L.E.T. Lalla Meryem Golf Cup. Charlie The Darling.

dragon logo darkLalla Meryem CupCharley Hull was the darling of the Lalla Meryem Golf Cup winning  with a four-foot birdie putt on the first play-off hole.

Darling Charley and some of her supporters / Getty

Seventeen year-old Charley won her first Ladies European Tour victory at the Lalla Meryem Golf Cup on the Golf de l’Ocean course in Morocco. Both Charley and Gwladys Nocera finished the tournament at -15 under par and the play-off ensued. Charley birdied the first play-off hole, #18, a par three. She got to the play-off courtesy of a final round -9 under par 62;

 “I shot nine under today which is pretty good and I thought I had it on the last in my actual 18th hole and it just missed and then making birdie in the play-off to win it, my hands were shaking like mad and I had a putt from four feet in the Solheim down the last against Paula and Lexi. I had the same there to win and I did it and I feel like I’m a good putter under pressure now.”

 “With three holes to play I finished birdie, birdie, par and nearly birdied the last hole so it just slipped away. I never backed down and I got there, I got my first win while I was still 17, I’m 18 next week so I’m really happy. I love Morocco. I was here last year and played well here again.”

Gwladys bemoaned a poor putting performance all week for her failure to win;

 “My putting has been really bad the whole week so you can’t do anything when you putt like that. I tried my best; Charley played well today and she deserves it. She’s been close to victory for a while and she’s a great player so she deserves it. I had to play better and I didn’t.”

Sophie Giquel Bettan of France ended four shots back on 11-under, in solo third place, shooting a last round -2 under par 69. Two French ladies in the top three, that bodes well for French golf this year.

Defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn finished in a tie for 12th place after she struggled with a disappointing final round of +2 over par 73. Ling Yan and Mathilda Cappeliez  shared the leading amateur honors at -1 under-par in a tie for 25th place for the tournament.

L.E.T. Lalla Meryem Golf Cup. Gwladys Glides Into The Lead.

dragon logo darkLalla Meryem Cup Gwladys Nocera will take a two-stroke lead into the final round of the Lalla Meryem Cup at  Golf de l’Ocean in Morocco.

Gwladys Nocera  / Getty

Gwladys shot a third round -6 under par 65 in warm and sunny conditions in Agadir, to top the leaderboard at -11 under par going into the final round. She says she is still struggling with hr putting, and made a slow start to the third round;

” Today was not so good on the front nine, I struggled a little bit but I don’t know. I played two rounds with bad putting and managed to shoot a good score so I just thought, ‘keep going, they will drop,’ and I made a few more on the back nine.”

Sophie Giquel-Bettan is in second place on her own, just two shots back of the leader. Sophie carded a third round -4 under par 67, and a total of -9 under par for the tournament. She was very happy that she had played well today, finishing with three birdies;

“I’m very happy. I think I played really well today. I was minus three after five holes, putting good and hitting the ball good. I missed two shots from the tee, so two bogeys and back to minus one. I was kind of frustrated because the players I was playing with were playing well also. I felt I had to make some birdies and I hit some good shots after but couldn’t make any. I tried to relax and make good putts and roll the ball well and I finished with three birdies.”

Ariya Jutanugarn, the defending champion here  struggled with her irons and slipped down into third place after a +1 over par third round of 72, but is still in contention just four strokes from the lead, at -7 under par. Bad day putting was the main reason for her mediocre performance;

“Today I played not very good. My driver was okay but my irons were so bad and I had some long putts and my putting didn’t help.”

 French amateur Mathilda Cappeliez slipped down the scoreboard carding an even par round of 71 to share fourth place at -6 under par with three other ladies.

L.E.T. Lalla Meryem Golf Cup. Ariya Jutanugarn Hits the Front.

dragon logo darkLalla Meryem Cup Defending Champion Ariya Jutanugarn hits the front in the Lalla Meryem Golf Cup at the end of day two of this Ladies European Tour event in Morocco.

Defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn / Getty Images

The defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn carded a bogey-free -5 under par 66 in the second round of the Lalla Meryem Cup on Friday to grab a two-stroke lead heading into the weekend at Golf de l’Ocean in Morocco.

