LPGA. Kraft Nabisco Championship. Two Tied at the Top, Lexi & Michelle

dragon logo darkKraftNabiscoChampionship_188x84Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie are the two who are tied at the top of the leaderboard at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Michelle Wie / Getty

Michelle shot a third round -4 under par 68, on the Mission Hills Country Club,  Dinah Shore Tournament Course, to share top spot on the Kraft Nabisco Championship leaderboard with Lexi  at -10  under par for the tournament.

Michelle like the entertainment value in Lexi’s game;

I think Lexi is a really entertaining golfer, I like to think I’m somewhat entertaining as well. So, I think the both of us paired together is great. I think it’s great for the tour and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

” I probably won’t sleep that well. It’s just the chance, you want something so badly. I dreamed about this all my life, so I’m just trying to not think about it so much. I’m just trying to think it’s a normal Sunday. But I think that’s a good thing. It’s a sign that I’m really excited and I really want this.”

“I just go out there and I think I just really know what I need to do. I think that came with experience of playing so many rounds in my life.”

Lexi is looking for some more putts to drop, she was unhappy at carding a six on the par five eighteenth;

” Not the ending I wanted, I’m getting looks at birdies and just waiting for a few more to drop. I think if you’re not nervous, you don’t care, but it’s a good nervous. This is what I’ve been waiting for and what I’ve worked my whole life for.”

Charley Hull and Se Ri Pak are tied in third place, both with -8  under par totals. Charley put herself into contention with a -6 under par third round of 66, while Se Ri was just -1 under par 71 to put towards her total.

No one knows how Charley’s golf game will stand up to Major championship pressure, but it seems she already has the mindset   to deal with it. This is her quote from last year;

“This is how I always look at golf. I’m not going to die if I hit a bad shot. Just hit it, and find it, and hit it.”

As a professional Charley won for the first time at the Ladies European Tour’s, Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco. Then she said she was having too much fun with friends back home to join the LPGA Tour;

” I was really enjoying my friends and stuff at home, just being a kid, being with my friends, going out, going to parties and stuff. I don’t want to miss that living over here full-time at the moment. I was still seventeen at the time. I still wanted my childhood in a way. There was no rush for me to go over there.”

This first Major for the Ladies is set up nicely for a dramatic finish, I am looking forward to it.

Catriona Matthew is T5 with Cristie Kerr, at -6 under par for the tournament.

L.E.T. Lalla Meryem Golf Cup. Charlie The Darling.

dragon logo darkLalla Meryem CupCharley Hull was the darling of the Lalla Meryem Golf Cup winning  with a four-foot birdie putt on the first play-off hole.

Darling Charley and some of her supporters / Getty

Seventeen year-old Charley won her first Ladies European Tour victory at the Lalla Meryem Golf Cup on the Golf de l’Ocean course in Morocco. Both Charley and Gwladys Nocera finished the tournament at -15 under par and the play-off ensued. Charley birdied the first play-off hole, #18, a par three. She got to the play-off courtesy of a final round -9 under par 62;

 “I shot nine under today which is pretty good and I thought I had it on the last in my actual 18th hole and it just missed and then making birdie in the play-off to win it, my hands were shaking like mad and I had a putt from four feet in the Solheim down the last against Paula and Lexi. I had the same there to win and I did it and I feel like I’m a good putter under pressure now.”

 “With three holes to play I finished birdie, birdie, par and nearly birdied the last hole so it just slipped away. I never backed down and I got there, I got my first win while I was still 17, I’m 18 next week so I’m really happy. I love Morocco. I was here last year and played well here again.”

Gwladys bemoaned a poor putting performance all week for her failure to win;

 “My putting has been really bad the whole week so you can’t do anything when you putt like that. I tried my best; Charley played well today and she deserves it. She’s been close to victory for a while and she’s a great player so she deserves it. I had to play better and I didn’t.”

