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LPGA Lotte Championship. Michelle Wie Wins

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Michelle Wie won the LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii on the Ko Olina Golf Club course.

Michelle and her victory Hula dance / Getty Images

Michelle shot a final round of -5 under par 67, to post a winning total of -14 under par for the Lotte Championship title. The winning margin could have been greater, but her short range putting is still suspect, even missing one from inside two feet.

“This is a dream come true for me, the amount of love I felt this week was unbelievable. I think being back home, I think just not putting pressure on myself, just feeling all the support from the people this week, and you know just being patient. I just had a blast this week.”

I’m just having fun out there, I was out there and nervous. Every time I felt nervous out there, I was looking around, I felt there was no place I’d rather be.”

” The highlight of this week was to come back home, there wasn’t just one moment. From the first tee shot that I made to the last putt, the aloha that I felt from everyone was unbelievable.”

” My caddie isn’t one for pep talks, but he gave a good one today. He said, it’s windy out there today, but play your game, and that’s really what I did. I didn’t try to force anything. I had a number in my head that I thought I needed to shoot, and I got it.”

Angela Stanford finished in second place after her last round of +1 over par 73, a very poor effort by her standards. She started the day with a four shot lead, and ended it two shots adrift at -12 under par.

Angela rued her decision making, and poor putting;

“Today, just didn’t make the putts that I’ve been making,  I wasn’t hitting it great today. Just misclubbed a couple of times. Just didn’t make good decisions. She’s been playing great, she’s having a great year, so it was bound to happen. I just happened to be the one that caught the buzz saw.”

Inbee Park also carded a final round -5 under par 67, which took her into third position on her own at -11 under par.

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A selfie from Michelle.

LPGA. Lotte Championship. Awesome Angela Extends Lead.

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An awesome third round from Angela Stanford saw her extend her lead in the LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii.

Angela Stanford / Getty

Angela compiled at third round of -5 under par 67 to extend her lead to four shots, with her total of -13 under par, at the Ko Olina Golf Club in Hawaii.

She said afterwards that she was happy to have picked up three birdies early on, when the wind was not quite as strong as it became later in the day;

“I didn’t think the wind was blowing as hard when we started, so it was kind of nice to get out there and get a little bit of a rhythm. It really picked up on the back. So it got tough towards the end just because it was windy and it started to become a really long round. But for the most part, my putter was great again, so that was a lot of it.”

“I just like some of these holes and I think every golfer will tell you, when you play different golf courses, there are some holes you like and some you don’t. I’m fortunate that the ones I like are grouped together, so that’s fine, nice. The ones I don’t like are kind of bookends.”

Sharing second place, and now four strokes adrift are, Michelle Wie and Hyo Joo Kim, both at -9 under par for the tournament.

Local favorite Michelle admitted to missing a few shots on the course today;

“Yeah, left a couple of shots out there today, but I have one more day and hopefully tomorrow I’ll make a lot of birdies and catch up to her. It’s going to be fun tomorrow. Ideally going into tomorrow I wouldn’t want to be this far behind. I think it’ll make it more interesting tomorrow. Just go out there and try to make some birdies early on and see what I can do.”

Hyo Joo Kim had set herself a target of a top ten finish here, and has not changed her mind;

“I’m not going to change my goal today or tomorrow, the top ten is still my goal, but anything I know where I am now and anything that happens from this point on, and if I finish better than top ten, that is a bonus and I will have a good time.”

In fourth place on her own at -8 under par is Cristie Kerr, rookie Amy Anderson, top-ranked Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu were tied for fifth place at -6 under par.

LPGA Lotte Championship. Angela Shoots Eight Under.

dragon logo darkAngela Stanford has taken the lead at the LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii, shooting eight under par 64 at the Ko Olina Golf Club.

Angela Stanford

Angela Stanford / Getty Images

Angela takes a one shot lead into the third round following her remarkable -8 under par 64 second round. She said the low round was long overdue, and the putting made the difference;

I guess it’s been a while, I can’t really remember. It was nice to have today because I’ve had these stretches where I’ve played good in a round and then I’ll make a bogey or two and kind of lose my focus. So it was nice when I had a couple long par putts to make or when I had to get up and down, I did. It was nice to be in that zone all day.”

“But today was about putting, finally I got comfortable on these greens and it felt great. I mean, to see that the ball go in that much is a lot of fun. It was nice to see. I needed a round like that. I think it’s more about putting, I hate to admit this, but I don’t always control my trajectory on purpose. It just kind of happens. When I start getting into the wind, and I’ve talked about this with my instructor, for some reason my body just starts moving into the ball more and I tend to keep it lower. It may just be growing up in Texas and that is how you grow up playing golf.

