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LPGA Lotte Championship. Michelle Wie Wins

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Michelle Wie won the LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii on the Ko Olina Golf Club course.

Michelle and her victory Hula dance / Getty Images

Michelle shot a final round of -5 under par 67, to post a winning total of -14 under par for the Lotte Championship title. The winning margin could have been greater, but her short range putting is still suspect, even missing one from inside two feet.

“This is a dream come true for me, the amount of love I felt this week was unbelievable. I think being back home, I think just not putting pressure on myself, just feeling all the support from the people this week, and you know just being patient. I just had a blast this week.”

I’m just having fun out there, I was out there and nervous. Every time I felt nervous out there, I was looking around, I felt there was no place I’d rather be.”

” The highlight of this week was to come back home, there wasn’t just one moment. From the first tee shot that I made to the last putt, the aloha that I felt from everyone was unbelievable.”

” My caddie isn’t one for pep talks, but he gave a good one today. He said, it’s windy out there today, but play your game, and that’s really what I did. I didn’t try to force anything. I had a number in my head that I thought I needed to shoot, and I got it.”

Angela Stanford finished in second place after her last round of +1 over par 73, a very poor effort by her standards. She started the day with a four shot lead, and ended it two shots adrift at -12 under par.

Angela rued her decision making, and poor putting;

“Today, just didn’t make the putts that I’ve been making,  I wasn’t hitting it great today. Just misclubbed a couple of times. Just didn’t make good decisions. She’s been playing great, she’s having a great year, so it was bound to happen. I just happened to be the one that caught the buzz saw.”

Inbee Park also carded a final round -5 under par 67, which took her into third position on her own at -11 under par.

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A selfie from Michelle.

LPGA. Lotte Championship. Awesome Angela Extends Lead.

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An awesome third round from Angela Stanford saw her extend her lead in the LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii.

Angela Stanford / Getty

Angela compiled at third round of -5 under par 67 to extend her lead to four shots, with her total of -13 under par, at the Ko Olina Golf Club in Hawaii.

She said afterwards that she was happy to have picked up three birdies early on, when the wind was not quite as strong as it became later in the day;

“I didn’t think the wind was blowing as hard when we started, so it was kind of nice to get out there and get a little bit of a rhythm. It really picked up on the back. So it got tough towards the end just because it was windy and it started to become a really long round. But for the most part, my putter was great again, so that was a lot of it.”

“I just like some of these holes and I think every golfer will tell you, when you play different golf courses, there are some holes you like and some you don’t. I’m fortunate that the ones I like are grouped together, so that’s fine, nice. The ones I don’t like are kind of bookends.”

Sharing second place, and now four strokes adrift are, Michelle Wie and Hyo Joo Kim, both at -9 under par for the tournament.

Local favorite Michelle admitted to missing a few shots on the course today;

“Yeah, left a couple of shots out there today, but I have one more day and hopefully tomorrow I’ll make a lot of birdies and catch up to her. It’s going to be fun tomorrow. Ideally going into tomorrow I wouldn’t want to be this far behind. I think it’ll make it more interesting tomorrow. Just go out there and try to make some birdies early on and see what I can do.”

Hyo Joo Kim had set herself a target of a top ten finish here, and has not changed her mind;

“I’m not going to change my goal today or tomorrow, the top ten is still my goal, but anything I know where I am now and anything that happens from this point on, and if I finish better than top ten, that is a bonus and I will have a good time.”

In fourth place on her own at -8 under par is Cristie Kerr, rookie Amy Anderson, top-ranked Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu were tied for fifth place at -6 under par.

LPGA Lotte Championship. Angela Shoots Eight Under.

dragon logo darkAngela Stanford has taken the lead at the LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii, shooting eight under par 64 at the Ko Olina Golf Club.

Angela Stanford

Angela Stanford / Getty Images

Angela takes a one shot lead into the third round following her remarkable -8 under par 64 second round. She said the low round was long overdue, and the putting made the difference;

I guess it’s been a while, I can’t really remember. It was nice to have today because I’ve had these stretches where I’ve played good in a round and then I’ll make a bogey or two and kind of lose my focus. So it was nice when I had a couple long par putts to make or when I had to get up and down, I did. It was nice to be in that zone all day.”

