ShopRite LPGA Classic. Morgan Makes a Move.

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Morgan Pressel made a move towards winning the ShopRite LPGA Classic, maintaining her lead at the top of the leaderboard, and will take a one shot lead into the final round tomorrow.

ShpoRite LPGA Classic

Morgan Pressel / Getty Images

Morgan stayed at the top of the ShopRite LPGA Classic leaderboard with her second round -2 under par 69, giving her a -7 under par total in this three round competition.

Morgan is looking to break a near seven-year winless drought, but has been playing really well recently, with some decent finishes;

“I guess the more that I am in that position, the more comfortable I am with it.”

“I think at the end of the day, you have to be comfortable with the results, the outcome, no matter what it is.”

“I feel like I’m in a good place, and I’m there, and no matter what happens tomorrow, I’m happy with my game and the direction that I’m heading.”

“Tomorrow is not the end of the world one way or the other, but I’m going to go out there and give it my best shot.”

“It was a tough day to play. I think that the wind tomorrow is going to be pretty similar. I was able to keep the ball in front of me really well today.”

“I only hit a couple of poor shots, one on 13 where I ended up having to pitch out after a poor drive, but the wind is tough to club, but it’s also tough to commit, and I think that I did a pretty good job committing to all the shots today, committing to my target lines.”

“Sometimes when you have an 8-iron or a 9-iron in your hand it’s hard to aim 40 yards right of the pin and trust that the wind is going to bring it all the way back, but I did a pretty good job of that today, and going to need more of the same tomorrow.”

Anna Nordqvist is just one shot back at -6 under par for the tournament, and she is really the only player who can contest the leadership as the chasing pack of five ladies are at -4 under par. They are Kelly Shon , Christel Boeljon , Gerina Piller , Pernilla Lindberg , and Catriona Matthew.

The defending Champion, Stacy Lewis is T66 at +3 over par for the tournament, very sad defense of her title. World number two Inbee Park is T21 at -1 under par.

 

ShopRite LPGA Classic. Morgan Pressel 1st Round Leader.

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Morgan Pressel leads the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

 

ShopRite LPGA Classic

Morgan Pressel / Getty Images

Morgan shot a first round -5 under par 66 to sit on top of the ShopRite LPGA Classic leaderboard at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in New Jersey.

Morgan carded five birdies, two bogey and an Eagle on the day and finished strongly, birdie-Eagle to get to -5 under par. Morgan reported that she had some unforced errors but was encouraged by her strong finish, and the confidence in her new swing;

“I really didn’t put myself in a whole lot of trouble.”

 “I wouldn’t say that I certainly had the best game out there.  I felt like I made a few mistakes. And I didn’t play all that well, but then I came down birdieing 8 and eagleing the last hole.”

” That definitely helps,  and I only made two bogeys today, I mean they weren’t great bogeys by any means.”

” I shouldn’t have really made them, but hopefully tomorrow I can eliminate those kinds of mistakes and can keep giving myself opportunities for birdie.”

“I think it’s just a confidence thing, I think it’s not standing up to the tee afraid of where the golf ball might go, but knowing on the next one I certainly can give myself a good opportunity to make birdie.”

“So it’s really just a confidence thing and it’s nice to stand up to the tee with more confidence.”

Four ladies are tied second at -4 under par;  Anna Nordqvist, Alena Sharp, Min Lee and Ryann O’Toole are in hot pursuit of the leader.

Min Lee has adjusted her attitude after struggling recently, and it is working for her;

“I’ve been struggling for a while, like a couple weeks, and then so last week is an off-week, and I was looking for like what’s different when I’m playing good at Symetra and then here, and I kind of lost myself a little bit for the past few weeks.”

“And then after Williamsburg, we played U.S. Open qualifier, and I just changed my mind and I really enjoyed it, and I played really good, and I just bring the attitude here to today.”

“I really like the golf course. The greens are very tiny and little, and it gets very windy. But it’s windy in Taiwan, too, so, I really like.”

The defending champion Stacy Lewis Eagled her final hole, the ninth, to score a +1 over par 72 for her opening round to finish in a tie for 56th .

World number two Inbee Park started the competition with an even par round of 71, in her pursuit of Lydia Ko at the top of the rankings. Lydia is not competing here this week so the gap could close between them.

