Safeway Open. Brendan Steele Captures Title.

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Brendan Steele captures the Safeway Open title at Silverado Resort & Spa in California.

After falling short in 2015, Brendan Steele returned to Napa for the start of the 2016-17 season and walked away victorious. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Brendan Steele / getty

Brendan finished strong to card a final round -7 under par 65 and win the Safeway Open title with a -18 under par total, his second PGA Tour win.

Last year Brendan had led  wire-to-wire for 54 holes, only to collapse  in the last round, this year good putting was the difference;

“You don’t often get that chance in life to redeem yourself in the same way at the same place.”

“I think my putting coming down the stretch was really the most important thing and definitely some wedge play.”

“I’ve been working on some stuff with Dave Pelz that really helped me with the soft conditions taking spin off the ball and really controlling my numbers.”

“I’d be lying if I said that maybe I was only going to win once on Tour.”

“I felt like my game was really good and I put myself in position a lot but didn’t really execute coming down the stretch.”

“I thought maybe I’m destined to just have that one win and play a long career out here but not necessarily keep winning, so this one definitely feels really good.”

“You’ve got to really make something happen, especially when the conditions are soft.”

“I wanted to be aggressive and I didn’t want to just kind of coast in and just make sure that I had a decent week.”

Patton Kizzire was second, at -17 under par, his last round -2 under par 70 falling just short;

“It was intense, I didn’t finish it off. I’m really disappointed, but I played well. It’s a building block, for sure.”

Paul Casey, -3 under 69, Michael Kim, -5 under 67, Scott Piercy -2 under 70 and Johnson Wagner, -2 under 70, all finished tied in third place at -16 under par.

Paul was so close again;

“So close, isn’t it? I mean, I played great. I had another wonderful week.”

 

 

 

 

SAFEWAY OPEN. Albatross Starts New Season, As Scott Piercy Leads.

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An Albatross, and a Hole in One, started the new season as Scott Piercy leads the Safeway Open at  Silverado Resort & Spa in California, with a course record score.

Piercy leads early at Silverado

Scott Piercy / getty

Scott shot an amazing opening round of -10 under par 62 at the Safeway Open, to lead by two strokes.

Last season Scott  finished  37th in the season-long #FedExCup standings but only ranked 156th in strokes gained putting;

“The putter held me back but there was a lot of good.”

“It was pretty easy to see what’s going wrong.”

“When you break it down and say, ‘Alright, there’s a lot of good ball striking; chipping was actually pretty good,’ but the putter kind of fell flat on its face.”

Paul Casey and Patton Kizzire share second place at -8 under par for the tournament, and both bogey free.

Paul did not hit the bottle in the one week lay-off between seasons, he has wants to finish the year with a win, to get to Hawaii and the winners-only Hyundai Tournament of Champions event;

“I didn’t get fully stuck into the wine in the off-season or thinking that I’m done with the year.”

 “I very much looked at it as this is just a two-week break that I would normally have during the season.”

“That’s the goal, if not, then I’ll probably do the Sony Open or something like that. But I’m going to at least get 10 weeks to fully charge it before coming back.”

Morgan Hoffmann made the first Albatross in this tournament’s history when his 251 yard second shot on the par five 18th dropped into the cup, he finished the round at -2 under with  round of 70.

Jon Rahm completed the tournament action,  holing his 7 iron tee shot for an Ace, from 173 yards on the par three 11th;

“First one I ever made in my life, very special moment.”

“It was hard to believe. I actually thought it hit like inside the hole and bounced out, but it stayed in.”

 

 

 

U.S. Womens Open. Mirim Lee Leaps Ahead.

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Mirim Lee leaps ahead of the field in the U.S. Womens Open in the first round at  CordeValle Golf Club in California.

U.S. Womens Open

Mirim Lee / getty images

 

In the easier conditions that prevailed early on Mirim took full advantage to card a U.S. Womens Open first round score of -8 under par 64, giving her a three shot lead going into the second round tomorrow.

Mirim said the course was in perfect shape;

“The course is perfect now, greens are really fast. I just try make par, yeah, that’s it.”

Cristie Kerr is sharing second place with Minjee Lee, both had opening rounds of -5 under par 67.

Cristie, who won  the 2007 U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club put her revival down to a new driver, that suits her;

“When you’re struggling to hit fairways, I can’t blame everything on the club, obviously, but when you’re struggling to hit fairways, it makes the game a lot harder.”

“And then the mental game gets off of it, it’s a whole process like that.”

“But I knew when I found the driver this week that it just felt so much like my old driver and we found the right combination and even if I missed a little bit I could feel what I did wrong.”

“I could feel the difference, like I said, I’m just happy that we worked it out.”

Minjee admitted to missing some putts, that she should have made;

“I hit really good shots into the first couple of holes and I missed the putts, I missed my putts.”

“I felt like I was really solid, like my iron play was really solid. And if I missed my drives, it was sort of just on the first cut or maybe just in the rough.”

“So I thought I striked the ball really well today. I gave myself a lot of opportunities for birdie.”

Anna Nordqvist, Kelly Tan and Brittany Lang all share fifth place at -4 under par.

Brittany was OK once she figured out what she needed to do;

“Everything changed a little bit tournament time, with nerves and adrenaline a little bit. And I wasn’t hitting them as solid.”

“I just knew if I dropped that left foot back, it’s a simple fix, it gives me more room and I automatically start hitting them really pure.”

World number one Lydia Ko started with +1 over par 73, while number two Brooke Henderson  carded a first round +4 over 76.

