ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters, Alex Peters 36 Hole Leader.

White Dragon GolfISPS Ladies European Masters

Alex Peters, a L.E.T rookie from England, is the 36 hole leader at the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters, at Buckinghamshire Golf Club.

ISPS Handa Ladies European Open

Alex Peters & brother caddie / Getty Images

Alex shot a bogey free -9 under par 63 in the second round of the ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters, to sit on top of the leaderboard with a two stroke advantage at -11 under par.

The 21-year-old rookie equaled the Buckinghamshire Golf Club course record, she was obviously very happy with the way she played today, putting really well;

“I just played absolutely amazing. I hit my irons so close and putted really well.”

“I had a few other chances as well, but a 63, I’m really happy with the way I played today.”

“Nine birdies could have been ten. I left one right in the jaws on the 12th, the par 3, but I just putted really well, hit it close and gave myself chances.”

Charley Hull is in second place, two shots back at -9 under par, she carded a second round -5 under 67, which could have been better, she made bogey on her last hole, the par five 9th;

“I feel like I was hitting it well out there today.”

“It was a shame about my last drive but I just saw the other girls and the wind brought their drives to the right. I thought if I try and hit a hard draw down there, but it stayed on my line and so I was a bit annoyed.”

“Apart from that I feel like I’m playing solid and I hit a great drive into the eighth hole, but I just missed that putt, because I came up on it.”

“Apart from that I’m pleased with the way I’m hitting it and where I am going into the weekend.”

First round leader Sophie Giquel-Bettan is in third place at -8 under par, her second round -2 under par 70 keeping her in touch with the leaders, the conditions being a little breezier than they were for the morning players.

Tied in fourth place on -7 under par for the tournament are, Nontaya Srisawang, Caroline Masson and another rookie, Emily Kristine Pedersen, who only graduated from high school last Wednesday.

ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters. Sophie Giquel-Bettan Leads.

White Dragon GolfISPS Ladies European Masters

Sophie Giquel-Bettan leads after the 1st round at the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters in a heat wave at Buckinghamshire Golf Club in England.

ISPS Handa Ladies Eueopean Masters

Sophie Giquel-Bettan / Getty Images

Sophie, from France, shot a 1st round -6 under par 66, to take a one shot lead at the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters, and was happy that the scorching temperatures in the Pro-Am yesterday had eased back for the opening round today;

“It was a great day, yesterday I played the Pro-Am and it was 36 degrees, (97F). It was so hot and this morning it was 20, 22 (72F) with just a little breeze, so perfect conditions.

 Sitting one shot behind the leader at -5 under par are South African Ashleigh Simon, Italian Sophie Sandolo,  Swede Josephine Janson and Nontaya Srisawang from Thailand.

Ashleigh was happy with her putting, and her Eagle;

“I got off to a nice steady start and birdied my third hole of the day. I eagled the par 5 14th after I holed a nice bomb from the back of the green and gave myself some nice chances coming in and birdied 17 and made a good par on 18.”

“All of the par fives are pretty much reachable so if you play those well you can be four under. It was a steady start.”

Nontaya was happy with the run on the ball in fairway due to the very dry conditions;

“The condition of the course is really dry and we can get distance on the tee shot so you can hit onto the greens with short irons and if you make a putt then you will make a good score.”

“The conditions today were not really hard, not really windy.”

The first English ladies on the leaderboard are  Charley Hull and Trish Johnson, they are part of a large group two strokes off the pace, at -4 under par.

Charley putted well, but was concerned about incorrect club selection, but overall was happy with her round;

“I’m happy because I putted pretty well today. I just kept coming up short with my irons. I struck it well but kept miss-clubbing myself.”

“I feel like I’m so used to my American distances that now when I’m in a tournament I keep thinking I’m going to hit them a bit further but I don’t.”

“Although I’ve been in England for two weeks we’ve just been mucking around with my friends, so I’ve hit some massive fades, but I’m pretty happy with the way I’m playing.”

