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LPGA. JTBC Founders Cup. Karrie Collects the Trophy.

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Karrie Webb won the JTBC Founders Cup at the Wildfire Golf Club in Arizona.

Karrie Webb

Karrie Webb / Getty Images

Karrie fired a record equaling -9 under par 63 final round to sneak in at take the trophy, for a second time, by one shot at – 19 under par. She had started the day six shots back of the leader;

“I didn’t expect to be sitting here at the start of the day. Even actually when I finished the day I didn’t expect to be sitting here. So I feel a little bit lucky, I guess, to be sitting here. But it doesn’t make it feel any less special. Louise (a Founder member) told me that I had to go out and shoot 64 yesterday, which I let her down and I didn’t do that. So I made it up to her today, though.”

“It’s a very special event, and you know, I thanked Mike Whan out on the 18th green, but it really was a wonderful idea and concept that he came up with four years ago. I hope it’s an event that continues to grow and is around as a part of the LPGA for a very long time.”

” To be honest, I can’t really say I thought about winning today. I thought I could shoot a 63 or 62 and that still would’t be good enough, so I didn’t set my sights on a number.”

Leader at the start of play Lydia Ko, came up just one shot short. She was not the only one, second place was shared by five players, all on -18 under par. Joining Lydia on that score were defending Champion Stacy Lewis, Azahara Munoz, Amy Yang and Mirim Lee.

Lydia said she made some bogey’s, just at the wrong time, her final round of -2 under par 70 was not quite enough;

“I had a really good start. making four birdies on the first five holes was really good and I struggled in the holes after that. But you know, I tried to get myself together and I made some bogeys at the wrong time which wasn’t ideal, but I tried my best until the last. I think I played really well overall, so I am just going to take the positive out of it.”

Defending Champion Stacy said she started really slowly, and only got going on the back nine;

” You know, I got off to a really poor start and pretty slow start, and then I don’t know, I got to the back nine where I’m more comfortable and just kind of started to free things up a little bit, and I made birdie on fourteen, and you know, I kind of looked at the leaderboard and said if I can birdie the last four, you know, I can get in there and tie Webbie.  And unfortunately I just came up one shot short, but to finish the way I did, it was just really nice to hit the shots to make the putts at the end of the round and get some good; seeing putts go in always helps going into the next couple of weeks”

As always, the time to shoot a -9 under par round is the final round, at least one Aussie won this week-end.

LPGA. JTBC Founders Cup. Lydia Leads.

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Lydia Ko leads the JTBC Founders Cup at the Wildfire Golf Club in Arizona on the LPGA Tour.

Lydia Ko

Lydia Ko / Getty Images

Lydia shot a third round of -5 under par 67 to lead the tournament on -16 under par, for the three round total at Wildfire Golf Club. She said that there would be some nerves tomorrow, but she will try to control them to perform well;

“Obviously there’s going to be some nerves, of course, it’s always there any time. But it’s great that you’ve got a one‑shot lead. I’ve just got to take the positive out of it and I’m just going to play my own game, if somebody goes crazy low like shooting 10 under, 9 under or whatever, it’s not something I can control. So I’m going to control to the most what I can do.”

Mirim Lee and Jessica Korda are tied in second place at -15 under par, just one shot back in this closely contested event.

Jessica likes the way the course is playing;

 ” You know, the golf course is just set up so beautifully, so as long as you hit fairways and greens, you’re just fine.  The greens, certain greens are faster than others, depending on if you’re downgrain or into the grain.  Golf course is just beautiful, so it’s a pleasure to play. But the greens are a little bit bouncier in the afternoon and you can kind of see where people have walked and some donuts around the holes.  But in the morning, it must have been really nice.  But yeah, definitely was a little bit more aggressive, but kind of take whatever you can get out here.” 

Sun Young Yoo has slipped back to fourth position, at -14 under par following her third round -4 under par 68.

Michelle Weiis in the group of five ladies at -13 under par, and is excited to be there, in contention.

” I came out the afternoon looking at the leaderboard and saw a lot of 9 unders, a lot of 8 unders and was kind of like, I have to get moving today.  Just one of those days I couldn’t get anything to the hole but scrimmaged and shot 5‑under and really happy to be in the position that I am right now and I’m just really excited for tomorrow.”