Just one shot behind is Michelle Wie, she carded a second round of -5 under par 67, for tournament total -7 under par. Michelle was still talking about the wind;

“It was still windy but not crazy windy as it was yesterday afternoon, I’ll take five under par. I knew I could have made a couple more birdies out there on the last couple of holes, but I’ll take it. I think Duncan, my caddie, did a really good job on course management. I think we there’s a lot tucked pins today. You kind of played it safe on a couple, made some putts. Then I think it was just good course management.”

There are four Ladies tied in third spot at -6 under par, Inbee Park, Cristie Kerr, Hyo Joo Kim and So Yeon Ryu are all still very much in this competition.

Cristie commented on her bogey-free -6 under par 66;

“It was like a slow buildup the whole day, I was really determined. I just wanted to keep the momentum going. I was very focused today”

Hyo Joo Kim thought she was going to put together a really good round, but somehow lost confidence. Good putting helped;

 “I start out good but as I progressed, I lost confidence.  I expected it to be a better round today, but it turned out to be worse. But I’m doing all right. I plan to have birdies all the time, whenever I have a chance. You know, it’s windy outside so that’s a big factor. I like the putting that I performed today.”

LPGA Lotte Championship. Three Tied in Hawaii

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There are three Ladies tied at the top of the leaderboard in Hawaii at the LPGA Lotte Championship being played on the Ko Olina Golf Club course.

Se Ri Pak

Se Ri Pak / Getty

South Koreans Se Ri Pak, Se Yeon Ryu and Hyo Joo Kim sit atop of the leaderboard in the LPGA Lotte Championship after recording first round scores of -4 under par 68.

Se Yeon Ryu was first in the clubhouse at -4 under par and reported that the wind was so strong it made it a hard day;

“The wind was pretty strong, so it was really hard to play with this much strong wind. The most difficult part was sometimes gust wind is super extremely strong, so also it was affecting the putting.  It was really hard to read a line.  The really good thing is my iron shot was really nice, so my birdie putt is almost just short.”

Se Ri Pak had an Eagle today, at the par five 5th. She has also reverted back to cross-handed putting, not a good sign of a confident putter, but she seems happy with it;

” I think that most of the last few years have been giving little time for my putting, but the last couple of weeks have more consistency. I feel great and I make some more putts that I’m supposed to make, so that’s giving more momentum as we walk to the next hole.  That helps a lot.”

“That’s all I have right now, it’s more comfort with the golf course and hitting a lot more better, like more great tempo, my putting is more solid, I guess overall my game has gotten together to make it score well.”

Hyo Joo Kim was bogey free through 17 holes, but sadly three putted the last;

” Except for the very final hole here, the putting in general was really good for the day. So I was really happy with my putting in general except for the 9th hole here.”

Ayako Uehara sits in solo fourth and one shot back at 3-under par. while Michelle Wie, Inbee Park and the amateur So Young Lee are in close contention at -2 under par.

Michelle was having a great time;

“It’s awesome, I’m having a blast out here.  It’s great to see a lot of friends out there today.  Hopefully more will show up in the next three days.  I like I said, I think I’m in a good position and see what I can do in the next three days.”

Inbee mentioned the wind getting up, and also her good putting;

” Obviously, the wind wasn’t blowing as hard for my first five holes, then it started to really blow. I’ve never seen this golf course playing this hard before.  It’s been definitely the most it’s blown so far.” 

“The greens seems like it’s a little bit more slippery, especially downwind. I had trouble on the back nine with controlling the distance.  I hit it over the couple of greens.  It was almost impossible to get it up‑and‑down from there.  A couple of mistakes on the back nine, but I feel like I’m putting a lot better than I have this season.”

LPGA. Kraft Nabisco Championship. Lexi Lifts Trophy.

dragon logo darkKraftNabiscoChampionship_188x84Lexi Thompson lifts the Kraft Nabisco Championship trophy at Mission Hills Country Club.

Lexi Thompson & Trophy / Getty

Lexi started her day with a birdie, and continued with that fine form to shoot the low round of the day, a bogey free -4 under par 68, to lift the Kraft Nabisco Championship trophy. Her amazing round gave her a tournament total of  -14 under par, and a three-shot victory over Michelle Wie. This is Lexi’s  first-career Major title, and she also becomes the second-youngest player to win a Major championship;

” Well, it was an amazing day, starting off with a birdie definitely helped. But just hitting that first tee shot obviously a little nervous, but it was definitely what I’ve been practicing for, what I live for, to play under that pressure and to get a major win under my belt, especially the Kraft Nabisco. It’s such a huge honor to win this tournament.”