 

 

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. Morgan Pressel Shoots 64 to Equal Record

 

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Morgan Pressel shoots 64 to equal the course record and to share the lead in the Kia Classic at the half-way point at Aviara Golf Club in California.

Kia Classic

Morgan Pressel / Getty Images

Morgan carded a second round -8 under par 64 to top the leaderboard at -10 under par with Mirim Lee at the Kia Classic.

Morgan spoke of her stress free round, hitting it in close and putting very well;

“It was definitely stress free, I hit almost every fairway, and I think 16 or 17 greens. And I had a chance of birdie on almost every hole”

“I think there was one hole I had a par putt of two feet, so that was nice. I just hit it where I wanted to hit it today.”

“It’s been a while since I’ve kind of been confident knowing where the golf ball would go, and so it was nice to swing freely out there today and have the result that I did.”

“I mean the greens are difficult and tough to read, and they are bumpy, especially later in the day. So that kind of puts it all in perspective as how difficult the greens are out here.”

“But early on I made a couple of really long putts, you kind of feel like your stealing them when they go in, so that was nice.”

“I was hitting it close too, so I gave myself a lot of opportunities, and certainly some of them went in, and I had one that was a kick in, that was nice too.” 

Alison Lee and Christie Kerr are tied in third place, just one shot behind at -9 under par, while  Maria Hernandez, Sakura Yokomine, Hyo Joo Kim and Brittany Lang are together in 5th position at -8 under par.

Stacy Lewis and Lydia Ko are currently at -7 under par for the tournament, Stacy with -3  69 today and Lydia -2 under 70. They are tied in 9th place with Alison Walshe.

Lydia has now recorded 26 consecutive rounds of golf under par, and  she is just three rounds away from tying the LPGA record of 29, held by Annika Sorenstam.

It’s not something that Lydia spends too much time thinking about;

“You know, you don’t know because at the end of the day it’s just you’re talking about that round and that tournament and how well you finished.”

“But I guess it’s been pretty good and I’ve been playing pretty solid the last couple of weeks, especially when we went down under, Australian, New Zealand to Singapore.”

” So yeah, you know, it’s a  pretty cool streak, but you just never know, and I’m not going to be counting.”

 

LPGA. Founders Cup. Mirim Lee Leads

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Rookie Mirim Lee is at the top of the leaderboard in the JTBC Founders Cup tournament at the Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix Arizona.

Mirim Lee

Mirim Lee / Getty

Mirim shot a first round -8 under par 64 to lead the Founders Cup in Arizona. Mirim said is was a good day, not too many long putts;

” Everything was good.  So today putting was a little bit not good.  Everything was good, yeah.  Good day, just two, three long putts.  So today no, not difficult today.  Easy today. Practice round and today morning I hit really good. It was good.  So everything is just good.”

Just one shot back after an opening round of -7 under par 65 is Morgan Pressel, this round could so easily have been a 59. She found trouble off the 3rd tee, playing the course backwards.  Morgan went through  the turn at -7 under par after shooting a 29 on her front nine, thanks to five birdies and an Eagle. She followed that with birdies on the first and second holes but then came that errant tee shot;

“I hit a very poor tee shot and ended up kind of on the side of this little bush, and I could have hit it left handed and there were a couple of burrowing animal holes around. I brought them over to ask, but I didn’t honestly think that I was going to get relief, and I don’t think that I deserved it.”

“I don’t know if I was necessarily thinking 59, but I probably just got a little bit excited, because I had never been that many under par in that short of a span of time. I just got a little bit quick, and came back to earth.”

There are eight players tied in third place at -6 under par, including Inbee Park and defending champion Stacy Lewis.

Inbee Park said the putts would just not drop;

” I was hitting the ball good all day today, but just on the front the putts didn’t seem like they wanted to go in.  I read a couple of putts wrong, and on the back nine I had shots a lot closer than the front nine, and obviously I holed some putts on the back nine. On the back nine I had shots a lot closer than the front nine, and obviously I holed some putts on the back nine.”

 ” We hit a lot of short irons on this golf course.  You have to shoot low scores for four rounds on this golf course, and obviously there’s a lot of opportunities here and you have to hole your putts.  And obviously on this back nine I hit a lot of good iron shots, and only mistake today was the three putt on number three, or 4, and yeah, that was my only mistake today.”

