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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. 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.”

LPGA. JTCB Founders Cup. Mirim Marches On.

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Mirim Lee marches on in the JTBC Founders Cup on the JTBC Founders Cup at Wildfire Golf Club in Arizona.

Mirim Lee / Getty

 Mirim shot a -5 under par 67 to maintain her position at the top of the leaderboard in the Founders Cup at Wildfire Golf Club, with a -13 under par total at the half-way stage. She thought she had played some pretty dull golf on the front nine, she had this to say through an interpreter;

“I played a little boring on the front nine, so I went more aggressive on the back nine. It worked well so now I plan on being aggressive the rest of the week.”

Quite a bold statement, so look out you stars Mirim is being assertive.

Lydia Ko is just two behind at -11 under par for her two rounds, a -6 under par 66 second round helped her to move up the leaderboard to second spot on her own. She was surprised to find herself only two shots back of the leader;

“I was really surprised, I just gave myself more opportunities on the back nine. I played much better this nine yesterday, so I kind of thought, you know, you can make some more birdies and get closer to the leader.”

Sun Young Yoo shot the low round of the day, a sizzling -7 under par 65, which left her in third place alone at -10 under par for the tournament. She was happy to play early today;

“I played late yesterday, so today greens were a little better in shape. I don’t know, everything was working fine. Yesterday I hit pretty good and just hit a couple of bad tee shots. That’s it. But today swinging better and swinging with more confidence.”

There is a four-way tie for fourth place, all at -9 under par, including world number one Inbee Park, who had a steady second round -3 under par 69.

Inbee also had a slow start her round;

“I think maybe we had a quite slow front nine, Lydia and I and Jessica probably. On the back nine I think things went really well for everyone and especially last five to finish was a great finish. Today is probably worst day for me than yesterday because I probably missed a couple, two to three shots, and I mean I left a lot of putts out there today, especially No. 1 through like 13 I didn’t make anything.  So yeah, it was very good to actually see the putt drop on the last five holes, so it was a relief.”

Unlike the men’s tournament at Bay Hill, this competition is still wide open at the half-way stage. Tomorrow is moving day, lets see who makes a definitive move.

LPGA. Founders Cup. Mirim Lee Leads

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Rookie Mirim Lee is at the top of the leaderboard in the JTBC Founders Cup tournament at the Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix Arizona.

Mirim Lee

Mirim Lee / Getty

Mirim shot a first round -8 under par 64 to lead the Founders Cup in Arizona. Mirim said is was a good day, not too many long putts;

” Everything was good.  So today putting was a little bit not good.  Everything was good, yeah.  Good day, just two, three long putts.  So today no, not difficult today.  Easy today. Practice round and today morning I hit really good. It was good.  So everything is just good.”

Just one shot back after an opening round of -7 under par 65 is Morgan Pressel, this round could so easily have been a 59. She found trouble off the 3rd tee, playing the course backwards.  Morgan went through  the turn at -7 under par after shooting a 29 on her front nine, thanks to five birdies and an Eagle. She followed that with birdies on the first and second holes but then came that errant tee shot;

“I hit a very poor tee shot and ended up kind of on the side of this little bush, and I could have hit it left handed and there were a couple of burrowing animal holes around. I brought them over to ask, but I didn’t honestly think that I was going to get relief, and I don’t think that I deserved it.”

“I don’t know if I was necessarily thinking 59, but I probably just got a little bit excited, because I had never been that many under par in that short of a span of time. I just got a little bit quick, and came back to earth.”

There are eight players tied in third place at -6 under par, including Inbee Park and defending champion Stacy Lewis.

Inbee Park said the putts would just not drop;

” I was hitting the ball good all day today, but just on the front the putts didn’t seem like they wanted to go in.  I read a couple of putts wrong, and on the back nine I had shots a lot closer than the front nine, and obviously I holed some putts on the back nine. On the back nine I had shots a lot closer than the front nine, and obviously I holed some putts on the back nine.”

 ” We hit a lot of short irons on this golf course.  You have to shoot low scores for four rounds on this golf course, and obviously there’s a lot of opportunities here and you have to hole your putts.  And obviously on this back nine I hit a lot of good iron shots, and only mistake today was the three putt on number three, or 4, and yeah, that was my only mistake today.”

Stacy was making all her putts today;

” I hit some good shots, but had to make ; my speed was kind of off on the greens, had to make some five and six footers, but actually made them, so it kind of helped get the confidence going.”
            
” Then the back nine for me, it just sets up a lot better.  I feel like you can kind of free wheel it a little bit and still be more open and  made a few longer putts, but all day I hit the ball pretty well.”

Lydia Ko is in a seven way tie for 7th place, shooting a  -5 under par 67 for her first round, she had an excuse for fading late on in her round;

“I normally eat more than I did today, and I normally eat a lot, so that’s saying something. I forgot to bring my food and my protein bars. That’s my excuse.”

World Ladies Championship, Inbee Park Prevails

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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.

L.E.T. World Ladies Championship. Inbee Catches Suzann

 

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Inbee Park catches up with Suzann Pettersen in the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills in China.