“But today was about putting, finally I got comfortable on these greens and it felt great. I mean, to see that the ball go in that much is a lot of fun. It was nice to see. I needed a round like that. I think it’s more about putting, I hate to admit this, but I don’t always control my trajectory on purpose. It just kind of happens. When I start getting into the wind, and I’ve talked about this with my instructor, for some reason my body just starts moving into the ball more and I tend to keep it lower. It may just be growing up in Texas and that is how you grow up playing golf.

Just one shot behind is Michelle Wie, she carded a second round of -5 under par 67, for tournament total -7 under par. Michelle was still talking about the wind;

“It was still windy but not crazy windy as it was yesterday afternoon, I’ll take five under par. I knew I could have made a couple more birdies out there on the last couple of holes, but I’ll take it. I think Duncan, my caddie, did a really good job on course management. I think we there’s a lot tucked pins today. You kind of played it safe on a couple, made some putts. Then I think it was just good course management.”

There are four Ladies tied in third spot at -6 under par, Inbee Park, Cristie Kerr, Hyo Joo Kim and So Yeon Ryu are all still very much in this competition.

Cristie commented on her bogey-free -6 under par 66;

“It was like a slow buildup the whole day, I was really determined. I just wanted to keep the momentum going. I was very focused today”

Hyo Joo Kim thought she was going to put together a really good round, but somehow lost confidence. Good putting helped;

 “I start out good but as I progressed, I lost confidence.  I expected it to be a better round today, but it turned out to be worse. But I’m doing all right. I plan to have birdies all the time, whenever I have a chance. You know, it’s windy outside so that’s a big factor. I like the putting that I performed today.”

LPGA Lotte Championship. Three Tied in Hawaii

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There are three Ladies tied at the top of the leaderboard in Hawaii at the LPGA Lotte Championship being played on the Ko Olina Golf Club course.

Se Ri Pak

Se Ri Pak / Getty

South Koreans Se Ri Pak, Se Yeon Ryu and Hyo Joo Kim sit atop of the leaderboard in the LPGA Lotte Championship after recording first round scores of -4 under par 68.

Se Yeon Ryu was first in the clubhouse at -4 under par and reported that the wind was so strong it made it a hard day;

“The wind was pretty strong, so it was really hard to play with this much strong wind. The most difficult part was sometimes gust wind is super extremely strong, so also it was affecting the putting.  It was really hard to read a line.  The really good thing is my iron shot was really nice, so my birdie putt is almost just short.”

Se Ri Pak had an Eagle today, at the par five 5th. She has also reverted back to cross-handed putting, not a good sign of a confident putter, but she seems happy with it;

” I think that most of the last few years have been giving little time for my putting, but the last couple of weeks have more consistency. I feel great and I make some more putts that I’m supposed to make, so that’s giving more momentum as we walk to the next hole.  That helps a lot.”

“That’s all I have right now, it’s more comfort with the golf course and hitting a lot more better, like more great tempo, my putting is more solid, I guess overall my game has gotten together to make it score well.”

Hyo Joo Kim was bogey free through 17 holes, but sadly three putted the last;

” Except for the very final hole here, the putting in general was really good for the day. So I was really happy with my putting in general except for the 9th hole here.”

Ayako Uehara sits in solo fourth and one shot back at 3-under par. while Michelle Wie, Inbee Park and the amateur So Young Lee are in close contention at -2 under par.

Michelle was having a great time;

“It’s awesome, I’m having a blast out here.  It’s great to see a lot of friends out there today.  Hopefully more will show up in the next three days.  I like I said, I think I’m in a good position and see what I can do in the next three days.”

Inbee mentioned the wind getting up, and also her good putting;

” Obviously, the wind wasn’t blowing as hard for my first five holes, then it started to really blow. I’ve never seen this golf course playing this hard before.  It’s been definitely the most it’s blown so far.” 

“The greens seems like it’s a little bit more slippery, especially downwind. I had trouble on the back nine with controlling the distance.  I hit it over the couple of greens.  It was almost impossible to get it up‑and‑down from there.  A couple of mistakes on the back nine, but I feel like I’m putting a lot better than I have this season.”

LPGA. Kraft Nabisco Championship. Lexi Lifts Trophy.

dragon logo darkKraftNabiscoChampionship_188x84Lexi Thompson lifts the Kraft Nabisco Championship trophy at Mission Hills Country Club.

