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Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic. Lydia Ko Triumphant

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Lydia Ko was triumphant at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in California.

 

Lydia Ko. The Winning Putt / Lydia Ko / Getty

 

Lovely Lydia shot a final round of -3 under par 69 to reach -12 under par to snatch the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic title at Lake Merced Golf Club, in  California. It was a tight contest, Lydia sinking a five foot birdie putt on the last hole to secure the victory. This win now moves Lydia to Number Two in the World. It was her 17th birthday just three days ago, but she has three LPGA and six professional victories in her young career;

” Normally they would say sweet 16, but I would say it’s sweet 17. I don’t think I could have any better birthday week.”

She was happy to her dad there to witness the win;

“Tears nearly ran down my face. You may lose friends but you’re always going to have your parents. I try to make myself not cry of happiness but it was coming to that point.”

 

Stacy Lewis finished second, a last round -1 under par 71 was the reason she fell behind, a total of -11 under par was one shot off the pace. She had this to say about Lydia;

” I knew she wasn’t going away,  Lydia played great Every time I hit a shot in there, she answered. The front nine, I did everything I wanted to do, the putts just didn’t go in. I expected her to do exactly what she did today. She hit every shot she needed to make from 13 on in.”

Jenny Shin collected third place on her own, a -4 under par 68 separating from the players behind her. Jenny had a total of -10 under par, which was four shots better than the next placed players. Those on -6 under par were Inbee Park, Shanshan Feng and Line Vedel.

Jenny spoke about the battle between Lydia and Stacy;

“They were fearless, they just went for it.”

LPGA. Kraft Nabisco Championship. Lexi Leaps into Contention.

dragon logo darkKraftNabiscoChampionship_188x84Lexi Thompson leaps into contention at the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club in California.

Lexi Thompson / Getty

Lexi shot a second round -8 under par 64, to leapfrog the field and join Se Ri Pak at the top of the leaderboard at -7 under par, in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

 19-year-old Lexi is already a three-time winner on the LPGA Tour, said this is her favorite tournament, it showed when she took only 25 putts on the round;

 ” This is my favorite tournament of the year, it’s so beautiful, like really nice weather, and the fans are amazing. I just had a little bit of speed issues yesterday, I didn’t really commit to my lines and I came up short a lot. I just went out today and picked my line and sped up my tempo a little bit and went up to it and said, `I’m going to knock it in.”

” I’m really comfortable with the golf course, I get to hit a lot of drivers, so I just aim up the right side and hit my little draw. I was just trying to stay in the moment and focus on each shot, not really think about what I was shooting. I had the same confidence over every shot, just committing to my line and just being confident.”

Se Ri Pak said she was playing solid golf, but her putting was not so good today;

“Everything has just been really solid, I kept it fairways, greens, always the goal every hole. I had a lot of opportunities, but putting is not as good as yesterday. Still, just really smooth, solid round. I’m really happy about the way I finished.”

Michelle Wie is in third place, a second round -1 under par 71, was not as good as yesterday, but it keeps her in contention at -6 under par for the tournament, and she enjoys being there;

” I’m really excited, it’s fun being near the top of the leaderboard. But try not to look forward too much. It’s a long way till Sunday. It felt good to start off with a birdie, after that, really just couldn’t get anything going. But it felt good. Par is a good score out here.”

First round leader Shanshan Feng struggle with a +1 over par 73 round today, to fall back into a tie for fourth place, with Cristie Kerr, both at -5 under par, two shots back. Shanshan blamed the wind, but is still in a positive frame of mind;

“The wind kind of picked up, so it was actually tougher playing compared to yesterday. I think I actually did pretty well. I did make two bogeys coming in, but I was still concentrating, and it just happens. Sometimes you make good strokes and they don’t fall on this course. I’m still positive.”

LPGA. Kraft Nabisco Championship. Feng In front.

dragon logo darkKraftNabiscoChampionship_188x84 Shanshan Feng  is in front at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, being played at Mission Hills Country Club in California.

Shanshan Feng

Shanshan Feng / Getty

Shanshan carded seven birdies against just one bogey to sign for an opening round -6 under par, 66,  to hold a one-stroke lead in the first Major of the year. Shanshan said she was able to get some advice on how to play the course from a legend of the game, three-time Kraft Nabisco Champion Amy Alcott;

“I did play with Amy Alcott today. She’s won three times here in the past, and after my first drive off the first tee I was asking her, I said, can you tell me the secrets about winning here? Because before this year I never did well here. So she was telling me all the secrets.”