Sophie Giquel Bettan of France ended four shots back on 11-under, in solo third place, shooting a last round -2 under par 69. Two French ladies in the top three, that bodes well for French golf this year.

Defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn finished in a tie for 12th place after she struggled with a disappointing final round of +2 over par 73. Ling Yan and Mathilda Cappeliez  shared the leading amateur honors at -1 under-par in a tie for 25th place for the tournament.

L.E.T. Lalla Meryem Cup. Two Tied At the Top, Day 1.

dragon logo darkLalla Meryem Cup There are two Ladies tied at the top of the leaderboard on day 1 of the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco, on the Ladies European Tour.

Rebecca Hudson  / Getty

Rebecca Hudson and Sophie Walker are tied at the top at -5 under par on the opening day at  Golf de l’Ocean in Agadir with totals of 66.

Naturally Rebecca was extremely happy with her round, especially as she practiced in a field at the back of a friend’s house;

“I’m very happy, I hit the ball well. I haven’t done as much practice as I would like but I came out and practised here the last few days. I had the ball under control and putted well and that makes a big difference. Hopefully I can keep this going forward.”

 “It’s great because she’s got a field behind her house so I’ve just been practising my short game. I have been practising but not long game.  I came here and practised my putting. My short game today was very good and I got up and down all but one time.”

                               Sophie Walker / Getty

A good practice round in the wind set up Sophie nicely for the day;

“Yesterday I had an afternoon practice round and I thought that would be good preparation because it always gets really windy here. I holed a decent putt on eleven and knocked it really close. Two under after three, you’ve got to take advantage of that.”

“It was a couple of clubs wind and on the back nine it was a cross wind a lot. I played well last week but just didn’t putt very well, so the aim this week was to putt better and I did that today. I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and try to keep my percentage of fairways up and my putts low.”

Sophie Giquel-Bettan is in third place at -4 under after her opening round of 67, she said the jet lag from the flight helped her on her early tee time;

“I really enjoyed it. With the jet lag from China it was perfect to play early this morning because I was awake so early. It was pretty good. We had perfect conditions, like 20, 24 degrees and the wind picked up around the fourteenth hole, but it was good conditions and I did the job and it was fun.”

Ariya Jutanugarn, Jing Yan, Nina Holleder, Charley Hull and Laura Davies have a share of fourth place, all at -3 under par on the tightly packed scoreboard.

Ariya reported that her driver was not behaving properly;

“My putting and irons were good today and helped me a lot but my driver was so bad. I hit like six provisional balls today and had a lost ball and had a seven because of my driver. I couldn’t hit it straight so I had to change my mind and hit three-wood” 

Charley had eye trouble and did not putt too well;

“It was good and I hit it pretty well, apart from one drive, I could have been a lot under par, but the putts didn’t go in. I missed a few short putts to begin with but I learned from that and had four birdies on the trot where I should have had six. I could have shot a lot lower.”

“It’s a great golf course. It’s quite tight off the tee so you need to be hitting it straight. I woke up this morning and my eye was swollen and I think I must have been bitten at night. I thought I would be playing with one eye but it wasn’t too bad. I could see more out of my right eye than my left so people at home will probably think, ‘What’s the matter with her eye?’ It’s gone down a bit now though.”

Looks like an interesting tournament developing here in Morocco.

ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. Headwall Heads at Half-Way.

dragon logo dark (2)ISPS Handa Women´s Australian Open 

Caroline Hedwall heads the ISPS Handa Womens Australian Open at the half-way stage at the Victoria Golf Club.

Caroline Hedwall.

Caroline Hedwall / Getty

Caroline carded a second round of -7 under par 65, which included a hole in one at the par three sixteenth, an Eagle at the par five eighth, five birdies and sadly two bogey’s, for a total of -11 under par. She said that playing with confidence was the key to her amazing round, but she did not see the ace go in the hole;

” I’m very happy with how I’m striking the ball and my putting is getting better and better, so I definitely feel like I have a lot of confidence. Yesterday I hit a full 7-iron over the green and it was basically the same yardage today, so I hit a soft one and it covered the pin all the way and then I just saw it bounce once and hit the pin.  But I didn’t see it go in.”

