Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic. Lydia Ko Triumphant

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Lydia Ko was triumphant at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in California.

 

Lydia Ko. The Winning Putt / Lydia Ko / Getty

 

Lovely Lydia shot a final round of -3 under par 69 to reach -12 under par to snatch the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic title at Lake Merced Golf Club, in  California. It was a tight contest, Lydia sinking a five foot birdie putt on the last hole to secure the victory. This win now moves Lydia to Number Two in the World. It was her 17th birthday just three days ago, but she has three LPGA and six professional victories in her young career;

” Normally they would say sweet 16, but I would say it’s sweet 17. I don’t think I could have any better birthday week.”

She was happy to her dad there to witness the win;

“Tears nearly ran down my face. You may lose friends but you’re always going to have your parents. I try to make myself not cry of happiness but it was coming to that point.”

 

Stacy Lewis finished second, a last round -1 under par 71 was the reason she fell behind, a total of -11 under par was one shot off the pace. She had this to say about Lydia;

” I knew she wasn’t going away,  Lydia played great Every time I hit a shot in there, she answered. The front nine, I did everything I wanted to do, the putts just didn’t go in. I expected her to do exactly what she did today. She hit every shot she needed to make from 13 on in.”

Jenny Shin collected third place on her own, a -4 under par 68 separating from the players behind her. Jenny had a total of -10 under par, which was four shots better than the next placed players. Those on -6 under par were Inbee Park, Shanshan Feng and Line Vedel.

Jenny spoke about the battle between Lydia and Stacy;

“They were fearless, they just went for it.”

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic. Stacy Still in Front

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Stacy Lewis still leads the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, albeit by just one shot from Lydia Ko.

A determined Stacy Lewis / Getty

Stacy compiled a third round -4 under par 68 for a total of -10 under par, in the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in California. Stacy and Lydia have paired together each day and the battle is intense, but that is how she likes it;

“It’s just fun to feed off each other like that. She hits it in there close on 16, I know I need to do something. I make a putt, and she chips in on 15 after I’ve hit it close. More than anything, it was just a lot of fun. We’re both playing great golf. It’s fun to watch her play. We’ll do it another day tomorrow.”

“My caddie, we’re going on our sixth year, he knows my game; he knows me. The front nine he just kept telling me to be patient, be patient, be patient, because there would be only opportunities later. My caddie and I, he’s like a brother to me.  We know each other so well.  Definitely helped me out there today.”

Lydia has not been with her local caddie for too long, but she still recorded a -4 under par round. for a total -9 under par, to stay in touch;

It’s my sixth day with him, I had Domingo on my bag two years ago when I was on this course.  Six days this year, this week. Yeah, no, he obviously knows the course really well growing up from here and playing a lot of golf.  Yeah, I think that’s been a huge help.”

“There are some tricky putts out there.  There are some double breakers.  So it’s good to have a local guy, I guess, knowing what it’s going to do.” 

Jenny Shin is in third place on her own, she also carded a the very popular -4 under par third round, and total of -6 under par. She said she had suffered her whole golfing life from short putts;

“My whole life I hit putts short, so hitting it past the hole was my main goal this year.  I said, ‘I don’t care what I shoot, I’m just going to hit it past the hole.’ When you hit it in on right line, it starts going in.  That was the key to my round.”

Hee Young Park also recorded the popular -4 under par round, and a total of -5 under par leaves her in fourth position alone. She mentioned the wind yesterday and perfect weather today. It was also handy to have a Korean market close by;

“It was bit tough to measure my distance all the time because the wind always switched yesterday. But today weather is perfect, and I just try to do my every single shot my best. Weather was good. That was big different compared yesterday and today.” 

“Just enjoy, eat dinner. Right outside of the entrance I have the Korea market, so I always get Korean food. I’m staying at a rental house this week so cooking every night, so I’m going to probably do same thing.”

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic. Stacy Lewis Leads.

 

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Stacy Lewis leads the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic at Lake Merced Golf Club in California.