Lexi Thompson & Trophy / Getty

Lexi started her day with a birdie, and continued with that fine form to shoot the low round of the day, a bogey free -4 under par 68, to lift the Kraft Nabisco Championship trophy. Her amazing round gave her a tournament total of  -14 under par, and a three-shot victory over Michelle Wie. This is Lexi’s  first-career Major title, and she also becomes the second-youngest player to win a Major championship;

” Well, it was an amazing day, starting off with a birdie definitely helped. But just hitting that first tee shot obviously a little nervous, but it was definitely what I’ve been practicing for, what I live for, to play under that pressure and to get a major win under my belt, especially the Kraft Nabisco. It’s such a huge honor to win this tournament.”

” It’s a great feeling. This is what I’ve worked so hard for. This was one of my goals coming into the year, to win a major. I’ve always seen myself winning a Kraft Nabisco. It’s such a huge honor with all the history behind the tournament. It’s just a dream come true.”

Michelle Wie finished at -11 under par, her final round -1 under par 71 was not enough to catch the leader;

“ Lexi played amazing today. She played probably the best I’ve ever seen her play. She hit the ball so well. She made everything. It was just hard to catch up to her all day today, but I’m really happy for her. I’m really proud of her.”

“You know, it was a lot of fun playing in contention, being in the final group, it was nice to be in the final group at Kraft again. I think it’s a sign. I think I’m getting close. I think I can get a lot of confidence from this week. I think I’m improving and improving, and I think getting second at a major, I think it means that I’m close, and I’m really proud of myself, and I’m really excited for the upcoming events. There’s four more majors left this year, and I’m just really proud of myself, and I just want to keep improving a little bit every day.”

The top two were a mile away from third placed Stacy Lewis, she finished the tournament at -7 under par, with a last round of -3 under par 69.

Lexi went for a victory dip into  Poppie’s Pond:

Lexi Thompson celebrates after winning the Kraft Nabisco Championship, her 4th LPGA Tour win. (USATSI)

Lexi Thompson & caddie / USATSI

LPGA. Kraft Nabisco Championship. Two Tied at the Top, Lexi & Michelle

dragon logo darkKraftNabiscoChampionship_188x84Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie are the two who are tied at the top of the leaderboard at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Michelle Wie / Getty

Michelle shot a third round -4 under par 68, on the Mission Hills Country Club,  Dinah Shore Tournament Course, to share top spot on the Kraft Nabisco Championship leaderboard with Lexi  at -10  under par for the tournament.

Michelle like the entertainment value in Lexi’s game;

I think Lexi is a really entertaining golfer, I like to think I’m somewhat entertaining as well. So, I think the both of us paired together is great. I think it’s great for the tour and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

” I probably won’t sleep that well. It’s just the chance, you want something so badly. I dreamed about this all my life, so I’m just trying to not think about it so much. I’m just trying to think it’s a normal Sunday. But I think that’s a good thing. It’s a sign that I’m really excited and I really want this.”

“I just go out there and I think I just really know what I need to do. I think that came with experience of playing so many rounds in my life.”

Lexi is looking for some more putts to drop, she was unhappy at carding a six on the par five eighteenth;

” Not the ending I wanted, I’m getting looks at birdies and just waiting for a few more to drop. I think if you’re not nervous, you don’t care, but it’s a good nervous. This is what I’ve been waiting for and what I’ve worked my whole life for.”

Charley Hull and Se Ri Pak are tied in third place, both with -8  under par totals. Charley put herself into contention with a -6 under par third round of 66, while Se Ri was just -1 under par 71 to put towards her total.

No one knows how Charley’s golf game will stand up to Major championship pressure, but it seems she already has the mindset   to deal with it. This is her quote from last year;

“This is how I always look at golf. I’m not going to die if I hit a bad shot. Just hit it, and find it, and hit it.”

As a professional Charley won for the first time at the Ladies European Tour’s, Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco. Then she said she was having too much fun with friends back home to join the LPGA Tour;

” I was really enjoying my friends and stuff at home, just being a kid, being with my friends, going out, going to parties and stuff. I don’t want to miss that living over here full-time at the moment. I was still seventeen at the time. I still wanted my childhood in a way. There was no rush for me to go over there.”

This first Major for the Ladies is set up nicely for a dramatic finish, I am looking forward to it.

Catriona Matthew is T5 with Cristie Kerr, at -6 under par for the tournament.

LPGA. Kraft Nabisco Championship. Lexi Leaps into Contention.

dragon logo darkKraftNabiscoChampionship_188x84Lexi Thompson leaps into contention at the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club in California.

