NZ Women’s Open. Lydia Lift-Off.

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Lydia Ko had lift-off at the NZ Women’s Open, carding a second round 61 at Clearwater Golf Club.

NZ Women's Open

Lydia Ko 61/ Getty Images

Lydia carded an amazing record breaking second round -11 under par 61, to top the NZ Women’s Open leaderboard at -13 under par, and will take a three shot lead into the final round on Sunday.

She told reporters that a 59 had crossed her mind, and the bogey at the fist made her angry;

“I didn’t know what I was shooting, but when I went past the scoreboard on 13, I thought, `Oh, 59, that is the magical number.’ But I’m pretty happy with 61.”

“After the first, I was pretty angry. I got into the rough and it was pretty tough for the pin location. I left it short and that really made me angry as I did that yesterday and was not going to do it again today.”

“The greens were much better today and rolling better and after that eagle I just got myself into the right position.”

Sitting in second place with a -10 under par total is England’s Charley Hull, a second round -8 under par 64 moving her ahead of the chasing pack.

Charlie spoke about the greens here, and the difference from last week in Oz;

“Coming from Royal Melbourne last week the greens were so fast and really tricky. With these ones you can be a bit firmer and not allow so much break.”

“I think I had 26 putts. I hit some good putts out there, so I’m pretty happy with the way I played. It did enter my mind, I was eight-under and thought I could possibly get to 59.”

“You always believe you’ve left a few putts out there, but I holed a fair few as well. Going into the final day I think I’m in a good position.”

Beth Allen and Giulia Sergas share third spot at -9 under par for the tournament.

Dame Laura Davies made her move into the top 10 today after carding a -5 under par 67. The 2010 NZ Women’s Open champion is at -6 under par for the tournament and is currently tied for ninth place.

 

N.Z. Women’s Open. Anne-Lise Leads.

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Anne-Lise Caudal leads the N.Z. Women’s Open after the first round at Clearwater Golf Club.

Anne-Lise Caudal / Getty Images

Anne-Lise Caudal / Getty Images

Frenchwoman Anne-Lise Caudal shot a first round -6 under par 66 at the NZ Women’s Open to top the leaderboard at Clearwater Golf Club.

She said had been playing well, and was not under real pressure to keep the birdies coming;

“I played some good rounds last year, and then last week and the week before also. I had two good weeks, I was very confident on the golf course, and I feel quite confident on this golf course.”

“Not really, I am just going to do the same, shot after shot and focus on the present, if the birdies come great, if not, just keep patient, there is another day on Sunday.”

Sharing second place at -5 under par are, Marianne Skarpnord, Nanna Madsen and American Samantha Troyanovich.

There are another four players bunched together at -4 under par, amateur Hannah Green, Beth Allen, Giulia Sergas and Noora Tamminen.

Rolex World No.1 Lydia Ko  teed off in the not so calm afternoon conditions in her National open. Lydia reported that she found it difficult to adjust to the type of shots she needed and also the pace of the greens here;

“Last week you were aiming to pitch 10 metres short of the green and asking it to run up. This week you have to say to yourself, let’s just hit it.”

“Two different courses and two very different conditions. It was tough on me today to hit the ball by the hole and be comfortable.”

“They (the greens) are very much slower here. Last week they were running 11 and a half to 12 and here they are 10 to 10 and a half.”

“You watch your opponent come up short, then you hit it well past. It was difficult to judge. It is totally different, so now I have to get back into the NZ Open mode.”

Lydia finished in a huge group who are all at -2 under par. Four shots off the lead may not seem a lot, but with only three rounds in the competition it is a long haul to get back into contention.

There are 40 players who are currently below par after the first day, and the cut will be made to the top 50 professionals and those tied at the end of round two on Saturday.

 

 

ISPS Handa Australian Womens Open. Lovely Lydia Wins.

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Lovely Lydia Ko wins the ISPS Handa Australian Womens Open at Royal Melbourne in Australia.

ISPS Handa Australian Womens Open

Lovely Lydia Ko / Getty Images

Lydia, the World Number One claimed the ISPS Handa Australian Womens Open title and picked up the  Patricia Bridges Bowl. Carding a final round -2 under par 71 giving her  two shot winning margin at -9 under par for the tournament around the dangerous Composite Course at Royal Melbourne.

Lydia’s coach, David Ledbetter had been telling her to stand tall, she was head and shoulders over everyone else in this competition;

“We’ve been working on my swing and be tall is the part in my swing where I shouldn’t dip my head and I would say my height is 5’3″ so he said ‘Lydia, you were 4’11” the other day’.”