Ariya reported that her driver was under control today, but the putter is not responding;

“Today I played pretty good and my driver was a lot better. My game was a lot better than yesterday in general. Today my putting was not very good, but it was okay. Yesterday my putting was a lot better than today. It’s very nice to play here because having won here it makes me a lot more confident.”

Nina Holleder, in second place at -6 under par, is hoping to get into the Solheim Cup, She lives only a five-minute cycle ride from Golf Club St. Leon-Rot, the venue of the 2015 Solheim Cup;

“I played the last two rounds really solidly and hit 16 greens each day, so it was not too difficult as the putter was good. I had more chances for birdie but I’m happy with it. At least I hope to improve from last year and climb up a bit in the ranking so that I have the full tour card for next year, because I’m still in category 9b now.”

15 year-old French amateur Mathilda Cappeliez shares second place at -6 under par, she said it was an amazing day;

Mathilda Cappeliez / Getty Images

“It was an amazing day. I putted really well with no bogeys on the card, so it was easier to make a good score. My game was nice, always on the green. My game was really good. After the first nine I was minus two and just a little bit nervous, but after the birdie, eagle and birdie on 10, 11, 12, I was trying to make pars. I think my game was like the pros so it made me feel secure.”

Laura Davies, Gwladys Nocera, overnight co-leader Sophie Walker  and Sophie Giquel-Bettan are all tied in third place at -5 under par.

Laura missed a few putts, but is still in a good position;

“I’ve played really well. I’ve hit 17 greens the first day, 17 greens today and the story is not making enough putts. Thirty three putts both days, but having said that, I’m at five-under-par and in a decent position.”

Gwladys also thinks she should have done better;

“It looks good when you look at the board, but the way I played, when I hit the ball, it was so close to the pin and I didn’t make a putt, so it’s frustrating. I know I’m on top of the leader board but I’m pretty disappointed with my day.”

“I guess I am tough on myself and I always want to do better. I’m here to work and to win. For me, it’s not a good day, but I look at it that I’m on top of the leader board but could do so much better.”

L.E.T. Lalla Meryem Cup. Two Tied At the Top, Day 1.

dragon logo darkLalla Meryem Cup There are two Ladies tied at the top of the leaderboard on day 1 of the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco, on the Ladies European Tour.

Rebecca Hudson  / Getty

Rebecca Hudson and Sophie Walker are tied at the top at -5 under par on the opening day at  Golf de l’Ocean in Agadir with totals of 66.

Naturally Rebecca was extremely happy with her round, especially as she practiced in a field at the back of a friend’s house;

“I’m very happy, I hit the ball well. I haven’t done as much practice as I would like but I came out and practised here the last few days. I had the ball under control and putted well and that makes a big difference. Hopefully I can keep this going forward.”

 “It’s great because she’s got a field behind her house so I’ve just been practising my short game. I have been practising but not long game.  I came here and practised my putting. My short game today was very good and I got up and down all but one time.”

                               Sophie Walker / Getty

A good practice round in the wind set up Sophie nicely for the day;

“Yesterday I had an afternoon practice round and I thought that would be good preparation because it always gets really windy here. I holed a decent putt on eleven and knocked it really close. Two under after three, you’ve got to take advantage of that.”

“It was a couple of clubs wind and on the back nine it was a cross wind a lot. I played well last week but just didn’t putt very well, so the aim this week was to putt better and I did that today. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and try to keep my percentage of fairways up and my putts low.”

Sophie Giquel-Bettan is in third place at -4 under after her opening round of 67, she said the jet lag from the flight helped her on her early tee time;

“I really enjoyed it. With the jet lag from China it was perfect to play early this morning because I was awake so early. It was pretty good. We had perfect conditions, like 20, 24 degrees and the wind picked up around the fourteenth hole, but it was good conditions and I did the job and it was fun.”

Ariya Jutanugarn, Jing Yan, Nina Holleder, Charley Hull and Laura Davies have a share of fourth place, all at -3 under par on the tightly packed scoreboard.

