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Ryu takes lead in Malaysia
October 10, 2014

Interviews:
Rolex Rankings No. 7 So Yeon Ryu (-11)
Rolex Rankings No. 137 Ayako Uehara (-9)
Rolex Rankings No. 3 Lydia Ko (-9)
Rolex Rankings No. 61 Jodi Ewart Shadoff (-9)

So Yeon Ryu shot a 6-under 65 today and heads into the weekend at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia with a two stroke lead in the second week of the LPGA’s six tournament Asian leg. Ryu, who sat one stroke off then-leader Stacy Lewis to start the day, bested her opening round 66 yesterday thanks to five birdies on her first seven holes.

“I’m very suited for this golf course I think, especially front nine.” Ryu said. “I shot 5 under through seven holes, so, you know, the kind of thing just make me more easy.”

On pace for a special day as she made the turn, Ryu wasn’t able to duplicate the effort on the back nine.

[The} thing is it’s really hot today, so back nine my energy level was so low so my game wasn’t enough great if I compared to front nine. But still, 66 and 65 is good score for under my belt, so I’m pretty happy with it.”

Ayako Uehara made the move of the day thank to a 9-under 63, which was the low round of the day. “My putting was so good.” Uehara said. “I made many birdies and I had a chip in, too. So good round today.”

Four players are within two strokes of Ryu heading into moving day, including Lydia Ko who needs a win and Stacy Lewis to finish T12-or-worse to take over the top spot atop the Rolex Rankings.

“To me it’s more important trying my best and getting good results at tournaments than being the No. 1 in the world.” Ko said. “I guess when you play consistently well you’re going to be up there in the world rankings anyway.”

How to stay cook: On a hot day in Kuala Lumpur, Lydia Ko (-9) had the fortune of starting early in the day and avoiding some of the intense afternoon heat most players had to deal with. Because of that, the 17 year-old rookie was able to finish strong on the back nine on her way to a second round 7-under 64 and now sits at 9-under for the tournament.

“I guess playing at 8:00 in the morning it [the weather] is okay, but as the day goes on it gets warmer.” Ko said. “The last holes are kind of crucial because you kind of lose concentration because it’s getting hotter. I tried to stay cool with the umbrella and the cool towel.”

Hard work paying off: Jodi Ewart Shadoff had the low round of her LPGA career during the second round of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. Ewart Shadoff fired a 7-under 64 and sits two shots of the lead.

The 26-year old Brit has seen gradual improvement in her performance of late, with a T34 at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, a T20 at The Evian Championship and a T5 at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. She credits her new swing coach with her new success on the course.

“I just started working with David Leadbetter about four months ago, and it’s really helped both my swing and my short game.” Ewart Shadoff said. “I really can see massive improvements. I shot 7-under in Alabama and 5-under in France, so really starting to see some low scores come out, which is nice.”

While not happy with her swing early in the week, Ewart Shadoff was able to talk to Leadbetter and correct what she was doing.

“I wasn’t hitting the ball at the start of week, so sent him a couple swing videos and he told me a couple things to work on.” Ewart Shadoff said.

Who will be No.1: The battle for No. 1 continues this week at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. One player has a chance to unseat Stacy Lewis at No. 1 and that’s 17-year old Lydia Ko. The No. 3 player in the Rolex Rankings can take the top spot with a win in Kuala Lumpur and Stacy Lewis finishes T12-or-worse. Ko is currently two strokes off the lead heading into the weekend.

No. 2 Inbee Park is not in the field this week due to wedding preparations back in her home country of Korea.

“Just say it. You want to be No. 1 in the world. Say it. Come on. Come on.” Stacy Lewis jokingly putting words in Lydia Ko’s mouth during the press conference today after Ko was asked if she was happy with her current world ranking.

Mental toughness: So Yeon Ryu is one of the players on Tour who work with a sports physchologist. She has been fortunate to have her on site this week to be able to work on some things...mainly her controling tendencies.

“Thing is, these days my psychologist and I found out my problem is I want to control everything on the golf course.” Ryu said. “I’m human. I cannot control everything. I try to do and choose what I can do on the golf course and what cannot control it. If I choose what I can control I’m just focused to what I can control. These days that makes me more enjoy the golf.”

Ryu wasn’t happy with her performance last week at the Reignwood LPGA Classic. Thankfully Dr. Cho was here on site and they were able to work on things.

