Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Ayako Uehara Leads.

White Dragon Golf

Ayako Uehara, from Japan, leads after the first round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in Arkansas.

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

Ayako Uehara / getty images

Ayako carded an amazing  bogey free first round of -9 under par 62 in the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship to sit on top of the leaderboard with a two-stroke advantage over the field.

Ayako spoke via an interpreter to the news media, citing good teamwork for her success;

“With the caddie and the trainer, everybody is like teamwork, and then that’s my motivation now, and so everything is coming together, including the swing coach.”

In second place at -7 under par following her opening round 64 is Candie Kung, from Taipei.

Candie said she was in cruise control, just like last week, just having fun.

“We kind of put it on cruise control and just go, yes, without thinking a whole lot, and then once you stop waiting for the group in front then you start thinking about stuff, which is not good.”

 “I was having a lot of fun, and we had a good group of people that I like, and we all played very fast, so I think that helps, too, and we didn’t wait at all the whole round, so I think that helps, too.”

Fourteen ladies are tied in third place at -6 under par, Giulia Molinaro, Angela Stanford, Vicky Hurst, Sandra Gal, Jing Yan, Alena Sharp, Sun Young Yoo, Chella Choi, Minjee Lee, Carlota Ciganda, Ai Miyazato, So Yeon Ryu, P.K. Kongkraphan and Morgan Pressel.

Morgan was hitting it close to the pin all day;

“I hit my wedges very well today.  I certainly got off to a good start on one and 10 and 11.”

” I think I really only made; I’m trying to remember, one birdie putt over maybe six or seven feet for the most part.”

” I hit it pretty close all day and gave myself a lot of opportunities.”

 

JTBC Founders Cup. Sei Young Kim Shoots -10 Under Par To Win.

White Dragon Golf

Sei Young Kim from South Korea shoots -10 under par in the final round to win the JTBC Founders Cup at Wildfire Gold Club in Arizona.

JTBC Founders Cup

Sei Young Kim / Getty Images

Sei Young won the JTBC Founders Cup with  magical -10 under par 62 in the final round, to post a total of -27 under par, a new 72-hole Tournament scoring record;

“It’s a dream come true, today’s score 10-under is my best score ever, ever.”

“So I didn’t know that after the last putt, but after I check the scorecard, I asked to Paul, my caddy, did I shoot 10-under.”

“He said, yeah. Oh, my God. That’s amazing. Yeah. Dream come true. So feel great now.”

World #1 Lydia Ko finished in second place at -22 under par, five shots off the pace, after her final round of -7 under par 65 paled into insignificance.

Jacqui Concolino was third, -20 under par not enough to trouble the leader, a -4 under 68 a good score.

 

JTBC Founders Cup. Eun-Hee Ji Leads

White Dragon Golf

Eun-Hee Ji leads the JTBC Founders Cup by one shot after 54 holes at Wildfire Golf Club in Arizona.

JTBC Founders Cup

Eun-Hee Ji, Stacy Lewis and Sei Young Kim / Getty Images

KOR Eun-Hee carded a third round -7 under par 65 to post a 54 hole total of -18 under par. She leads USA  Stacy Lewis and KOR Sei Young Kim by one shot in the JTBC Founders Cup.

KOR Eun-Hee  was happy with her putting today and requiring only 26 putts ;

“Actually, my putting was really good.”

“Actually, my iron shot was really good, too because I was really struggling with my irons the last couple of weeks but it’s getting better this week”

KOR Sei Young carded a third round -2 under par 70, to kind of stand still in this competition, but still shares second place with Stacy at -17 under par.

USA Stacy, -8 under par 64 today, loves returning to this tournament;

“This week it’s really special to me. I’ve gotten to know the Founders the last few years, especially Marilynn; and just being around them, you see the love and the energy that they have for this game still and our tour, and it’s just a really special week.”

 “And I love;  you know, I would definitely say I was one of the skeptics at first, you know, with playing for free and the whole thing, but this tournament is a home run and it’s just really cool for the rookies to get to know the Founders and the reason that they get to play every day.”

USA Jacqui Concolino holds 4th at -16 under par after her -4 under 68 today.

World No.1  Lydia Ko  got off to a quick start today, making three birdies in her first five holes, and matched Stacy with the low round of the day, -8 under par 64. She is tied in fifth place at -15 under par with ESP Carlota Siganda and USA Paula Creamer.

 Lydia could still easily win this tournament, she is full of confidence;

“I think when you’re a leader and you know you’re already shooting 5-under through, what, like six, seven holes, you’ve got the confidence; and every fairway it looks like you’re going to hit it, and every putt, it almost seems like it’s going to go in the hole.”

