Lotte Championship. Sei Young Kim Prevails.

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Sei Young Kim prevails at the end of day 3 in the Lotte Championship at Ko Olina Golf Club in Hawaii.

Lotte Championship

Sei Young Kim / Getty Images

Sei Young carded a third round -2 under par 70, to post a -12 under par Lotte Championship total going into the final round tomorrow, a one shot lead.

She said through an interpreter that felt she had not played well today;

“I think overall I didn’t have the really good feel for my shots today.  Started to get better as the round went on, but my putting wasn’t working too well. Overall it was a pretty tough round.”

“I’m going to enjoy and try to have a good time, when I was playing the final round at ANA Inspiration I was under a lot of pressure.”

” I felt a lot of nerves during that tournament. But tomorrow I’m going to try to do the same thing I’ve done the past three days here and try to enjoy the rounds.”

” I think I’m going to be able to come out with a different outcome tomorrow.” 

“For this particular moment right now, no, I don’t feel the pressure.  Obviously once I tee off tomorrow I’m not sure what’s going to go through my mind.”

“Because I put a lot of pressure on myself and I was under a lot of pressure last time at ANA, I think it’ll be much better and I will have a different experience tomorrow, I believe.”

I.K. Kim is in second place at -11 under par, her third round -1 under par 71 not quite enough to keep pace with the leader, but is feeling good about her chances;

“I feel good, if I hit a good drives tomorrow and I make some good putts, I think it’ll be very interesting.”

Inbee Park is in third place at -10 under par, following her third round -3 under par 69, and is excited about the final round tomorrow;

“It’s always exciting to play with good golfers, so I’m excited for tomorrow.”

Defending Champion Michelle Wie carded a third round +1 over par 73 on Friday, to fall eight strokes behind Sei Young Kim’s pace.

She said it was an up and down day;

“Up and down day, pretty windy.  I felt like I made a lot of birdies, just made a couple stupid errors.”

“Just try to stay patient, you have a game plan.  Have to stick on the game plan.  The game plan works if you stick with it and do it.”

“Same thing for tomorrow.  I’m not going to change anything.  Just going to try to play the best I can.”

“Hopefully tomorrow I can go out there and shoot lights out.”

South Korea continues to dominate this tournament, holding the top five places at the end of day 3.

 

 

RBC Heritage. Troy Merritt Has The Advantage.

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Troy Merritt has the advantage at the half-way point in the RBC Heritage, leading the tournament by a comfortable four shots at Hilton Head.

RBC Heritage

Troy Merritt / A/P

Troy set a terrific pace, starting on the back nine,  going out in -7 under par 28 on his way to tying the Harbour Town Golf Links course record of -10 under par 61. He leads the RBC Heritage by four shots at -12 under par.

Troy has a strange quirk, in that he tries not to take a ball out of play after making a birdie with it, on this occasion his ball got beat up at the 12th hole, but he stuck with it, and made six birdies in the remainder of his round;

“It’s all about tempo for me, and the tempo was really solid today,  it was fun to roll the putts in and hear the crowd cheer.”

“As long as I can break 61 on the front nine, I’ll be happy, I just want to enjoy the moment, not think too much about the shots and add them up at the end of the day.”

“Anytime that you match shot for shot with the Masters champ, with the way he’s playing, it’s a pretty good feeling.”

The Masters Champ he was referring to was Jordan Spieth, who shot -9 under par 62 today to recover from yesterdays mini slump of +2 over par 74, leaving him at -6 under par for the tournament T7. Jordan explained what had happened;

“That’s just better golf, I told you guys yesterday, no excuses, I just played poorly.”

“I went back to posture, ball position, hand position and tempo, and I struck that ball quite a bit better.”

“I don’t want to go home early.”

Troy’s two-round total of 130 also got to within one shot of the 36-hole tournament record, which is shared by Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson, he said it would not stop him talking about it;

“It is pretty cool, but I’ll go ahead and say it was the second lowest through 36 holes, behind Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson, they won’t mention that I shot 130, which is fine.”

“I didn’t know that the course record was 61, had I known that, I might’ve started to hit some shanks or trying to hole some shots. It was just a lot of fun out there, fun to play in front of the fans.”

Tied in second place at -8 under par are Matt Kuchar and John Merrick, Matt with a -5 under par 66 and John with one better -6 under 65.

Defending Champion Matt played alongside Jordan, but stuck to his guns;

“The conditions were easier today than yesterday, so I think we all got out there thinking this is a good opportunity to take advantage of some tamer conditions, and I got off to a good start.”

“It’s got to be more than a coincidence when you have two guys in a group who fire great rounds. There’s certainly got to be some momentum that pulls the other ones along. It seems to happen a lot.”

Shenzhen International. Peter Uihlein Leads

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Peter Uihlein of America leads the Shenzhen International at Genzon Golf Club in China.

Shenzhen International

Peter Uihlein / Getty Images

Peter shot a second round -4 under par 68 to lead the Shenzhen International by one stroke with his -9 under par total.