A persistent back injury has hampered Trish of late, but she feels better now, and has received some benefiting coaching;

“I had a lesson a couple of days ago with Stuart Brewer, the father of Ben Brewer, who caddied for me in Holland.”

“There was some stuff that I really needed help with.”

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Na Yeon Choi Wins.

White Dragon Golf

Na Yeon Choi, from South Korea,wins the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club.

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

Na Yeon Choi and Trophy / Getty Images

Na Yeon has a final round -2 under par 69, to lift the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship with a -15 under par total.

Na Yeon hit her favorite 8 iron from 145 yards from the 16th fairway to score an Eagle, and take the lead in the Championship;

“I hit 3‑wood and I hit 8‑iron to the pin, was like 145.” 

“I mean, today, especially my putting didn’t really work and but still I tried to keep focus my shot and swing, and then I kept hitting well and then after 16, after I hit the second shot, I knew this is going to be good.”

“I felt really good, you know, feeling after the impact. So when I holed the finish, I thought it’s going to be good, but I didn’t expect like go in.”

“So I was very happy after that shot, but like unfortunately I couldn’t see the ball going in. I just heard a lot of screaming around the green.”

Mika Miyazato, from Japan took second place, two sots back at -13 under par, she said there was no pressure to recover from her winless streak;

“Not pressure for me, just calm, just played more focused in my golf game today.”

“I had a great round today so I really excited, Stacy and Brittany, it’s nice playing with them, so I’m very disappointed but it’s still fun.”

Azahara Munoz, Stacy Lewis and Anna Nordqvist all tied for third place at -12 under par.

Defending Champion Stacy knew she needed something special after Na Yeon had eagled the 16th;

“I knew I needed to make eagle there and just didn’t quite get the drive down there to do that.”

“We had about 212 yards to carry the bunker, and I just felt with that wind off the lie I couldn’t get it over the bunker.”

“I could get it on the front right part of the green, but it didn’t really do me any good. I thought the best opportunity to do something was to lay up.”

“When somebody holes out, it’s one of those things, that it’s kind of meant to be.”

“It’s tough, but, honestly, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve been in this position, a few months really, so you can’t be too upset.”

“I played some great golf this week and it’s coming around at the right time. We’ve got some big tournaments coming up here in the next few weeks.”

Lydia Ko, world number two finished T6, at -11 under par, with a fabulous bogey free last round -8 under par 63. If only she had been in that kind of form for the first two rounds!!

“I think I’ve been hitting the ball really well the last couple days. Just the first day my tee shot was a little off and that created three bogeys with it, but other than that I’ve been hitting the ball really well.”

“My tee shots were good the last two days so in a way I was playing good and my score wasn’t up to that.”

” But today I got some putts rolling and I shot in well with three under the first three holes, and when you get in a good momentum like that it gives you a good confidence for the day.”

 

 

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Na Yeon Choi Takes Control.

White Dragon Golf

Na Yeon Choi takes control of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club, at the completion of round two.

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

Na Yeon Choi / Getty Images

Na Yeon shot -8 under par 63 in the second round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, to move to the top of the leaderboard with a -13 under par tournament total, and will take a two shot lead into the final round tomorrow.

She recorded an Eagle 3 at the par five 18th hole, and said that was her lowest nine-hole score, 29. Undecided on what club to take for the approach to 18, the tee shot had ended up in the first cut. The 3 wood found the green, and she then dropped a 45 foot putt;

“Actually beginning of this week I felt really good about my swing and putting, so I felt like pretty confident with this tournament and this week.”

” And then I just realized I shoot 29 on the back nine today, and that was my record.”

 “I mean, on the course I didn’t think about any score, any number out there, I just tried to be more independent player out there, and after 18 holes I got the score, I’m very satisfied.”

“I got the 3-wood out first, then changed it to a pitching wedge and then back to 3-wood because there is a small gap to the right side of the green.”

 “But the wind helped me a lot, wind was a little bit helping right to left, so I just hit 3-wood.”

