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LPGA. Lotte Championship. Awesome Angela Extends Lead.

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An awesome third round from Angela Stanford saw her extend her lead in the LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii.

Angela Stanford / Getty

Angela compiled at third round of -5 under par 67 to extend her lead to four shots, with her total of -13 under par, at the Ko Olina Golf Club in Hawaii.

She said afterwards that she was happy to have picked up three birdies early on, when the wind was not quite as strong as it became later in the day;

“I didn’t think the wind was blowing as hard when we started, so it was kind of nice to get out there and get a little bit of a rhythm. It really picked up on the back. So it got tough towards the end just because it was windy and it started to become a really long round. But for the most part, my putter was great again, so that was a lot of it.”

“I just like some of these holes and I think every golfer will tell you, when you play different golf courses, there are some holes you like and some you don’t. I’m fortunate that the ones I like are grouped together, so that’s fine, nice. The ones I don’t like are kind of bookends.”

Sharing second place, and now four strokes adrift are, Michelle Wie and Hyo Joo Kim, both at -9 under par for the tournament.

Local favorite Michelle admitted to missing a few shots on the course today;

“Yeah, left a couple of shots out there today, but I have one more day and hopefully tomorrow I’ll make a lot of birdies and catch up to her. It’s going to be fun tomorrow. Ideally going into tomorrow I wouldn’t want to be this far behind. I think it’ll make it more interesting tomorrow. Just go out there and try to make some birdies early on and see what I can do.”

Hyo Joo Kim had set herself a target of a top ten finish here, and has not changed her mind;

“I’m not going to change my goal today or tomorrow, the top ten is still my goal, but anything I know where I am now and anything that happens from this point on, and if I finish better than top ten, that is a bonus and I will have a good time.”

In fourth place on her own at -8 under par is Cristie Kerr, rookie Amy Anderson, top-ranked Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu were tied for fifth place at -6 under par.

LPGA Lotte Championship. Angela Shoots Eight Under.

dragon logo darkAngela Stanford has taken the lead at the LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii, shooting eight under par 64 at the Ko Olina Golf Club.

Angela Stanford

Angela Stanford / Getty Images

Angela takes a one shot lead into the third round following her remarkable -8 under par 64 second round. She said the low round was long overdue, and the putting made the difference;

I guess it’s been a while, I can’t really remember. It was nice to have today because I’ve had these stretches where I’ve played good in a round and then I’ll make a bogey or two and kind of lose my focus. So it was nice when I had a couple long par putts to make or when I had to get up and down, I did. It was nice to be in that zone all day.”

“But today was about putting, finally I got comfortable on these greens and it felt great. I mean, to see that the ball go in that much is a lot of fun. It was nice to see. I needed a round like that. I think it’s more about putting, I hate to admit this, but I don’t always control my trajectory on purpose. It just kind of happens. When I start getting into the wind, and I’ve talked about this with my instructor, for some reason my body just starts moving into the ball more and I tend to keep it lower. It may just be growing up in Texas and that is how you grow up playing golf.

Just one shot behind is Michelle Wie, she carded a second round of -5 under par 67, for tournament total -7 under par. Michelle was still talking about the wind;

“It was still windy but not crazy windy as it was yesterday afternoon, I’ll take five under par. I knew I could have made a couple more birdies out there on the last couple of holes, but I’ll take it. I think Duncan, my caddie, did a really good job on course management. I think we there’s a lot tucked pins today. You kind of played it safe on a couple, made some putts. Then I think it was just good course management.”

There are four Ladies tied in third spot at -6 under par, Inbee Park, Cristie Kerr, Hyo Joo Kim and So Yeon Ryu are all still very much in this competition.

Cristie commented on her bogey-free -6 under par 66;

“It was like a slow buildup the whole day, I was really determined. I just wanted to keep the momentum going. I was very focused today”

Hyo Joo Kim thought she was going to put together a really good round, but somehow lost confidence. Good putting helped;

 “I start out good but as I progressed, I lost confidence.  I expected it to be a better round today, but it turned out to be worse. But I’m doing all right. I plan to have birdies all the time, whenever I have a chance. You know, it’s windy outside so that’s a big factor. I like the putting that I performed today.”

L.E.T. World Ladies Championship. Suzann Strengthens Her Position.

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Mission Hills Suzann Pettersen strengthens her position at the top of the leaderboard in the World Ladies Championship, at Mission Hills in China.

