Lotte Championship. Play-Off Win for Sei Young Kim.

White Dragon Golf

Sei Young Kim won the Lotte Championship in a play-off against Inbee Park in Hawaii.

Lotte Championship

Sei Young Kim / Getty Images

Sei Young Kim and Inbee Park were tied at -11 under par for the Lotte Championship title at the end of the final round.

Sei Young won the first play-off hole, the par four 18th, with an Eagle, holing put from 150 yards, to lift the trophy.

Sei Young carded a final round +1 over par 73, in wind gusting to 30 mph, at Ko Olina to match Inbee at -11 under par at the top of the leaderboard. Inbee had completed her last round with a -1 under par 71.

She had this to say about her dramatic win;

“I still can’t believe what just happened.”

“After the ANA, I had a tough time sleeping because that was my first opportunity to win a major tournament on the LPGA tour.”

“At the same time, I saw the possibility and the potential that I belonged there, and that I can win a major championship in the future.”

“I am pretty relieved that I think I can go to sleep tonight. Throughout the round today, I was telling myself, I don’t know if I can live with myself if I make the same mistakes in two consecutive weeks.”

“Today, I didn’t see it coming, I don’t know what I’ve done again to deserve this.”

“I feel like every time I win a tournament, I have to do something crazy, or overcome some type of obstacle. I don’t know why it keeps happening, but it feels good.”

Inbee had to admit she was beaten by a good player;

“She’s a great player, I think she’s a great fighter.”

I.K. Kim bogeyed the final two holes of her day for a +2 over par 74 that left her two strokes back at -9 under par, and alone in third place.

This event was completely dominated by South Korea, at the finish their players occupied the top five positions on the leaderboard, that must be some kind of record.

Lotte Championship. Sei Young Kim Prevails.

White Dragon Golf

Sei Young Kim prevails at the end of day 3 in the Lotte Championship at Ko Olina Golf Club in Hawaii.

Lotte Championship

Sei Young Kim / Getty Images

Sei Young carded a third round -2 under par 70, to post a -12 under par Lotte Championship total going into the final round tomorrow, a one shot lead.

She said through an interpreter that felt she had not played well today;

“I think overall I didn’t have the really good feel for my shots today.  Started to get better as the round went on, but my putting wasn’t working too well. Overall it was a pretty tough round.”

“I’m going to enjoy and try to have a good time, when I was playing the final round at ANA Inspiration I was under a lot of pressure.”

” I felt a lot of nerves during that tournament. But tomorrow I’m going to try to do the same thing I’ve done the past three days here and try to enjoy the rounds.”

” I think I’m going to be able to come out with a different outcome tomorrow.” 

“For this particular moment right now, no, I don’t feel the pressure.  Obviously once I tee off tomorrow I’m not sure what’s going to go through my mind.”

“Because I put a lot of pressure on myself and I was under a lot of pressure last time at ANA, I think it’ll be much better and I will have a different experience tomorrow, I believe.”

I.K. Kim is in second place at -11 under par, her third round -1 under par 71 not quite enough to keep pace with the leader, but is feeling good about her chances;

“I feel good, if I hit a good drives tomorrow and I make some good putts, I think it’ll be very interesting.”

Inbee Park is in third place at -10 under par, following her third round -3 under par 69, and is excited about the final round tomorrow;

“It’s always exciting to play with good golfers, so I’m excited for tomorrow.”

Defending Champion Michelle Wie carded a third round +1 over par 73 on Friday, to fall eight strokes behind Sei Young Kim’s pace.

She said it was an up and down day;

“Up and down day, pretty windy.  I felt like I made a lot of birdies, just made a couple stupid errors.”

“Just try to stay patient, you have a game plan.  Have to stick on the game plan.  The game plan works if you stick with it and do it.”

“Same thing for tomorrow.  I’m not going to change anything.  Just going to try to play the best I can.”

“Hopefully tomorrow I can go out there and shoot lights out.”

South Korea continues to dominate this tournament, holding the top five places at the end of day 3.

 

 

Lotte Championship. Kim & Kim Share Half-Way Lead.

White Dragon Golf

Sei Young Kim and I.K. Kim share the lead at the half-way stage of the  Lotte Championship in Hawaii.

Lotte Championship

I.K Kim / Getty Images

Sei Young  recorded another -5 under par 67 to post her -10 under par Lotte Championship total, while I.K. carded -3 under par 69 second round to go with her first round -7 under par 65, to reach the same total.

Sei Young took a three-shot advantage into the final round of the first Major last week, and shot a final round 75 to miss out on a win. But what she remembers is the win at Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic;

 “My win will certainly help me, but I think what will motivate me better was the fact that I didn’t win. That’s really motivating me this week and that is going to get me to play better.”

I.K. has been spending time on the putting greens, practicing hard;

“After ANA, I spent a lot of time on the putting green.”

“I felt like I was hitting the ball really well, having a lot of opportunities, but putting was letting me down a little bit.”

“I also went to Las Vegas, so putting and a little bit of fun and then here, I think that was kind of a good balance.”

