Kia Classic. Cristie Kerr Wins.

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Cristie Kerr wins the Kia Classic at Aviara Golf Club in California, becoming the first American to win this event in it’s six year history, and also the first American winner on the LPGA Tour in 2015.

Kia Classic

Cristie Kerr / Getty Images

Cristie had a magnificent final round -7 under par 65 to win the Kia Classic with a -20 under par total, a new tournament record, and a two shot victory;

“I love to win.”

“Golf has always been great to me, always given me special moments like this.”

“I’ve been working with a new coach, and I definitely found something this week.”

“He said I was going to have a hot round, and he was right. I just found something. I’m just real happy right now.”

“I feel obviously very confident. I am so happy that my caddie and I got a win early on the board together.”

“Just felt like it was meant to be, our first win together, even our first Top 10 together really.”

“I mean we just fell in stride and the team that we are is pretty amazing in such a short period of time.”

In second place came Mirim Lee, her last round -2 under par 70, for -18 under par total not enough to deny Cristie the win

World number one Lydia Ko was third, at -17 under par, and kept her consecutive under par rounds total going. It now stands at 28, just one short of equaling the record of 29 set by Annika Sorenstam.

Lydia said her ball striking was not so good;

“Today, I just said, like even at the Coates, I wasn’t hitting the ball very well.”

 “I was just holing a lot of good putts, and that was kind of what was going on today. Obviously I stuck a couple close, and that was good.”

“I think some parts of I just gotta be confident in my game still because I know that I’m playing good enough, that I can trust my putter even though my ball striking is a little off or vice versa.”

 

Valero Texas Open. Jimmy Walks It.

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Jimmy walks it all the way to the winners circle at the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.

Valero Texas Open

Jimmy Walker / Getty Images 

Hometown boy Jimmy Walker lives just 35 minutes drive away from TPC San Antonio, and had his whole family our supporting him. He is the first 54 hole leader this season to go on and win a title on the PGA Tour.

A final round -2 under par 70 gave him a winning total of -11 under par, and a comfortable four shot victory;

“It doesn’t happen very often, winning in your home town.”

“The course wasn’t giving as much and it was hard to make pars.”

“I felt I was leaking a little bit of oil here, wasn’t putting very good and then finally smoothed out the putting stroke a little bit and got it back to where it was the past couple of days.” 

“All this keeps adding momentum and confidence, that’s what we’re out here to do.”

“I like Augusta, I’m going to take a look at it. I’m excited to go.”

 

 Longhorn Jordan Spieth finished in second place at -9 under par, he also had a last round -2 under par, and try as he might he could not catch the unflappable Jimmy.

PGA FedEx Cup Champion Billy Horschel was third on his own at -4 under after a final round -1 under par 71.

Texas Longhorns are a nearly extinct breed of English cattle, found in the Lone Star State 

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.”

 

 

Valero Texas Open. Aaron Plays Badly, Jimmy Jogs Along at the Top.

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Poor Aaron Baddeley played badly, while Jimmy Walker jogs along at the top of the Valero Texas Open, at TPC San Antonio.

Valero Texas Open

Jimmy Walker / Getty Images

Jimmy shot a third round -3 under par 69 to top the Valero Texas Open leaderboard with a -9 under par total, and a four shot lead going into the final round on Sunday. The only thing going against Jimmy is the fact  that no 54 hole leader has gone on to win this year.

The par-4 12th hole at TPC San Antonio turned out to be the turning point of the round, Jimmy hit driver off the tee and watched as the ball disappeared into the left bunker. They could not see it in the bunker, but started digging, and eventually found it deep in the sand and managed to just get it out;

“I’m in there digging, I’m moving earth and I can’t find the ball, really? is it here? it’s here. I don’t know. It was kind of hectic.”

“I didn’t really know what to do, I didn’t know if the play that I made was going to be right. It was way under there.”

“So that was a bummer, but I got it out somehow and then hit a good shot up there and thought if I made the putt that would have been gigantic. Making five was good there.”