” I’m driving pretty well, I missed a couple of drives yesterday and today but I managed to save a couple of bogeys and I’m still making a lot of birdies and also eagles. ‘I love everything about this place.”

Suzann Petterson is still very much in the hunt, recording a second round of -4 under par 68 for her tournament total of -10 under par. Suzann admitted it was not her best golf today, but was happy with the result.

“Today was not the best day, but when I had a good chance I kind of executed.”

Australian amateur Minjee Lee is still there, carding a second round of -5 under par 67, which included an Eagle 2 at the first hole, for a total of -9 under par. She finished runner-up in last week’s Volvik RACV Ladies Masters, and continues with  her excellent recent form;

“Yeah, I’m in good form.  I’m confident in my game and I’m playing good. It was such a slow start, I started with nine pars. I was just patient, and it came together late in the round.”

Lydia Ko is another shot back at -8 under par after shooting another -4 under par 68 round, and shares fourth place at -8 under par with Holly Clyburn and Anna Nordqvist. Anna had a very quiet round, despite setting a course record at Victoria off the women’s tees, with a -8 under par round of 64, she explained afterwards;

”I woke up with no voice this morning, so I didn’t really know what to expect.”

Among those missing the cut are Lexi Thompson, Gwladys Nocera, Charley Hull and Laura Davies.

ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open. Anya Alvarez Leads

dragon logo darkISPS Handa New Zealand Women´s Open

Anya Alvarez leads the ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open at the half-way stage at the Clearwater Golf Club.

Anya Alvarez, from Oklahoma / Getty Images

Anya posted a bogey free -6 under par 66, to top the leaderboard at the half-way stage of the ISPS  Handa New Zealand Women’s Open at -8 under par, a two shot lead going into the week-end.

“I have never led a tournament before so this is pretty exciting, but l have to keep my head in the game. I have eighteen more holes to play tomorrow and I have worked really hard and I am very happy to finally be in this position. I think the most important thing that I did today was stay calm even when I could feel I was getting excited that I was playing well. I kept telling myself you have another hole to go the round is not over yet and to stay focused.”

An unwell Lydia Ko is in second place at -6 under par, she felt sick overnight and has not eaten for 24 hours, but still managed to record her second round of -3 under par 69. Lets hope that she recovers well enough to really contest her defense of this title.

“I was really sick overnight, at one point I was going to withdraw but luckily I didn’t. It was a stomach bug and I went to the hospital this morning. They said it was something to do with my guts, they said that there was more wind in there than normal. I don’t really know. I thought that I would chop it out there today, but I gave myself some birdie opportunities, and when I did I got most of them so I am pretty happy. Two shots can happen over a hole. You know you can make a birdie and they can make a bogey and that is two shots right there. I am just going to play my own game. She seems like she is playing really well. Obviously I am going to try my best to win.”

Three ladies are sharing third place, at -5 under par, Beth Allen, Kyu-Jung Baek and Seonwo Bae are just three shots off the lead.

Teenage Charley Hull had an awful second round, carding +1 over par 73, and dropped down to -2 under par for the tournament.

ISPS Handa NZ Women’s Open. Two Tied at the Top, but not Lydia.

dragon logo darkISPS Handa New Zealand Women´s OpenKiwi girl Stacy Tate and South Korean Seonwo Bae lead the ISPS Handa NZ Women’s Open after the first round at Clearwater Golf Club in New Zealand, both ladies carding -4 under par 68. Lydia is not far adrift, one of a host of ladies tied in third place at -3 under par.

Defending Champion and hot favorite Lydia Ko / Getty Images

Lydia Ko is one of five players tied in third place at -3 under par, along with another teenage sensation Charley Hull after their first rounds of 69.

