YOKOHAMA TIRE LPGA CLASSIC. Two at the Top.

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Two ladies are tied at the top of the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic leaderboard, Stacy Lewis and Mi Jung Hur, on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill ,Senator Course.

Yokohama Tire Classic

Stacy Lewis / Getty Images

Stacy and Mi Jung both carded first rounds of -8 under par 64 at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, to take a one shot advantage into the second round. Stacy finished strongly  with a birdie barrage on the back nine, sinking birdie putts on five of her last six holes, including her last three;

Even if I don’t finish that way, it was a good round, but definitely nice to birdie the last three,”

“I played really solid last week, and the scores just didn’t really show how I played. So I felt like things were coming along and getting closer and it showed out there.”

“I hit my wedges a lot better, which is always a good sign for me. When my wedges get back on track that usually gets the entire swing back going in the right direction.”

Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic

Mi Jung Hur / Getty Images

Mi Jung reported she was playing well and was pleased to be bogey free on the first round, and would like to stay bogey free for the rest of the week;

“It was awesome to be bogey free. That was my goal for today and I made it. My shots were really working good and also my putter was very good, so everything was perfect for the round.”

“I feel so much comfortable after I did the top-10 in Portland, I think my confidence, it made me feel better and better.”

“I just got in the Asia tournament after I finished third in Evian. I didn’t expect it but I really excited to play Asia, I want to keep this momentum to Asia so I have to play good here.”

“I will set my goal for bogey-free for a whole week, so hopefully I can make it.”

Paula Reto, from South Africa is in third place alone on -7 under par following her first round effort of 65. After a shaky start to her LPGA career Paula is now feeling more comfortable with life;

“The first couple tournaments I was just really nervous, you know, trying to find myself pretty much out here. Everything just kind of fit in the last couple of tournaments and obviously being more comfortable where I’m at.”

“Better relationship with my caddie and I on the course, what we need to do, game plans. Sticking to things and just committing to stuff.”

“It’s important obviously but I’m not trying to think about it too much. If it goes either way I’m going to be happy. I’m just going to have fun out here and just do the best I can and I’m glad I’m playing a little bit better now than before.”

It is all pretty tight at the top end of the leaderboard, but maybe tomorrow it will settle down a bit and we will have a clearer picture of who is really in form here.

 

Ladies European Tour, Trish Johnson Sets Her Sights on the Spanish Open

White Dragon GolfTenerife Open de Espana Femenino

Trish Johnson sets her sights on the Spanish Open title in Tenerife, Spain.

Spanish Open

Trish in Spain / Getty Images

Trish set the pace in the first round of the Tenerife Open de Espana, shooting -7 under par 65 at  Golf Costa Adeje in the Canary Islands. A recent winner of the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open, Trish fired in eight birdies with only one bogey in the hot and sunny conditions, and said she was at a loss to explain her sudden return to good form, apart from a red-hot putter, calling one long putt a snaker;

“I can’t really explain it because for the past two weeks I’ve been rubbish and Evian was embarrassing. I think it’s just a case of when you go to some places you like the greens.”

” Having said that, I did go on the putting green yesterday. I saw something playing at Evian, and I can’t remember who it was, but I remember thinking I like the look of that with the right hand and I just started to practice it and I felt comfortable straight away.”

I thought, this feels really good, and I putted very well today, so we’ll see if it continues.”

“It was a real snaker and it went straight in. I’m very, very happy, a nice start, but there are an awful lot of good players here and I’m under no illusions. There won’t be any six shot leads, that’s for sure with Carlota and Charley and Aza here.”

In second place at -6 under par is Wendy Hillier, just one shot behind on 66, with two ladies tied in third position, Stacy Lee Bregman and Kylie Walker carding rounds of -5 under par 67.

Stacy Lee was also very pleased with her putting performance;

“I putted really well today. I hit some really good putts and hit it on the fairways and knocked it close and gave myself a lot of chances.”

” I’ve grown up playing courses that are inland, not coastal courses, but I do have a bit of experience with grainy greens. I saw everything today and it felt right.”

“I was in the right frame of mind. I’ve been working on my putting and it seems to be paying off.”

Spanish hopes are resting on Carlota Cigander, who is tied in fifth place at -4 under par, with a whole host of other ladies.

Carlota was reasonably pleased with today’s round;

“I was three under after four holes and then I had a couple of holes where I didn’t play very good, on nine and ten. I came back and kept playing very well on the back nine so I’m very happy with my results today.”

Wales Open. Joost Luiten Leads on Day 1.

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Joost Luiten leads  at the end of day 1 of the Wales Open at Celtic Manor Resort.

Wales Open

Joost Luiten / Getty Images

Joost shot an opening round at the Wales Open of -6 under par 65 to sit on top of the Celtic Manor Resort course leaderboard.