” It’s a great feeling. This is what I’ve worked so hard for. This was one of my goals coming into the year, to win a major. I’ve always seen myself winning a Kraft Nabisco. It’s such a huge honor with all the history behind the tournament. It’s just a dream come true.”

Michelle Wie finished at -11 under par, her final round -1 under par 71 was not enough to catch the leader;

“ Lexi played amazing today. She played probably the best I’ve ever seen her play. She hit the ball so well. She made everything. It was just hard to catch up to her all day today, but I’m really happy for her. I’m really proud of her.”

“You know, it was a lot of fun playing in contention, being in the final group, it was nice to be in the final group at Kraft again. I think it’s a sign. I think I’m getting close. I think I can get a lot of confidence from this week. I think I’m improving and improving, and I think getting second at a major, I think it means that I’m close, and I’m really proud of myself, and I’m really excited for the upcoming events. There’s four more majors left this year, and I’m just really proud of myself, and I just want to keep improving a little bit every day.”

The top two were a mile away from third placed Stacy Lewis, she finished the tournament at -7 under par, with a last round of -3 under par 69.

Lexi went for a victory dip into  Poppie’s Pond:

Lexi Thompson celebrates after winning the Kraft Nabisco Championship, her 4th LPGA Tour win. (USATSI)

Lexi Thompson & caddie / USATSI

LPGA. Kraft Nabisco Championship. Two Tied at the Top, Lexi & Michelle

dragon logo darkKraftNabiscoChampionship_188x84Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie are the two who are tied at the top of the leaderboard at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Michelle Wie / Getty

Michelle shot a third round -4 under par 68, on the Mission Hills Country Club,  Dinah Shore Tournament Course, to share top spot on the Kraft Nabisco Championship leaderboard with Lexi  at -10  under par for the tournament.

Michelle like the entertainment value in Lexi’s game;

I think Lexi is a really entertaining golfer, I like to think I’m somewhat entertaining as well. So, I think the both of us paired together is great. I think it’s great for the tour and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

” I probably won’t sleep that well. It’s just the chance, you want something so badly. I dreamed about this all my life, so I’m just trying to not think about it so much. I’m just trying to think it’s a normal Sunday. But I think that’s a good thing. It’s a sign that I’m really excited and I really want this.”

“I just go out there and I think I just really know what I need to do. I think that came with experience of playing so many rounds in my life.”

Lexi is looking for some more putts to drop, she was unhappy at carding a six on the par five eighteenth;

” Not the ending I wanted, I’m getting looks at birdies and just waiting for a few more to drop. I think if you’re not nervous, you don’t care, but it’s a good nervous. This is what I’ve been waiting for and what I’ve worked my whole life for.”

Charley Hull and Se Ri Pak are tied in third place, both with -8  under par totals. Charley put herself into contention with a -6 under par third round of 66, while Se Ri was just -1 under par 71 to put towards her total.

No one knows how Charley’s golf game will stand up to Major championship pressure, but it seems she already has the mindset   to deal with it. This is her quote from last year;

“This is how I always look at golf. I’m not going to die if I hit a bad shot. Just hit it, and find it, and hit it.”

As a professional Charley won for the first time at the Ladies European Tour’s, Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco. Then she said she was having too much fun with friends back home to join the LPGA Tour;

” I was really enjoying my friends and stuff at home, just being a kid, being with my friends, going out, going to parties and stuff. I don’t want to miss that living over here full-time at the moment. I was still seventeen at the time. I still wanted my childhood in a way. There was no rush for me to go over there.”

This first Major for the Ladies is set up nicely for a dramatic finish, I am looking forward to it.

Catriona Matthew is T5 with Cristie Kerr, at -6 under par for the tournament.

LPGA. Kraft Nabisco Championship. Feng In front.

dragon logo darkKraftNabiscoChampionship_188x84 Shanshan Feng  is in front at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, being played at Mission Hills Country Club in California.

Shanshan Feng

Shanshan Feng / Getty

Shanshan carded seven birdies against just one bogey to sign for an opening round -6 under par, 66,  to hold a one-stroke lead in the first Major of the year. Shanshan said she was able to get some advice on how to play the course from a legend of the game, three-time Kraft Nabisco Champion Amy Alcott;

“I did play with Amy Alcott today. She’s won three times here in the past, and after my first drive off the first tee I was asking her, I said, can you tell me the secrets about winning here? Because before this year I never did well here. So she was telling me all the secrets.”

” Don’t ask me what the secrets are because that’s a secret. I’ll tell you maybe after we finish Sunday. But I did learn a lot from her. Last year, the first day I shot six over here, and I think that is a very big improvement. I do think that I played really well today and had a great time with Amy. I just hope that I can have three more good days.”