A bogey free back nine set the scene for a stress free day, apart from the wind;

“It was tricky today. The wind was swirling quite a bit.” 

“I got the back nine out of the way pretty quickly. I played very solid. I felt like getting anything under par on the back nine was nice, and I played a pretty stress free front nine which is always good.”

“I don’t have much going on upstairs, just spacing out, doing my own thing and sticking to my own game plan.”

“I don’t really change it very often. It worked the first couple days so I’ll see how it goes from there.”

Kiradech Aphibarnrat is in second place, a -3 under par 69 today giving him a -8 under par total. Kiradech likes  to play around the world, to gain experience;

“When I go out worldwide, I learn a lot of experience and I saw many top players play. Even this week, we have Bubba Watson around.”

“So it’s been helping Asian players to keep improving when we see all the star players, how they are playing, how they are playing the shots, and just adapt it to my golf game and it’s improving.”

Four players are tied in third place at -6 under par, they are; Emiliano Grillo, Gregory Havret, Matt Ford and Darren Fichardt.

Bubba Watson made the cut on even par, a +2 over par 74 today left him down T42, on what he called a tough course;

“It’s tough. I haven’t played very well. I haven’t putted very well.  But it’s a beautiful golf course.”  

Overnight leader  Wey-yi Huang unfortunately made triple-bogey on the 15th, a par four, to drop back to -4 under par, carding +2 over par 74 today.

Lotte Championship. Kim & Kim Share Half-Way Lead.

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Sei Young Kim and I.K. Kim share the lead at the half-way stage of the  Lotte Championship in Hawaii.

Lotte Championship

I.K Kim / Getty Images

Sei Young  recorded another -5 under par 67 to post her -10 under par Lotte Championship total, while I.K. carded -3 under par 69 second round to go with her first round -7 under par 65, to reach the same total.

Sei Young took a three-shot advantage into the final round of the first Major last week, and shot a final round 75 to miss out on a win. But what she remembers is the win at Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic;

 “My win will certainly help me, but I think what will motivate me better was the fact that I didn’t win. That’s really motivating me this week and that is going to get me to play better.”

I.K. has been spending time on the putting greens, practicing hard;

“After ANA, I spent a lot of time on the putting green.”

“I felt like I was hitting the ball really well, having a lot of opportunities, but putting was letting me down a little bit.”

“I also went to Las Vegas, so putting and a little bit of fun and then here, I think that was kind of a good balance.”

Inbee Park is in third place, three shots off the pace at -7 under par for the tournament, and South Korea dominated the top of the leaderboard, holding the top four spots.

That domination became even more impressive with Chella Choi, Mirim Lee and Jenny Shin sharing fourth place with the lonely American Paula Creamer, all at -6 under par for the two rounds.

Paula may be the only American in the frame at the moment, but she just loves these golf courses, so the others had better take note;

“I love playing on these types of golf courses.”

“Just the wind, the conditions. Your misses are exaggerated so much when you play in this kind of weather.”

“Being a good ball-striker is incredibly important and that’s something that I’ve always felt was one of my strengths. For me, I like this. The windier it gets the better.”

The defending champion Michelle Wie was tied for sixth spot, in her home event, at -5 under par after a second round -3 under par 69, that included an eagle from 117 yards out on the par-4 15th hole, followed by what she called a “nerdy” dance.

“I kind of saw it roll over the hill and I was like, ‘Oh, OK, it’s disappearing.”

 “Then everyone went crazy. It was pretty fun.”

 

RBC Heritage. Every & G-Mac Lead.

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Matt Every and Graeme McDowell lead the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head, at the end of day 1.

RBC HeritageRBC Heritage

 Matt Every & Graeme McDowell / Getty Images.

Matt chipped in for birdie, twice in a row, at six and seven on his way to his best round ever to share the lead in the RBC Heritage at -5 under par, following his opening round 66.

He did admit that his short game was awesome today;

“Man, my short game was, the best it’s been in a long time.”

“I saved a ton of shots, I probably shouldn’t have shot 5-under, more like even, but I’ll take it.”

“The Harbour Town course wasn’t playing that easy either, but I got a lot out of my game, for sure. It’s nice. I felt like I stole one; I probably stole five or six shots today.”

G-Mac, who has won here at Harbour Town said you have to be patient, and he was good at putting. he also had a -5  under par first round;

“I just felt really good on the greens, you just have to stay real patient.”

“You have to position your ball well at times; you have to be really aware of the wind on this golf course.”

Sangmoon Bae is in third place at -4 under par, and was happy to be back in contention after suffering a bout of poor ball striking recently, but a new coach has changed things around for him;

“I couldn’t play well the last couple of weeks because my ball-striking wasn’t great.”

“Ball-striking was really, really bad the last couple of weeks, but things are a little improved right now.”

“That’s why I played good today and played well last week at the Masters.”

“I couldn’t play well the last four or five weeks. I hit the ball, like, to the left, or very thin or fat.”

“I’m trying to focus on my short game and putting which is really important on this golf course. I’m still working on it, but a little came back.”

“Tee shot is really hard on this course, so I’m just trying to get a little wide space, left or right, not necessarily the center of the fairway, where it may be impossible to hit the green.”

“I didn’t try to shape shots a lot, no, these greens are really small, so I hit the ball to the center of the green, then make more birdies chances.”

It doesn’t matter where the pin is, I’m trying to hit it center of the green. Course management.”

Hometown boy Kevin Kisner is in a five-way tie for fifth place at -3 under par.

Kevin does not like poa annua greens, it makes it difficult for him to putt well;

“I’m glad to be back in the Lowcountry, my home state tournament, so excited to perform in front of family and friends.”

“I always struggle on the West Coast, a good ol’ Southern boy doesn’t putt on poa annua too well. I’m getting back to some grass that I like.”

“I started a trend Thursday in the right direction. This is probably about where I start playing my best in the previous years. Last year I did okay here, and then got on a run at Charlotte,Wells Fargo Championship, and the Byron Nelson. Hopefully, it’s going that way again.”

“Days like this, with blustery breezes in the morning round, you want to make all those birdie chances you get, because you know you’re not going to have that many opportunities.”

 

 

Shenzhen International. Wen-yi Huang Leads

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 Wen-yi Huang from China leads the Shenzhen International at Genzon Golf Club in China.

Shenzhen International

Wen-yi Huang / European Tour

Wen-yi Huang did not start playing golf until he was 22, but on Thursday the 34 year old shot a first round -6 under par 66, to lead the Shenzhen International.

He said he had improved in his golf quite a lot this year;

“Last year I played very badly.”

“This year I have changed my swing and yesterday I changed the driver and I like the new one. I like the course; the green speed is very good.”

Tied in second place at, just one shot behind at -5 under par are; Felipe Aguilar, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Byeong Hun An and Peter Uihlein.

Byeong Hun An, a Challenge Tour Graduate had a hole in one at the 226 yard par 3 eighth hole.

Felipe carded a bogey free round and the two-time winner on the European Tour said he was very pleased with the outcome;

“I hit the ball quite well today, I didn’t drop any shots, which is always good on this course.” 

“You are going to miss a couple of shots out here, I did, but I had a pretty good recovery after that so I’m pleased.”

Peter was only at level par at the turn, but then came to life carding birdies on the 10th and 14th, before finishing off with three birdies on the last three holes;

“Nice three in a row and four of the last five, I’m definitely pleased.”

“I played Thailand and had to withdraw with food poisoning, then played one in Puerto Rico, and then I had a wrist injury and had to take some time off.” 

“Then I switched coaches, so I’ve had a strange six weeks or so.”

“I feel like I did a lot of things really, really well and I felt like I did some of my old habits and hit a couple squirrelers, but I’m pleased with five under, for sure.”

The two-time Masters Champion Bubba Watson is in the field and was part of a large group on -2  under par, he carded a hat-trick of gains from the fifth, and is currently T17.

 

 

The Quest for the Green Jacket. Day 4. Wire to Wire Winner Jordan

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Jordan Spieth duly became the fifth wire to wire winner of The Masters at Augusta following his record breaking four days of competition.

The Masters

Jordan and Green Jacket / Getty Images 

Jordan carded a final round -2 under par 70 to win his Green Jacket, with a record equaling -18 under par total. He was never really challenged during the day, where he started and finished with a four shot lead. He still said it was a test of nerves;

“It was very nerve-wracking.”

“I thought it might be easier today than yesterday but it wasn’t. I did not sleep well last night. With two major champions right behind me I could not let up.”

“It’s the most incredible week of my life. This is as great as it gets in our sport. It’s a dream come true for me.”

“I did not break 70 last year even having a chance to win so to shoot some low scores and hear those roars is very special.”

“I saw my friends and family behind the green and knew it was a done deal. It did not kick in there and it still has not kicked in. I am still in shock a little bit.”

“It was cool to share that experience with them because they have not been there the couple of times I have won.”

Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson shared second place at -14 under par, Phil had a last round -3 under par 69, which included an Eagle from the bunker at the par five 15th hole, while Justin had -2 under par 70 last round.

Justin reported that he and Jordan got off to a great start, and also remembered his mistakes;

“It was a great start for Jordan and myself with two birdies in the first three holes, but the key moment for me was not getting up and down from right of the eighth and three-putting the ninth.”

Fourth spot went to Rory McIlroy, at -12 under par, recovering somewhat to shoot one of the low rounds of the day -6 under par 66, and stays at number one in the world.

Rory was pleased for Jordan;

“It’s awfully impressive, it’s nice to get your major tally up and running at an early stage in your career.”

“It’s great to see, great for the game, and I’m sure there will be many more.”

“If someone had told me I would finish 12 under at the start of the week I would have taken it and sat back and seen where I finished.”

“Jordan started fantastically well and has kept his foot down and been really impressive.”