KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Lydia Ko in Control.

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Lydia Ko, the World number one, from New Zealand, is in control on the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Sahalee Country Club in Washington.

 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

Lydia Ko / getty images

NZL Lydia took control of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship with a third round -1 under par 71 to lead the tournament by one shot at -2 under par, going into the final round tomorrow.

Lydia said she would have to stay focused

“Going into Evian and ANA I just had very calm thoughts, very positive thoughts, to the final round.”

“I just said hey, just go out and enjoy it, and don’t worry about what everybody else does.”

“Just focus on the shot you need to hit’.

“That’s all I can do, just try my best and have fun. I can’t control what somebody else does so it’s important for me to focus on my game.”

“You know, I’m happy with my position. I didn’t really know how it finished up, because I didn’t get to see what the last group finished up. But obviously I’ve got to be happy with it. And I’ve just got to stay positive.”

“It seems like the girls, they’re playing really well, and they’re playing consistent. I’ve just got to focus on my game.”

“And I can’t control what the other girls are doing. So just try my best out there.”

“We’ve still got a long 18 holes to go. You just never know what’s going to happen until the winner’s putt drops on the last hole.”

USA Brittany Lincicome and USA Gerina Piller, both with even par third rounds of 71, share second place at -1 under par.

Brittany likes to come from behind on the last day;

“It’s easier to come from behind than be the leader. I feel like I’m in a great spot.”

Gerina is now comfortable with being in contention;

“You know, now I’m more comfortable. I’m more comfortable seeing my name up there.”

These three ladies are the only players currently under par for the tournament, in a true Major test.

First round leader and still co-leader after two rounds Brooke Henderson struggled on day three, carding +2 over par 73, but is still just two shots off the pace at even par for the competition, a good strong position.

One shot further back in the group at +1 over par is Catriona Matthew, who thinks three shots back is not impossible to make up;

“You never know what’s going to happen. If I go out and shoot another 67, four under, you never know.”

“A lot might depend on where the pins are.”

“Today the pins were very tough, so you couldn’t really go at many of them, to be fair.”

“We’ll see what they give us tomorrow,  but if you play well, the scores are out there.”

 

New Zealand Women’s Open. Nicole Broch Larsen Leads

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Nicole Broch Larsen, from Denmark, leads the New Zealand Women’s Open after the first round at  Clearwater Golf Club on the South Island in New Zealand.

 New Zealand Women’s Open

Nicole Broch Larsen / Getty Images

Nicole a first round -6 under par 66 to lead the New Zealand Women’s Open by one shot. She said afterwards that playing in front of large crowds does not bother her, and she expects Lydia Ko to chase her down;

“I have been in contention quite a bit the past couple of years and since I broke through for my first win I feel much more comfortable with the crowds and playing in the leading groups.”

“When she’s not on the leaderboard, you wait for her to come there, I’m sure she’ll be up there at the weekend.”

French rookie Justine Dreher has second place all to herself at -5 under par after her opening effort of 67.

Tied in third position are Gwladys Nocera and Pamela Pretswell, both recording first rounds of -4 under par.

Defending champion, and World #1 Lydia Ko is sharing 5th place with another Kiwi, Cathryn Bristow, both ladies at -3 following their rounds of 69.

Lydia struggled with her putting today;

“If I have a good read then I need to put a good stroke on it.”

“There were question marks in my head when I went to hit the putt.”

“You need to be right there to put a good stroke on it. I doubted myself a little bit and got angry in some sense.”

Waste Management Phoenix Open. Danny Lee Leads, By Three Shots.

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Danny Lee, from New Zealand has a three shot lead after 54 holes in the  Waste Management Phoenix Open, at TPC Scottsdale.

Danny Lee carded a 4-under 67 and leads by 3 shots heading into Sunday. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Danny Lee / Getty Images

Danny carded a third round -4 under par 67 to lead the Waste Management Phoenix Open by three shots at -13 under par. He spoke a about a great putting day, and is looking for another good day tomorrow. Danny’s “good friend” Ha Na Jang has just won the Coats Golf Championship in Florida, this could be an omen;

“It was a really good putting day.”

I’ve been putting it really well, I am very confident with my putting.”

“Obviously I have never been in this situation before, but I am not going to think about it that much.”

I’m just going to go out there and have another best day tomorrow.”

Hideki Matsuyama and Rickie Fowler are tied in second place, those three shots back at -10 under par. Hideki -3 under 68 today and Rickie seemed to struggle for his -1 under par 70;

“I just didn’t get much out of the round.”

“Just kind of managed it well and played with what I had to get around.”

Through a translator Hideki said he had struggled with his putting;

“I didn’t putt very well today.”

“I didn’t drive the ball very well, but I did get it around. I’m happy with that.”

Boo Weekly and Bryce Molder are tied in fourth spot, both at -9 under par for the tournament. Boo with a very nice -6 under 65 and Bryce one better, -7 under 64.

Crowd favorite Phil Mickelson is alone in sixth place at -8 under par, -6 under 65 today lifting the super star up the leaderboard. Some Mickelson magic tomorrow could work wonders. Something like the spell he cast on the par five 15th today, where made a very unlikely birdie,  his hybrid approach from 255 yards went so far right that it crossed the lake and ended up in the 11th fairway. He recovered by hitting a wedge to 15 feet and then made the putt;

“It was the worst shot of the year and I ended up making a birdie.”

Stevie Williams on Lydia, Tiger and Adam.

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On Tuesday night White Dragon Golf attended an evening with the Worlds number one caddie Stevie Williams, at his home club, Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club, the event was also supported by Paper Plus, the premier book shop in Paraparaumu.