“Last week my shot was just, Oh, my God, just horrible, awful. I have my coach this week in here, and I’ve been working something with him since Monday. So I change my hole position and I change something about my routine thing. After that, my shot’s coming back. So looks like my shot is in really great shape, so I really look forward to see another great shot next two days.“

Ryu heads into the weekend in search of her second win this year and the fourth of her career.

Quote of the day: “I try and not concentrate about the pressure and everything and just focus on my game and that one shot I need.”

-Lydia Ko explaining how she deals with the pressure of playing on the LPGA Tour

Social scene: While traveling around the world, the players get some downtime in the hotel room to pick up some new skills away from the course. Mina Harigae is learning how to play the Ukulele.

“Ukulele lessons from @daniellekang. Photo cred @lizettesalas5 #letmeserenadeyou”

-Mina Harigae via Instagram (@minaharigae)

The race for $1 million: The Race for the CME Globe and its $1 million prize is heating up. Players now have six weeks remaining to improve their position in the season-long points competition before the point reset. Stacy Lewis has a 1,222 point lead over Inbee Park, who is not in the field this week due to wedding preparations.

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. 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. Below are the current top-10 standings in the Race to the CME Globe prior to the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia:

Rank
Player
Points
Top-10s
Wins
1
Stacy Lewis
4333
16
3
2
Inbee Park
3222
14
2
3
Lydia Ko
2906
10
2
4
Michelle Wie
2588
10
2
5
Anna Nordqvist
2325
8
2
6
So Yeon Ryu
2181
11
1
7
Karrie Webb
2106
5
2
8
Lexi Thompson
1949
8
1
9
Azahara Munoz
1922
8
0
10
Cristie Kerr*
1834
11
0
* Not in the field this week

INTERVIEWS

Rolex Rankings No. 7 So Yeon Ryu (-11)

MODERATOR: I would like to welcome So Yeon into the interview room.
So Yeon, yesterday 66; 65 today. How are you feeling right now?

SO YEON RYU: Well, especially I'm very suited for this golf course I think, especially front nine. I shot 5-under through seven holes, so, you know, the kind of thing just make me more easy.

But thing is it's really hot today, so back nine my energy level was so low so my game wasn't enough great if I compared to front nine.
But still, 66 and 65 is good score for under my belt, so I'm pretty happy with.

MODERATOR: Let's talk about the two points you brought up. One, your energy level. You weren't feeling very good at the beginning of the week. How are you feeling now?
SO YEON RYU: You know, when I'm coming to Malaysia I always expect really hot weather, but Monday through Wednesday it wasn't really hot.

I thought, Oh, maybe it's going to be cold. Well, you know, since yesterday heat is coming up and my body condition is not 100%. So I think the heat makes me a little tired so that's why my energy was been going low.

But good thing is a lot of Malaysia fans coming out and cheer us, and also some of the Korean fans coming out and cheering me.

It was really big help for boost my energy.

MODERATOR: Birdied five of your first seven holes. Can you take us through those birdies? You gave yourself plenty of opportunities, didn't you?
SO YEON RYU: Yeah. Yesterday I was starting with a birdie, so I was kind of really good motivate to going to play well.

Then today was I had a par on first hole; second hole I made a really long birdie putt.

Then after that I kind of motivate my confidence and I keep making great shots and great putts.

Especially 5th hole is one of the hardest Par-3 for me, but I almost made a hole-in-one so I made an easy birdie.

Pretty much 5 hole my shot was really great; I putted pretty well.

MODERATOR: Overall this year how would you describe your performance?
SO YEON RYU: You know what? Thing is, these days my psychologist and I found out my problem is I want to control everything on the golf course. I'm human. I cannot control everything.

I try to do and choose what I can do on the golf course and what cannot control it. If I choose what I can control I'm just focused to what I can control. These days that makes my more help to more enjoy the golf.

So after that, I think I'm playing pretty consistent. So I was just try my season so far enjoy my life and enjoy my golf.

MODERATOR: Very good. Questions for So Yeon?

Q. You must very happy with your performance.
SO YEON RYU: Yeah. Well, actually last week my shot was just, Oh, my God, just horrible, awful.

I have my coach this week in here, and I've been working something with him since Monday.

So I change my hole position and I change something about my routine thing. After that, my shot's coming back. So looks like my shot is in really great shape, so I really look forward to see another great shot next two days.

