Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. MJ Makes It Her’s.

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MJ Hur makes the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic her’s, as she picks up the trophy on the RTJ Trail, Senator Course.

Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic

MJ and Trophy / photo A.P. 

MJ set a tournament record winning total of -21 under par to win the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic with a final round -6 under par 66. Having her dad carrying the bag this week was extra special for her. She was aware of the charge being made by Stacy;

‘It’s definitely an exciting week for me, I started with two birdies and it made me so much more comfortable the rest of the round. But Stacy played so well and I definitely thought about her.”

”I just played my own game, and after nine holes I made a few birdies on the back nine.”

The easiest of those those birdies was on 16;

”After I made that, I definitely think about winning. The last two holes, I really enjoyed the golf.” 

World number one Stacy Lewis was making a real charge, doing her best to catch up to MJ, she also carded a final round -6 under par 66, to finish in second place at -17 under par.

Stacy commented about playing well, but unable to any pressure on leader;

”You get events where people kind of run away with tournaments, I’ve done it before. “

“It’s just golf. I played well, gave myself a ton of opportunities for birdies, which that was the goal coming into the day.”

”I would have liked to have made a couple of more to give her something to think about coming up those last few.”

Paula Reto had her best ever finish to a LPGA tournament, finishing in third place at -14 under par. She had a poor last round carding +1 over par 73, after starting the day tied at the top of the leaderboard.

In a strange coincidence Connie Chen won on the Ladies European Tour this week, she also had her dad on the bag. Maybe the fathers just bring a calming factor into the girls thinking.

Ladies European Tour, Spanish Open. Connie Claims 1st Victory.

White Dragon GolfTenerife Open de Espana Femenino

Connie Chen lifted her 1st Ladies European Tour trophy, winning the Spanish Open, in the Canary Islands.

Spanish Open

Connie & first victory trophy / Getty Images

Connie completed the Tenerife Open de España Femenino with another -3 under par 69, to lift the trophy with a tournament total of -12 under par, and a two shot victory.

Connie was very excited to have her first victory, especially with her dad Hong on the bag. She spoke to reporters about the day and also the duff chip she made on 18, which led to a bogey;

“I’m so happy, I was so nervous today teeing off and being able to keep going and make that eagle on the back nine gave me a good feeling for the day.”

“I was very nervous over that chip, I just acknowledged that it’s only natural to be nervous and tried to focus on other things to distract me, like the scenery and blue skies.”

“It’s nice that we worked really well this week together. It was a little different to our usual disagreements on the golf course.”

“We just discussed that there are some things that work, with him being my father and us being so close, and some things that we need to get a little bit of distance in the relationship and chill out.”

“With him being so close to me he wants me to do so well, so he was able to let go of that and let me play my own game this week.”

Spanish OpenConnie and Dad, Hong / Getty Images

Second place went to Spanish girl Carlota Ciganda, who also posted a final round -3 under par 69 to finish with a -10 under par total. She really wanted to become the first home winner of this tournament;

“It’s a pity, because I wanted to win so badly and this was the only objective in my mind.”

If you can’t win, then the best position is second, so I am happy because when I think about this tournament it will give me confidence for the future.”

Beth Allen was in third position at -9 under par, with Charley Hull finishing in fourth place at -8 under par.

With her victory, Connie becomes the 12th first time winner of a Ladies European Tour event this season, this is a closely contested Tour.


Wales Open. Luiten Lifts the Trophy.

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Joost Luiten lifts the Wales Open trophy at Celtic Manor.

Wales Open

Joost Luiten & Trophy / Getty Images

Joost hung on at Celtic Manor, only managing an even par final round of 71, but his tournament total of -18 under par was enough for him to lift the Wales Open trophy.

He admitted it was tough coming down the stretch;

“It was tough, it was hard work down the last. I didn’t have the start I wanted with two bogeys and I just tried to hang in there and wait for my chances and made some nice birdies at the end and a par down the last was luckily enough.”

“There’s always a lot of tension on the first hole, you try to settle down, try to make an easy par or birdie and then I left myself quite a tricky first putt and I just didn’t read it well. I didn’t give the right pace and you leave yourself an eight footer downhill left to right and that’s one you can make or miss and I missed it today.” 

“You just try to settle down the first couple holes, and after that, I got back into my game. I started to hit greens, and I just didn’t really make any putts in the middle part, luckily we made a couple at the back.”

Tommy Fleetwood and Shane Lowery were the guys trying to chase him down, they finished tied for second at -13 under par. Shane with a -1 under par 70 last round, and Tommy making a late charge with four birdies and an eagle on the last five holes to card -4 under par 67.

Tommy came off a double bogey on 13, and suddenly came alight;

“After the double bogey on 13 I definitely wasn’t thinking about getting to 13 under, just try your best on the last few and see what you can get. I wanted to get back to level par or under par for the day. I thought that would have been a good effort.”

“After a poor summer, I wanted to finish the season well. I’ve been playing well recently and the more you get up there, the better. This is how you learn. You can’t practice this on the range when you’re coming down the stretch in the top five and just the more you do it, the better it is.”

