Portland Classic. Austin Ernst, First Time Winner, In A Play-Off

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Austin Ernst became a first time LPGA Tour winner at the Portland Classic in Oregon.

 

Portland Classic

Austin Ernst / Getty Images 

Shooting a final round -5 under par 67 Austin Ernst posted her first ever LPGA Tour win at the Portland Classic on the Columbia Edgewater Country Club course.

She was tied at the top of the leaderboard with I.K. Kim, both on -14 under par for the tournament, but then won with a par on the first play-off hole, the par four 18th. Actually she was two shots in the lead going into the final two holes, but the nerves got her;

“I did a really good job of just slowing myself down, but yeah, just preparing for the playoff I knew I kind of pulled two drives left, and then I actually talked to my dad on the phone, and he said it kind of looked like I had it angled a bit that way.

“So just went out, had my brother check my alignment, and then hit a few good ones and then just rolled a bunch of putts trying to get you know, I had to feel the speed, just kind of trying to stay loose. And just went out there and tried to do the same things I was doing today.”

“I actually saw the leaderboard on six green. I think I saw I had like a two-shot lead, but you can make a lot of birdies out here, so I really didn’t try to pay attention to it very much. I kind of had, I was actually trying to get to 18-under today starting the day. But I just kept trying to make birdies.”

I.K. had hit her drive on the play-off hole too well, which left her between clubs. She has an unenviable record in play-offs, played in five, won none;

“I’m happy, but I played a lot of playoffs and haven’t won one yet. So just kind of, it was in the back of my mind. But she deserves it.”

Tied in third place were Chella Choi and So Yeon Ryu, both ladies finishing the tournament at -12 under par. So Yeon blames poor fairway bunker shots for her disappointing day;

“My shots feel great, my putting feels great. Maybe only thing is maybe fairway bunker shots are not that great.

“Next week I’m going to charge up and be more focused, and I’m pretty sure I can get a good result at Evian.”

 

 

Ladies Scottish Open. Trish Takes the Trophy.

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Trish Johnson takes the Ladies Scottish Open trophy at Archerfield Links in Scotland.

Ladies Scottish Open

Trish & Trophy / Getty Images

Trish has become the Ladies European Tour’s oldest winner at the age of 48, shooting a final round +1 over par 73, but it was enough to give her the victory by two strokes at the Ladies Scottish Open, with a total of -7 under par. Starting with six shot lead Trish knew it would only be total disaster that could stop her winning;

With a six shot lead today, I think if I’d thrown that away in perfect conditions, well, it was a difficult one, I played pretty well but I never got the putter going at all.”

“I just didn’t putt as well as the first two days but I didn’t have the same mentality. I suppose that was because I was defending a little bit, which I didn’t think I’d do.”

“I wasn’t expecting this. I had very low expectations and I guess that worked for me. I didn’t have a practise round and I didn’t play until Friday morning and probably played one of the best rounds of my life on Friday. I’m chuffed to bits.”

Gwladys Nocera finished in second place at -5 under par, her last round -3 under par 69 just not quite good enough to catch Trish at the top of the leaderboard.

Three Ladies tied for third spot at -4 under par, Rebecca Artis, Stephanie Na and Sally Watson.

Trish also won  the Pro-Am tournament that was running simultaneously with the main event. She was partnered by ex-footballer Alan Hansen, a 5 handicap golfer, who was full of praise for her performance;

” She played so well for the three days and was just rock solid, putted great. It was never in doubt and watching her play was a delight. This is the fourth time I’ve played with her and she hits it so well.”

Ladies Scottish Open

Trish & Alan / Getty Images

Portland Classic. Three-Way Tie at the Top.

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There is a three-way tie at the top of the Portland Classic leaderboard Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Oregon.

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Germany’s Suzann Pettersen, Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and Mi Jung Hur of Korea are tied at the top of the Portland Classic leaderboard at -11 under par following the conclusion of the third round.

Suzann, the defending Champion here said her game is improving;

“My game is getting better and better, today I had a lot of chances on the back nine. Just couldn’t quite drop the putts. Birdied 16, 17 and got a good par out of 18 after being in trouble. But it was a good solid round.”

“I still feel like the low one is out there. Gotta go out tomorrow and just try and birdie as many holes as you can.”

“Doesn’t look like the top players have gotten anywhere, so I did my job and kind of managed to close the gap a little bit, and tomorrow just gotta step on the pedal.”

Mi Jung told reporters that she thinks it is the weather that is responsible for the lack of birdies in this tournament;

“I think the course conditions for today was a little difficult than yesterday, more windier, and rainy; kind of up-and-down weather that’s why the leaders are 11-under par right now.”

“I really want to play aggressive tomorrow, because I got a chance, four years ago, another chance here, so I don’t want to lose anything for tomorrow, so I’m just going to play.”