“I mean, I couldn’t hit a 3-wood if today is Sunday, but today’s like Saturday and I feel good about my swing so I just hit it.”

Tied in second place at -11 under par are Mi Jung Hur, -3 under 68 today, and Anna Nordqvist with a -5 under 65.

Anna was disappointed that more putts did not drop for her today;

“I felt like I hit a lot of good putts today, just couldn’t get some of them to drop and it’s always nice to finish with a birdie.”

” I played really good today, hit my irons really good so I gave myself a lot of chances.”

” It’s just late.  Tried to keep my attitude up and keep my patience and my energy up.  It was nice to get one on the last, get one shot closer to Na Yeon Choi for tomorrow.”

The defending Champion, Stacy Lewis is in a group at -9 under par, four shots off the pace, and just loves the support she receives out here from the gallery;

“I think that cheer on 17 was louder than 18 last year.”

“We’ve got more people out here this year and I love this tournament, I love coming back here, so it never gets old.”

Stacy is joined in fourth place by Brittany Lincicome, Amy Yang and Mika Miyazato.

World number one Inbee Park missed the cut, while rival for the top spot Lydia Ko progressed to the final round, but at -3 under par is ten shots from the leader.

 

BMW International Open. Morrison Moves Ahead.

White Dragon Golf

James Morrison moves ahead on moving day in the BMW International Open at Golfclub München Eichenried in Germany.

BMW International Open.

James Morrison / Getty Images

James recorded a -5 under par 67 in the third round of the BMW International Open, in Munich, and will take a two shot lead into the final round tomorrow, at -16 under par.

James won the Open de España in May, and is in good form, but was upset at carding a bogey six at the par five 18th;

“I played good again, I didn’t really give anything away.”

“The last was disappointing but I had such a bad lie on the left-hand side and to that pin.”

“The scoring has always been low over the years, so you have just got to keep going low and keep making birdies and I did that.”

“I’ll keep trying, hopefully draw on Spain’s good vibes and see what happens.”

In second place at -14 under par, after his -6 under third round of 66 is Chris Paisley, a qualifying school graduate, who is yet to record a top-ten finish on the European Tour, but is in a good position here to make his mark;

BMW Open

Chris Paisley / Getty Images

“I’m excited to be honest, I think I’m going to be playing in the final group of a European Tour event on Sunday, so who doesn’t want to do that.”

“I’m really proud of how I played today. It’s the first time I’ve been in this position in a European Tour event. 

“I’ve always worked hard and felt like I had a pretty good game. I’ve just had a slow progression I guess.

“This year, I’ve played a lot of good golf, but I had a poor year last year and my self-belief has taken a while to catch up with my game. I feel it’s starting to do that now.” 

“I’m playing well but I’ve been getting in positions and then falling back just because of a bit of nerves or whatever.”

“Today I felt really comfortable. I was nervous, but I wasn’t ever worrying about messing up. I was always looking ahead of me and trying to make birdies. I think that’s the difference.”

Thongchai Jaidee sits in third place, three shots back at -13 under par, a -4 under par third round moving the Thai up the leaderboard, and into contention.

Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello fell away carding a third round +2 over 74 to be T8, while compatriot Carlos del Moral climbed 33 places, with the best round of the day -7 under par 65, to be T5 at -11 under.

 

LPGA Walmart. Weather Halts First Round.

White Dragon Golf

Bad weather caused delays and finally halted the first round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, at Pinnacle Country Club. Mi Jung Hur, from South Korea, is the current leader at -8 under par.

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

Mi Jung Hur / Getty Images

Mi Jung Hur sits on top of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship leaderboard at -8 under par, with only having completed 14 holes of the rain delayed first round.

Four ladies share second place at -6 under par, Anna Nordqvist, Brittany Lincicome and Azahara Munoz have completed their first rounds, while Na Yeon Choi is there but has only finished 14 holes.

Anna spoke about her -6 under par 65, and getting up early to tee off, only to have to sit around and wait;

“Yeah, it’s been a long day for sure. Had my alarm set at 5:00 a.m. this morning and teed off at 8:30 and it’s what, about 5:30 now?”

