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World Ladies Championship, Inbee Park Prevails

dragon logo darkMission Hills

Inbee Park prevails at the World Ladies Championship, at Mission Hills in China.

Champion Inbee Park / Getty

Inbee sailed round the Blackstone Course in -6 under par 67, for a winning tournament total of -24 under par. On on a damp and drizzly day that made scoring a lot more difficult,  after those first three days of sunshine, Inbee won by five shots  in the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills.

Inbee mentioned the weather in her post match interview;

“Today was obviously the toughest day out there because of the weather. Everything seems to be working quite well for me, from ball striking to putting. Everything was great today so I’m just happy to be here and win my first tournament of 2014.”

“Last year I was leading going into the final round and I lost to Suzann. I knew that I left something out there last year so coming back this year I definitely wanted to win and that’s what I just did. I had good memories from last year and better memories from this year, so I’m happy to be here. It has been a fantastic tournament.”

 “Being in a team with So Yeon this year gave me a lot of confidence. Winning the individual and the team event is a huge honour, a double honour, so I’m very happy.”

Team event winners, So Yeon and Inbee / Getty

Second placed Suzann could only put together a final round of -1 under par 72, to finish the competition at -19 under par. She was disappointed, but will be back to play Mission Hills again;

“There’s room for improvement but it’s been a good week overall. My game has become a lot better over the week and I’ll be happy to come back and play this course again. Inbee played fantastic today under a little tougher conditions. There were a few extra elements of weather that we hadn’t seen earlier but I feel like I played average, nothing better. I didn’t go out and shoot six under like she did.

So Yeon Ryu took third place at a distant – 16 under par, after her last round -4 under par 69, but with Inbee were the runaway winners of the concurrent team competition, with their aggregate score of -40 under par;

“It’s always a great honor to represent your country but also gave me some pressure because I didn’t want to play badly in the team event. That gave me a lot of motivation.”

Winner of the Amateur competition was Minjee Lee, the 17-year-old from Australia birdied three of the last four holes for a -4 under par 69 and a share of fourth place on -15 under par with Ariya Jutanugarn .

This has been a fascinating competition, just wished they had used a standard par 72 course, the par fives on the Blackstone Course are too short for the quality players on the Ladies European Tour.

L.E.T. World Ladies Championship. Inbee Catches Suzann

 

dragon logo darkMission Hills

 

 

Inbee Park catches up with Suzann Pettersen in the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills in China.

Inbee Park / Getty

The World’s No.1 Inbee Park shot a third round  course record of -11 under par 62 and catch World No 2 Suzann Pettersen at the top of the leaderboard on the Blackstone Course, both ladies posting -18 under par for the tournament.

Inbee said although her ball striking was good it was the putting that really made the difference;

“It’s my career best round today so obviously it was a fantastic round. The last couple of days the putting has been really hard. These greens are a little bit grainy and much slower. We played on very fast greens the last two weeks and I just came here and I wasn’t used to the greens. I had a lot of putts the last few days but today everything seemed like it was going the right way and I made a lot of putts. That gives me 11-under. My ball striking is pretty much really similar for three days but just the putting. Everything I looked at today seemed like it was going in.”

Suzann has a number in her mind that she thinks will win the tournament, if she achieves it;

 “Today wasn’t an easy ride but with all the holes coming up you just have to be patient. I hit a great putt on eleven, missed a putt and then parred number twelve, after just having a 7-iron left. If you have a par there you drop two or three shots to the field. I’m in a good position for tomorrow and it’s going to be a nice battle again. I have my number in mind and I’m going to do everything in my power to get to that number. I’m not going to tell you what it is but I’m pretty sure it will be enough.”

Ye Na Chung is in third place, four strokes behind the leaders on -14 under par, after her third round of -5 under par 68. That score included a lucky Eagle on the par 4 16th  hole;

 “I was just lucky. When I hit it, the grass was really long so I just focused on not being long. When I hit it I think it was too long, but it was okay. I was very nervous but excited to play with Suzann but the main enemy of today’s round was not the other players. My only concern was my score.”

With a four shot lead the winner of the World Ladies Championship will be either of the two leaders, will probably come down to who scores the most Eagles on those short par fives.

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

dragon logo dark
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.”

 

L.E.T. World Ladies Championship. Defending Champion Suzann Starts Well.

dragon logo darkMission HillsSuzann Pettersen has started well in her quest to retain her World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills in China.

Defending Champion Suzann Pettersen / Getty

 Suzann opened the tournament with a -6 under-par 67 on the Blackstone Course at the Mission Hills Resort in the defense of her title. She Eagled the par five second hole and picked up three more birdies on the other par fives;

“I played a lot of good golf today and felt like I had a lot of great chances. I feel like you’ve really got to take advantage of the par fives out here. You only have some mid irons into some of them and I had one eagle, should have had two. I missed a very short eagle putt on six, so overall it was a pretty solid start.”

