Portland Classic. Austin Ernst, First Time Winner, In A Play-Off

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Austin Ernst became a first time LPGA Tour winner at the Portland Classic in Oregon.

 

Portland Classic

Austin Ernst / Getty Images 

Shooting a final round -5 under par 67 Austin Ernst posted her first ever LPGA Tour win at the Portland Classic on the Columbia Edgewater Country Club course.

She was tied at the top of the leaderboard with I.K. Kim, both on -14 under par for the tournament, but then won with a par on the first play-off hole, the par four 18th. Actually she was two shots in the lead going into the final two holes, but the nerves got her;

“I did a really good job of just slowing myself down, but yeah, just preparing for the playoff I knew I kind of pulled two drives left, and then I actually talked to my dad on the phone, and he said it kind of looked like I had it angled a bit that way.

“So just went out, had my brother check my alignment, and then hit a few good ones and then just rolled a bunch of putts trying to get you know, I had to feel the speed, just kind of trying to stay loose. And just went out there and tried to do the same things I was doing today.”

“I actually saw the leaderboard on six green. I think I saw I had like a two-shot lead, but you can make a lot of birdies out here, so I really didn’t try to pay attention to it very much. I kind of had, I was actually trying to get to 18-under today starting the day. But I just kept trying to make birdies.”

I.K. had hit her drive on the play-off hole too well, which left her between clubs. She has an unenviable record in play-offs, played in five, won none;

“I’m happy, but I played a lot of playoffs and haven’t won one yet. So just kind of, it was in the back of my mind. But she deserves it.”

Tied in third place were Chella Choi and So Yeon Ryu, both ladies finishing the tournament at -12 under par. So Yeon blames poor fairway bunker shots for her disappointing day;

“My shots feel great, my putting feels great. Maybe only thing is maybe fairway bunker shots are not that great.

“Next week I’m going to charge up and be more focused, and I’m pretty sure I can get a good result at Evian.”

 

 

Portland Classic. Three-Way Tie at the Top.

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There is a three-way tie at the top of the Portland Classic leaderboard Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Oregon.

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Germany’s Suzann Pettersen, Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and Mi Jung Hur of Korea are tied at the top of the Portland Classic leaderboard at -11 under par following the conclusion of the third round.

Suzann, the defending Champion here said her game is improving;

“My game is getting better and better, today I had a lot of chances on the back nine. Just couldn’t quite drop the putts. Birdied 16, 17 and got a good par out of 18 after being in trouble. But it was a good solid round.”

“I still feel like the low one is out there. Gotta go out tomorrow and just try and birdie as many holes as you can.”

“Doesn’t look like the top players have gotten anywhere, so I did my job and kind of managed to close the gap a little bit, and tomorrow just gotta step on the pedal.”

Mi Jung told reporters that she thinks it is the weather that is responsible for the lack of birdies in this tournament;

“I think the course conditions for today was a little difficult than yesterday, more windier, and rainy; kind of up-and-down weather that’s why the leaders are 11-under par right now.”

“I really want to play aggressive tomorrow, because I got a chance, four years ago, another chance here, so I don’t want to lose anything for tomorrow, so I’m just going to play.”

Carlota carded a bogey on the last hole, which prevented her from claiming the outright lead;

“The first two days the ball striking was really good, and obviously my putter yesterday,  it was really hot, and today I didn’t start playing that well.”

“I didn’t put the ball that close from the hole. But my putting was good. I made really good saves for par and made a few good birdies out there. So I’m just excited for tomorrow and let’s see what happens.”

“It would be unbelievable. I mean I think after the International Crown that was very nice tournament. My confidence was, I mean went back, and winning that tournament, playing against the best players, it was great.”

“So after that I felt more confident, and I’m just trying to, yeah, to play my game, don’t think about too much, like about other’s game, just my golf and have fun outside the golf course, and I think that’s the key.”

Three more Ladies are right behind the leaders at -10 under par, I.K. Kim, So Yeon Ryu and Lin Xi Yu who is from China.

The leaderboard is jammed up with five Ladies who have designs on winning, all of them at -9 under par, it will be an exciting final round tomorrow, that’s for sure.

