SWINGING SKIRTS LPGA CLASSIC. Lydia Wins Play-Off

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Defending Champion Lydia Ko wins the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in a play-off against Morgan Pressel at Lake Merced Golf Club in San Francisco.

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

Lydia Ko / Getty Images

Lydia and Morgan had both completed the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic with -8 under par totals, leading to the sudden death play-off. Play-off hole was the par five 18th, which both ladies parred the first time around, Lydia then won at the second attempt with a birdie.

Lydia had carded a -2 under par 70 final round, while Morgan could only manage a last round of even par 72.

Lydia was very happy with her Birthday week win;

“At the start of the day, I didn’t know how it was going to go, it’s been a great birthday week again.”

Morgan bemoaned a poor putting performance;

“I just couldn’t convert the putts, it all comes down to putting. She birdied it twice and I didn’t.”

Brooke Henderson, who started the day with a one shot advantage finished in third place at -7 under par. A +2 over par 74 being her undoing, missing the play-off by one shot. She spoke about the missed putt that would have changed everything;

“It was one of the least nervous putts I had all day. I could see it going in, in my mind, but it didn’t happen in real life.”

 

SWINGING SKIRTS LPGA CLASSIC. Brooke Has Advantage.

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Brooke Henderson has an advantage going into the final round of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic at Lake Merced Golf Club in San Francisco.

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

Brooke Henderson / Getty Images

Brooke shot an even round of 72 in the third round of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic at Lake Merced Golf Club, but remained at the top of the leaderboard with her -9 under par total and a one shot lead going into the final round tomorrow. There was a fierce Northern California wind blowing which got the attention of all the ladies;

“It was a great day out there. It was really tough conditions, and I was able to play really well.”

“Couple times my short game needed to bail me out, and it was able to do that, especially the first 16 holes.”

“If someone told me at the beginning of the week I would be leading going into the final round, I would’ve taken it.”

“They know they can do it. They step up to that tee and there is no fear. I mean, look at how strong Brooke played yesterday and today.”

“Not to say that a few develop, but as you play out here more and more, I think sometimes the younger you are the more naïve you are to all the pressure and everything else that goes with it.”

“I mean look at how strong Brooke played yesterday and today.”

 

Morgan Pressel and Min Seo Kwak are tied in second place at -8 under par for the competition, Morgan with a wonderful -5 under par 67 and Min with-3 under 69. They were the only two players in the field to shoot below 70 on Saturday.

Morgan knows the chasing ladies have the ability to put up a challenge;

“They know they can do it. They step up to that tee and there is no fear. I mean, look at how strong Brooke played yesterday and today.”

“Not to say that a few develop, but as you play out here more and more, I think sometimes the younger you are the more naïve you are to all the pressure and everything else that goes with it.”

“I mean look at how strong Brooke played yesterday and today.”

Min has her own fan club, they chant Kwak, Kwak, Kwak, and she is hoping to hear that chant all day tomorrow;

“Yes, yes a lot, because I know how to win like in Symetra Tour.  So I’ll try to do same thing here.”

World number one Lydia Ko, -1 under par 71 today is alone in fourth place at -6 under par, and if the conditions are just as tough tomorrow, at three shots back, she must have a decent chance;

“I just got to play the holes that are birdieable, give myself a good chance, and then try and put some pressure, but it’s not easy because of the wind. Every hole is playing so tough.”

“Now I’m not the 17-year-old that they’re talking about right now, we’re similar in age and played some tournaments together as amateurs. We’re all really friends out here.”

“I’m feeling the pressure. I feel the nerves when it’s there, but, I mean, people say when you’re younger, you’re not afraid. You’re kind of fearless. Maybe I’m not the case.”

 

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, Brooke Henderson with Half-Way Lead

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Brooke Henderson leads the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic at the half-way point at Lake Merced Golf Club in San Francisco, California.

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

Brooke Henderson / Getty Images

Brooke tore the Lake Merced golf course apart, shooting -7 under par 65 in the second round, to top the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic leaderboard at -9 under par for the tournament.

In interview she mentioned another teenager on the circuit world number one Lydia Ko;

“I think I’m ready, yeah, 17 is young. As you’ve seen with Lydia Ko and Lexi Thompson and even Jessica Korda, there are a lot of great names that have been able to do it. I’m hoping that I’m one of them.”

“You know, I’m really loving where I am right now, and it’s awesome to wake up every day and do something I love.