Rolex Rankings No. 3 Lydia Ko (-9)

Q. You did very well today compared to yesterday. A bit better. Describe how you felt.
LYDIA KO: I think my ball-striking was pretty similar. I had a lot of good shots, but I left a lot out there. Today I definitely holed a couple more putts.

Yeah, I feel like I'm playing solid enough. There are a couple of low scores out there and still two more days to go so I just got to concentrate on my game and really just hope for the best.

Q. Has the weather had a bad affect on you?
LYDIA KO: No. I guess playing at 8:00 in the morning it is okay, but as the day goes on it gets warmer. The last holes are kind of crucial because you kind of lose concentration because it's getting hotter. I tried to stay cool with the umbrella and the cool towel.

Q. You had an injury on your wrist.
LYDIA KO: My wrist is totally fine now. I don't have a problem with it. I've been getting some treatment when I had the three weeks off, so it feels good right now.

Q. What's the key to getting going on this course, do you think?
LYDIA KO: You just need to give yourself a lot of opportunities. The greens aren't particularly easy to read. When you give yourself opportunities, you kind of just have to stroke it on the line you want it to. It goes in and it doesn't.

But, yeah, just try to make as many opportunities as possible. I've had a couple where it was like a three-footer for birdie, so I think that's definitely helped.

Q. Where did you feel like momentum picked up for you?
LYDIA KO: I made birdie on 1. Fairway bunker with my tee shot and hit a good shot out there. I put pretty solid strokes in the first couple holes, and so that's what I tried to concentrate on.

Yeah, birdie gives me a lot of confidence on the course.

Q. You're still very young. How do you deal with the pressure on tour playing?
LYDIA KO: I try and not concentrate about the pressure and everything and just focus on my game and that one shot I need.

Q. What do you do in your free time on tour?
LYDIA KO: Because we spend so much time outside, I just try and watch TV or hang around in the room. I personally don't like to go out and do things.

Q. You're still 17, still a teenager. Is there anything that you miss from a regular teenage kind of life?
LYDIA KO: I guess most of my friends are in New Zealand, so not being able to hang around with them is a big thing.

But I really enjoy playing on the tour. The tour players are so nice. We all I guess mingle around with each other.

Yeah, I am really enjoying playing on the tour this year.

Q. Who are you closest to on the tour?
LYDIA KO: I would say Danielle Kang.

Q. You guys go out a lot?
LYDIA KO: Yeah, we try and go out and have dinner and go to the pro-am parties together. She's such a cool person to hang around. I feel kind of fortunate to have kind of a big sister like her.

Q. (Question regarding records.) Which one are hungriest to actually achieve first?
LYDIA KO: I don't know. I don't really try and concentrate about the rankings. To me it's more important trying to win tournaments.

Yeah, what was I talking about?

Q. Records.
LYDIA KO: Yeah, to me it's more important trying my best and getting good results at tournaments than being the No. 1 in the world.

I guess when you play consistently well you're going to be up there in the world rankings anyway.

Q. Would you rather have an Olympic medal or win a major?
LYDIA KO: To me, I think I would love to win a major, but to get a medal in the Olympics, that would be --

Q. Not any medal, a gold medal.
LYDIA KO: Yeah, a gold medal in the Olympics that would be very special to represent your country and have the word's best players out there representing their country.

It would be a pretty awesome moment. I really wish I can participate in the Brazil Rio Olympics in 2016.

Rolex Rankings No. 137 Ayako Uehara (-9)

Q. Low round of the day today. You have to feel pretty good, pretty happy about your round. Tell us about it.
AYAKO UEHARA: My putting was so good. I made many birdies and I had a chip-in, too. So good round today.

Q. Is there any particular hole you felt, I feel really good? A hole that got you started for the rest of the day?
AYAKO UEHARA: Yeah.

Q. Which hole?
AYAKO UEHARA: Which hole?

Q. Which hole made you know that you were going to play well today?
AYAKO UEHARA: (No response.)

Q. You like the weather today, the hot weather?
AYAKO UEHARA: Yeah, I like hot weather because I'm from Okinawa, so like similar.

Q. Today is slightly hotter than yesterday. Do you think that made you play better?
AYAKO UEHARA: Think today I'm like first group, 7:44, so I think better.

