of tips is he giving you?
MICHELLE WIE: Saying that it’s tricky, it’s pretty wide, which I was ecstatic to hear.
Q. What’s name of the golf club?
MICHELLE WIE: Bighorn Golf Club.
Q. What will you work on? Anything for tomorrow?
MICHELLE WIE: Touch up for everything, touch base on everything, won’t spend too much time because I’ve been out here for a while.
Q. Spent quite a bit of time with Lydia Ko the last month or two months. You guys getting to know each other well and what do you think after two days here?
MICHELLE WIE: She is amazing. I think she’s pretty good and like I said yesterday, she is also a really good girl.
I think she is grounded, she has a good head on her shoulders and she is just really ‑‑ you know, she is enjoying herself out here. I could tell she got a little frustrated today, but she made some great up and downs, but she is a solid player and a really good girl, too.
Stacy Lewis, Rolex Rankings No. 1
Q. Your thoughts on today’s play?
STACY LEWIS: I did a lot of good things; this course doesn’t really show it. I hit a lot of good shots and I made a few putts, but not as many as I would have liked.
And the wind started to blow at the end so got pretty tough those last five holes.
Q. How frustrating is it, like you said, when you feel like things are there but it just isn’t going your way?
STACY LEWIS: It’s definitely frustrating. It’s a Major, and you want to play well here, but that’s golf. Some weeks it’s going to all come together and other weeks it’s going to be tough, and you gotta fight through it. But I’m in a good spot, I’m a few back of the lead going into the weekend on this golf course; I’m right in it.
Q. What are the things you look forward to bringing into the weekend?
STACY LEWIS: Today I hit my irons better than yesterday, so I’m excited about that. I hit the pin on 14; I was ready after that shot yesterday. I need a few more bounces to go my way and to hit a few more fairways and I’ll be right there.
Q. Little doubt if Travis would be on the bag. How good was it to see a familiar face?
STACY LEWIS: He was fine. The media hyped it up to more than it was. He felt a little off the last few days and needed some fluids to get going again, but he felt great today and I was glad to have him.
Yani Tseng, Rolex Rankings No. 2
Q. Were you practicing for anything specific?
YANI TSENG: No, not really.