Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic. Karine Icher has First Round Lead

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Karine Icher has the first round lead at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in San Francisco. A two-hour delay due to fog in the Bay Area, means there are still seven groups still to complete their opening rounds.

Karine Icher / Getty

 

Karine had a bogey free first round -6 under par 66, at Lake Merced Golf Club giving her a two shot lead in the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic. She said it was just a good day, and stuck to her strategy, including staying warm;

” It was just a good day, I’m happy about that.  I stayed confident all through the round. I think the strategy on this golf course is to stay short of the hole. It’s a tough golf course, especially with the wind and temperature.  Gets so cold.  You try to get to stay warm and try to catch the right wind and you go with it and make some putts.”

 

       Lake Merced Golf Club.

There are five ladies in the following pack, all at -4 under par for the opening round. Lydia Ko is one of that group, making a great start here, although she carded a couple of bogey’s.

With Lydia are, Ilhee Lee, Jenny Shin, Maria McBride and Dewi Clair Schreefel, with good first round scores of 68.

Earlier in the day on Thursday Lydia Ko was named as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, along with the likes of Pope Francis and Barack Obama. She mentioned what an honor is was to be singled out;

” You know, I just do what I love to do, play good golf.  That’s where my confidence builds up.  Kind of be named in that top 100 of the most influential people in the world is huge. Top 100 in the country is big, but in the whole world, you know, it’s a huge honor, especially amongst the big names there.”

 “ I played good today, so hopefully good memories and positive thinking for tomorrow.”

It was also Lydia’s 17th birthday and she was presented with a birthday cake following the end of her round, accompanied by everyone singing Happy Birthday;

” Kind of embarrassing, but then so happy that a lot of people knew about my birthday.  I was happy and thanked all the people there who were singing.”

Dewi Clair was still in bed when the delay was announced, so she decided to stay there. Her round was good, due mainly to a hot putter;

” Well, I was luckily in bed when one of the other players text me there was a delay. So I just had a pleasant morning where I’m staying.  I relaxed and kept to my routine and didn’t come out here earlier.”

 “Putter was really, really nice day.  I mean, when you make birdies you’re rolling the putter well. All in all I played really well from tee to green.”

 

Lake Merced Golf Club

14-year-old from China gets into US Open

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                         Andy Zhang Photos by Matt Ginella

Paul Casey has withdrawn from the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, this opens the door for Andy Zhang, a 14-year-old from China to be what officials believe to be the youngest player in championship history.

Andy Zhang lost in a playoff at a sectional qualifier in Florida. He was the second alternate when the week began at Olympic Club. Brandt Snedeker also withdrew Monday, and Paul Casey pulled out because of a recurring shoulder injury, a legacy from his silly snowboarding incident.

Tadd Fujikawa, an American Japanese born in Honolulu Hawaii, had been the youngest in the modern era. He was 15 when he qualified for the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

Andy has booked a practice round tee time with Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson for seven Tuesday morning, and was already thinking of what was to come, and just  minutes after attaching his official player badge to the brim of his cap, Andy said;

“I do get nervous, actually. I will be with all these players I watch on TV, walking right next to them. It will be great. I will just try to enjoy it as much as possible. I want to play well, but just to play on a major championship course is great.”

What’s Westy Up to Now ?

Lee Westwood: won in Memphis just two years ago

Lee Westwood, the world number three has decided to play in the Nordea Masters in Sweden ahead of the this year’s second major in San Francisco. Lee has admitted he has no idea what is his best way to prepare for next week’s US Open,  he will be making his 57th attempt to win a major at the Olympic Club and is still searching for the secret to success in terms of how best to prepare.

“It’s difficult to prepare for a west coast major because nowhere is near. If you play Memphis it’s still a four to five-hour flight to California, so it’s a tussle whether you play in all that heat or you go to Sweden, where there will be steady conditions and it finishes on Saturday.”

I have travelled to the States many times since my first trip in 1978 to Los Angeles, took the kids to Disneyworld. The jet lag does strange things to people, and the best way to combat the worst of the conditions is to give yourself a day or two to recover and get your body clock into a new rhythm. This is especially so after a twelve hour flight, Sweden is a long way from San Francisco.