“He told me to keep my height and said I was 5’3”.8’ and I was like, ‘Ok, I’m getting taller’. We were talking about that in the sense of ‘be tall’.”

“Be cool was because we discussed that it was going to be hot and also be cool in the head too, be smart, play safe when you need to and then be aggressive.”

“Play smart was really the biggest thing he told me at the beginning of this week.”

She stayed cool when the pressure came, at the short par-four, the eighth, her wedge shot flew through the green and down into a deep swale behind the putting surface, giving her virtually no chance of getting up and down. A missed flop shot compounded the error, she gathered all her mental strength, got the ball on the green, and then sunk the long bogey putt;

“After I hit the shot, I said, I should have just hit that second shot the first time.”

“Even if I didn’t make a par, it’s an easier bogey and I had to work really hard for that bogey.

“I think that bogey putt was really good and if I’d made a double, today could have been a whole different story.”

“Time flies, but I’m still 17 though.”

Amy Yang finished in second place with a -7 under par total, her final round -1 under par 72 was not enough, but she did have chances.

Ariya Jutanugarn had a calamitous last round, +3 over par 76, it gave her third position with a -4 under par total, and left her five shots behind the leader.

ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. Lydia and Ariya Lead.

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Lydia Ko and Ariya Jutanugarn share the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open lead at Royal Melbourne in Australia.

ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open

Ariya Jutanugarn / Getty Images

Ariya and World number one Lydia will start the final round of the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open with a one shot advantage over their rivals. Both ladies sit atop the leaderboard at -7 under par for the tournament, but in the withering heat today both of them could only card  third rounds of -1 under par 71.

Lydia was asked if she would take that score for tomorrow, on those firm and glassy greens, and said she would jump at the offer;

“Yeah, I would in that heat.”

“They’re really hard. I’m scratching my head over a three-footer or a thirty-footer.”

“It’s really tough, and because the hole is so tight, the lip-outs, they hurt. They’re not nice here.”

“The greens are one of the hardest parts and because they are so firm, it affects the shots that are coming into the green also.”

“On a course like this, unless you really get going on a putting streak, you’re not going to make seven, eight birdies and shoot the most incredible eight under.”

“I think this course you really have to play smart and when you have those chances, try to grab it because birdies are hard to see.”

Power hitter Ariya has had chances before to win this year, and will do her best again here;

“I’ve had the chance to be the leader before, but my plan is to do my best. Whatever happens, I’ll just take it.”

Amy Yang is alone in third place, at -6 under par, following her third round -3 under par 70.

Aussie Katherine Kirk and Julieta Granada from Paraguay share fourth spot on the leaderboard at -4 under par, both with -3 under par rounds of 70.

Katherine reported that birdie making did not come easily, but she wants to hold the  Patricia Bridges Bowl tomorrow;

“It’s not easy to make birdies out there and I made six today and I’m still kind of a little puzzled as to how.”

“I know I made two long putts, so they’re just bonuses. I think that was probably as good as it was going to get today.”

“I’d be very honored. I actually had the pleasure of travelling on an Australian team in 2002 to Malaysia to play the World Amateur Teams Championship, and Patricia made the trip and she’s just an incredible lady,”

“I’d be delighted to hoist the trophy and certainly proud to fly the flag for Australia tomorrow.”

 

ISPS Handa Australian Womens Open. Three Young Ladies Share the Lead.

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Three young Ladies share the ISPS Handa Australian Womens Open lead at Royal Melbourne Golf Club at the half-way stage.

Lydia Ko,18 Ariya Jutanugarn, 20 and Ha-Na Jang, 22 have grabbed the lead in Australia.

ISPS Handa Australian Womens Open

Lydia Ko / Getty Images

World number one Lydia shot another -3 under par round to share the -6 under par lead at the ISPS Handa Australian Womens Open. On a day at Royal Melbourne where early morning fog caused delays, and the difficult Composite Course caused its own problems, rounds were taking up to six hours, and only one player broke 70. That lady was Ha Na, with her -4 under par 69 today, while Ayria carded -2 under par 71.

Lydia chipped in for an Eagle, with a 9 iron on the par four 15th, her second consecutive day with an eagle;

“I made on eagle on 14 yesterday and then I was angry that I came off with a par today.”

“I felt like it was a hole that I could easily come off with a birdie. I was kind of angry and that kind of anger led me to hit an aggressive drive on the 15th.”

“I was on the left edge of the fairway and I had 136 or something like that and I said ‘eight could be a little long,’ so I decided to punch a nine iron, and it landed just left of the pin and the mouth kind of feeded it right to the hole.”

Ha Na, in her maiden LPGA Tour season, has decided to keep it simple;

“I think only very simple thinking, fairway and green and then two putts and that’s it, no more thinking.”