Inbee Park is in third place, three shots off the pace at -7 under par for the tournament, and South Korea dominated the top of the leaderboard, holding the top four spots.

That domination became even more impressive with Chella Choi, Mirim Lee and Jenny Shin sharing fourth place with the lonely American Paula Creamer, all at -6 under par for the two rounds.

Paula may be the only American in the frame at the moment, but she just loves these golf courses, so the others had better take note;

“I love playing on these types of golf courses.”

“Just the wind, the conditions. Your misses are exaggerated so much when you play in this kind of weather.”

“Being a good ball-striker is incredibly important and that’s something that I’ve always felt was one of my strengths. For me, I like this. The windier it gets the better.”

The defending champion Michelle Wie was tied for sixth spot, in her home event, at -5 under par after a second round -3 under par 69, that included an eagle from 117 yards out on the par-4 15th hole, followed by what she called a “nerdy” dance.

“I kind of saw it roll over the hill and I was like, ‘Oh, OK, it’s disappearing.”

 “Then everyone went crazy. It was pretty fun.”

 

New Zealand Stroke Play Championships. 18 Year-Old Julianne Alvarez Wins

White Dragon GolfNew Zealand Golf

Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club.

Julianne Alvarez has won the women’s section of the New Zealand Stroke Play Championships played at Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club.

New Zealand Stroke Play Championships

Julianne Alvarez

 

Julianne won the women’s New Zealand Stroke Play Championships title, shooting a final round course record of -7 under par 67 on the World famous Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club course.

She reported that she was very proud of her achievement;

” I’m very proud of myself, I went out thinking I have to play solidly, and I did that all week. I enjoy the difficulty and challenge of this course, and links golf.”

“I shot seven under in the last round of the Lawnmaster, but this feels like a lot better round. So I guess you could say this is my best round ever.”

“On a course like Paraparaumu Beach you have to keep yourself in play, and in the right position, and I did that today.”

Julianne is coached at Paraparaumu Beach by professional Kevin Smith, he has been guiding her to success since she was seven years-old, he had this so say of his pupil:

“She’s won the New Zealand Amateur in 2013, ans she’s won a couple of Bob Charles events, but definitely the New Zealand Stroke Play is one of the pinnacle events for New Zealand golf.”

” For me personally, because with professional golf it’s all about stroke play. So I would tend to favor winning the New Zealand Stroke Play, especially at a great golf course like Paraparaumu.”

The men’s section was won by another 18 year-old, Toshiki Ishitoku, from Japan. His win came by way of a play-off against Nick Coxon from New Zealand after they both completed the tournament at -10 under par.

Toshiki was playing on a links course for the very first time, and rated this victory;

“Biggest of my career.” 

We wish Julianne all the best for a successful Professional career.

 

 

 

 

ANA Inspiration. Brittany Lincicome Wins.

White Dragon Golf

Brittany Lincicome wins the first LPGA Tour Major of the year, the ANA Inspiration tournament at Mission Hills in California.

ANA Inspiration

Brittany Lincicome / Getty Images

Brittany holding the ANA Inspiration trophy, after taking a plunge into Poppies Pond. A final round -2 under par 70 gave her a -9 under par total, she Eagled the final hole to pull level with Stacy Lewis. Stacy also finished on that score after her last round -2 under par 70.

Brittany was overcome with emotion at her win;

“Super emotional, I’m standing here, physically shaking like a leaf still. It’s over and I’m still shaking.”

“The first time it felt fairly easy because I thought I was so far out of the tournament that I never had a chance, I wasn’t nervous at all.”

Stacy was obviously very disappointed, especially with the errant wind;

“The initial reaction is disappointed, obviously, but I played great and I hit some really good putts there, especially at the end.”

” I just played solid all day, so I have to remind myself of that and not get too frustrated. It just wasn’t quite meant to be today.”

“Once we got back in that corner around 13, 14, the wind just kind of went crazy on us.”

“Couldn’t figure out which direction it was going. It was changing directions. It changed when we were on 10. It changed when we were on 16. It changed when we were on 18, multiple times during the playoff.”

“The wind was all over the place. I think that was the biggest challenge.”

Morgan Pressel finished in third position at -8 under par while Sei Young Kim, who had a three stroke lead starting the final round fell to a +3 over par 75, to tie for fourth place at -7 under with Carlota Ciganda and Anna Nordqvist.

ANA Inspiration

Brittany Taking The Plunge / Getty Images

ANA Inspiration. Rookie Sei Young Kim in Control.

White Dragon Golf

Rookie Sei Young Kim has taken control of the ANA Inspiration tournament at Mission Hills in California, and will take a three shot lead into the final round tomorrow.

ANA Inspiration

Sei Young Kim / Getty Images

Sei Young posted a third round -3 under par 69 to lead the All Nippon Airways Inspiration tournament with total of -10 under par at Mission Hills Country Club.

Through an interpreter she spoke of her excitement, and her dream of winning on the LPGA Tour, not to mention jumping in the pond;

“If I were to win it tomorrow, it would be the biggest dream ever to come true for me.”