 

 

 

Portland Classic. Korean Kim Cruzin On.

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Korean I.K. Kim is cruzin along at the Portland Classic, establishing a three stroke lead.

Portland Classic

I.K. Kim. / AP photo

I.K. recorded a second round -5 under par 67 to post a -12 under par tournament total at the half-way stage of the Portland Classic. A couple of bogey’s on the day stifled what could have been a very commanding lead;

 “It’s only Friday. I’m really pleased how I played the last two days, and the weekend, I’m really looking forward to it. I don’t really think about leading. You never know until the last day on Sunday, last back nine.”

Keeping her in sight are three Ladies, who share second placing at -9 under par for the tournament, Mi Jung Hur, Carlota Ciganda and Laura Diaz are all wondering if I.K. will let up on the pressure.

Apart from her placing at the golf tournament Mi Jung just loves shopping in Oregon, no sales tax;

“I’m so comfortable with this town, especially I love the shopping in Oregon, there’s no sales tax. I love it. My American parents and I just talked to about it, I met them maybe ‘05, back in Pumpkin Ridge. I played the U. S. women’s amateur. And I met them.”

“Like today I tried to focus on my each shot. Like if you’re on the teeing ground, just try to focus on driver and then if you go to fairway, try to focus on the iron shot like this.”

“Because I read the interview from So Yeon Ryu from last week. She did like that. You know, when I won this tournament back on ‘09, that’s what I did at the time. Shot by shot. And then like today I just did it. So that’s why I had a good round today.”

Laura has played 36 holes at Columbia Edgewater Country Club without a bogey to her card, and loves seeing her name at the top of the leaderboard;

”I mean you know, you prepare as much as you can prepare, but I think that I’ve been away for a long time from that position, and it was definitely a learning and growing experience.”

 “I learned a lot from that week. It wasn’t the result that I wanted obviously, but I’m staying patient and just trying to stay in the moment and not get ahead of myself at all.”

Defending Champion Suzann Pettersen admits that she has not played her best golf, yet;

“I haven’t played my best the last two days. Really happy to be able to shoot five under on the back nine to put myself somewhere close in the mid pack of the field.”

Played better on the back nine. But I don’t know if it’s just the fourth week that I’m tired, but grinding it out. I’m finding solutions out there.”

 

LPGA. Portland Classic. Korean Kim Leads Classic.

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Korean  I.K. Kim leads the Portland Classic at Columbia Edgewater Country Club.

Portland Classic

I.K. Kim / Getty Image

I.K. shot an opening round of -7 under par 65, to lead the Portland Classic by one shot

“Today I hit the ball well and made some putts coming down. This is really good golf course. You have to hit the good shots and also make putts. There’s a couple of tricky pins, but I was able to manage.”

“So I’m very pleased with how I finished. Solid round, yeah, my game’s feeling good. Just need to keep playing.”

“Seems like every week it’s like 66, 65, so I didn’t really thought about scoring that much. With this golf course you just gotta play your game, and then you get rewarded.”

Sharing second place at -5 under par are two Americans, Amelia Lewis and Jennifer Song,.

Jennifer, who played the course backwards left herself a 50 ft putt on her last hole of the day, the 9th. She drained it for birdie;

“Well, I wasn’t expecting to make it. I knew it was going to be a fast putt, so I just told myself to get the pace right and just get it near the proximity of the hole, and it just went in. I just lucked out.”

“I had a wonderful day today. I was making a lot of putts out there, and then my short game was sharp, so I didn’t have a lot of long birdie putts. Most of them were tap-ins. I just played great today.”

“It’s pretty important, but when I came out here, I try not to think about it, because if I think about like trying to get in the Asia events, it’s thinking about the future. So just trying to play my own game out there and just be in my zone and take it one day at a time.”

Amelia confessed to be working on a new swing, just tweaking things around, it seemed to be working OK;

I’ve been working on my swing a little bit and tweaking a few things, and now it’s coming back and working out. So it’s going to be a good end of the year.”