“I’m just so excited to be in this position, that I have a chance, it’s just fun being in contention. So, I’m just going to make the most of it tomorrow and go out there and enjoy myself.”

Defending champion Stacy Lewis is in familiar territory, she is four shots back of the lead, exactly where she was last year when she came through to win. But Stacy was disappointed with today’s performance;

”  It would be awesome to win here again.  I’ve said over and over again, this is my favorite tournament and I love the concept of the entire event.   Just to win here, having the founders here, to win in front of them, it means a lot.  Pretty disappointing, I left a ton of shots out there today.  Just the greens were a bit softer and I just didn’t quite adjust to it.  Speed was a little bit different, and just didn’t make the adjustments. I needed something today.”

” Just watching the leaderboard, watching the scores early, I knew I needed a low one just to get close to the lead.  But you know, anything can happen.  I’m going to go try to make as many birdies as I can but I would have liked to have got a little bit closer today.”

Certainly anything can still happen in this tournament, low round today went to Cristie Kerr, -9 under par 63. Cristie said a slight putting change made all the difference, and some new irons;

” Honestly I kind of changed up my putting routine a little bit. I switched to PING irons this week.  I had been playing with PING wedges since the beginning of the year and everything is just so much more consistent.  Even the misses on the irons are just so much better.  I had a chip‑in today on a very difficult chip on twelve, down the left slope, I chipped in.  I was close to chipping it in all week so ironic that it’s on the most difficult one, that’s me for you.”

Cristie is five behind the leader, but another low round tomorrow and who know’s.

LPGA. JTCB Founders Cup. Mirim Marches On.

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Mirim Lee marches on in the JTBC Founders Cup on the JTBC Founders Cup at Wildfire Golf Club in Arizona.

Mirim Lee / Getty

 Mirim shot a -5 under par 67 to maintain her position at the top of the leaderboard in the Founders Cup at Wildfire Golf Club, with a -13 under par total at the half-way stage. She thought she had played some pretty dull golf on the front nine, she had this to say through an interpreter;

“I played a little boring on the front nine, so I went more aggressive on the back nine. It worked well so now I plan on being aggressive the rest of the week.”

Quite a bold statement, so look out you stars Mirim is being assertive.

Lydia Ko is just two behind at -11 under par for her two rounds, a -6 under par 66 second round helped her to move up the leaderboard to second spot on her own. She was surprised to find herself only two shots back of the leader;

“I was really surprised, I just gave myself more opportunities on the back nine. I played much better this nine yesterday, so I kind of thought, you know, you can make some more birdies and get closer to the leader.”

Sun Young Yoo shot the low round of the day, a sizzling -7 under par 65, which left her in third place alone at -10 under par for the tournament. She was happy to play early today;

“I played late yesterday, so today greens were a little better in shape. I don’t know, everything was working fine. Yesterday I hit pretty good and just hit a couple of bad tee shots. That’s it. But today swinging better and swinging with more confidence.”

There is a four-way tie for fourth place, all at -9 under par, including world number one Inbee Park, who had a steady second round -3 under par 69.

Inbee also had a slow start her round;

“I think maybe we had a quite slow front nine, Lydia and I and Jessica probably. On the back nine I think things went really well for everyone and especially last five to finish was a great finish. Today is probably worst day for me than yesterday because I probably missed a couple, two to three shots, and I mean I left a lot of putts out there today, especially No. 1 through like 13 I didn’t make anything.  So yeah, it was very good to actually see the putt drop on the last five holes, so it was a relief.”

Unlike the men’s tournament at Bay Hill, this competition is still wide open at the half-way stage. Tomorrow is moving day, lets see who makes a definitive move.

LPGA. Founders Cup. Mirim Lee Leads

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Rookie Mirim Lee is at the top of the leaderboard in the JTBC Founders Cup tournament at the Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix Arizona.

Mirim Lee

Mirim Lee / Getty

Mirim shot a first round -8 under par 64 to lead the Founders Cup in Arizona. Mirim said is was a good day, not too many long putts;

” Everything was good.  So today putting was a little bit not good.  Everything was good, yeah.  Good day, just two, three long putts.  So today no, not difficult today.  Easy today. Practice round and today morning I hit really good. It was good.  So everything is just good.”