“You know, just because, I’ve watched this tournament since I was young.”

“That’s why I feel I want it so much more, and I think the opportunity is there in front of me, and if I can, I definitely want to get my hand on it, and for sure it won’t be bad jumping into that pond tomorrow.”

“I feel a bit pressured right now, back in Korea when I was playing on the Korean Tour, I was known for coming from behind and winning tournaments.”

“But to be in the lead going into the final round on the LPGA is fairly new for me. So yeah, I feel some pressure there.”

Chasing her all the way will be Stacy Lewis, who sits alone in second place at -7 under par after her -4 under 68 today. Stacy knows that Sei Young will be a tough competitor;

“Coming in there, I didn’t make some of the best swings ever.”

 “Definitely didn’t deserve bogey on 15, so I was pretty happy making bogey there truthfully.”

“Seventeen, just kind of misjudged the wind and hit a wrong club there, and then the green is really bumpy down there by the hole.”

“But all in all, it was a good, solid day. Didn’t really have to work too hard, which is good.”

“I threw everything I had at her in Phoenix and she kept responding by making putts and hitting shots.”

 “They’re not scared, not scared at all.”

“You can tell they’ve got a lot of experience from playing in Korea, and they know how to win.”

“They know how to putt, which is most important, and I mean, they’re impressive.”

Three ladies are tied in third position at -6 under par, Morgan Pressel, Brittany Lincicome and Ariya Jutanugarn.

Ariya carded the low round of the day, -6 under par 66, which catapulted her up the leaderboard.

World number one Lydia Ko carded another over par round today, +2 over 74, and fell back to T48, one consolation was the fact that she has recorded at least one birdie in 191 rounds, and thanked the press for bringing it to her attention;

” Thanks guys, it’s always some statistic that’s going to get in my tail. But yeah, I didn’t know that.”

“Lucky thing that I birdied the 18th. It happened to me last year, too. I hadn’t birdied all day and then made a birdie on 18 to kind of get that going. It’s good that I’m at least counting a couple strokes off the scorecard today.”

 

 

ANA Inspiration. Sei Young Kim Leads.

White Dragon Golf

Sei Young Kim shot a second round -7 under par 65 to take the lead in the 1st LPGA Major tournament this year, the ANA Inspiration, in California.

ANA Inspiration

Sei Young Kim / Getty Images

Sei Young shot tot the top of the ANA Inspiration leaderboard with an amazing second round -7 under par 65. at Mission Hills in California, and was happy she had played so well;

“I feel really great because I was 7-under today.”

“I really hit the ball good and putting really good, everything really good. I’m very happy.”

Morgan Pressel is in second place at -5 under par for the competition, an even par 72 today halting any forward momentum;

“It was a little sloppy all around.”

“My swing wasn’t quite as sharp as it was yesterday, and I kind of made some sloppy bogeys and some really good pars, so it was kind of backwards.”

“I’ll be close to the lead, I give myself a chance for the weekend, and that’s all these two days really that I can do.”

There are three ladies tied in third place, at -4 under par, Brittany Lincicome, Jenny Shin and Catriona Mathew.

Brittany has been waiting for a golf course that suits her game;

“Some of the golf courses that we’ve had so far just don’t really fit my game, unfortunately, so it’s kind of like Missy and I were waiting and waiting for the next couple events to come.”

“Just kind of getting the practice and momentum and just trying to keep it together out there and not fall apart and keeping the nerves under control, just kind of getting ready for a golf course like this one that kind of fits my game a little bit better.”

“It’s unfortunate that I have to wait so long into the year for something that kind of fit my game, but yeah, it’s nice to be here, and obviously playing well, it’s really fun.”

 Stacy Lewis kept her head down to card a -3 under par 69 to move up the leaderboard to T6 on that score;

“I wasn’t really looking at leaderboards all day, so I didn’t honestly have any idea where I stood.”

“But I knew the course was playing hard, and I just had to keep hanging in there, and really just happy with the finish.”

“This golf course seems to play differently every year, the last two years you’ve had to make birdies, and then this year it’s playing hard again.”

“I would rather have it like this where it’s grinding out pars, making sure you’re hitting it on the right side of the hole, just playing smart golf. I’d rather have it that way, just because I think it forces you to think a little bit more.”

Sadly Lydia Ko failed in her attempt to break Annika Sorenstam’s under par consecutive rounds, crashing to a +1 over par 73 today, leaving her at even par for the competition. In a way she was glad that it was all over, and equaling it was OK;

“I mean, it was pretty awesome that I was near Annika’s record last week and even yesterday, and then I tied it.”

“It was so cool that I’m tying with someone amazing and as great as her. I was like, man, I would love to reach 30 in a way.”

“But as I said before, I’m relieved that this question is not going to be asked, but I think 29, I wasn’t counting, and 29 under-par rounds is pretty good in my book.”

ANA Inspiration

Lydia /AP

Annika was full of praise for Lydia’s effort;

“I applaud Lydia and her play over the last few months.”

“I am impressed with the composure she shows at such a young age and I think we’ll be hearing a lot about her in the years to come.”