Amy was full of praise for Shanshan;

“Well, she’s very polite on the first tee. She said I know you’ve won here three times and you’re I don’t know if she used the word icon or famous, but she said I want to try to learn from you how to win here. She was very sweet starting off, and we were talkative.”

“She hits it very solid. Just a very, very talented young player. So I was very impressed with her putting and just her overall game, just how she managed herself on the golf course. I look for her to do great things.”

 Se Ri Pak and Michelle Wie are tied in second place at -5 under par following their opening rounds of 67.

Michelle is looking to be more consistent;

“Like I said before in the press conference, my goal is to be consistent, just trying to keep the same tempo every day. Trying to keep on doing the same things. I think it’s been working so far, so I’m just going to keep on doing that.”

“It’s still a tough golf course, they moved a couple tee boxes back as well. Mission Hills is still Mission Hills.”

 Se Ri Pak is under pressure to get the one Major that has so far eluded her, and she has brought the family along with her as well;

” This week the whole family is in town, so it makes me even more relaxed out there. My mom and dad, two sisters and my 5 year-old niece.“

“This means a lot to me, the last 17 years I’m waiting for one major to get my own career grand slam, so that’s hard. I mean, every single year I crossed this week. I have always high expectations trying to win so badly and trying to get my own grand slam, which that is not easy.”

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Honda LPGA Thailand. Nordqvist Nudges Ahead.

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Anna Nordqvist nudges ahead at the Honda LPGA Thailand leading the first round at the Siam Country Club, Pattaya Old Course in Thailand.

Anna Nordqvist

Anna Nordqvist / Getty

 Anna shot -6 under par 66 on Thursday to take the first-round lead at the Honda LPGA Thailand, carding seven birdies, two bogeys and an Eagle and leads by one shot.

Anna got off to a good start and said her bogeys were down to flyers out of the rough;

“I always try to put my best foot forward, I try to be awake when I start on the first tee box. I hit it on the green in two, so it was a pretty easy birdie. But definitely getting a good start sets the pace for the rest of the day. I just tried to stay in there after the two bogeys, because I didn’t feel like I hit bad shots, I just got flyers out of the rough. “Had pretty good yardage for the eagle and it was on the top-tier, so I just pitched it five or six paces behind the pin and spun back. So obviously gave me some momentum to finish off.” 

“I was quite disappointed at the end of last year. Didn’t feel like I played bad, but never really got any momentum. I was very determined this off-season. I worked really hard. Anyone that’s been around me can probably say that. But I just kind of lost the reason why I play golf, the fun of it, I have good people around me now. They been really helping me to get that inspiration back. I put in all this hard work for a reason. It’s been fun. They’ve been pushing me and definitely been more motivated than before.”

Michelle Wie is in second place, just one shot back at -5 under par after her opening round of -5 under par 67. When asked on how many hole she had used her driver, Michelle responded positively, and also mentioned getting some food half-way round;

“Almost all of them, it’s definitely one of those golf courses, I don’t get to use a lot of drivers during the year. This is one of the few golf courses that I get to just hit driver all the time, so it’s fun. I birdied all four of the par fives today, which definitely helps on this golf course. After 18 I was hungry, so I went to the locker room and got some food from my bag, so I think that helped. Just had like these nuts, like these little nut crunch things. I was thinking about them on the front nine. I was really mad I didn’t put them in my golf bag. So I ran up to the locker room and ran back down. Pretty sure that had something to do with the birdie”.

There are three ladies in third place, all carding first rounds of -4 under par 68, they are; Jennifer Johnson, Lexi Thompson and Angela Stanford.

Angela scored her second Tour hole in one, on the 135 yard  8th hole with an 8 iron and flashed the biggest on course smile of the day. She admitted afterwards getting an ace mid round can almost be hard to handle;

“It’s kind of hard with hole in ones because you do get almost too high and you go to the next tee box and think ‘oh I have to hit another golf shot. It’s hard because it’s like an out-of-body experience. Well for me because I haven’t had many.”

Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park started slowly  and was + 3 over par through her first eight holes, but turned things around on the back nine. Inbee picked up four birdies to finish at -1 under par and sits five shots off the lead. She reported that it was due to rustiness in her game;

“I think it was just like I didn’t have much feeling that it was a tournament because it has been a while since I played a golf tournament. I think I was a little bit nervous. Bogey, bogey, and, thought, yeah, it’s a tournament, so I think I should start playing better. I think I just didn’t realize. I think it was a little bit off today on the front nine, and then I finally realized I was in a real tournament.”

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