L.E.T. Xiamen Open. Connie Chen 1st Round Leader

White Dragon GolfXiamen Open

Connie Chen is the 1st round leader at the Xiamen Open at Orient Golf and Country Club in China.

Xiamen Open

Connie Chen / Getty Images

Connie had a first round -4 under par 68 to hold the lead in this inaugural Xiamen Open. She had played at this course as an amateur and said that experience had helped her;

“Knowing the greens better than most of the other girls helped me.”

“I was hitting it great. I hit it quite long on the eighth hole so I had a short second shot in on the par five and a chip and a putt. Then on nine, I hit a brilliant tee shot and then a great shot in and a chip and a putt.”

Nikki Garrett, Liz Young, Beth Allen and Noora Tamminen are the ladies who are a stroke behind on -3 under par under par.

 Nikki, from Australia is playing in her last tournament of the year, and is just out to have fun;

“It’s my last tournament of the year so I’m just out to enjoy myself.”

Englishwoman Liz said she had putted well on the these very quick greens;

“I didn’t have a three putt, so that was good on these greens because they are very quick downhill.”

“I had two bogeys and five birdies and I only holed one long putt so four tap in birdies. I was striking the ball better last week but I putted well which is crucial on this course.”

Noora got a boost from seeing her friends name up on the leaderboard early on in her round;

“After that I made a lot of birdies. Then I had a birdie on eight and nine and added three more on 12, 13 and 16.”

The highest ranked player in the field, Charley Hull, had a nightmare of a day, and finished +1 over par 73, five shots off the lead. She can still win the LET order of merit with a win in Dubai.

 

 

CME Group Tour Championship. Julieta Granada Leads

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Julieta Granada leads the CME Group Tour Championship after the first round at Tiburon Golf Club in Florida.

CME Group Tour Championship

Julieta Granada / Getty Images

Julieta carded a bogey free first round -6 under par 66, to lead the  CME Group Tour Championship by two shots on the opening day. Julieta said course management was the key for her today, and admitted that her million dollar payday was actually a bad influence on her, she just relaxed too much;

“I just managed my game really well at the beginning where I was playing really conservative, just hitting the greens, and two putting for par.”

“The start is really tough out here, but once you get going you can make some birdies out there.”

I wouldn’t take it back, but, you’re 20-years-old and it’s your first year out here and life becomes really good so you think you can relax a little bit.”

“It’s really exciting and fun and you win $ 1 million. Life becomes really good. You think you can just go relax a little bit.”

” But everybody else out here is still grinding and going at it. I kind of sat back a little bit and relaxed, and I didn’t have the same hunger to play well and to make money, I guess. So, yeah, it was a learning curve, but I wouldn’t take it back.”

Sandra Gal is in second place, a -4 under par 68 for her first round, and said she had to play some special shots in the wind today;

“I had to hit a lot of knock down shots, then again downwind you got to have really good control. So I hit lots of different types of shots today.  It was pretty crazy.  The difference between into and down was enormous.”

“Not going to change anything, just going to play solid and have good pace with your putts.  Hopefully hole a couple. I’m not going to change anything.”

Three ladies are tied in third spot on the leaderboard, Caroline Hedwall, Stacy Lewis and Belen Mozo are all at -3 under par for the competition.

Stacy reported that the golf course is playing tough, and she is happy to be where she is on the leaderboard;

Just kind of kept me in there, to make some birdies there at the end and make a few putts.  The golf course is playing so hard.  You just got to hang in there, and that’s what I did today.”

“I think we were all kind of a little bit nervous, a little bit hesitant there at the beginning, but we seemed to all kind of settle in. It’s one good round.  We got a long, long way to go, but it’s nice to get off to a good start.”

Lydia Ko finished with a -1 under par 71, and admitted she was nervous about giving her speech for winning the Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year award;

“I’m a little nervous, I’m not a very good speaker in front of a large crowd, so I’m definitely going to be nervous. Hopefully everybody will be nice, and even if I make a mistake they’ll be like, yeah, whatever.”

Congratulations Lydia, how about knocking them dead with a Haka.

Lorena Ochoa Invitational, Wire to Wire Play-Off Winner Christina.

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Christina Kim has a wire to wire win, after a play-off at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico.