Nicolas Colsaerts and Andrew McArthur are tied in second place at -5 under par following their first round scores of 66. Nicolas hit the longest drive in European Tour history , mighty a 447-yard bombshell that left him with just a gap wedge into the 613-yard par five 18th hole at Celtic Manor, to set up the Eagle. Even that record could not console him as he rued not having the chance to play once again in the Ryder Cup, in his previous outing he carded eight birdies and an eagle in a four-ball win alongside Lee Westwood at Medinah two years ago.;

“I saw them having dinner and thought ‘I wish I was in that room. It’s their adventure and I am not part of it, but once you play in one Ryder Cup, you don’t want to miss another one.”

Of the longest drive, “The muscles from Brussels” only mentioned the wind assistance and some heavenly help;

” I thought it was too far right but it’s all downhill and downwind and it must have luged down the fairway. If all the stars align you can hit it a long way.”

Tied in fourth place are Justin Walters, Robert Rock and Sam Walker, these three carded rounds of -4 under par 67.

Robert admitted he had not played well this year;

“Probably for the last month I’ve been playing good, the rest of the year has been pretty horrific. I’ve been driving the ball well for months, and wasting every opportunity that brings.”

” My iron play has been good for two weeks, the putting has been hit and miss, but the past two weeks have been good, so I hope I can drag that on for a little bit longer.”

Of the four Team Europe players competing at The Celtic Manor Resort, Jamie Donaldson’s -1 under par 70 was the best score, with Thomas Björn returning with level par, Lee Westwood +2 over par and a rusty Stephen Gallacher signing for a +7 over par 78, Steve had this to say afterwards;

“I did half expect it, generally if I’ve got something to play for I’ll play pretty well. When I go through the motions I’m useless.’

“All eyes are on next week and it’s hard to put it out of my mind when I’m already in. Once you’re in it, I just want it happen. Next week it’ll be different, you’re in a heightened mood and I’ll be better.”

“One swallow doesn’t make a summer, so I’m not really bothered to be honest. I’ll just go out tomorrow and try and make a few birdies, see what happens. I’ll give it my best shot, I shot 63 around here once (in 2010).”

The longest drive this season on the PGA Tour was hit by Bubba Watson, who sent one 424 yards on the 16th hole at Firestone Country Club. He was the only player to eclipse 400 yards this season.

Tour Championship, FedExCup, Billy Wins It All

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Billy Horschel wins it all, the Tour Championship and the FedExCup.

The Tour Championship   The FedExCup

Billy and Two Trophies.

Billy described it one word;

“Unbelievable.”

He cruised through the final round in -2 under par 68 to finish with a total of -11 under par, and a three shot victory. He spoke about his pregnant wife and how they had discussed this tournament;

I remember flying home and talking with my wife and she said, ‘You’re probably just waiting for the season to be over and start a new season.’ I sort of was.”

 “But at the same time, I knew my game was in the right shape and I just needed to get out of my own way. I needed to allow my golf game to show.”

“Hopefully, she’s not going into labor right now.”

I was able to rise to the occasion and get the job done, and it just gives me so much confidence, such a thrill to accomplish something like this, especially with the guys I was going up against.”

Rory McIlroy failed to fire in the final round, carding a +1 over par 71, he finished the tournament tied in second place with Jim Furyk, at -8 under par.

Rory had to admit that Billy played the best golf;

“Billy deserved it, he played the best golf this week. I was making bad swings at the wrong time and getting punished for them.”

“When Billy was making bogey on ten I thought I had a decent chance and then I three-putt there for the second day in a row and I felt like any chance I had to win the golf tournament went.”

“To win two Majors, my first WGC event and give it a real good run in these FedEx events, I’m really proud of myself the way I hung in there and dug deep the last few weeks.”

“When I look back on the year as a whole it’s been my best year to date so I can’t complain.”

Rory and Jim will be heading off to the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland, the European Team will be happy that Billy Horschel will not be there, especially in the form that he is in right now.

L.E.T. Evian Championship. Hyo-Joo Kim Wins.

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Hyo-Joo Kim wins the Evian Championship on the Ladies European Tour in France.

Evian Championship

Hyo-Joo Kim / Getty Images

Hyo-Joo shot a final round -3 under par 68 to post the winning total of -11 under par to collect the Evian Championship title. The 19 year-old from Korea was playing in her first Major tournament, calmly rolling in a birdie on the last hole to win. She showed no emotion but afterwards announced;

“I was flying like a bird.”

Karrie Webb finished second at -10 under par, but was leading coming down the 18th, a poor chip shot being her undoing;

It was a rush of adrenaline with the belly wedge and the putt was faster than I thought. It was a very poor putt and I knew I had to make it for a play-off.”

” I had a lot of good shots and hit every green, bar the second hole, and it’s obviously disappointing, but I gave myself a good chance.”

There were four South Koreans in the top five places, Ha-Na Jang and MJ Hur tied for third place on -9 under par, with Ya Neon Choi in fifth place on -8 under-par.

Michelle Wie was named the inaugural winner of the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award on Sunday at Evian Golf Club, which made up for having to withdraw from the tournament due to her injury;

“It’s awesome just to be a part of history to win the first inaugural Rolex Annika Major Award.”

“I remember hearing that we were going to have this award last year, and I kind of set that goal for this year. That was one of the biggest goals that I had this year.”

