Kia Classic. Morgan Pressel Shoots 64 to Equal Record

 

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Morgan Pressel shoots 64 to equal the course record and to share the lead in the Kia Classic at the half-way point at Aviara Golf Club in California.

Kia Classic

Morgan Pressel / Getty Images

Morgan carded a second round -8 under par 64 to top the leaderboard at -10 under par with Mirim Lee at the Kia Classic.

Morgan spoke of her stress free round, hitting it in close and putting very well;

“It was definitely stress free, I hit almost every fairway, and I think 16 or 17 greens. And I had a chance of birdie on almost every hole”

“I think there was one hole I had a par putt of two feet, so that was nice. I just hit it where I wanted to hit it today.”

“It’s been a while since I’ve kind of been confident knowing where the golf ball would go, and so it was nice to swing freely out there today and have the result that I did.”

“I mean the greens are difficult and tough to read, and they are bumpy, especially later in the day. So that kind of puts it all in perspective as how difficult the greens are out here.”

“But early on I made a couple of really long putts, you kind of feel like your stealing them when they go in, so that was nice.”

“I was hitting it close too, so I gave myself a lot of opportunities, and certainly some of them went in, and I had one that was a kick in, that was nice too.” 

Alison Lee and Christie Kerr are tied in third place, just one shot behind at -9 under par, while  Maria Hernandez, Sakura Yokomine, Hyo Joo Kim and Brittany Lang are together in 5th position at -8 under par.

Stacy Lewis and Lydia Ko are currently at -7 under par for the tournament, Stacy with -3  69 today and Lydia -2 under 70. They are tied in 9th place with Alison Walshe.

Lydia has now recorded 26 consecutive rounds of golf under par, and  she is just three rounds away from tying the LPGA record of 29, held by Annika Sorenstam.

It’s not something that Lydia spends too much time thinking about;

“You know, you don’t know because at the end of the day it’s just you’re talking about that round and that tournament and how well you finished.”

“But I guess it’s been pretty good and I’ve been playing pretty solid the last couple of weeks, especially when we went down under, Australian, New Zealand to Singapore.”

” So yeah, you know, it’s a  pretty cool streak, but you just never know, and I’m not going to be counting.”

 

Valero Texas Open. Jimmy Walker Leads

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Jimmy Walker leads the Valero Texas Open at the half-way stage at TPC San Antonio.

Valero Texas Open

Jimmy Walker / Getty Images

Jimmy used a hot putter to put together a second round -5 under par 67 in the Valero Texas Open, and would dearly love to win at Home;

“I was just kind of around the hole, didn’t make anything, and then finally got one to go on six.”

“I hit a good iron shot, just got it on top of the ridge there on 7 and made that putt.”

“And that 12-footer I made for birdie on the par-5, 8th hole, that was a nice little finish.”

“I’ve been rolling it pretty good, I’ve been working hard on my putting at home and it was ready to go this week. It feels like the hard work is paying off.”

“A win anywhere means a lot, but being at home, you get to have parents, in-laws, friends, best friends, distant family.”

“It would be cool. It doesn’t put anymore pressure on you, I think. If anything you’ve got a nice support crew out there and you’ve got good vibes and good mojo, and I believe in all that stuff.”

“So I think positive energy is good. I think we’ll have a lot of that.”

Aaron Baddeley and Charlie Hoffman are still in touch, just one shot behind at -5 under par for the competition, sharing second place.

Kevin Na and Jordan Spieth are tied in fourth position with -4 under par totals.

Jordan said he would like to see the return of the wind

“I would like to see a little bit more wind than today on the weekend to have a chance to shoot a few under and make up some ground.”

 “Overall, I’m very pleased with today. I got a really good draw today, on top of yesterday, and took advantage.”

“It played about as easy as I think it can play today.”

“A couple of the holes were still in tough locations, but there should be some more gettable locations this weekend. But all in all, this was the day to take advantage.” 

“I’m in contention which is right where I want to be. I’m chasing Aaron and Jimmy, two really, really good players that aren’t going to give up the lead easily, so I’m going to have to bring my A-game.” 

Trophee Hassan 11. Four-Way Tie at the Top

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There is a four-way tie at the top in the Trophee Hassan 11 at the Golf du Palais Royal course in Morocco.

Trophee Hassan 11

Richie Ramsay / Getty Images

Richie Ramsay had a second round -6 under par 66 to join Richard Green, Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Oliver Farr at the top of the Trophee Hassan 11 leaderboard on that score.

Richie has missed a few cuts recently and is happy to be playing some good golf;

“The last few months have been frustrating.”

“You just want to go out and play and I’ve had a few niggling injuries. I’ve just tried to stick to my guns and make sure I stretch and have a good practice routine.”

“That builds up and slowly but surely it comes around and today was the day it happened. Hopefully it can stay for the weekend.”