” Don’t ask me what the secrets are because that’s a secret. I’ll tell you maybe after we finish Sunday. But I did learn a lot from her. Last year, the first day I shot six over here, and I think that is a very big improvement. I do think that I played really well today and had a great time with Amy. I just hope that I can have three more good days.”

Amy was full of praise for Shanshan;

“Well, she’s very polite on the first tee. She said I know you’ve won here three times and you’re I don’t know if she used the word icon or famous, but she said I want to try to learn from you how to win here. She was very sweet starting off, and we were talkative.”

“She hits it very solid. Just a very, very talented young player. So I was very impressed with her putting and just her overall game, just how she managed herself on the golf course. I look for her to do great things.”

 Se Ri Pak and Michelle Wie are tied in second place at -5 under par following their opening rounds of 67.

Michelle is looking to be more consistent;

“Like I said before in the press conference, my goal is to be consistent, just trying to keep the same tempo every day. Trying to keep on doing the same things. I think it’s been working so far, so I’m just going to keep on doing that.”

“It’s still a tough golf course, they moved a couple tee boxes back as well. Mission Hills is still Mission Hills.”

 Se Ri Pak is under pressure to get the one Major that has so far eluded her, and she has brought the family along with her as well;

” This week the whole family is in town, so it makes me even more relaxed out there. My mom and dad, two sisters and my 5 year-old niece.“

“This means a lot to me, the last 17 years I’m waiting for one major to get my own career grand slam, so that’s hard. I mean, every single year I crossed this week. I have always high expectations trying to win so badly and trying to get my own grand slam, which that is not easy.”

 

 

 

 

LPGA. Kia Classic. Lizette and Cristie are Tied at the Top.

dragon logo darkKia Classic logo Lizette Salas and Cristie Kerr are tied at the top of the leaderboard in the LPGA Kia Classic at Aviara Golf Club in California.

Cristie Kerr hugs Lizette Salas on the 18th hole after the third round of the Kia Classic.

Cristie Kerr and Lizette Salas / Getty

Cristie and Lizette are tied at the top of the leaderboard  on -10 under par for the Kia Classic tournament, giving them a two shot lead going into the final round.

Cristie carded her third round score of -2 under par in amazing fashion, with some trickery on the 18th. It was  was classic Cristie, standing in the middle of the  fairway with an 8-iron in hand, she somehow stood up on her approach shot and watched it fly right, rattling off rocks inside a  hazard. She then proceeded to sink a 60-foot putt to save par,  raising a fist in the air in triumph.

Lizette mused;

That’s Kerr. I felt great. I felt good. I felt comfortable. I think that’s the most important thing is to feel comfortable in the position you’re in.  I’m just really trying to capitalize on the par fives, just staying patient. That’s really my key this week is to stay patient, even though I’m in trouble, like on number thirteen, where I hit it into the bunker.”

“One bogey out of three days is not a bad thing. Overall I handled my nerves pretty well, it was my first time playing in the final group.”

Cristie said was going to consult with her mental guru, Dr. Joe Parent, about her apparent lack of focus;

“I’ll be right as rain tomorrow. Obviously, it was the worst shot I could have hit and then it was the best shot I could have hit. So go figure, that’s golf. It was pretty amazing. It is really one of those moments that you just remember for a lifetime. I was just trying to get it close. Usually that’s when those go in.”

“I hit two hooks on 17 in a row, that hole owes me tomorrow. That hole owes me tomorrow, big time.”

There are four ladies tied in third place at -8 under par, including yesterdays leader Dori Carter. Dori carded a 64 second round but followed that with 74 today. Joining her on that total are Shanshan Feng, Anna Nordqvist and Ayako Uehara.

Dori is still learning;

” I learned that it’s been a long process and you have to really, you know, take it hole-by-hole and breath by breath, and utilize your resources”

Anna thinks the back nine is tougher;

” I started off really solid, I think the back nine is playing a little tougher, but I hung tough and made a silly mistake on sixteen. But other than that, I’m really happy with my round.”

 

 

 

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LPGA. Kia Classic. Two Tied at the Top.

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Kia Classic logo

 

 

 

 

There are two ladies tied at the top of the leaderboard at the end of day 1 at the Kia Classic, at Aviara Golf Club in California.Paula Creamer

Paula Creamer / Getty Images

Paula Creamer and Mariajo Uribe both carded first round scores of -5 under par 67, on the Aviara Golf Club course, to lead the Kia Classic by just one shot.