There are seven Ladies tied in fourth place at -5 under par, one of them Alison Walshe has also been working on her game with her old  University of Arizona, coach, Michael Haywood;

“To be honest, and we kind of had a little epiphany about something I’ve changed, and we kind of went back to what was working then, which I don’t know why I ever kind of went away from it.”

“We kind of grinded the first two days, and I just had to trust it, and I did. And actually hit some really good shots, so it was kind of refreshing.”

“We really looked at pictures. I’m not one to hugely look at video, but we noticed my grip was really strong in college, and I almost have a borderline really weak grip now, which trying to get to a spot, it’s pretty hard for that position.”

This is another of those tight tournaments and any silly mistake could be very costly.

 

Canadian Pacific Womens Open. Korean Conquerors.

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There was a trio of Korean conquerors at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open at the London Hunt and Country Club in Ontario.

CP Women's Open

So Yeon Ryu / Getty Images

So Yeon Ryu won the CP Women’s Open title with a final round -3 under 69, which gave her a winning total of -23 under par for the tournament at the London Hunt and Country Club in Ontario, Canada.

So Yeon was very happy to receive a champagne showering in celebration of her win, especially as it was Inbee Park doing the spraying;

“I’ve been waiting so long for the champagne, I was ready to get champagned. I put champagne on Inbee maybe more than five times, but finally she gave it to me. So it feels great.”

“It could sound like cocky, but after I made a birdie at the 9th hole I was sure I could win. But actually, you know what, Na Yeon almost chased me down, so I was pretty nervous at that moment.”

“After I signed my card, Na Yeon asked me, why don’t we go to have dinner every Wednesday night. So I think that’s a good tradition, so I think we’re going to stick with that.”

Na Yeon Choi finished in second place at -21 under par, two shots off the pace after a valiant effort to catch her friend So Yeon. She carded a final round -5 under par 67, and fell just short of the target. She was obviously disappointed that her best ever score of -21 under was not good enough to win;

“A lot of people talk about even me and So Yeon can’t have win, it’s been a long time, but somebody has to do it first, and then maybe next time I can have it.”

World number two Inbee Park came through to capture third place, a last round -4 under par added up to -18 under par for the tournament.

Inbee was happy to see her friends play well;

“I’m really happy to see them playing really good, finally breaking through. They haven’t won for a couple years, and I really feel for them.”

“They were having a very tough time a couple years when they couldn’t win for a couple years, so I really was rooting for them to finally break through because they’re such great players.”

 Once they start winning, they can be up on the top very quickly.  Yeah, they have definitely good potential, so yeah, I’m sure even if one of them finishes first and one of them finishes second, that’s still going to give them so much confidence playing the rest of the season.  Yeah, I think you’ll see their names up there more often.”

CP Women’s Open, Record Breaking Ryu Out in Front.

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Record breaking So Yeon Ryu is way out in front at the CP Women’s Open in Ontario.

CP Women's Open

So Yeon Ryu / Getty Images

So Yeon made her first mistake today, carding a bogey at the third hole en-route to a third round -5 under par 67 and tournament total of -20 under par, and will have a four shot lead over the field at the start of play on Sunday. She has the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open’s scoring record in sight, not to mention the LPGA career scoring record of -27 under par, exciting golf at the London Hunt & Country Club;

” I think my lowest score was 29 under when I was 16 at the Asian Games. If I have a chance, I want to break my current record. Also, if I can, I want to break another LPGA record.”

 ” My starting wasn’t that great.  I made a bogey at the third hole that I think about, okay, let’s forget about the    bogey.”
” Then today I’m going to need five more birdies.  After that I’m going to be happy.  Then I made a fifth birdie at the 16th, and I made a sixth birdie at the 17.  I played better than what I thought. “

” The other happy thing is that if you make a birdie at 17, CP is going to donate $5,000.00 to the Children’s Health Foundation.  I’d really be happy to be part of that.”

” I had dinner with Inbee.  Inbee was really highly encouraging me.  It feels great that the world’s best player was encouraging me.  She is definitely a really great supporter for me.  So I feel really great.  If I get a champagne from her, it’s going to be more awesome.”

