Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic. Haru Nomura Wins.

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Haru Nomura wins the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic  at Lake Merced Golf Club, in San Francisco.

Haru Nomura / getty images

Haru, from Japan, carded a final round +1 over par 73 for the final round, in the windy conditions that dominated play this week, to win the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic with -9 under par total.

She said, via an interpreter, that she was not nervous on the day,

“No. I’m never nervous.”

 “This weather very cold, so sometimes bogey is okay.”

“You guys will find this strange, but I like windy situations.”

“I like playing in the wind. I like tough situations, so when I spoke to the caddie, even before the championship last week in Hawaii, I told him, I’m going to come here and win this tournament because I really like this course.”

“I enjoy this course. I’m glad that I was able to deliver on what I told my caddie.”

Lee-Anne Pace was in second place, four shots off the lead at-5 under for the tournament. Signing for a final round +2 over par 74 in the tough conditions, which she said was insane;

“Personally, insane.”

“No, look, it was freezing. It was very, very gusty.”

“A lot of the shots you stood over and it was just really, really difficult to commit to the lines, everything. It was a very tough day out there.”

Lee-Anne started the day with five straight bogey’s, and gave herself a good talking to;

“What are you doing?”

 “No, you know, my caddie came to me again, and he said to me, everyone is going down, be patient.”

“I know we made some mistakes, but come on, let’s get it back to even par, and that was our goal, and we got it back to two over, so nearly reached the goal and got a good result in the end.”

Tied in third place at -4 under par were Gerina Pillar, +1 over 73 today and Na Yeon Choi, +3 over 75.

Gerina had family watching her, and keeping her up to date with the carnage that was going on around her;

“I got a few updates, one of my cousins was watching so she was kind of giving me an update of what was going on.”

“It’s actually kind of cool because it kind of took my mind off of my game and what I had to do today, and just because it’s so windy.”

“I was kind of more worried about him than I was my own game.”

No three-peat for World number one Lydia Ko, she scored a +3 over par 75 today, leaving her at -1 under for the tournament, and T6.

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic. Haru Has Last Round 3 Shot Advantage

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Haru Nomura from Japan, has a 3 shot advantage going into the final round of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in San Francisco.

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

Haru Nomura / getty images

 Haru carded a third round -1 under par 71 to take control of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic leaderboard at -10 under par for 54 holes of the competition.

At the conclusion of the round, played in very blustery conditions, Haru, and her caddie Jason McDede, and also playing partner Minjee Lee,  met with LPGA rules officials for around 45-minutes talking about Haru’s stance in the greenside bunker at the 6th hole where she was seen to be having trouble taking a proper stance;

“What happened was the bunker on number six, the greenside bunker on the left, it was slopey, so I was trying to take a stance, but I kept slipping downhill, and in order to get a firm stance, I had to; even when I had to do a practice swing, I had to swing real hard, and when I did, I kept moving forward again and again.”

“There was no option but to move like that, but they were saying that I was moving excessively, but what I was trying to tell them was, okay, then what is the guideline.”

There should be some sort of a standard, a regulation that explains what a fraction is and not. So that was what was going on.”

Some very sad TV viewer, who must sit watching with the rule book in their lap,  sent an email the Officials, this is the statement from the  LPGA Rules Committee;

“Rule 13-3 , A player is entitled to place her feet firmly in taking his stance, but she must not build a stance.”

“An email was sent to LPGA.com stating Haru may have violated Rule 13-3 – by “building a stance” in the greenside bunker on Hole #6. This was relayed to the Rules Committee who went to the television production trailer to review the footage of the incident. The Committee reviewed the video, and after a discussion with the player and her caddie, it was determined that no breach occurred.”

By contrast, some months ago Branden Grace had a ball come to rest, in long grass on top of a bunker, and tried to take a stance in the steep slope of the bunker. He called for a referee and was given a free drop away from the bunker.

Lee- Anne Pace, with a -3 under par 69 moving her up the leaderboard, while just about everyone else went backwards today, shares second place with Ha Yeon Choi, -1 under 71 today, both ladies at -7 under par for the tournament.

One of those in reverse today was World number one Lydia Ko, recording a third round +1 over par 73. to be T5 at -4 under par in the competition.

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic. So Yeon Ryu Leads.

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So Yeon Ryu leads the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic after the first round in San Francisco.

