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.

RBC Heritage. Can Troy Triumph Tomorrow ?

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Can Troy Merritt triumph tomorrow? that is the question on everyone’s mind at the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links, as he holds on to top spot of the leaderboard today.

RBC Heritage

Troy Merritt / Getty Images

Troy carded a third round -2 under par 69 at the RBC Heritage to maintain his place at the top of the leaderboard, going into the final round tomorrow with a three shot advantage at -14 under par.

The pressure was getting to him, as he spoke about the fear, and dropping a ball in the water;

“I was starting to feel the fear and being afraid, like I would when I was an amateur.”

“It’s not a bad fear, it’s the fear of being caught. And I think it’s worked for me in the past. “

“You go out there, play solid golf, take care of your business and you see how the other guy is doing.”

“I had a little bit of a tug with a 6-iron, and unfortunately watched it splash in the water, but it was a spectacular splash. I enjoyed that.”

“I ground out a six-footer for double. You don’t want to walk off that hole making 7, when you’re playing pretty solid.”

“It was a spectacular splash. I was going to try and get the momentum back, and I was able to do that.”

“Just play solid golf, put as much pressure on them as I can, make them try and take some risks, and just try and make pars, throw in an occasional birdie, and make them come and get me.”

There are three players tied in second place at -11 under par, including the defending champion Matt Kuchar, along with Brendon Todd and Kevin Kisner.

Low round of the day went to Brendon, a -8 under par 63, Kevin was -4 under today and Matt -3 under.

Matt had to overcome a double-bogey 5 after hitting a tree on the seventh hole, but he bounced back with birdies on the next two holes;

“There’s a tree that hangs out over the green protecting that, and it was a Dikembe Mutombo swat away from the basket, that was tough.”

Kevin is going to stick to his game plan;

“I’ll try to stick with the process, the kind of things I’ve been doing, and hopefully the results will come.”

“Whatever happens, happens. If I keep playing like I’m doing, hopefully I’ll have a chance.”

Jim Furyk, No. 10 in the world, was four shots behind the leader at -10 under par, with Masters Champion and FedExCup leader Jordan Spieth another stroke back at -9 under.

Jordan does not intend to go away quietly;

“Tomorrow I’ll be happy to be kind of in this quiet zone, coming from behind and hopefully making some noise.”

“I’m going to be really aggressive. If it doesn’t work out, then it was still a great stretch. And if I get out there and hit the shots that I want to hit, then I’ve got a possibility of contending again.”

 

 

Shenzhen International. Kiradech Lets Slip A Tidy Lead.

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Kiradech Aphibarnrat let slip a tidy lead in the Shenzhen International, although he will still have a two shot lead going into the final round at Genzon Golf Club in China.

Shenzhen International

Kiradech and Peter shake hands / Getty Images

Kiradech had built up a five shot lead during the third round of the Shenzhen International, until he came to the last two holes. He he double-bogeyed the par five 17th and dropped another shot at the last, a par four, to card -4 under par 68, and still be at the top of the leaderboard at -12 under par.

Really poor putting was the main culprit;

“I’ve been striking the ball so well in the first three rounds. It’s a good way to start.”  

“First, I made three straight birdies to jump up at the top. I was still hitting the ball great on the back. Then I made a big mistake on last two holes, not the way to finish.”

“I lost the focus on the short putt on 17, that is the big turn, the big key for me after Peter made birdie, and we swung three shots on that. That’s a big move. But I made a mistake and I lost some concentration.”

Peter Uihlein was the beneficiary of Kiradech’s loss of concentration, he scored a -1 under par 71, which gave him a -10 under par total, to be just two shots adrift. He admitted he played poorly today;

“I just made too many sloppy bogeys. Four bogeys, a bit rough, five birdies and missed a couple pretty easy ones.”

Pablo Larrazábal is in third place, shooting -7 under par 65, to move him up the leaderboard with a -9 under par tournament total;

 “My game was brilliant today. I missed two shots, the second shot on 17 and the second shot on 18, but I played very solid.”  

“I made only one long putt. I made a two putt on 11, and then I made I think five birdies from four feet.”

19 year-old Hao-tong Li, from China, is in a group of five players on -7 under par for the tournament, along with Emiliano Grillo, Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Ford and Scott Hend.

Hao-tong played alongside Bubba Watson, and enjoyed the experience;

“He’s pretty nice guy, so I very much enjoyed playing with him.”

“I hit a lot of greens and made a lot of birdies. I was pretty lucky also.”

