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World Ladies Championship, Inbee Park Prevails

dragon logo darkMission Hills

Inbee Park prevails at the World Ladies Championship, at Mission Hills in China.

Champion Inbee Park / Getty

Inbee sailed round the Blackstone Course in -6 under par 67, for a winning tournament total of -24 under par. On on a damp and drizzly day that made scoring a lot more difficult,  after those first three days of sunshine, Inbee won by five shots  in the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills.

Inbee mentioned the weather in her post match interview;

“Today was obviously the toughest day out there because of the weather. Everything seems to be working quite well for me, from ball striking to putting. Everything was great today so I’m just happy to be here and win my first tournament of 2014.”

“Last year I was leading going into the final round and I lost to Suzann. I knew that I left something out there last year so coming back this year I definitely wanted to win and that’s what I just did. I had good memories from last year and better memories from this year, so I’m happy to be here. It has been a fantastic tournament.”

 “Being in a team with So Yeon this year gave me a lot of confidence. Winning the individual and the team event is a huge honour, a double honour, so I’m very happy.”

Team event winners, So Yeon and Inbee / Getty

Second placed Suzann could only put together a final round of -1 under par 72, to finish the competition at -19 under par. She was disappointed, but will be back to play Mission Hills again;

“There’s room for improvement but it’s been a good week overall. My game has become a lot better over the week and I’ll be happy to come back and play this course again. Inbee played fantastic today under a little tougher conditions. There were a few extra elements of weather that we hadn’t seen earlier but I feel like I played average, nothing better. I didn’t go out and shoot six under like she did.

So Yeon Ryu took third place at a distant – 16 under par, after her last round -4 under par 69, but with Inbee were the runaway winners of the concurrent team competition, with their aggregate score of -40 under par;

“It’s always a great honor to represent your country but also gave me some pressure because I didn’t want to play badly in the team event. That gave me a lot of motivation.”

Winner of the Amateur competition was Minjee Lee, the 17-year-old from Australia birdied three of the last four holes for a -4 under par 69 and a share of fourth place on -15 under par with Ariya Jutanugarn .

This has been a fascinating competition, just wished they had used a standard par 72 course, the par fives on the Blackstone Course are too short for the quality players on the Ladies European Tour.

L.E.T. World Ladies Championship. Inbee Catches Suzann

 

dragon logo darkMission Hills

 

 

Inbee Park catches up with Suzann Pettersen in the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills in China.

Inbee Park / Getty

The World’s No.1 Inbee Park shot a third round  course record of -11 under par 62 and catch World No 2 Suzann Pettersen at the top of the leaderboard on the Blackstone Course, both ladies posting -18 under par for the tournament.

Inbee said although her ball striking was good it was the putting that really made the difference;

“It’s my career best round today so obviously it was a fantastic round. The last couple of days the putting has been really hard. These greens are a little bit grainy and much slower. We played on very fast greens the last two weeks and I just came here and I wasn’t used to the greens. I had a lot of putts the last few days but today everything seemed like it was going the right way and I made a lot of putts. That gives me 11-under. My ball striking is pretty much really similar for three days but just the putting. Everything I looked at today seemed like it was going in.”

Suzann has a number in her mind that she thinks will win the tournament, if she achieves it;

 “Today wasn’t an easy ride but with all the holes coming up you just have to be patient. I hit a great putt on eleven, missed a putt and then parred number twelve, after just having a 7-iron left. If you have a par there you drop two or three shots to the field. I’m in a good position for tomorrow and it’s going to be a nice battle again. I have my number in mind and I’m going to do everything in my power to get to that number. I’m not going to tell you what it is but I’m pretty sure it will be enough.”

Ye Na Chung is in third place, four strokes behind the leaders on -14 under par, after her third round of -5 under par 68. That score included a lucky Eagle on the par 4 16th  hole;

 “I was just lucky. When I hit it, the grass was really long so I just focused on not being long. When I hit it I think it was too long, but it was okay. I was very nervous but excited to play with Suzann but the main enemy of today’s round was not the other players. My only concern was my score.”

