Wednesday, August 17th, 2016


Golf Channel Notable Quotes
Women’s Olympic Golf Competition – Round 1
Wednesday, August 17
Olympic Golf Course, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

**Live Round 2 coverage of the Women’s Olympic Golf competition gets underway at 6:30 a.m. ET on Thursday morning, immediately following Golf Central Live From the Olympics, airing from 5-6:30 a.m. ET.**

For more Olympic Golf coverage on, visit HERE.

On Ariya Jutanugarn (6-under, Leader – Thailand)
Annika Sorenstam – “She’d been knocking on the door a few times and it’s amazing what that one win will do to give you the confidence to go on and be in contention in a lot of [tournaments].
Curt Byrum – “Nobody has had a better breakout year than her… It’s amazing how she’s done all that winning in the last few months and how that confidence continues to snowball. You can just feel the confidence that she has out there.”
Kay Cockerill – “What a difference a year makes. In the middle of the summer last year she was in the middle of missing 10 cuts in a row and her confidence was at rock-bottom. She couldn’t keep a driver on the planet. And with the change of coaches to Gary Gilchrist and working with Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott, she has become the great golfer that [she is]. So much talent.”

Inbee Park (5-under, T-2nd – Korea) speaking with NBC Olympics’ Steve Sands following her round
Inbee Park – “Because of my injury earlier this year, obviously the Korean team was very competitive to make. I think some people thought that maybe I should give my chance to another player who doesn’t have an injury… I knew I could compete out here but a lot of people were doubting [it]… My confidence level is much better after today’s round than yesterday… I was quite nervous going out this morning and obviously that was expected because I haven’t played for a while and I haven’t played well for a while.”

On Park competing in the field this week despite being sidelined for much of 2016 due to a thumb injury
Karen Stupples – “She received a lot of flak from the press in Korea questioning her playing this week. They were almost suggesting that somebody else should be playing in her place to give Korea a better chance of a medal because they don’t believe that she’s in form and they don’t believe that her thumb is healthy.”
Cockerill – “It’s pretty amazing what she’s done today considering the amount of off-time she’d had.”
Tom Abbott – “A lot of people thought it’s not going to be her week considering she hasn’t played a lot, but that’s not the case right now.”
Byrum – “Incredible round considering the time off. That is some great playing.”

Lexi Thompson (3-under, T-7th – United States) speaking with Sands following her round
Lexi Thompson – “Words can’t really even describe it. It’s always been a dream of mine to be an Olympian but growing up I couldn’t say that I wanted to be one because golf wasn’t in the Olympics. So now that it is, it’s been an honor to be here and be around the best athletes in the world. It’s a huge honor to once again represent my country.”

On Thompson
Byrum – “She’s had a good day with the putter. That makes all the difference when you hit it where she does off the tee.”
Jerry Foltz – “She made an adjustment this week adding 1 degree of loft to the putter and it seems to have made a difference. The stroke is looking like a few more telling signs of confidence than I have seen out of her in ages.”

Lydia Ko (2-under, T-11th – New Zealand) speaking with Sands following her round
Lydia Ko – “Considering the start I had, to finish under par – I’m pretty pleased with that. I was pretty nervous on the 1st tee being announced and officially becoming an Olympian, but it was a great day overall. Even before walking up to the tee I thought I was fine… But it got my heart going, a little bit of butterflies. You’re always an Olympian… It’s a feeling that I’ve never felt before and I’m going to treasure that moment.”

On Ko
Foltz – “Most players get done with a round of golf and don’t think about the great things they did, they think about the shots they left out there. Lydia Ko rarely leaves many shots on the golf course and she just gets about the best out of every single day.”
Byrum – “At her age it’s amazing the patience she has on the golf course. It’s just a stroll in the park.”

On Carlotta Ciganda (4-under, T-4th – Spain)
Sorenstam – “I’m not surprised to see her play so well. I’ve never seen her smile so much just being around these other Olympians. It’s giving her the inspiration she needs. She’s been so close to winning on the LPGA and maybe this is what she needs, just a little bigger stage.”
Byrum – “I think she’ll be happy with her score today, even though she made double [bogey] at 15. I think overall she has to be thrilled to get off to a good start.”

Nicole Broch Larsen (4-under, T-4th – Denmark) speaking with Sands following her round
Nicole Broch Larsen – “I was nervous [on the 1st tee], but it’s a cool feeling calling myself an Olympian now. I was actually quite calm and I rolled in some good putts in the beginning [of the round]. So I got off to a good start and kept calm talking to my caddie and I really enjoyed it out there.”

Aditi Ashok (3-under, T-7th – India) speaking with Sands following her round
Aditi Ashok – “Hitting the 1st tee shot was a bit nerve wracking for me, but after that I kind of fell into a good rhythm so it was fine. At the end of the day you just fall back on your routine and just go out there and play golf, so that’s what I did… To play for my country especially at a young age means a lot to me.”

On Women’s Golf returning as an Olympic sport for the first time in 116 years
Stupples – “Golf being in the Olympics is recognition for these athletes that what they’re doing matters within the sporting world in their country. There are many countries and places where [golf] is just simply been overlooked. And when you’re playing golf in that country it’s very easy to think you’ve just been forgotten about.”
Sorenstam – “I think the benefit that the women have is they’ve been watching the men and they really saw the importance of finishing first, second or third. I don’t think anybody has ever been as happy as Matt Kuchar to finish third, for a medal compared to finishing third in a normal golf tournament. And again the pressure of standing on the first tee hearing your name and representing your country. There are so many elements we haven’t experienced before that you’re realizing when you show up here.”
Stupples – “Those dreams that young girls have about competing in the Olympics, gymnastics and other events is because they’ve seen it on TV. You’re going to have girls watching Olympic Golf now being able to dream that dream. There’s something really special about representing your country. Even though you’re representing a team, it still is just you, it’s still an individual [event]. It’s all on your shoulders.”
Sorenstam – “Golf is part of something so big, and to come here and see it come alive and to see these Olympians embracing the game of golf is so fantastic. Watching the excitement last week, we didn’t really know what to expect but it was embraced really well.”

On the Rio Olympic Golf Course
Stupples – “The genius of this golf course is that it really is about strategy. The longer players will have to be mentally very tough and dial down a little bit off the tees because they won’t be able to hit driver everywhere. But that require some discipline.”
Byrum – “It’s hard to judge this zoysia grass. It’s unlike anything they typically see on the LPGA Tour or in Europe. So there’s an adjustment to be made.”
Terry Gannon – “[The Olympic] sailing was canceled today for lack of wind. So that tells you all you need to know about conditions out here today. It was the most benign of days.”

Rio 2016