 

Suzann Pettersen / Getty

Defending champion Suzann Pettersen carded a bogey free second round -5 under-par 68, on the par 73 Blackstone Course at Mission Hills Resort to stretch her lead to two shots at the half-way stage of the competition. Her two round total is -11 under par.

Suzann said she would need to be at least 16 under par for the next two rounds;

“Today was a little windy as we started, overall it was pretty decent. I feel like the par fives are playing like long par fours so five under today is certainly where I should be. You can really go low out here. There were a couple of really low ones out here today. It’s impossible to say. I think you’ve got to be at least sixteen under-par for the next two rounds, then I think you’re in good shape.”

There are five ladies tied in second place at -9 under par, they are; Trish Johnson, Ye Na Chung, Valentine Derry, So Yeon Ryu and Nikki Campbell.

So Yeon recorded two eagles in her second round of -5 under par 68, she explained how easy they both were;

 “The first was on hole six. I hit a three-wood and then a three-wood again the second shot. My eagle putt was just three feet. On hole 16 I hit a driver on the green and it was an eight foot eagle putt and I made it. I think it was 260 to the pin.”

Trish spoke about how low you would need to be to win here;

“Obviously there are two or three people in the field who can shoot anything under so it’s a case of wait and see what happens. I would imagine you’ve got to be 20 to 24 under to win, so it’s going to be a hell of a weekend.”

Valentine also reported how easy the par fives are round this course;

 “I started pretty well making birdies on the par fives. They are reachable in two so I think that’s easy and I just made a couple of putts and hit really good shots and shot five under.”

Korean Ye Na said she only tried to lay to par, and carded a -4 under par 69;

 “I tried not to be greedy today, so I focused on making a par on every hole and I think that was the reason for my score.”

Low round of the day was from Diana Luna, a personal low round of -9 under par 64 which included two eagles, on the second and sixteenth holes. As well as seven birdies and two bogeys on the par 73 lay-out;

 “I think I was in a very good mood today. I was smiling all the time and pretty relaxed. It worked out pretty well.”

 

LPGA. LORENA OCHOA INVITATIONAL. Thompson Triumphs.

Lexi Thompson triumphs at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational at the Guadalajara Country Club, in Mexico.

 

Lexi Thompson / Getty

Lexi proved she had nerves of steel in the final round of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, sinking a five foot putt on the final hole to win the title. Lexi completed her final round in -3 under par 69, to finish with a -16 under par total. Stacy Lewis was resigned to second place despite a valiant -4 under par 68 last round, which gave her a -15 under par total score.

Lexi said Stacy is an amazing player, and also spoke about the fifty foot putt to set the winning putt;

“Stacy is an amazing player, I knew she could make a run at me anytime during that round. When she made the two shot swing on me, I think on number 12, it brought it back to all squared. I knew I had to make birdies on top of her because she gets on a roll and she doesn’t stop. She’s an amazing player and played great today. First off, I had like a 50 to 60 footer for the first one, which was interesting getting up there within a few feet. You know on the second putt, that’s what it all came down to thinking I can make it and went up to it confidently. Just knock it in.”

Stacy said she was upset at the result, she let it slip away;

 “Well obviously right now, I’m really disappointed. I gave that one to her. I had that one in my hands, and just didn’t get it done.  I knew I had to make it. I had a good line on it, just with these greens, those downhill putts are the hardest ones to make. I hit a good putt, I hit it where I wanted to. It just didn’t go in.”

Third place went to So Yeon Ryu, a final round of -3 under par 69 was good enough to finish alone at -13 under par.

Inbee Park, final round -3 under par 69, won the Rolex Player of the Year Award, the first South Korean to claim the honor, she finished this tournament tied in seventh place with Suzann Pettersen.

Inbee Park / Getty

Inbee was overjoyed to win her title;

“It feels great to be the first one to win. Today was a tough day especially playing with Suzann in the final round. It’s actually kind of good to be playing with her because she’s always a very tough one to beat. She’s very competitive and today was hard but I finally did it. This week’s goal was to go next week stress free, and that’s what I just did. Next week’s just going to be a fun week for me. No more thinking about the Rolex Player of the Year race so it’s going to be fun.”

Inbee also made history in women’s golf in the first half of the season, becoming the first player since Babe Zaharias to win the first three major championships of the year. She joined Zaharias (1950), Mickey Wright (1961) and Pat Bradley (1986) as the only women to have won three majors in a single season.