With a four shot lead the winner of the World Ladies Championship will be either of the two leaders, will probably come down to who scores the most Eagles on those short par fives.

L.E.T. World Ladies Championship. Suzann Strengthens Her Position.

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Mission Hills Suzann Pettersen strengthens her position at the top of the leaderboard in the World Ladies Championship, at Mission Hills in China.

 

Suzann Pettersen / Getty

Defending champion Suzann Pettersen carded a bogey free second round -5 under-par 68, on the par 73 Blackstone Course at Mission Hills Resort to stretch her lead to two shots at the half-way stage of the competition. Her two round total is -11 under par.

Suzann said she would need to be at least 16 under par for the next two rounds;

“Today was a little windy as we started, overall it was pretty decent. I feel like the par fives are playing like long par fours so five under today is certainly where I should be. You can really go low out here. There were a couple of really low ones out here today. It’s impossible to say. I think you’ve got to be at least sixteen under-par for the next two rounds, then I think you’re in good shape.”

There are five ladies tied in second place at -9 under par, they are; Trish Johnson, Ye Na Chung, Valentine Derry, So Yeon Ryu and Nikki Campbell.

So Yeon recorded two eagles in her second round of -5 under par 68, she explained how easy they both were;

 “The first was on hole six. I hit a three-wood and then a three-wood again the second shot. My eagle putt was just three feet. On hole 16 I hit a driver on the green and it was an eight foot eagle putt and I made it. I think it was 260 to the pin.”

Trish spoke about how low you would need to be to win here;

“Obviously there are two or three people in the field who can shoot anything under so it’s a case of wait and see what happens. I would imagine you’ve got to be 20 to 24 under to win, so it’s going to be a hell of a weekend.”

Valentine also reported how easy the par fives are round this course;

 “I started pretty well making birdies on the par fives. They are reachable in two so I think that’s easy and I just made a couple of putts and hit really good shots and shot five under.”

Korean Ye Na said she only tried to lay to par, and carded a -4 under par 69;

 “I tried not to be greedy today, so I focused on making a par on every hole and I think that was the reason for my score.”

Low round of the day was from Diana Luna, a personal low round of -9 under par 64 which included two eagles, on the second and sixteenth holes. As well as seven birdies and two bogeys on the par 73 lay-out;

 “I think I was in a very good mood today. I was smiling all the time and pretty relaxed. It worked out pretty well.”

 

L.E.T. World Ladies Championship. Defending Champion Suzann Starts Well.

dragon logo darkMission HillsSuzann Pettersen has started well in her quest to retain her World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills in China.

Defending Champion Suzann Pettersen / Getty

 Suzann opened the tournament with a -6 under-par 67 on the Blackstone Course at the Mission Hills Resort in the defense of her title. She Eagled the par five second hole and picked up three more birdies on the other par fives;

“I played a lot of good golf today and felt like I had a lot of great chances. I feel like you’ve really got to take advantage of the par fives out here. You only have some mid irons into some of them and I had one eagle, should have had two. I missed a very short eagle putt on six, so overall it was a pretty solid start.”

She also revealed some details of the man behind the ropes who had been following her and encouraging her all day long;

“He’s my boyfriend, we’re both Norwegian, we’re the same age and from the same town. We met through common friends. He’s an ex-skier who used to ski when he was younger. He has a great understanding of the lifestyle we live and the sacrifices we make and really respects our hours on the golf course so it’s very helpful and great to have someone you can share what you do with.”

Just one behind at -5 under par is World No.1 amateur Minjee Lee, who shares second place with Ye Na Chung.

Minjee was very happy to have played alongside Inbee Park, the World number one;

“It feels good to be up there but it’s only the first round so anything can happen. I’m in a good position and I don’t feel like I’m out of place. I feel like I can play with the pros and it was pretty cool playing with Inbee.”

Tied in third place are Trish Johnson, Valentine Derrey, Gwladys Nocera and Inbee Park, all at -4 under par.

Gwladys also enjoyed being in contention;

“Anything on top of the leader board is good and I feel really good about shooting that score today on the first round.”