“I really wanted to win it. I tried really hard at all the majors. Unfortunately only played couple, but I worked really hard to get this award. I am extremely proud of myself.”

Rolex ANNIKA Major Award

Michelle Wie / Getty Images

KLM Open. Paul Picks Up The Trophy.

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Paul Casey picks up the KLM Open trophy at Kennemer Golf & Country Club in Holland.

KLM Open

Paul Casey / Getty Images

Paul carded a final round of -4 under par 66 to lift the KLM Open trophy with a tournament total of -14 under par. Looking at the names on this old trophy, it has been contested for over 90 years, he admitted that he was very honored to have his name inscribed alongside them. Paul is also a proud new dad, fiancée Pollyanna gave birth to the couple’s son on September 1;
I’m a bit emotional to be honest, it was very care free for three and a half days, because if I played well or poorly I was going to go home to see my baby, and then I got to the last three holes and I thought I really want this, not that he is old enough to understand.” 

“This tournament has been going for more than 90 years and looking at the names on the trophy, you have Seve, Langer, Payne Stewart. It’s got some great names so to add my name to that is a great honor.”

“Just having my first child was a great distraction. I had no expectations coming into the week and I did very little practice, although I’ve played good golf. Even flying in Wednesday morning to spend as much time at home as possible, so I was apprehensive as to how I was going to play.”

” I couldn’t have dreamed it would turn out this way. It’s not that I wasn’t trying my hardest on the course, but you just don’t know how it will turn out. I’m absolutely over the moon. First tournament as a Dad and first win as a Dad!”

In second place was fellow Englishman Simon Dyson, just one shot behind at -13 under par, Simon recorded a final round of -5 under par 65, and came so close to winning. To complete the round-up another English player captured third place, Andy Sullivan Aced the 15th on his way to posting -12 under par, and claiming the hole in one prize, a trip into space;

” It was such a rollercoaster out there today, and this week, so to top it off by going to space is great. I was on the comeback after a few bad holes and the caddie pulled out a nine iron and said try to cut it in there, luckily it came off and it went in.”

“I’m not sure if I’ll go, I’ll check with the missus. I’m not great with heights or flying! I might have to pluck up some coverage. I don’t think spaceman is a new nickname for me.”

“My daughter will think I’m the best dad in the world, a professional golfer and an astronaut, she’s got the best dad in the world! I’m going to have to pluck up some serious courage, but it is a once in a lifetime experience, so I’m going to have to do it.”

“My caddie just shouted to me, ‘we’re going to space’. I was in hysterics. It’s just an unreal experience. I didn’t play great through the round and then I hit a shot like that. I had two twos on there, but not been close to it. So I wasn’t really even thinking about it.”

“It’s been such a rollercoaster of a day. I just strapped myself in and went for the ride. Overall it’s been a great week and I’ve really enjoyed myself here at the KLM Open.”

Tour Championship. Rory Right Alongside Billy.

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Rory McIlroy is right alongside Billy Horschel as the pair are tied together at the top of the Tour Championship leaderboard at East Lake Golf Club

Tour Championship

Rory and Billy / Getty Images

Rory Eagled the par five 15th on his way to scoring a -3 under par 67 and catch Billy at the top of the Tour Championship leaderboard, which going to make it an epic battle in the final round. Both golfers are tied at -9 under par for the tournament and both are looking forward to the challenge.

Rory is happy to be there;

“To be tied for the lead with 18 to play, the way I have played this week, thats all I could hope for. My short game really saved me today. I think the par putt on 11 was a big momentum putt in the round after three-putting 10 and Billy being in there pretty close and just narrowly missing for birdie. I think being able to hole that par putt was big.”

“Thats the great thing about the play-off’s, if you just get yourself in, with a good stretch, you have a chance at it all”

“I’ve come here with the ultimate goal of trying to cap it off and trying to put an exclamation point on it or the icing on the cake or whatever you want to call it. Would it be poetic justice? I’d feel really good about it.”

“I just want to win.” 

Billy wanted to go at it straight away;

” Can we go tee it up right now ? I”m serious, that would help me out a lot.”

“Your not going to play a perfect 72 hole event, hope I got my bad nine out of the way, and I have a great 18 left” 

” It’s going to be an exciting day.”

These two have a two shot lead over third placed Jim Furyk who matched Rory’s -3 under par 67 round and is alone in third at -7 under par.

There are three dangerous players just one shot further back at -6 under par, Justin Rose, Jason Day and Rickie Fowler.

Rickie shot -3 under par 67 and Justin went one better with -4 under par 66, while Jason stood still with his even par 72 third round.

Rickie thinks he is in a position to make a go of it;

” Really all you can ask for going into the week is to be in a position to win Sunday.”

“The tournament is really going to start tomorrow on the back nine. I know pretty much most of the scenarios for me. I know if I win I’ve got a pretty good chance. I know there’s some possibilities of some extracurricular activities if certain things line up properly.”

Gary Woodland fired the low round of the day, a -7 under par 63, but after his earlier troubles it only got him to -1 under par for the tournament.

It’s all go for an exciting finale tomorrow.