LPGA. Lorena Ochoa Invitational. Three Tied at the Top, Day 2

Anna Nordqvist, So Yeon Ryu, and Pornanong Phatlum share the lead at -9 under-par after two rounds of play at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, in Mexico.

Anna Nordqvist / Getty

Day one tournament  leader Pornanong Phatlum followed-up her opening  -6 under par 66 with a -3 under par 69 on Friday, she said she relies on her brother Pornpong, who is on her bag to keep her calm. The putting was not so good today;

“Today, I’m very happy with my score, but the putting not very good today, I just missed a few short putts.  He always talks to me, calm down, don’t pressure myself.”

In the trio of  Jenny ShinAnna Nordqvist and So Yeon Ryu, Anna and So Yeon said they leaned heavily on each other’s support to move into a share of the lead.

So Yeon said the pair enjoyed each others company;

“You know I am always really happy to play with Anna, we have so much fun always so I love it. We pretty much played so well especially on the back-nine. We hit a really great shot and she made every birdie putt. I was really excited to see her, to see how she is playing. Also, I really happy we finish with a birdie at the last hole. Well, to be honest, I was a bit like crazy about the winning thing. I spent time in Korea last few weeks and lot of people talking about to me like, what do you think about the winning, when are you going to make wins, that type of things. So I think I couldn’t play my game last few weeks. I play golf for other people, but now I realize I have to play golf for, just my golf. So I’m just trying to have fun out there and don’t think about the like winning thing and if I could make a lot of birdie, I can be close to winning.”

Anna added;

“I mean you know, it’s just a fun atmosphere and we played with Jenny Shin today and she was solid pretty much the whole round. You know you just try to keep up and you know feed off of each other and give yourself a large chance for birdies.”

Young 18-year-old Lexi Thompson is tied in fourth place with Gerina Piller and Inbee Park, all at -8 under par, just one shot off the lead. Lexi fired in a  -8 under par 64 second round to move into contention. She loves the fans, and spends lots of time to make sure they all get an autograph;

“The fans mean so much to me, I mean keeping in touch with them, seeing them out there, following me, just supporting me through the bad and good times it does mean a lot to me. That’s always how I’ve been. Even after a bad round, I’ll sign every autograph because I mean they came out to watch me, so I can spend some of that time to show that I care about them.”

Lexi Thompson / Getty

LPGA. Marathon Classic. Three Tied At The Top.

There are three Ladies tied at the top of the Marathon Classic leaderboard after the first round at  Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio. Spaniard Beatriz Recari and Americans Paula Creamer and Alison Walshe are tied at the top of the leaderboard at the conclusion of  the second-round with scores of  -8 under-par.

Alison Walshe, Beatriz Recari and Paula Creamer / Getty Images

First round leader Alison Walshe has company at the top of the leaderboard after the conclusion of the second round of the Marathon Classic. She has been joined by Beatriz Recari and Paula Creamer, all tied at -8 under par for the tournament at  Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio.

Beatriz had a blistering second round score of -7 under par 65, Paula -4 under and Alison a -3 under effort on the day.

Beatriz said her round was really good;

” My round was really, really good, I started with a good par save on the first hole where I laid up.  I was on the left in the rough and I had a tree blocking it, and I laid up short and good approach shot, and then a 15‑footer for par.  So that was good Mojo and good way to start with a positive feeling.”

Paula said the course played a little tougher today;

” It played a little bit harder out there today. You know, the breeze definitely was picking up.  I know in the morning it was pretty dead yesterday.  A little bit of breeze in the afternoon, but it was a different golf course today.  It was getting a little bit firmer and some of the pin placements were a little tougher than they were yesterday, so a little bit harder to get close to the hole.”

Alison finished her round later in the afternoon, when most of the second wave of players battled the worst of the windy conditions. She managed to hole a six-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to grab a share of the lead at 8-under par. She trying not think about winning her first LPGA trophy;

” It was obviously a nice way to finish, any birdie, I’ll take it.  It’s good. To do it on the last hole was nice to have a little momentum overnight and going into tomorrow.  At the same time, ties me with the lead, so it was kind of important. It’s definitely another day away, I’m thinking about what I’m going to eat.  You know, like tomorrow I can go out there and first hole, just the First Tee ball is what matters. Then on Sunday, if I’m in that position coming down through the last holes ,I’ll think about it.  I’m not going to think about it yet.”

