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.”

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

White Dragon GolfThe Evian Championship

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

L.E.T. Evian Championship. Hyo-Joo Kim Back in Pole Position.

White Dragon GolfThe Evian Championship

Hyo-Joo Kim is back in pole position at the Evian Championship, on the Evian Resort Golf Course in France.

Evian Championship

Hyo-Joo Kim / Getty Images

A third round of +1 over par in tough conditions gives Korean Hyo-Joo a one shot lead with a tournament total of -8 under par, going into the final round.

Her interpreter revealed her state of mind;

“I was calm, but if I win, I will get excited.”

The seven-time major champion Karrie Webb is in second place, just one shot behind the leader at -7 under par. Karrie carded a -1 under par third round and spoke about the conditions

“Didn’t hit it very good early, well, I started off with a birdie.  Two good swings down the first. Struggled a little bit there through the middle of the front nine.  Really just hung in there.  The conditions were challenging today with the breeze.”

“There are some really tough shots coming in.  You know, 16, that was playing quite challenging today to pick the right club, and you got to keep it right of the hole.  It was a tough two-putt even from where I hit it.”

“So challenging finish, but I did a really good job and finished the last four in two under.  That really made my round.”

“Just happy to be in this position.  It’s been a while.  Since the start of the year really that I’ve had a legitimate chance to win a tournament. So I feel good about where I’ve put myself.  Proud of my scrambling the last couple days.  Hopefully I’ve got a bit more of those in me tomorrow.”

Mi Jung Hur also had a +1 over par 72 and sits in third place for the tournament at -6 under par. Mi Jung added to comments on how tough the 16th was today;

“I had a good round all day long except the No. 16. I’m satisfied with this round because the pin positions were so tough all day long.”

The overnight leader Brittany Lincicome faded away, dropping four shots off the lead after a +6 over par third round of 77, which featured two double bogeys and a triple bogey within the first seven holes.

 

L.E.T. Evian Championship.Brittany Lincicome Leads.

White Dragon GolfThe Evian Championship

Brittany Lincicome leads the Evian Championship on the Ladies European Tour at the half-way stage at the Evian Golf Club.

Evian Championship

Brittany Lincicombe / Getty Images

Brittany holds a one shot advantage at the Evian Championship at the half-way stage of the tournament, carding a second round -6 under par 65, to post a -10 under par total. She had been practicing on the range bare-foot, something that I have recommended in my putting manual. It helps with balance and certainly seems to have worked for Brittany;

“It just slows it down, my tempo.  Obviously I can’t swing as hard as I would like to with no shoes on because I will fall.”

“Today I just thought I would just take them off and hit some balls and see what happens.  Actually did it yesterday.  After my round I went to the range and hit balls for 15, 20 minutes.”

“I think just the confidence.  Even when I felt like I didn’t hit a good shot today I kind of got away with it.  Golf isn’t always a game of perfect and hitting great shots. It’s more about misses, my misses today were right online and gave me birdie opportunities or got me in the fairway.”

“I haven’t been in this situation for a while.  It brought back a lot of fun memories I have had when I won before. I really, one of these days, would love to win a golf tournament by like five or ten strokes, so when I am walking down 18 I can be all smiley and waving and having a good time and not like super stressed ready to like explode inside.”

“That’s my next goal, to win a tournament by a bunch of strokes. The pressure is difficult to handle.”

First round leader Hyo-Joo Kim speaking through a translator, she said that she wanted to ‘erase’ the first day’s score to start afresh and admitted to feeling the pressure.

Hyo-Joo carded a second round of +1 over par 72, which left her one shot adrift of the leader at -9 under par for the tournament.

Mi Jung Hur scored a second round -2 under par 69, to stay in contention at -7 under par, and is alone in third place.

In a very strange occurrence out on the course So Yeon Ryu was disqualified from the tournament, as she had damaged her putter on the fourth hole by slamming it against her shoe and bending the shaft of the club, thus changing its’ playing characteristics. So Yeon, the 2011 US Women’s Open Champion, subsequently used the club to tap in her ball, which was a violation of rule 4-3b: using a club that was damaged other than in the normal course of play. How many times have we seen top players disqualified for not knowing the rules !!

