Blue Bay LPGA. Two Way Tie at the Top.

White Dragon Golf

There are two ladies tied at the top of the Blue Bay LPGA after 54 holes in China. Jessica Korda and Minjee Lee share the lead. Who said yesterday that Minjee would have a leisurely stroll to the title, (well me actually)

Minjee Lee & Jessica Korda / getty

Minjee Lee & Jessica Korda / getty

Minjee managed to squander a six shot lead, returning a third round score of +1 over par 73. Jessica took full advantage, carding a third round -6 under par 66, to level the scores at the top of the Blue Bay LPGA at -11 under par.

Jessica was the only player in the field to birdie the par four 12th hole today;

“Twelve in general is a really hard hole.”

“You have to land it perfectly at the top to have any shot at that pin staying on the back of the green. It’s really wet back there so you don’t want to have to chip up. It’s not an easy chip.”

“So I was just really happy to be on the green to be honest with you and have some type of putt at it.”

“And being able to birdie it, if that’s what my reaction was, I looked up and down and excited, it was more like a surprise and it was a good surprise.”

“Like I said, it’s a really hard hole and a really hard pin, so you’re thinking par is going to be a great score, and the fact that I actually made birdie I’m like, oh, wow, cool, that’s great.”

Minjee is just hoping for a better day tomorrow;

“It wasn’t windy. It wasn’t that windy today, so I guess you could be a bit more aggressive at the pins.”

“I mean, I wasn’t striking it that well, so I think I just got by, making up-and-down.”

“Yeah, tomorrow is another day, so you never know.”

Ariya Jutanugarn is in third place at -9 under par, following her magnificent third round effort of -7 under 65.

Ariya is playing smart golf, keeping the driver in the bag, she wants to win the Rolex Player of the Year award, and currently holds a four point lead over world number one Lydia Ko, who is not in the field this week;

“I think it’s really important because like the Rolex Player of the Year Award, it’s really an honor to win that one, and I think whoever wins really deserves it, because it’s really the hardest one to win.”

“And of course I want to win when I have a chance.”

“This course, you have to be really patient. I think today I maintained my like emotion to be patient, so I just hit like hit my tee shot good.”

“I just be like waiting for birdies, not really rushing trying to make birdies. Just trying to have fun.”

LPGA, HSBC Women’s Champions. Stacy Lewis Wins

 

 

 

 

Stacy Lewis

On the LPGA Tour, Stacy Lewis returned to her winning ways at the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore at the Sentosa Golf Club, with a -15 under par scoreThe Rolex Player of the Year held on to win her first Victory of the 2013 season, a one shot win over Na Yeon Choi, at -14 under par. The final few holes were a tough stretch for Stacy as she watched her three shot lead evaporate to just one as she stood on the 18th tee at the  The Serapong Course. Stacy had unfortunately bogyed 15 and 17, but managed to hang on with a par at the last following a great drive and a second onto the green at the par five, both eagle and birdie putts missed, but pat was good enough for the Title.

Stacy said afterwards that she had played the last all week as a three shot hole;

“All week, I played it as a three-shot hole, laying back short of the bunker and then laying up from there. And I saw where Paula Creamer hit her drive past the bunker and I turned to my caddie, and we both at the same time said driver, and I let it rip and that thing got so far down there.  I think I was actually in between a 4-iron and a hybrid. So we erred on the long side and hit hybrid up on the green, and I thought I made my second putt, but just to have an inside ten feet for birdie, that’s all I was asking for. The last four or five holes, I was pretty nervous, I’m not going to lie, that golf course is hard and it can jump up and get you at any second, and to have to play with two great players on your tail all day, and they played unbelievable, and none of us really, we just couldn’t get any putts to fall on the back nine.  I don’t know what it was.  Edges just seemed a little bit tighter.  Paula had a couple on the edge. I don’t know, I just played hard and put my head down and tried to make as many putts as I could, and fortunately I came away with the win.”

Stacy is projected to move back into the No. 3 spot in the Rolex Rankings, but both she and Na Yeon Choi can now see Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng is within reach.

Yani thinks it is more fun now they are closer;

 “I think this is more fun than like only one player play well, like clear-cut, because there is not really a clear-cut No. 1 right now. I think everybody, you know, is a good competitor with each other and motivate each other, and if someone wins, and I feel like, oh, I need to win next week, that kind of motivates.  So, I feel like very excited.”

Paula Creamer finished in third place, at -13 under par, a fine effort  following a horrible car accident she was involved in on Sunday night in Thailand.

Paula was more than happy with her placing;

Geez, this is much more than what I ever expected, and to have a chance and really have a good chance to win this event, it felt good. It was nice to be in contention and have just a good attitude out there.  I think that’s the biggest thing that I take away from this week.”

Stacy Lewis, Wins Rolex Player of the Year Trophy

Stacy Lewis admires her Rolex 2012 Player of the Year trophy at the LPGA Rolex Awards Celebration at the Ritz-Carlton Resort on November 16, 2012 in Naples, Florida.

Stacy Lewis/ Getty Images

Stacy Lewis was awarded the Rolex 2012 Player of the Year trophy at the LPGA Rolex Awards Celebration at the Ritz-Carlton Resort on November 16, 2012 in Naples, Florida. Her story is of courage and strength, to overcome  Scoliosis, Stacy had to spend seven and a half years in a back brace, until at the age of seventeen her orthopedic surgeon, Dr Gary Brock declared she could remove the brace forever. Dr Brock made the trip from Houston to watch Stacy receive the Rolex Player of the Year award at the Ritz-Carleton, and listened to he her heartfelt 15-minute speech, which brought many in the house to tears. Dr Brock said;

“It was a happy ending, but not a happy middle.”

What an amazing  and rewarding story, to beat Scoliosis and achieve recognition for being the best player on the LPGA in 2012. Stacy spoke about spending seven and a half years in a hard plastic brace for 18 hours a day that put red marks all over her body,  she chose to play sports because those were the only times Dr  Brock gave her permission to take it off. Other poor patients wore a brace 20 hours per day. Stacy made the comment;

“I don’t wish it on any kid, I can tell you that.”

There were players from the LPGA in the audience, Beth Daniel, Meg Malon, Brittany Linicome, and also World number one player Yani Tseng. Two weeks ago Stacy and Yani were playing together in Japan, Stacy had just birdied 16 and 17, and on the 18th tee Yani said to Stacy;

“One more. You got this, one more.”

Stacy said in her speech about her Mizuno Classic triumph;

” One more was what I needed.”

Stacy / Mizuno Classic/bangkokbobbysports.wordpress.com.

 Stacy was seven strokes behind South Korean Lee Bo-mee entering the last round, she fired in  10 birdies with two bogeys to finish at 11-under par, at Kintetsu Kashikojima. She said of her win;

”I don’t think I’ve ever come back from this far,’ I didn’t think the low numbers were out there until someone shot an 8 under yesterday. I just went out there today trying to make birdies and got 10 of them, which is pretty good.”

I don’t think Stacy understood her comment about never have come from so far back, she actually came from seven and a half years back. Congratulations on your Rolex Player of the Year award, and many more wins on the course in the future.