LPGA. JTBC Founders Cup. Lydia Leads.

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Lydia Ko leads the JTBC Founders Cup at the Wildfire Golf Club in Arizona on the LPGA Tour.

Lydia Ko

Lydia Ko / Getty Images

Lydia shot a third round of -5 under par 67 to lead the tournament on -16 under par, for the three round total at Wildfire Golf Club. She said that there would be some nerves tomorrow, but she will try to control them to perform well;

“Obviously there’s going to be some nerves, of course, it’s always there any time. But it’s great that you’ve got a one‑shot lead. I’ve just got to take the positive out of it and I’m just going to play my own game, if somebody goes crazy low like shooting 10 under, 9 under or whatever, it’s not something I can control. So I’m going to control to the most what I can do.”

Mirim Lee and Jessica Korda are tied in second place at -15 under par, just one shot back in this closely contested event.

Jessica likes the way the course is playing;

 ” You know, the golf course is just set up so beautifully, so as long as you hit fairways and greens, you’re just fine.  The greens, certain greens are faster than others, depending on if you’re downgrain or into the grain.  Golf course is just beautiful, so it’s a pleasure to play. But the greens are a little bit bouncier in the afternoon and you can kind of see where people have walked and some donuts around the holes.  But in the morning, it must have been really nice.  But yeah, definitely was a little bit more aggressive, but kind of take whatever you can get out here.” 

Sun Young Yoo has slipped back to fourth position, at -14 under par following her third round -4 under par 68.

Michelle Weiis in the group of five ladies at -13 under par, and is excited to be there, in contention.

” I came out the afternoon looking at the leaderboard and saw a lot of 9 unders, a lot of 8 unders and was kind of like, I have to get moving today.  Just one of those days I couldn’t get anything to the hole but scrimmaged and shot 5‑under and really happy to be in the position that I am right now and I’m just really excited for tomorrow.”

“I’m just so excited to be in this position, that I have a chance, it’s just fun being in contention. So, I’m just going to make the most of it tomorrow and go out there and enjoy myself.”

Defending champion Stacy Lewis is in familiar territory, she is four shots back of the lead, exactly where she was last year when she came through to win. But Stacy was disappointed with today’s performance;

”  It would be awesome to win here again.  I’ve said over and over again, this is my favorite tournament and I love the concept of the entire event.   Just to win here, having the founders here, to win in front of them, it means a lot.  Pretty disappointing, I left a ton of shots out there today.  Just the greens were a bit softer and I just didn’t quite adjust to it.  Speed was a little bit different, and just didn’t make the adjustments. I needed something today.”

” Just watching the leaderboard, watching the scores early, I knew I needed a low one just to get close to the lead.  But you know, anything can happen.  I’m going to go try to make as many birdies as I can but I would have liked to have got a little bit closer today.”

Certainly anything can still happen in this tournament, low round today went to Cristie Kerr, -9 under par 63. Cristie said a slight putting change made all the difference, and some new irons;

” Honestly I kind of changed up my putting routine a little bit. I switched to PING irons this week.  I had been playing with PING wedges since the beginning of the year and everything is just so much more consistent.  Even the misses on the irons are just so much better.  I had a chip‑in today on a very difficult chip on twelve, down the left slope, I chipped in.  I was close to chipping it in all week so ironic that it’s on the most difficult one, that’s me for you.”

Cristie is five behind the leader, but another low round tomorrow and who know’s.

Mobile Bay LPGA Classic. Korda Climbs to the Top

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Jessica Korda climbed to the top of the leaderboard at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic with second round of -7 under par 65, for a total of -13 under par.

Jessica Korda / LPGA

Jessica said she felt comfortable;

” I feel really comfortable out here, this is definitely one of the stops I wanted to come back to and I hope we can keep this event as long as possible out here because I really like it. I feel good. Today actually I didn’t have one shot where I was kind of;  kind of windswept or anything so it was good, it’s definitely moving in the right direction. I saw Sydnee, I saw she was like -8 under through 12. Like dang, that’s getting it done today. But no, not really, I kind of just went out here with really no mindset. Just come out here, try and hit good shots and convert when you can and kind of take your punishments when you have to.”

Karrie Webb is alone in second place after her magnificent round of -9 under par 63, gave her a tournament score of -12 under par.

Karrie,  played alongside of Jessica, and remarked she would need to keep up with her bogey free rounds, to keep up with her opponent, she is just one shot back at -12 under.