 

L.E.T. Evian Championship. Hyo-Joo Kim with Lowest Major Round, Ever.

White Dragon GolfThe Evian Championship

Hyo-Joo Kim records lowest ever round in a Major, firing 61 in the opening round of the Evian Championship, on the Ladies European Tour.

Evian Championship

Record breaking Hyo-Joo Kim / Getty Images

South Korean Hyo-Joo,  just 19 years of age carded 10 birdies on a sunny day at the Evian Resort Golf Club in a flawless display of golf. She said, via an interpreter, she was only looking for a good experience, it can’t get much better than a four shot lead at the end of day one;

“My goal is have a good experience in here, that’s all.”

Hyo-Joo’s caddie Gordon Rowan was full of praise for his charge;

“She has a very good all round game. She’s not a massive hitter but has a very decent length and keeps up with the girls but she’s so straight and this is a course where you need to hit fairways because the rough is very thick.”

“Her accuracy into the greens means that she’s never far away. She also has a very good temperament and even on days when she’s fighting and putts don’t fall she keeps going and going and going.”

The the lowest round in a Major and also the tournament record for 18 holes on the redesigned Evian Resort Golf Course.

Her nearest competitor is Karrie Webb, a -6 under par 65 giving her second place.

Another South Korean Mi Jung Hur is a stroke further behind in solo third on -5 under par for the tournament after her first round of 66.

Sadly Michelle Wie, the US Women’s Open champion, was forced to retire after 13 holes of the first round due a recurring problem of pain from a stress reaction in her right index finger.She last played at the Meijer LPGA Classic in early August, where she had to retire for the same reason;

“I had hoped it was a week later, but, you know, I just really wanted to come to France.  I really love this tournament.”

“It was at a point where it was touch and go.  I just wanted so see if I could play.  The doctors just told me, ‘It’s all up to you.’  It just depends on if it hurts or not. But they did tell me if it did hurt to stop right away just because it could get worse.”

“I was out there and I knew I should have stopped earlier but I was having so much fun out there I wanted to keep playing. But it got to the point where it was too painful.  So I just made the smart decision to not play.”

 

L.E.T. Helsingborg Open. Dewi Does It.

White Dragon GolfThe Helsingborg Open

Dewi-Claire Schreefel does it, she wins her first Ladies European Tour trophy, the Helsingborg Open at Vasatorps Golfklubb in Sweden.

Helsingborg Open

Dewi and Trophy / Getty Images

Dewi raced away from the field, shooting a final round of -6 under par 66, to win the Helsingborg Open at -17 under par, and a massive seven shot winning margin. Quite an accomplishment for her first Ladies European Tour win. Her nearest rival was Rebecca Artis, who was placed second at -10 under par for the tournament, Dewi was aware that Rebecca was trying to chase her down;

It’s a good way to win. Rebecca had a good chase on and I was glad to be playing well to keep up with her and I can’t find a better way to win that this.”

“I’ve been a pro for five years and every year has got better but I felt like this year it was going to come. All the elements came together.”

 

Rebecca, the defending Champion had to settle for second place, but overall was happy with her performance;

“I chased late in the back nine, birdied 10, 11, 12 and 14 but she was matching me, so there was not much I could do about it.”

“I probably didn’t play my best golf on the front nine; I needed to get it going early and make some birdies early and put pressure on her and I didn’t do that. I turned one over through nine and I made a bit of flurry on the back nine and a charge but every time I made a birdie she matched me.”

“I played pretty good golf out there today and was happy with my effort and what can I say? Second when I come back to defend: I’m happy with that.”

The magnificent Dame Laura Davies also recorded a final round -6 under par 66, which gave her third place on her own, and she was delighted with her weeks work;

A 67 for a top five was what we were looking at, so a 66 for a top three is obviously a bonus.”

“I was just short of the third in two and had 40 yards and hit a little pitch, checked up and it ran right up in the middle, so that was nice. Number six, just pulled a five-iron into the greenside bunker but it was an easy bunker shot, flopped it out and it just went in like a putt again.”

“The British Open was more important in that it got me into a lot of stuff in America but a top three is better than a top nine. I don’t judge tournaments by money or prestige: if you play well on the week, top three is a great finish so this is a big week for me.”