Mizuno Classic. Mi Hyang Lee Wins Three-Way Play-off

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Mi Hyang Lee won the Mizuno Classic in a three-way playoff at Kintestsu Kashikojima Country Club, in Japan.

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Mi Hyang Lee / Getty Images

Mi Hyang Lee, Korea, Kotono Kozumza, Japanand Ilhee Lee, Korea, all finished the Mizuno Classic with -11 under par totals. It took five play-off holes, all on the 18th, to decide the winner. Mi Hyang eventually claiming the trophy with a birdie, to become a Rolex first time winner, while the other two ladies parred the hole.

Mi Hyang said she was nervous about the play-off, she had never been in one before;

I won on the LET in February in New Zealand and that gave me a lot of confidence.

 “It’s pretty quick, this is only my second year out here. I think every tournament is a good experience for me and today was pretty great for me because I didn’t think I could win this tournament yet.”

“It was my first playoff ever so before I started the playoff I was a little nervous. I just kept playing and made pars and birdies and the other players played really good. It was exciting when I made the last putt.”

Ilhee was not nervous about the play-off, it did not work out her way;

“I wasn’t really nervous and was able to play like I had for the last two days. eighteen is one of the hardest holes on the course and I thought if I kept scoring par the other two would make mistakes at some stage. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. They both played really well.”

“I’d say the only regret would be the final hole of the playoff. Everything else went well for me. I played well. It’s been a good week except for that final hole.”

Kotono the JLPGA player could not give the locals fans want they wanted, she gave her best, but needs to improve her game;

“It is frustrating but I gave it my all. It just means I need to improve technically.”

In a very tightly contested event there were nine Ladies tied in fourth position, all at -10 under par, just one shot off the lead. The long list included Dame Laura Davies, who was trying to become the oldest winner on the LPGA Tour, at 51 years of age.

There then followed a group of five ladies at -9 under par, two shots adrift.

The Mizuno Classic was the final event on the LPGA’s Asian Tour, next tournament is the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico.

 

 

Mizuno Classic. Three Way Tie at the Top.

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There is a three-way tie at the top of the Mizuno Classic leaderboard, at Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club in Japan.

Ladies European Tour.

Dame Laura Davies at Buckingham Palace/ Getty Images

Dame Laura Davies, Ai Suzuki and Ilhee Lee are tied at the top of the Mizuno Classic leaderboard at -9 under par after 36 holes in Japan. This is a 54 hole event, and it would be great to see Laura Davies claim the title.

Ai shot the low round of the day, a -8 under par 64, while Ilhee carded -6 under par 66 and Laura -5 under par 67.

Dame Laura is up for the challenge, to become the oldest winner in LPGA history at the age of 51;

“It’s great. I’ve been playing well but my results have been horrendous. If you don’t hole putts you can’t compete out here anymore.”

“It’s not like it’s a shock to me but it’s a nice surprise. I’m hitting it nice and like I said I’ve had 27 and 30 putts which is a lot less than last week already so it’s all about the putting really for me.”

“Obviously the main thing is to try and win. It’s going to be tough because there are so many good players who are playing well this week.”

“Obviously, it’s a bad thing, really, because it means I’m really old, but it would be a nice thing too because it would mean I have a good record.”

“There’s some really good players here, I think it will be fun tomorrow because I think there are going to be 15 or 20 players who can still win this.”

Ai, in her first LPGA tournament, is not thinking about the win;

“I won’t be thinking about the win, I’ll just try my best and see how I can do in an LPGA tournament.”

Ilhee is looking forward to an exciting final round tomorrow;

“Sunday is always exciting, it’s going to be really fun to play with Laura and Ai.”

Three more ladies are tied in fourth place just one shot adrift at -8 under par, Kotono Kozuma, Mi Hyang Lee and Chella Choi.

Chella is playing on one of her favorite courses, and wants to win;

“I played good last year here. I made six birdies and shot 6-under on Sunday last year.”

“I think if I can focus on every shot that I can reach 14 or 15-under.”

“I played really good last year and I’ve played good in the past couple of tournaments so I have a lot of confidence.”

“My shots and my putting is good and I like this course. I want to win every tournament but it’s one of my favorite golf courses so I’ll try.”

LPGA. Mizuno Classic. Morgan Makes 1st Round Move.

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Morgan Pressel makes a first round move in the LPGA Mizuno Classic at Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club in Japan.