Oliver came through the Challenge Tour at the first attempt last year, but has had a challenging start to the European Tour;

“It’s my first time here and it is absolutely fantastic to play in the King’s garden, it’s spectacular, that’s all I can say,” 

“This year has been great; each week there are new challenges. Dealing with everything is tricky but I’m enjoying it.” 

“Being in a share of the lead is great. It’s what we prepare for and practice for. We are only halfway through but hopefully I can be there on Sunday.”

Rafael had recently broken a toe, and had been wearing tennis shoes on the course, today was the first time out back in his golf shoes;

“I broke my pinkie toe on my right foot, not even a funny story, just banging it on a table.”

“I had to play in Puerto Rico in tennis shoes and could barely tie them. I then managed to get some really wide, and big shoes to wear in Tampa, and today’s the first day it has been OK to wear the proper golf shoes.”

“I’m pleased it didn’t bother me too much.”

Richard had taken a break from golf since his last appearance, which was in Thailand;

“I had a bit of break since Thailand and have not played a lot of golf.”

“I got myself ready for this week and to find myself six under after two rounds is great.” 

“I was pretty happy with the form in Thailand and the tournaments leading up to that. I’ve still got the same swing thoughts and mental thoughts, so it has carried on this week.”

Marcel Siem and Alexander Levy may have seen their Masters hopes vanish, poor second rounds have dashed their hopes of a Trans-Atlantic flight to the States.

 

Lalla Meryem Cup. Gwladys Nocera In Front.

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Gwladys Nocera is in front at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco.

Lalla Meryem Cup

Gwladys Nocera / Getty Images

Gwladys fired in a -6 under par 65 at the Lalla Meryem Cup to take pole position at the top of the leaderboard on the  Golf de L’Ocean course at -9 under par for the competition.

Gwladys was thrilled with her round, and putted well, which always helps;

“I’m really happy with the way things turned out today. I hit the ball well and putted well, so everything is in order.”

“I made a good putt on number one where I was six metres away and then I was two metres away each time, so some good putts. They were not easy, but I hit the ball well.”

“I just want to play my game. I’m trying to get ready for next week.”

“I’m playing the ANA Inspiration in the US, so I want my coach to come and work on my game. I’ve always wanted to win this tournament, so that’s why I’m here and I’ll try my best for the weekend.”

Nicole Garcia also had a -6 under par 65 and occupies second place on her own at -8 under par, which included an Eagle;

“I had a good front nine and I was hoping to keep it going on the back nine, but I’m happy with the score because the wind picked up a little bit.”

“I think the turning point was the par-5 sixth hole because I made an eagle there and then birdie, birdie. That got me going a bit so that was where my score went low.”

“When I first came here I was just hoping to make the cut, and I hope I’ve done that.”

 “Now, I don’t really have any expectations and I’m just going to play on the weekend.”

Overnight co-leader Ursula Wikstrom and the 16 year-old Mathilda Cappeliez share third place with tournament totals of -7 under par

The 2014 champion Charley Hull carded a level par 71 and scraped through on the cut mark at +3 over par. She said that it was never in doubt, just poor putting:

“I hit it really well today, just all my putts. I hit 16 greens in regulation and hit every fairway apart from two or three.”

“I was in it all the way.”

That’s confidence for you.

Kia Classic. Mirim Lee Leads.

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Mirim Lee leads the Kia Classic at Aviara Golf Club in California.

Kia Classic

Mirim and Caddy / Getty Images

Mirim shot a bogey free first round -7 under par 65, to lead the Kia Classic in California. She said practice was the key, and a new grip, good putting also helped;

“I practiced a lot this week, I changed the grip.”

” Today was putting.”

Yani Tseng is in second place at -6 under par while World number one Lydia Ko is in close contention at -5 under par in third position, tied there with Karrie Webb, Cristie Kerr and Xiyu Lin.

Yani had an Eagle at the par-5 10th;

“I never thought it was going to be that close.”

“I was a little like unbalanced, so I kind of tied my shoes a little bit. Actually, there was one second in my mind I was like, ‘How about if I hit it in the water.’ I was like, ‘Oh, if I hit it in the water, I just go drop another ball.”

“I got like a few birdies in my pocket and should be OK.’ So I was like, ‘If I make bogey, it’s no big deal.'”

Lydia is full of confidence in her golf game;

“I’m coming in with a lot of confidence and know that my game is there.”

“It’s always good to know that you can be aggressive and just to trust myself.”

“I’ve been playing pretty solid the last couple of weeks. It’s a pretty cool streak.”

“It’s not easy, I’m trying to take one round at a time, one shot at a time, and that kind of breaks it up a little bit.”

“It’s tough. Playing weeks back to back and all courses just being different, I think that’s the hard thing, but I’m just trying to keep focused.”

“I know that I’ve played well the last couple of events. It’s always good to know that you’re playing well. You can be confident.”

