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.

 

Trophee Hassan II. Treble at the Top.

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Treble at the top of the leaderboard in the Trophee Hassan 11 tournament at Golf du Palais Royal in Morocco.

Trophee Hassan II

Romain Wattel / Getty Images

Overnight leader Richie Ramsay is joined at the top of the Trophee Hassan 11 leaderboard by countryman Andrew McArthur and Frenchman Romain Wattel, all on -7 under par for the tournament.

A late burst of birdies from Romain saw him pick up four shots in his last four holes. He carded a -5 under par 67 to grab a share of the lead going into the final round of the Trophee Hassan II tomorrow, and he is desperate for his Maiden Tour win;

“It was a thrilling back nine, it is always nice to finish the round like that.” 

“I was two under quite quickly then I had a few mistakes. I had a good putt on 12 for bogey and that was the key today.” 

“After this putt I still have confidence even if it was only for bogey. You have to be patient here and on the good side every time.” 

“I’m desperate for a win. I can’t control what the other guys will shoot so I just concentrate on my own game. We will see tomorrow. When you start a tournament you want to win but all the guys want the same, you can only play your best.”

Overnight leader Richie, -1 under par 71 today, was unhappy with his putting;

“My ball striking at times was excellent, I just couldn’t make any putts.”

 “I didn’t really make anything out there today. I’m pleased to be in the hunt. I’m a fraction frustrated as I played some great stuff out there.”

“I hit a lot of shots down the target line and nearly holed some iron shots out there, but I just couldn’t hole any putts.”

“I’m giving myself opportunities and sooner or later I’m going to hole some. I’ve not holed many this week, so I’m due some tomorrow.”

Andrew, who is also seeking his maiden tour victory had a -5 under par 65 today;

“It felt pretty good, it just sort of crept up on me, I am delighted.”

“I have accepted I am not striking it as I want to but I have found something to get it in play and try and get it pin high, hole a few putts and you never know.”

“I played well in Joburg , moved myself up a lot on the last day. I putted well so hopefully that continues tomorrow.”

This is still anyone’s tournament, with ten players within a shot of the leaders, and one of them is George Coetzee, who is trying to win here to get into The Masters;

“I am quite happy. I’m quite surprised the guys haven’t gone lower.”

“I’ve been battling away the last couple of days but happy to be in the mix. I made some silly errors, mental errors, but I feel like I am still in a good space so I’m happy with the comeback today and hopefully it puts me in good stead for tomorrow.”

“I’ve got a bit of mental game plan going at the moment and when you make mistakes you focus on doing the mental stuff correct and it kind of takes care of itself.”

“The big change came yesterday on the fifth. I hit it left and was going to hack it when my caddie said there’s three par fives on the back nine, let’s take our punishment, take a drop and work from there.”

“That kept reminding me about the back nine so it always keeps you in a good frame of mind.”

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.”

 

Valero Texas Open. Jimmy Walker Leads

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Jimmy Walker leads the Valero Texas Open at the half-way stage at TPC San Antonio.

Valero Texas Open

Jimmy Walker / Getty Images

Jimmy used a hot putter to put together a second round -5 under par 67 in the Valero Texas Open, and would dearly love to win at Home;

“I was just kind of around the hole, didn’t make anything, and then finally got one to go on six.”

“I hit a good iron shot, just got it on top of the ridge there on 7 and made that putt.”

“And that 12-footer I made for birdie on the par-5, 8th hole, that was a nice little finish.”

“I’ve been rolling it pretty good, I’ve been working hard on my putting at home and it was ready to go this week. It feels like the hard work is paying off.”

“A win anywhere means a lot, but being at home, you get to have parents, in-laws, friends, best friends, distant family.”

“It would be cool. It doesn’t put anymore pressure on you, I think. If anything you’ve got a nice support crew out there and you’ve got good vibes and good mojo, and I believe in all that stuff.”

“So I think positive energy is good. I think we’ll have a lot of that.”

Aaron Baddeley and Charlie Hoffman are still in touch, just one shot behind at -5 under par for the competition, sharing second place.

Kevin Na and Jordan Spieth are tied in fourth position with -4 under par totals.

Jordan said he would like to see the return of the wind

“I would like to see a little bit more wind than today on the weekend to have a chance to shoot a few under and make up some ground.”

 “Overall, I’m very pleased with today. I got a really good draw today, on top of yesterday, and took advantage.”

“It played about as easy as I think it can play today.”

“A couple of the holes were still in tough locations, but there should be some more gettable locations this weekend. But all in all, this was the day to take advantage.” 

“I’m in contention which is right where I want to be. I’m chasing Aaron and Jimmy, two really, really good players that aren’t going to give up the lead easily, so I’m going to have to bring my A-game.” 

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.