” I think I’ll need to do that for the weekend playing with Jess, she played really solidly for two days. I’m not sure the last time I had a bogey‑free round, so I’m really happy about that. That’s sort of been my problem is I have bogeys at the wrong time and it really kills momentum. That’s what happened yesterday, I turned at 2‑under and then doubled 1 and bogeyed 2 and all of a sudden I’m at 1‑over. I just was really happy with that fight back yesterday to finish at 3‑under and I think that really carried over into today and it was nice to play today without any bogeys.”

Chella Choi occupies third spot, a second round of -6 under par 66 lifted her clear of the bunch on -10 under par. She is dreaming of her first win;

” Maybe my first win, I’m just kidding. My shot is really good, my shot is really good and my distance is better than before than last year. My putting it’s not bad, but bad then last year, so I tried really hard on my putting, focus my putting like 80 percent putting, just 20 percent shot. So shot is same, my condition is same, shot, everything same, but putting is much better than before, last tournament.”

Stacy Lewis could only manage another -2 under par round, and is now at -4 under par, nine shots off the lead, she admitted she made too many mistakes;

”  I just made a bunch of birdies and just didn’t ; made too many mistakes and you can’t do it when people are shooting lights out.”

Notables missing the cut, which was at even par;

Moriya Jutanugarn, Brittany Lincicombe, Felicity Johnson and ex wonder kid Michelle Wie.

 

 

Lydia Ko, New Zealand’s Brightest Golfing Star

Lydia Ko and her Canadian Open Trophy/Getty Images

Lydia Ko is New Zealand’s brightest golfing star again this year, and while she intends to continue with her schooling, everyone his talking about her professional career to come in the future.

New Zealand Golf’s CEO  Dean Murphy said winning the Canadian Open was undoubtedly the greatest achievement ever by a New Zealand female golfer and it was a significant moment both in Lydia’s life and in the annals of New Zealand women’s sport.

“She’s playing the very, very best players in the world and at 15 she becomes the youngest ever winner of a tournament on that tour, so it’s enormously significant. Every time she plays she seems to rewrite history but this is right up there. This will be her most stunning achievement to date by a long, long way.”

This year 2012,  where Michael Campbell and Michael Hendry both improved their performances, and Danny Lee narrowly missed out on his PGA card, Lydia was still comfortably the star sports standout. She was the youngest ever winner on the LPGA Tour,  by more than a year, and the first amateur to win on the tour in 43 years.

Unfortunately Lydia  missed out on a share of the US$2m purse at the Canadian Open, but went on to earn individual honors at the Espirito Santo World Amateur Team’s Championship in Turkey, in October.

We wish Lydia well for 2013, in her continuing studies, and especially out on the golf course, keep knocking those drives straight down the middle.

 

Stacy Lewis, Roger Chapman and Rory McIlroy voted Players of the Year, by Golf Writers Association

Stacy Lewis / Scott Halleran

Stacy Lewis Roger Chapman and Rory McIlroy have been voted Players of the Year by the Golf Writers Association of America. Stacy won four times on the LPGA Tour this year and was the run-away winner in the women’s bracket, gaining 153 votes to Na Yeon Choi who carded 31 votes and 10 for Inbee Park. Stacy’s percentage was 78.8% of the total vote. Congratulations to Stacy Lewis.

Stacy’s record was three runner-up finishes and a third-place slot on the LPGA money list $1.87 million, and was the first American since Beth Daniel in 1994 to earn the tour’s Player of the Year honors. The 27-year-old from Texas, had to battle scoliosis, since aged eleven, to make it big on the pro tour, she also becomes the first American since Juli Inkster in 1999 to earn the Golf Writers of America Player of the Year award.

Roger Chapman won 116 votes beating Tom Lehman who received 44 votes and Bernhard Langer who got 33 votes.  Rogers winning percentage was a healthy 60% of the votes cast. Roger, aged 53, began the year with conditional status on the Champions Tour, but won the Senior PGA Championship in his first start of the 2012 season. The Englishman then came from four shots back of the leaders to win the U.S. Senior Open.

Rory McIlroy, who captured the money titles on both the PGA and European Tours, received 190 votes, a massive 97.9%  Brandt Snedeker was second with 3 votes and Tiger Woods third with just one vote. Rory had already won European Tour’s Golfer of the Year,cementing his season with five birdies at his last event of the year to win the World Tour Championship in Dubai. His other achievements included his second Major, the  US PGA Championship, PGA Tour’s Byron Nelson Award and PGA of America’s Vardon Trophy for adjusted low scoring average of 68.87%  and also finished the season with 10 top-tens in 16 starts. Rory is the World Number One ranked player.