So Yeon Ryu, the defending Champion has kept herself in contention, to deliver a second straight victory in Toledo. Rounds of 68 and 69 have put So Yeon in a tie for eighth place, at 5-under-par with Lexi Thompson and Jodi Ewart Shadoff.

Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park said her putting was getting back to normal;

” I didn’t have a really good start, I started with bogey today, but I really played well rest of the day. I’m putting really good this week.  My putting has gotten a lot better than last week, so that’s really a good positive to take on.”

World Amateur #1 ladies golfer Lydia Ko earned a share of fifth place with a -4 under par second round of 67 and a -6 under par total.

LPGA U.S. Womens Open. Incredible Inbee Makes History.

USGA

Incredible Inbee Park makes history by winning the U.S. Womens Open and becoming the first woman for 80 odd years to win the first three Majors of the year. Babe Zaharias, is the only other player to accomplish that astonishing feat, she did it in 1950 when she won all three majors played that year. Inbee’s tournament total was -8 under par, a four shot lead over her nearest rival.

Incredible Inbee Park / Getty Images

Inbee said she was honored and proud to put her name alongside Babe;

” I am just very honored to put my name by someone like Babe Zaharias, I don’t know what I just did today, it’s something very great. It’s scary to think about what I am capable of doing. Believe it or not, I was very calm out there. It was weird, I didn’t feel much pressure when I was on the golf course. I was nervous last night, but on the golf course, somehow, I felt very calm. I’ve just done three majors in a row now, I think it’s too early to think about the next one.  I think I really want to enjoy the moment as it is in the moment. I mean, grand slam is very big.  I probably wouldn’t get this kind of opportunity ever again.  I know this year is a good opportunity for me.But I think one of my goals for; one of my goals for my career was the career grand slam, not the grand slam, but I think career grand slam is good enough for me. I mean, I haven’t done that yet.  It would mean so much if I could do the grand slam.  But takes so much hard work, and it takes a lot to do. I’m just glad that I can give it a try at St. Andrews.  That’s going to be a great experience.  Whether I do it or not, I’m just a very lucky person.”

What about four in a row at St Andrews, imagine that, at the home of Golf, and I think Inbee is capable of doing that.

Both Inbee and I.K. Kim shot last rounds of +2 over par 74′s, but for I.K. it meant second place, with her total of -4 under par. I.K. said of Inbee’s performance;

” But I’m not sure how much she has the pressure, but I think she’s managing it really well. Not many people can do that. I think she’s on the right track.  She’s happy with her life, you know, not just golf, but she has her family together and friends and all that.  So I think that’s what works for her.”

So Yeon Ryu made it a South Korean clean sweep, finishing in third place alone on -1 under par. These three ladies were the only golfers on the course who completed the four rounds in under par.

But the day belonged to Inbee, and I look forward to her challenge at St Andrews.

LPGA. Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Inbee Park Prevails.

Inbee Park prevailed at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in a sudden death play-off against her best friend So Yeon Ryu.

Inbee Park / Getty Images

Inbee had overcome a four-stroke deficit on Sunday, to hold the outright lead for one hole, before second round co-leader So Yeon Ryu sank a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole to force a playoff. This is Inbee’s second consecutive win,  following the Major Championship triumph at the Wegmans LPGA Championship two weeks ago.

Inbee said she putted really well;

” I was able to putt really well on this golf course and play very solid last three days and, yeah, I mean holed a lot of putts. I’ve won a lot of times this year, but I still feel the pressure coming into the final round every time and definitely feel a lot of pressure in the playoff.”

So Yeon talked about their friendship;

“Inbee and I practice together a lot so when we are standing at the 18th hole, it feels like just practice round. I wasn’t really nervous, two players cannot be champion, so Inbee deserved it.  By the way, I tried my best so it will be fun and actually today the round wasn’t really great to me because like distance control was really bad as a shot or putting.  So I think I was a bit failed about the distance control today, but I feel really great to finish really strong.”

Mika Myazato was in third place at -11 under par, she was unhappy about the bogey’s today;

” I had really good today long.  I know behind today, but I’m so much frustration yesterday because but I made four birdie front nine, but I make three bogey the back nine.” 

World Amateur number one Lydia Ko shared fourth spot with Stacy Lewis and I.K. Kim. Lydia really wanted to win this tournament;

” I do feel a little disappointed, I left a couple putts short that were on line, but I guess after every tournament, I kind of come off wanting to do a little better.”