Lexi Thompson / Getty

Lexi shot a second round -8 under par 64, to leapfrog the field and join Se Ri Pak at the top of the leaderboard at -7 under par, in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

 19-year-old Lexi is already a three-time winner on the LPGA Tour, said this is her favorite tournament, it showed when she took only 25 putts on the round;

 ” This is my favorite tournament of the year, it’s so beautiful, like really nice weather, and the fans are amazing. I just had a little bit of speed issues yesterday, I didn’t really commit to my lines and I came up short a lot. I just went out today and picked my line and sped up my tempo a little bit and went up to it and said, `I’m going to knock it in.”

” I’m really comfortable with the golf course, I get to hit a lot of drivers, so I just aim up the right side and hit my little draw. I was just trying to stay in the moment and focus on each shot, not really think about what I was shooting. I had the same confidence over every shot, just committing to my line and just being confident.”

Se Ri Pak said she was playing solid golf, but her putting was not so good today;

“Everything has just been really solid, I kept it fairways, greens, always the goal every hole. I had a lot of opportunities, but putting is not as good as yesterday. Still, just really smooth, solid round. I’m really happy about the way I finished.”

Michelle Wie is in third place, a second round -1 under par 71, was not as good as yesterday, but it keeps her in contention at -6 under par for the tournament, and she enjoys being there;

” I’m really excited, it’s fun being near the top of the leaderboard. But try not to look forward too much. It’s a long way till Sunday. It felt good to start off with a birdie, after that, really just couldn’t get anything going. But it felt good. Par is a good score out here.”

First round leader Shanshan Feng struggle with a +1 over par 73 round today, to fall back into a tie for fourth place, with Cristie Kerr, both at -5 under par, two shots back. Shanshan blamed the wind, but is still in a positive frame of mind;

“The wind kind of picked up, so it was actually tougher playing compared to yesterday. I think I actually did pretty well. I did make two bogeys coming in, but I was still concentrating, and it just happens. Sometimes you make good strokes and they don’t fall on this course. I’m still positive.”

LPGA. Kraft Nabisco Championship. Feng In front.

dragon logo darkKraftNabiscoChampionship_188x84 Shanshan Feng  is in front at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, being played at Mission Hills Country Club in California.

Shanshan Feng

Shanshan Feng / Getty

Shanshan carded seven birdies against just one bogey to sign for an opening round -6 under par, 66,  to hold a one-stroke lead in the first Major of the year. Shanshan said she was able to get some advice on how to play the course from a legend of the game, three-time Kraft Nabisco Champion Amy Alcott;

“I did play with Amy Alcott today. She’s won three times here in the past, and after my first drive off the first tee I was asking her, I said, can you tell me the secrets about winning here? Because before this year I never did well here. So she was telling me all the secrets.”

” Don’t ask me what the secrets are because that’s a secret. I’ll tell you maybe after we finish Sunday. But I did learn a lot from her. Last year, the first day I shot six over here, and I think that is a very big improvement. I do think that I played really well today and had a great time with Amy. I just hope that I can have three more good days.”

Amy was full of praise for Shanshan;

“Well, she’s very polite on the first tee. She said I know you’ve won here three times and you’re I don’t know if she used the word icon or famous, but she said I want to try to learn from you how to win here. She was very sweet starting off, and we were talkative.”

“She hits it very solid. Just a very, very talented young player. So I was very impressed with her putting and just her overall game, just how she managed herself on the golf course. I look for her to do great things.”

 Se Ri Pak and Michelle Wie are tied in second place at -5 under par following their opening rounds of 67.

Michelle is looking to be more consistent;

“Like I said before in the press conference, my goal is to be consistent, just trying to keep the same tempo every day. Trying to keep on doing the same things. I think it’s been working so far, so I’m just going to keep on doing that.”

“It’s still a tough golf course, they moved a couple tee boxes back as well. Mission Hills is still Mission Hills.”

 Se Ri Pak is under pressure to get the one Major that has so far eluded her, and she has brought the family along with her as well;

” This week the whole family is in town, so it makes me even more relaxed out there. My mom and dad, two sisters and my 5 year-old niece.“

“This means a lot to me, the last 17 years I’m waiting for one major to get my own career grand slam, so that’s hard. I mean, every single year I crossed this week. I have always high expectations trying to win so badly and trying to get my own grand slam, which that is not easy.”

 

 

 

 

LPGA. Kia Classic. Anna Nordqvist Wins

dragon logo darkKia Classic logo Anna Nordqvist won the LPGA Kia Classic at the Aviara Golf Club, in Carlsbad, California.

