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LPGA returns to China for Reignwood Classic
September 30, 2014

Interviews:
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Stacy Lewis
Rolex Rankings No. 2 Inbee Park
Rolex Rankings No. 4 Suzann Pettersen
Rolex Rankings No. 9 Shanshan Feng

The LPGA returns to Beijing, China for the Reignwood LPGA Classic held at the Reignwood Pine Valley Golf Club. With beautiful fall-like weather today, the players are excited to be here and check out course conditions.

Last year, Shanshan Feng won the inaugural Reignwood LPGA Classic in dramatic fashion in her home country with an eagle on the 72nd hole. The 24-year old Guangzhou native trailed then-No. 3 Stacy Lewis by one shot heading to the 18th hole on Sunday and used the two-shot swing to claim her first win of the 2013 season.

Shanshan is looking forward to another great performance in her native China.

“I had a wonderful tournament last year. I played so well and won the championship here in the inaugural Reignwood LPGA Classic.” Feng said. “Coming here I don’t have any specific expectation in myself. I feel a little pressure, of course.“

Shanshan participated in a photo call today along with Brittany Lang, Inbee Park and Xi Yu Lin.

Year end goals: Winning tournaments is what Stacy Lewis plays for, but she wouldn’t mind walking away with a few extra titles as well. The World No. 1 player also ranks number one on the money list ($2,214,143), Race to the CME Globe (4,333 pts), scoring average (69.38) and Rolex Player of the Year (212).

“Really the goal for the rest of the year is looking at those year end awards and stuff like that.” Lewis said. “I definitely want to win tournaments, but those year end awards are goals, too.”

Lewis is a determined player and although she has accomplished much this year, there is still some work to do.

“I checked off a lot of goals I had for this year already, and I still have six tournaments left to take it up another notch. I’m excited to be here. I have probably more energy than I’ve had in the last couple years at this time of the year. I’m excited to have a few tournaments left.“

The race for $1 million: The Race for the CME Globe and its $1 million prize is heating up. Players have seven weeks remaining to improve their position in the season-long points competition before the point reset.

After the reset, the players in the top-3 positions on the Race to the CME Globe Points Standings will be able to win the Race to the CME Globe with a win at the Tour Championship; and the players in the top-9 positions will have a mathematical chance to win the race.

“There’s not much you can do.” Suzann Pettersen responded when asked if being in the top 9 is something that will weigh on her mind over the final part of the season.

“It’s out of your control.” Pettersen added. “Usually when I go to Asia I’ve been very successful here in the past. So just make the most of the trip. Playing the next three, so I’m ready to go. I’m rested and I look forward to this final part of the season.“

After the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex in Mexico, LPGA Members who meet the entry criteria for the CME Group Tour Championship will be seeded based on their position on the Race to the CME Globe Points Standings.

Points for each Member will then be reset for the CME Group Tour Championship based on the points reset table listed on www.lpga.com/golf/news/cme-group-tour-championship-eligibility.

The reset will ensure that the race will be won at the season-ending tournament. For more information on point distribution, the reset or entry criteria, please visit www.lpga.com.

Stacy Lewis holds a 1,246-point lead in the competition and is playing well after a second-place finish last week.

Here’s a look at how the top 10 has fared in some of the top statistical categories:

Pos. Name Top-10s Wins Scoring Greens
in Reg
Driving Distance
1 Stacy Lewis 15 3 69.38  77% 259.8
2 Inbee Park 13 2 69.74 71.70% 248.3
3 Lydia Ko 10 2 70.24 72.90% 249.8
4 Michelle Wie 10 2 69.7 77.30% 257.15
5 Anna Nordqvist 8 2 70.67 76.20% 251.82
6 So Yeon Ryu 11 1 69.98 75.20% 245.25
7 Karrie Webb 5 2 70.72 70.40% 249.89
8 Lexi Thompson 8 1 70.71 73% 271.3
9 Azahara Munoz 8 0 70.47 73.60% 253.63
10 Cristie Kerr 11 0 70.37 73.20% 256.02

Learn from the past: Last year Stacy Lewis left Reignwood with a little extra baggage after a disappointing runner-up finish and some frustration over crowd reaction. But as a competitor, she came back this year with something to prove.

“Yeah, obviously last year didn’t go the way I wanted to.” Lewis said. “I played some great golf. I definitely probably didn’t handle things the way I wanted to. That’s why I’m back this year. I kind of want to right the ship a little bit. I never back down from a challenge. That’s why I’m here. More than anything, it’s an opportunity to win.”

She likes her chances this week as well.

“It’s a golf course I played really well on last year, and I feel like I’ll have a good shot again this year."

Knocking on the door: With six top-10 finishes in her last seven starts, Suzann Pettersen is feeling confident and like the player she was before a back injury derailed the first part of the year and that may be bad news for the other players in the field this week.

“My game feels pretty good.” Pettersen said. “Kind of come back strong after having a back injury early. Feel like I’ve been knocking on the door quite a few times in the last few attempts. Been in the last group in most of them. Just got to keep grinding.”

The 14-time LPGA winner currently ranks 1st in Greens in Regulation (77.9%) and is 4th in scoring average (69.93) and has given her a good chance every Sunday for the last seven tournaments. She’s been kocking on the door and is hopeful this is the week she breaks through.

Social scene: LPGA Tour players wasted little time after arriving in Beijing and excitedly visited the Great Wall of China in groups. The tournament provided transportation to the famous landmark on both Monday and Tuesday to give players the chance to explore the area.

“Great Wall of China!”
-Sarah Kemp (@sarah_kempy)

INTERVIEWS

MODERATOR: Questions for Shanshan.