Stacy wanted to win it for her fans, who had supported her throughout the tournament;

” It’s just disappointing, the fans were so great out here today and I really wanted to do it for them.”

 

LPGA. Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Four-Way Fling At the TOP

There is a fanciful four-way fling at the top of the leaderboard in the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at the Pinnacle Country Club.

Beatriz Recari / Getty

 

The University of Arkansas alum Stacy Lewis, Spain’s Beatriz Recari, 2013 rookie Chie Arimura and South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu lead the field by two shots heading into Sunday’s final round.

Stacy, the home town favorite this week admits she is under pressure to produce a winning result;

” There’s definitely going to be pressure there. I think the thing that motivates me more is that I have a bet with my caddie going, but I can’t tell you , you’ll see what it is on 17 tomorrow. But as long as I’m in the final group tomorrow you’ll see what it is on 17.  So I think that’s what motivated me more than anything today was I wanted to be in that final group going into tomorrow. There’s just some pins you just can’t go at. There’s some sucker pins out there in the middle of the green, you have try to make par and move on. I think the hard part is I’m going to want it so bad, and I know the fans are going to want me to win really bad. When I get in big events, I want it so bad and I just have to stay patient tomorrow. Honestly, I think it’s everything I dealt with this year with the week that I became No. 1 in the world, it was just chaos. And dealing with that pressure of being No. 1 in the world, I learned a lot from that.”

So Yeon thinks anyone could win;

” The green condition is go great, so everybody have a really great chance to be shot really low score, kind of like 6 or 7 under.  Also, can be chance to be like 10‑under.  So now I just checked the leaderboard and there might be four players lead the tournament, but not just four of us game.  I see a lot of players in contention. The most important thing is just to love myself, sometimes when I play really bad, I hate my swing, I hate my personality, I hate everything. I just realized if I love myself I can play well. I haven’t won for a while, it’s kind of a drought, I’m pretty sure it’s time to win.”

Beatriz, said she thought she was missing some component of her game;

“Last year I considered my best season so far even though I didn’t win because I showed a little consistency that I wanted and I was really good, you know. It was very challenging to make every cut every week.  And I obviously got some good feedback that I was doing things right, but I was missing a little something to win. Obviously when something is working, just keep on doing it and then figure out what is not that good and just work on that to improve. And obviously I hit the right buttons and so, like I say, I’m just keeping it simple and keeping working on the same things.”

Chie just enjoyed the day;

” It was really fun today, it was a great day. I didn’t miss any fairways or greens, I had many chances today. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. This is first time I’m in this place, leading. I want to concentrate one shot at a time.”

This one is going to be a real shoot-out tomorrow, good luck to everyone involved.

LPGA. Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Mika Makes it to the Top.

Mika Myazato from Japan makes the top of the leaderboard her property after the first round of the Walmart Arkansas Championship at the Pinnacle Country Club. Her opening round of -6 under par 66, has given her a one shot lead over the field.

Mika Myazato / Getty

Mika shot a beautiful bogey-free -6 under par 65, she reported  that it was her short-game and work around the greens that was her key to scoring low today;

” I’m not long hitter, but I’m hitting pretty good the second shot, so I can do that pretty close to the pin. But like yesterday, I working hard on short putt, like 3 feet, 6 feet, 9 feet because I change the putter like Bahamas week. So I use like mallet type and I use now ping type.  So real difference, so I need more confidence.  So I practice a lot so far yesterday.  So much confidence today.”

Just one shot behind, tied on -5 under par are So Yeon Ryu and Angela Stanford, with rounds of 66 on this par 71 lay-out.

Angela said the course was in perfect condition for low scoring today, but thinks it could be different tomorrow;

” It seems like the fairways are firm and fast, which is usually good for me, but the greens are still kind of receptive and I thought the pin placements were pretty; what’s the word I’m looking for; accessible today. I imagine tomorrow they’re going to be tougher.”

Stacy Lewis. one of ten players on -4 under par and occupying fourth place, said she has to be patient;

” You really have to stay patient on the golf course, that’s the key, you can shoot a -1 or -2 under and still win the tournament.  So you’ve just got to stay patient, make a few more putts than I did today, but I’m moving in the right direction.”

The projected cut line is at -1 under par and there quite a few big names below that score at the moment. I expect a lot of movement from these names tomorrow, should be a fascinating days play at the Pinnacle Country Club.

 

 

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