Bubba did not play as well as his young playing partner, carding +2 over par for the round, but he did give some praise to the young Chinese player;

“He’s hitting the ball really well. He’s making a lot of putts. The key around a golf course is a lot of putts and he made a lot of putts today.”

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.

 

 

RBC Heritage. Troy Merritt Has The Advantage.

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Troy Merritt has the advantage at the half-way point in the RBC Heritage, leading the tournament by a comfortable four shots at Hilton Head.

RBC Heritage

Troy Merritt / A/P

Troy set a terrific pace, starting on the back nine,  going out in -7 under par 28 on his way to tying the Harbour Town Golf Links course record of -10 under par 61. He leads the RBC Heritage by four shots at -12 under par.

Troy has a strange quirk, in that he tries not to take a ball out of play after making a birdie with it, on this occasion his ball got beat up at the 12th hole, but he stuck with it, and made six birdies in the remainder of his round;

“It’s all about tempo for me, and the tempo was really solid today,  it was fun to roll the putts in and hear the crowd cheer.”

“As long as I can break 61 on the front nine, I’ll be happy, I just want to enjoy the moment, not think too much about the shots and add them up at the end of the day.”

“Anytime that you match shot for shot with the Masters champ, with the way he’s playing, it’s a pretty good feeling.”

The Masters Champ he was referring to was Jordan Spieth, who shot -9 under par 62 today to recover from yesterdays mini slump of +2 over par 74, leaving him at -6 under par for the tournament T7. Jordan explained what had happened;

“That’s just better golf, I told you guys yesterday, no excuses, I just played poorly.”

“I went back to posture, ball position, hand position and tempo, and I struck that ball quite a bit better.”

“I don’t want to go home early.”

Troy’s two-round total of 130 also got to within one shot of the 36-hole tournament record, which is shared by Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson, he said it would not stop him talking about it;

“It is pretty cool, but I’ll go ahead and say it was the second lowest through 36 holes, behind Jack Nicklaus and Phil Mickelson, they won’t mention that I shot 130, which is fine.”

“I didn’t know that the course record was 61, had I known that, I might’ve started to hit some shanks or trying to hole some shots. It was just a lot of fun out there, fun to play in front of the fans.”

Tied in second place at -8 under par are Matt Kuchar and John Merrick, Matt with a -5 under par 66 and John with one better -6 under 65.

Defending Champion Matt played alongside Jordan, but stuck to his guns;

“The conditions were easier today than yesterday, so I think we all got out there thinking this is a good opportunity to take advantage of some tamer conditions, and I got off to a good start.”

“It’s got to be more than a coincidence when you have two guys in a group who fire great rounds. There’s certainly got to be some momentum that pulls the other ones along. It seems to happen a lot.”

Shenzhen International. Peter Uihlein Leads

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Peter Uihlein of America leads the Shenzhen International at Genzon Golf Club in China.

Shenzhen International

Peter Uihlein / Getty Images

Peter shot a second round -4 under par 68 to lead the Shenzhen International by one stroke with his -9 under par total.

A bogey free back nine set the scene for a stress free day, apart from the wind;

“It was tricky today. The wind was swirling quite a bit.” 

“I got the back nine out of the way pretty quickly. I played very solid. I felt like getting anything under par on the back nine was nice, and I played a pretty stress free front nine which is always good.”

“I don’t have much going on upstairs, just spacing out, doing my own thing and sticking to my own game plan.”

“I don’t really change it very often. It worked the first couple days so I’ll see how it goes from there.”

Kiradech Aphibarnrat is in second place, a -3 under par 69 today giving him a -8 under par total. Kiradech likes  to play around the world, to gain experience;

“When I go out worldwide, I learn a lot of experience and I saw many top players play. Even this week, we have Bubba Watson around.”

“So it’s been helping Asian players to keep improving when we see all the star players, how they are playing, how they are playing the shots, and just adapt it to my golf game and it’s improving.”

Four players are tied in third place at -6 under par, they are; Emiliano Grillo, Gregory Havret, Matt Ford and Darren Fichardt.

Bubba Watson made the cut on even par, a +2 over par 74 today left him down T42, on what he called a tough course;

“It’s tough. I haven’t played very well. I haven’t putted very well.  But it’s a beautiful golf course.”  

Overnight leader  Wey-yi Huang unfortunately made triple-bogey on the 15th, a par four, to drop back to -4 under par, carding +2 over par 74 today.

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.”