Lorena Ochoa Invitational

Christina Kim / Getty Images

Christina could only manage a final round of -1 under par 71 to total -17 under par at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational. That let Shanshan Feng in with a chance of catching her, which she duly did via a last round -6 under par 66. The play-off lasted two holes, on the 18th, Christina finally winning with a par, and Shanshan made bogey.

Christina said she was lost for words, but did manage to put on a Sombrero;

“I can’t put into words how I’m feeling right now, I’m still riding so many emotions. It feels surreal. I can’t explain. I’m so overwhelmed right now. I’m so proud and honored to be a champion for such an incredible tournament. I can’t, I can’t, I just can’t.”

Lorena Ochoa Invitational

Christina and Sombrero

Christina also spoke about how much she loves this tournament;

“I can’t speak on behalf of other players, but I just know how much I love this tour and how much this game means to me. And how I’d love to leave it a better place than I found it.”

“But Shanshan, she’s an amazing young woman. She was the first major winner from mainland China, and she has very much like Lorena did when she was on the LPGA tour, an entire country riding on her shoulders. To hear the wonderful things that were said, it fills my heart with joy.”

Shanshan originally thought there was no way she make up the five shot deficit and catch Christina;

“I thought other than Christina, the rest of us were competing for second place because I never thought I could catch up.”

“So I said that my goal was that I want to get to fifteen under. It doesn’t matter if I win or not if I get to fifteen under, I’d be really happy, which I did. So I had a really solid run.”

Inbee Park finished in third place, at -11 under par, with a last round -4 under par 68.

 

Sanya Ladies Open. China’s Xi Yu Lin Wins

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China’s new rising star 18 year-old Xi Yu Lin won the Sanya Ladies Open at Yalong Bay Golf Club.

Sanya Ladies Open

Xi Yu Lin / Getty Images

Xi Yu Lin carded a last round -5 under par 67 to win the Sanya Ladies Open with a -14 under par total. She had two birdies and an eagle on the back nine to finally break away from the chasing pack, to win her first trophy on the Ladies European Tour;

“I think this is the biggest win of my career because it’s my first win on the Ladies European Tour.”

 “My mum was with me this week and she always brings me good luck, because in 2012, she came to watch me for the first time in two years when I won my first professional career win on the CLPGA.”

“This time she came and I earned my first win on the Ladies European Tour, so I think she’s kind of my lucky star.”

“These last two years, women’s golf has developed very fast and all the young players like Shi Yuting, Zhang Yu Yang and Zhang Jienalin, they are having more and more good results on the golf course.”

Another 18 year-old finished in second place, England’s Charley Hull, a last round -3 under par and a total of -9 under par for the tournament. She reported that she was playing well, and her putting is in excellent form;

“It was a good day and I’m happy with how I’m playing. It was windy out there again today.”

“I nearly holed so many long putts today, 30 footers, but they were all on the edge. I’m pretty happy with the way I’m putting and I’m not missing any short putts like I did here last year so I’m happy and looking forward to next week.”

Aussie Nikki Campbell and Huei-Ju Shih of Chinese Taipei finished in a share of third place, both on -8 under par for the competition following their final rounds of -3 under par 69.

Lorena Ochoa Invitational. Christina Has Five Shot Lead.

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Christina Kim has a five shot lead after 54 holes of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico.

Lorena Ochoa Invitational

Christina Kim / Getty Images 

Christina had a -4  under par 68 third round for a -14 under par total at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, giving her a five shot advantage starting the final round tomorrow. Christina told reporters that she is pretty confident she has the greens figured out and has been channeling her inner Lorena to play this event better this week.

“I’ve just been trying to channel my inner Lorena.”

I’ve got the greens charted out pretty well. I’ve been using the aim point express off and on throughout the round, and it’s been really helpful.”

“But more than anything it’s I’m okay with the ball dying in the hole as opposed to hitting in the back of the cup.”

“I know that’s something I always really admired about Lorena. She had such great pace with her putts that it’s just something I’ve been trying to emulate.”

Today is Lorena Ochoa’s 33rd birthday and she spent the day walking around the course, happily meeting friends;

I’m really happy and excited, this has been a special week for me because the LPGA choose this date. Luckily that has been during my birthday. I think it’s just fun to be around my friends, you know, the professionals, the fans, my sponsors, so it’s like a celebration for everybody. It’s been great. Been a lot of fun.”

 

Shanshan Feng holds second place at -9 under par for the tournament, she also carded a -4 under par 68 today.

