Arnold Palmer 1929 – 2016.
“Success in this game depends less on strength of body, than strength of mind and character.”
Azahara Munoz made history becoming the first Spanish ladies player to win their home tournament, the Ladies Spanish Open, at Aloha Golf Club in Marbella, which in fact is about a ten minute drive form her hometown.
Azahara sunk a birdie putt on the last hole of the Ladies Spanish Open to win the title by one shot at -10 under par, after her last round -2 under par 70;
The tears that flowed emphasized how important this win was for her;
“It means everything. I love playing at home and finally we got this tournament back and hopefully for many more years.”
“To be able to play here and just sleep at home, it’s amazing.”
“It’s been a hard week and at the beginning of the week I was so stressed out and so anxious and finally, when I got to the first tee on Thursday, I felt so much better.”
“It is amazing to win in front of everybody and so many people came out, so I’m really grateful to them.”
“I had so many opportunities and I hit so many putts that didn’t go in, but I kept telling myself, if I keep patient, it might happen and if I lose it, then it definitely won’t happen.”
“I kept it together and finally I made such a good putt on the 17th and it’s funny because I had a similar putt that I made in Chantaco a few years ago and I thought about it and told myself, ‘You made this one before,’ and I did.”
Beth Allen claimed second place at -9 under par, a last round of even par 72 not good enough to seriously challenge for the win;
“Obviously I’m super disappointed, especially having had a three shot lead going into the back nine.”
“I just didn’t play very well on the back nine and she did, so it’s fine. It’s second but it’s not the outcome I wanted.”
Sophie Walker, -1 under 71 today, holed her second shot for eagle, on the 18th, from 138 yards using a ‘little’ 7-iron to jump up the leaderboard, into a share of third place with Georgia Hall,-4 under 68, both with -5 under totals.
American Beth Allen leads the Ladies Spanish Open, after 54 holes at Aloha Golf Club in Marbella, Spain.
Beth made birdie on the final hole today to post a Ladies Spanish Open third round of -5 under 67 to lead by one shot with a -9 under par total.
Beth loves the climate here, it reminds her of home;
“It was a little bit of a slow start but I was happy with my back nine: 31 is always a nice score coming in.”
“I reached the 10th, which was handy and then two putts for birdie and I hit a really good shot in on the 11th and holed that and 12th is a tough hole so I was happy with a par.”
“I particularly like this area and it does really remind me of southern California, where I’m from, so I love it.”
Local favorite Azahara Munoz holds second place, a third round -2 under 70 keeping her just one shot back at -8 under, saying she had trouble with her putting today;
“I gave myself quite a few chances and couldn’t make enough putts today.”
“I just couldn’t get the speed of the greens and get my ball to the hole. I also made a few par putts that kept me going, five, six footers, so I’m only one back.”
“I wish I was leading but one stroke’s nothing with 18 holes to go.”
Diana Luna, Italy and Sophie Walker, England, are up to joint third on 4-under after rounds of 69 and 71.
Diana played with a bit of pain from a frozen neck;
“Sometimes they say beware of the sick golfer and I was less concerned with my scores than the other days and it worked out better.”
Sophie had to work hard today;
“It was up and down on the front nine with a few birdies and a few bogeys.”
“I started with two birdies and then went back to level and birdied six, and then after that it was steady pars.”
“I had to work a little bit harder today and get up and down a few more times.”
Azahara Munoz leads her home tournament, the Ladies Spanish Open, at Aloha Golf Club in Marbella, Spain.
Azahara shot -6 under par 66 in the second round of the Ladies Spanish Open to lead the tournament on that score, by just one shot.
Azahara converted some nice putts, coupled with good ball striking;
“It was really nice. I had a pretty strong start and birdied five of the first seven holes.”
“I holed some really nice putts and started to hit the ball much better.”
“Yesterday was a bit of a struggle but today I think I hit 10 fairways and 16 greens so my day was much more stress-free and it was nice to finish with a couple of birdies as well.”
Pamela Pretswell is one shot back at -5 under par, she carded -5 under 67 today after an even par first round;
“I had five birdies so I was putting it closer and taking advantage of that.”
“I’ve only used driver three times in the last two days so I’ve been hitting a lot of three woods off the tee to get my rhythm.”
“I’m not one of the ones that likes to hit driver everywhere. I’m happy to mix it up with whatever I need to hit off the tee to just get myself into a good position.”
