Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. MJ Makes It Her’s.

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MJ Hur makes the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic her’s, as she picks up the trophy on the RTJ Trail, Senator Course.

Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic

MJ and Trophy / photo A.P. 

MJ set a tournament record winning total of -21 under par to win the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic with a final round -6 under par 66. Having her dad carrying the bag this week was extra special for her. She was aware of the charge being made by Stacy;

‘It’s definitely an exciting week for me, I started with two birdies and it made me so much more comfortable the rest of the round. But Stacy played so well and I definitely thought about her.”

”I just played my own game, and after nine holes I made a few birdies on the back nine.”

The easiest of those those birdies was on 16;

”After I made that, I definitely think about winning. The last two holes, I really enjoyed the golf.” 

World number one Stacy Lewis was making a real charge, doing her best to catch up to MJ, she also carded a final round -6 under par 66, to finish in second place at -17 under par.

Stacy commented about playing well, but unable to any pressure on leader;

”You get events where people kind of run away with tournaments, I’ve done it before. “

“It’s just golf. I played well, gave myself a ton of opportunities for birdies, which that was the goal coming into the day.”

”I would have liked to have made a couple of more to give her something to think about coming up those last few.”

Paula Reto had her best ever finish to a LPGA tournament, finishing in third place at -14 under par. She had a poor last round carding +1 over par 73, after starting the day tied at the top of the leaderboard.

In a strange coincidence Connie Chen won on the Ladies European Tour this week, she also had her dad on the bag. Maybe the fathers just bring a calming factor into the girls thinking.

Ladies European Tour, Spanish Open. Connie Claims 1st Victory.

White Dragon GolfTenerife Open de Espana Femenino

Connie Chen lifted her 1st Ladies European Tour trophy, winning the Spanish Open, in the Canary Islands.

Spanish Open

Connie & first victory trophy / Getty Images

Connie completed the Tenerife Open de España Femenino with another -3 under par 69, to lift the trophy with a tournament total of -12 under par, and a two shot victory.

Connie was very excited to have her first victory, especially with her dad Hong on the bag. She spoke to reporters about the day and also the duff chip she made on 18, which led to a bogey;

“I’m so happy, I was so nervous today teeing off and being able to keep going and make that eagle on the back nine gave me a good feeling for the day.”

“I was very nervous over that chip, I just acknowledged that it’s only natural to be nervous and tried to focus on other things to distract me, like the scenery and blue skies.”

“It’s nice that we worked really well this week together. It was a little different to our usual disagreements on the golf course.”

“We just discussed that there are some things that work, with him being my father and us being so close, and some things that we need to get a little bit of distance in the relationship and chill out.”

“With him being so close to me he wants me to do so well, so he was able to let go of that and let me play my own game this week.”

Spanish OpenConnie and Dad, Hong / Getty Images

Second place went to Spanish girl Carlota Ciganda, who also posted a final round -3 under par 69 to finish with a -10 under par total. She really wanted to become the first home winner of this tournament;

“It’s a pity, because I wanted to win so badly and this was the only objective in my mind.”

If you can’t win, then the best position is second, so I am happy because when I think about this tournament it will give me confidence for the future.”

Beth Allen was in third position at -9 under par, with Charley Hull finishing in fourth place at -8 under par.

With her victory, Connie becomes the 12th first time winner of a Ladies European Tour event this season, this is a closely contested Tour.

 

Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. MJ Catches Paula.

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Mi Jung Hur catches Paula Reto at the top of the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic leaderboard, on the RTJ Trail.

Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic

MJ & Kris / Getty Images

MJ and Paula are tied at the top of the leaderboard at -15 under par for the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic on the RTJ Senator Course. After rounds of 65 & 66 Paula came down to earth today with a -2 under par 70. This allowed MJ to catch up with her as she carded -5 under par 65 in the third round. They will play together in the final round, and avoiding total disaster one of them will be crowned champion.

MJ  birdied four of the last eight holes Saturday, after a slow start to the round;

“Beginning of the round my putting wasn’t that good, but after turned the nine holes, my putting gets better and better, so I had a low score.”

“I’m just going to focus on each shot and I will do my best for tomorrow. Play with Paula will be fun, not much pressure. I mean, she made me so comfortable.”

Paula said she did not start too well either;

“I didn’t start too well, I had a couple bogeys and a double there, but I kept patient and just focused on one shot at a time and it kind of helped me out toward the end of the round.”

“I wasn’t kind of where I wanted to be with my mental and stuff, so, I just took a couple seconds to myself just to rethink everything, just kind of stayed in there.”

Tied in third place, and four shots back are the defending champion Stacy Lewis and Kris Tamulis, both have a tournament total of -11 under par.

Stacy thought her score was good, for the way she played today;

“For the way I played, the score ended up pretty good, I didn’t play well.”

