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April 26, 2015
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
MODERATOR:¬† Happy to be joined by Lydia Ko, 2015 champ here at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic.¬† Back to back years winning here.¬† What was it like in that playoff?
LYDIA KO:¬† You know, every hole is pretty nerve wracking, but to be in a playoff, that was double the pressure.¬† Morgan had been playing so well the whole week and she's a tough player beat, but I tried to concentrate on my game.
That's all I can do.
Q.¬† On the second playoff hole, on your third shot you had a shot out of the rough.¬† I have seen you spin that shot before out of the rough.¬† You're pretty good at it.¬† You showed that today.¬† Is that a shot that you practice from time to time?
LYDIA KO:¬† I was actually‑‑ I didn't know if I was in the fairway or not, but I wasn't in the rough, rough.¬† I actually had a pretty good lie.
Last year that one I didn't have a good lie, but this year, like even the last two times I played it today, that hole, I said, Okay, let's lead 111‑ish, and then I can hit sort of a grip pitching wedge.
Because of the wind it went a little further than I wanted.¬† It wasn't normally a sand wedge distance, but I hit the sand wedge and it ended up being good.
Q.¬† Walk us through the birdie at 15.¬† 40 feet, is that about right?
LYDIA KO:¬† Yeah.¬† Yeah, just over 40.¬† It was a long putt at the end of the day.
Q.¬† That's really where you kind of got yourself into a spot where, Hey, I can win this thing; is that right?
LYDIA KO:¬† Yeah, I think so.¬† I parred the 14th.¬† If you play that hole well enough you're going to come off with a birdie; I didn't do that.
I was a little disappointed, and then didn't hit great shot on that tee.¬† I kind of made that rule, last year, too, when I chipped in on the third round.¬† Similar case.¬† I putted and I thought it looked good and I thought it was actually going to stop right in front of the hole.
That would've been a whole different scenario, but that definitely gave me a lot confidence.
Q.¬† With you being in a different group with Morgan and Brooke and them sort of dueling it out there and you're in a different group.¬† Last year you and Stacy were sort of dueling a lot of the time it seemed like.¬† How about the difference from this year to last year, how you kind of came up at the end and won.
LYDIA KO:¬† Yeah, on the first tee I told Stacy we had to play together one of the rounds because we did every round last year.
Yeah, it was so much fun.¬† We were just birdie after birdie last year.¬† I mean, this year was a little different, me being in the group in front of the final group.¬† I just needed to play my own game.¬† I started off a couple shots back.
When you're in that situation, I just said, Just try and make as many birdies as you can.¬† If the other players play better, you can't do much about it.¬† That was the game plan.
I mean, obviously I would love to have the lead going into a final round, but ended up being okay today.
Q.¬† What's that like on your first go round?¬† I believe you're on the putting green and you're basically having to listen to the crowd to know if you're in a playoff or finishing second.¬† Then on the first playoff hole you're standing there watching Morgan with about a 10‑footer to win.¬† Which is more nerve wracking?¬† What's the difference between the two situations?
LYDIA KO:¬† They're both similar.¬† After I had already played the hole it's just really out of my hands.¬† I know how great of a putter Morgan is, so I kind of thought she was going to make it.¬† I was like, I tried my best and that was kind of it.
I think it was probably the first playoff hole would be a little bit more disappointing because I had had the perfect line and then just lipped it like the ball was short.¬† You never really want to leave it short in that case.
Q.¬† You started three back, and then you started bogey, bogey.¬† What did you tell yourself early there?
LYDIA KO:¬† I said, Man, this is an awful start.¬† Yeah, no, it was pretty bad, you know.¬† I had hit the fairway on 1 every single day, and I kind of faded my hybrid straight out of the back.
I had a great lie in what bunker on 1.¬† Kind of carried a lot further than I expected.¬† I told Jason, I've never complained because I've got a good lie, and here I am.¬† Yeah, just hitting that good shot on 3 kind of gave it I guess a little bit of a turnaround.
Last year after four holes I was one over, then two, but I was able to bring it back with some good birdies.
Yeah, you know, I think when you make ‑‑ I think for me, that No. 3 tee shot was the crucial shot where I said, Don't worry about what just happened.¬† Just keep going.¬† There are some birdies out there.
Q.¬† What club?
LYDIA KO:¬† It was a 7‑iron.
Q.¬† How satisfying is this kind of victory where you dug a hole and kind of have to dig yourself out of it?
LYDIA KO:¬† Like I said before, I think it's always very close when whenever I play this event.¬† Last year here was the first time where I experienced every little shot counts.¬† That last putt, if it drops you're winning; if not, you just never know.
The two previous Canadian Opens I was like four or five shots ahead going down the last hole so you know you've got a little bit of a leeway.