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Morgan Pressel / Getty Images 

Morgan put together an opening round of -5 under par 67 to lead the Mizuno Classic by one shot at the end of round one. She said she had a good day in the tough conditions, and loved playing in Japan;

“My day was good, it was tough out there with the winds. Especially early, some of those holes played really tough. I didn’t get myself in a lot of trouble and when I did I made a good putt for par. I definitely putted well today and I think that’s why I ended up at 5-under.”

“I love playing in Japan, I love playing in front of the crowds. The golf courses are a lot of fun to play and I just really enjoy being in this country. Everybody is very nice here and very supportive so I do enjoy playing in Japan very much.”

“I haven’t had the best year but I feel like I have been playing better recently, certainly in the other few events I played here in Asia. I feel like I can play well the rest of this week and the next two closing events and then enjoy the off-season.”

Dame Laura Davies and Chella Choi are tied in second place at -4 under par following their first round 68’s.

Laura needs a good week to secure her spot in the field at the CME Group Tour Championship;

“I’m playing well, I’m looking forward to the last two days and if I putt well then I believe I have a chance to win.”

“If I don’t putt well I have no chance because like I said years ago the players weren’t as strong but now they’re so good that you have to have every part of your game going to have a chance. If I can keep this going I have a chance.”

“That’s one of the things that I’ve been counting down every week, now I need a top-3 so it would be a great finish to what’s been a good year. My expectations are a lot higher than just qualifying for these events, I want to do well. That would certainly mean that I’d played pretty well this year if I get in it.”

“I still think I’m good enough. I still think I can win tournaments and while I still think I can win I’m still going to play. The only thing holding me back is putting and that’s what I believe and that’s why I keep going.”

“The fact that I’m 51 is irrelevant really. If you can walk you can play golf which is nice.”

Chella  also likes this course, and thinks she has a good chance to win here;

“I like this course, I played good last year so I have a good thing here. A lot of people like me and are cheering. The golf course is not too far, you just have to focus on each shot and I think I have a good chance.”

Mizuno Classic. Teresa Lu From Taipei Wins.

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Teresa Lu, from Taipei won the Mizuno Classic at Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club in Japan.

Teresa Lu: Celebrates her Mizuno Classic success

Teresa Lu / Getty

Teresa Lu shot a fantastic final round of -8 under par 64 to win the Mizuno Classic by two shots, with her -14 under par total.

Second place went to Chella Choi, from South Korea, she finished with a tournament total of -12 under par after her last round -6 under par 66.

The strong Japanese contingent, who started the day in control, lost ground during the final round. Mamiko Higa and Yuki Ichinose both had -2 under par last rounds to end the day at -10 under par, tied in third place.

Defending champion Stacy Lewis had been off the pace all weekend, and a closing round of -2 under par 70 saw her finish in a share of eighth, seven shots behind Teresa.

Mizuno Classic. Japan Fills First Four Places, Day 2

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Ladies from Japan filled the first four spots on the leaderboard at the Mizuno Classic on the Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club course at the end of day 2.

Mamiko Higa / Getty

Mamiko Higa, Yuki Ichinose and Shiho Oyama share first place at -8 under par for the tournament. First round leader Shiho is full of confidence and is going for the win;

“I came this far so I’m definitely going for it tomorrow. My caddie this week caddied for Bo-Mee Lee and she won last week so I think the luck is on my side.  Hope to make the best out of tomorrow with my partner.”

Yuki had seven birdies and one bogey today, and was happy with her putting. She also earned her first JLPGA victory earlier this year;

“My putting felt really comfortable before the round and that gave me the confidence to play strong today. I really enjoyed today’s round with Mamiko Higa, if she makes birdie then I make birdie, it was just like that all day.”

Mamiko is very satisfied with her round today;

 ” I’m very satisfied that I finished with no bogey today.  I really enjoyed my game today because the course is in great condition and the green is just beautiful. Of course I want to win, but there are just so many things that I still need to work on or take to a higher step no matter how I finish tomorrow, I know I’ll get something out of this tournament.”

Tied in fourth is Asako Fujimoto and American Brittany Lincicome, both ladies just one shot back at -7 under par.

Brittany like the come from behind challenge;

“It’s nice to be up there, being in the last group always adds a little pressure. Not being in the last group, I think I play best or I’ve won the most from. It will be fun to go out tomorrow. If I keep doing the same things I’ve done the last two days, it should be really close. It should be a good Sunday.”

