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L.E.T. Lalla Meryem Golf Cup. Ariya Jutanugarn Hits the Front.

dragon logo darkLalla Meryem Cup Defending Champion Ariya Jutanugarn hits the front in the Lalla Meryem Golf Cup at the end of day two of this Ladies European Tour event in Morocco.

Defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn / Getty Images

The defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn carded a bogey-free -5 under par 66 in the second round of the Lalla Meryem Cup on Friday to grab a two-stroke lead heading into the weekend at Golf de l’Ocean in Morocco.

Ariya reported that her driver was under control today, but the putter is not responding;

“Today I played pretty good and my driver was a lot better. My game was a lot better than yesterday in general. Today my putting was not very good, but it was okay. Yesterday my putting was a lot better than today. It’s very nice to play here because having won here it makes me a lot more confident.”

Nina Holleder, in second place at -6 under par, is hoping to get into the Solheim Cup, She lives only a five-minute cycle ride from Golf Club St. Leon-Rot, the venue of the 2015 Solheim Cup;

“I played the last two rounds really solidly and hit 16 greens each day, so it was not too difficult as the putter was good. I had more chances for birdie but I’m happy with it. At least I hope to improve from last year and climb up a bit in the ranking so that I have the full tour card for next year, because I’m still in category 9b now.”

15 year-old French amateur Mathilda Cappeliez shares second place at -6 under par, she said it was an amazing day;

Mathilda Cappeliez / Getty Images

“It was an amazing day. I putted really well with no bogeys on the card, so it was easier to make a good score. My game was nice, always on the green. My game was really good. After the first nine I was minus two and just a little bit nervous, but after the birdie, eagle and birdie on 10, 11, 12, I was trying to make pars. I think my game was like the pros so it made me feel secure.”

Laura Davies, Gwladys Nocera, overnight co-leader Sophie Walker  and Sophie Giquel-Bettan are all tied in third place at -5 under par.

Laura missed a few putts, but is still in a good position;

“I’ve played really well. I’ve hit 17 greens the first day, 17 greens today and the story is not making enough putts. Thirty three putts both days, but having said that, I’m at five-under-par and in a decent position.”

Gwladys also thinks she should have done better;

“It looks good when you look at the board, but the way I played, when I hit the ball, it was so close to the pin and I didn’t make a putt, so it’s frustrating. I know I’m on top of the leader board but I’m pretty disappointed with my day.”

“I guess I am tough on myself and I always want to do better. I’m here to work and to win. For me, it’s not a good day, but I look at it that I’m on top of the leader board but could do so much better.”

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. Mi Hyang Lee Wins.

dragon logo dark

South Korean Mi Hyang Lee won the ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open at the Clearwater Golf Club.

Mi Hyang Lee

Mi Hyang Lee / Getty Images

Mi Hyang fired a -9 under par 63 third round to shoot to the top of the leaderboard at the NZ Woman’s Open, at -9  under par. One amazing course record round takes her to the summit, and victory.

Mi Hyang and Trophy / Getty

Mi Hyang was on the practice green, preparing for sudden death play-off;

“I came around to the clubhouse and my Dad said ‘You won’ because Lydia missed a birdie putt, and I cannot believe. It’s my best score in my life and I made the course record too so I am so happy now.”

“Everything is better, last two days my shot is not bad but my putt is so bad. I can’t concentrate because I have the sick. But I had more putting practice and it feels better. Putting is so much better. I had 26 putts today. I hope more tournaments I can have more good scores like 61 and 62. I got more confident and I got more good feeling in my golf.” 

Lydia Ko the Defending Championwas just one shot back at -8 under par after her third round of -2 under par 70, I guess the stomach bug was still needling her. It was a valiant effort under the circumstances, it just goes to prove that golf is a funny game, you can win from nowhere, actually Mi Hyang  leapt 21 places up the leaderboard with her final round fireworks to win by one.

Lydia was feeling better, but could not match the winning score;

“I think I played pretty good for my health and obviously Mi Hyang played great as well, 63 is a pretty amazing score. Luckily the winds weren’t up that much the last couple of days. So that gave us more opportunities to go lower but in saying that just because it’s calm doesn’t mean everyone can shoot 63.”

Lydia accepting second place / Getty

Three ladies tied in third place at -7 under par for the tournament, they are; Seonwoo Bae, Anya Alvarez and Beth Allen.

You have to admire Laura Davies, she made the cut and still battled it out with ladies more than half her age, well done Laura.

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.

Omega Dubai Ladies Open. Pornanong Prevails.

Omega Dubai Ladies Masters

Pornanong Phatlum wins the Omega Dubai Ladies Open in a thrilling finish at the Emirates Golf Course.