A shot further back at -8 under par, So Yeon Ryu, Pornanong Phatlum and Azahara Munoz share third place.

Azahara is one of the players who needs a good result to get her way into the top-9 for a chance at the $1 million in the Race to the CME;

“It would be amazing. It still be really hard to win the million dollar because Inbee and Stacy, they’re never going to play that bad in the tournament anyway, so a lot of different things have to happen.”

“But at least it’s nice that the first time they have that million dollar going, which is super special for us. It’ll be nice to have a chance, you know, to go to the tournament, and you never know what could happen. At least give myself that chance.”

Lydia Ko dropped back to T8 at -5 under par, recording a sad +2 over par third round.

Sanya Ladies Open. Chinese Teenager Xi Yu Lin Leads.

White Dragon GolfSanya Ladies Open

At the half-way stage in the Sanya Ladies Open in China, the surprise leader is Chinese teenager Xi Yu Lin.

 

18 year-old Xi Yu Lin shot a second round -5 under par 67 to lead the Sanya Ladies Open with a -9 under par total and has a two shot lead going into the week-end. She relaxes by swimming in the pool at the hotel, she does not like the sea;

“Swimming in the pool at the hotel. I’m too scared to swim in the sea because I don’t know what’s inside.”

Babe Liu, from Chinese Taipei,  is in second place at -7 under par, a second round -3 under par 69 keeps her in touch with the leader. The 21 year-old player is playing in her last tournament this year;

“I’m 21 years old and I live in Tauyuan City, I’m just playing in Asia on the CLPGA and TLPGA tournaments and I’m going to Japan Q School next week.”

“I hope I can win three times this year and I achieved that by June. For me, I would like to enjoy every tournament. Yes, but this is my last tournament this year.”

Three Ladies are tied in third place at -6 under par, amateur Jienalin Zhang, YU Yang Zhang and Charley Hull, from England. They are all at -6 under par for the tournament.

Mireia Prat from Spain may have missed the cut, but she did score a hole in one, at the 140 yard par three 11th hole. The prize was a two night stay in the Chairman’s Suite at Four Points by Sheraton in Sanya Bay, Hainan;

“I have made three in practice but I felt different this time; I felt like crying and it was exciting because it gave me more confidence for the rest of the round.”

“Although I will miss the cut, I will take home a really special memory and I will never forget it! Maybe I can use my stay here next year.”

 

 

Lorena Ochoa Invitational, Christina Holds on to Top Spot

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Christina Kim holds on to the top spot at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico, following the conclusion of the second round.

Lorena Ochoa Invitational

Christina Kim / Getty Images

Christina has a second round -3 under par 69 to hold on to the lead at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico. Apart from her good play Christina said she had received good luck, and was just enjoying herself;

“Yesterday I was lucky enough to have two eagles so that immediately made the score a lot better. And I had no bogeys yesterday.”

“Today I had 2 bogeys. It’s just difficult when you’re in the lead and there’s such a fantastic field and everyone’s coming after you. It’s been a while since I’ve been in this position. And just trying to get back into it. Just enjoying myself.”

“Before I teed off my caddy, TJ Jones said, you know, let’s pretend like it’s Sunday again. Still finished under par.”

“I got a one shot lead over Paula, so it’s going to make for a very exciting weekend hopefully. And it’ll be a tough weekend, but I’m really looking forward to it.”

“I’ve known Paula since I was maybe 12 or 13 years old so she and I, we go a long way back. We’re very good friends and I’m a very big fan of hers, so I just have to make sure that I’m making sure to play my game and not watching hers all day.”

Paula Creamer is just one shot back at -9 under par for the tournament. She has gone left hand low for putting, something that I would never recommend, sort out the real problem;

“I switched to left hand low and I switched my whole putter at Evian and that’s been probably the greatest thing that I’ve done.”

“I just have a lot of confidence. I’m really, my routine and what I do when I’m over the ball is the same every time.”

“It’s more about speed instead of thinking about my stroke or thinking about this. I know that it’s solid and we’ve been working really hard on that. It’s more of a confidence and seeing the ball go in the hole.”

Maybe Paula should read my putting manual on  Kindle, Get in the Hole.

There are four ladies tied in third place; Suzann Pettersen, Azahara Munoz, Pornanong Phatlum and Lydia Ko, all these players are on -7 under par for the tournament.