In the group at -4 under par is Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park and Lexi Thompson.

Lexi holed out from 98 yards for Eagle on the par-4 seventh;

“Downhill, a little downwind, and I landed my 55 degree about 95, it one-bounced, past, went back and actually stayed on the lip for a little bit and then fell. So, pretty awesome.”

The US Open champion Michelle Wie got her game together and carded five birdies on her front nine to challenge the leaders, but sadly ended the opening round -3 under par 69 after posting her third bogey of the day at the 18th.

 

Valero Texas Open. Charlie Calms the Texas Wind-Tunnel

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Charlie Hoffman calmed the Texas wind-tunnel at the Texas Valero Open, taking him all the way to the summit of the leaderboard.

Texas Valero Open

Charley Hoffman / Getty Images

Charley shot a bogey free wind-swept Valero Texas Open first round -5 under par 67, to sit on top of the leaderboard.

The  early morning starters faced wind gusts around 40 mph, while Charlie contended with a steady 15 mph wind in the afternoon at TPC San Antonio.

 

When almost 22 percent of the field (31 of 141) shoots 80 or higher, you know it is a bad day. So bad that Martin Kaymer carded +10 over par 82, and he was not the worst, the worst professional score today was +16 over par.

Aaron Baddeley is in second place at -4 under par.  On the driveable par-4 17th hole he decided to hit a cut driver, instead of going all out with a fairway wood and then watched in horror as the ball disappeared into the woods. He took three off the tee and holed out for an unlikely birdie;

“I was thinking of gripping a 3-wood or hit a cut driver, and I don’t know, I went with the cut driver and hit a pulled draw in the middle of the trees.”

“I just thought I’d just hit it straight and so I hit it and started walking and then heard the crowd going nuts, I was like, wait, I just made birdie.”

“I played really nice for the majority of the day. I just said to myself it was the wrong shot. Hit a straight one. It was straight downwind, get it going straight, it will go straight.”

“So I hit the second one and said, man, why didn’t I do that the first time? And it rolls up and goes in.”

“I knew it was going to be blowing, I saw the forecast, it was going to die down just a little bit.”

“So even going to bed last night I already had the mindset. I just had to be patient, whether you got off to a good start or a bad start. So I think days like today the mindset is the most important.”

Max Homa is in third place at -3 under par for the tournament, one ahead of Ryan Palmer and Phil Mickelson.

In a very strange occurrence, while hitting a shot from the fairway bunker, the head on Phil’s Callaway X-Forged ’13 8-iron flew off, leaving him with just the shaft in his hands;

“Yeah, it was weird, the shaft broke just above the hosel, it was just a weird thing. It happens. It’s part of the game, I guess. You hit enough shots it’s going to work out.”

“I’m just curious at what point on the downswing it came off, if it was right before impact or right at impact, because the shot didn’t come off very well.”

“I would have used it the next three holes, I had to feather a 7-iron all three times.”

Valero Texas Open

Phil and broken club / Getty Images

Valero Texas Open

Trophee Hassan II. Adrian Saddier Shines.

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Adrian Saddier leads the first round of the Trophee Hassan II in Morocco on the Golf du Palais Royal course.

Trophee Hassan 11

Adrian Saddier / Getty Images

Adrian had a bogey free first round -7 under par 65, to lead the Trophee Hasan 11. The day started with an Eagle on the 1st hole, a 530 yard par five, chipping in.

Adrian unfortunately lost his card last year, and naturally was very happy to be here;

“I’m very happy, I was very grateful to get an invite to play here.”

“This place is just unbelievable. I played very solid today. I had a chip in for eagle on the first then another chip in on six, so it was a great start and I kept it going.”

“I just have a little category on The European Tour so I will be focused on The Challenge Tour this year.” 

“I played last week in Madeira and although the tournament was cancelled I was playing well in the strong wind so I’m in good shape for this week.”

“It’s almost my best round; I shot 64 in Qatar last year, which was eight under, so this is one of my best rounds.” 

“If I could get a win it would change my schedule as at the moment I’m playing on the Challenge Tour. I just need to focus on each shot now and see what happens.”

Daniel Gaunt is in second place, just one shot back at  -6 under par 66 for his opening round.

George Coetzee, David Drysdale and Chris Wood all share third place at -5 under par, after their first rounds of  67.

Marcel Siem is desperate to get into The Masters field, after missing out by just 0.03 points last year. he currently sits with a large group at -4 under par;

“It’s a big week for me and four under is a good start.”

“I’m really excited about playing the Masters, I’ve never played it. I finished it off two years ago and still did not get in. It was a little horrible.”

“I’m going to keep doing what I did today, try hard not to make any stupid mistakes. I have got the experience and I know the golf course.”

“I will make enough birdies I reckon, just need to avoid the mistakes.”