“So I guess that’s why the rough didn’t pay as much as I thought it would do at the start of the week.”

JTBC Founders Cup. Sei Young Kim Leads at Half-Way.

White Dragon Golf

Sei Young Kim leads the JTBC Founders Cup at the half-way point in Arizona on the Wildfire Golf Club course.

JTBC Founders Cup

Sei Young Kim

KOR Sei Young shot a -6 under par 66 on Friday to take the lead in the JTBC Founders Cup in Arizona with a -15 under par total. That score gives her a two shot advantage going into the week-end.

She started her day with an Eagle, and just carried on from there;

“I feel not bad because, before the first round, I was like uncomfortable because I couldn’t trust myself.”

“But after this round, I got confidence.”

USA Brittany Lang is in second place, -4 under 68 today giving her a -11 under par total, in what she called windy conditions;

“I did a lot of good things. I hit a ton of good shots. It was tough with the wind at times.”

“It was so warm, and I hit a bunch of good shots. I think yesterday we did a better job of getting close to the hole. That’s why it was a nine under day.”

“I think, on the weekend, we might give the weekend a little more credit because it was definitely tough to pick clubs out there.”

“The key was just patience, knocking a few in there and getting some confidence.”

USA Jacqui Concolino and ITA Giulia Sergas share third spot at -12 under par for the tournament. Jacqui with -8 under 64 today and Giulia -4 under 68.

The cut line here was -3 under par, and there were several top-ranked players who will miss playing the weekend.

World No.2 Inbee Park missed her first cut of 2016 this week in Phoenix, as well as 2 time JTBC Founders Cup champion Karrie Webb,.

Alison Lee will miss her first cut of 2016. It is her first missed cut since the 2015 RICOH Women’s British Open.

LPGA. JTBC Founders Cup. Karrie Collects the Trophy.

dragon logo dark

Karrie Webb won the JTBC Founders Cup at the Wildfire Golf Club in Arizona.

Karrie Webb

Karrie Webb / Getty Images

Karrie fired a record equaling -9 under par 63 final round to sneak in at take the trophy, for a second time, by one shot at – 19 under par. She had started the day six shots back of the leader;

“I didn’t expect to be sitting here at the start of the day. Even actually when I finished the day I didn’t expect to be sitting here. So I feel a little bit lucky, I guess, to be sitting here. But it doesn’t make it feel any less special. Louise (a Founder member) told me that I had to go out and shoot 64 yesterday, which I let her down and I didn’t do that. So I made it up to her today, though.”

“It’s a very special event, and you know, I thanked Mike Whan out on the 18th green, but it really was a wonderful idea and concept that he came up with four years ago. I hope it’s an event that continues to grow and is around as a part of the LPGA for a very long time.”

” To be honest, I can’t really say I thought about winning today. I thought I could shoot a 63 or 62 and that still would’t be good enough, so I didn’t set my sights on a number.”

Leader at the start of play Lydia Ko, came up just one shot short. She was not the only one, second place was shared by five players, all on -18 under par. Joining Lydia on that score were defending Champion Stacy Lewis, Azahara Munoz, Amy Yang and Mirim Lee.

Lydia said she made some bogey’s, just at the wrong time, her final round of -2 under par 70 was not quite enough;

“I had a really good start. making four birdies on the first five holes was really good and I struggled in the holes after that. But you know, I tried to get myself together and I made some bogeys at the wrong time which wasn’t ideal, but I tried my best until the last. I think I played really well overall, so I am just going to take the positive out of it.”

Defending Champion Stacy said she started really slowly, and only got going on the back nine;

” You know, I got off to a really poor start and pretty slow start, and then I don’t know, I got to the back nine where I’m more comfortable and just kind of started to free things up a little bit, and I made birdie on fourteen, and you know, I kind of looked at the leaderboard and said if I can birdie the last four, you know, I can get in there and tie Webbie.  And unfortunately I just came up one shot short, but to finish the way I did, it was just really nice to hit the shots to make the putts at the end of the round and get some good; seeing putts go in always helps going into the next couple of weeks”

As always, the time to shoot a -9 under par round is the final round, at least one Aussie won this week-end.

LPGA. JTCB Founders Cup. Mirim Marches On.

dragon logo dark

Mirim Lee marches on in the JTBC Founders Cup on the JTBC Founders Cup at Wildfire Golf Club in Arizona.