Charley was happy to play alongside Lydia, to gain some knowledge;

” I try and focus mainly on myself and my own game but sometimes just have a look at little things that you can learn off her. She has got a great tempo, that is one of the main things I worked on over winter, ‘cause I noticed that about her.  So it was something I definitely needed to work on. I was working on some stuff and it wasn’t quite together and I thought if my tempo was better, it would give me more of a chance, so that is one thing I have definitely noticed with Lydia. She has won five professional titles and I am trying to win my first one still so she is a good person to learn from.”

“I like playing with Lydia, actually you learn a lot off her, which is weird, but I played with her in the Canadian Open for the first three rounds, we were both playing pretty well in that and then she soared ahead. I am looking forward to tomorrow.”

Charley Hull / Getty Images

 Laura Davies, who had a first round of even par 72, and is a winner of an incredible 84 professional titles, and the 2012 NZ Women’s Open, has played a motherly role to the young English superstar Charley;

“Me and Charley get on really well, I played with her in her first pro event last year in Morocco and I just thought she was a lovely young girl with a really bright future. I haven’t given her a lot of advice, I have talked to her Dad a bit about travel and things and that is just helping out someone who is a peer. You try to help them if you can, you want to beat them and they want to beat you but there is no doubt that Charley is an exciting prospect and she has a really bright future.”

I look forward to tomorrow’s second round, and fully expect Lydia to rise to the top.

L.E.T. Lacoste Ladies Open de France. French Fun At The Top.

Lacoste Ladies Open de France

The French were having fun at the top of the leaderboard at the Lacoste Ladies Open de France, as Gwladys Nocera and Joanna Klatten share the half way lead.

Gwladys Nocera / Getty

Gwladys enjoyed the fun,  as she hit 16 greens in regulation and needed only 29 putts in her second round -7  under par 63, to join Joanna at the top of the leaderboard on -10 under par;

“Today was really fun. I started on the first tee and hit my shot really close, made an easy birdie, then hit the ball really well and made a few putts early on so it gave me good confidence. I know I’m hitting the ball really well at the moment so it’s a matter of making putts. It happened today so it’s a big bonus.”

Joanna Klatten / Getty

Joanna maintained her position at the top of the leaderboard with a second round -4 under par 66, keeping cool in the scorching temperatures of 30C.

Joanna said she was very happy with the way things are progressing;

” I’m very happy with my round and very happy with how I handled things today. I feel really good about my game so I don’t really have that much pressure. I feel good, like I’m swinging the best I have. I feel pretty confident out there. My putting has been good for four or five weeks and that’s what used to let me down a little bit. My putting is solid and I think that’s the key to holding a leading position.”

Lee Ann Pace is in third position at -8 under par, just two shots off the French lead, but thinks she could win;

“I played consistent and didn’t make any bogeys. I hit 15 greens and think most of the fairways. I could have dropped a couple of putts coming in but the greens are quite tough. The par fours are quite short, the par threes are quite strong. The par fours are definitely attackable. I’m happy to be where I am with two days to go and I’m waiting for a really low one to come in. When that does come in I think I’ll win.”

Three ladies share fourth place at -7 under par, Charley Hull, Valentine Derrey and Azahara Munoz.

Charley said she could have scored better;

I played better today than yesterday. I just had a lot of putts that were lipping out that I got unlucky with. I could have had 14 birdies, so it was good. I was hitting it closer but had a lot of putts that lipped out.”

Azahara admitted she had a slow start to the competition, but is playing better now;

“Yesterday I had a slow start,  I had a bogey on one and two, and today was the opposite. I started par, birdie, birdie, so that was the difference. I was hitting my irons really well and my driver much better than yesterday. I put myself in easier spots today. As long as you are on the fairway you always have a birdie chance because you have really short clubs in your hand, so you have a lot of birdie opportunities. You have to be patient though, because the greens move quite a lot, so it’s not very easy. Yesterday I had a couple of downhillers that I didn’t want to hit and left five feet short so it’s hard to judge”