Pornanong Phatlum / Getty

Pornanong produced a piece of magic on the 18th hole to win the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, firing her approach shot,using a 54 degree wedge, over the lake guarding the green to within two feet of the cup and holed the birdie putt. Her final round of -6 under par 66 giving her a winning tournament total of -15 under par. Pornanong said she just stayed calm;

“I am very excited. I just played my own game and stayed calm under pressure. I have learned how to stay focused through meditation which I practice with my brother, who caddies for me. When I’m on the course I just play my game and I didn’t think about the win, or like, I don’t want to pressure myself.”

Stacy Lewis had to settle for second place, which was a disappointment for her as both players stood on the 18th tee, tied at -14 under par. Stacy had a final round -3 under par 69, a bogey four on the par 3, 15th hole was her undoing;

“I’m disappointed, the back nine that Pornanong played was pretty impressive. She hit golf shots when she needed to and made the putts and I didn’t. It’s been a really good year, it’s had it’s highs and lows. I’ve played some really consistent golf.”

Carlota Ciganda was in third place, a distant -7 under par, with Diana Luna in fourth position.

The defending champion Shanshan Feng, Laura Davies and Louise Larsson tied for fifth place.

CN Canadian Women’s Open. Inbee Park & Cristie Kerr Share Lead After 36 Holes

CNCanadianWomensOpen_188x84

Inbee Park and Cristie Kerr share the lead at the CN Canadian Women’s Open at Royal Mayfair Golf Club after 36 holes have been completed.

Inbee Park / Getty

Inbee really enjoy’s starting a round with a birdie;

” I always love to start with a birdie, it’s like a good luck charm for me.  I almost never finish around over par when I start with a birdie, and I love to start the hole with a birdie, that was a good start. I hit the ball really good, and I obviously putted really good out there, on these greens, you can two‑putt from anywhere.  I think it’s pretty good.  If you slightly over-hit it, you can easily three‑putt.  So the three‑putt is something that I was trying to avoid.  I kind of three‑putted just off the green on number two which was a little disappointing.  Except for that, I think I putted really good and putted really solid out there. I think it’s always good when you’re playing with a partner while she’s making a lot of birdies and it makes you want to have more birdies. It already felt like a final round, and trying to make more birdies and trying to get the momentum going.”

Cristie said is was always good to partner Inbee;

“It’s always fun to play with Inbee, she always plays well, and I enjoy playing with her.  Probably going to play with her again tomorrow.  I mean, geez, four under on this golf course is great.  I’m mad at myself for knocking my last tee shot, but I did so much good stuff in the last couple days.  I mean, you can’t do anything about a porta potty door slamming in your back swing, and that was what it was. I sucked it up, and I made a really good two‑putt for bogey.  Just got to do the same thing and not bogey the last hole.”

Defending champion and first-round co-leader Kiwi Lydia Ko shot -1 under par 69 and sits two shots back in a tie for fifth at -6 under par. Playing partner Charley Hull shot a -4 under par 66 and is in a tie for eighth at -5 under par. Joining Lydia on -5 under par are Paula Creamer and LPGA legend and 20 time winner  Laura Davies.

Laura Davies / Getty

Among those missing the cut were: Beatriz Recari, Brooke Pancake, Jennifer Kirby, Morgan Pressel, Karrie Webb, with Stacy Lewis who withdrew after the first round.

L.E.T. Turkish Airlines Ladies Open. Two Tied At The Top

Turkish Airlines Ladies Open

There are two players tied at the top of the L.E.T. Turkish Airlines Ladies Open at the conclusion of the third round at the National Golf Club in Antalya, Turkey. Carlota Ciganda from Spain and England’s Charley Hull sit atop the leaderboard at -4 under par.

Charley Hull / L.E.T.

English rookie Charley Hull is attempting to win her first L.E.T. event and her third round score of -4 under par 69 has catapulted her to the top of the leaderboard for the start of play in the final round tomorrow. She has had two second place finishes already this year, at the  Lalla Meryem Cup and also the South African Women’s Open.

Charley was happy with her third round apart from the three putt on the last hole today;

” It was a really good round but I’m very disappointed because I three-putted the last hole. I haven’t parred that hole yet, It was a really good day but I’m a bit annoyed. You want to be as good as you can. I didn’t expect anything but I played in quite a few events last year and did well and I felt like I was playing well so I kind of did expect. I wanted to come out with a bang, and I have.”

Carlota Ciganda / L.E.T.

Carlota had a third round of -1 under par 72, but thought she had played better than that score;

” I did one-under today, so I think it’s good to make under par on this course, I think I played better than the result. I missed a few putts out there and I’m happy because I’m at the top and there is one more day so I’m going to try my best. I hit good shots, very solid off the tee, so I’m going to try to keep it up.”

Alone in third place is defending champion  Christel Boeljon, her fabulous third round of -6 under par, 67, has put her right back into the mix.