“In my amateur career I loved when I had the lead, and I just want to continue to build it. This thing is far from over.”

“There are tons of great players out there. The day is not even over yet. I’m excited for the position I’m in and really excited for the next couple days.”

Na Yeon Choi is in second place, at -7 under par, her second round -4 under par 68 lifting her up the leaderboard.

Third position is shared between Sakura Yokomine and Cindy Feng, both at – 6 under par for the competition.

Cindy was happy that she did not do anything silly during her round;

“I played great today, made a lot of birdies, which always helps.  Made some putts. Just didn’t do anything too stupid.”

Overnight leader, defending champion, world number one, and birthday girl, Lydia Ko suffered some 18th birthday blues, returning an even par second round, dropping her to T5, and four shots off the lead, with two rounds to go;

“Yeah, you know, I got two celebrations, the first one on the 10th tee and then coming off 9. Really cool to share that birthday with a lot of people out here.“

“You know, I really didn’t get anything going.  When that happens it’s really hard.”

“You know, I would say the par fives, you kind of need to take advantage of them. I didn’t position myself well in any of them, and that just makes it tough.”

” Kind of feel like you’re already losing shots there.”

“We’re doing a birthday dinner, so have Korean barbecue.  Go to the original roots. Yeah, should be good.”

“Couple of the players are coming, family and friends. But, yeah, I think it’s just great that this year I can have a really good birthday dinner with a lot of close friends and we can have some fun.”

Joining Lydia on that -5 under par score is Ha Na Jang, Min Seo Kwak and Julieta Granada.

Ha Na benefited from using new irons, put in her bag on Wednesday;

“No problem, change my irons, new irons Wednesday, I think a little bit more confidence and it’s really good.”

 

SWINGING SKIRTS LPGA CLASSIC. Birthday Girl Lydia Leads

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Lydia Ko, the world number one, leads the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic  at Lake Merced Golf Club in San Francisco, California. She will be 18 on Friday, Happy Birthday Lydia.

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

Lydia Ko / Getty Images

Lydia shot an opening round -5 under par 67 to lead the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic by one shot at the end of day one in California.

Lydia said she had holed some good putts today and tomorrow’s birthday girl said nothing would change just because she is older;

“Holed some good putts and ended up with a 67 today.”

“It’s a really good start, but I know I’ve got three more long days to go. Hopefully I can continue hitting solid shots.”

“This is a very tough golf course. You need to position yourself well, I hit the ball pretty good where I wasn’t in too much trouble. If I did miss it a little bit, I did get away with it, too. It’s a really good start but I know I’ve got three long days to go.”

“The first couple holes were playing down wind, so that made it a lot easier.”

“A lot depends on the wind. It really depends on the conditions of the day and the scores are really good.”

“Juli’s a legend, a Hall of Famer. It’s so cool she still plays well at her age.”

“What she’s done for the tour is pretty amazing.”

“I won’t change it just because I’m one year older. Really I’m only one day older tomorrow.”

Ha Na Jang, Juli Inkster and P.K. Kongkraphan are tied in second place at -4 under par after their first rounds of -4 under par 68.

Juli admitted that her competitors were younger than her daughters, and offered a free ticket to anyone who would come out and support her;

“Yeah, they’re a lot younger than my daughters, they’re 25 and 21.”

“Out here that’s a seasoned veteran. You know what, that’s the beauty about golf. I mean, age matters in a lot of things as far as how your body feels and how far you hit the ball and how much time you can put into it. You can still go out there and compete at 54.”

“Good friends come up and support me.  So free ticket, everybody wants a free ticket. Yeah, so it’s good.“

Stacy Lewis, last year’s runner-up to Lydia at Lake Merced, was two strokes back at -3 under par with her first round 69;

“It was probably one of the craziest rounds of golf I’ve ever played, it was all over the place.”

Bay Area fan favorite, Paula Creamer, was at risk of missing the cut after a +10-over par 82. She had four bogeys and a pair of double bogeys.

Another teenager making her way in the game is Canadian Brook. M. Henderson, she shot an opening round -2 under par 70, and is hoping to improve on that position;

 “I hit a lot of great shots out there and was able to make a few putts on the front nine.”

“My back nine were all pars, which I can’t complain too much with conditions the way they were today.”

“Would’ve liked to capitalize on a few more birdies. I am hoping I will get the chance the next couple days.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.”