Beth Allen had -4 under 68 today, which puts her in third place on that score, and is happy with that;
“I’m happy with it. I’ve done well in this event before and I feel really comfortable here and it kind of reminds me of California so I feel I have a chance.”
Amelia Lewis, from the USA, leads the Ladies Spanish Open after the first round at Aloha Golf Club in Spain.
Amelia carded a first round -4 under par 68 in the Ladies Spanish Open, to lead the tournament by just one shot in a hot and sunny Marbella.
Amelia said poor driving was compensated by good putting;
“I was off the fairway on pretty much all my birdie holes and stuck it close and made the putts.”
This location is gorgeous. It’s so beautiful with the water and the people are nice.”
“It’s like a little holiday for my brother and me. We’re just enjoying it. I love Europe in general.”
“I love the tour and the people and have a lot of good friends out here. I just love travelling and seeing new places.”
“I had a good practice session last week at Evian. All week I just practiced so I was eager to get out there and play a score.”
Florentyna Parker and Rosie Davies are tied in second place, one shot back at -3 under par following their opening rounds of 69.
Rosie has made two cuts from four starts in this her rookie year as a professional on the Ladies European Tour;
“I played pretty well today. I struck the ball well. I took my chances when they came. I left a few shots out there.”
“I had a few short birdie putts which I wanted to make but obviously you can’t make them all.”
“I really stuck to my game plan of hitting it to the widest part of the fairway and attacking the pins.”
“The greens are really slopey and you need to position yourself on the green, so I was hitting it to the right parts of the green and giving myself birdie opportunities”
Azahara Muñoz and amateur player Maria Parra are the best placed local players, both ladies are on level par 72 for the competition.
A history making -21 under par Major score sees In Gee Chun, from South Korea, easily win The Evian Championship in France.
In Gee shot a final round -2 under par 69 to take The Evian Championship trophy, just cruising from beginning to end;
“I just cannot believe I won the Evian Championship. I made 21-under-par. I’m not dreaming, right?”
“I had a really great time this week. Most people say golf is an individual sport, but I believe it is a team sport.”
“My manager, my caddie, my coach and I as a team, prepared for this game and played this game. I love my team.”
“I know minus 19 under par is tied record before the final round.”
“It was more pressure for me, but I tried to think about it as a really good experience. I tried to more enjoy it.”
“I don’t know because I feel like I’m dreaming now. Without nerves, I feel bored. Nothing, bored.”
“I had a lot of pressure on the course, but I much enjoyed my game. I tried my best to keep to my game plan possibly, I think so I might win this time.”
South Korea took the top three places as So Yeon Ryu, -5 under par 66 today, and Sung Hyun Park, -2 under 69, tied in second place at -17 under par.
Shanshan Feng, from China finished in fourth place, at -15 under par, she also had a final round -2 under par 69.
World #1 Lydia Ko finished with another poor round +2 over 73, but eased the pain of this performance by capturing the Rolex Annika Major Award.
“It means a lot, especially because coming into this year my goal was to be more consistent in majors, and this exactly is the award for that, and obviously you need a win to have that, and just to have it named after Annika and how successful she’s been in majors and just in general and what she’s done for the game, I think there might not be some of us if it wasn’t for a player like her.”
“It’s something that I could have only really dreamt of and imagined of, and for it to be true in a few moments I think is going to be awesome, and especially for me to stand alongside a legend like Annika.”
In Gee Chun, from South Korea, is cruising along at The Evian Championship, and will take a four shot lead into the final round tomorrow at the Evian Golf Club in France.
In Gee shot a third round -6 under par 65 in The Evian Championship and her total of -19 under par not only gives her a four shot advantage but has broken the 54-hole Major record of -14 under-par set by Annika Sorenstam at the 2004 LPGA Championship and equalled the winning score for 72 holes in a women’s Major.
In Gee was asked if she would like to break the men’s Major record of -20 under, and also about the double bogey she carded;
“It would be a real honor.”
“After my double bogey I just thought about enjoying my back nine and letting it go.”
“I always try not to think about winning because it gives you too much pressure. My approach tomorrow will be the same: just enjoy my golf.”
Another South Korean, Sung Hyun Park, is in second place, at -15 under par, a third round -4 under 67, not enough to keep tabs on the leader.
Shanshan Feng of China holds third place, her third round -3 under 69 not doing her any favors, now at -13 under par, six shots off the pace.
World #1 and defending champion Lydia Ko slipped backwards, into tied for 36th place after a third-round +4 over par 75.