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

So Yeon Ryu

 

So Yeon carded a bogey free 1st round -9 under par 63, a new tournament record, to lead the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic by two shots at the and of day one in San Francisco, and said she got lucky with an early tee time, and enjoyed some good putting;

“Well, I was kind of lucky to tee it off really early.”

 “I had a really fresh green, no wind.”

“Also San Francisco is really cold in the morning, but this morning it was just perfect temperature.”

“Then I think today everything was just great. My tee shot was great. I only missed one green today. I shot 17 greens. Putting was really good.”

“I think I pretty much complete everything, also I hit the ball a little longer.”

“So I feel pretty much comfortable with the long game. We were just more working on my short game, especially my putting.”

“I have been working with Ian Baker-Finch as well, so Ian and Cameron been discuss about my putting as well.”

“So, yeah, feels really good to have really good team.”

Haru Nomura is in second place, an opening round -7 under par 65, keeping her in touch with the leader.

Tied in third place at -5 under par are Xi Yu Lin and Christel Boeljon.

Xi had talks with her caddie on how they go forward;

“Well, she is very experienced because she used to be player, we been working together for a long time. We know each other.”

“So I decide to just tell her all my feeling, and sometimes just get the feeling this club is right even it doesn’t look right. So I just tell her. I telling her everything.”

“I’m so nervous hitting this drive or I don’t like this pin position, so let’s hit to the middle of the green. We talk a lot. Like soon as I make it clear, I can have a good rhythm.”

Defending Champion, World number one, Lydia Ko opened with a more modest -4 under par to be T4;

“I mean, it’s a tough course so you almost need to take advantage of the holes where you’re coming in with shorter clubs. I guess those are kind of like the par-5s.”

“If they become reachable, then if we make an eagle, that’s just an extra bonus”

“It’s tough, especially with the rough being lush. When you get those birdie opportunities you need to try and grab them. Yeah, there is not really one particular hole. But to me, I think No.4, the par-4, is one of the toughest holes on the course.”

“Even if you’re hitting a short iron with the way that hole is kind of set up, if you come off with four pars at the end of the week, that’s pretty good.”

Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

Lydia Ko / getty images

WGC Cadillac Championship. Rory Triumphs.

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Rory McIlroy came through to triumph in the WGC Cadillac Championship at TPC Harding Park in chilly San Francisco.

WGC Cadillac Championship

Rory & WGC Trophy / Getty Images

Rory defeated Gary Woodland in the final of the WGC Cadillac Championship by a margin of 4 & 2 in a tense match where neither of them brought their A game to the course.

Rory got up early to birdie the 22nd hole in his ongoing quarter-final match with Paul Casey, which put him in the semi’s against Jim Furyk. He came good again at the end sinking a 30ft Eagle putt to spoil Jim’s day, beating him 1up.

Rory is conscience of the presence of Jordan Spieth in the World rankings, and is pleased he is still out in front;

“It’s nice to have that healthy lead and I want to try to keep increasing it, but ultimately it’s about wins. If you win, it takes care of all that.”

“Once I got up on the match, I just tried to up the intensity a little bit and take advantage of that.”

“I feel like every time I get in these positions to win tournaments and close tournaments out and I do it, it adds to that ability to really knuckle down when I need to.”

“I think sometimes finals might not have the quality of some of the previous rounds, whether that’s to do with a little bit of fatigue kicking in or maybe just the occasion or whatever.”

“I felt like Gary and I didn’t get off to the best of starts. There was a bit of an ebb and flow in the match, but thankfully I was on the better side of it at the end.”

He can now go and celebrate his 26th birthday in some style on Monday.

Gary lamented having a bad day today against Rory, after he had dispatched Danny Willett 3 & 2 in his semi;

“You’ve got to get lucky in match play. If you have your bad round, you’ve got to hope the guy you’re playing with has a bad round, as well.”

“I was fortunate to get away with a bad round on Wednesday against Jimmy [Walker]. But when you’re playing the No. 1 player in the world, you can’t have a bad round.”

“I kept telling myself on the back nine, the last three or four matches he’s been down going into the last hole.”

“I was trying to fight to get back in the match, telling myself just give yourself chances, give yourself chances, finally a putt will go in.”

“I mean if there’s anybody that likes to front run, it’s him.”

“A lot of guys can flip the switch, but the switch doesn’t work all the time, his switch worked.”

“He flipped it. You could see he had a little more pep in his step, he was walking a little more quickly. You could tell.”