Five players finished sharing  fourth place at -12 under par, including Ryder Cup debutant Jamie Donaldson who carded a very respectable final round of -4 under par  67. He was joined by Nicolas Colsaerts, Eddie Pepperell, Marc Warren and Edoardo Molinari.

Jamie was very pleased with his preparation for the Ryder Cup;

“I’m very pleased, Celtic Manor is a tough golf course which doesn’t quite suit my eye. It’s been hard for me this week to keep focused and try and see the shots, if you take your foot off the pedal, and there’s a lot of trouble about.”

“I’m happy the way I played over the last four or five weeks, building up to the Ryder Cup. I couldn’t have asked for any more, really.”

Ryder Cup team-mates Thomas Björn and Lee Westwood carded closing rounds of 74 and 76 respectively, so will need to perform better next week at Gleneagles.

Lee said he will be ready;

“I needed to play some competitive golf and I’ve done that. I hit a few good shots this week, not so good today, but I probably had one eye on next week. I don’t think the concentration and the focus was there.”

“The Ryder Cup is very special, I am looking forward to getting there tonight and preparing for Friday when it starts.”

Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. MJ Catches Paula.

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Mi Jung Hur catches Paula Reto at the top of the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic leaderboard, on the RTJ Trail.

Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic

MJ & Kris / Getty Images

MJ and Paula are tied at the top of the leaderboard at -15 under par for the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic on the RTJ Senator Course. After rounds of 65 & 66 Paula came down to earth today with a -2 under par 70. This allowed MJ to catch up with her as she carded -5 under par 65 in the third round. They will play together in the final round, and avoiding total disaster one of them will be crowned champion.

MJ  birdied four of the last eight holes Saturday, after a slow start to the round;

“Beginning of the round my putting wasn’t that good, but after turned the nine holes, my putting gets better and better, so I had a low score.”

“I’m just going to focus on each shot and I will do my best for tomorrow. Play with Paula will be fun, not much pressure. I mean, she made me so comfortable.”

Paula said she did not start too well either;

“I didn’t start too well, I had a couple bogeys and a double there, but I kept patient and just focused on one shot at a time and it kind of helped me out toward the end of the round.”

“I wasn’t kind of where I wanted to be with my mental and stuff, so, I just took a couple seconds to myself just to rethink everything, just kind of stayed in there.”

Tied in third place, and four shots back are the defending champion Stacy Lewis and Kris Tamulis, both have a tournament total of -11 under par.

Stacy thought her score was good, for the way she played today;

“For the way I played, the score ended up pretty good, I didn’t play well.”

“It was kind of a struggle all day and just had to work pretty hard to shoot what I did. But I’m still within striking distance, still have a chance for tomorrow, which that was the goal going into the week.”

Kris played well and just let it all happen for her;

I wasn’t really trying to chase anybody, didn’t have a great middle of my round yesterday, so I was just going out there.”

“I had some really good numbers today and was able to just kind of go for it.”


Wales Open. Joost Luiten Back In The Lead

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Joost Luiten is back in the lead at Celtic Manor and will take a two shot lead into the final round of the Wales Open tomorrow.


Wales Open

Joost Luiten / Getty Images

Round one leader Joost regained the lead in the third round carding -6 under par 65, to top the Wales Open leaderboard at -14 under par, and has the comfort of a two shot lead for the final round.

Joost reported he had played consistently well, and was happy with it;

“I’m happy with a good score today, I played solid, consistent, hit a lot of greens and holed some nice putts to start with. I didn’t really make a lot in the middle part, but came back strong at the end with three birdies on the last four, and I’m happy.”

“You’re in the last group, the greens are not as good as in the morning maybe and you just have to be patient out on the greens. They are quite soft and you have to create chances every hole and they will go in eventually and luckily it did for me at the end.”

Shane Lowery, yesterdays leader could only score -3 under par 68 in the third round, giving him a tournament total of -12 under par.

Shane had a fast start, recording three birdies in the first six holes, and then nothing, luckily not even a bogey;

“I got off to a flyer and just nothing really happened for me. I did make three good par saves, but I would have liked to make a couple more birdies and probably should have.”

“I’m right where I want to be for tomorrow and I’m looking forward to it. I’m still there. If you had given me this Thursday morning before I stood on the first tee, I would have taken your hand off. I’m where I want to be and I feel like I have a chance tomorrow.”

“Joost is playing lovely but I felt like I played lovely myself. Just warm up the putter tonight and see what happens tomorrow.”

Grégory Havret carded a -5 under par 66 to lie three shots off the lead on -11 under par, alongside former champion Thongchai Jaidee, who shot -4 under par 67.
Grégory  was happy to be recording rounds in the red, under par numbers, and hopes for another one tomorrow;

“I played good. Unfortunately the last three holes were not as good as the first 15, but it was definitely a good round.”

“Anything red in this beautiful course is always good, and that’s three in a row and hopefully another one tomorrow.”