Q. You like the earlier?
AYAKO UEHARA: Yeah, yeah.

Q. You like to play early?
AYAKO UEHARA: Yes.

Q. Your last tournament Yokohama in Alabama, you finished just outside of the top 10. Do you feel good overall about your game now?
AYAKO UEHARA: Yes, but first round I didn't made a birdies. I had many chances, but I didn't.

But today I made many -- not all -- but many time. Yeah, most of time, yeah. That's why (indiscernible.)

Q. Your rookie year was last year; is that correct?
AYAKO UEHARA: Yes.

Q. How do you find it on tour, the LPGA?
AYAKO UEHARA: Yeah, we go like many countries. I like travel and I want to many like countries culture, so I enjoy so much.

Q. Is this your first time in Malaysia?
AYAKO UEHARA: Yes. Not first time, but (indiscernible) first time.

Q. Your performance since last year, are you happy with it so far?
AYAKO UEHARA: Yeah. Beginning this year I start like a little bit fixing putting, and then I think now a little bit getting better right now.

Q. Did you expect today to get this result, 63?
AYAKO UEHARA: Yeah, yeah.

Q. Very confident?
AYAKO UEHARA: Yes.

Q. Feel good, right?
AYAKO UEHARA: Yeah.

Q. Did you change your putting in the off-season?
AYAKO UEHARA: Yeah. Off-season and beginning this year.

Q. Do you think your first win is coming on tour?
AYAKO UEHARA: I have two more days and I have to more like aggressive shot and putt.

So I have a chance, so I want to keep going.

Q. Side question: You are a bit of an environmentalist. What are the changes that you've made in your lifestyle or while on tour?
AYAKO UEHARA: Like my hobby?

Q. Like your hobby, yeah.
AYAKO UEHARA: Yes, I do. Like I want to like -- I don't know what's called. Too hard to explain.

Q. You can tell in Japanese?
AYAKO UEHARA: (In Japanese.)

Q. You are the only Japanese player now?
AYAKO UEHARA: Two.

Q. Do you have any personal goals for this season or next season for you to achieve on tour?
AYAKO UEHARA: Yes. I'm really short hitter, so I need more distance. Yeah.

Q. Distance?
AYAKO UEHARA: Yeah, right now.

Q. Last thing: What did you change about your putting?
AYAKO UEHARA: My stroke.

Q. The stroke, yeah?
AYAKO UEHARA: Yeah. Before my stroke is a little bit funny, not consistent, so that's why I changed.

Rolex Rankings No. 61 Jodi Ewart Shadoff (-9)

Q. Jodi, how was it out there today?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Hot.

Q. Yeah.
JODI EWART SHADOFF: No, it was very steady. A whole a lot of fun. Had a real great group wit Aria and Chella.

So, you know, just holing a lot of putts and hitting the ball well. I've hit 15 and 16 greens the past couple days, so ball-striking is pretty solid. Nice to see some putts fall in today.

Q. You talked about it being hot. It got progressively hotter and kind of sat on you throughout the day. How does that affect you?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Yeah, there are some holes out there, especially on the back nine where it can really creep up on you. You really got to make sure you hydrate in as much as you can every hole, and even more so making sure you eat.

It's so hard to eat out here, but you got to keep your energy up.

Q. What are the snacks you have had out here?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: I had a couple protein bars and a banana. Even though it's not much, it's still something.

Q. You played well. How do you carry that momentum into tomorrow?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: You know, stick with the same swing, same game plan around the golf course. I'm happy with where my game is. I'm putting really consistently now, which has always been a pretty big thing for my game.

Q. What do you attribute that to?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Well, I just started working with David Leadbetter about four months ago, and it's really helped both my swing and my short game.

I really can see massive improvements. I shot 7-under in Alabama and 5-under in France, so really starting to o see some low scores come out, which is nice.

Q. How often are you meeting with David or talking to him?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: I try to talk -- well, I mean, he lives in Bradenton, which is right by me. When I'm home I try to see him at least once a week. He travels a lot to the majors, so I see him out there. I actually see him quite a lot.

If anything goes wrong -- I wasn't hitting the ball at the start of week, so sent him a couple swing videos and he told me a couple things to work on.

Q. Beginning of this week?
JODI EWART SHADOFF: Yeah. It's nice. He knows my swing.

As I said, putting has always been pretty average for the tour. I'm really starting to see only good things come of it.

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