2016 US Women’s Open Championship Qualifying.

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Jade Schaeffer and Valentine Derrey, France, Camilla Lennarth  Sweden, German Rookie professional Olivia Cowan and Pamela Pretswell, Scotland all qualified for the 2016 US Women’s Open Championship  in the 36-hole European Sectional Qualifier conducted by the USGA at Buckinghamshire Golf Club in England.

U.S. Women's Open

Us Open Qualifiers / getty images

These  Ladies European Tour members, will join other successful qualifiers from 24 different venues around the United States, South Korea, China and Japan. They will join approximately 93 exempt players at CordeValle in San Martin, California, in July from the 7th to the 10th,  contesting the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open, along with the defending Champion  Gee Chun.

 

ANA Inspiration. Lexi Leads.

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Lexi Thompson leads the ANA Inspiration after 54 holes at Mission Hills Country Club in California.

ANA Inspiration

Lexi Thompson / Getty Images

USA Lexi carded a third round -3 under par 69, which included an Eagle at the 18th, to post a 54 hole leading total of -10 under par at the ANA Inspiration.

She complained that her putting was just a little off today;

“I was a little off, I thought the practice green was a lot faster today, and I got out there, and they were a little slower.”

“I was just a little timid, but putting is all about confidence, so I just need to roll a few in and get that confidence going.”

“It was a quick change out there with my last few holes, but it was a bit of a struggle my first 10.”

“Just on the greens, struggled a bit, just putting a little timid, but to finish like that definitely turns around my confidence, and I feel really good going into tomorrow.”

THA Ariya Jutanugarn -5 under par 67, shares second place with NZL Lydia Ko, the World Number one, -3 under 69 and KOR In Gee Chun, -3 under 69 today, they are both at -9 under par.

JPN Ai Miyazato -1 under 71 today, and ENG Charley Hull, -3 under 69 are T5 at -8 under par.

This is the Ladies first Major of the year, and it will be interesting to see if Lexi can hold off the challenge from Lydia.

ANA Inspiration. Lexi Thompson Joins Ai Miyazato

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Lexi Thompson joins Ai Miyazato at the top of the ANA Inspiration leaderboard at the half way point at Mission Hills Country Club in California.

ANA Inspiration

Lexi & Ai / Getty Images

Lexi shot -4 under par 68 in the second round of the ANA Inspiration to join Ai at the top at -7 under par for the tournament. Ai carded -2 under 70 to stay where she finished yesterday.

Both ladies have changed putters, and Lexi said it was good to hear the cheer from the crowd when her birdie attempt on 18 dropped in;

“It’s a dramatic change, just changing  the putter and a little bit different stance over the putts has given me a lot of confidence this week.”

“I’m rolling it a lot better, and having my caddie Benji line me up has helped me out a lot too.”

“Eighteen is one of the best finishing holes that we have out here, but to hear the crowds cheer making that putt is definitely a good feeling.”

“Gives me chills every time.”

Ai just made adjustment to the lie on her putter, it was staying patient that helped her. She is also looking forward to paring with Lexi tomorrow;

“Even though I made the bogey, afterwards I didn’t try to get it back soon.”

“I’m like just par’s okay on the next hole and see how it goes and just let it go and let it happen. So it was kind of a good mental control.”

“It will be interesting, I think. I played with her many times and I really like to play with her because she’s a really good player.”

“I know she’s in good shape, so it’s kind of fun to see her game too.”

“But, you know, it’s just doesn’t matter this golf course if you hit long or not. So just you need to be really staying with your game and have a good course management, so that’s about it.”

The top two lead by one shot ahead of a large group at 6-under par, which includes major champions Lydia Ko, In Gee Chun and Suzann Pettersen, Lizette Salas, Lee-Anne Pace and Sung Hyun Park.

 

 

 

ANA Inspiration. Ai Miyazato & Azahara Munoz Lead.

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Ai Miyazato & Azahara Munoz lead after the first round of the ANA Inspiration tournament on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club, in California.

ANA Inspiration

Ai Miyazato & Azahara Munoz /Getty Images

JPN Ai shot a bogey free -5 under par 67, while Azahara added one bogey to her score, on the final hole of the day.

Ai said she was feeling fine;

“It’s always exciting to be here, I know a lot of history and background.”

“Well, obviously I haven’t really played well on this golf course, but finally my game is coming all together.”

“My family’s here, and like I said, my game has been in good shape since last week, and I just feel good.”

I’ve been feeling good about my game since the beginning of the season.”

“I said to myself just be patient until the scoring is going to be good. I had a good self talk since the beginning of the season, so I actually had have confidence since then.”

ESP   Azahara is on the come trail back after undergoing surgery on her left hand to remove a benign tumor in March of 2015;

“It’s funny because I’ve been really working on my attitude, but the results haven’t really showed, even though I’ve been doing so much better.”

 “But always something happened that it kind of crossed my round.”

“But I just;  I know I need to keep believing in myself and eventually it’s going to happen.”

“It obviously hasn’t been the easiest of years for me since the surgery and all of that, but I know I’m a good player, and eventually it’s going to happen, so if I keep doing what I’m doing, I think I’ll be okay.”

Three ladies are sharing third place, at -4 under par, Catriona Matthew, Shiho Oyama and Lee Ann Pace occupy the slot.

The first Americans are at T6 at -3 under par, Gerina Pillar, Ryann O’Toole and Lexi Thompson are tied at that score with five other ladies.