Carlota carded a bogey on the last hole, which prevented her from claiming the outright lead;

“The first two days the ball striking was really good, and obviously my putter yesterday,  it was really hot, and today I didn’t start playing that well.”

“I didn’t put the ball that close from the hole. But my putting was good. I made really good saves for par and made a few good birdies out there. So I’m just excited for tomorrow and let’s see what happens.”

“It would be unbelievable. I mean I think after the International Crown that was very nice tournament. My confidence was, I mean went back, and winning that tournament, playing against the best players, it was great.”

“So after that I felt more confident, and I’m just trying to, yeah, to play my game, don’t think about too much, like about other’s game, just my golf and have fun outside the golf course, and I think that’s the key.”

Three more Ladies are right behind the leaders at -10 under par, I.K. Kim, So Yeon Ryu and Lin Xi Yu who is from China.

The leaderboard is jammed up with five Ladies who have designs on winning, all of them at -9 under par, it will be an exciting final round tomorrow, that’s for sure.

 

 

 

Ladies Scottish Open. Trish is Trouncing the Opposition.

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Trish Johnson was trouncing the opposition in the second round of the Ladies Scottish Open.

Trish Johnson / Getty Images

Trish Johnson / Getty Images

Trish carded a second round -2 under par 70 to stay at the top of the Ladies Scottish Open, posting a -8 under par total. She is now an incredible six strokes clear of Sally Watson and Gwladys Nocera, who are tied in second place , with Anne-Lise Caudal a stroke further behind on -1 under-par for the tournament.

Trish, a seasoned veteran, and at 48 if she wins on Sunday, will become the oldest winner in the Ladies European Tour history. Dame Laura Davies was 47 when she won the Hero Honda Women’s Indian Open in November 2010. Trish reckoned the conditions out on the course were harder than yesterday;

“It was tough out there today, probably harder than yesterday. The wind was much stronger and just relentless so I was very pleased with that.”

“It feels like I’m putting well so hopefully it will continue well tomorrow. It’s more in the head than anything else.”

Gwladys last won in Scotland, in 2008, so has good memories playing in Scotland;

“It’s too long ago but I’ve been feeling good and I love this place, everything was good.”

“In that wind, I hit the ball well, stayed away from the bunkers and made a few putts.”

The partisan Scots gallery will be cheering on L.E.T. rookie Sally to extend the record of three straight home victories;

” You just had to keep grinding out there, it was tough. I mean, every hole it felt like if you made par you were making up half a shot on the field.”

“Even if you only had a nine or eight iron in, the wind would move the ball so much that if you put a little shape on it you knew your ball would be 20 yards off-line.”

In the Pro-Am team competition, Australian Nikki Campbell and her amateur partner Gavin Corbett continued to lead on -14 under par, they are followed by England’s Holly Clyburn and amateur Richard Bevan at -13 under with Trish Johnson and ex-footballer Alan Hansen lying in third on -12 under par.

 

Portland Classic. Korean Kim Cruzin On.

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Korean I.K. Kim is cruzin along at the Portland Classic, establishing a three stroke lead.

Portland Classic

I.K. Kim. / AP photo

I.K. recorded a second round -5 under par 67 to post a -12 under par tournament total at the half-way stage of the Portland Classic. A couple of bogey’s on the day stifled what could have been a very commanding lead;

 “It’s only Friday. I’m really pleased how I played the last two days, and the weekend, I’m really looking forward to it. I don’t really think about leading. You never know until the last day on Sunday, last back nine.”

Keeping her in sight are three Ladies, who share second placing at -9 under par for the tournament, Mi Jung Hur, Carlota Ciganda and Laura Diaz are all wondering if I.K. will let up on the pressure.

Apart from her placing at the golf tournament Mi Jung just loves shopping in Oregon, no sales tax;

“I’m so comfortable with this town, especially I love the shopping in Oregon, there’s no sales tax. I love it. My American parents and I just talked to about it, I met them maybe ‘05, back in Pumpkin Ridge. I played the U. S. women’s amateur. And I met them.”

“Like today I tried to focus on my each shot. Like if you’re on the teeing ground, just try to focus on driver and then if you go to fairway, try to focus on the iron shot like this.”

“Because I read the interview from So Yeon Ryu from last week. She did like that. You know, when I won this tournament back on ‘09, that’s what I did at the time. Shot by shot. And then like today I just did it. So that’s why I had a good round today.”

Laura has played 36 holes at Columbia Edgewater Country Club without a bogey to her card, and loves seeing her name at the top of the leaderboard;

”I mean you know, you prepare as much as you can prepare, but I think that I’ve been away for a long time from that position, and it was definitely a learning and growing experience.”

 “I learned a lot from that week. It wasn’t the result that I wanted obviously, but I’m staying patient and just trying to stay in the moment and not get ahead of myself at all.”