Anna Nordqvist

Anna Nordqvist / Getty Images

Anna fired a final round -5 under par 67, to lift the Kia Classic trophy with her total score of -13 under par. This is her second win of the season, and joins Karrie Webb as the only two time winners this season. With this win Anna is projected to jump from 16th to ninth in the world. She said it was nerve wracking having to two putt to win;

“I’m very excited. I still can’t believe it, I was a couple of shots back going into today, but this morning I told myself to give it a shot and I ended up making quite of bit of birdies out there. I’m very excited to have two wins this season. My hands were shaking a little, I’m not going to lie. You never know with the sun setting you see every little spike mark. So I tried not to focus on that and see the hole.”

“I really love the majors, it’s a tougher set up on course and I feel more pressure, more spotlight on the tournament and I like that. I like the test and it seems like it is going to be pretty windy next week which will make it tougher. I’m very happy with the way I’m playing and can’t wait to tee it up.”

Lizette Salas was in second place, carding a final round -2 under par 70, for a total of -12 under par, just one shot back of the winner.

Lizette is happy that she can make putts coming down the stretch, and is looking forward to teeing it up at the Kraft Nabisco Championship next week;

” I’m going to put this in the back of my mind, but know I can make putts down the stretch. Obviously, I can’t control what Anna does, she’s been playing awesome this year and already had a win, congrats to her. That’s just golf. Sometimes things go your way and sometimes they don’t. Luckily, I finished with a birdie on a good note, and off to the Kraft.”

One shot further back was Lexi Thompson, finishing the tournament at -11 under par, a fine last round of -4 under par 68 helped her cause.

Defending Champion Beatriz Recari failed to make the cut this time around.

Laura Diaz scored a hole-in-one for the second straight day, to become the second player in LPGA Tour history to make two aces in a tournament. She aced the par-3 third hole Saturday in the third round, then holed out on the par-3 sixth on Sunday, then followed that with an eagle on the par-4 seventh.

LPGA. Kia Classic. Lizette and Cristie are Tied at the Top.

dragon logo darkKia Classic logo Lizette Salas and Cristie Kerr are tied at the top of the leaderboard in the LPGA Kia Classic at Aviara Golf Club in California.

Cristie Kerr hugs Lizette Salas on the 18th hole after the third round of the Kia Classic.

Cristie Kerr and Lizette Salas / Getty

Cristie and Lizette are tied at the top of the leaderboard  on -10 under par for the Kia Classic tournament, giving them a two shot lead going into the final round.

Cristie carded her third round score of -2 under par in amazing fashion, with some trickery on the 18th. It was  was classic Cristie, standing in the middle of the  fairway with an 8-iron in hand, she somehow stood up on her approach shot and watched it fly right, rattling off rocks inside a  hazard. She then proceeded to sink a 60-foot putt to save par,  raising a fist in the air in triumph.

Lizette mused;

That’s Kerr. I felt great. I felt good. I felt comfortable. I think that’s the most important thing is to feel comfortable in the position you’re in.  I’m just really trying to capitalize on the par fives, just staying patient. That’s really my key this week is to stay patient, even though I’m in trouble, like on number thirteen, where I hit it into the bunker.”

“One bogey out of three days is not a bad thing. Overall I handled my nerves pretty well, it was my first time playing in the final group.”

Cristie said was going to consult with her mental guru, Dr. Joe Parent, about her apparent lack of focus;

“I’ll be right as rain tomorrow. Obviously, it was the worst shot I could have hit and then it was the best shot I could have hit. So go figure, that’s golf. It was pretty amazing. It is really one of those moments that you just remember for a lifetime. I was just trying to get it close. Usually that’s when those go in.”

“I hit two hooks on 17 in a row, that hole owes me tomorrow. That hole owes me tomorrow, big time.”

There are four ladies tied in third place at -8 under par, including yesterdays leader Dori Carter. Dori carded a 64 second round but followed that with 74 today. Joining her on that total are Shanshan Feng, Anna Nordqvist and Ayako Uehara.

Dori is still learning;

” I learned that it’s been a long process and you have to really, you know, take it hole-by-hole and breath by breath, and utilize your resources”

Anna thinks the back nine is tougher;

” I started off really solid, I think the back nine is playing a little tougher, but I hung tough and made a silly mistake on sixteen. But other than that, I’m really happy with my round.”

 

 

 

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