Kia Classic. Morgan Pressel Shoots 64 to Equal Record

 

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Morgan Pressel shoots 64 to equal the course record and to share the lead in the Kia Classic at the half-way point at Aviara Golf Club in California.

Kia Classic

Morgan Pressel / Getty Images

Morgan carded a second round -8 under par 64 to top the leaderboard at -10 under par with Mirim Lee at the Kia Classic.

Morgan spoke of her stress free round, hitting it in close and putting very well;

“It was definitely stress free, I hit almost every fairway, and I think 16 or 17 greens. And I had a chance of birdie on almost every hole”

“I think there was one hole I had a par putt of two feet, so that was nice. I just hit it where I wanted to hit it today.”

“It’s been a while since I’ve kind of been confident knowing where the golf ball would go, and so it was nice to swing freely out there today and have the result that I did.”

“I mean the greens are difficult and tough to read, and they are bumpy, especially later in the day. So that kind of puts it all in perspective as how difficult the greens are out here.”

“But early on I made a couple of really long putts, you kind of feel like your stealing them when they go in, so that was nice.”

“I was hitting it close too, so I gave myself a lot of opportunities, and certainly some of them went in, and I had one that was a kick in, that was nice too.” 

Alison Lee and Christie Kerr are tied in third place, just one shot behind at -9 under par, while  Maria Hernandez, Sakura Yokomine, Hyo Joo Kim and Brittany Lang are together in 5th position at -8 under par.

Stacy Lewis and Lydia Ko are currently at -7 under par for the tournament, Stacy with -3  69 today and Lydia -2 under 70. They are tied in 9th place with Alison Walshe.

Lydia has now recorded 26 consecutive rounds of golf under par, and  she is just three rounds away from tying the LPGA record of 29, held by Annika Sorenstam.

It’s not something that Lydia spends too much time thinking about;

“You know, you don’t know because at the end of the day it’s just you’re talking about that round and that tournament and how well you finished.”

“But I guess it’s been pretty good and I’ve been playing pretty solid the last couple of weeks, especially when we went down under, Australian, New Zealand to Singapore.”

” So yeah, you know, it’s a  pretty cool streak, but you just never know, and I’m not going to be counting.”

 

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.

 

Lalla Meryem Cup. Tonje and Ursula Lead.

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Rookie Tonje Daffinrud, from Norway and Ursula Wikstrom from Finland, lead the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco.

Lalla Meryem Cup

Tonje Daffinrud / Getty Images

Rookie Tonje Daffinrud and Ursula Wikstrom both shot first rounds of -4 under par 67, to lead the Lalla Meryem Cup at Golf De L’Ocean in Morocco.

Tonje, playing in only her third Ladies European Tour event was really happy with her round. She played in eight events on the LET Access Series last year, and had one win, at the Azores Open, and said that experience was good for her.;

 “It was a pretty good start to the week. I felt really good so I was able to attack some pins and I’m happy.”

“It helped me a lot. I came straight from college so I didn’t know what professional life would be like so for me that was the only way to get into it. I learned a lot from it. Just the routine of travelling every week and you become friends with all the players.”

“It’s early. I’m not going to put too much into it. I feel great today and I’ll go out and do the same tomorrow. I had a good start to the season and this is where I want to be. I’m here to win.”

Ursula seen in the picture with her caddy husband , said it had been an easy round, with only one bogey;

Lalla Meryem Cup

Ursula Wikstrom / Getty Images

“It was an easy day and I sneaked in the score. I didn’t feel I was playing that well, but only five birdies, one bogey and not too many mistakes.  I used all the chances that I had.”

“I made one bogey on number one, my 10th, where I hit it on the left and had to take a drop.”

 “After yesterday it was pretty easy, because there was not that much wind but the greens are much faster than at the beginning of the week and also the fairways, so you get more run on the ball, but we’ve played here so many years that I know the course quite well.”

On a tightly compacted leaderboard the leading two ladies have a one stroke lead over 10 other players, all on -3 under par; Gwladys Nocera, Jade Schaeffer, Anne-Lise CaudalTrish Johnson, Ellie Givens, Felicity Johnson, Florentyna Parker, Nicole Broch Larsen and 16-year-old amateur Matthilda Cappeliez.

Matthilda talked about last years tournament, and also mentioned today’s problems with a tree;

“I remember last year. It was good and bad memories, but it was an experience, so just keep going and forget the bad ones.”

 “I made a few birdies on the front and on the back also, so it was nice. Unfortunately I was unlucky on the eighth and I put my drive into a tree.”

 

 

JTBC Founders Cup. Hyo Joo Kim Wins.

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Hyo Joo Kim, a 19 year-old rookie, wins the JTBC Founders Cup at Wildfire Golf Club in Arizona.

JTBC Founders Cup

Hyo Joo KIm / Getty Images

Hyo shot a final round -5 under par 67 to win the JTBC Founders Cup with a -21 under par tournament total.

She had this to say afterwards, through an interpreter;

“It’s impossible not to feel a little pressure or nervous, especially when your playing partner is playing so well.”

“If anything, I think the situation on hole 10 helped because after I went through there and I got a bogey, I just realized there’s no time to feel pressure or feel afraid.  I’ve just got to go out there and play.”

She also mentioned the rivalry between the South Korean rookies;

“I’m a rookie, too, so I don’t have time to think too much about it.”

