The 26-year-old who led wire to wire at the SBS Open talks extreme sports, khakis and, of course, bandannas
SI: How was your victory this year different from last year's win at the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship, when you became the first Filipino to win an LPGA event?
JR: I always imagined that the first time I won, I'd be in the last group, with people squirting champagne at me, but it didn't happen that way last year. I thought this year was my chance--I was in the last group--but I didn't get any love [because Michelle Wie was in contention].
SI: Did it still feel good?
JR: It feels great because at the end of last year I was really close a few times. So I was excited to start the year. It turned out to be a pretty good start.
SI: What did you do during the off-season?
JR: Nothing. I played a couple of weeks ago in South Africa in the World Cup, but that was about it. In two months I played only one other time, at an event for my sponsors. I was a little rusty this week, but the rest was really good for me.
SI: Do you feel you're ready to become an elite player?
JR: I was ranked Number 1 [at Southern Cal], but when I got out on the tour, I was a nobody. It was hard adjusting to that, and the competition was hard. Everybody is so good out here. My game plan now is to be consistent and keep putting myself in contention and make a run at [the elite players].
SI: Describe yourself.