Lydia Ko 16 tee done (Small)

KELLY THESIER:  Good afternoon, everyone.  We’d like to welcome Rolex Rankings No. 2, Lydia Ko into the interview room.  Congratulations, a great 3?under par round today, 5?under par overall on this golf course.  You’re not one of the longest hitters on Tour.  We kept talking all week about how this golf course is suited for long hitters.  What have you been able to do on this golf course that’s helped you to succeed so far over the first two days? 

LYDIA KO:  Yeah, coming into this week I knew that this course had a little bit of an advantage for the long hitters, but especially holes at 18 where I had like 210 yards to the pin.  It kind of makes me feel like it’s a reachable par?5.  But actually I hit the ball steady, and I’ve been pretty confident with the long game, and I just gave myself as many opportunities as I could.

Q.  We’ve noticed your first win on the LPGA Tour came while you were playing with Stacy Lewis.  You won your first LPGA Tour as a member in San Francisco while playing with Stacy Lewis.  Now you are playing well again playing with Stacy.  You two talked about you like playing with one another, but is there something about playing with her that brings out the best in your game? 
LYDIA KO:  Whenever I play with her she’s playing great also, so like for example in San Francisco we were feeding off each other and making birdie?birdie, and that’s kind of what happens out there.  She puts herself in a really good position and makes a lot of birdies.  So when I go out there or see my name next to her name on the pairing sheet, I’m pretty excited to play with her because I learn a few things playing alongside her.  She’s just a great person to play with.

Q.  As the day went along it seemed there was some wind at times.  Were conditions a little tougher today than they were yesterday? 
LYDIA KO:  I mean, you think that playing in the morning there would be less wind, but we had wind from just the first hole and it kind of continued.  But I think it was kind of forecasted to be like this all day anyways, but I guess everybody’s playing in the same conditions.  I mean, wind definitely makes it a little tougher.

Q.  Just 17 years old, but do you feel like you’re a role model for girls that are just two or three years younger than you?  Do you see it that way? 
LYDIA KO:  No, I don’t really see it that way, but there are some times when the girls come up to me and say, Lydia, you’re my role model.  It kind of makes me feel a little special to, I guess, be a role model when I’m still in high school and I’m only 17.  I mean, for them to think of me as a role model, it kind of makes me feel like I need to play better, perform good, and I guess be that role model that they think I am.

Lydia Ko 1 tee DONE (Small)

Q.  I understand your wrists were hurting yesterday on the range when you were warming up, and I know you went to get treatment after the round last night.  Can you just give us an update on what’s going on there? 
LYDIA KO:  It definitely feels much better today.  I mean, it felt much less pain than when I was on the range, because I got it taped up, and that’s been supporting my wrist so it’s not been going anywhere.  But it feels better compared to yesterday, so that’s good news that it’s not getting worse.

Q.  Is it something you’ve had an issue with in the past that is flaring up again? 
LYDIA KO:  No, I haven’t really had a wrist problem for a while.  But to kind of feel it on the range yesterday when I was hitting my driver, it was quite different and I couldn’t really hold the club at one point.  But it felt okay during my round yesterday and I think if it stays like this I’m definitely playable with it.

Q.  There were talking about you being 17.  You do have the opportunity this week if you were to win this event to become the youngest major winner in history.  Do you think about those milestones as you hit them?  I know we were talking about youngest ever to reach a million dollars on the LPGA Tour.  When you have the opportunity for something like that, do you think about that at all?  Is there pressure when you have those sorts of things as a possibility? 
LYDIA KO:  For me I think about winning at the end of the week.  I know especially like Toledo I realized I became a millionaire after that.  I mean, to kind of have those accomplishments is really cool, but I’m really going out there and trying to play the best I can.  It’s hard to control what I do, but to control what other people are doing is pretty much impossible. 
I’m going to go out there and just have some fun.  I’ll have to see.  There are still two more days of golf for myself and still half the field is playing right now.

Q.  When you get on a golf course that seems obviously suited for the big hitters, what do you tell yourself so that you don’t put yourself in a hole right from the start? 
LYDIA KO:  I think the majority of the par?5s are reachable for the majority of the players.  So I think that’s where I try to think, okay, you need to birdie on holes like 3 and 14 and go from there, just give myself as many opportunities as I can.  I wish I was a really long hitter where I can hit the ball like 290 yards, but that’s not the case.  So I’m just trying to play to my strength and my game.

Q.  When you went to Universal and took some time off, was that a five?day stretch of not touching the golf club that I heard about? 
LYDIA KO:  Yeah, I didn’t touch the golf club for five days.  I was actually going to take the whole week off, but David said, okay, let’s have a lesson on Saturday.  So I said, okay, I better get back into it.  So I wasn’t hitting the ball really well last week so we were talking about my swing was still on holiday until Sunday.

Q.  Is that the longest stretch you’ve gone without hitting a club in years? 
LYDIA KO:  No, not really.  I’ve had times where I kind of took two months off or one and a half months off because of exams during the end of the year.  I’ve done that a couple of times over the last couple of years.

Q.  This would be the longest stretch since you’ve started the season though, right? 
LYDIA KO:  Yeah.

Q.  You said playing with Stacy you liked the idea that you could learn something from her.  What have you observed from her or learned from her? 
LYDIA KO:  Especially in putting she just seems so relaxed on any putt.  She kind of just strips the ball and makes it happen, and the majority of the time it goes in the hole.  So for me, I’m kind of jealous that she’s so relaxed, and those are the things that I kind of want to learn from her, kind of her mental aspect.

Q.  I know you had six birdies.  Can you remember what you hit in on some of them? 
LYDIA KO:  On the first hole I hit my 6?iron a little short, like a 30?footer and I holed that.  On 2, I three?putted 3, and I was on the green for two, so I had a two?putt for birdie.  4, I kind of short sided myself to the right and was going to make up?and?down for bogey.  Then I made pars along the way and made another birdie on 8.  I hit it to about 8, 9 feet and holed that.  10, I hit my hybrid, but it ended up being pin high, and I had a 15, 16?footer for a birdie and holed that.  Then I had like two three?footers for birdie on 12, and then bogeyed 13 because I went past into the rough, then birdied 14.  I made up?and?down from the front of the green, and I think that’s about it.

Lydia Ko 2 tee done (Small)

Thanks to the LPGA Tour and ASAP Sports for the text, and Alex Fisher of Alex Fisher Photo for the photographs