Q. You're the defending champion here. As Mr. Jones pointed out, it will be a very important Olympic qualifying (indiscernible) with a lot of points for players to compete for. Also you have Chinese players. Do you have any advices for other Chinese players? How do you feel defending your title here?

SHANSHAN FENG: I had a wonderful tournament last year. I played so well and won the championship here in the inaugural Reignwood LPGA Classic.
Coming here I don't have any specific expectation in myself. I feel a little pressure, of course.

When it comes to my advices for other Chinese players, especially the young players, I just practiced with 16 year old Wang Ziyi today. In my observation, she had pretty solid driving and everything.

The advice for the other players is such a tournament would be a great opportunity for Chinese players to play together with the top players from the LPGA. That would be a great experience. They don't have to expect too much. It would just be a great experience, of course.

Q. Inbee, we understand and watch on TV that you're the torch bearer for the Asian Games. We also know South Korea has such a strong roster of golf players. For the upcoming 2016 Olympics, what do you expect in the Korean field?

INBEE PARK: Obviously it's a little bit different than Asian Games because that's just for amateurs; Olympics is going to be professional golfers and the best players in the world. So I think it's going to be a little bit different to what we play right now.

I watch the Asian Games all week last week. The Chinese are good at pretty much every sport probably just except for golf. I see they're getting much better every year. They win gold medals in probably every single sport, but just not golf.

I see every year I come here an improvement. Obviously this year's golf course, I feel like it's in much better shape than last year.

Korean team expectation for the Olympics, obviously they're very high and everybody wants to win gold medals. It's not going to be easy because there are so many great countries they have great golf players.

I think we're going to have to try very hard. Yeah, we're going to give it our best. We're one of the best golfing countries. Yeah, we'll do our best.

Q. My question is for Suzann. First time you're here in Beijing. What have you heard about last year, the inaugural year? What is your expectation here? And of course, what have you learned about Beijing?

SUZANN PETTERSEN: Well, I'm very happy to be here. This is my first time in Beijing. I've played golf other places in China and had great experiences everywhere I've been.

I've only heard great things about this tournament. I wasn't able to play last year, but from what I've heard and the excitement of the finish we had last year with Stacy and Shanshan, obviously it's a golf course that I would like to play myself.

This year I'm very happy it fit into my schedule. So far the course looks fantastic. Great golf course. Great shape. And this resort is just very, very good place for all of us.
Thanks for having us. I'm very happy to be here.

Q. Question for Stacy. You must remember what it was like competing against Shanshan here last fall. Do you still regret what happened last year, and what do you expect to do this year?

STACY LEWIS: Yeah, obviously last year didn't go the way I wanted to. I played some great golf. I definitely probably didn't handle things the way I wanted to. That's why I'm back this year.

I kind of want to right the ship a little bit. I never back down from a challenge. That's why I'm here. More than anything, it's an opportunity to win. It's a golf course I played really well on last year, and I feel like I'll have a good shot again this year.

Q. This question also is for Inbee. How do you comment on your performance last year and your expectation this year?

INBEE PARK: Yeah, I think I had a great week last year here. I played really good. I don't remember what number I shot, but I think I shot many under par. Obviously Shanshan and Stacy played much better than me last year.

Yeah, still feel like I played great around this golf course. This year probably playing a little bit difficult than last year with a little bit difficult faster greens and a little bit longer rough.

But, yeah, I think I played in the last group on the final day. I watched those two play and it was really exciting. Yeah, I'm looking forward to something like that again this year. Hopefully I can do a little bit better than last year.

Q. Question is for Shanshan. I remember last year you said for yourself the objective was winning two titles. This year you said three. Is it a starting point for you to really achieve that?

SHANSHAN FENG: I think win major, but that was my only title in five years of efforts on the LPGA.

And then I needed to set a higher objective for myself. Last year I told myself I needed to win two titles. It was until here, Reignwood LPGA Classic, that I made a breakthrough winning my first.
I was also very lucky at the end of the year, the season, I managed to win the second. So I fulfilled my objective, my target. I think in my professional career I need to set higher targets so I don't have any excuse not to expect myself to win even more this year.

I have before close in several attempts this season, but the first one is yet to come. I have six tournaments yet to go. Why not? Three in six efforts.

But I just want to put my annual goals behind for the moment, because I need to concentrate on 2014 Reignwood Classic.

Q. This question is for Stacy. Stacy, you returned to Reignwood; runner-up last year. You have 15 top 10 finishes; three wins this year. It's the end of the year. I know winning tournaments is the goal, but do you take any consolation in the other hard work you did?

STACY LEWIS: Yeah, really the goal for the rest of the year is looking at those year-end awards and stuff like that. I definitely want to win tournaments, but those year-end awards are goals, too.
You kind of start paying attention a little bit more as the year goes on, but at the same time you got to go out there and win tournaments.

I checked off a lot of goals I had for this year already, and I still have six tournaments left to take it up another notch. I'm excited to be here. I have probably more energy than I've had in the last couple years at this time of the year. I'm excited to have a few tournaments left.

Q. You've had six Top 10s in your last seven starts. How confident are you feeling in your game right now?

SUZANN PETTERSEN: My game feels pretty good. Kind of come back strong after having a back injury early.

Feel like I've been knocking on the door quite a few times in the last few attempts. Been in the last group in most of them.

Just got to keep grinding.

Q. This is about Race to CME. Right now, you're 11th. Top 9 have a mathematical chance. Before you said there is not much you could do, but is there any pressure? Do you think about it now that you know?

SUZANN PETTERSEN: Not really. Usually when I go to Asia I've been very successful here in the past. So just make the most of the trip. Playing the next three, so I'm ready to go.
I'm rested and I look forward to this final part of the season.

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