Blue Bay LPGA. Minjee Lee Leads

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Minjee Lee leads after the first round of the Blue Bay LPGA in China.

Blue Bay LPGA

Minjee Lee / getty

Minjee put together a -7 under par 65 in the opening round of the Blue Bay LPGA, giving her a two shot lead over the field.

She only had a limited practice here, good putting helped her today;

“Well, I only had, I got nine holes practice yesterday, because we flew in yesterday.”

 “But no, I just took it one shot at a time and didn’t try to get ahead of myself. Just played my own game today and a lot of my putts dropped today.”

Jessica Korda and Sandra Gal share second place at -5 under, with their opening rounds of 67.

Sandra made an Eagle, on the par four second hole;

 “Yeah, it was my second hole, I had around, I think I had 89 yards to the pin and there was a little back stop so I played it to go a little long and come back and I had a perfect line and it just rolled in.”

“It’s just a nice start. To hit it close or even go in the hole, it just kind of jump starts your round and kind of gets you in a nice flow, which I then kept up for the rest of the day.”

“That was a nice eagle.”

Last weeks winner Carlota Ciganda, and Chella Choi are tied in fourth place at -4 under par.

Chella is happy that the course is easier to play this year;

“I played so well the first year, and last year is not good.”

“But this tournament, I like this golf course, because the shape is very good and condition is very good, but green is a little bit slow.”

“Last year, conditions are more harder because if I hit the green, always over. But this year, like if I hit the green, it stops, my ball.”

“It’s easier than last year. It’s more easier because last year very difficult.”

 

 

ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters. In-Kyung Kim Wins.

White Dragon GolfISPS Ladies European Masters

In-Kyung Kim , from South Korea, wins the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters tournament at  Golf Club Hubbelrath in Germany.

 ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters

In-Kyung Kim / getty

In-Kyung won the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters tournament with a final bogey free round of -9 under par 63, to post a -17 under par winning score.

 In-Kyung had previously won this title, in 2014 at Buckinghamshire Golf Club in England, and amazingly shot 63 in the final round then. Today the putts all dropped as well;

“It’s a totally different feeling because then we played in England and now we’re playing in Germany.”

“There is such a big Korean community in Germany because after the war a lot of people came for work and stayed here.”

“It means a lot to be the only Korean in the field, so I wanted to play well, but you cannot force golf; it’s four rounds.”

“I really wanted to shoot something lower than 63, because I have shot 63 before, but that is something I cannot control. I had a lot of chances today.”

 “I did my best on every shot from the first day and today it just kind of came together with some good putts. I had 26 putts today.”

“Yesterday I hit the ball as well but the putts didn’t fall.”

kimtree250 

In-Kyung Kim planted a Fagus Sylvatica tree at Golf Club Hubbelrath in support of the club’s “Golf and Nature” programme.

Belen Mozo, from Spain, who aced the 13th hole in the final round, captured second place, a last round -3 under par 69 giving her a -12 under par total, seven shots off the lead, which amazed her;

“I wasn’t paying attention to the scores however I did glimpse the scoreboard on 12 and I saw IK Kim minus 15.”

“I knew she was a great player but I didn’t expect it.”

Home heroine Sandra Gal, -3 under 69 today, tied for third with Sweden’s Camilla Lennarth, who posted a final round -5 under 67, both ladies with -11 under totals.

 

 

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.

 

 

LPGA. CME Group Titleholders. Three Tied at the Top, Day 3

CME Group Titleholders - Naples, FL

There are three ladies tied at the top of the leaderboard at the CME Group Titleholders event on the Tiburón Golf Club course, in Florida, at the conclusion of play on day 3.

Natalie Gulbis

Natalie Gulbis / Getty Images

Natalie is joined at the top of the leaderboard by  Gerina Piller and Pornanong Phatlum after three rounds of play at the season-ending CME Group Titleholders on the  Tiburón Golf Club course in Naples. All three ladies stand at -11 under par for the tournament. Natalie shooting a third round -7 under par 65, with Gerina and Phatlum both recording third rounds of -5 under par 67.