Defending Champion Suzann Pettersen admits that she has not played her best golf, yet;

“I haven’t played my best the last two days. Really happy to be able to shoot five under on the back nine to put myself somewhere close in the mid pack of the field.”

Played better on the back nine. But I don’t know if it’s just the fourth week that I’m tired, but grinding it out. I’m finding solutions out there.”

 

Ladies Scottish Open. Trish Johnson Leads.

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Trish Johnson leads the Ladies Scottish Open in East Lothian.

Ladies Scottish Open

Trish Johnson and amateur partner Alan Hanse, on the left / Getty Images

Trish opened with a first round -6 under par 66 at the Ladies Scottish Open, where a Pro/Am team event runs concurrently with the Ladies singles. In the blustery conditions Trish managed to give herself a three shot lead, which was pretty amazing as she is recovering from a back injury;

“To be honest I didn’t have huge expectations this week because I haven’t practised for a week and I had a bit of a tough situation with my back but I think that probably helped me in the end because low expectations was better.”

“I started with three birdies, which was nice, rolled a good birdie at the first and a two-putt birdie at the second and a four or five footer at the third, so that was good for the confidence. I knocked it stiff at the fifth so I was four under and I didn’t do an awful lot wrong. I made a bogey on seven, but that was a monstrous hole today, playing straight into the wind. “

The back nine played really well and I putted really well. I picked up an old putter out of the garage that a friend was using, a two-ball putter, so I asked if I could use it and that’s the best I’ve putted in donkey’s years, so let’s hope it continues.”

This is the fifth and final year of the tournament at Archerfield Links, and Trish would like to get a win in the event, although in the 2013 competition, Trish and amateur partner Alan Hansen won the team competition;

The first year I was pretty unlucky because the last three holes, the heavens opened and it was straight into the teeth of the wind and I had a two shot lead and bogeyed the last three holes to lose by one.”

“Two years ago, I was seven under after 11 holes and I think I had the lead, when Carly won, and I got a flier out of the rough on 14 and made double and then played very poorly coming in. I’d like to think experience holds some hope for me but I wouldn’t count on it. It’s confidence. I like the golf course and I hope I can continue to play well for the next couple of rounds.”

Anne-Lise Caudel holds second place on her own at -3 under par, while three Ladies share third place at -2 under par. The team event is led by Nikki Campbell and amateur partner Corbett at -10 under par.

LPGA. Portland Classic. Korean Kim Leads Classic.

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Korean  I.K. Kim leads the Portland Classic at Columbia Edgewater Country Club.

Portland Classic

I.K. Kim / Getty Image

I.K. shot an opening round of -7 under par 65, to lead the Portland Classic by one shot

“Today I hit the ball well and made some putts coming down. This is really good golf course. You have to hit the good shots and also make putts. There’s a couple of tricky pins, but I was able to manage.”

“So I’m very pleased with how I finished. Solid round, yeah, my game’s feeling good. Just need to keep playing.”

“Seems like every week it’s like 66, 65, so I didn’t really thought about scoring that much. With this golf course you just gotta play your game, and then you get rewarded.”

Sharing second place at -5 under par are two Americans, Amelia Lewis and Jennifer Song,.

Jennifer, who played the course backwards left herself a 50 ft putt on her last hole of the day, the 9th. She drained it for birdie;

“Well, I wasn’t expecting to make it. I knew it was going to be a fast putt, so I just told myself to get the pace right and just get it near the proximity of the hole, and it just went in. I just lucked out.”

“I had a wonderful day today. I was making a lot of putts out there, and then my short game was sharp, so I didn’t have a lot of long birdie putts. Most of them were tap-ins. I just played great today.”

“It’s pretty important, but when I came out here, I try not to think about it, because if I think about like trying to get in the Asia events, it’s thinking about the future. So just trying to play my own game out there and just be in my zone and take it one day at a time.”

Amelia confessed to be working on a new swing, just tweaking things around, it seemed to be working OK;

I’ve been working on my swing a little bit and tweaking a few things, and now it’s coming back and working out. So it’s going to be a good end of the year.”

There are seven Ladies tied in fourth place at -5 under par, one of them Alison Walshe has also been working on her game with her old  University of Arizona, coach, Michael Haywood;

“To be honest, and we kind of had a little epiphany about something I’ve changed, and we kind of went back to what was working then, which I don’t know why I ever kind of went away from it.”

“We kind of grinded the first two days, and I just had to trust it, and I did. And actually hit some really good shots, so it was kind of refreshing.”

“We really looked at pictures. I’m not one to hugely look at video, but we noticed my grip was really strong in college, and I almost have a borderline really weak grip now, which trying to get to a spot, it’s pretty hard for that position.”

This is another of those tight tournaments and any silly mistake could be very costly.