Stacy Lewis during Friday's second round of the 2014 Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic at Lake Merced in California.

Stacy Lewis / Photo by A/P

Stacy put together another round of -3 under par 69 to lead the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic by just one shot at -6 under par. She commented that the Lake Merced course is like playing in a Major and luckily she putted well;

 “It’s a U.S. Open, you have to hit the ball straight, and you really have to think a lot. That really suits my game more than anything.”

” We knew it was going to be a long day,  that’s the way I took it, one shot at a time, and tried to get the ball in the hole.  “That’s what I tried to do. Get it in the hole as fast as I could. Fortunately I was able to do that and make a couple putts. I think anything under par today is a good score.”

 

Lydia Ko and Karine Icher are tied in second place, both on -5 under par for the tournament. Lydia signing for a second round -1 under par 71, and Karine, the first round leader, sliding backwards with a +1 over par 73.

Lydia reported that she just tried to follow Stacy;

“Yeah, I tried to follow Stacy’s lead. Following Stacy you’re going the right direction for sure. I was pretty happy with my 71. You know, sometimes I didn’t hit it in the most ideal positions and it’s not nice being like way right like on No. 2 and you’ve got trees everywhere.”

Karine, who started the day with a two shot lead said it was a tough course, and you could get into trouble pretty quickly;

“It’s a tough golf course, you can be quick in trouble, or if you’re playing well, like yesterday I did think it goes pretty well. But today with the wind and the rain it’s definitely a tough day.”

 

Tied fourth are Inbee Park, Ilhee Lee and Mika Miyazato,  on -3 under par. Inbee carded a -4 under par 68, Mika a -3 under par 69, with Ilhee going backwards scoring +1 over par 73.

Missing the cut were Yani Tseng, Jessica Korda, Brittany Lincicombe and Charley Hull.

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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LPGA. Kia Classic. Two Tied at the Top.

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Kia Classic logo

 

 

 

 

There are two ladies tied at the top of the leaderboard at the end of day 1 at the Kia Classic, at Aviara Golf Club in California.Paula Creamer

Paula Creamer / Getty Images

Paula Creamer and Mariajo Uribe both carded first round scores of -5 under par 67, on the Aviara Golf Club course, to lead the Kia Classic by just one shot.

Paula said teeing off early is an advantage;

” That’s what this golf course is about is starting early and taking those advantages, and the closer you hit it, too, the easier it is, but they’re pretty soft still. You know, they released a little bit today, but hopefully they won’t put too much water on it this afternoon and going into tomorrow and especially into Sunday.”

“I played pretty solid, I had one bogey, but I gave myself a bunch of opportunities, and you know, putted really well, made some good 2‑putts. And I think it’s an advantage playing early in the morning, and I wanted to take that advantage and try and get as many birdies, but eliminate the bogeys.”

“I missed a couple of fairways out there, which is not really normal for me. I normally hit a lot of fairways and greens, and I missed a couple in the rough. And you know, I’m going to definitely go hit some balls to fix that.”

Mariajo was playing in the second to last group of the day and finished just before sun set at 7:30 p.m.  She spoke about slow play and the rush to finish, and not having to return the next day to complete the round;

” It was just a rush at the end. You don’t want to come at 5 AM to warm up and play one hole. But we were trying to do it as fast as we could and we were always waiting, but I just tried to stay calm and it had affected me in the past and I am glad it didn’t today.”

“I took advantage of the first couple of holes where the greens weren’t that bad. I made four birdies on the first five holes and just took it from there. Stayed pretty calm, we were playing pretty slow out there so, just a lot of time down, didn’t really think about it that much.”

In a close contest today there are four players tied in second spot, all on -4 under par, after opening rounds of 68. Cristi Kerr, Shanshan Feng, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, and Mi Hyang Lee are all comfortably sitting just one shot back on the day.