“It was kind of a struggle all day and just had to work pretty hard to shoot what I did. But I’m still within striking distance, still have a chance for tomorrow, which that was the goal going into the week.”

Kris played well and just let it all happen for her;

I wasn’t really trying to chase anybody, didn’t have a great middle of my round yesterday, so I was just going out there.”

“I had some really good numbers today and was able to just kind of go for it.”

 

Ladies European Tour. Spanish Open. Amy & Connie Tied at the Top.

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Amy Boulden and Connie Chen lead the Spanish Open on the Ladies European Tour event in the Canary Islands

.Spanish Open Spanish Open

Amy Boulden and Connie Chen / Getty Images

Both Amy and Connie carded matching rounds of -3 under par 69 to share the lead going into the final day of the Tenerife Open de España Femenino at Golf Costa Adeje in the Canary Islands, with tournament totals of -9 under par.

 Amy has scored three straight rounds of 69, and would not be upset to card the same again tomorrow;

“I played solid again. I got off to a rocky start but managed to hole a few testers on the first few holes to keep me in there. I’m hoping for the same tomorrow or a bit lower.”

On the back nine I made three birdies in a row which gave a lot of momentum. There was a little bit of wind out there but the heat was making it very warm and sweaty.”

“I’ve been putting myself into contention in most of the tournaments, or the last few, so just hoping the win is around the corner.”

Connie arrived early for this competition, to get some extra practice in, and is just looking for some more putts to drop in;

“I’ve been working really hard, . I got here a week earlier and did a lot of putting on the greens here so I had a week of practice.”

“Hopefully my swing will be better tomorrow and a few more putts will drop.”

Third place belongs to Celine Herbin, who shot the low round of the day, a -7 under par 66, which included a bogey.

Celine is now at -8 under par for the tournament, just one stroke off the lead;

“It was a nice day for me. For the first two rounds I had a bad flight and a lot of wind on both days. It was nice to finally play this course with no wind. I was feeling confident because I worked well on my swing yesterday afternoon. I fixed some little problems and I arrived with a lot of confidence.”

 “The start of each of my rounds is a bit slow, I am like a diesel. I need to get my rhythm.”

 

Denmark’s Nicole Broch Larsen also came flying through the field, carding -6 under par 66, and finishing tied in fourth spot with Kylie Walker and the home supporters favorite Carlota Ciganda.

Nicole was happy with her round, but upset about a one shot penalty;

“I’m really happy about my round today. I played really solid. I had a good start, even though I had a bogey on the fourth, because my iron kicked on the grass and touched the ball, so I had four shots but one penalty stroke.”

” I just kept going today and it was fine. I was trying to look away from the scoreboards but I did see my name on there at the end.”

Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. Rookie Reto Shoots 66.

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LPGA Rookie Paula Reto from South Africa carded a second round 66 in the Yokohama LPGA Classic on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Senator Course.

Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic

Paula Reto / Getty Images

 Paula’s -6 under par 66 second round included eight birdies, trimmed down by two bogey’s, it still gave her a table topping -13 under par Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic tournament total.

Paula told reporters that she was just keeping simple, and being patient;

“I was just really patient with myself. I hit a couple good irons especially early in the round. I hit a couple close, five feet, so that was nice and got the momentum going pretty early.”

“Just trying to stay patient and not think too much, just simple things.”

“Just want to hit on each hole depending on what the wind is doing, not changing all of a sudden from a driver to a 3-wood, just sticking to it and going for it.”

” Maybe just the way I’m thinking, a little more comfortable the last couple of events. Just try to do the best I can and don’t over think too much.

Mi Jung Hur started the day as one of the first round leaders, her -2 under par 70 at least earned her second spot at the 36 hole stage, at -10 under par, and keeping her nerves under control. Maybe having her dad on the bag is calming influence on her, and to make it easier for him MJ swapped her Tour size bag for a smaller 3 pound carry bag;

” I starting with my putting didn’t work on the front nine, had a three‑putt on second hole and missed a green on No. 7 and didn’t make it on the green with the chip shot and made two bogeys on front nine.”

” But I tried to keep focus on my ball but I had a cold last night so it was really hard to focus today, but my father just keep talk to me and hey, wake up, wake up, like that.  I finally wake up on the back nine and had a good nine holes.”

“I feel so much better than the beginning of the season because I had like a mental problem maybe, like nerves.”

“But from Portland, I don’t know, they’re all gone somewhere.  Hopefully they don’t come back.”

“I just try to focus on every shot, every hit.  It’s working really good right now for me, so I will just keep doing it. Some day it will bring me a big trophy.”

World number one Stacy Lewis is in third place at -9 under par for the tournament, she was tied with MJ at the top of the leaderboard at start of play. A -1 under par 71 means she is still  in touch with the leaders, and said she knows how to pressure a rookie;

” I think, you know, I’ve been a rookie so I know what they’re thinking. They’ve never really been in that position. They’ve got to sleep on a lead overnight and it’s a hard thing to do.”