“I’ll get some rest tomorrow, but bogey free I’ll take any day. Feeling good about my game.”

“Solid tee to green today and this course you can be aggressive at and you can attack, you have a lot of wedges in, so I tried to take advantage of that.”

Brittany admitted that she was nervous before starting today, unreliable ball striking being the culprit;

“Actually, going into today I was really nervous.”

“I played the Pro-Am yesterday and even the practice round I play Tuesday morning with Anna Nordqvist, I felt like I had no clue where the golf ball was going.”

“So even going to the range this morning I told my caddie, I’m like I don’t feel good, I feel like there’s something off, there’s something wrong.”

“Then had a couple saves early, which really helped. I made a couple of 15-footers to save par and it kind of was just the momentum I needed to get the round going.”

Azahara has a sore hand that has hampered her play;

“Last week had a really good practice with fiancé back in Florida and things started clicking.”

“So coming into this week I finally felt much better. My hand’s still a little sore but I can practice.”

“I just have to be a little smart about it. Finally started hitting the ball much better and that was the difference. I was just not striking the ball very well.”

Inbee Park and Lydia Ko have completed their opening rounds, but both are way down the leaderboard, and will need exceptional rounds tomorrow if they are to catch the tournament leaders.

The first round will resume at 07:45 AM CST, with 63 players finishing their first rounds, before setting out again for the second round play, assuming that the rain stays away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

115th U.S. Open. Gruesome Greens Grab Attention.

White Dragon GolfChambers Bay

The gruesome greens at Chambers Bay Golf Club grabbed everyone’s attention in the first round of the U.S. Open. At the end of the day Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson shared the lead, while at the other end of the table, Tiger Woods +10 over and Rickie Fowler +11 crashed spectacularly. The fescue grass experiment is not off to a great start, especially as the older greens have never really taken hold properly, and they have been infiltrated by poa annua clumps. The early morning starters had the best of the day.

U.S. Open

Dustin Johnson on his way to par the 10th / all pics Getty Images

Dustin and Henrik shot open rounds of -5 under par 65 at the 115th U.S. Open at the much maligned Chambers Bay Golf Club in Washington.

Dustin reported that he is playing with confidence, hitting good irons shots;

“Hit a lot of quality iron shots, the confidence is definitely there.”

Henrik said he had a good day on the greens;

“It was a good day on the greens in all, but especially the last five holes.”

 “I hit some beautiful putts and managed to slip a few in there.”

Patrick Reed, with a -4 under par 66, for third place alone reported that he definitely missed a few putts;

” All I had to do was get the ball to the hole and it had a chance of going in. I made some long putts, but I also feel like I missed a lot of good opportunities.”

Matt KucharBen Martin and the amateur Brian Campbell are tied in fourth place at -3 under par. They are followed by a group of payers at -2 under par.

Phil Mickelson was happy with his start, -1 under par 69 and T14, as he chases the career Grand Slam this week, but did criticize the greens;

“The first round was the round I was going to be most nervous at, getting started.”

“You don’t want to have to fight to come back all the time. You want to get off to a solid start around par.”

“I think the biggest challenge is that the green speeds are different from green to green, that’s going to wreak havoc on our touch.” 

“What I found is that they’re not the most true surfaces downhill, because you can’t hit it hard enough to hold the line. But uphill they seem to hold the line just fine.”

“I might have to factor that in, in how I play some shots now, because I think the percentage of made putts uphill from three to nine feet is going to be quite a bit higher than downhill.” 

US Open

Rory McIlroy, at +2 over par was not quite so outspoken;

“I just didn’t quite have it with the putter today, and that’s something that I need to get right over the next three days if I want to have a chance.”

“I still feel like if you make a good enough stroke and you have the right speed, there’s a good enough chance the ball will go in.”

US Open

Sergio Garcia, who started with an even par first round and T26, took to twitter to post;

“Happy with my Even par round today although it could’ve been a bit better by the way I played but this greens are as bad as the look on TV.”