Inbee Park / Getty

The World’s No.1 Inbee Park shot a third round  course record of -11 under par 62 and catch World No 2 Suzann Pettersen at the top of the leaderboard on the Blackstone Course, both ladies posting -18 under par for the tournament.

Inbee said although her ball striking was good it was the putting that really made the difference;

“It’s my career best round today so obviously it was a fantastic round. The last couple of days the putting has been really hard. These greens are a little bit grainy and much slower. We played on very fast greens the last two weeks and I just came here and I wasn’t used to the greens. I had a lot of putts the last few days but today everything seemed like it was going the right way and I made a lot of putts. That gives me 11-under. My ball striking is pretty much really similar for three days but just the putting. Everything I looked at today seemed like it was going in.”

Suzann has a number in her mind that she thinks will win the tournament, if she achieves it;

 “Today wasn’t an easy ride but with all the holes coming up you just have to be patient. I hit a great putt on eleven, missed a putt and then parred number twelve, after just having a 7-iron left. If you have a par there you drop two or three shots to the field. I’m in a good position for tomorrow and it’s going to be a nice battle again. I have my number in mind and I’m going to do everything in my power to get to that number. I’m not going to tell you what it is but I’m pretty sure it will be enough.”

Ye Na Chung is in third place, four strokes behind the leaders on -14 under par, after her third round of -5 under par 68. That score included a lucky Eagle on the par 4 16th  hole;

 “I was just lucky. When I hit it, the grass was really long so I just focused on not being long. When I hit it I think it was too long, but it was okay. I was very nervous but excited to play with Suzann but the main enemy of today’s round was not the other players. My only concern was my score.”

With a four shot lead the winner of the World Ladies Championship will be either of the two leaders, will probably come down to who scores the most Eagles on those short par fives.

L.E.T. World Ladies Championship. Defending Champion Suzann Starts Well.

dragon logo darkMission HillsSuzann Pettersen has started well in her quest to retain her World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills in China.

Defending Champion Suzann Pettersen / Getty

 Suzann opened the tournament with a -6 under-par 67 on the Blackstone Course at the Mission Hills Resort in the defense of her title. She Eagled the par five second hole and picked up three more birdies on the other par fives;

“I played a lot of good golf today and felt like I had a lot of great chances. I feel like you’ve really got to take advantage of the par fives out here. You only have some mid irons into some of them and I had one eagle, should have had two. I missed a very short eagle putt on six, so overall it was a pretty solid start.”

She also revealed some details of the man behind the ropes who had been following her and encouraging her all day long;

“He’s my boyfriend, we’re both Norwegian, we’re the same age and from the same town. We met through common friends. He’s an ex-skier who used to ski when he was younger. He has a great understanding of the lifestyle we live and the sacrifices we make and really respects our hours on the golf course so it’s very helpful and great to have someone you can share what you do with.”

Just one behind at -5 under par is World No.1 amateur Minjee Lee, who shares second place with Ye Na Chung.

Minjee was very happy to have played alongside Inbee Park, the World number one;

“It feels good to be up there but it’s only the first round so anything can happen. I’m in a good position and I don’t feel like I’m out of place. I feel like I can play with the pros and it was pretty cool playing with Inbee.”

Tied in third place are Trish Johnson, Valentine Derrey, Gwladys Nocera and Inbee Park, all at -4 under par.

Gwladys also enjoyed being in contention;

“Anything on top of the leader board is good and I feel really good about shooting that score today on the first round.”

LPGA. HSBC Women’s Champions. Karrie Keeps Ahead on Day1

dragon logo darkHSBCWomensChampions_188x84 Karrie Webb got off to a solid start in Singapore this week shooting a first round  -6 under par 66 to take the first-round lead at the HSBC Women’s Champions, on the Sentosa Country Club, Serapong Course.

Karrie Webb

Karrie Webb / Getty

Karrie  carded four of her six birdies in the first six holes, which set the tone for her;

” Definitely set the tone and I think for me, anyway, on this course, I find it quite tricky to trust where you’ve got to hit it off the tee, and it leaves some challenging iron shots in from some long distances out on the par fours. For me, getting off to a good start really allowed me to settle in and trust my game plan for the rest of the day.”

” I’m definitely at a stage in my life where those things will happen on their own if I play well. You know, 15 years ago, I would have been waking up every morning and wondering or working towards whatever it took to be No. 1.”

Paula Creamer and Caroline Hedwall shared second place at  -5 under par. Paula said she had played well;

” I played well, I didn’t hit the ball that great on the back side, but made some birdies, and you know, I really enjoy this golf course.  It just fits my game really well and I love how it’s playing really windy, makes it just so much tougher. You have to really think a lot out here and that kind of has always been Colin, my caddie and I’s strong suit.  It does, it matches well.  Having a good tournament here last year is always nice coming into it, and you feel good, you feel good about the golf course.”

World No. 1 Inbee Park shot a – 2under par 70 while No. 2 Suzann Pettersen is tied for 12th after a -1 under par 71.

Inbee is sticking to her strategy;

” I think my strategy today going into the greens was really good, so I’m not going to change my ball-striking plan. I’m just going to try to read the greens a little bit more carefully.  They seem to not have much break.”

All the usual suspects are there so it will be interesting to see how things pan out in the second round.

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