Just one shot back after an opening round of -7 under par 65 is Morgan Pressel, this round could so easily have been a 59. She found trouble off the 3rd tee, playing the course backwards.  Morgan went through  the turn at -7 under par after shooting a 29 on her front nine, thanks to five birdies and an Eagle. She followed that with birdies on the first and second holes but then came that errant tee shot;

“I hit a very poor tee shot and ended up kind of on the side of this little bush, and I could have hit it left handed and there were a couple of burrowing animal holes around. I brought them over to ask, but I didn’t honestly think that I was going to get relief, and I don’t think that I deserved it.”

“I don’t know if I was necessarily thinking 59, but I probably just got a little bit excited, because I had never been that many under par in that short of a span of time. I just got a little bit quick, and came back to earth.”

There are eight players tied in third place at -6 under par, including Inbee Park and defending champion Stacy Lewis.

Inbee Park said the putts would just not drop;

” I was hitting the ball good all day today, but just on the front the putts didn’t seem like they wanted to go in.  I read a couple of putts wrong, and on the back nine I had shots a lot closer than the front nine, and obviously I holed some putts on the back nine. On the back nine I had shots a lot closer than the front nine, and obviously I holed some putts on the back nine.”

 ” We hit a lot of short irons on this golf course.  You have to shoot low scores for four rounds on this golf course, and obviously there’s a lot of opportunities here and you have to hole your putts.  And obviously on this back nine I hit a lot of good iron shots, and only mistake today was the three putt on number three, or 4, and yeah, that was my only mistake today.”

Stacy was making all her putts today;

” I hit some good shots, but had to make ; my speed was kind of off on the greens, had to make some five and six footers, but actually made them, so it kind of helped get the confidence going.”
            
” Then the back nine for me, it just sets up a lot better.  I feel like you can kind of free wheel it a little bit and still be more open and  made a few longer putts, but all day I hit the ball pretty well.”

Lydia Ko is in a seven way tie for 7th place, shooting a  -5 under par 67 for her first round, she had an excuse for fading late on in her round;

“I normally eat more than I did today, and I normally eat a lot, so that’s saying something. I forgot to bring my food and my protein bars. That’s my excuse.”

Honda LPGA Thailand. Anna Wins

dragon logo dark Anna Nordqvist won the Honda LPGA Thailand tournament at the Siam County Club, Pattaya Old Course.

Anna Nordqvist

Anna Nordqvist / Getty

Anna shot a -4 under par 68, for a -15 under par total to claim her third career LPGA Tour title at the Honda LPGA Thailand.

Anna said she was happy her hard work had paid off;

“I’m speechless to be honest, it’s been a couple years since I won.  I’ve been working very hard.  Had my ups and downs. Just couldn’t be happier to be here.  It was such a hard push on the back nine.  Inbee kept making birdies and Michelle was playing great.  Couldn’t really breathe until the last putt, so obviously I could just let go on the last putt. Michelle played great; Inbee kept pushing me at the end, I just really had to stay strong.  Had a rough first couple holes, but kept playing good on the back.”

“Just unbelievable to get that win again. You know, it was a grind this off‑season, but sitting here with the trophy it was well worth it.”

The defending Champion Inbee Park finished in second place, her final round -6 under par 66 was not quite enough to catch Anna. Her -13 under par total just two shots off the lead, but was one shot better than her winning total last year;

“I feel good, I mean, today my ball‑striking wasn’t as good as yesterday, I putted better than yesterday.  So I feel like my putter is coming back. I played one shot better than last year and didn’t win.  Still a very good result.  Tells me I improved a little.  I’m satisfied the way I played this weekend. I think I played a little bit better than I thought I would.”

Catriona Matthew finished the tournament with back to back rounds of -7 under par 65′s scoring a -11 under par total. A first round of 76 was really her undoing. Michelle Wei was one shot further back on -10 under par, a final round -3 under par 69 was not enough to keep pace with the leaders.

Lydia Ko had a disappointing last round of +2 over par 74, which dropped her down the scoreboard to a share of 19th place at -3 under par.

Honda LPGA Thailand. Anna Advances With 4 shot Lead.