One of the first questions he was asked was about the phenomenal rise of New Zealand’s lady wonder Lydia Ko, who currently sits at the top of the Rolex World Rankings.

Leo Barber, the General Manager of Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club asked the question  about Lydia; here is what Stevie had to say;

Affable sports interviewer for this event, Matt Buck, then quizzed Steve about his relationship with Adam Scott. One fact we should all know is that when Steve signs a contract with a player, in that contract there is a clause requiring that the player will come and play at Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club.

Tiger was brought to the Param golf club to honor that agreement, in 2002, to participate in the New Zealand Open.

Adam Scott will grace our links in the near future, it would be great if that were also a New Zealand Open.

There was a lot of controversy about some of the things Stevie said about his book, Out of the Rough, about his relationship with Tiger Woods, but on the night he was full  of praise for the best golfer in the world;

 

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Par three 2nd Green, and 3rd hole White tee. The Pine forest to the right has now been removed.

 

The Greenbrier Classic. Danny Lee Gets Play-Off Win.

White Dragon GolfThe Greenbrier Classic

Danny Lee, from New Zealand wins The Greenbrier Classic at Old White TPC in a play-off at West Virginia.

The Greenbrier Classic

Danny Lee / Getty Images

Danny shot a final round -3 under par 67, to get into a four-way play-off for The Greenbrier Classic title, at -13 under par. He won on the second extra hole with a par on the par five 17th.

Robert Streb and Kevin Kisner were eliminated on the first extra hole, which left Danny and David Hearn to fight it out on the par five 17th.

Danny spoke about the motions involved in winning, and getting into St Andrews;

“I was just trying to calm down, I was so nervous. My head was blank and I was just trying to breathe.”

“As soon as I stand on the 18th tee box, first playoff hole, I felt ready.”

“I felt like I could really win this thing.”

“The reason I played so many events was I was really trying to make it into the Presidents Cup this year.”

“It’s back in Korea. That’s where I’m born. I kind of feel like I was playing good but not good enough to win a golf tournament, but this week for some reason I just felt right.” 

“It’s my fourth time playing here, and I liked it every single year. Only one wish I had was if I had a girlfriend, it wouldn’t be as lonely in the room.”

“I always wanted to play there, I cannot wait.”

David was proud of the effort he put in trying to win this event, but was also happy to have qualified for St Andrews;

“Real proud of the way I made the putt to extend the playoff and continued to give myself a chance.”

“Just didn’t go my way on that 17th hole. I hit a bad tee shot. That was probably the only bad tee shot I hit all day.”

“I’ve just got to keep giving myself chances like this, and it’s going to happen soon.”

Kevin hit the same club in the play-off at the 18th, it just did not come off the same;

“I thought it was good in the air, probably just a little pumped up. But I was glad to be in that situation.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

N.Z. Open. Four-Way Tie after 1st Round.

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PGA Oz

There is a four-way tie at the top of  the New Zealand Open after the first rounds, being played on two courses, Millbrook and The Hills, on the South Island in New Zealand.

Andrew Boult, Terry Pilkadaris, Jake Stirling and Scott Strange all shot -6 under par 66, for their first rounds of the tournament. All four of these players were on the Millbrook course, the best score on The Hills course was Andrew Martin at -5 under par. Andrew shares second place with four other players.

Andrew Dodt, Australia, rigt and his caddy talk tactics. Photo / Dianne Mason.

Andrew Boult / Dianne Mason

Andrew said he was excited;

“Yeah, I am. I’m not really excited about the weather, though, and what’s to come. To get off to a good start, you feel like you’re in front of the field a bit. If the weather is pretty ordinary, a good round today makes up for that. I played four years in Europe so hopefully I go alright.”

To be honest with you I am not a fan of these competitions which play on multiple courses for the opening rounds. A change in the weather, or in New Zealand a change in the wind direction, could easily alter the way a course plays, favoring one group or another.

The best course for the New Zealand Open has always been Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club, a links course which has hosted 12  N.Z. Open’s in the past. The last competition there attracted no less a player than World Number One Tiger Woods. As always money does the talking, the result was a partnership agreement between Michael Hill Tournaments Limited and the Japanese Golf Tour Organisation.

An aside;

Sir  Bob Charles, who won the event in 1954, as an 18-year-old amateur, he also won again in 1966, 1971 and 1973 and became the only New Zealander to win a major championship in the 20th century,  at the British Open. Sir Bob also  became the first left-handed golfer to win a major championship.

A few facts about Sir Bob;

• Champions Tour money leader, 1988-90
• Champions Tour scoring leader, 1988-89, 1993
• Recipient, Order of the British Empire, 1972
• Recipient, Commander of the British Empire, 1992
• Recipient, Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, 1999
• Recipient, European Seniors Tour Lifetime Achievement Award, 2002

He also knows nothing about Facebook, offering this comment when asked if they could take his picture;

“Do you mind if we take your picture for Facebook, Sir Bob?”

“Sure… what’s that?” 

Australian Amateur Championships, Lydia Ko Beaten

Australian Amateur

Lydia Ko, the Worlds Number 1 ranked amateur women’s player has been beaten in the second round of matchplay at the Australian Amateur Championships.  Lydia lost 2&1 to Aussie Jo Charlton, an unexpected result, and one which means this has been a disappointing start to the season for Lydia. It is also a worrying result for all of Lydia’s fans, especially the people of New Zealand, who thought she was invincible. Brilliant yes, but invincible, no.

I hope this defeat does not have too much of a damaging effect on the brightest star in New Zealand golf.