Inbee Park, the Rolex #1 opened with a -3 under par 69 today, tied in seventh place with four other players. Inbee is playing well but her putting leaves a lot to be desired;

“Today was like the day I could have gone ten under, but still in the 60’s, that’s all right. Three more days, keep the ball striking like this this week and next week and I think I will be good. I missed a lot within ten feet today. Missed probably seven, right of them and I just haven’ t been putting that well the last few weeks.”

Northern Trust Open. William McGirt the New Leader.

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William McGirt is the new leader of the Northern Trust Open at he end of day 3 at the Riviera Country Club, in Pacific Palisades, California.

William McGirt / Getty Images

 William  accumulated 8 birdies in 13 holes at Riviera County Club on moving day, to sign for a third round -6 under par 65, giving him a tournament total of -12 under par.

He said he really appreciated playing on the TOUR;

“When you’re around mini-tours for eight years and go through a bunch of heartaches at Q-school, once you finally get here, you really have to appreciate it. I’ve just got to go play my game tomorrow and hope that it’s good enough.”

In second place at -10 under par are Charlie Beljan and George McNeill,  George had a -5 under par third round of 66, while Charlie carded -3 under par 68.

Tied in fourth spot are Jason Allred and Brian Harman, both at -9 under par.

Jason is another player who is soaking up the atmosphere playing on the Tour, especially the reaction he got when sinking a ten foot putt on the last hole to card a -4 under par 67. He also spoke about his expectations;

” Making the putt on eighteen is probably the most excitement I felt from the crowd ever in my career.I can’t tell you how much it means to me to be able to be at a place in my life. I just have so much to be thankful for with my amazing family. It just feels great to be out here and soak it up.”

“I need to be honest, it’s totally blown them out of the water, but also to be honest, even when I go out to practice, whether it’s to prepare for a gate way tournament or this week, I still have that belief in me that I have it in me to win big golf tournaments. At times, even I have a hard time believing that over the years, but it sure is fun to be out here and be able to have a chance.”

There is a bunch of formidable players sitting on -8 under par, Jordan Spieth (67), Dustin Johnson (69) and Jimmy Walker (67), who is going for his fourth win of the season after winning last week in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-am. Also in that group are a pair of Masters champions, Bubba Watson (64) and Charl Schwartzel (68).

Bubba had the round of the day, -7 under par 64, the boys at the top had better not look back over their shoulders, the sight of one of these top players coming after you is likely to give you a case of the colly-wobbles.

The chasing top class players with William in the middle / Getty Images

Northern Trust Open. Sang-Moon Bae Steps up.

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Sang-Moon Bae steps up to take the lead on the 2nd day of the Northern Trust Open at Pacific Palisades in California.

Rock solid at Riviera

Sang-Moon Bae / Getty Images

Sang-Moon  completed a second round of 5-under par  66, giving him a one-stroke lead at -9 under par, before the round was suspended due to darkness, at Riviera Country Club. He said he really enjoyed the experience;

” It was really, really good experience, and I learned a lot, I improved a lot from last year.”

 Aaron Baddeley and Robert Garrigus are currently tied in second place at -8 under par, they have also finished their second rounds, Aaron with a -6 under par 65, and Robert with another round of -4 under 67.

Aaron thinks it is a strong test on the dry and firm course;

‘ It’s a strong course, especially when it’s dry and firm like it is. If you miss it out of position, it’s really hard to get the ball up-and-down. Today was good, because I made a couple good saves, but coming in I had some good looks and made them.”

Robert likes this course;

“I have pretty good willpower, so as soon as I stepped on the first hole this week, I’m like, `I absolutely love this place, and I’m really starting to like it,”

First round leader Dustin Johnson  dropped shots and also missed several good looks inside twelve feet. He was at – 6 under par following his second round of -1 under par 70, leaving him tied in fifth spot. Dustin put his poor effort down to some errant drives;

“I played pretty solid today, just hit a couple of bad drivers on the back, but that’s going to happen. But I still had a lot of really good looks at birdie and just couldn’t capitalize on any of them.”