LPGA. Kraft Nabisco Championship. Inbee In Charge

KraftNabiscoChampionship_188x84

Inbee Park is in charge of the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills in California, scorching round the Dinah Shore Tournament Course in -5 under par 67. She now leads the Championship by 3 strokes, with her total of -12 under par, at the conclusion of the third round.

Inbee Park / LPGA Tour

After her marvelous round Inbee was asked if she felt she needed to win another Major to validate her position in Women’s golf;

” Of course, I only have won one major in my seven-year career, and after the U.S. Open, I haven’t won for a while. I had a good year last year, but I definitely need to show a little more good play and maybe a couple more majors would be nice. I mean, this kind of golf course, anything can happen. So no, I can’t really say that only one player is trying to catch me. I think everybody within maybe six, seven shots of the lead is still in the mix. My putter was really good today, but I don’t think I’m the best putter on the earth. There’s a lot of good putters out here, but I think I’m one of them.”

Trying to chase down Inbee is Lizette Salas, a -3 under par 69 round today to give her a total of -9 under par. Lizette does not think it is all done and dusted;

” No, not in my professional career, maybe in college I came back to win a golf tournament, and so this is all a learning experience for me, and I’m just trying to have fun with it.  You know, if I just keep it simple and just stick to my game plan and just really believe that I can pull it off and I have so many people around me that believe in it, I just have to believe it myself, so we’ll just see. I just say keep cheering me on, and that’s what keeps the adrenaline going and keeps the momentum up for me.  You know, I feed off the crowd, and to have my fans out here, my family here, it just helps me stay calm.  I said yesterday other players would feel more pressure if they had more fans out.  To me that’s the opposite.  I welcome more cheers.  I heard lots of “fight ons” today and lots of lilies, and that’s very heartwarming.  I’m playing in my backyard, so I can’t ask for anything more than that. I can’t sleep very well when I’m in a position like I am today.  I just tend to think of a lot of what‑ifs, so tonight I’m just going to tell my mind to shut up and to let me sleep.”

There are six ladies jockeying for the minor placings behind Inbee and Lizette, but as they are way back on -6 under par, one of them would need to shoot a magical round to even come close. I think Inbee has her destiny in under control.

 

 

LPGA. Kraft Nabisco Championship. Inbee Park Leads

KraftNabiscoChampionship_188x84

Inbee Park / Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

 

Inbee Park had a second round of -5 under par 67 which propelled her into the lead at -7 under par in the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills in California.

After her second round Inbee Tweeted;

“I just like to stay a little quiet and just do my own thing. If I win a little more I think I’ll get more attention.”

She has never been a feature on the week-end at this tournament, so this is new territory for her;

” I never had a good two days, this is something new on this golf course for me, and I don’t know. It’s good. I think it’s good to be ahead because you’re in better position than anybody else. Obviously putted really good out there, especially on the back nine. The wind picked up, so it was tough on the back nine.”

The lead is just one shot as American Lizette Salas kept in touch with a second round -2 under par for her total of -6 under par for the tournament. Lizette said she not a long hitter, so makes up for it with good wedges;

” I’m comfortable in my short game and I’m not a long hitter, so I have to make it up some way. I’ve been working hard and dialing in with my wedge because that’s your go-to club. I try to make it easy as I can, I started off with a birdie and then had my first three-putt, my only bogey of the day. That made me a little frustrated, missed a couple of birdie putts on the front, but turned it around on the back and started rolling them in.”

Caroline Hedwall, one of Europe’s finest young stars, is tied for third place with Giulia Sergas. Caroline, a five-time winner on the LET,  but has yet to do anything noteworthy in a Major.

Lydia Ko, the 15-year-old Kiwi World Amateur number one,  who already has three professional titles to her name, shot  a second round 74 and is +2 over par for the tournament.

 

 

World Ladies Championship. Mission Hills. Suzann Petterson Wins

Suzann Petterson of Norway won the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills, China.

