Kingsmill Championship. Austin & Azahara Lead.

dragon logo dark

Austin Ernst and Azahara Munoz lead the Kingsmill Championship on the River Course at Kingsmill Resort.

Azahara Munoz

Azahara Munoz / Getty Images

Both ladies shot opening rounds of -6 under par 65 to lead the Kingsmill Championship, with Azahara going round bogey free. She has been receiving some mental coaching from Peter Crone, which has helped her;

” He’s been helping me so much, I have been working with him since last September and I’m just like a different person. This year it’s been so much better. I’ve been having a much better attitude, so it’s easier. When I miss a shot, I don’t let it get to me so much like I used to. I used to get pretty upset, and that really hurt me. “

Austin was happy to have only missed three fairways today, carding one bogey;

“Gave myself a lot of looks, hit a lot of greens and made it really easy on myself out there on a day when it was pretty windy and it could kind of get away from you a little bit.”

 ” I mean, it was just solid really.  You know, it could have probably been a couple lower.  Really only time I even made a bogey or was is trouble of making a bogey was when I missed the fairway.  Missed I think three fairways. 

Lexi Thompson has had her best opening round of the year – 4 under par 67, with one bogey, and is happy to be in contention;

“I definitely made a few more putts on second nine and hit a few better shots going into the second nine. Definitely had my chances on the last few holes in the first nine. Overall, I’ll definitely take 4-under.”

LPGA. Kraft Nabisco Championship. Lexi Lifts Trophy.

dragon logo darkKraftNabiscoChampionship_188x84Lexi Thompson lifts the Kraft Nabisco Championship trophy at Mission Hills Country Club.

Lexi Thompson & Trophy / Getty

Lexi started her day with a birdie, and continued with that fine form to shoot the low round of the day, a bogey free -4 under par 68, to lift the Kraft Nabisco Championship trophy. Her amazing round gave her a tournament total of  -14 under par, and a three-shot victory over Michelle Wie. This is Lexi’s  first-career Major title, and she also becomes the second-youngest player to win a Major championship;

” Well, it was an amazing day, starting off with a birdie definitely helped. But just hitting that first tee shot obviously a little nervous, but it was definitely what I’ve been practicing for, what I live for, to play under that pressure and to get a major win under my belt, especially the Kraft Nabisco. It’s such a huge honor to win this tournament.”

” It’s a great feeling. This is what I’ve worked so hard for. This was one of my goals coming into the year, to win a major. I’ve always seen myself winning a Kraft Nabisco. It’s such a huge honor with all the history behind the tournament. It’s just a dream come true.”

Michelle Wie finished at -11 under par, her final round -1 under par 71 was not enough to catch the leader;

“ Lexi played amazing today. She played probably the best I’ve ever seen her play. She hit the ball so well. She made everything. It was just hard to catch up to her all day today, but I’m really happy for her. I’m really proud of her.”

“You know, it was a lot of fun playing in contention, being in the final group, it was nice to be in the final group at Kraft again. I think it’s a sign. I think I’m getting close. I think I can get a lot of confidence from this week. I think I’m improving and improving, and I think getting second at a major, I think it means that I’m close, and I’m really proud of myself, and I’m really excited for the upcoming events. There’s four more majors left this year, and I’m just really proud of myself, and I just want to keep improving a little bit every day.”

The top two were a mile away from third placed Stacy Lewis, she finished the tournament at -7 under par, with a last round of -3 under par 69.

Lexi went for a victory dip into  Poppie’s Pond:

Lexi Thompson celebrates after winning the Kraft Nabisco Championship, her 4th LPGA Tour win. (USATSI)

Lexi Thompson & caddie / USATSI

LPGA. Kraft Nabisco Championship. Two Tied at the Top, Lexi & Michelle

dragon logo darkKraftNabiscoChampionship_188x84Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie are the two who are tied at the top of the leaderboard at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Michelle Wie / Getty

Michelle shot a third round -4 under par 68, on the Mission Hills Country Club,  Dinah Shore Tournament Course, to share top spot on the Kraft Nabisco Championship leaderboard with Lexi  at -10  under par for the tournament.

Michelle like the entertainment value in Lexi’s game;

I think Lexi is a really entertaining golfer, I like to think I’m somewhat entertaining as well. So, I think the both of us paired together is great. I think it’s great for the tour and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

” I probably won’t sleep that well. It’s just the chance, you want something so badly. I dreamed about this all my life, so I’m just trying to not think about it so much. I’m just trying to think it’s a normal Sunday. But I think that’s a good thing. It’s a sign that I’m really excited and I really want this.”

“I just go out there and I think I just really know what I need to do. I think that came with experience of playing so many rounds in my life.”

Lexi is looking for some more putts to drop, she was unhappy at carding a six on the par five eighteenth;

” Not the ending I wanted, I’m getting looks at birdies and just waiting for a few more to drop. I think if you’re not nervous, you don’t care, but it’s a good nervous. This is what I’ve been waiting for and what I’ve worked my whole life for.”

Charley Hull and Se Ri Pak are tied in third place, both with -8  under par totals. Charley put herself into contention with a -6 under par third round of 66, while Se Ri was just -1 under par 71 to put towards her total.

No one knows how Charley’s golf game will stand up to Major championship pressure, but it seems she already has the mindset   to deal with it. This is her quote from last year;

“This is how I always look at golf. I’m not going to die if I hit a bad shot. Just hit it, and find it, and hit it.”

As a professional Charley won for the first time at the Ladies European Tour’s, Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco. Then she said she was having too much fun with friends back home to join the LPGA Tour;

” I was really enjoying my friends and stuff at home, just being a kid, being with my friends, going out, going to parties and stuff. I don’t want to miss that living over here full-time at the moment. I was still seventeen at the time. I still wanted my childhood in a way. There was no rush for me to go over there.”