Ayria is just enjoying life on Tour;

“I’ll just enjoy it and have fun, it’s why we play.”

Another youngster 18 year-old Charley Hull is alone in fourth spot, just one shot back at -4 under par for the competition, following back to back rounds of -2 under par 71.

Local legend, and defending champion Karrie Webb had a battle to make the cut, a par on the last got her into the weekend, but 11 shots off the lead;

“It’s actually hard to get in there and fully trust what you’re doing when you do hit a good shot and it goes over the back.”

“But I need to do that more. At this stage I’m not thinking about a result, I’m thinking about bringing on to the course what I’m doing in practice.”

Among those missing the cut were past winners Yani Tseng and Dame Laura Davies, while Sarah Jane Smith, Stacey Keating and last weekend’s RACV Ladies Masters winner Su Oh will all get a sleep-in.

ISPS Handa Australian Womens Open. I.L. Hee Lee Leads.

I.L. Hee Lee leads the ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open, at Royal Melbourne Golf Club, in Australia.

 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open

I.L. Hee Lee / Getty Images

I.L. scored a first round -5 under par 68 to lead the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at Royal Melbourne Golf Club by just one shot. She said she is aiming to be the most famous Lee in the field. On her first visit to the famed sand-belt layout here at Royal Melbourne, three years ago, she missed the cut at this tournament.;

“Now I know how to play this golf course better than when I last played here.”

“There are lots of Lees here, I want to be the most famous Lee, that’s my goal.”

In second place is Aryia Jutanugarn at -4 under par.

Thee are three ladies tied in third place, at -3 under par 70,  Alena Sharp, Min Seo Kwak and World Number One Lydia Ko.

Aussie Karrie Webb has five wins to her credit at this tournament, but will need to improve tomorrow if she wants to make a statement here this year, she currently lies at T 23 after her opening round of even par. Her real goal is the Olympics;

“It’d really be a feather in my cap. I’ve won at a lot of great golf courses when I’ve won the Australian Open and to add Royal Melbourne to that list would be an honor and really special.”

“I think just making the Olympic team is why I’m still playing a full schedule and why I’m working really hard.”

“I’m not taking anything for granted that it’s given that I’m on the team for next year, so like I said I need to stay fit and healthy. And as far as the Olympic Gold goes, that would be absolutely unbelievable.”

“What I think is really worth a shot or two to me is when I play in Australia and I have that crowd support. It gives me a boost myself, but I think it also helps me in relation to all the others in the field.”

“If there are other Aussies up there, they’ll get cheered for as well, but anyone else who’s not from Australia, they know who everyone is supporting.”

PURE SILK BAHAMAS LPGA CLASSIC. Gerina Gets in Front, But Play is Suspended Again.

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Gerina Piller gets in front of the pack at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, but the third round play was suspended, due to darkness.

Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic

Gerina Piller / Getty Images

Gerina sits on top of the third round leaderboard at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, despite the fact that she has only completed 9 holes of the round. Her -10 under par total score included three birdies today, where only two groups actually finished the third round.

Gerina said she felt comfortable out there today, and mentioned steady putting;

“I did.  I was a little nervous on the first tee, but I felt fine.”

“There’s just been a calm over me, and thank the good Lord that he’s watching over me.”

“Just minimize the mistakes, and fairways and greens, I mean, the wind could switch at any second, it can gust, and that’s really hard to deal with.”

” I think just staying steady with fairways and greens and two putting.”

There are six ladies on -9 under par for the tournament, with a further six on -8 under par. Throw the weather into the congested leaderboard and I guess anything, or anyone could win tomorrow. That is presuming they get around to completing the tournament on time.

Lexi Thompson, who is one of the six at -9 under par had the low round of the afternoon, -7 under par through 16 holes. None of these six have completed their rounds, the situation stands like this;  Kelly Shon (thru 10), Sei Young Kim (thru 7), Perrine Delacour (thru 12), Sandra Gal (thru 9) and first and second-round leader Brooke Pancake (thru 7) all join Lexi on the leaderboard.

In the group at -8 under par are  Inbee Park (thru 7) and Stacy Lewis (thru 15) .

Stacy felt good about her round today, and said she and Lexi will birdie hunting tomorrow;

“I feel good.  I would have liked to have finished that round off today, but just going to bed with a good number posted so far, you know, I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

“We’re going to have to, Lexi and I are going to have to keep making birdies like we did and hopefully get off to a good start like we did today.”

“We were talking about that we probably had the best golf going on today, we had so many birdies.”

“The first two days we were ball striking it well, just didn’t make that many putts, but today we were definitely feeding off each other off of birdies.”