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Anna Nordqvist advances her lead in the Honda LPGA Thailand tournament, extending her led to four shots at Siam Country Club on the Pattaya Old Course in Thailand.

Anna Nordqvist/ Getty

Anna is on course to lift the trophy in Thailand this week, by extending her lead in the Honda LPGA Thailand tournament to four shots after a third round -5 under par 67. Her three-day total of -11 under par puts her on top of a star-studded leaderboard. An Eagle on the par 5 tenth hole, resulting from a perfect fade with a 3-wood on her second shot, left her left a six-inch tap in;

 “Any time you can tap an eagle you’re pretty happy, I mean, I watched the leaderboard and saw nobody was really running away. But I knew there were a couple birdies on the back nine, but the wind picked up a little bit so made it a little bit tougher. I finished with a bogey yesterday so a little bit of a revenge going into eighteen today. Great shot from 50 yards up to the pin. Felt really good to make it and to leave the eighteenth green with some good mojo and can’t wait for tomorrow.”

Defending Champion Inbee Park is tied in second place with Michelle Wie, both ladies at -7 under par. At one time during the day Michelle took the lead;

” I took the lead, I saw that, but, yeah, I need to make a couple more birdies. There were a couple birdie holes coming in. I didn’t really take advantage of the driveable par 4  today. But birdies are out there. Just got to be consistent, not too aggressive on some holes, and got to make the putts tomorrow.”

Inbee, had been behind since the start of the tournament, but is now feeling more comfortable;

“I was like four or five back behind the leader to start, so last couple days been like a little bit of rusty from five-week break. I think just a little bit of everything didn’t really work out last two days. I was just trying to work things out and get used to the tournament feeling. That’s what I did today. I feel like I’m a lot more comfortable and a lot less nervous.”

Julieta Granada is alone in fourth place at -6 under par, she is followed by Yani Tseng, Cristie Kerr and Lydia Ko, who are all on -5 under par and in fifth position.

Low round of the day went to Catriona Matthew, a -7 under par 65, that could have been even better, she was on the pace to tie the tournament record of 63, until a double bogey on the par 5 18th hole. Catriona is currently placed tied for ninth;

” I gave myself a lot of chances and just holed them all today, then obviously a disappointing way to finish. I would have taken 65.”

Honda LPGA Thailand. Anna Is Still In Charge

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Anna Nordqvist is still in charge of the Honda LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club, Pattaya Old Course in Thailand.

Anna Nordqvist: Keeps lead in Thailand

Anna Nordqvist / Getty

 

Anna was pleased overall with her round which included three birdies and three bogeys, for even par 72, she remains at -6 under par for the tournament, and still on top of the leaderboard;

“There were some tough pins out there, a lot of them were on ridges, and I felt like I hit a lot of good shots and kept spinning off the ridges. Not much you can do. Felt like I hit it solid. A little disappointed to finish with a bogey on the last. Overall been hitting it great this week. Today I felt like all things were good. Just couldn’t get any putts to drop.”

 This is a position I been practicing to be in, halfway through and there are 36 more holes, but I’m happy with the way I’m playing. Hopefully can make a couple more putts over the weekend and that should take care of it. I think we all expected it to be warmer. Today with a little bit of rain and overcast it felt like I still had a lot of the energy leaving the 18th green.”

There are three ladies tied in second place at -5 under par, Azahara Munoz, Sandra Gal and Julieta Granada. Azahara and Julieta shot the low rounds of the day, both recording second rounds of -4 under par 68.

Sandra was -2 under par 70, and was happy with that effort;

” I think I had a pretty smooth front nine. I think I shot 3 under I think on the front. The back nine I thought it was going to keep going, but it played a little bit tougher and I missed a couple greens. I made a lot of really good up and downs, which was the key to my round today.  I’m pretty pleased with the day.”

Julieta holed out twice, with lob shots;

” It was interesting. Had a whole lot of rain on the front nine, so had to keep our cool and keep being concentrated. But I holed out twice, two lob shots today, so that was nice. It was very welcome.”

Early morning showers left the greens softer than usual and removed any extra roll down the fairways, making the course play harder. Stacy Lewis and Michelle Wie are tied in fifth position at -4 under par. Stacy shot a second round -3 under par 70, while Michelle carded a +1 over par 73.