Suzann Petterson / LET

 

Suzann fired a last round of -6 under par 66, to claim the title at Mission Hills, Sandbelt Trails Course with a tournament total of -18 under par. That magnificent last round was good enough to claim the title, which had seemed destined to go to Inbee Park.

A happy Suzann felt that she could have gone lower;

” I felt like there was a 64 out there today and I got off to a good start. My goal was to get it to 20 under par. I said if I get beat at 20, I can live with it. I know Inbee is in there and if she just gets one look at a putt, it’s in, so I had to bring my best and the putter was hot today. I’m very happy with how the game is and I’m just very happy to see the work that the China Golf Association does with the kids and how they grow the game. I’ve been really enjoying myself here and I feel comfortable. I like coming back and playing on the European Tour.”

Inbee could only post a last round score of -3 under par 69, and she lost out by just one shot, finishing on -17 under par. The fireworks started on the second hole with a two shot swing.  Inbee had a bogey while Suzann sunk her birdie putt, the two were now level. The pair of them battled it out between them, but Suzann eventually won through. These two players were well clear of the rest of the field. Inbee said she really wanted to win the singles;

 ” I don’t really worry about the team competition because we had a big lead for the last three days. I think we are pretty comfortable for the team event. So I just focus on the game as an individual today because I wanted to win this tournament. I didn’t play great today but Suzann played great so she did it. I am happy that we won as a team. It was a great experience.”

Third place went to Shan Shan Feng, the defending champion from last year, she completed the tournament at -11 under par.

Inbee had to settle for the Team win, with her partner Ha-Neul Kim, the South Korean pair won by five shots from the Norwegian team of Suzann Petterson and Marianne Skarpnord.

Inbee Park and Ha-Neul Kim with the Team Trophy / LET

 

Thailand, represented by Ariya Jutanugarn and Nontaya Srisawang were third, they were  followed by England in fourth place with the pairing of Trish Johnson and Laura Davies.

Leading amateur was Simin Feng of China, with a tournament score of +3 over par.

Simin Feng / LET

World Ladies Championship, Mission Hills, China. Inbee In Control

Inbee Park is in control of the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills in China, sitting on top of the leaderboard at -14 under par for the tournament.

 

Inbee Park tee’s off, watched by Suzann Petterson & Carlota Ciganda / LET

Inbee had a third round of -3 under par 69, on the Sandbelt Trails Course to lead the World Ladies Championship by two strokes from Suzann Petterson of Norway.

Inbee admitted she had started the round badly, but was happy to recover;

” I had a really bad start today, I bogeyed two of the first four holes but I’m happy with the way I finished today with five birdies after the two bogies. That’s very good momentum going into tomorrow. I’m just a little bit disappointed with my ball striking; it wasn’t as good as yesterday but my putting was getting much better. The golf course is playing a bit firmer today, I think because it was in the afternoon and was a bit drier so it was a little bit different condition for putting and I think that worked out a little bit better for me.”

Suzann climbed up the leaderboard with a third round of  -5 under par 67, to be two shots off the lead at -12 under par. Suzann said she is playing good golf and is excited about the last round;

” I played decent golf today but a bit disappointing not finishing stronger on the last hole. I have a lot of faith in my game, I’m playing good golf and excited that I have one more round.”

Soo Jin Yang of South Korea is in third place after her steady third round of -4 under par 68. Carlota Ciganda was in contention for most of the day, but suffered a triple bogey 7 on the 17th hole, which dropped her back to fourth place at -8 under par, now six shots off the lead.

In the Team event the  South Korean pair of Inbee Park and Ha-Neul Kim lead the competition by ten shots over Norway, represented by Suzann Petterson and Marianne Skarpnord.

World Ladies Championship. Mission Hills, Round 2, Inbee Park Leads By One

Mission Hills World Ladies Championship

Inbee Park leads the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills, China, by just one shot, even though she fired in a  blistering second round of  -7 under par 65. But she has a challenge on her hands as Carlota Ciganda of Spain broke the World Championship record in the second round, recording a -9 under par 63.

