SWINGING SKIRTS LPGA CLASSIC. Brooke Has Advantage.

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Brooke Henderson has an advantage going into the final round of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic at Lake Merced Golf Club in San Francisco.

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

Brooke Henderson / Getty Images

Brooke shot an even round of 72 in the third round of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic at Lake Merced Golf Club, but remained at the top of the leaderboard with her -9 under par total and a one shot lead going into the final round tomorrow. There was a fierce Northern California wind blowing which got the attention of all the ladies;

“It was a great day out there. It was really tough conditions, and I was able to play really well.”

“Couple times my short game needed to bail me out, and it was able to do that, especially the first 16 holes.”

“If someone told me at the beginning of the week I would be leading going into the final round, I would’ve taken it.”

“They know they can do it. They step up to that tee and there is no fear. I mean, look at how strong Brooke played yesterday and today.”

“Not to say that a few develop, but as you play out here more and more, I think sometimes the younger you are the more naïve you are to all the pressure and everything else that goes with it.”

“I mean look at how strong Brooke played yesterday and today.”

 

Morgan Pressel and Min Seo Kwak are tied in second place at -8 under par for the competition, Morgan with a wonderful -5 under par 67 and Min with-3 under 69. They were the only two players in the field to shoot below 70 on Saturday.

Morgan knows the chasing ladies have the ability to put up a challenge;

“They know they can do it. They step up to that tee and there is no fear. I mean, look at how strong Brooke played yesterday and today.”

“Not to say that a few develop, but as you play out here more and more, I think sometimes the younger you are the more naïve you are to all the pressure and everything else that goes with it.”

“I mean look at how strong Brooke played yesterday and today.”

Min has her own fan club, they chant Kwak, Kwak, Kwak, and she is hoping to hear that chant all day tomorrow;

“Yes, yes a lot, because I know how to win like in Symetra Tour.  So I’ll try to do same thing here.”

World number one Lydia Ko, -1 under par 71 today is alone in fourth place at -6 under par, and if the conditions are just as tough tomorrow, at three shots back, she must have a decent chance;

“I just got to play the holes that are birdieable, give myself a good chance, and then try and put some pressure, but it’s not easy because of the wind. Every hole is playing so tough.”

“Now I’m not the 17-year-old that they’re talking about right now, we’re similar in age and played some tournaments together as amateurs. We’re all really friends out here.”

“I’m feeling the pressure. I feel the nerves when it’s there, but, I mean, people say when you’re younger, you’re not afraid. You’re kind of fearless. Maybe I’m not the case.”

 

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, Brooke Henderson with Half-Way Lead

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Brooke Henderson leads the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic at the half-way point at Lake Merced Golf Club in San Francisco, California.

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

Brooke Henderson / Getty Images

Brooke tore the Lake Merced golf course apart, shooting -7 under par 65 in the second round, to top the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic leaderboard at -9 under par for the tournament.

In interview she mentioned another teenager on the circuit world number one Lydia Ko;

“I think I’m ready, yeah, 17 is young. As you’ve seen with Lydia Ko and Lexi Thompson and even Jessica Korda, there are a lot of great names that have been able to do it. I’m hoping that I’m one of them.”

“You know, I’m really loving where I am right now, and it’s awesome to wake up every day and do something I love.

“In my amateur career I loved when I had the lead, and I just want to continue to build it. This thing is far from over.”

“There are tons of great players out there. The day is not even over yet. I’m excited for the position I’m in and really excited for the next couple days.”

Na Yeon Choi is in second place, at -7 under par, her second round -4 under par 68 lifting her up the leaderboard.

Third position is shared between Sakura Yokomine and Cindy Feng, both at – 6 under par for the competition.

Cindy was happy that she did not do anything silly during her round;

“I played great today, made a lot of birdies, which always helps.  Made some putts. Just didn’t do anything too stupid.”

Overnight leader, defending champion, world number one, and birthday girl, Lydia Ko suffered some 18th birthday blues, returning an even par second round, dropping her to T5, and four shots off the lead, with two rounds to go;

“Yeah, you know, I got two celebrations, the first one on the 10th tee and then coming off 9. Really cool to share that birthday with a lot of people out here.“

“You know, I really didn’t get anything going.  When that happens it’s really hard.”

“You know, I would say the par fives, you kind of need to take advantage of them. I didn’t position myself well in any of them, and that just makes it tough.”

” Kind of feel like you’re already losing shots there.”

“We’re doing a birthday dinner, so have Korean barbecue.  Go to the original roots. Yeah, should be good.”

“Couple of the players are coming, family and friends. But, yeah, I think it’s just great that this year I can have a really good birthday dinner with a lot of close friends and we can have some fun.”

Joining Lydia on that -5 under par score is Ha Na Jang, Min Seo Kwak and Julieta Granada.

Ha Na benefited from using new irons, put in her bag on Wednesday;

“No problem, change my irons, new irons Wednesday, I think a little bit more confidence and it’s really good.”

 

SWINGING SKIRTS LPGA CLASSIC. Birthday Girl Lydia Leads

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Lydia Ko, the world number one, leads the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic  at Lake Merced Golf Club in San Francisco, California. She will be 18 on Friday, Happy Birthday Lydia.

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

Lydia Ko / Getty Images

Lydia shot an opening round -5 under par 67 to lead the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic by one shot at the end of day one in California.

Lydia said she had holed some good putts today and tomorrow’s birthday girl said nothing would change just because she is older;

“Holed some good putts and ended up with a 67 today.”