Christel was pleased with today’s effort but rued yesterdays 78;

” A good round, I’m really happy with it and no bogeys, so my game felt really good and the stats are very good, so I’m really pleased. Yesterday, I felt like I didn’t get my rhythm. I didn’t get my tempo and I was fighting to find it all round long. Today, the swing felt really solid; I had a good rhythm and therefore I hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens and made some good putts.  I know you can make bogeys here and I know you can make a lot of birdies. Its not easy, so if you have a good round, it’s a really good round, but if you have a bad round, it can go fast. I’m happy to be back near the leaders. I don’t know how they are going to finish but it’s nice to be close and we’ll see what tomorrow brings. Tomorrow I’m just going to try to do the same, play one shot at a time.”

The more experienced players made a move in the wrong direction on moving day, the younger ladies showed them the way. Trish Johnson, now in a share of fourth at  -2 under and Laura Davies sharing tenth at +1 over par lost out. Carmen Alonso  ended the day back in a share of 15th on two over par after a six-over 79.

L.E.T.Turkish Airlines Ladies Open. Trio At The Top

Turkish Airlines Ladies Open

On the Ladies European Tour there is a trio of ladies tied at the top of the leaderboard at the half way stage of the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open.

Laura Davies, Trish Johnson and Carmen Alonso are all tied at -4 under par for the tournament at National Golf Club, at Antalya Turkey.

First round leader Carlota Ciganda watches Laura Davies tee off / LET

Laura did not think this course suited her game, but that she putted well for her -3 under par round of 69;

” It’s not a course that I generally think suits my game because it’s pure precision golf and obviously I’m not known for that, but it just shows that a bit of discipline, you can actually get it round. I putted well today which is something I haven’t done for the last 18 months. I really holed two very good par putts and they are almost more important than the birdie putts. Finishing the last with those three shots was great.”

Trish Johnson / LET

Trish was talking to reporters about her -2 under par second round of 71 when Laura made birdie on the 18th green;

” I think Laura’s just made birdie at eighteen, which is typical, always taking the limelight away. I played well, played sensibly. It was tough today, hard work. You can see from the scores no one’s really made a load of birdies. Pins were tough, tricky conditions and it just felt like a day for hanging in there really. My short game’s good, my putting is good; most of its good, so hopefully two more days and we’ll see how it goes.”

Carmen Alonso / LET

Carmen was really happy to be joint leader, especially after she struggled for a double bogey on hole eight;

” I’m really happy to be the leader and to be in the tournament, so nothing to say, no complaints!”

First round leader Carlota Ciganda is just one shot back of the leaders at -3 under par, she also fell to a double bogey, on twelve, but also threw in two bogey’s, she struggled on the par fives today;

” I’m still there in the mix. I had a good day of playing golf and from tee to green it was really good but then I had a few holes where I didn’t hit the ball that well and that was on the par fives. I made a few mistakes on those, a double and two bogeys, so that was a bit hard.

It is really tight at the top, and the par 73 lay-out is proving to be a tough test, maybe the experience of Laura Davies or Trish Johnson will be enough to overcome the talented bunch of youngsters.

World Ladies Championship. Mission Hills. Suzann Petterson Wins

Suzann Petterson of Norway won the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills, China.

Suzann Petterson / LET

 

Suzann fired a last round of -6 under par 66, to claim the title at Mission Hills, Sandbelt Trails Course with a tournament total of -18 under par. That magnificent last round was good enough to claim the title, which had seemed destined to go to Inbee Park.

A happy Suzann felt that she could have gone lower;

” I felt like there was a 64 out there today and I got off to a good start. My goal was to get it to 20 under par. I said if I get beat at 20, I can live with it. I know Inbee is in there and if she just gets one look at a putt, it’s in, so I had to bring my best and the putter was hot today. I’m very happy with how the game is and I’m just very happy to see the work that the China Golf Association does with the kids and how they grow the game. I’ve been really enjoying myself here and I feel comfortable. I like coming back and playing on the European Tour.”

Inbee could only post a last round score of -3 under par 69, and she lost out by just one shot, finishing on -17 under par. The fireworks started on the second hole with a two shot swing.  Inbee had a bogey while Suzann sunk her birdie putt, the two were now level. The pair of them battled it out between them, but Suzann eventually won through. These two players were well clear of the rest of the field. Inbee said she really wanted to win the singles;

 ” I don’t really worry about the team competition because we had a big lead for the last three days. I think we are pretty comfortable for the team event. So I just focus on the game as an individual today because I wanted to win this tournament. I didn’t play great today but Suzann played great so she did it. I am happy that we won as a team. It was a great experience.”

Third place went to Shan Shan Feng, the defending champion from last year, she completed the tournament at -11 under par.

Inbee had to settle for the Team win, with her partner Ha-Neul Kim, the South Korean pair won by five shots from the Norwegian team of Suzann Petterson and Marianne Skarpnord.

Inbee Park and Ha-Neul Kim with the Team Trophy / LET

 

Thailand, represented by Ariya Jutanugarn and Nontaya Srisawang were third, they were  followed by England in fourth place with the pairing of Trish Johnson and Laura Davies.

Leading amateur was Simin Feng of China, with a tournament score of +3 over par.

Simin Feng / LET

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