Defending champion Stacy Lewis is tied in tenth place at -5 under par, still only three shots from the lead. Remember, Stacy overcame a seven-stroke deficit in the final round last year, birdieing the last three holes for a 64, and a one-shot victory.

She is trusting in deja vu for this tournament;

“ It’s kind of similar to last year when the first two days I just couldn’t really drop many putts. But hopefully tomorrow the gap kind of opens up a bit. But I’ve done it before so I know it’s possible. I just want to go out there and make some birdies, play smart. I got through bogey-free today and I only missed two greens, so I’m playing good golf. I just need some putts to go in tomorrow.”

LPGA Mizuno Classic. Shiho Oyama Takes 1st Round Lead

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Shiho Oyama took the first round lead at the Mizuno Classic at Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club In Japan.

Shiho / Getty

Shiho shot an opening round of -4 under par 68, including two bogey’s, to lead the Mizuno Classic by just one shot, she sadi through an interpreter;

“It was really great being able to play with Brittany Lang again, his week I’m not actually aiming for the win though, I’m just looking forward in playing with the U.S. LPGA players and hopefully my neck won’t get any worse than now.”

In a tightly contested leaderboard there are no less than nine players tied in second place at -3 under par. The top of the board looks predominately Asian, the top European Player is Pernilla Lindberg at -3 under par, and the leading American is Brittany Lincicome, at the same score.

Brittany laughed about looking at the leaderboard before she teed off;

“It was actually pretty funny because I was looking at the leaderboard before I teed off. I don’t usually look at the leaderboard but I caught a glimpse of it when I was walking to the tee and it said the leader was at 2-under. I was like, all I’ve got to do is eagle No. 1. So I got to the first tee and I actually had a great drive. My second shot was going right at the pin but I was trying to hit it right of the bunker. It carried the bunker and goes on the green. Then I get up there and it was a straight, downhill, super severe putt. So I was thinking just lag it up there, hit it close, birdie is still a great score. Then I ended up making the putt for eagle.”

Defending champion Stacy Lewis opened with a 71. and she is  the top-ranked player in the field, the world number three has had three victories this year

Stacy Lewis, Wins Rolex Player of the Year Trophy

Stacy Lewis admires her Rolex 2012 Player of the Year trophy at the LPGA Rolex Awards Celebration at the Ritz-Carlton Resort on November 16, 2012 in Naples, Florida.

Stacy Lewis/ Getty Images

Stacy Lewis was awarded the Rolex 2012 Player of the Year trophy at the LPGA Rolex Awards Celebration at the Ritz-Carlton Resort on November 16, 2012 in Naples, Florida. Her story is of courage and strength, to overcome  Scoliosis, Stacy had to spend seven and a half years in a back brace, until at the age of seventeen her orthopedic surgeon, Dr Gary Brock declared she could remove the brace forever. Dr Brock made the trip from Houston to watch Stacy receive the Rolex Player of the Year award at the Ritz-Carleton, and listened to he her heartfelt 15-minute speech, which brought many in the house to tears. Dr Brock said;

“It was a happy ending, but not a happy middle.”

What an amazing  and rewarding story, to beat Scoliosis and achieve recognition for being the best player on the LPGA in 2012. Stacy spoke about spending seven and a half years in a hard plastic brace for 18 hours a day that put red marks all over her body,  she chose to play sports because those were the only times Dr  Brock gave her permission to take it off. Other poor patients wore a brace 20 hours per day. Stacy made the comment;

“I don’t wish it on any kid, I can tell you that.”

There were players from the LPGA in the audience, Beth Daniel, Meg Malon, Brittany Linicome, and also World number one player Yani Tseng. Two weeks ago Stacy and Yani were playing together in Japan, Stacy had just birdied 16 and 17, and on the 18th tee Yani said to Stacy;

“One more. You got this, one more.”

Stacy said in her speech about her Mizuno Classic triumph;

” One more was what I needed.”

Stacy / Mizuno Classic/bangkokbobbysports.wordpress.com.

 Stacy was seven strokes behind South Korean Lee Bo-mee entering the last round, she fired in  10 birdies with two bogeys to finish at 11-under par, at Kintetsu Kashikojima. She said of her win;

”I don’t think I’ve ever come back from this far,’ I didn’t think the low numbers were out there until someone shot an 8 under yesterday. I just went out there today trying to make birdies and got 10 of them, which is pretty good.”

I don’t think Stacy understood her comment about never have come from so far back, she actually came from seven and a half years back. Congratulations on your Rolex Player of the Year award, and many more wins on the course in the future.