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Game Day: Women's U.S. Open Recap With Golf Channel's Kay Cockerill

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Dennis O'Donnell interviews Golf Channel analyst - and Olympic Club member - Kay Cockerill following the conclusion of the Women's U.S. Open. (6-7-21)

Video Transcript

- Joining us now is Kay Cockerill, a San Jose native. Played nine years on the LPGA Tour. Um, you started a Golf channel when they began in 1995. Have you ever seen a final run of the Women's US Open quite like this?

KAY COCKERILL: No, I haven't. And I have to say, I was out there, I think, trying to wipe away tears a couple of times. I was just so proud of the tournament and the women that were playing, because they elevated to this great, great golf course.

- Lexi Thompson, before we get to the playoff, Lexi Thompson seemed to be in control. She talked yesterday about how mentally her game is tuned in. Didn't seem that way on the back nine. What happened?

KAY COCKERILL: Boy, you'd have to go take a deep dive to find out what happened. Um, I think it just comes down to the pressure of back nine championships Sunday golf. And there's been a lot of players that have collapsed down the stretch. And unfortunately, she falls right into history here at Olympic Club, where the 'favorite' ends up succumbing to the-- the pressure in the golf course.

- She has won a majeur. She's been here before. Are you surprised at that collapse?

KAY COCKERILL: I-- I am to a certain degree, because I feel like she has the talent. She's so, so good, but at times, I think she doubts herself. And her short game is not always the strongest. And I think coming down the stretch, that showed. She-- she hit a poor-- poor putt. She chose to putt on 17, and ended up making bogey, and then a poor wedge shot. And 18 was ultimately her demise.

- And two, uh, players went into the playoff. Take me through the playoff. We had so many ups and downs in the course of three holes.

KAY COCKERILL: Oh exactly. I love the format, that it's two hole aggregate. So that gives you a little leeway for a mistake. But they both played those first two holes pretty evenly and then basically come-- it came down to the opportunity Yuka Saso had. She had three chances essentially to win it outright, and she finally took it on that third one.

- That shot from the rough, she hit a rough on Olympic. It essentially could cost you a stroke, right? That shot was phenomenal and-- and turned the course of the tournament in one hole.

KAY COCKERILL: She has proven with her strength and creativity. She dug herself out of a lot of those situations over the last few days, and none was more important on that playoff hole. She had a decent enough fly to get enough club on it, but how it bounced out and ended up trundling up there to, you know, the point that it did was pretty amazing.

- You just interviewed her a short while ago. What areas or state of emotions, being the first Philippine champion, either a man or a woman?

KAY COCKERILL: Right. I think she is delighted in that fact, but it's probably going to be a little bit of a burden to share. It'll be interesting to see how she handles it in the ensuing-- ensuing months and years. Because think about when you suddenly become the face of golf for the-- for the Philippines. The Olympics are coming up. She's going to be representing there.

But I do think she is inherently one of the most talented people I've ever seen. And I think she can withstand it. She-- she loves Rory McIlroy. She's modeled herself after him with his swing and his game, and she's starting with this US Open when she's starting to model him and his way. He-- he's won majors himself.

- Kay, are you going to Lake-- Lake Morissette next week?

KAY COCKERILL: I will be. I get two home games. I get to stay in my own bed for two weeks in a row, which-- I know, that never happens. I'm-- I'm-- I'm the, uh, the voyager, the traveler, and always staying in hotels. So I'm really thankful to be here for two weeks.

- I appreciate you taking the time.

KAY COCKERILL: Yeah, my pleasure. Cheers.

- Cockerill, yay!

[LAUGHTER]

Still got to work.