Inbee is back in fourth position at -14 under par for the tournament, she had nice things to say about So Yeon;

“I think she is due. I think she was due a long time ago, but she probably threw her opportunities away. Hopefully, if I can’t do it this time, hopefully she does it. I’m really rooting for her.”

Second spot is shared between  Azahara Munoz, and Na Yeon Choi, both ladies at -16 under par, neither of them have been this low at the 54 hole stage before.

Azahara’s total was due mainly due to her third round record equaling -9 under par 63. She hopes to go out and have fun with her putter  tomorrow;

“First round I played really well, and today I played really well, too. I just didn’t make the putts. Today I think the made the most, hopefully my putter keeps being hot like it is now and just have fun tomorrow.”

Na Yeon carded -6 under 66 today, and despite -16 under being her best 54 hole total she is still four shots adrift of the leader;

“I never even really think about like close to even 20 under. I mean, even my score is like 16 under, and some friends called, I’m on fire this week, but look at So Yeon.”

You can not argue with that comment.

Defending Champion Lydia Ko could only manage an even par round, and now has no chance to repeat her winning performance from last year. She is currently 15 shots adrift of the top.

Canadian Pacific Women’s Open. So Yeon Stretches Her Lead.

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So Yeon Ryu stretches her lead at the PC Women’s Open to five shots at London Hunt and Country Club in Ontario.

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So Yeon shot a bogey free -6 under par 66 today, to add to her first round record breaking bogey free 63, which gives her a 36 hole total of -15 under par. She was not too impressed with today’s effort;

” After I shot 9-under, 6-under isn’t that great, but still it’s a really great score, and I had a lot of great putts. I had a bogey-free round two days in a row, so I feel really great about that. I do love Canadian fans so much. I’m really happy I was able to show really great golf in front of them.”

’”I’m aiming for a bogey-free round all day four days, and I’m aiming for a really good win.”

 

From this position it would be harder to lose than win, but golf is a funny game.

Three Ladies are sharing second place, Danielle Kang, Anna Nordqvist and Na Yeon Choi have all posted -10 under par at the half-way stage.

Na Yeon certainly thinks there is still a chance to catch her friend and Korean countrywoman So Yeon;

“I think it’s too far away from Sunday. We just finished the half, and I know she looks like she’s playing so well the last two rounds. fifteen under is a big score for two rounds, but my short game is getting better and my patience is getting better.”

“I missed some good results. So maybe this is my first opportunity to win in a long time. But I’m not going to think about that and I’ll just try to enjoy it on the course with my caddie and all the Canadian fans.”

Daneille forgot her ball marker, but her friend Lydia Ko was on hand to lend her lucky marker, and it certainly worked;

“Well, she was going to give me her ball marker, but she said she wasn’t putting well, so she gave me the one she was putting well with which is this one.”

“All I wanted to do was finish at 10‑under today. I started off with a goal of 4‑under minimum, and I was coming in and I was striking the ball well on the back nine and I was trying to figure out the shots, and I skulled a wedge shot on 16, and I had a really tough chip coming back, and I told myself, you know what? It will all even out.”

“Good at putting right now, and I have so much confidence with my putter which makes my game really together.”

Anna has confidence with the way she is striking the ball, just needs to sink a few more putts;

” My confidence is great.  I played great last week, just couldn’t seem to make a lot of putts last week.  Yesterday was great, off the block and shoot 7‑under the first day, and then today I felt my game was even better than yesterday. “

“It’s funny how a day can turn around. But I’m obviously very happy with what I’ve been doing, and I felt I would struggle a little bit after the U.S. Open in Arkansas and the British Open, but I feel like I’m back on track and I’m happy with the way I’m hitting it.

Brittany Lincicome, fired the round of the day, a 7-under 65, to move to -8 under par for the tournament at T6. Inbee Park, who defeated Brittany in a playoff at the Wegmans LPGA Championship, is -7 under par  and T11. Lydia Ko is way off the pace here, the pressure of getting to number one in the world seems to be having an effect on her performance.