Paula said teeing off early is an advantage;

” That’s what this golf course is about is starting early and taking those advantages, and the closer you hit it, too, the easier it is, but they’re pretty soft still. You know, they released a little bit today, but hopefully they won’t put too much water on it this afternoon and going into tomorrow and especially into Sunday.”

“I played pretty solid, I had one bogey, but I gave myself a bunch of opportunities, and you know, putted really well, made some good 2‑putts. And I think it’s an advantage playing early in the morning, and I wanted to take that advantage and try and get as many birdies, but eliminate the bogeys.”

“I missed a couple of fairways out there, which is not really normal for me. I normally hit a lot of fairways and greens, and I missed a couple in the rough. And you know, I’m going to definitely go hit some balls to fix that.”

Mariajo was playing in the second to last group of the day and finished just before sun set at 7:30 p.m.  She spoke about slow play and the rush to finish, and not having to return the next day to complete the round;

” It was just a rush at the end. You don’t want to come at 5 AM to warm up and play one hole. But we were trying to do it as fast as we could and we were always waiting, but I just tried to stay calm and it had affected me in the past and I am glad it didn’t today.”

“I took advantage of the first couple of holes where the greens weren’t that bad. I made four birdies on the first five holes and just took it from there. Stayed pretty calm, we were playing pretty slow out there so, just a lot of time down, didn’t really think about it that much.”

In a close contest today there are four players tied in second spot, all on -4 under par, after opening rounds of 68. Cristi Kerr, Shanshan Feng, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, and Mi Hyang Lee are all comfortably sitting just one shot back on the day.

Inbee Park, the Rolex #1 opened with a -3 under par 69 today, tied in seventh place with four other players. Inbee is playing well but her putting leaves a lot to be desired;

“Today was like the day I could have gone ten under, but still in the 60’s, that’s all right. Three more days, keep the ball striking like this this week and next week and I think I will be good. I missed a lot within ten feet today. Missed probably seven, right of them and I just haven’ t been putting that well the last few weeks.”

Omega Dubai Ladies Open. Pornanong Prevails.

Omega Dubai Ladies Masters

Pornanong Phatlum wins the Omega Dubai Ladies Open in a thrilling finish at the Emirates Golf Course.

Pornanong Phatlum / Getty

Pornanong produced a piece of magic on the 18th hole to win the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, firing her approach shot,using a 54 degree wedge, over the lake guarding the green to within two feet of the cup and holed the birdie putt. Her final round of -6 under par 66 giving her a winning tournament total of -15 under par. Pornanong said she just stayed calm;

“I am very excited. I just played my own game and stayed calm under pressure. I have learned how to stay focused through meditation which I practice with my brother, who caddies for me. When I’m on the course I just play my game and I didn’t think about the win, or like, I don’t want to pressure myself.”

Stacy Lewis had to settle for second place, which was a disappointment for her as both players stood on the 18th tee, tied at -14 under par. Stacy had a final round -3 under par 69, a bogey four on the par 3, 15th hole was her undoing;

“I’m disappointed, the back nine that Pornanong played was pretty impressive. She hit golf shots when she needed to and made the putts and I didn’t. It’s been a really good year, it’s had it’s highs and lows. I’ve played some really consistent golf.”

Carlota Ciganda was in third place, a distant -7 under par, with Diana Luna in fourth position.

The defending champion Shanshan Feng, Laura Davies and Louise Larsson tied for fifth place.

CME Group Titleholders. Shanshan Feng Wins.

CME Group Titleholders - Naples, FL

Shanshan Feng won the CME Group Titleholders event at Tiburón Golf Club in Naples, Florida.

Shanshan Feng

Shanshan Feng / Getty Images

 Shanshan, from China outplayed a star-studded leaderboard at the season-ending CME Group Titleholders event. She  shot one of the low rounds of the day on Sunday with a bogey-free -6 under par 66 to finish at 15-under par for the tournament.

Shanshan said she was really happy to win her second LPGA title;

“I think it was a magic when I won in China, I had a little luck on the second shot on 18th hole and I made the eagle. I think it started from that win again I got confidence back, and I did really well in Malaysia, too. I was like ‘Oh, no, I only have two more tournaments this season, so I hope I still have 10 more so I can keep up the good game, but I’m still really happy. Even though I didn’t set my goal as winning in the beginning but I started the round really strong, I was four under through six and I knew I was up there and the pressure was starting to get in my mind. As you could see, I didn’t make many putts.  Even though my iron game was really, really accurate, I think that’s why I won.”