Stacy was making all her putts today;

” I hit some good shots, but had to make ; my speed was kind of off on the greens, had to make some five and six footers, but actually made them, so it kind of helped get the confidence going.”
            
” Then the back nine for me, it just sets up a lot better.  I feel like you can kind of free wheel it a little bit and still be more open and  made a few longer putts, but all day I hit the ball pretty well.”

Lydia Ko is in a seven way tie for 7th place, shooting a  -5 under par 67 for her first round, she had an excuse for fading late on in her round;

“I normally eat more than I did today, and I normally eat a lot, so that’s saying something. I forgot to bring my food and my protein bars. That’s my excuse.”

ISPS Handa Womens Australian Open, Chella & Minjee Lead.

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Chella Choi and Minjee Lee lead the ISPS Handa Womens Australian Open at the end of day 3 at Victoria Golf Club.

17 year-old Aussie amateur Minjee Lee / Getty

It was a -4 under par 68 Minjee described as a mission, and it has booked her spot in the final group for the second consecutive week, and says playing with a smile on her face is the game-plan;

“Well obviously to make as many birdies as possible but just keep it in play and just keep hitting good shots and getting it close so I can hole the putt, because they weren’t really going in.  I’m happy with 4-under, I’m stoked with 4-under really.  I just play, I think it kind of lightens it up a little bit because I’m smiling all the time.  I have a good chat with my caddie. I think the game plan is always the same.  It’s been working so far, so why change it.”

Chella also enjoys playing, and tries to stay focused, it worked today as she fired a -10 under par 62 which included two Eagles, this was the first time she had accomplished two of them in one round;

Choi is chasing her first victory since turning professional in 2008

Chella Choi / Getty

“I try to enjoy playing and just focus on one shot and one shot and just keep putting.  I think if I just always hit the green, I have a lot of birdie chances.  So I focused on just my shot, before the shot and then shot. I don’t know why I played ten under today, it’s just amazing. I made two eagles today, so first time.”

The leaders are at -13 under par for the tournament, and will tee off together tomorrow morning.

Lydia Ko  is in third place at -11 under par following her -3 under par third round 69.

Suzann Pettersen is next at -10 under par, she stumbled through round three carding an even par 72. There are then eight players who are tied in fifth place at -9 under par. The list includes overnight leader, Caroline Hedwall, Morgan Pressel, Amelia Lewis, Holly Clyburn, Karine Icher and Marianne Skarpnord.

Karrie Webb recorded a -4 under par 68 to move to -8 under par, a full five strokes behind the leaders.

Ricoh Womens British Open. Stacy Lewis Wins

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Stacy Lewis won the Ricoh British Womens Open at St Andrews Old Course in Scotland.

Stacy Lewis / Getty

Stacy carded a 69 in the delayed third round and then shot a last round of even par 72, to win the Ricoh British Womens Open by two shots with a tournament total of -8 under par. This is Stacy’s second Major triumph, she said she had felt comfortable out on the course;

“I felt so comfortable out there, I almost felt like it was meant to be,”

Tied in second place were Hee Young Park and Na Yeon Choi, both at -6 under par. Hee Young with her 70, 73 finish and Na Yeon 75, 73.

Morgan Pressel had led at the conclusion of the delayed third round, with her -1 under par effort, she holed a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to take a one-shot lead into the final round. But then unfortunately fell away in the final round scoring a +4 over par 76, which put her down to tie in fourth place with Suzann Petterson.

The last round was so difficult that only Christie Kerr -3 under par 69, and Natalie Gulbis -2 under par 70 were the only players to completed the final round in under par.

Inbee Park, in her history making quest for a fourth straight Major win just fell away with a final round of +6 over par, to finish the tournament on that score, tied in 42nd place. She said it was still amazing what she had achieved;

“I’ve done something amazing this season, I won three straight majors. I don’t know if I can do that again. When you’re so far behind, it’s hard to get the motivation, I tried to push myself to play as good as I can. I’m glad this tournament is over, I’ve gone through four rounds under pressure, and that’s something I’ve never experienced.”

Ladies World Amateur #1 Lydia Ko keeps her record of making the cut in every professional tournament she has competed in, but finished in a tie for 42nd place. Lydia and Georgia Hall tied for 42nd place on six-over-par to shared the Smyth Salver as the leading amateurs.