Ariya reported that her driver was not behaving properly;

“My putting and irons were good today and helped me a lot but my driver was so bad. I hit like six provisional balls today and had a lost ball and had a seven because of my driver. I couldn’t hit it straight so I had to change my mind and hit three-wood” 

Charley had eye trouble and did not putt too well;

“It was good and I hit it pretty well, apart from one drive, I could have been a lot under par, but the putts didn’t go in. I missed a few short putts to begin with but I learned from that and had four birdies on the trot where I should have had six. I could have shot a lot lower.”

“It’s a great golf course. It’s quite tight off the tee so you need to be hitting it straight. I woke up this morning and my eye was swollen and I think I must have been bitten at night. I thought I would be playing with one eye but it wasn’t too bad. I could see more out of my right eye than my left so people at home will probably think, ‘What’s the matter with her eye?’ It’s gone down a bit now though.”

Looks like an interesting tournament developing here in Morocco.

World Ladies Championship, Inbee Park Prevails

dragon logo darkMission Hills

Inbee Park prevails at the World Ladies Championship, at Mission Hills in China.

Champion Inbee Park / Getty

Inbee sailed round the Blackstone Course in -6 under par 67, for a winning tournament total of -24 under par. On on a damp and drizzly day that made scoring a lot more difficult,  after those first three days of sunshine, Inbee won by five shots  in the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills.

Inbee mentioned the weather in her post match interview;

“Today was obviously the toughest day out there because of the weather. Everything seems to be working quite well for me, from ball striking to putting. Everything was great today so I’m just happy to be here and win my first tournament of 2014.”

“Last year I was leading going into the final round and I lost to Suzann. I knew that I left something out there last year so coming back this year I definitely wanted to win and that’s what I just did. I had good memories from last year and better memories from this year, so I’m happy to be here. It has been a fantastic tournament.”

 “Being in a team with So Yeon this year gave me a lot of confidence. Winning the individual and the team event is a huge honour, a double honour, so I’m very happy.”

Team event winners, So Yeon and Inbee / Getty

Second placed Suzann could only put together a final round of -1 under par 72, to finish the competition at -19 under par. She was disappointed, but will be back to play Mission Hills again;

“There’s room for improvement but it’s been a good week overall. My game has become a lot better over the week and I’ll be happy to come back and play this course again. Inbee played fantastic today under a little tougher conditions. There were a few extra elements of weather that we hadn’t seen earlier but I feel like I played average, nothing better. I didn’t go out and shoot six under like she did.

So Yeon Ryu took third place at a distant – 16 under par, after her last round -4 under par 69, but with Inbee were the runaway winners of the concurrent team competition, with their aggregate score of -40 under par;

“It’s always a great honor to represent your country but also gave me some pressure because I didn’t want to play badly in the team event. That gave me a lot of motivation.”

Winner of the Amateur competition was Minjee Lee, the 17-year-old from Australia birdied three of the last four holes for a -4 under par 69 and a share of fourth place on -15 under par with Ariya Jutanugarn .

This has been a fascinating competition, just wished they had used a standard par 72 course, the par fives on the Blackstone Course are too short for the quality players on the Ladies European Tour.

LPGA. Kingsmill Championship. Sexy Cristie Wins.

Sexy Cristie Kerr won the Kingsmill Championship, in a two hole sudden death play-off against Suzann Petterson, on the River Course in Williamsburg Virginia.

 

Cristie Kerr / Hunter Martin / Getty Images

Cristie and Suzann both finished tied on -12 under par for the tournament. Cristie with a final round of -2 under par, 69 and Suzann with a sterling effort of -4 under 67. Cristie sealed the deal with two foot putt for par on the 18th hole, Suzann had missed her twelve-foot attempt for her par.

Cristie has now won the Kingsmill Championship three times, and was thrilled with the outcome;

” I’m just so thrilled.  Honestly, the way I hit it today to even have a chance to win. I just made so many putts out there to save par and kind of save any momentum, and I started hitting it a little bit better late in the round just in time to make a; catch up a couple shots.  Yeah, really hard fought, really hard fought.  I’m very happy.”