“But I have known these players from since we used to play on the Korean ladies tour, and I know how good they can be.”

” In fact, everyone on the LPGA Tour is really good, otherwise they wouldn’t be here.  So I’m just trying to find my place.”

Stacy Lewis finished in second place at -18 under par, her lat round of -4 under par  68 not enough to put too much pressure on the leader and her playing partner;

“She’s just really solid, kind of had to battle back from some adversity there on ten, but just really solid.”

“On the front, I didn’t put much pressure on her but even when I did make some putts, she made the putts to follow and she put a lot of pressure on and was just really solid all day.”

Third position was shared between Ilhee Lee, she had a last round of -6 under par 66, which elevated her up the leaderboard, with a final total of -18 under par. Pornanong Phatlum and Mi Hyang Lee, joined her on that same score.

Ilhee was impressed with her finish today;

“Well today on the front nine, I thought this weekend is not my weekend, every putt goes so close but didn’t go in.”

 But my caddie, he told me, be patient because it’s going to go in.”

” Then I had seven holes left, and made birdie, five feet from the par 3, and made it, and then I start to feel like I can make more.”

“But then I made eagle putt, that was like 20 feet away.  And like this far, birdie, right next hole.  I mean, finished strong.  I’m happy.  I’m happy for I finished strong. “

Lydia Ko finished in a group of players on -15 under par, her last round -3 under par 69 not good enough to mount a serious challenge.

 

 

JTBC Founders Cup. Hyo Joo Kim Leads

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Hyo Joo Kim leads the JTBC Founders Cup following the third round at Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

Hyo shot a third round -6 under par 66, to top the JTBC Founders Cup leaderboard on -16 under par, at the conclusion of play after 54 holes at Wildfire Golf Club.

JTBC Founders Cup

Hyo Joo KIm / Getty Images

Hyo reported that she is playing really well;

“Been really good with the driver, second, third shots, totally all the clubs.

“If I miss, I save, so I’m playing good. All the putts feel good.”

“I’ve won before and I’ve been playing four or five times a year on the LPGA, so I have experience, but not much like this in the States.”

Stacy Lewis is close behind at -14 under par after her third round -5 under par 67, and thought she had played better than her actual score, the stopping and starting being a problem;

“I feel like I played a lot better than the score.”

“Had a bunch of putts, especially early, that I thought I made.”

“The hole locations coming in were pretty tough, so I think to make some birdies, you really had to hit some good shots.”

“The worst part is going to sleep thinking about that one shot or that one putt you have to hit.”

“Just being able to do the normal stuff in the morning and not having to worry about going to bed so early. You can watch some basketball.”

“It’s going to be a shootout, it’s going to be what this golf course sets up for and the leaderboard this year sets up for it even more.”

Tied in third place are Kim Kaufman and Alison Lee, both on -13 under par for the tournament. Kim carded -2 under par on the day.

Alison shot the low round of the day, -9 under par 63, which equaled the course record, to put herself into contention for the title;

“I kind of played my own game.”

“I really didn’t even realize that I was playing that well until the last hole when I finally looked at the scoreboard.”

“I was hitting all my approach shots really well.”

World number one Lydia Ko is in a three-way tie for fifth place, at -12 under par, with Ha Na Jang and Mi Hyang Lee.

 

JTBC Founders Cup. Round 2 Suspended Due to Darkness. Ha Na Jang Leads.

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2nd round play at the JTBC Founders Cup was halted due to darkness at the Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix, Arizona. Ha Na Jang currently leads the tournament.

JTBC Founders Cup

Ha Na Jang / Getty Images

Ha Na completed eleven holes in her second round at -7 under par, giving her a JTBC Founders Cup total of -13 under par. At the close of play that was a one shot lead over Hyo Joo Kim who is at -10 under par after completing her second round.

Hyo reported that she had felt tired, she had to complete 12 first round holes, teeing off at 07.37, before starting her second round today;

“I was sleepy this morning.”
“I just played relaxed and I just think to myself, hit soft, and that’s the key for me.  Because I came early this morning, I was very tired.”
Karrie Webb was not surprised to see Hyo at the top of the leaderboard;
“I’ve only played that one round with her, but I felt like I was putting plenty of pressure on her, and she just hit good shot after good shot.”
 “Even when I thought, you know, the nerves had gotten the best of her, she made one of the best up and downs I’ve ever seen under pressure on 17 and then made one of the best birdies I’ve of seen on 18.”
 
“She’s definitely got game. Winning Evian wasn’t a fluke last year.”

Stacy Lewis and Kim Kaufman are tied in third place at -9 under par, Stacy has finished her second round at _1 under pat 71, while Kim is at -3 under par after twelve holes.

Stacy spoke about the rivalry between her, Lydia and Inbee, and how it makes everyone play better golf;

“We’ve always had kind of a dominant player, which is not necessarily good for the Tour I think.”

“So this rivalry that’s becoming, I think it’s really great for us. It’s making us better. It’s fun.”

“I know Lydia is going to be up there every week. I know Inbee, even though she’s not here, she would be on the leaderboard if she was.”

” It makes us better and that’s what you’re seeing, you’re seeing better golf out of all of us.”

The second round will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday. The cut will be made to the low 70 and ties at the conclusion of the suspended round with the third round expected to begin about 11:30 a.m.