December 9 – 15, 2024
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Interview

Read a transcript of the post-Round 2 interview with Lydia Ko and Jason Day.

Lydia Ko & Jason Day

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Q. Team Day/Ko in with a 6-under 66 in foursomes. You’ve got to be pretty happy with that. What did you guys excel at today particularly?

JASON DAY: We made one bogey, but it wasn’t so much anything other than we just kind of kept the momentum going. I think the biggest thing in foursomes is to keep the ball in play. Obviously it’s very easy like for us — not so much the women, they hit it pretty straight, but my personal goal was to just get it down the fairway, keep it in play.

I think the game plan was for me to tee off the odds. I think that was better. I feel like we could get certain par 5s and then also I could putt a little bit more, which was a good strength of mine yesterday. Lydia’s just, she’s been a solid rock for the team, so it’s been nice to be able to play with her.

Q. You guys didn’t meet until like earlier in the week, right?

JASON DAY: Yeah.

Q. Your strategy, talking about it then, sounds like it was pretty deep, pretty involved?

JASON DAY: Yeah. It will be interesting, I think maybe a lot of the teams have kind of gone that way, especially today with the — after the first. I don’t know, that’s kind of the way that we kind of thought it up and I think this worked out perfectly.

To be honest, it was just all about the momentum, just anytime you’re kind of out of position, getting yourself back in, pars are OK and just kind of — especially on the back side you can get yourself rolling pretty good.

Q. Lydia, what impressed you the most with Jason’s game today seeing it up close the last few days?

LYDIA KO: Everything. I don’t think I could critique his game. I was telling Paul that I think out of all the players I played with, like all around he was the most impressive player I’ve played with yet.

It’s always nice that you have a chip and it might not be your best chip, but you hit it to like six feet or nine feet. I feel like I don’t need to take the putter out of my bag because he’s been so clutch. Every drive, with mine I go, oh, I carry it like 235 but am I going to hit the fairway or not, and his is going like 300, OK, it’s going down the fairway. It’s just an easy place to be at as a partner.

I was trying to keep the ball in play for him because he’s just been all around so consistent. I think that’s going to be the game plan for me tomorrow, especially as he has to continue the hole from where I hit it from. I apologize in advance.

Q. It seemed like a pretty stress-free day for you guys.

JASON DAY: Yeah.

Q. Was there a moment out there, a hole or a shot that really kept your momentum going?

JASON DAY: Her chip shot on 6 was important. We made a bogey on the par 3 previous and I hit a poor shot into the green, which gave her a long lag putt, and the greens are quite firm and fast out there.

LYDIA KO: You’re just being nice. I hit it like 30 feet by.

JASON DAY: It’s not like the easiest putt.

Like once you can birdie the hole after you’ve just bogeyed one, that’s kind of, you know, I guess the momentum is starting to roll your way again, which is nice.

That was the biggest thing for us is just like you don’t have to do anything silly out there but just keep the momentum on your side. Like she hits it so straight, she hits it so good, I felt like if she was just going to keep doing that, it would give me opportunities to make birdies, which would be ultimately the end goal. We walked off with 6 under today, which is nice.

Q. Lydia, you’ve run the gamut as far as things that you can do in the game of golf, you’ve done it all, but to play an event like this after something that’s been talked about for so many years, just how cool is it for you to be a part of it?

LYDIA KO: I think this is just a great experience for me and I hope a lot of juniors who are either here this week or watching on the TV get inspired and hope that one day they play on the PGA or the LPGA and they too are paired up with another fellow player on the other tour.

This is I think the outcome and result is secondary. I think for us, we don’t really get to I guess cross paths that much with other tours. Jason’s only the fourth PGA TOUR player I’ve played with. I think it’s a great — something that I can learn a lot from.

I think these kind of different formats, it really brings people in that may not necessarily really like to watch 72 holes, your standard event. I think this is a great movement, and for Grant Thornton to give us an opportunity like this for not only us but hopefully the future generations, it’s an exciting place to be and I’m grateful to be a part of this inaugural event.

Q. Jason, a lot of golf fans who haven’t had an opportunity to watch the women play in person, what do you think the average male player in particular would learn from watching the women?

