Ladies European Tour. Spanish Open. Amy & Connie Tied at the Top.

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Amy Boulden and Connie Chen lead the Spanish Open on the Ladies European Tour event in the Canary Islands

.Spanish Open Spanish Open

Amy Boulden and Connie Chen / Getty Images

Both Amy and Connie carded matching rounds of -3 under par 69 to share the lead going into the final day of the Tenerife Open de España Femenino at Golf Costa Adeje in the Canary Islands, with tournament totals of -9 under par.

 Amy has scored three straight rounds of 69, and would not be upset to card the same again tomorrow;

“I played solid again. I got off to a rocky start but managed to hole a few testers on the first few holes to keep me in there. I’m hoping for the same tomorrow or a bit lower.”

On the back nine I made three birdies in a row which gave a lot of momentum. There was a little bit of wind out there but the heat was making it very warm and sweaty.”

“I’ve been putting myself into contention in most of the tournaments, or the last few, so just hoping the win is around the corner.”

Connie arrived early for this competition, to get some extra practice in, and is just looking for some more putts to drop in;

“I’ve been working really hard, . I got here a week earlier and did a lot of putting on the greens here so I had a week of practice.”

“Hopefully my swing will be better tomorrow and a few more putts will drop.”

Third place belongs to Celine Herbin, who shot the low round of the day, a -7 under par 66, which included a bogey.

Celine is now at -8 under par for the tournament, just one stroke off the lead;

“It was a nice day for me. For the first two rounds I had a bad flight and a lot of wind on both days. It was nice to finally play this course with no wind. I was feeling confident because I worked well on my swing yesterday afternoon. I fixed some little problems and I arrived with a lot of confidence.”

 “The start of each of my rounds is a bit slow, I am like a diesel. I need to get my rhythm.”

 

Denmark’s Nicole Broch Larsen also came flying through the field, carding -6 under par 66, and finishing tied in fourth spot with Kylie Walker and the home supporters favorite Carlota Ciganda.

Nicole was happy with her round, but upset about a one shot penalty;

“I’m really happy about my round today. I played really solid. I had a good start, even though I had a bogey on the fourth, because my iron kicked on the grass and touched the ball, so I had four shots but one penalty stroke.”

” I just kept going today and it was fine. I was trying to look away from the scoreboards but I did see my name on there at the end.”

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.

Ladies European TourLadies European TourWhite Dragon GolfTenerife Open de Espana Femenino

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.”

Wales Open. Lowery Leads at Half-Way Point.

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Shane Lowery leads the Wales Open at the half-way point at The Celtic Manor Resort.

Wales Open

Shane Lowery / Getty Images

Shane shot a second round -6 under par 65 to lead the Wales Open at -9 under par after 36 holes. He admitted his lofty position was a bit of a surprise, as he had never played that well before at Celtic Manor;

“I’m pretty happy. I’ve never, ever done well here before, so to be leading after two rounds is nice.There is still a long way to go in the tournament but I’m really looking forward to the weekend.”

“I didn’t drive it that good yesterday but still shot a decent score. I drove it a lot better today, drove it a lot straighter and gave myself a lot of chances and rolled in a few putts, so it was nice.”

“I felt like coming over that I could give it a go this week. I was around tenth going into the back nine on Sunday last week, and similar the week before in Switzerland. If I can get myself in a good position come the back nine this weekend, again, hopefully I can give it a go.”

First round leader Joost Luiten is tied second place, carding -2 under par in the second round for a -8 under par tournament total. Joost said the course played much tougher today, overnight rain being the main factor;

“I’m happy. It was tough today because the greens were very soft compared to yesterday with all the rain they had last night, and with the back pins, even seven irons spun back four or five yards, and it was tough to fly them all the way to the back.”

Big hitting Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts is also tied in second at -8 under par, and would love to win again, his last victory was in 2012;

“It would mean a lot to win again after two years and struggling the first few months of the season.”

“Today I started very nicely but made two silly mistakes in the middle of the round and I almost lost it but it was nice to hole that putt on the last. It was about 35 feet with eight feet of break.”

The two Gleneagles Ryder Cup wild cards, Stephen Gallacher and Lee Westwood experienced differing results but similar emotions.
Steve shot -1 under par 70, and went home, missing the cut; Lee scored -2 under par 69 and made the cut. He was happy to have two more rounds of golf before heading to Gleneagles;

“I needed a couple more rounds, I was not particularly competitive yesterday, it was pretty scratchy, but today was more solid. A few iffy shots but it was nice to finish with two birdies in the last four holes to ensure being here for the weekend and two more competitive rounds.”

“I have been working on my game and been in the gym quite a lot, but I’m not quite match fit. I had three weeks off and you lose your sharpness.”

Steve was in a relaxed and philosophical mood as he left Celtic Manor;

“Yesterday was quite tough, it was tough to get going and get my head around it but today was a lot better. I was maybe trying a wee bit too hard yesterday and still thinking about next week.”

“I feel good, I’m physically and mentally good so I am really looking forward to next week. I’ll get up the road this afternoon and relax this weekend and maybe play nine holes with Thomas (Björn) on Monday morning.”

“I’ve done my preparation for it and I just want to get up there and get going.”

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.”