Natalie has switched to TaylorMade irons and needed coach Butch Harmon to sort her game out. Natalie and Butch both recommend using Winn Grips, which why we here at White Dragon Golf fit Winn Grips to our putters, the only manufacturer to do so. Natalie said she had been off for three weeks working to improve her game;

“I’ve been off for three weeks and I’ve been home in Las Vegas working with my coach, Butch Harmon. I didn’t play that well in Asia and there was a lot to do on my golf game.  I changed irons, which as any player knows it’s quite a process to change irons and switch to the new TaylorMade irons and just spent a lot of time with Butch redoing every aspect of my game and just working on fundamentals.”

Gerina needs to convince herself not to be nervous on the first tee;

“Tomorrow I think I’m just going to keep telling myself what I’ve been telling myself, when you stand on that first tee, just because you’re nervous doesn’t mean you’re going to hit a bad shot. I feel like I’m striking it well and this win would be. I mean, just winning has always been a goal of mine and I’ve never won as a professional.  So, for one, I’m excited that I put myself in this position to begin with and just have fun with it.  It’s the last round of the year.”

Phatlum said she was concentrating on her putting;

” I just like more focused about putting because I feel comfortable about hitting and today hitting very good, putting today. Tomorrow would be get a lot of pressure.  I want to try like stay on my game and trust in myself to do every shot by shot.”

 Stacy Lewis shot the round of the day and in doing so set a new tournament record with a -9 under par 63. Stacy tied her career low, which she shot previously on three separate occasions. She carded eight birdies, an eagle and one bogey to jump from T23 to a tie for fourth place. Hitting the ball better was the key to her magical round;

” I hit the ball a lot better.  Kind of just all week just been working on my swing, working on my putting and just I found a couple things that clicked yesterday afternoon and then this morning.  I mean, the hole‑out was definitely a nice way to get started and then from there it was actually pretty easy. I wanted to play good today just to kind of take all the worry out of tomorrow for Vare Trophy.  I definitely overachieved what I thought I could do on this golf course, so I’m right back in the mix of things.  I think I’m going to have to do it again, probably maybe not as low, but it’s got to be a good one again tomorrow to be there.

The leader for the first two days Sandra Gal sadly suffered a slump in round three carding a +2 over par 74, to be in a tie for fourth place with Stacy, Lexi and Shanshan.

CME Group Titleholders. Sandra Still Top

CME Group Titleholders - Naples, FL

 Sandra Gal is still at the top of the leaderboard in the CME Group Titleholders tournament in Florida after the second round.

Sandra Gal / Getty Images

Super Sandra the first round leader holds on to top spot in the second round shooting -3 under par 69, she said the advantage was due to yesterdays great round;

“My advantage was yesterday, shooting eight-under was big. Today it was hard for everybody to catch up. That’s what gave me that three-shot lead.”

Yoo Sun-young added a another round of -4 under par 68. for -8 under par total for the tournament and lay claim to second place on the on the leaderboard;

“I’m very pleased with how I played, I recovered very well.”

Cristie Kerr, Gerina Piller and Pornanong Phatlum are tied in third place at -6 under par.

Professional debutant Lydia Ko matched her first-round score of 71 to sit at -2 under par, while world number one Inbee Park was ninth at -4 under par.

Lydia said she was frustrated with her putting;

“I thought I played much better today than yesterday, but the score was the same. I left a couple of my putts short just in front of the hole. Then when I got my speed right, the direction was wrong, so that was kind of frustrating.”

LPGA. CME Group Titleholders. Super Sandra Gal

CME Group Titleholders - Naples, FL

Sandra Gal, from Germany holds the first round lead at the CME Group Titleholders event at Tiburón Golf Club, in Naples, Florida, following her super opening effort of 64, equaling the course record.

Sandra Gal / Getty

Sandra opened the CME Group Titleholders event in Florida with a -8 under par round of 64, to top the leaderboard. Sandra started the round on the back nine with six birdies in a row , she said she wanted to be aggressive;

“Well, I thought this tournament was a little different than the other ones, so I thought I’m just going to be really aggressive and just go for everything because really all you want to do is win here. Any other place it doesn’t really matter that much.  So that’s kind of the mindset I had and I think that really helped me and I just kept rolling in putts.  Started with six in a row, so that was kind of fun.”

