Kia Classic. Cristie Kerr Wins.

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Cristie Kerr wins the Kia Classic at Aviara Golf Club in California, becoming the first American to win this event in it’s six year history, and also the first American winner on the LPGA Tour in 2015.

Kia Classic

Cristie Kerr / Getty Images

Cristie had a magnificent final round -7 under par 65 to win the Kia Classic with a -20 under par total, a new tournament record, and a two shot victory;

“I love to win.”

“Golf has always been great to me, always given me special moments like this.”

“I’ve been working with a new coach, and I definitely found something this week.”

“He said I was going to have a hot round, and he was right. I just found something. I’m just real happy right now.”

“I feel obviously very confident. I am so happy that my caddie and I got a win early on the board together.”

“Just felt like it was meant to be, our first win together, even our first Top 10 together really.”

“I mean we just fell in stride and the team that we are is pretty amazing in such a short period of time.”

In second place came Mirim Lee, her last round -2 under par 70, for -18 under par total not enough to deny Cristie the win

World number one Lydia Ko was third, at -17 under par, and kept her consecutive under par rounds total going. It now stands at 28, just one short of equaling the record of 29 set by Annika Sorenstam.

Lydia said her ball striking was not so good;

“Today, I just said, like even at the Coates, I wasn’t hitting the ball very well.”

 “I was just holing a lot of good putts, and that was kind of what was going on today. Obviously I stuck a couple close, and that was good.”

“I think some parts of I just gotta be confident in my game still because I know that I’m playing good enough, that I can trust my putter even though my ball striking is a little off or vice versa.”

 

Lalla Meryem Cup. Gwladys Nocera Wins.

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Gwladys Nocera wins the Lalla Meryem Cup on the Golf de L’Ocean course in Morocco.

Lalla Meryem Cup

Gwladys Nocera / Getty Images

Gwladys shot a final round -1 under par 70 to win the Lalla Meryem Cup by two strokes at -13 under par. She was so pleased to have avenged the play-off defeat of last year to Charley Hull;

“I remember last year when Charley kept on getting birdies in the last round, so I knew this morning that it could happen.”

“All I kept saying was I need to play my game and make as many birdies as I can. I tried my best.”

“It was a tough day towards the end. I took a really stupid double bogey which put me in trouble. I missed one fairway today and I took a double bogey, so that was a shame, but I wanted this tournament really bad.”

“I’ve always said it, and I’m really happy I did it.”

Three ladies finished in second place, all at -11 under par for the tournament, Melissa Reid, Felicity Johnson and  Nicole Garcia.

Felicity was disappointed not to have won;

“Gwladys is a great player who’s done this many times before.”

“It’s been a little while since I’ve been in contention so it’s nice to get that feeling on a Sunday: that’s what we play golf for.”

“I’m disappointed at the moment but give me a couple of hours and it will be alright.”

Melissa was pretty contented with second place;

“I actually felt pretty good this morning and it’s nice to be in this position, put yourself back in contention.”

“My driver was not a good boy today but I scrambled really, really well. I holed a chip and holed a pitch, so it’s one of those things.”

“I’m really happy with the progress I’m making. It’s a huge positive and I would have taken second at the start of the week.”

Nicole was happy with her progress, especially starting the final round well;

“I started off pretty well. I was three under after nine holes and I thought if I can just keep it going and make one or two more birdies I might stand a chance but unfortunately that didn’t happen.”

“It does make me feel a lot more settled. I had a good week so hopefully I can carry on the theme through the year.”

Defending Champion Charley Hull had a final round -5 under par 66, to finish T8, and was happy with her recovery from a poor start due to illness;

“I’m really happy with the way I finished and especially being nine under for the weekend.”

“I hit all the fairways today and my game is in good shape. I think I came back strong after being ill earlier in the week and I’m feeling good about the way I’m hitting it going into the first major of the year.”

 

Kia Classic. Mirim Lee Leads

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

Kia Classic

Mirim Lee / Getty Images

Mirim  said patience was the key for today’s success, -6 under par 66;

“I think comfortable, just I think patience, patience, patience.”

“I’m still a rookie out here, but I feel like I’ve had a lot of experience and played in a lot of tournaments to know that I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself, so over the last stretch of holes, I just played my own game, stayed in the moment, and to be honest, I didn’t even know what I shot until I signed my scorecard.”

“I was like, Mike, is this right, 66? But I have grown to learn that that’s how I play my best golf, and I’ve been able to channel that throughout this week.”

“I still want to do my best to stay calm, obviously last week at the Founders I had a really good third round and I was second or third place going into the last day, and I got a little ahead of myself, and I shot 2‑over the last day.”

“So I just want to stay calm, hold on to my last couple rounds here, and just play golf.”

Alison Lee also sot -6 under par 66 today, and is in second place on her own at -15 under par;

“I feel like I’ve had a lot of experience and played in a lot of tournaments to know that I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself.”

“So, over the last stretch of holes, I just played my own game, stayed in the moment, and to be honest, I didn’t even know what I shot until I signed my scorecard.”

Sakura Yokomine and Cristie Kerr share third place at -13 under par.