Gerina Piller finished in second place at -14 under par, she was playing one group behind Shanshan in the final pairing. Gerina hit a phenomenal second shot on the par-4 18th leaving her with a 10-foot birdie putt to force a playoff, unfortunately for her she missed the putt to force the play-off;

“The second shot, it was kind of on an upslope so I figured if I just get it up in the wind the more it will carry, and the higher I hit it the softer it’s going to land. I had some juices going so I just took a 7 iron and that’s what you practice for.  So I just stood over it and said just trust yourself and I hit it pretty good and it ended up really good. The putt, I thought it was going right, I didn’t know it was going to break that much, and just I was happy with the way I hit the putt, I just didn’t read enough break.”

Gerina said  just being in the lead heading into Sunday’s final round was great experience;

“Absolutely.  I’ve never led an LPGA event and I did, I guess, LPGA Championship for one hole and I didn’t know I was leading so that doesn’t count. So to come out and grind like I did and give myself an opportunity to force a playoff, I’m pretty excited about that.  I’m excited that I’m done for the year.”

Pornanong Phatlum finished third, at -13 under par, while  Lydia Ko was relieved to finally get her first professional event under her belt this week. She was critical of her T21 finish, carding rounds of 71-71-72-70 to finish at -4 under  par;

“I had so many chances to play much better, so I’m a bit disappointed in that. I think my goal was to not make any doubles and I made three, which made that bad, too.  I didn’t have a really good front nine apart from today, so I think that kind of , like that didn’t make a good start to the day.  But I know I finished strong on the back nine score wise.  I’ve learned a lot of things this week, and yeah, I’m pretty happy that my first week is gone.  It’s not a week that comes again, so yeah, I’m glad that it’s over and then I can start a whole new career.”

LPGA. CME Group Titleholders. Super Sandra Gal

CME Group Titleholders - Naples, FL

Sandra Gal, from Germany holds the first round lead at the CME Group Titleholders event at Tiburón Golf Club, in Naples, Florida, following her super opening effort of 64, equaling the course record.

Sandra Gal / Getty

Sandra opened the CME Group Titleholders event in Florida with a -8 under par round of 64, to top the leaderboard. Sandra started the round on the back nine with six birdies in a row , she said she wanted to be aggressive;

“Well, I thought this tournament was a little different than the other ones, so I thought I’m just going to be really aggressive and just go for everything because really all you want to do is win here. Any other place it doesn’t really matter that much.  So that’s kind of the mindset I had and I think that really helped me and I just kept rolling in putts.  Started with six in a row, so that was kind of fun.”

Canadian Rebecca Lee-Bentham is just one shot behind after her first round -7 under par 65, and reported she will keep on doing what works for her;

“I guess just continue doing what I’m doing, it’s very easy to over think it.  If I just play like I did today, I’d be fine.  I don’t have too many expectations, just to go out and have fun.  And I’m glad I’m playing hopefully with Sandra because she’s a really, really nice player.I played with her at the Evian and she’s just such a sweet girl.  I actually was thinking about it, I was like if I make this putt, I might be able to play with her, so yeah. To be honest, like these past couple weeks I haven’t been hitting it too well. This morning I was kind of in a panic mode, like I didn’t think this round was actually going to be this good.  I feel like the day just went my way, ended up hitting it fine, ball went wherever I wanted it to and my putting was on today so that made all the difference.”

There are three players tied in third spot, Anna Nordqvist, Shanshan Feng and last weeks winner Lexi Thompson, all on -6 under par.

Anna has been in contention this year without winning, in fact her winless drought goes back five years;

“I feel I’ve been playing pretty solid golf probably since the U.S. Open this year, just haven’t really got any results going, so it’s been a little bit disappointing. I just try to keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully it will pay off.  Had a pretty good go in Korea, didn’t finish very good the last couple holes.  I feel like I’m doing a lot of good stuff, just haven’t really, maybe had one or two so‑so rounds in those other tournaments.  Out here the competition is really tough and you’ve got to have four solid ones, so I’m just missing that last one.”

Sounds like Lexi has the entire Thompson family coming to cheer her on;

“My mom, my dad, my dad’s parents, my mom’s mom, my mom’s brother, Nick’s actually coming in tomorrow. And I have my agents here, and I have a few;  my godparents are coming in and a few members from my golf course are coming in. We read a lot of good putts today, we were off on a few, but he is a great green reader.  Giving me the confidence over the shots when I say I’m going to hit this shot, hit a little draw in, he was like yeah, that’s perfect.  That’s really all you need out there is that little confidence boost going into a shot.”

New professional Lydia Ko said she just played her normal game, recording a -1 under par 71 in her first event as one of the Pro’s;

” Just normal, it didn’t feel too odd or special or slow or whatever today.  That actually surprised me, I thought I would be much more nervous.  And actually one of the good things was I actually wasn’t thinking about any money or related stuff, I just tried to play my game, which was obviously very helpful.”

Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. Thompson Triumphs.

SimeDarbyLPGAMalaysia_188x84

Lexi Thompson triumphs at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia tournament at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

Lexi Thompson

18 Year-old Lexi Thompson / Getty Images

Lexi ran away from the field in the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia tournament on the East Course. Shooting a final round -2 under par 69, for her winning tournament total of – 19 under par, a four shot victory. Lexi also set a new scoring record for the event with her 19-under 265 total and shooting all four rounds in the 60’s for the first time in her career. 

She said she was full of happiness, it had been 43 events since her last win at the Navistar;

“Just a bunch of happiness right now, that’s for sure, words can’t even describe the feeling I have right now. It’s sort of like a rerun from Navistar, just having that feeling walking up to the 18th green, embracing the fans and just knowing you have the win under your belt. It means so much, especially to get it here in Malaysia. I mean, it took a little longer than I thought. But it’s the top players in the world here, so it’s not easy. Every tournament you have to shoot super low and you have to have your A game, and that’s what I had this week.”

“I’ve worked so hard between this whole last year since Navistar, just working hard on my game, improving on my short game in particular, and just to have it pay off, it means so much to me, and it’s just no stopping here, just going to continue to work hard and just going to try to win every tournament. I mean, that’s the same attitude I have going into every event.”

Shanshan Feng finished in second place at -15 under par, her final round -4 under par 67 not enough to get close to Lexi;

Shanshan, who is just 24  said she felt old;

“I think she’s making us look old. Going with her yesterday, watching her swing, she can swing like so hard and it doesn’t hurt her body. I was like, oh, very nice to be 18. After the win last week, the pressure is off, and I got my confidence back and I’m really relaxed on the courses. I really enjoy playing now.  I had a very good finish, it was birdie par birdie. Next week I’m off. I’m going home. I’m resting next week.”

Suzann Petterson and Ilhee Lee tied in a distant third place at -12 under par.

Sime Darby LPGA Malasia, Ilhee Lee Still Top.

Ilhee Lee is still on top of the leaderboard at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia tournament at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

Ilhee Lee

Ilhee Lee / Getty images

South Korea’s Ilhee Lee continued with her strong play in the second round to maintain a one-shot lead at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia after a -6 under par 65, and a tournament total of -13 under par.

Ilhee said her goal each day was to aim for 3-under and said she has surpassed her own expectations the first two days;

“I tried to do exactly the same thing as yesterday. So my goal was 3 under par today. Then, yeah, I putted good and made more, so it was fun.I did mistakes a lot, actually, I missed shots a little bit, but the putt was good, so I saved a lot.

 Lexi Thompson completed her second round with a -8 under par 63, a round that included seven birdies, an Eagle and one bogey, giving her a tournament total of -12 under par.

Lexi spoke about her focus, and having some teeth pulled out when coming back from a break in Florida;

” It was all about momentum, on the back nine I made a few birdies and then I had that eagle, so I pretty much just had it going my way. I just tried to keep confident out there. Focused on one shot at a time. I actually got my wisdom teeth out the week I got back, so I had to take a whole week off pretty much, but I definitely needed a break. I figured I’d go home, relax and practice up for these last few events of the year. I came into this week feeling ready and just confident about it.”

Shanshan Feng  is in solo third and three shots back at -10 under par.

Shanshan was amused at having the same pairings as the first round, and had a plan to get the same gain in the third round;

“Well, it was kind of interesting because we got the same pairings, exactly same pairings as yesterday. So this morning I saw I.K.’s caddie, Johnny, and we were talking. We say maybe we want to play again tomorrow. So I said let’s meet at 10 under, but I think because Johnny didn’t tell I.K., so she didn’t know. But we still have a chance to play together tomorrow.”

American Paula Creamer and South Korea’s I.K. Kim are at -9 under-par and in a tie for fourth.

Amy Yang set a new tournament record for 18 holes after she finished Friday’s second round with a -9 under par 62 on the East Course at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. Her magical round included 10 birdies and one bogey and was her career-low score by two shots and her best round this season by four strokes. That round jumped Amy from tied 48th at the start of the day into a tie for sixth at -8 under par;

” I would say it was a great round, you know., first of all, it was a great round. But I’ve shot 10 under before, but it was the Mini Tour, but this is my best on the LPGA Tour, and it feels great.”

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