JASON DAY: I was just actually saying I know their tempo’s always pretty good, but I sit there and I’m kind of envious of how they play their wedge shots because I’m sitting there spinning these shots way back. Their spin control and the control in general just coming into the greens, that’s why they’re so consistent in how they hit it because it just goes one bounce, stop. That’s kind of something that I’m always kind of shooting towards.

I was asking her earlier this week how she plays her wedges and that’s definitely something that I’m going to take away and try and work on in the offseason, which is coming up. Seeing if that can transfer over to my game as well, which will help my wedge game.

I’ve already learnt plenty from playing with Lydia this week, so it’s been actually exciting to play with Lydia because I know how big of obviously a golfer she is on the LPGA side. So it’s been nice for me to be able to learn something from especially the women this week.

Q. Lydia, just noticed you working on the range late last night. Can you just tell us what you were working on and did you find something yesterday?

LYDIA KO: To be honest, it wasn’t that late. I don’t take that much credit. The sun sets really early, it’s that time of the year here in Florida.

No, I felt like a lot — I hit a lot of good shots, and when I played on Tuesday with Jason, I was like, man, I feel so bad, I hit everything but straight.

Yesterday I was kind of able to bring everything together and I just wanted to — sometimes it’s good to like engrave what’s going well as much as like if things aren’t going well. You’re obviously putting in the time to make it better. To have those good feelings is just as important. That’s why I was out there.

Especially when you’re in pressure conditions, the tendency is to come in, it’s the same for everyone. I’m just trying to polish a little bit away. And I felt like for most parts it was like OK, I think my irons, like ball-striking was a little better yesterday. I’m just trying to improve little by little. It’s a unique situation where you’re not only the one that has to I guess recover when you do make a mistake. I’m trying to be more focused.

Q. Will either of you go back to the range after this?

JASON DAY: Not unless we hit into the crowd unfortunately. They closed the range.

I would actually like to work on something, but I just — going off what Lydia said, I think — I know she said she didn’t hit it that great on Tuesday, but a practice round is a practice round and I just kind of — for some reason I just knew, because she’s been in pressure situations for so long and been under the pump for so long, I knew once the first tee shot was hit, she would actually go back into the whole mindset of playing competitive golf again and getting it done.

I mean, she flushed it the last two days. I’m just trying to do the same. I think we’ve got a really good shot at like getting this over the hill tomorrow. We’ve just got to kind of stay within ourselves and stay to our game plan and hopefully roll in a few birdies and that will be done. There’s still one more day to go. We’ve got to just focus on trying to get some good rest and getting into it tomorrow and stay focused.

Q. You two are both fan favorites. Just want to get your thoughts on an event like this to finish off the season. Obviously a big season for you, Jason, coming back. Lydia, a long season. Just your thoughts on kind of being out here and having not necessarily a just-for-fun event, but an event that you can kind of let it down, have a little fun.

JASON DAY: Yeah, it’s fun, but I still want to win and I’m sure Lydia wants to win, too. We could definitely use a win like this or even a good finish to propel us into next season and to start — because we’re kind of using this — I was saying to Lydia there’s certain things we’re both working on in our swings that we want to try and work under pressure.

It’s nothing like, I mean, going home and playing in practice rounds or on the range, it’s easy to do it there, but under the pump it’s really difficult to make slight, minor adjustments. For us to be able to compete at a high level and also trying to work on certain things in our swing to kind of see where things stand going into next season, I know that Lydia has a little bit of time off coming up. It’s nice to be able to kind of use this as a confidence builder going into next season.

Q. Before you go, guys, it’s a new format tomorrow, modified four-ball. How do you think that will play into your games given these first two days that you played together with other formats?

LYDIA KO: I have no worries, Jason’s pretty much hit 90-something percent of the fairways. I’ve gotten to hit his ball today and he’s gotten to hit mine. In ways this was like a pre-warm up for what tomorrow’s going to be.

I think this is a very completely new I guess format. I was joking before I knew what it was going to be like, oh, man, Jason’s got to hit from places he’s never hit from, like maybe a little further back.

We’re actually going to do that. His ball has been going a pretty decent way, so I don’t think I’m going to be as far back as maybe he’s not as used to.

You know, he’s so clutch and I feel like if I focus on my game and he focuses on his game, we’re going to be just fine. There’s still so many good players that’s behind finishing, especially with a format like tomorrow, a bunch of birdies is probably needed. So we’re just going to try and make our share and see where that lands us at the end of tomorrow.

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