Si Re Pak equaled the course record -8 under par 64, and sits T5 at -12 under par for the tournament;

“I had a shoulder injury last year, and this is my third event.”

“I wasn’t expecting anything, just each week hopefully get better. My game is getting together.”

“But until yesterday it wasn’t really great, but today it was happening, so it really helps a lot. It was really fun.”

World number one Lydia Ko is also T5 at -12 under par, and keeps the under par round streak going with -5 under par 67 today. Her her consecutive rounds under par streak now stands at 27;

“I played with Katie Burnett today and we both made a good share of birdies, and that’s what I’m going to try and do tomorrow with the other girl that I’m going to play with.”

“It’s a tough course. You can get really lucky and make a lot of great putts, and I think the person that is going to hole a lot of putts tomorrow is going to be the winner.”

“Just being packed up towards the leaderboard, you never know who’s going to be the winner.”

 

 

Lalla Meryem Cup. Gwladys In Position To Win.

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Gwladys Nocera put herself in the perfect position to win the Lalla Meryem Cup at  Golf de L’Ocean in Morocco.

 Lalla Meryem Cup

Gwladys Nocera / Getty Images

Gwladys carded a third round -3 under par 68, to post a Lalla Meryem Cup total of -12 under par, and take a two shot lead into the final round. She lost in play-off last year to Charley Hull, when she also started the final round with a two shot advantage;

“I was playing well the front nine and didn’t make any putts so it was nice to see the putts drop. I’m playing well.”

“It’s a course where everyone can shoot a low score so I have to play really well tomorrow.”

Nicole Garcia, from South Africa, is alone in second place, at -10 under par, and she will be chasing her first Ladies European Tour title;

Lalla Meryem Cup

Nicole Garcia /Getty Images

“I’ve never played in the final group before on the LET so I got to play with Gwladys, which was quite nice.”

“She’s a lot more experienced than me so hopefully I’ve learned some things today.”

“I’m just going to try to keep calm, not think about it and if it’s my day, it’s my day.”

Sharing third place at -8 under par are Ursula Wikstrom and Eleanor Givens who are also both hunting their first L.E.T. titles.

Eleanor thinks she has a good chance, she just needs to play solid golf;

“I’m putting well and chipped in today, on number 12, so that makes a difference.”

“Everybody’s out there looking to win, so I’ll try to do that, but just do the things that are under my control.”

“If I hit every shot as solidly as I can then I’ll have a good chance.”

Felicity Johnson lies in fifth place on -7 under par, and said she is playing well and is in a good place;

“I feel like I left a few out there today.”

“I hit 17 greens which is pretty good. I didn’t roll the ball as well as I have the last two days but it’s in a good place going into tomorrow.”

Defending Champion Charley Hull, who just made the cut, moved up the leader board today into a tie for 28th place, carding a -4 under par 67, but is still 11 shots off the lead, and not much chance of catching the leaders.

 

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.

 

Lalla Meryem Cup. Tonje and Ursula Lead.

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Rookie Tonje Daffinrud, from Norway and Ursula Wikstrom from Finland, lead the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco.

Lalla Meryem Cup

Tonje Daffinrud / Getty Images

Rookie Tonje Daffinrud and Ursula Wikstrom both shot first rounds of -4 under par 67, to lead the Lalla Meryem Cup at Golf De L’Ocean in Morocco.

Tonje, playing in only her third Ladies European Tour event was really happy with her round. She played in eight events on the LET Access Series last year, and had one win, at the Azores Open, and said that experience was good for her.;

 “It was a pretty good start to the week. I felt really good so I was able to attack some pins and I’m happy.”

“It helped me a lot. I came straight from college so I didn’t know what professional life would be like so for me that was the only way to get into it. I learned a lot from it. Just the routine of travelling every week and you become friends with all the players.”

“It’s early. I’m not going to put too much into it. I feel great today and I’ll go out and do the same tomorrow. I had a good start to the season and this is where I want to be. I’m here to win.”

Ursula seen in the picture with her caddy husband , said it had been an easy round, with only one bogey;

Lalla Meryem Cup

Ursula Wikstrom / Getty Images

“It was an easy day and I sneaked in the score. I didn’t feel I was playing that well, but only five birdies, one bogey and not too many mistakes.  I used all the chances that I had.”

“I made one bogey on number one, my 10th, where I hit it on the left and had to take a drop.”

 “After yesterday it was pretty easy, because there was not that much wind but the greens are much faster than at the beginning of the week and also the fairways, so you get more run on the ball, but we’ve played here so many years that I know the course quite well.”

On a tightly compacted leaderboard the leading two ladies have a one stroke lead over 10 other players, all on -3 under par; Gwladys Nocera, Jade Schaeffer, Anne-Lise CaudalTrish Johnson, Ellie Givens, Felicity Johnson, Florentyna Parker, Nicole Broch Larsen and 16-year-old amateur Matthilda Cappeliez.

Matthilda talked about last years tournament, and also mentioned today’s problems with a tree;

“I remember last year. It was good and bad memories, but it was an experience, so just keep going and forget the bad ones.”

 “I made a few birdies on the front and on the back also, so it was nice. Unfortunately I was unlucky on the eighth and I put my drive into a tree.”