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.

JTBC Founders Cup. 1st round Play Suspended Due to Weather Delay.

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I st round play at the JTBC Founders Cup was suspended due to inclement weather. World number one Lydia Ko was among those in the lead when play was halted.

JTBC Founders Cup

Lydia Ko / Getty Images

Lydia had a completed round of -6 under par 66, to share the top spot on the JTBC Founders Cup leaderboard with Sophia Popov, Kim Kaufman and Tiffany Joh, all have finished their opening rounds.

Play was suspended due to darkness, after a four-hour delay because of rain and unplayable conditions.

Kim got up early to drive to the course, and then got a delayed start;

“I got up at 4:30 and had an hour drive. I’m staying in South Phoenix with some friends, which now is a bad idea I think.”

“I got here and I slept in the dining room, and then warmed up a bit and then slept in the restaurant for the next one and then we finally went out and played.”

“But it is hard, when you’re sitting there and you’re sleeping on a table somewhere, the last thing you want to do is go warm up on the range.”

“But you do, you go out there and get going and get into it, and everyone did it.”

“I had a poor start, and I told myself, I’m not going to have this long day.”

“But it had been a long morning already so wanted to get something going. I was patient, rolled in a few birdies, hit it close on a couple holes and played pretty steady after that.”

Lydia was asked if she had heard of  Kathy Whitworth, the all-time LPGA career victories leader with 88 wins to her credit, she answered with a laugh;

“I’ve got 82 more to reach there, but it’s a long way and I say I would like to retire when I’m 30, and I don’t know how it all divides and how many I need to do.”

“They have got such amazing records and they feel so far away. I’m trying to concentrate on one tournament at a time and that’s all I can do.”

“It’s just hard to be those kind of people. I’ve still got a lot to work on my game to get even halfway near their record.”

When Sophia Popov got the news that she would be replacing Azahara Munoz as the final player in the field, she was in a hospital bed in Naples, Florida, and thought there was no way she could play;

“At first I thought, I can’t play, I was about to call my agent and say, you know what, there’s no way.”

“But I was kind of feeling better going into Friday, and then the doctor said, yeah, no, you’re not going anywhere.”

“Tough luck pretty much. He wasn’t really sympathizing with me a lot. He’s pretty mean. But I thought, you know, how I felt, I was like, I think I could give this a shot.”

“Sunday, I was still in the hospital and then they had me go home and get another infusion outside of the hospital and then I said, you know what, we’re going to fly Tuesday.”

“This was after I already rebooked my flight a million times. I said, that’s it, we’re going, and I feel okay.”

HSBC Women’s Championship. Inbee Wire to Wire Winner

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Inbee Park was a wire to wire winner of the HSBC Women’s Champions tournament at Sentosa Golf Club, on the Serapong Course, in Singapore.

HSBC Women's Champions

Inbee Park / Getty Images 

Inbee started the final round with a two shot lead, and finished with that lead, carding a bogey free last round -2 under par 70, to lift the HSBC Women’s Champions trophy with a -15 under par total.

She said winning wire to wire is much harder than coming from behind, and it was very special to go bogey free for 72 holes;

“This week was just incredible.”

“That’s a big accomplishment for me, and I think I’ve done that probably once before only, and to have a pressure every day since Thursday, I think it’s something that I should be really proud of.”

“I mean, I think it’s a lot harder to do wire to wire than coming from behind.”

“I don’t think I can even believe myself that I didn’t make any bogeys for 72 holes.”

“I mean, if I thought about bogeys, when am I going to make bogey; if I was afraid of the bogeys, I’d probably make bogeys.  But I thought, whatever happens, it’s just meant to be.”

World number one Kiwi Lydia Ko finished second at -13 under par, staying those two shots behind, returning a  final round score of -2 under par 70, that included five birdies, but sadly for her three bogey’s;

“No bogeys around here and on a course where you can hit a good shot and you can get bad luck. She made no bogeys. That’s pretty phenomenal.”

“She played great all week.”

Stacy Lewis was in third place with her final total of -11 under par, an even par last round was not good enough to make a challenge;

“It was fun out there,  it was fun being in the final group.”

“That’s where you want to be, but even par usually doesn’t cut it.”

Inbee had a bet with her dad, $500 if she made birdie but it doubled to $1000 if she made bogey. Final score: Inbee $7,500 and her dad $0, she jokingly said;

“I think it ended up really nicely.”

“It gave me extra motivation I guess. It’s so fun and something other to motivate on and something else to concentrate on.”

“Yeah, it’s good to have a family here and they are big energy. This week just went so quick. I was just having, after golf, I just have dinner with them and kind of chat with them.”

“Every day went so quick, I didn’t have to think about so much golf when I’m not on the golf course, so I think that was a big help.”