ANA Inspiration. Sei Young Kim Leads.

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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.”

ANA Inspiration. Morgan Pressel Leads

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Morgan Pressel leads the ANA Inspiration tournament at Mission Hills Country Club, Dinah Shore Tournament Course, the first Major of the LPGA season.

ANA Inspiration

Morgan Pressel / Getty Images

Morgan shot a first round -5 under par 67 to lead the ANA Inspiration tournament at Mission Hills Country Club in California.

Morgan is looking forward to jumping back into Poppy’s Pond again, as traditionally the winners here do;

“I think every player dreams of having their name up on that wall, and the fact that mine is up there, it’s very, very special.

“I have so many great memories here, but I’d love to put it up there again.”

“I was just kind of lost after Singapore this year. I knew where I wanted my swing to get but I was having trouble getting it there.”

“I have a lot less movement on my golf ball which has been helpful.”

“Where I can now aim pretty much right down the center of the fairways. Really, honestly, I had no idea where the golf ball was going early this year, so it’s a big change.”

“I think for a long hitter out here who can take advantage of some of the par fives, which is helpful, there are places no matter how hard you hit it, you’re behind a tree in a tough spot in a bunker.”

“So I’ve always looked at this golf course as consistency as the tee. Yeah, Lexi hits it a long way, but if you watched her last year, she hit every fairway.”

“So I think the big key out here is just keeping the ball in play. And knowing sometimes on some holes which side of the fairway you need to be on so you can hit and have a good angle through your approach shot.”

In second place at -4 under par is Ai Miyazato, from Japan, who said she is not a long hitter, but it is where you place the ball that counts;

“I’m not a long hitter, not just this golf course, I think it’s a really good set-up, and it doesn’t matter the distance.”

 “It’s all about position and where you are, wherever you hit, you are.”

Four ladies are tied in third position at -3 under par, they include last weeks winner Gwladys Nocera, with So Yeon Ryu, Juli Inkster and Alison Walshe.

Juli thinks she is lucky to be able to play at this level, with all the talented youngsters around;

“I enjoy the game and I enjoy working at it.”

“I like the process of it. But these girls are our future. You know, I’m just lucky I can still come out here and compete a little bit.”

World Number one Lydia Ko is T10 with a -1 under par round today, which equals Annika Sorenstam’s 29 consecutive rounds record under par. One more round tomorrow will give her the record, but she admitted she did struggle today. Hopefully tomorrow she will achieve that milestone and then be able to concentrate on winning this tournament;

“Today I was so busy trying to make up-and-downs, or trying to make a good two-putt or make some birdies, because I really wasn’t hitting my driver well, and here the rough can get pretty thick.”

“When you’re in that position a record was the last thing I was thinking about. But, yeah, Lexi and I made two really good birdies on 8, and I got back to under par.”

“I think probably on my 1st hole, which was the 10th, I read a little note that David Leadbetter gave me prior to my round.”

“And I just went back. Just put myself back another step and just said this is a whole new nine. There are some birdie opportunities there, so I just try to keep it simple. But it wasn’t as simple as I would have liked.”

“The record wasn’t really in my head. I guess, post round, now that you guys are asking. Here it is.”

“But, no, not when I was playing. But I think because I was spraying it a little bit, it made me think less about the records and the after results.”

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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.”

 

 

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.

 

JTBC Founders Cup. Hyo Joo Kim Wins.

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Hyo Joo Kim, a 19 year-old rookie, wins the JTBC Founders Cup at Wildfire Golf Club in Arizona.

JTBC Founders Cup

Hyo Joo KIm / Getty Images

Hyo shot a final round -5 under par 67 to win the JTBC Founders Cup with a -21 under par tournament total.

She had this to say afterwards, through an interpreter;

“It’s impossible not to feel a little pressure or nervous, especially when your playing partner is playing so well.”

“If anything, I think the situation on hole 10 helped because after I went through there and I got a bogey, I just realized there’s no time to feel pressure or feel afraid.  I’ve just got to go out there and play.”

She also mentioned the rivalry between the South Korean rookies;

“I’m a rookie, too, so I don’t have time to think too much about it.”

“But I have known these players from since we used to play on the Korean ladies tour, and I know how good they can be.”

” In fact, everyone on the LPGA Tour is really good, otherwise they wouldn’t be here.  So I’m just trying to find my place.”

Stacy Lewis finished in second place at -18 under par, her lat round of -4 under par  68 not enough to put too much pressure on the leader and her playing partner;

“She’s just really solid, kind of had to battle back from some adversity there on ten, but just really solid.”

“On the front, I didn’t put much pressure on her but even when I did make some putts, she made the putts to follow and she put a lot of pressure on and was just really solid all day.”

Third position was shared between Ilhee Lee, she had a last round of -6 under par 66, which elevated her up the leaderboard, with a final total of -18 under par. Pornanong Phatlum and Mi Hyang Lee, joined her on that same score.

Ilhee was impressed with her finish today;

“Well today on the front nine, I thought this weekend is not my weekend, every putt goes so close but didn’t go in.”

 But my caddie, he told me, be patient because it’s going to go in.”

” Then I had seven holes left, and made birdie, five feet from the par 3, and made it, and then I start to feel like I can make more.”

“But then I made eagle putt, that was like 20 feet away.  And like this far, birdie, right next hole.  I mean, finished strong.  I’m happy.  I’m happy for I finished strong. “

Lydia Ko finished in a group of players on -15 under par, her last round -3 under par 69 not good enough to mount a serious challenge.

 

 

JTBC Founders Cup. Hyo Joo Kim Leads

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Hyo Joo Kim leads the JTBC Founders Cup following the third round at Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix, Arizona.

 

Hyo shot a third round -6 under par 66, to top the JTBC Founders Cup leaderboard on -16 under par, at the conclusion of play after 54 holes at Wildfire Golf Club.

JTBC Founders Cup

Hyo Joo KIm / Getty Images

Hyo reported that she is playing really well;

“Been really good with the driver, second, third shots, totally all the clubs.

“If I miss, I save, so I’m playing good. All the putts feel good.”

“I’ve won before and I’ve been playing four or five times a year on the LPGA, so I have experience, but not much like this in the States.”

Stacy Lewis is close behind at -14 under par after her third round -5 under par 67, and thought she had played better than her actual score, the stopping and starting being a problem;

“I feel like I played a lot better than the score.”

“Had a bunch of putts, especially early, that I thought I made.”

“The hole locations coming in were pretty tough, so I think to make some birdies, you really had to hit some good shots.”

“The worst part is going to sleep thinking about that one shot or that one putt you have to hit.”

“Just being able to do the normal stuff in the morning and not having to worry about going to bed so early. You can watch some basketball.”

“It’s going to be a shootout, it’s going to be what this golf course sets up for and the leaderboard this year sets up for it even more.”

Tied in third place are Kim Kaufman and Alison Lee, both on -13 under par for the tournament. Kim carded -2 under par on the day.

Alison shot the low round of the day, -9 under par 63, which equaled the course record, to put herself into contention for the title;

“I kind of played my own game.”

“I really didn’t even realize that I was playing that well until the last hole when I finally looked at the scoreboard.”

“I was hitting all my approach shots really well.”

World number one Lydia Ko is in a three-way tie for fifth place, at -12 under par, with Ha Na Jang and Mi Hyang Lee.

 

JTBC Founders Cup. Round 2 Suspended Due to Darkness. Ha Na Jang Leads.

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2nd round play at the JTBC Founders Cup was halted due to darkness at the Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix, Arizona. Ha Na Jang currently leads the tournament.

JTBC Founders Cup

Ha Na Jang / Getty Images

Ha Na completed eleven holes in her second round at -7 under par, giving her a JTBC Founders Cup total of -13 under par. At the close of play that was a one shot lead over Hyo Joo Kim who is at -10 under par after completing her second round.

Hyo reported that she had felt tired, she had to complete 12 first round holes, teeing off at 07.37, before starting her second round today;

“I was sleepy this morning.”
“I just played relaxed and I just think to myself, hit soft, and that’s the key for me.  Because I came early this morning, I was very tired.”
Karrie Webb was not surprised to see Hyo at the top of the leaderboard;
“I’ve only played that one round with her, but I felt like I was putting plenty of pressure on her, and she just hit good shot after good shot.”
 “Even when I thought, you know, the nerves had gotten the best of her, she made one of the best up and downs I’ve ever seen under pressure on 17 and then made one of the best birdies I’ve of seen on 18.”
 
“She’s definitely got game. Winning Evian wasn’t a fluke last year.”

Stacy Lewis and Kim Kaufman are tied in third place at -9 under par, Stacy has finished her second round at _1 under pat 71, while Kim is at -3 under par after twelve holes.

Stacy spoke about the rivalry between her, Lydia and Inbee, and how it makes everyone play better golf;

“We’ve always had kind of a dominant player, which is not necessarily good for the Tour I think.”

“So this rivalry that’s becoming, I think it’s really great for us. It’s making us better. It’s fun.”

“I know Lydia is going to be up there every week. I know Inbee, even though she’s not here, she would be on the leaderboard if she was.”

” It makes us better and that’s what you’re seeing, you’re seeing better golf out of all of us.”

The second round will resume at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday. The cut will be made to the low 70 and ties at the conclusion of the suspended round with the third round expected to begin about 11:30 a.m.