Inbee Park / LET

Inbee’s round has secured her the top spot on the leaderboard at -11 under par. Playing in the early warm and humid conditions, after there had been a delay of one hour and fifty minutes due to fog,  Inbee started her round with two birdies in the first three holes, shooting 32 on the outward nine and 33 on the way in. South Korea leads both the Team and Individual Competitions,  largely due to Inbee’s amazing 36-hole total of -11 under par.

 Carlota Ciganda / LET

Carlota went out in 32 strokes and then played the back nine in 31, for a tournament total of -10 under par. The players with later tee times had faced the possibility of a stronger breeze in the afternoon, making the playing conditions much tougher on the Sandbelt Trails Course, but it did not affect Carlota’s performance. A smiling Carlota, who is no stranger to China, she  has won a Ladies European Tour victory at the Suzhou Taihu Open in China in October, before going on to win the tour’s Rolex Rookie of the Year award and ISPS Handa Order of Merit, said she felt at home in China;

” I feel very comfortable. I like the way they treat us and the course is very nice so I feel very calm, very relaxed. It’s one of my favourite places because I played well last year and it seems like I’m playing well this year so hopefully I can play good over the weekend and be at the top. I’m going to focus on my game and enjoy this beautiful golf course; enjoy China! “

The team event, where each country is represented by two players, the result will be determined by the lowest aggregate score of both players. If one player misses the cut in the individual event, she must play the remaining two rounds to be eligible for the team prize fund.  In all there are 19 teams representing 18 different countries, with two teams from China. The stage has been set for an exciting weekend at Mission Hills.

 

 

 

World Ladies Championship.Three Tied at The Top

Gwladys Nocera, Linda Wessberg and Sophie Walker / LET

The World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills in China has three European players tied at the top of the leaderboard after the opening round. They are Gwladys Nocera, Linda Wessberg and Sophie Walker, who all posted bogey free first rounds of -5 under par 67 on the par 72  Sandbelt Trails Course.

Gwladys picked up three shots on her last two holes and was very happy with her performance;

” There are days when you finish with a bad hole the frustration gets to you but of course when you finish like that it is even better. I missed a couple of short putts on the front nine for birdies but I made some good ones to get some pars and then I finished with a good birdie on the 17th and a long putt, like a 15 meter putt on 18, to make it an eagle. I am pretty happy with the way I am hitting the ball, so it’s good.”

Sophie thought the greens were very difficult and was happy not to three putt today;

” The greens are very difficult and we don’t normally have greens like this in Europe, so they take a bit of getting used to. They are very undulating so that’s why it’s key not to have a three-putt. Today’s round was pretty impressive. If I can do that again then I’m sure I’ll be close but I’ll take every round as it comes and try and eliminate the mistakes.”

Linda said she had putted very well, and that made for an easy day;

” I was actually putting myself in very good positions off the tee, so it was pretty handy to attack the pins. I hit some really good shots that I didn’t really get rewarded for because I pitched it too close to the pin. I also putted really well, so it was a pretty easy day.”

There are five players tied for fourth in this compacted leaderboard, with scores of -4 under par; Valentine Derry, Rungthiwa Pangjan, Bo-Mi Suh, Hyo-Joo Kim and Inbee Park.

Inbee Park, the recent Honda LPGA Thailand Champion went out in three under par, with two birdies and then an eagle on the eighth hole, but played the  back nine in level par, with a bogey on her card;

” I hit the ball very good today which I was very happy with. I knew that the greens were going to be tricky this week and I had a tough time putting today but hopefully better days in the next three days. I’m just getting used the greens a little bit more and I’ll be fine. I knew after the practice round that the putting was going to be the toughest challenge this week. Obviously today I hit a lot of putts that were looking like they were going to go in but it just breaks a lot with the green. So I just learned that I have to play a little bit more break.”

Running concurrently with this singles event is a  72-hole stroke-play team competition, with the Korean pairing of Inbee Park and Ha Neul Kim  in the lead, with a combined aggregate score of 137, seven under par. They are followed by French pair Gwladys Nocera and Anne-Lise Caudal who are two strokes back and then the English duo of Laura Davies and Trish Johnson in third place on 140.

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