July 14, 2021
Midland, Michigan, USA
Midland Country Club
Q. Defending champions Cydney Clanton and Jasmine Suwannapura in at 5-under leading the morning wave. What is it about this golf course, this format, and this event that brings out the best in you?
JASMINE SUWANNAPURA: I think we trust each other's games a lot. Like when we play good, we're right along, good golf game; but when we miss a shot it's kind of like we feel like we touch each other, she got this, I got this, and then we make up-and-down for par. I think that's a big key for us.
CYDNEY CLANTON: Yeah, I think the same thing. I think we played off one another really well. Our putters were hot today. We made a lot of really clutch par putts, which I think just helped with momentum moving forward.
Again, we try not to apologize for anything because you're going to hit bad shots, and it's like, okay, well, let's just figure out what to do next and put us in an opportunity either to fix it or to give us another opportunity on the next hole.
I think we blended really well today.
Q. Speaking of blending, when you guys won this thing a couple years ago you sort of came together, a caddie put you together and that sort of thing. Have you become much closer in the two years since?
JASMINE SUWANNAPURA: Yeah, I've been texting Cyd here and there talking about stuff and like -- we did play a couple rounds together in practice rounds this year, too, so we had about, what, at least a day each week maybe.
So we tried to play together and keep the relationship, yeah.
CYDNEY CLANTON: Yeah, and I think we pull for each other. When someone has a good week, the first thing I text is, good playing. And vice versa, when we see each other it's more, how's your week been going, how's things going.
Yeah, I think that we both are very good at lifting each other up, even when it's just not this week.
Q. Have either of you played alternate-shot since you won here two years ago?
JASMINE SUWANNAPURA: Nope.
CYDNEY CLANTON: Not me, no.
Q. What is it about this golf course that you like so much?
JASMINE SUWANNAPURA: I think because a lot of holes is kind of straight and dogleg left and right. It's kind of fun to see our shot can suit on that hole, some of the holes that you need a draw or some of the holes you need a fade.
It's kind of fun to see how we're going to hit that hole when we both have that shot, because I have a draw, she has a fade, so it kind of suits each other on that hole, which is pretty fun to see.
CYDNEY CLANTON: I think also, too, we've had the same game plan. It was amazing two years ago on Wednesday Jasmine played the front nine in the pro-am and she goes, You're playing the evens, and that was it. And I was like, Okay. So it's been like that ever since. There's no question -- I don't question whether I should play the evens. She plays the odds, I play the evens, and we try to make the most of it.
So far we have.
Q. If you were playing the evens there, No. 12, 14, 16 and 18, when you started off those tee shots there, I'm assuming -- they were great for you on that back nine. Take us through your front nine, which was the back nine today.
CYDNEY CLANTON: Sorry, that totally confused me. You know, alternate-shot is really interesting because even on the back when we started, I didn't hit an iron shot really until hole 15, and so when I hit it I was like, that was tough. It's been two hours since I've really hit an iron shot.
I hit not such a good drive on 2, but we ended up making up-and-down twice today on the front nine on 2 and 8 that were big-time. I proceeded to hit a wedge in there between five and six feet and Jasmine made the putt. So those were really crucial.
And then Jasmine proceeded to knock it stiff on both 6 and 7 to have six- and five-footers, which set me up really nicely to have a little bit less stress-free birdie.
But we putted really well today, and so a lot of putts went in. I made some really long putts on the back nine, really like --
Q. What was your longest?
CYDNEY CLANTON: I think 43, on 16. I made some long putts and Jasmine made some crucial pars on just the first two holes. My speed was a little off on the first two holes, which she just -- she putted amazing.
When the putter is hot and you're in this format it makes it a little bit easier.
Q. Jasmine, I saw your face when she said that 40-footer. What was going through your mind when you saw that on No. 16?
JASMINE SUWANNAPURA: All I said was just, Hit it close. You know, I set it up not too close for her. Like so many holes she made at least three birdies that was just outside of the green, so it's all from the fringe.
And I'm like, Just knock it close. But like she just rolled it -- I just see it rolling into the cup, I'm like, Woohoo. I'm like, we just got birdie from that side. I'm like, You like it from the outside today, huh?
So we just make a little joke here and there. But yeah, today has been a pretty solid round for us, I think.
Q. How does your mindset change now as you go into best ball?
CYDNEY CLANTON: I'm not sure that it does. I think one thing we do really well is we just play our games, and even out there I think I only asked Jasmine one time if she wanted me to do something specific, and that was on hole 12.
And so we both allow each other to play our games, and so that's kind of what we'll do tomorrow. We'll go out and we'll try to have as many opportunities on as many holes as we can. But the goal would be to play our game, to play -- because if you're playing your game, you're not trying to play a game that you don't necessarily know, I think you'll have more opportunities.
Q. Do either of you go in and help your partner read a putt?
JASMINE SUWANNAPURA: No.
CYDNEY CLANTON: No.
Q. You'd rather stay with the routine?
JASMINE SUWANNAPURA: Mm-hmm.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports