CME Group Tour Championship. Lovely Lydia Wins The Lot.

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Lovely Kiwi Lydia Ko wins the lot at the CME Group Tour Championship, and the Race to the CME Globe, all in her rookie year on the LPGA.

 CME Group Tour Championship . Race to CME Globe

Lydia & Trophies / Getty Images

Lydia won the CME Group Tour Championship, in a play-offand the Race to the CME Globe competition here in Florida.

Lydia shot a final round -4 under par 68, for a -10 under par tournament total, a score she shared with Carlota Ciganda and Julieta Granada. She won everything with a par on the fourth extra hole, a story more amazing than Mary Poppins.

This is what she had to say afterwards;

When I saw that $1 million in the box, I was like, ‘Wow, I wonder who the winner of that will be?’

“It’s amazing. I’ve never seen that much cash in one place before. This year has been awesome. Three wins, Rookie of the Year, it’s a huge honor for me to be here in this position.”

“I’m looking forward to what’s coming up next year.”

Lydia was the youngest player in the field at the CME Group Tour Championship, at just  17-years-old. She netted the largest payday in women’s golf history on Sunday, when she won the $1 million Race to the CME Globe and $500,000 CME Group Tour Championship, and all this before she even has her driver’s license.

Lydia has never missed a cut in her 42 LPGA starts, and was one of only three players on Tour in 2014 to record three wins. She now has five career victories, two of those came when playing as an amateur.

Lydia essentially rewrote all the age related LPGA records, becoming the youngest winner in Tour history, youngest Rolex Rookie of the Year ever and now the youngest to $2 million in career earnings.

Above everything else Lydia is a delight out on the golf course and is a great credit to New Zealand.      CME Race To the Globe

 

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.

Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship. Inbee Park Wins

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World #1 Inbee Park wins the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship at the Miramar Golf & Country Club.

Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship

Inbee Park / Getty Images

World #1 Inbee scored a -1 under par 71 in the final round of the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship, which was enough to give her the win with a -22 under par total. Married life seems to suit Inbee, but she  said it was a tough day, even though she started with a four shot lead there was some nerves with the way she played;

I think playing with Stacy, I really wanted to play well, and obviously being able to win the tournament was a great accomplishment.”

 “It was a tough day and I got nervous on every hole today even on the 18th hole.”

“Stacy was really tough, in the middle of the round I was only one ahead of her, and I was lucky to be one ahead of her, so it was a really good day but it wasn’t an easy day for me.”

“I think this will be my wedding gift for myself. It’s a good feeling and maybe people who said, ‘she’s not going to play as well as when she was not married’ I think we can prove them wrong.”

” My husband is a big help for me and huge supporter and I’m really happy to have him here.”

World # 2 Stacy Lewis finished in second place at -20 under par, her last round -3 under par 69 not enough to catch the leader, but it was a good effort in the difficult conditions, which we know Stacy likes to play in;

“I hung in there all day and just made Inbee work for it. That was the goal, and you give Inbee four shots, it’s a tough task to overcome, and you know, she hit the shots when she needed to coming in.”

I played great, I really got off to a really good start, and just the middle of the round, didn’t quite make the putts that I needed to.”

“You would think you would pick up a shot or two but I didn’t really pick up many shots there.  But obviously Inbee making those putts, I knew I needed to do something, as well.  I was fortunate I got off to a good start, but in the conditions all day, it was hard and you just had to hang in there.”

To complete the scoring World #3 Lydia Ko claimed third place on her own at -17 under par, she carded a brilliant bogey free final round -6 under par 66, the low round of the day;

I think I played really well here in Asia, obviously there were a lot of great memories made, and, yeah, I just enjoyed my time playing over here in Asia.  I didn’t get many opportunities to play out here before, so it was great to come back, like to this week, where I’ve won before.“

 

 

Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship. World #1 Inbee takes Control.

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World #1 Inbee Park took control of the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship to lead at the half-way point.

Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship

Inbee Park / Getty Images

Inbee posted a second round -10 under par 62, which included a bogey, at the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship, to sit comfortably on top of the leaderboard on -18 under par for the two rounds. Inbee now holds a three shot lead over Shanshan Feng, who is in second place at -15 under par at the Miramar Golf Country Club.

Inbee said she was playing so well and her putting was good that she did think of the magic 59 number;

“Everything was working really good out there today. I probably didn’t hit as close as yesterday but I holed a lot of putts today.”

“Obviously, two days without the wind here in Taiwan is really unusual and I thought I should take advantage of that for two days and I feel like I did that.”

“I had a score this year, 61, which was my best round and I really wanted to beat that one.  But yeah, just came one short.”

“Definitely thought it was possible going into 13, 14, because coming down the stretch, I thought there was a lot of birdie holes.  Especially the last, it’s a par 5.”

“I still need to play quite good.  I shot 8-under and 10-under for two days and I’m only leading by three.”

Shanshan has a five shot cushion over the four ladies who are tied in third place at -10 under par; Lydia Ko, Mirim Lee, who also carded a -10 under par 62, Azahara Munoz, and Line Vedel are trying to catch the leader.

Lydia made six consecutive birdies from holes three through eight;

“I kind of did this at the Australian Open last year, so I kind of knew what kind of a roll I could possibly get into, but after leaving my putt like an inch short on 9, and that could have been my seventh in a row, but I think I played well overall, and you never know what’s going to happen down the last couple holes. “ 

“It’s a course where you can shoot some low scores, but no, I haven’t actually seen the course where there’s been like where there’s hardly any wind.  So it’s kind of different.  I kind of feel like, man, am I playing the same course.” 

Mirim said it was her iron play that made the difference in her game today;

“I think my irons, my irons were very good, so I have a lot of chances.” 

I”’m so excited. I always enjoy the play, so I’m very happy.”

Amazingly Danielle Kang scored another hole in one today, that’s two in two weeks, along with the two cars as well;

“It’s pretty awesome, I was standing there and we all screamed.  Jodi and I were talking about how first week you get a congratulations, second week everyone is just going to yell at you.” 

“I was actually thinking about a hole in one, because I’ve been touching that car, I really wanted the car, it’s an Audi 6, I was like, okay, that’s pretty awesome.”

 

Blue Bay LPGA. Finish Moves to Monday.

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The rain lashed Blue Bay LPGA will now conclude on Monday, the 54 hole event has suffered at the hands of the weather all week.

Blue Bay LPGA

Lydia Ko / Getty Images

This is Lydia Ko trying to complete the 54 holes at Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Course on Sunday. She did get finished shooting -4 under par 68, and is currently the club-house leader at -9 under par.

Sitting on top of the leaderboard is Lee-Anne Pace, at -15 under par, she has played 13 holes of her final round.

Michelle Wie is second place at -11 under par, she also has finished 13 holes.

Jessica Korda is tied in third place with Caroline Masson, both at -10 under par, Caroline has completed 14 holes and is -2 under on the round while Jessica has finished 13 holes but is +1 over par on the day.

There are four groups on the back nine who still need to finish play on Monday morning, which will start at 8:30 a.m.

To be honest I can not see anyone catching Lee-Anne, who is on a hot run of form, winning last week at her home tournament the  South African Women’s Open.

LPGA KEB-HanaBank Championship. Kyu Jung Baek and Hee-Kyung Bae Share Lead

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Kyu Jung Baek and Hee-Kyung Bae share the lead at the LPGA KEB-HanaBank Championship in Korea.

LPGA KEB-HanaBank Championship

Hee-Kyung Bae / Getty Images

Hee-Kyung Bae shot a third round -4 under par 68 to share the lead at the  LPGA KEB-HanaBank Championship with a -5 under par total. Kyu Jung Baek joins her at the top, as she too scored -4 under par today, in a Korean dominated leaderboard.

Hee-Kyung Bae played better on the back nine today;

“I think my iron shots today were strong but my putting wasn’t especially strong. So especially in the front nine, I would make it on the green pretty close but then my putt wouldn’t drop.”

 “So then after making the first birdie on the back nine, I really picked up momentum and in the back nine, my putting was stronger and my shots were stronger and I also took advantage of the fact that the tee boxes were closer on the back nine.”

Kyu Jung Baek, who co-leads the Rookie of the Year Race in the KLPGA, said her putting enabled her to score low;

“I think my putting was strong today and my shot was relatively weaker compared to my putting. But I think I was able to manage my game because I did a lot of par saves. And so ultimately, I was able to get a low score.”

“And I also want to mention, of course it would be wonderful if I can win this championship, but coming into this tournament, my main focus was to build my experience and learn because so many LPGA players take part in this tournament.”

“In the first round and second round and this round through the groups and players I’ve been playing with, I’ve been able to learn a lot, especially in the second round.”

There are ten ladies who are  tied in third position, and they are just one shot back at -4 under par for the tournament. The list includes world No. 2 Inbee Park, two-time winner of the event Suzann Pettersen and major champion Brittany Lincicome.

Americans Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie are amongst a group of five in a tie for 13th at -3 under par, two shots off the lead.

This event is so tight just about anybody could still win it, even Lydia Ko, who is currently T18, but at -2 under par only three shots back.

Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. Pornanong Phatlum In Position.

White Dragon GolfSimeDarbyLPGAMalaysia_188x84

Pornanong Phatlum is in position to win the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.

Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia

Pornanong Phatlum / Getty Images

With a front nine of 29 strokes Pornanong never looked back, completing the round in -6 under par 65, to top the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia leaderboard at -14 under par. She now has a three shot advantage over the field going into the final round tomorrow.

Pornanong, from Thailand, is looking to be the first Thai lady to win on the LPGA. She was delighted with her performance, especially her good putting;

Well, the front nine was amazing.  Like I make everything, back nine I just feel a little bit nervous.”

“On the first rounds I didn’t putt well. Just keep practice and, yeah, get more confident on my putting. Today just today everything go in.”

“I think I’m going to little bit nervous tomorrow, but I try to keep calm tomorrow, yeah, and just play on my game and go shot by shot.”

Japanese lady  Ayako Uehara is in second place at -11 under par, with a third round -2 under par 69, following her 63 yesterday. She was spoke about the tough conditions and pin placements;

I did today really hard condition.  Very tough pin position and distance.” 
    
” Front nine I have to be patient, and then back nine a little bit like I can use few like (indiscernible.)”
    
“So front nine just stay patient, and back nine I made a birdies, maybe three birdies, but I think today I had a good round.” 

There are four ladies tied in third place at -10 under par, Chella Choi, Lydia Ko, Shanshan Feng and So Yeon Ryu.

The race for the World number one ranking is warming up as Lydia is in position to make a charge as Stacy Lewis is currently T20, after her +1 over par 72 today, Lydia needs to win to become number one;

“I’m going to be aggressive in places I need to be. I’ve been hitting the ball pretty well and stroking it well with the putter.”

“All I got to do is give myself a lot of opportunities, and hopefully the balls will drop in the hole.”

Jason Hamilton is on the bag for Lydia this week, and the combination seems to be working well;

“I think it’s been good.  We worked together at Manulife LPGA Championship, so that was about two months ago.”

“It was kind of good to get back into that good teamwork. I think we’ve been doing pretty good the last three days.  Hopefully it will be a long teamwork for a long time.”

So Yeon also mentioned the tough pin positions;

” Today pin position was quite tough.  Obviously my game wasn’t really bad.  Just last two hole wasn’t really strong finish.  Really bad finish.”
“17’s tee shot was really great shot.  Just unlucky in the water.  Maybe 18 second shot was not bad.”
    
“So it was kind of very unlucky moment.  Still I have one more round for tomorrow.”