Canadian Rebecca Lee-Bentham is just one shot behind after her first round -7 under par 65, and reported she will keep on doing what works for her;

“I guess just continue doing what I’m doing, it’s very easy to over think it.  If I just play like I did today, I’d be fine.  I don’t have too many expectations, just to go out and have fun.  And I’m glad I’m playing hopefully with Sandra because she’s a really, really nice player.I played with her at the Evian and she’s just such a sweet girl.  I actually was thinking about it, I was like if I make this putt, I might be able to play with her, so yeah. To be honest, like these past couple weeks I haven’t been hitting it too well. This morning I was kind of in a panic mode, like I didn’t think this round was actually going to be this good.  I feel like the day just went my way, ended up hitting it fine, ball went wherever I wanted it to and my putting was on today so that made all the difference.”

There are three players tied in third spot, Anna Nordqvist, Shanshan Feng and last weeks winner Lexi Thompson, all on -6 under par.

Anna has been in contention this year without winning, in fact her winless drought goes back five years;

“I feel I’ve been playing pretty solid golf probably since the U.S. Open this year, just haven’t really got any results going, so it’s been a little bit disappointing. I just try to keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully it will pay off.  Had a pretty good go in Korea, didn’t finish very good the last couple holes.  I feel like I’m doing a lot of good stuff, just haven’t really, maybe had one or two so‑so rounds in those other tournaments.  Out here the competition is really tough and you’ve got to have four solid ones, so I’m just missing that last one.”

Sounds like Lexi has the entire Thompson family coming to cheer her on;

“My mom, my dad, my dad’s parents, my mom’s mom, my mom’s brother, Nick’s actually coming in tomorrow. And I have my agents here, and I have a few;  my godparents are coming in and a few members from my golf course are coming in. We read a lot of good putts today, we were off on a few, but he is a great green reader.  Giving me the confidence over the shots when I say I’m going to hit this shot, hit a little draw in, he was like yeah, that’s perfect.  That’s really all you need out there is that little confidence boost going into a shot.”

New professional Lydia Ko said she just played her normal game, recording a -1 under par 71 in her first event as one of the Pro’s;

” Just normal, it didn’t feel too odd or special or slow or whatever today.  That actually surprised me, I thought I would be much more nervous.  And actually one of the good things was I actually wasn’t thinking about any money or related stuff, I just tried to play my game, which was obviously very helpful.”

LPGA. Kingsmill Championship. Ayria Asserts Her Position at the Top

Seventeen year-old Ariya Jutanugarn asserted her top spot in the Kingsmill Championship with a second round of par, teeing off on number ten she sadly collected three bogey’s on the back nine, but recovered with three birdies on the front nine.  It was enough though to maintain her position at the top of the leaderboard, at -7 under par.

Ayria Jutanugarn / LPGA

Ayria reported that all three bogeys were due to missing short putts;

” So it just like have to keep like my putting, you know, everything’s like I hit my irons like very good, my driver is like perfect, so I just want to try to fix my putting. So after the front nine, my putting’s get better but I still miss a lot of short putt. You know, when I first start on the front nine, I saw the leader, so it’s okay, I just want to keep my game. And right now for me everybody still have chance to win, so I just do my best my last two day.”

Tied in second place, at -6 under par, are Angela Stanford and Stacy Lewis, the girls are really close together, with both of them shooting first and second rounds of  68, also carding four birdies and one bogey each in Friday’s second round.

Stacy said she had given herself lots of chances in the early windy conditions;

” You know, I played pretty much the same, I think I hit it a little better today, which you needed to do because it was so windy, but I gave myself a lot of birdie chances, which was nice.  Definitely would have liked to have made a few more putts, but I think I’m in a really good spot going into the weekend.  The wind’s not dying down out there so it’s going to be tough this afternoon.”

Angela referred to Ground-Hog Day;

” Overall it seems like it was Ground-Hog Day, I hit 14 greens again and had 29 putts again and got up and down every time again, so kind of interesting that they seem like carbon copies of each other.  One was a 3‑putt, yesterday I had one 3‑putt, so it’s really weird.”

There are three players are in a tie for fourth place after the two rounds, all at 5-under par, including two former Kingsmill Championship winners “Sexy” Cristie Kerr and Suzann Pettersen. They are joined by the 2011 Kia Classic Champ Sandra Gal.