Here last year I knew I needed to make that putt because I knew Stacy would make it. ¬†Like even this year I missed my birdie on 17.¬† I said, If I want to put some pressure, I need to make a birdie or better on 18.¬† Ended up being good for that.
But, yeah, this tournament always makes my heart clench.¬† You know, I got so nervous.¬† It's a good thing that they're going in the hole, yeah.
Q.¬† Lydia, was there any point at all on the back nine where you came remotely close to thinking, This might not be my day?
LYDIA KO:¬† I think maybe after having such a good one on 15, I think 16 kind of killed it a little bit.¬† I said, Okay left, right, they're both okay.¬† I hit them in the bunkers a couple times last year, the left bunker.¬† Pretty much anywhere is fine.
Then I hit it more left than the bunker and it wasn't really good there.¬† I thought I putted it good and it ended up missing.¬† Then on 17 I thought it was in but it wasn't.
So when you get kind of those, I thought it was a hint that, You know what?¬† It's not your week.¬† That putt on 18 kind of proved me wrong.¬† Yeah.
Q.¬† You're obviously on quite a roll here to have seven wins just after your 18th birthday.¬† Morgan won a couple times early and now has gone a long time without winning now, does that remind you that it's hard, that it's not always easy to win?
LYDIA KO:¬† Yeah, I mean, it's never easy.¬† You're playing good golf and then someone beats you by a shot; that can happen.
So sometimes it's just really out of your hands.¬† You know, sometimes you don't hit the ball well but you putt great and you end up winning, and vice versa.
Morgan is definitely showing she's playing some great golf.¬† She played great at ANA and she played great last week, and then here.¬† She's having a greats season.
You just can't take anyone out.¬† Just because someone has not had a win for a while doesn't necessarily mean they're not playing good golf.¬† She's definitely playing great golf.
Q.¬† How did you overcome the bogey on 16, the short par‑4?¬† How did you overcome that?
LYDIA KO:¬† You know, I hit a really good tee shot on 17, and that out myself in a really good position.
I thinned my second shot a little bit, but I kind of got away with it.¬† When you've only got putts under 12 feet for birdie and giving yourself opportunities, that makes it a lot easier.
If I was maybe in the position I was last year on like 17, I don't think I would would've made it to the playoff.
Q.¬† When you came off 18 green in regulation, I saw you make your way over to the practice putting green and began rolling some putts.¬† Was that to settle your nerves?¬† Could you maybe walk us through what your thoughts were at that time?
LYDIA KO:¬† Yeah, you know, the last playoff I did was in Naples last year.¬† I had a couple putts then and then went into the playoff.¬† So I said why not just go into the same routine.
If I go in the playoff, great.¬† If I don't, can't do much about it.¬† So I just said, Okay, at the end of the day putting is going to be the most important thing if I do go in the playoff.¬† I just tried to roll it on the chalk line and give myself a good feel.
Q.¬† Why should anyone believe you when you say you're nervous, because you never look that way?
LYDIA KO:¬† Why wouldn't you?¬† I'm an 18 year old and I'm very nice.
No, yeah, I do get nervous.¬† You have to take my word on that.¬† My 17th hole shot at Ocala definitely proves it, doesn't it?¬† That was a pretty bad shot.
Yeah, you know, I think everybody has nerves.¬† Some people show it; some people don't.¬† But to me, even just playing a round of golf with club members gets me nervous.
I know I've got the nerves.¬† If some people think I don't look like I am nervous, then it's a good thing.
Q.¬† What's it like to play a playoff hole over twice in this case when it's pretty much a hole that nobody can reach and it never plays the same way.¬† Does it make it easier?¬† Harder?¬† What?
LYDIA KO:¬† No. I just tried to go with my game plan.¬† I knew that whoever was going to win in the playoff was going to make a birdie.¬† You know, there is not that many places where you're going to get a chance for a bogey or something.
We're both hitting the ball good, so I knew that at the end it was somebody that was going to make a good putt and come off with a birdie.
Yeah, I just tried to stick to my game plan.¬† I kind of worked off some of the yardages I had couple times before.
Q.¬† (No microphone.)
LYDIA KO:¬† You want the exact yardages?¬† It was 108 the first time, 111 the next time; it was like 96 the third time.
Yeah, I was kind of hitting an easy pitching wedge for the first two times, and I thought, Hey, might as well be aggressive with it and hit a longer club.¬† I can hit a full sand wedge rather than trying to kind of chip the pitching wedge.
Q.¬† (No microphone.)
LYDIA KO:¬† Yeah, that was my 54‑degree wedge, so I kind of closed it down and then hit it full.
MODERATOR:¬† All right.¬† Thanks, Lydia, for coming in.
LYDIA KO:¬† Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports