Lalla Meryem Cup. Gwladys Nocera Wins.

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Gwladys Nocera wins the Lalla Meryem Cup on the Golf de L’Ocean course in Morocco.

Lalla Meryem Cup

Gwladys Nocera / Getty Images

Gwladys shot a final round -1 under par 70 to win the Lalla Meryem Cup by two strokes at -13 under par. She was so pleased to have avenged the play-off defeat of last year to Charley Hull;

“I remember last year when Charley kept on getting birdies in the last round, so I knew this morning that it could happen.”

“All I kept saying was I need to play my game and make as many birdies as I can. I tried my best.”

“It was a tough day towards the end. I took a really stupid double bogey which put me in trouble. I missed one fairway today and I took a double bogey, so that was a shame, but I wanted this tournament really bad.”

“I’ve always said it, and I’m really happy I did it.”

Three ladies finished in second place, all at -11 under par for the tournament, Melissa Reid, Felicity Johnson and  Nicole Garcia.

Felicity was disappointed not to have won;

“Gwladys is a great player who’s done this many times before.”

“It’s been a little while since I’ve been in contention so it’s nice to get that feeling on a Sunday: that’s what we play golf for.”

“I’m disappointed at the moment but give me a couple of hours and it will be alright.”

Melissa was pretty contented with second place;

“I actually felt pretty good this morning and it’s nice to be in this position, put yourself back in contention.”

“My driver was not a good boy today but I scrambled really, really well. I holed a chip and holed a pitch, so it’s one of those things.”

“I’m really happy with the progress I’m making. It’s a huge positive and I would have taken second at the start of the week.”

Nicole was happy with her progress, especially starting the final round well;

“I started off pretty well. I was three under after nine holes and I thought if I can just keep it going and make one or two more birdies I might stand a chance but unfortunately that didn’t happen.”

“It does make me feel a lot more settled. I had a good week so hopefully I can carry on the theme through the year.”

Defending Champion Charley Hull had a final round -5 under par 66, to finish T8, and was happy with her recovery from a poor start due to illness;

“I’m really happy with the way I finished and especially being nine under for the weekend.”

“I hit all the fairways today and my game is in good shape. I think I came back strong after being ill earlier in the week and I’m feeling good about the way I’m hitting it going into the first major of the year.”

 

Trophee Hassan II. Richie Romps Home.

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Richie Ramsay romps home to win the Trophee Hassan II on the Golf du Palais Royal course in Morocco.

His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid / Getty Images

Richie & HRH
Prince Moulay Rachid / Getty Images

Richie managed to recover from four dropped shots in just two holes to claim a dramatic one shot victory at the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco, with a final round -3 under par 69 and a tournament total -10 under par.

Richie, from the home of golf, Scotland, spoke about the dramatic turn of events in picking up his third European Tour title;

“I made six, as simple as that. I just didn’t execute the shot the way I wanted too,  hit a poor chip, it came back in the divot, wouldn’t come out, chipped on and two putts, easy six!

“I knew I was still in the mix and I made great putts on nine and ten just to keep the momentum going.”

“I stood over the putt on the 12th hole and I just thought my putter feels absolutely great, I could see all the lines.”

“I thought ‘just go for it, this is your time’. Pretty much took it by the scruff of the neck the next two holes and the seven iron on the last is probably one of the best shots I’ve ever hit in terms of visualisation and execution, it was just perfect.”

Romain Wattel finished in second place, just one shot back at -9 under par, his final round -2 under par 70 not quite enough to give him his maiden European Tour win.

There was a six way tie for third, all on -8 under par, Jaco Van Zyl, George Coetzee, Pablo Larrazábal, Mikael Lundberg, Kevin Phelan and Chris Wood.

Former Ryder Cup Captain José María Olazábal is going to The Masters, he is a two-time winner there, and a top ten finish here has set him up nicely for Augusta;

“I didn’t expect this earlier in the week.”

“The first day I put together a decent score and struggled Friday, then yesterday it all fitted in on the back nine. Today was a bit like yesterday and I was really happy with my score.”

“I saw the leaderboard on 18 and knew I had a putt to lead in the clubhouse. It’s nice to have a round like this and a tournament like this for confidence.”

“It is a different course at Augusta, it is really long there for me now. It’s much better to have a score like this than not, but I know how tough Augusta is these days.”

Kia Classic. Mirim Lee Leads

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Mirim Lee leads the Kia Classic at Aviara Golf Club in California.

Kia Classic

Mirim Lee / Getty Images

Mirim  said patience was the key for today’s success, -6 under par 66;

“I think comfortable, just I think patience, patience, patience.”

“I’m still a rookie out here, but I feel like I’ve had a lot of experience and played in a lot of tournaments to know that I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself, so over the last stretch of holes, I just played my own game, stayed in the moment, and to be honest, I didn’t even know what I shot until I signed my scorecard.”

“I was like, Mike, is this right, 66? But I have grown to learn that that’s how I play my best golf, and I’ve been able to channel that throughout this week.”

“I still want to do my best to stay calm, obviously last week at the Founders I had a really good third round and I was second or third place going into the last day, and I got a little ahead of myself, and I shot 2‑over the last day.”

“So I just want to stay calm, hold on to my last couple rounds here, and just play golf.”

Alison Lee also sot -6 under par 66 today, and is in second place on her own at -15 under par;

“I feel like I’ve had a lot of experience and played in a lot of tournaments to know that I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself.”

“So, over the last stretch of holes, I just played my own game, stayed in the moment, and to be honest, I didn’t even know what I shot until I signed my scorecard.”

Sakura Yokomine and Cristie Kerr share third place at -13 under par.

Si Re Pak equaled the course record -8 under par 64, and sits T5 at -12 under par for the tournament;

“I had a shoulder injury last year, and this is my third event.”

“I wasn’t expecting anything, just each week hopefully get better. My game is getting together.”

“But until yesterday it wasn’t really great, but today it was happening, so it really helps a lot. It was really fun.”

World number one Lydia Ko is also T5 at -12 under par, and keeps the under par round streak going with -5 under par 67 today. Her her consecutive rounds under par streak now stands at 27;

“I played with Katie Burnett today and we both made a good share of birdies, and that’s what I’m going to try and do tomorrow with the other girl that I’m going to play with.”

“It’s a tough course. You can get really lucky and make a lot of great putts, and I think the person that is going to hole a lot of putts tomorrow is going to be the winner.”

“Just being packed up towards the leaderboard, you never know who’s going to be the winner.”

 

 

Trophee Hassan 11. Four-Way Tie at the Top

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There is a four-way tie at the top in the Trophee Hassan 11 at the Golf du Palais Royal course in Morocco.

Trophee Hassan 11

Richie Ramsay / Getty Images

Richie Ramsay had a second round -6 under par 66 to join Richard Green, Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Oliver Farr at the top of the Trophee Hassan 11 leaderboard on that score.

Richie has missed a few cuts recently and is happy to be playing some good golf;

“The last few months have been frustrating.”

“You just want to go out and play and I’ve had a few niggling injuries. I’ve just tried to stick to my guns and make sure I stretch and have a good practice routine.”

“That builds up and slowly but surely it comes around and today was the day it happened. Hopefully it can stay for the weekend.”

Oliver came through the Challenge Tour at the first attempt last year, but has had a challenging start to the European Tour;

“It’s my first time here and it is absolutely fantastic to play in the King’s garden, it’s spectacular, that’s all I can say,” 

“This year has been great; each week there are new challenges. Dealing with everything is tricky but I’m enjoying it.” 

“Being in a share of the lead is great. It’s what we prepare for and practice for. We are only halfway through but hopefully I can be there on Sunday.”

Rafael had recently broken a toe, and had been wearing tennis shoes on the course, today was the first time out back in his golf shoes;

“I broke my pinkie toe on my right foot, not even a funny story, just banging it on a table.”

“I had to play in Puerto Rico in tennis shoes and could barely tie them. I then managed to get some really wide, and big shoes to wear in Tampa, and today’s the first day it has been OK to wear the proper golf shoes.”

“I’m pleased it didn’t bother me too much.”

Richard had taken a break from golf since his last appearance, which was in Thailand;

“I had a bit of break since Thailand and have not played a lot of golf.”

“I got myself ready for this week and to find myself six under after two rounds is great.” 

“I was pretty happy with the form in Thailand and the tournaments leading up to that. I’ve still got the same swing thoughts and mental thoughts, so it has carried on this week.”

Marcel Siem and Alexander Levy may have seen their Masters hopes vanish, poor second rounds have dashed their hopes of a Trans-Atlantic flight to the States.

 

Lalla Meryem Cup. Gwladys Nocera In Front.

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Gwladys Nocera is in front at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco.

Lalla Meryem Cup

Gwladys Nocera / Getty Images

Gwladys fired in a -6 under par 65 at the Lalla Meryem Cup to take pole position at the top of the leaderboard on the  Golf de L’Ocean course at -9 under par for the competition.

Gwladys was thrilled with her round, and putted well, which always helps;

“I’m really happy with the way things turned out today. I hit the ball well and putted well, so everything is in order.”

“I made a good putt on number one where I was six metres away and then I was two metres away each time, so some good putts. They were not easy, but I hit the ball well.”

“I just want to play my game. I’m trying to get ready for next week.”

“I’m playing the ANA Inspiration in the US, so I want my coach to come and work on my game. I’ve always wanted to win this tournament, so that’s why I’m here and I’ll try my best for the weekend.”

Nicole Garcia also had a -6 under par 65 and occupies second place on her own at -8 under par, which included an Eagle;

“I had a good front nine and I was hoping to keep it going on the back nine, but I’m happy with the score because the wind picked up a little bit.”

“I think the turning point was the par-5 sixth hole because I made an eagle there and then birdie, birdie. That got me going a bit so that was where my score went low.”

“When I first came here I was just hoping to make the cut, and I hope I’ve done that.”

 “Now, I don’t really have any expectations and I’m just going to play on the weekend.”

Overnight co-leader Ursula Wikstrom and the 16 year-old Mathilda Cappeliez share third place with tournament totals of -7 under par

The 2014 champion Charley Hull carded a level par 71 and scraped through on the cut mark at +3 over par. She said that it was never in doubt, just poor putting:

“I hit it really well today, just all my putts. I hit 16 greens in regulation and hit every fairway apart from two or three.”

“I was in it all the way.”

That’s confidence for you.

Kia Classic. Mirim Lee Leads.

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Mirim Lee leads the Kia Classic at Aviara Golf Club in California.

Kia Classic

Mirim and Caddy / Getty Images

Mirim shot a bogey free first round -7 under par 65, to lead the Kia Classic in California. She said practice was the key, and a new grip, good putting also helped;

“I practiced a lot this week, I changed the grip.”

” Today was putting.”

Yani Tseng is in second place at -6 under par while World number one Lydia Ko is in close contention at -5 under par in third position, tied there with Karrie Webb, Cristie Kerr and Xiyu Lin.

Yani had an Eagle at the par-5 10th;

“I never thought it was going to be that close.”

“I was a little like unbalanced, so I kind of tied my shoes a little bit. Actually, there was one second in my mind I was like, ‘How about if I hit it in the water.’ I was like, ‘Oh, if I hit it in the water, I just go drop another ball.”

“I got like a few birdies in my pocket and should be OK.’ So I was like, ‘If I make bogey, it’s no big deal.'”

Lydia is full of confidence in her golf game;

“I’m coming in with a lot of confidence and know that my game is there.”

“It’s always good to know that you can be aggressive and just to trust myself.”

“I’ve been playing pretty solid the last couple of weeks. It’s a pretty cool streak.”

“It’s not easy, I’m trying to take one round at a time, one shot at a time, and that kind of breaks it up a little bit.”

“It’s tough. Playing weeks back to back and all courses just being different, I think that’s the hard thing, but I’m just trying to keep focused.”

“I know that I’ve played well the last couple of events. It’s always good to know that you’re playing well. You can be confident.”

In the group at -4 under par is Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park and Lexi Thompson.

Lexi holed out from 98 yards for Eagle on the par-4 seventh;

“Downhill, a little downwind, and I landed my 55 degree about 95, it one-bounced, past, went back and actually stayed on the lip for a little bit and then fell. So, pretty awesome.”

The US Open champion Michelle Wie got her game together and carded five birdies on her front nine to challenge the leaders, but sadly ended the opening round -3 under par 69 after posting her third bogey of the day at the 18th.

 

Adam Scott Back to Broomstick.

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Adam Scott is considering going back to the Broomstick Putter to try and win another Major, The Masters, again;

The Masters

Adam Scott and Broomstick / Getty Images

Adam Scott got to number one in the world, and won a Major, the 2013 Masters, all with the soon to be banned Broomstick Putter. He had recently reverted to using a conventional putter, but could not find one that suited him. Sadly he did not try a White Dragon Putter.

Adam thinks this is the only way he can ever win another Major, so it is the smart thing to do;

“Putting with a longer putter is maybe the smarter thing to do.”

“I don’t know. It’s all about the lag putting. It’s such a difference in weight of club and stroke and everything. I’m just trying to figure it all out.”

“It’s not exactly where I want to be, but it doesn’t matter when it comes to the Masters.”

“I’ve got two weeks and a really clear idea of what to work on.”

Do you think this is a small hint that Adam intends to retire from professional golf ? Why would you carry on playing if in your mind you can not win. Mental Attitude is everything, if Adam has convinced himself he has problems using a conventional putter, the chances of holing putts are slim, especially the important ones.

Personally I hope Adam uses a short putter at The Masters, and also that he continues to play great golf, as we all know he can.