Stacy commented on how soft the greens were;

“Yeah, very soft, there were a lot of back pins today, so it was hard to get the ball to stay up on those back shelves and get yourself to fly them all the way back there. Just had the rain to start and just changed the way the golf course played, kind of took me a couple holes to adjust to that. Once I did I hit some good shots. You just had to be a lot more aggressive, fly back to holes we normally can’t do that. Just played completely different than it ever has.” 

If the conditions stay like they were today, low scoring is going to made very difficult.

 

 

ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. Amazing Karrie Webb Wins

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

In an amazing performance Karrie Webb wins the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at the Victoria Golf Club.

Karrie Webb / Getty Images

Karrie carded a -4 under par 68 final round to lift the trophy with a total of -12 under par at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.

Karrie said she  had made the best of the windy conditions today and what a difference from the DQ last week;

“I feel very fortunate to have won today. But I liked my chances at the start of the day because of the wind picking up.  If we had another day like we had the first three days, I probably was a little too far back to have a chance, so I was thankful for the weather changing and I played as good as I have in a very long time.”

“I was hitting some quality shots early on and I realised that I’d gotten into that mindset and so I stayed on top of myself to make sure that that’s what I did and never tried to hit a shot.  I just played the shot that the conditions dictated. It’s amazing what happens, what a difference a week makes.  Obviously this time last week I wouldn’t be expecting to be sitting here, so I’m glad things changed around quickly for me.”

Overnight leader Chella Choi was in second place, just one shot off the lead at -11 under par. A drive out of bounds on the second hole was her undoing;

“I went out of bounds on the right hand side and that was a really big problem for me. It was a hard game today. I didn’t like that part but Karrie played so good today.”

Paula Creamer, Lydia Ko and Karine Icher finished tied in  third place at -10 under par.

Teenage sensation Australian Amateur champion Minjee Lee finished in a tie for 11th place, as the leading amateur, after slipping down the leaderboard with a final round of +6 over par 78 in the windy conditions. Karrie heaped praise on the 17-year old from Perth;

“She’s got more talent in her little finger than I ever did at seventeen.  She should hold her head up high.  She’s played very well the last two weeks, probably the best out of anyone consistently the last two weeks.  She should be really proud of herself.  You’ll definitely see a lot more of her.”

ISPS Handa Womens Australian Open, Chella & Minjee Lead.

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

Chella Choi and Minjee Lee lead the ISPS Handa Womens Australian Open at the end of day 3 at Victoria Golf Club.

17 year-old Aussie amateur Minjee Lee / Getty

It was a -4 under par 68 Minjee described as a mission, and it has booked her spot in the final group for the second consecutive week, and says playing with a smile on her face is the game-plan;

“Well obviously to make as many birdies as possible but just keep it in play and just keep hitting good shots and getting it close so I can hole the putt, because they weren’t really going in.  I’m happy with 4-under, I’m stoked with 4-under really.  I just play, I think it kind of lightens it up a little bit because I’m smiling all the time.  I have a good chat with my caddie. I think the game plan is always the same.  It’s been working so far, so why change it.”

Chella also enjoys playing, and tries to stay focused, it worked today as she fired a -10 under par 62 which included two Eagles, this was the first time she had accomplished two of them in one round;

Choi is chasing her first victory since turning professional in 2008

Chella Choi / Getty

“I try to enjoy playing and just focus on one shot and one shot and just keep putting.  I think if I just always hit the green, I have a lot of birdie chances.  So I focused on just my shot, before the shot and then shot. I don’t know why I played ten under today, it’s just amazing. I made two eagles today, so first time.”

The leaders are at -13 under par for the tournament, and will tee off together tomorrow morning.

Lydia Ko  is in third place at -11 under par following her -3 under par third round 69.

Suzann Pettersen is next at -10 under par, she stumbled through round three carding an even par 72. There are then eight players who are tied in fifth place at -9 under par. The list includes overnight leader, Caroline Hedwall, Morgan Pressel, Amelia Lewis, Holly Clyburn, Karine Icher and Marianne Skarpnord.

Karrie Webb recorded a -4 under par 68 to move to -8 under par, a full five strokes behind the leaders.

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.

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