She also revealed some details of the man behind the ropes who had been following her and encouraging her all day long;

“He’s my boyfriend, we’re both Norwegian, we’re the same age and from the same town. We met through common friends. He’s an ex-skier who used to ski when he was younger. He has a great understanding of the lifestyle we live and the sacrifices we make and really respects our hours on the golf course so it’s very helpful and great to have someone you can share what you do with.”

Just one behind at -5 under par is World No.1 amateur Minjee Lee, who shares second place with Ye Na Chung.

Minjee was very happy to have played alongside Inbee Park, the World number one;

“It feels good to be up there but it’s only the first round so anything can happen. I’m in a good position and I don’t feel like I’m out of place. I feel like I can play with the pros and it was pretty cool playing with Inbee.”

Tied in third place are Trish Johnson, Valentine Derrey, Gwladys Nocera and Inbee Park, all at -4 under par.

Gwladys also enjoyed being in contention;

“Anything on top of the leader board is good and I feel really good about shooting that score today on the first round.”

LPGA. HSBC Women’s Champions. Karrie Keeps Ahead on Day1

dragon logo darkHSBCWomensChampions_188x84 Karrie Webb got off to a solid start in Singapore this week shooting a first round  -6 under par 66 to take the first-round lead at the HSBC Women’s Champions, on the Sentosa Country Club, Serapong Course.

Karrie Webb

Karrie Webb / Getty

Karrie  carded four of her six birdies in the first six holes, which set the tone for her;

” Definitely set the tone and I think for me, anyway, on this course, I find it quite tricky to trust where you’ve got to hit it off the tee, and it leaves some challenging iron shots in from some long distances out on the par fours. For me, getting off to a good start really allowed me to settle in and trust my game plan for the rest of the day.”

” I’m definitely at a stage in my life where those things will happen on their own if I play well. You know, 15 years ago, I would have been waking up every morning and wondering or working towards whatever it took to be No. 1.”

Paula Creamer and Caroline Hedwall shared second place at  -5 under par. Paula said she had played well;

” I played well, I didn’t hit the ball that great on the back side, but made some birdies, and you know, I really enjoy this golf course.  It just fits my game really well and I love how it’s playing really windy, makes it just so much tougher. You have to really think a lot out here and that kind of has always been Colin, my caddie and I’s strong suit.  It does, it matches well.  Having a good tournament here last year is always nice coming into it, and you feel good, you feel good about the golf course.”

World No. 1 Inbee Park shot a – 2under par 70 while No. 2 Suzann Pettersen is tied for 12th after a -1 under par 71.

Inbee is sticking to her strategy;

” I think my strategy today going into the greens was really good, so I’m not going to change my ball-striking plan. I’m just going to try to read the greens a little bit more carefully.  They seem to not have much break.”

All the usual suspects are there so it will be interesting to see how things pan out in the second round.

ISPS Handa Womens Australian Open, Chella & Minjee Lead.

dragon logo dark (2)ISPS Handa Women´s Australian Open

Chella Choi and Minjee Lee lead the ISPS Handa Womens Australian Open at the end of day 3 at Victoria Golf Club.

17 year-old Aussie amateur Minjee Lee / Getty

It was a -4 under par 68 Minjee described as a mission, and it has booked her spot in the final group for the second consecutive week, and says playing with a smile on her face is the game-plan;

“Well obviously to make as many birdies as possible but just keep it in play and just keep hitting good shots and getting it close so I can hole the putt, because they weren’t really going in.  I’m happy with 4-under, I’m stoked with 4-under really.  I just play, I think it kind of lightens it up a little bit because I’m smiling all the time.  I have a good chat with my caddie. I think the game plan is always the same.  It’s been working so far, so why change it.”

Chella also enjoys playing, and tries to stay focused, it worked today as she fired a -10 under par 62 which included two Eagles, this was the first time she had accomplished two of them in one round;

Choi is chasing her first victory since turning professional in 2008

Chella Choi / Getty

“I try to enjoy playing and just focus on one shot and one shot and just keep putting.  I think if I just always hit the green, I have a lot of birdie chances.  So I focused on just my shot, before the shot and then shot. I don’t know why I played ten under today, it’s just amazing. I made two eagles today, so first time.”

The leaders are at -13 under par for the tournament, and will tee off together tomorrow morning.

Lydia Ko  is in third place at -11 under par following her -3 under par third round 69.

Suzann Pettersen is next at -10 under par, she stumbled through round three carding an even par 72. There are then eight players who are tied in fifth place at -9 under par. The list includes overnight leader, Caroline Hedwall, Morgan Pressel, Amelia Lewis, Holly Clyburn, Karine Icher and Marianne Skarpnord.

Karrie Webb recorded a -4 under par 68 to move to -8 under par, a full five strokes behind the leaders.

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.

Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship. Suzann Pettersen Supreme.

The defending Champion, Suzann Pettersen, put in a supreme performance to retain the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship title, at the Sunrise Golf and Country Club in Taiwan.

Suzann Pettersen / Getty

Suzann fired a final round of -3 under par 69, which gave her the winning total of -9 under par, a massive five shots clear of the field in the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship.