Jamie Donaldson, of the three Ryder Cup players left in the competition, was best placed on -8 under par  under after a 68. Lee Westwood had a -3 under par third round, which included  a birdie-eagle finish, to post a -3 under total. Thomas Björn carded a level par 71, which was  made up of 18 straight pars to remain at -2 under par for the tournament.

Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. Rookie Reto Shoots 66.

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LPGA Rookie Paula Reto from South Africa carded a second round 66 in the Yokohama LPGA Classic on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Senator Course.

Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic

Paula Reto / Getty Images

 Paula’s -6 under par 66 second round included eight birdies, trimmed down by two bogey’s, it still gave her a table topping -13 under par Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic tournament total.

Paula told reporters that she was just keeping simple, and being patient;

“I was just really patient with myself. I hit a couple good irons especially early in the round. I hit a couple close, five feet, so that was nice and got the momentum going pretty early.”

“Just trying to stay patient and not think too much, just simple things.”

“Just want to hit on each hole depending on what the wind is doing, not changing all of a sudden from a driver to a 3-wood, just sticking to it and going for it.”

” Maybe just the way I’m thinking, a little more comfortable the last couple of events. Just try to do the best I can and don’t over think too much.

Mi Jung Hur started the day as one of the first round leaders, her -2 under par 70 at least earned her second spot at the 36 hole stage, at -10 under par, and keeping her nerves under control. Maybe having her dad on the bag is calming influence on her, and to make it easier for him MJ swapped her Tour size bag for a smaller 3 pound carry bag;

” I starting with my putting didn’t work on the front nine, had a three‑putt on second hole and missed a green on No. 7 and didn’t make it on the green with the chip shot and made two bogeys on front nine.”

” But I tried to keep focus on my ball but I had a cold last night so it was really hard to focus today, but my father just keep talk to me and hey, wake up, wake up, like that.  I finally wake up on the back nine and had a good nine holes.”

“I feel so much better than the beginning of the season because I had like a mental problem maybe, like nerves.”

“But from Portland, I don’t know, they’re all gone somewhere.  Hopefully they don’t come back.”

“I just try to focus on every shot, every hit.  It’s working really good right now for me, so I will just keep doing it. Some day it will bring me a big trophy.”

World number one Stacy Lewis is in third place at -9 under par for the tournament, she was tied with MJ at the top of the leaderboard at start of play. A -1 under par 71 means she is still  in touch with the leaders, and said she knows how to pressure a rookie;

” I think, you know, I’ve been a rookie so I know what they’re thinking. They’ve never really been in that position. They’ve got to sleep on a lead overnight and it’s a hard thing to do.”

 “You’ve probably got a little bit of comfort there knowing that they might come back a couple, but you’ve still got to go out there and make birdies because every year, you know, gets closer, I think it’s usually close to 20-under-par winning on this golf course.”

Ladies European Tour. Spanish Open. Russian Maria Balikoeva Leads.

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Russian Maria Balikoeva leads the Spanish Open on the Ladies European Tour in the Canary Islands.

Spanish Open

Maria Balikoeva

Maria carded a second round -3 under par 69 to top the Tenerife Open de Espana leaderboard at -7 under par on the  Golf Costa Adeje course in the Canary Islands.

Maria said she thought she was unlucky yesterday, playing in the afternoon wind;

” We were unlucky because we played in the afternoon yesterday and I played today again when it was windy but I played really well.”

It’s just a shame that on the last few holes I dropped but I’m happy about my score, on 17, I didn’t think it would be as quick as it was. It went three metres past and I didn’t hole it back.”

“The greens are really quick, especially going down the grain. I’m not used to such quick greens. I was quite gentle the first nine holes and then it just went. Either it was my nerves or I wanted to finish the round, I don’t know.”

There is a trio of ladies tied in second place at -6 under par for the tournament, Kylie Walker, Amy Boulden and Connie Chen.

Kylie also mentioned the wind in her after round report;

“It was pretty solid because the wind is quite gusty so I’m happy with one under. I didn’t hit it quite as good today. I definitely hit it better yesterday, certainly off the tee.”

Rookie professional Amy shot a second successive round of -3 under par 69, and is looking for her first Tour win;

“It was a tough day and it was pretty windy but I think it was the same all day so it’s been pretty fair for all the players.”

“I kept steady and grinded it out really. I’m feeling confident about my game at the moment and I’m playing well each week so I’m hoping a win is around the corner really.”

Connie is also in contention for the first time on Tour, and admitted to a few nerves at the end of her round today;

“My game was pretty good today. I got a bit nervous on the last few holes, so I did make a few silly mistakes.”

“I had a lot of really good chances today and putting, I was a little tentative. I left a lot of them short. I’m one shot off the lead and it’s not too bad going into the third round. If you want something badly you get nervous and it’s natural.”

A shot further back at -5 under par are Spanish hopeful Carlota Ciganda and English youngster Charley Hull.

Charley was tied for the lead at one point but double bogeyed the 5th hole;

I started off really good and my front nine, I played really well, solid, which was the back nine on the golf course.”

“I hit my drives really well and putted well and hit it close. On the back nine I ran out of gas.”