“I view tomorrow that I have to go out and play a good round because, you know, seeing, it’s just hard.”

“You can get on the wrong side out here pretty quick, it’s that kind of golf course, it’s hard.”

“So you have to really concentrate and hit the golf shots you need to hit. So that’s what I have to do tomorrow.”

Jordan Spieth is in second place at -5 under par for the competition, he also had problems with the tee shot on twelve, finding a bunker and ended up with a five;

“I think driver was the right decision, but where I went wrong with it is instead of ripping the drive, I tried to just bleed a fade off the bunkers and take some off.”

“And that’s just what I do on the weekends when I get in trouble. I’m trying to do a little too much.”

Jordan then went on to double bogie the 16th and finished the round with a -1 under par 71;

“I just made a bad swing, if it had gone against the grandstands I would have been left with that same up and down I had the second time.”

“It was kind of a stroke penalty bad break on it. All-in-all, I didn’t deserve a good one with that swing.”

“For me, I’m not necessarily looking at it as a shootout, if we were both 9-under or six shots clear of anybody else, I’d agree with you.”

“But tomorrow is about me just going out there and off the bat trying to play a good, solid round of golf and gain some momentum.”

“If it happens to be where we get into a shootout it’s going to be fun. Fun for the people watching us, and even more for Jimmy and I to be out there dueling it out.”

Billy Horschel has claimed third place on his own, he also had a third round -1 under par 71, for a tournament total of -3 under par, he finished the day with some momentum, three straight birdies;

“I needed it because I actually played really well for most of the round.”

“Fortunately I hit some good shots on the front side and got rewarded for it with the wind dying down and the ball landing real soft on the greens compared to the last couple of days.” 

“I hung in there, I made some good par saves at 14 and 15. I told my caddie we need to make at least two birdies coming in. It was nice to make three. I’m right where I need to be going into tomorrow.”

Aaron finished the day at -1 under par for the tournament, after his disastrous +4 over par 76.

Lalla Meryem Cup. Gwladys In Position To Win.

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Gwladys Nocera put herself in the perfect position to win the Lalla Meryem Cup at  Golf de L’Ocean in Morocco.

 Lalla Meryem Cup

Gwladys Nocera / Getty Images

Gwladys carded a third round -3 under par 68, to post a Lalla Meryem Cup total of -12 under par, and take a two shot lead into the final round. She lost in play-off last year to Charley Hull, when she also started the final round with a two shot advantage;

“I was playing well the front nine and didn’t make any putts so it was nice to see the putts drop. I’m playing well.”

“It’s a course where everyone can shoot a low score so I have to play really well tomorrow.”

Nicole Garcia, from South Africa, is alone in second place, at -10 under par, and she will be chasing her first Ladies European Tour title;

Lalla Meryem Cup

Nicole Garcia /Getty Images

“I’ve never played in the final group before on the LET so I got to play with Gwladys, which was quite nice.”

“She’s a lot more experienced than me so hopefully I’ve learned some things today.”

“I’m just going to try to keep calm, not think about it and if it’s my day, it’s my day.”

Sharing third place at -8 under par are Ursula Wikstrom and Eleanor Givens who are also both hunting their first L.E.T. titles.

Eleanor thinks she has a good chance, she just needs to play solid golf;

“I’m putting well and chipped in today, on number 12, so that makes a difference.”

“Everybody’s out there looking to win, so I’ll try to do that, but just do the things that are under my control.”

“If I hit every shot as solidly as I can then I’ll have a good chance.”

Felicity Johnson lies in fifth place on -7 under par, and said she is playing well and is in a good place;

“I feel like I left a few out there today.”

“I hit 17 greens which is pretty good. I didn’t roll the ball as well as I have the last two days but it’s in a good place going into tomorrow.”

Defending Champion Charley Hull, who just made the cut, moved up the leader board today into a tie for 28th place, carding a -4 under par 67, but is still 11 shots off the lead, and not much chance of catching the leaders.