 “You’ve probably got a little bit of comfort there knowing that they might come back a couple, but you’ve still got to go out there and make birdies because every year, you know, gets closer, I think it’s usually close to 20-under-par winning on this golf course.”

Ladies European Tour. Spanish Open. Russian Maria Balikoeva Leads.

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Russian Maria Balikoeva leads the Spanish Open on the Ladies European Tour in the Canary Islands.

Spanish Open

Maria Balikoeva

Maria carded a second round -3 under par 69 to top the Tenerife Open de Espana leaderboard at -7 under par on the  Golf Costa Adeje course in the Canary Islands.

Maria said she thought she was unlucky yesterday, playing in the afternoon wind;

” We were unlucky because we played in the afternoon yesterday and I played today again when it was windy but I played really well.”

It’s just a shame that on the last few holes I dropped but I’m happy about my score, on 17, I didn’t think it would be as quick as it was. It went three metres past and I didn’t hole it back.”

“The greens are really quick, especially going down the grain. I’m not used to such quick greens. I was quite gentle the first nine holes and then it just went. Either it was my nerves or I wanted to finish the round, I don’t know.”

There is a trio of ladies tied in second place at -6 under par for the tournament, Kylie Walker, Amy Boulden and Connie Chen.

Kylie also mentioned the wind in her after round report;

“It was pretty solid because the wind is quite gusty so I’m happy with one under. I didn’t hit it quite as good today. I definitely hit it better yesterday, certainly off the tee.”

Rookie professional Amy shot a second successive round of -3 under par 69, and is looking for her first Tour win;

“It was a tough day and it was pretty windy but I think it was the same all day so it’s been pretty fair for all the players.”

“I kept steady and grinded it out really. I’m feeling confident about my game at the moment and I’m playing well each week so I’m hoping a win is around the corner really.”

Connie is also in contention for the first time on Tour, and admitted to a few nerves at the end of her round today;

“My game was pretty good today. I got a bit nervous on the last few holes, so I did make a few silly mistakes.”

“I had a lot of really good chances today and putting, I was a little tentative. I left a lot of them short. I’m one shot off the lead and it’s not too bad going into the third round. If you want something badly you get nervous and it’s natural.”

A shot further back at -5 under par are Spanish hopeful Carlota Ciganda and English youngster Charley Hull.

Charley was tied for the lead at one point but double bogeyed the 5th hole;

I started off really good and my front nine, I played really well, solid, which was the back nine on the golf course.”

“I hit my drives really well and putted well and hit it close. On the back nine I ran out of gas.”

YOKOHAMA TIRE LPGA CLASSIC. Two at the Top.

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Two ladies are tied at the top of the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic leaderboard, Stacy Lewis and Mi Jung Hur, on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill ,Senator Course.

Yokohama Tire Classic

Stacy Lewis / Getty Images

Stacy and Mi Jung both carded first rounds of -8 under par 64 at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, to take a one shot advantage into the second round. Stacy finished strongly  with a birdie barrage on the back nine, sinking birdie putts on five of her last six holes, including her last three;

Even if I don’t finish that way, it was a good round, but definitely nice to birdie the last three,”

“I played really solid last week, and the scores just didn’t really show how I played. So I felt like things were coming along and getting closer and it showed out there.”

“I hit my wedges a lot better, which is always a good sign for me. When my wedges get back on track that usually gets the entire swing back going in the right direction.”

Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic

Mi Jung Hur / Getty Images

Mi Jung reported she was playing well and was pleased to be bogey free on the first round, and would like to stay bogey free for the rest of the week;

“It was awesome to be bogey free. That was my goal for today and I made it. My shots were really working good and also my putter was very good, so everything was perfect for the round.”

“I feel so much comfortable after I did the top-10 in Portland, I think my confidence, it made me feel better and better.”

“I just got in the Asia tournament after I finished third in Evian. I didn’t expect it but I really excited to play Asia, I want to keep this momentum to Asia so I have to play good here.”

“I will set my goal for bogey-free for a whole week, so hopefully I can make it.”

Paula Reto, from South Africa is in third place alone on -7 under par following her first round effort of 65. After a shaky start to her LPGA career Paula is now feeling more comfortable with life;

“The first couple tournaments I was just really nervous, you know, trying to find myself pretty much out here. Everything just kind of fit in the last couple of tournaments and obviously being more comfortable where I’m at.”

“Better relationship with my caddie and I on the course, what we need to do, game plans. Sticking to things and just committing to stuff.”

“It’s important obviously but I’m not trying to think about it too much. If it goes either way I’m going to be happy. I’m just going to have fun out here and just do the best I can and I’m glad I’m playing a little bit better now than before.”

It is all pretty tight at the top end of the leaderboard, but maybe tomorrow it will settle down a bit and we will have a clearer picture of who is really in form here.