She had missed a good birdie chance on the first play-off hole to win, but said the miss did not dent her confidence one little bit;

“My confidence?  It didn’t shake my confidence, I probably made 12 15‑footers today.  Missing one is probably law of averages.  It didn’t really shake my confidence.  I was kind of disappointed that I wasn’t able to just close it outright there because it was getting really cold and the monumental nine‑hole playoff between Paula and Jiyai last year, I didn’t want that to happen,  So it was good to get another chance.  I absolutely roasted my tee shot the second playoff hole and hit a fairly good iron in there, maybe just blocked it a little bit, but she kind of stumbled a little bit and that’s what you need to win a playoff. It definitely makes it really sweet because I definitely didn’t have the swing today until the end of the round. Just couldn’t stay centered, just moving a little quick, a little quick with my transition, maybe a little extra adrenaline been in the final round.  That’s happened before.  When you’re hitting it really well and like Suzann was, it’s getting a lot of birdie opportunities, so when you have to make a lot of those par‑saving putts, it’s do or die, whatever it takes. I’ve won all sorts of different ways and this is definitely one of the sweeter ones because I didn’t have the A game today and my mental game, you know, kept me in there and kept the momentum kind of going in the right direction and I just hung around until, you know, I could find a better swing and start hitting it a little better coming in.”

Seventeen year old Ariya Jutanugarn bounced back, carding one of the low rounds of the day, -5 under par 66. She finished in a tie for third place with Ilhee Lee, both at -10 under par.

Stacy Lewis shot 1-under par 70 and finished at 9-under par in a tie for fifth along with her playing partner for the final round, Angela Stanford, who carded a -2 under par round. Inbee Park at -8 under for the tournament finished in seventh place after her nice -4 under 67 in the final round.

LPGA. Kingsmill Championship. Sexy Cristie Kerr Claims Lead.

Sexy Cristie Kerr has claimed the third round lead at -10 under par at the Kingsmill Championship after her stunning round of -5 under par, 66, to lead the tournament by two shots.

Cristie Kerr / LPGA

Fifteen time LPGA Tour winner Cristie has already won twice here at the River Course, and she now has a two shot lead heading into the final round. She is pretty confident of victory here;

” You have to really play a good round tomorrow either whether you’re two ahead or two behind, like I said. I think just going to try to stay lose, I’m going to try and stay focused and, you know, in those pressure situations, pressure moments tomorrow that I’m going to face, I think I’ve just got to keep doing what I’ve done, you know, the last three days and that’s really focus on the process of the shot.  I know it sounds kind of boring, but that’s when I do my best.  If I do that and I start rolling the rock, I’m going to be hard to beat.”

Tied in second place are Stacy Lewis ans Suzann Petterson, both at -8 under par, they are no strangers themselves when it comes to victories.

Suzann thinks it is all up for grabs tomorrow;

” Yeah, I mean, I think there’s a lot of great players out there right there in the mix. Cristie’s two ahead, I don’t really think that that’s a massive advantage right now.  I mean, we’re all going to go out tomorrow trying to shoot as low as we can.  It would take more than 10‑under to win, so I guess, I don’t know, we’ll see after four rounds who’s on top. I just think this golf course produces a winner with a good ball striker, it’s a ball striker’s course.  It has produced probably the best ball strikers champions in the past.  There will never be a surprise around this track of who’s going to win it.”

Stacy agreed, saying the tournament had a Solhiem Cup feeling to it;

” You look at the past champions, we’ve talked about it all week, but I think it’s great for the fans, you know. They know our names, they’ve seen us win, and it’s good for the tournament to have players up there like that.  We kind of had a little Solheim Cup feel today going.”

Ariya Jutanugarn, the overnight leaderhad a poor round today, really dropping out of contention at -5 under par for the tournament. She had a bogey on her first hole and never seemed to recover, she said it was not nerves but really bad putting;

” You know, I never nervous with my game today, just have bad for putting and just miss my driver on 1st hole, that’s it. First hole I had bogey, I hit my driver so I tried to hit my low ball but it went to the left to the water and I have bogey, and second I have bogey again and, you know, like after that my putting’s like so bad like it make me feel like not confident with my game today because I made like yesterday, I made like short putt three feet two or three time today and I still feel; I tried to track the line, tried to trust my putting but I still miss it a lot.”