This first Major for the Ladies is set up nicely for a dramatic finish, I am looking forward to it.

Catriona Matthew is T5 with Cristie Kerr, at -6 under par for the tournament.

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. 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.

Honda LPGA Thailand. Nordqvist Nudges Ahead.

dragon logo dark (2)

Anna Nordqvist nudges ahead at the Honda LPGA Thailand leading the first round at the Siam Country Club, Pattaya Old Course in Thailand.

Anna Nordqvist

Anna Nordqvist / Getty

 Anna shot -6 under par 66 on Thursday to take the first-round lead at the Honda LPGA Thailand, carding seven birdies, two bogeys and an Eagle and leads by one shot.

Anna got off to a good start and said her bogeys were down to flyers out of the rough;

“I always try to put my best foot forward, I try to be awake when I start on the first tee box. I hit it on the green in two, so it was a pretty easy birdie. But definitely getting a good start sets the pace for the rest of the day. I just tried to stay in there after the two bogeys, because I didn’t feel like I hit bad shots, I just got flyers out of the rough. “Had pretty good yardage for the eagle and it was on the top-tier, so I just pitched it five or six paces behind the pin and spun back. So obviously gave me some momentum to finish off.” 

“I was quite disappointed at the end of last year. Didn’t feel like I played bad, but never really got any momentum. I was very determined this off-season. I worked really hard. Anyone that’s been around me can probably say that. But I just kind of lost the reason why I play golf, the fun of it, I have good people around me now. They been really helping me to get that inspiration back. I put in all this hard work for a reason. It’s been fun. They’ve been pushing me and definitely been more motivated than before.”

Michelle Wie is in second place, just one shot back at -5 under par after her opening round of -5 under par 67. When asked on how many hole she had used her driver, Michelle responded positively, and also mentioned getting some food half-way round;

“Almost all of them, it’s definitely one of those golf courses, I don’t get to use a lot of drivers during the year. This is one of the few golf courses that I get to just hit driver all the time, so it’s fun. I birdied all four of the par fives today, which definitely helps on this golf course. After 18 I was hungry, so I went to the locker room and got some food from my bag, so I think that helped. Just had like these nuts, like these little nut crunch things. I was thinking about them on the front nine. I was really mad I didn’t put them in my golf bag. So I ran up to the locker room and ran back down. Pretty sure that had something to do with the birdie”.

There are three ladies in third place, all carding first rounds of -4 under par 68, they are; Jennifer Johnson, Lexi Thompson and Angela Stanford.

Angela scored her second Tour hole in one, on the 135 yard  8th hole with an 8 iron and flashed the biggest on course smile of the day. She admitted afterwards getting an ace mid round can almost be hard to handle;

“It’s kind of hard with hole in ones because you do get almost too high and you go to the next tee box and think ‘oh I have to hit another golf shot. It’s hard because it’s like an out-of-body experience. Well for me because I haven’t had many.”

Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park started slowly  and was + 3 over par through her first eight holes, but turned things around on the back nine. Inbee picked up four birdies to finish at -1 under par and sits five shots off the lead. She reported that it was due to rustiness in her game;

“I think it was just like I didn’t have much feeling that it was a tournament because it has been a while since I played a golf tournament. I think I was a little bit nervous. Bogey, bogey, and, thought, yeah, it’s a tournament, so I think I should start playing better. I think I just didn’t realize. I think it was a little bit off today on the front nine, and then I finally realized I was in a real tournament.”

ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. Headwall Heads at Half-Way.

dragon logo dark (2)ISPS Handa Women´s Australian Open 

Caroline Hedwall heads the ISPS Handa Womens Australian Open at the half-way stage at the Victoria Golf Club.

Caroline Hedwall.

Caroline Hedwall / Getty

Caroline carded a second round of -7 under par 65, which included a hole in one at the par three sixteenth, an Eagle at the par five eighth, five birdies and sadly two bogey’s, for a total of -11 under par. She said that playing with confidence was the key to her amazing round, but she did not see the ace go in the hole;

” I’m very happy with how I’m striking the ball and my putting is getting better and better, so I definitely feel like I have a lot of confidence. Yesterday I hit a full 7-iron over the green and it was basically the same yardage today, so I hit a soft one and it covered the pin all the way and then I just saw it bounce once and hit the pin.  But I didn’t see it go in.”

” I’m driving pretty well, I missed a couple of drives yesterday and today but I managed to save a couple of bogeys and I’m still making a lot of birdies and also eagles. ‘I love everything about this place.”

Suzann Petterson is still very much in the hunt, recording a second round of -4 under par 68 for her tournament total of -10 under par. Suzann admitted it was not her best golf today, but was happy with the result.

“Today was not the best day, but when I had a good chance I kind of executed.”

Australian amateur Minjee Lee is still there, carding a second round of -5 under par 67, which included an Eagle 2 at the first hole, for a total of -9 under par. She finished runner-up in last week’s Volvik RACV Ladies Masters, and continues with  her excellent recent form;

“Yeah, I’m in good form.  I’m confident in my game and I’m playing good. It was such a slow start, I started with nine pars. I was just patient, and it came together late in the round.”

Lydia Ko is another shot back at -8 under par after shooting another -4 under par 68 round, and shares fourth place at -8 under par with Holly Clyburn and Anna Nordqvist. Anna had a very quiet round, despite setting a course record at Victoria off the women’s tees, with a -8 under par round of 64, she explained afterwards;

”I woke up with no voice this morning, so I didn’t really know what to expect.”

Among those missing the cut are Lexi Thompson, Gwladys Nocera, Charley Hull and Laura Davies.