Mirim Lee / Getty

 Mirim shot a -5 under par 67 to maintain her position at the top of the leaderboard in the Founders Cup at Wildfire Golf Club, with a -13 under par total at the half-way stage. She thought she had played some pretty dull golf on the front nine, she had this to say through an interpreter;

“I played a little boring on the front nine, so I went more aggressive on the back nine. It worked well so now I plan on being aggressive the rest of the week.”

Quite a bold statement, so look out you stars Mirim is being assertive.

Lydia Ko is just two behind at -11 under par for her two rounds, a -6 under par 66 second round helped her to move up the leaderboard to second spot on her own. She was surprised to find herself only two shots back of the leader;

“I was really surprised, I just gave myself more opportunities on the back nine. I played much better this nine yesterday, so I kind of thought, you know, you can make some more birdies and get closer to the leader.”

Sun Young Yoo shot the low round of the day, a sizzling -7 under par 65, which left her in third place alone at -10 under par for the tournament. She was happy to play early today;

“I played late yesterday, so today greens were a little better in shape. I don’t know, everything was working fine. Yesterday I hit pretty good and just hit a couple of bad tee shots. That’s it. But today swinging better and swinging with more confidence.”

There is a four-way tie for fourth place, all at -9 under par, including world number one Inbee Park, who had a steady second round -3 under par 69.

Inbee also had a slow start her round;

“I think maybe we had a quite slow front nine, Lydia and I and Jessica probably. On the back nine I think things went really well for everyone and especially last five to finish was a great finish. Today is probably worst day for me than yesterday because I probably missed a couple, two to three shots, and I mean I left a lot of putts out there today, especially No. 1 through like 13 I didn’t make anything.  So yeah, it was very good to actually see the putt drop on the last five holes, so it was a relief.”

Unlike the men’s tournament at Bay Hill, this competition is still wide open at the half-way stage. Tomorrow is moving day, lets see who makes a definitive move.

LPGA. Founders Cup. Mirim Lee Leads

dragon logo dark

Rookie Mirim Lee is at the top of the leaderboard in the JTBC Founders Cup tournament at the Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix Arizona.

Mirim Lee

Mirim Lee / Getty

Mirim shot a first round -8 under par 64 to lead the Founders Cup in Arizona. Mirim said is was a good day, not too many long putts;

” Everything was good.  So today putting was a little bit not good.  Everything was good, yeah.  Good day, just two, three long putts.  So today no, not difficult today.  Easy today. Practice round and today morning I hit really good. It was good.  So everything is just good.”

Just one shot back after an opening round of -7 under par 65 is Morgan Pressel, this round could so easily have been a 59. She found trouble off the 3rd tee, playing the course backwards.  Morgan went through  the turn at -7 under par after shooting a 29 on her front nine, thanks to five birdies and an Eagle. She followed that with birdies on the first and second holes but then came that errant tee shot;

“I hit a very poor tee shot and ended up kind of on the side of this little bush, and I could have hit it left handed and there were a couple of burrowing animal holes around. I brought them over to ask, but I didn’t honestly think that I was going to get relief, and I don’t think that I deserved it.”

“I don’t know if I was necessarily thinking 59, but I probably just got a little bit excited, because I had never been that many under par in that short of a span of time. I just got a little bit quick, and came back to earth.”

There are eight players tied in third place at -6 under par, including Inbee Park and defending champion Stacy Lewis.

Inbee Park said the putts would just not drop;

” I was hitting the ball good all day today, but just on the front the putts didn’t seem like they wanted to go in.  I read a couple of putts wrong, and on the back nine I had shots a lot closer than the front nine, and obviously I holed some putts on the back nine. On the back nine I had shots a lot closer than the front nine, and obviously I holed some putts on the back nine.”

 ” We hit a lot of short irons on this golf course.  You have to shoot low scores for four rounds on this golf course, and obviously there’s a lot of opportunities here and you have to hole your putts.  And obviously on this back nine I hit a lot of good iron shots, and only mistake today was the three putt on number three, or 4, and yeah, that was my only mistake today.”

Stacy was making all her putts today;

” I hit some good shots, but had to make ; my speed was kind of off on the greens, had to make some five and six footers, but actually made them, so it kind of helped get the confidence going.”
            
” Then the back nine for me, it just sets up a lot better.  I feel like you can kind of free wheel it a little bit and still be more open and  made a few longer putts, but all day I hit the ball pretty well.”

Lydia Ko is in a seven way tie for 7th place, shooting a  -5 under par 67 for her first round, she had an excuse for fading late on in her round;

“I normally eat more than I did today, and I normally eat a lot, so that’s saying something. I forgot to bring my food and my protein bars. That’s my excuse.”