Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mostly Harmless Tiffany Joh Interview II, The Sequel

2012 has not yet been Tiffany Joh's year. Coming into the Wegmans LPGA Championship last week, she wasn't even close to the roll she was on at this time last year, when I was able to follow her and Amy Yang for a good number of holes on Sunday and interview her after her best finish in a major.  I did get a chance to follow her for a couple of holes at the end of her 1st round last Thursday at Locust Hill.  It was early in the evening and she had had a disappointing, difficult day, yet she still took the time to put up with my questions for the 2nd year in a row.


The Constructivist: Awesome birdie on the last hole there! [She had just sunk a 25-foot downhiller on the par-3 9th to salvage a 75.]

Tiffany Joh: Thanks, needed it. [laughs]

TC: Yeah, yeah, yeah, a lot of people were, uh, overreading it…. You beat Ya Ni by a shot.

TJ: Wow, really?

TC: Yeah.

TJ: I mean--

TC (with lowered voice): You kicked the world #1’s butt.

TJ (resolutely unimpressed with herself): For one round! How am I gonna tell my children that? [laughs]

TC (laughing): Tell me about the round. What was it like?

TJ: It was a little…honestly, like, I hit it really well and I putted really well, but I had two doubles in there--

TC (sympathetic groan)

TJ: --and, like, but, you know, still finished at 3 over. So, you know, it could have been a lot worse, but at the same time I feel like my game is kinda moving in a positive direction, so that’s always good.

TC: Good, good, good. So did you play at Seaview last week?

TJ: Um-hm.

TC: Missed the cut or make the cut?

TJ: Missed it by 1.

TC: By 1? I thought I saw you on the cut line there. Yeah, um, do you feel that course was pretty good preparation for this, or was it a real big change going from, like, a resort course to, like--

TJ: I think it was a really big change. [laughs] Yeah, I think it’s almost like, uh, playing there, where, you know, I mean, there are a couple tight holes, but it’s mostly just fescue, there’s no real, like, intimidating trees kinda in your way, so I think coming here became that much more of a shock. I grew up in California--we don’t have tree-lined courses, well, in Southern California, they’re almost more like resort, deserty. So this was a little--like, I got a little nervous, just driving in.

TC: Just seeing the trees…. So, this is your second year playing here--do you feel like you’re learning the course a little better? I mean, are there any nuances you’re noticing this time around?

TJ: Well, I feel like this year, it’s just playing so much more difficult, which is funny, because last year I hit it probably worse than I did today, but I putted so well that I was able to still get, like, a pretty good finish. But I remember everyone telling me, like, “oh, man, this is such a benign year,” and I was like, “that’s a benign year?” I went to the practice round this week and said, “now I get it.” Actually it was benign compared to this year.

TC: Well, we had dry conditions for a month and then it rained almost the entire week before you guys came here. The grass just went, “whoosh,” you know?

TJ: Yeah, like it’s on steroids!

TC: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, um, how do you feel about the year so far? I mean, you said upward swing, making progress….

TJ: Yeah, I think, um, it’s, it’s funny how golf works because last year I probably didn’t hit nearly as good as this year, but I made everything on the greens. Like, that was my best stat. It reallysaved me. This year, it almost became, like, a shock to my game when I didn’t make as many putts right away.

TC: Right.

TJ: It was kind of a big confidence hit. But at the same time, like, I have to be, I have to be more focused on the positives. Like hitting it better, that my little shots around the green are getting better, so, I think, if you want to grow as a professional, you kinda have to have a little give and take. So, I’m trying to look at it that way--

TC: Yeah, exactly.

TJ: --because I could be really down on myself about not having any good finishes this year, but at the same time I kinda like gotta take what’s positive and kinda move forward with it.

TC: Yeah, totally, totally. Um, any, uh, musical or video, uh, projects in the works?

TJ: Not yet, but, um, I have a couple of ideas.

TC: Kinda wait till the inspiration hits you?

TJ: Actually, Pat Hurst’s daughter, Reilly, is, I think she’s 10 years old. And she has this video on youtube where she’s singing and dancing. And she’s amazing!

[I'd embed the link here if I had any youtube search skills]

Like, so good! Like, her video editing and everything is just uncanny. So I’m hoping to do a little collaboration with her.

TC: That would be awesome! My girls are 8 and 6, they’re always asking me, like, “when’s the next T-Joh video coming?”

TJ: I need to, you know, bolster my hat collection and then I can come out with another one.

TC: Awesome, good luck this week!

TJ: Cool, thanks a lot, man.


Unfortunately, T-Joh went on to miss the cut, her 2nd in a row and 5th of the year.  Still, she made the Asian swing and qualified for the Sybase Match Play Championship, so she's hanging in there at #92 on the money list.  Here's hoping she turns it around in Waterloo for the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic next week!

[Update 1 (7:25 pm): On the bright side, T-Joh is tied with Na Yeon Choi for most eagles on the LPGA and has the highest eagle rate on tour!]

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