She said it felt great to win here again;

“It feels great to come here and defend my title and play as well as I did, it was very tough out there. Since the very first shot on Thursday, the conditions gave us a very big challenge. Today, Azahara gave me an even bigger challenge.  She played really good on the front nine, well, she played really good all around.  I think I can almost thank her for keep pressing and keep pushing me because I just had to keep staying aggressive and try to make birdies. For me, it was to keep pushing and keep pressing, I birdied the next, I had a good putt on 15 to have another birdie.  I had a chance on 17, and then I made the putt on 18.  So for me, 10-under was my goal.  That’s kind of where I tried to keep my focus.  But obviously the way it ended up, it was literally a race between her and me.”

Second place went to Azahara Munoz, a final round of -2 under par for a -4 under par total. She resigned herself to the fact that Suzann is playing really well;

 “She’s playing really well, so you know that she’s going to come out strong and play good.  But she’s leading, so she’s not; I was thinking she wasn’t going to go 5- or 6-under, but, you know, when I was 4-under through two, obviously I had a chance, we were tied, but she’s a really good player.  She made three birdies coming in and that was it.  I was 4-under through 12 holes, and I was really playing really well.  I made two bogeys coming in but I hit two really good shots and one came up short and one came up long, just misjudged the wind a little bit but I played really well and I had a chance and I’m happy with my week.’

Caroline Hedwall took third spot on -2 under par, a final round of -2 under par giving her that total.

Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship. Suzann Still In Control

Suzann Pettersen is still in control of the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship at the close of play on day 3 at the Sunrise Golf and Country Club in Taiwan.

Suzann had a tough time during the third round, carding a +1 over par 73, but she still leads the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship at -6 under par. Her rivals could not cash in on her poor round today, so she takes a four shot lead into the final round.

You know, I had a great warm-up, felt good, on the second, I kind of made a little amateur mistake trying to get too cute on the tee ball and left myself with a very tough up‑and‑down. I just couldn’t get it going and made a few errors. Today was a tough day for me.  It was all about hanging in there and trying to bring it back to where I started.”

” “I could easily have lost it out there today. It was, you know, some days are easy, some days are not that easy, some of the times you see everything you’re going to do right in front of you.  Other times you fall in‑between clubs and are not quite sure and then you start questioning if it’s enough, if you had enough, if it’s going to be too spinning. It’s one of those days where you can be very analytic, and it’s all in the conditions to be analytic. One more day in these conditions.” 

The only player to make up ground was Azahara Munoz, who managed a third round of -3 under par 69, which left her in a tie for second place at -2 under par.

Azahara felt that it had been a long year;

“It’s been a long year, I didn’t see my coach for a very long time because I moved to the States.  I was trying to make swing changes to my own and it was just a little mess, so now I’m finally back to normal. I think I don’t mind playing in the wind I would say, and maybe everybody else does.  So, I don’t know, I just tried to play my game. My ball doesn’t move much in the wind. That’s one of my strengths and I can kind of go right at it kind of.” 

Sharing that score with Azahara are Sung Young Yoo and Carlota Ciganda, both ladies with even par third rounds of 72.

LPGA Keb HanaBank Championship. Amy Yang Wins In A Play-Off.

Local player Amy Yang won the LPGA Keb HanaBank Championship at Sky 72 Golf Club, Incheon, in South Korea, via a play-off against Hee Kyung Seo.

Amy Yang

Amy Yang / Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Amy beat her compatriot on the first play-off hole, sinking a 15 foot birdie putt on the par five 18th, after both of them had completed the tournament at -9 under par. Amy said it had been a long wait for her first LPGA Tour win;

“I have been waiting for this championship for a long time, and I’m really happy get it in my home country, I think still I can’t believe it.”

Hee Kyung was disappointed to lose out in a play-off, again;

” I mean, unfortunately this is third time, I guess, and I couldn’t win at the playoff, but I played really well last two days. Just I think the big miss was No. 14 hole, I missed short putt. That was a big one that I could not win. I’m really happy for Amy.  She was waiting for really long time.  I think I can wait more than her.  I know it’s going to be coming soon for me, so I will just wait and do my things.  I played really good last week and this week as well.  I know it’s going to come soon.  I’m sure there will be more chance for me to get at that time top, so I’ll just believe.  My wedding is coming soon and I’m really excited that I could play very well in front of my family and fiancee. That was happiest thing of my life.”

Michelle Wie made a long-awaited return to form, finishing tied third with Sei-Young Kim and Suzann Petterson, the three of them finished at -8 under par. Michelle was the top American while Suzann was the top European in the contest.

Michelle said she had been nervous, because it had been a while since she had been in contention, actually nearly three years;

“I haven’t been in contention to be a while so I was a little bit nervous, but talking to Jane, it really calmed my nerves down a lot. You know, it’s just always fun playing with a friend out there. You know, like I said, at the beginning of the season, it’s coming along.  It’s just taking some time to get together. I feel like my game is finally coming together slowly, I have just been patient with my game and working hard at it. It’s just nice to see that it paid off this week, and hopefully I can finish strong next week.”

 

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