Danny Willett went on to win the consolation match against Jim Furyk to finish solo third. The FedExCup points gave him enough on the season to qualify for Special Temporary Membership for the 2014-15 season. If he  finishes in the top 125 in FedExCup points this season, he’ll earn a PGA TOUR card for 2015-16;

“Luckily we’ve just about covered that, which is nice; then we can kind of build in a schedule.”

 

WGC Cadillac Match Play. Darkness Defeats Rory & Paul.

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Darkness finally defeated Rory McIlroy and Paul Casey in their quarter-final game at the WGC Cadillac Match Play in San Francisco.

WGC Cadillac Match Play

Paul & Rory / Getty Images

After 21 holes could not separate Rory and Paul, the impending darkness did, forcing the pair from the TPC Harding Park course. All square after 18 holes they moved into a sudden death play-off, for a spot in the semi-finals, against Jim Furyk.

The late start and the extra holes preventing Rory from taking his seat at the MayPac fight in Las Vegas. He had  a chance to snatch victory at the third play-off attempt at the 16th hole, he blamed the deepening gloom for missing the putt;

“Probably, this obviously could have been avoided if we went off a little earlier.”

“But it’s just the position that I’m in.”

“That’s fine. I have to do it. It’s the position I’m in and I’ll be here at 6:45 in the morning.”

“I’ll try and come out fast and win that hole and try to advance to the last four.”

Paul was ducking and diving, but could have won it in regular time, but missed an 8ft putt on the 17th;

“I dodged a couple of bullets, but I also felt like I gave him one, too. I’m glad we’re teeing off tomorrow, simple as that.”

The quarterfinal playoff will resume early at No. 1 hole on Sunday morning, with the winner advancing to play Jim Furyk in the semifinals.

Jim defeated Louis Oosthuizen 4 & 2, while Gary Woodland dispatched John Senden 5 & 3. Tommy Fleetwood was on the wrong side of a 4 & 3 defeat to countryman Danny Willett.

Danny will face Gary in the semi’s, and Jim will have to wait to see who he has for an opponent on Sunday morning.

Jim said he likes the new format;

“I think there can be tweaks, but I like the format better than in the past.”

“That’s a little bit of a homer thing, too, because I’ve never made it this far.”

As Rory could not make it to Vegas for the big fight, he had to watch it in the media center.

MayPac Las Vegas

Rory watching MayPac fight

 

WGC Cadillac Match – Play. The Last 16, Rory Makes It,

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Rory McIlroy, the world number one has made it into the last 16 of the WGC Cadillac Match-Play in San Francisco.

WGC Cadillac Match Play

Rory and Billy, it took 20 holes./Getty Images

Billy Horschel, the FedExCup champion took Rory McIlroy, all the way to 20 holes before he finally conceded defeat to the World number one.

Rory came to life late in the round, scoring winning birdies at the last two holes to square the match and force the extra holes. He said the putt on 17 was the best he had all day;

“I hit the best putt I hit all day.”

“Somehow I was able to turn it around.”

Billy was disappointed not make it through to the last 16, and said it had been a good match;

“I knew he was due to make something. Just a great match.”

“To take the best player in the world right now to 20 holes, it’s just unfortunate because I didn’t play bad at all.”

Lee Westwood won his group, defeating the hottest young player in the world right now, Jordan Spieth. Age and experience finally wearing down Jordan, who knew it was a demanding group to be in, the Masters Champ reporting;

“No complaints, I’m 16 under in three rounds.”

“In our group there’s only been two bogeys made against me in the three days. That’s just a challenging group. It’s match play.”

“What are you going to do? I’m excited about the way I’m playing. Got a lot of momentum going into next week. Kind of a shame that it had to end that way.”

Lee made a poor start to the contest, being two down after two holes;

“I knew Jordan was going to be tough to beat, and sliding down the banister to start, 2 down after 2, I had to regroup and fight back after that.”

“I think probably getting out of the group is really one of the toughest things to do this week.”

The last 16 matches line-up, and my predictions

 Marc Leishman v Gary Woodland                  Gary to Win

John Senden v Hunter Mahan                           Hunter to Win

Branden Grace v Tommy Fleetwood               Tommy to Win    

 Lee Westwood v Danny Willett                         Lee to Win

Jim Furyk v JB Holmes                                        Jim to Win

 Louis Oosthuizen v Rickie Fowler                   Rickie to Win

 Charl Schwartzel v Paul Casey                          Paul to Win

Rory McIlroy v Hideki Matsuyama                 Rory to Win