“It’s a really good start, but I know I’ve got three more long days to go. Hopefully I can continue hitting solid shots.”

“This is a very tough golf course. You need to position yourself well, I hit the ball pretty good where I wasn’t in too much trouble. If I did miss it a little bit, I did get away with it, too. It’s a really good start but I know I’ve got three long days to go.”

“The first couple holes were playing down wind, so that made it a lot easier.”

“A lot depends on the wind. It really depends on the conditions of the day and the scores are really good.”

“Juli’s a legend, a Hall of Famer. It’s so cool she still plays well at her age.”

“What she’s done for the tour is pretty amazing.”

“I won’t change it just because I’m one year older. Really I’m only one day older tomorrow.”

Ha Na Jang, Juli Inkster and P.K. Kongkraphan are tied in second place at -4 under par after their first rounds of -4 under par 68.

Juli admitted that her competitors were younger than her daughters, and offered a free ticket to anyone who would come out and support her;

“Yeah, they’re a lot younger than my daughters, they’re 25 and 21.”

“Out here that’s a seasoned veteran. You know what, that’s the beauty about golf. I mean, age matters in a lot of things as far as how your body feels and how far you hit the ball and how much time you can put into it. You can still go out there and compete at 54.”

“Good friends come up and support me.  So free ticket, everybody wants a free ticket. Yeah, so it’s good.“

Stacy Lewis, last year’s runner-up to Lydia at Lake Merced, was two strokes back at -3 under par with her first round 69;

“It was probably one of the craziest rounds of golf I’ve ever played, it was all over the place.”

Bay Area fan favorite, Paula Creamer, was at risk of missing the cut after a +10-over par 82. She had four bogeys and a pair of double bogeys.

Another teenager making her way in the game is Canadian Brook. M. Henderson, she shot an opening round -2 under par 70, and is hoping to improve on that position;

 “I hit a lot of great shots out there and was able to make a few putts on the front nine.”

“My back nine were all pars, which I can’t complain too much with conditions the way they were today.”

“Would’ve liked to capitalize on a few more birdies. I am hoping I will get the chance the next couple days.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lotte Championship. Play-Off Win for Sei Young Kim.

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Sei Young Kim won the Lotte Championship in a play-off against Inbee Park in Hawaii.

Lotte Championship

Sei Young Kim / Getty Images

Sei Young Kim and Inbee Park were tied at -11 under par for the Lotte Championship title at the end of the final round.

Sei Young won the first play-off hole, the par four 18th, with an Eagle, holing put from 150 yards, to lift the trophy.

Sei Young carded a final round +1 over par 73, in wind gusting to 30 mph, at Ko Olina to match Inbee at -11 under par at the top of the leaderboard. Inbee had completed her last round with a -1 under par 71.

She had this to say about her dramatic win;

“I still can’t believe what just happened.”

“After the ANA, I had a tough time sleeping because that was my first opportunity to win a major tournament on the LPGA tour.”

“At the same time, I saw the possibility and the potential that I belonged there, and that I can win a major championship in the future.”

“I am pretty relieved that I think I can go to sleep tonight. Throughout the round today, I was telling myself, I don’t know if I can live with myself if I make the same mistakes in two consecutive weeks.”

“Today, I didn’t see it coming, I don’t know what I’ve done again to deserve this.”

“I feel like every time I win a tournament, I have to do something crazy, or overcome some type of obstacle. I don’t know why it keeps happening, but it feels good.”

Inbee had to admit she was beaten by a good player;

“She’s a great player, I think she’s a great fighter.”

I.K. Kim bogeyed the final two holes of her day for a +2 over par 74 that left her two strokes back at -9 under par, and alone in third place.

This event was completely dominated by South Korea, at the finish their players occupied the top five positions on the leaderboard, that must be some kind of record.

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.

 

 

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.”

 

New Zealand Stroke Play Championships. 18 Year-Old Julianne Alvarez Wins

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Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club.

Julianne Alvarez has won the women’s section of the New Zealand Stroke Play Championships played at Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club.

New Zealand Stroke Play Championships

Julianne Alvarez

 

Julianne won the women’s New Zealand Stroke Play Championships title, shooting a final round course record of -7 under par 67 on the World famous Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club course.

She reported that she was very proud of her achievement;

” I’m very proud of myself, I went out thinking I have to play solidly, and I did that all week. I enjoy the difficulty and challenge of this course, and links golf.”

“I shot seven under in the last round of the Lawnmaster, but this feels like a lot better round. So I guess you could say this is my best round ever.”

“On a course like Paraparaumu Beach you have to keep yourself in play, and in the right position, and I did that today.”

Julianne is coached at Paraparaumu Beach by professional Kevin Smith, he has been guiding her to success since she was seven years-old, he had this so say of his pupil:

“She’s won the New Zealand Amateur in 2013, ans she’s won a couple of Bob Charles events, but definitely the New Zealand Stroke Play is one of the pinnacle events for New Zealand golf.”

” For me personally, because with professional golf it’s all about stroke play. So I would tend to favor winning the New Zealand Stroke Play, especially at a great golf course like Paraparaumu.”

The men’s section was won by another 18 year-old, Toshiki Ishitoku, from Japan. His win came by way of a play-off against Nick Coxon from New Zealand after they both completed the tournament at -10 under par.

Toshiki was playing on a links course for the very first time, and rated this victory;

“Biggest of my career.” 

We wish Julianne all the best for a successful Professional career.