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Pressel takes lead in Mizuno Classic, Davies third
November 07, 2014

Interviews:
Rolex Rankings No. 57 Morgan Pressel (-5)
Rolex Rankings No. 25 Chella Choi (-4)
Rolex Rankings No. 145 Dame Laura Davies (-4)

Morgan Pressel fired an opening round of 67 and will take a one-shot lead into the weekend at the Mizuno Classic.

“My day was good,” Pressel said. “It was tough out there with the winds. Especially early, some of those holes played really tough. I didn’t get myself in a lot of trouble and when I did I made a good putt for par. I definitely putted well today and I think that’s why I ended up at 5-under.”

Pressel carded one of just two bogey-free rounds and tallied five birdies en route to her 5-under round this afternoon at Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club in Shima-Shi, Mie.

“I love playing in Japan,” Pressel said with a smile. “I love playing in front of the crowds. The golf courses are a lot of fun to play and I just really enjoy being in this country. Everybody is very nice here and very supportive so I do enjoy playing in Japan very much.”

The Boca Raton native is looking for her third victory on the LPGA Tour and first since the 2008 Kapalua LPGA Classic.

“It would mean the world,” Pressel explained. “I haven’t had the best year but I feel like I have been playing better recently, certainly in the other few events I played here in Asia. I feel like I can play well the rest of this week and the next two closing events and then enjoy the offseason.”

Chasing down Pressel on the weekend will be a strong group of players including Chella Choi and Dame Laura Davies who each sit a single shot back entering Saturday.

Dame Laura Davies making a run: Dame Laura Davies will be part of the final group tomorrow thanks to an impressive opening-round 68.

“I’m playing well,” Davies said. “I’m looking forward to the last two days and if I putt well then I believe I have a chance to win. If I don’t putt well I have no chance because like I said years ago the players weren’t as strong but now they’re so good that you have to have every part of your game going to have a chance. If I can keep this going I have a chance.”

Davies is hoping for a solid week to secure her spot in the field at the CME Group Tour Championship.

“That’s one of the things that I’ve been counting down every week,” Davies admitted. “Now I need a top-3 so it would be a great finish to what’s been an good year. My expectations are a lot higher than just qualifying for these events, I want to do well. That would certainly mean that I’d played pretty well this year if I get in it.”

Chella Choi continues impressive run in Asia: Chella Choi is one of the 15 players who has played in all six events during the Asia swing and has arguably been the most consistent with four top-15 finishes to her name in the five events thus far. Choi is on pace for another high finish as she currently sits in a tie for second heading into the second round.

“I like this course,” Choi admitted. “I played good last year so I have a good thing here. A lot of people like me and are cheering. The golf course is not too far you just have to focus on each shot and I think I have a good chance.”

Race to CME globe projections: With one round in the books at the Mizuno Classic here is how things would stand in the chase for the final spots in the Race to CME Globe if the current positions on the leaderboard held.

The top-72 and ties in the Race to the CME Globe standings after next week’s Lorena Ochoa Invitational will be in the field for the season ending CME Group Tour Championship.

For more information on the Race to the CME Globe please watch this video.

Player
Projected Rank
Current Rank
Change
Dame Laura Davies
62
89
+27
Marina Alex
67
69
+2
Amelia Lewis
68
68
-
Laura Diaz
69
72
+3
Dewi Claire Schreefel
70
66
-4
Dori Carter 
71
67
-4
Sydnee Michaels
72
71
-1
Candie Kung
73
69
-4
Kris Tamulis
74
74
-
Ji Young Oh
75
73
-2

Numbers to Know
2 - Only two golfers, Morgan Pressel and Sun Young Yoo, carded bogey-free first rounds
26 - 26 golfers sit within five strokes of the lead after the first round, including past champions Stacy Lewis and Karrie Webb
27 - Dame Laura Davies needed only 27 putts on her round. For the year, Davies averages 30.95 putts per round which ranks131st on Tour
11 - The par-3 11th played as the hardest hole on course at 3.487
13 - The par-5 13th played as the easiest hole on the course at 4.449

Quote of the Day: “I still think I’m good enough. I still think I can win tournaments and while I still think I can win I’m still going to play. The only thing holding me back is putting and that’s what I believe and that’s why I keep going. The fact that I’m 51 is irrelevant really. If you can walk you can play golf which is nice.”

–Dame Laura Davies on her motivation to keep playing.

INTERVIEWS

Rolex Rankings No. 57 Morgan Pressel (-5)

On her play today

“My day today was good. It was tough out there with the winds. Especially early, some of those holes played really tough. I didn’t get myself in a lot of trouble and when I did I made a good putt for par. I definitely putted well today and I think that’s why I ended up at 5-under.”

On how much difference the wind makes

“There are some holes that are quite protected so it’s tricky because you think the wind is there but it doesn’t hit the golf ball but there are other holes that are wide open and highly affected by the wind. It’s a little bit of a guessing game especially with a lot of holes being crosswind so the question was is it cross-helping or cross-hurting. The ball just sometimes got really eaten up by the wind and that made it more difficult but we guessed well. Brock and I fig- ured it out today.”

On what a strong finish at the Mizuno Classic would mean to her

“It would mean the world. I haven’t had the best year but I feel like I have been playing better recently, certainly in the other few events I played here in Asia. I feel like I can play well the rest of this week and the next two closing events and then enjoy the offseason.”

On how she likes playing in Japan

“I love playing in Japan. I love playing in front of the crowds. The golf courses are a lot of fun to play and I just really enjoy being in this country. Everybody is very nice here and very supportive so I do enjoy playing in Japan very much.”

“I came in on Monday so I finally slept good last night. Last night I slept well. The night before not so much. The week- end home was nice.”

On what she expects for the last two rounds

“I expect to keep playing well. I’ve got to go work on my driver a little bit. I didn’t hit my driver as well as I would have liked today. Hopefully just stay patience and keep making birdies.”

Rolex Rankings No. 25 Chella Choi (-4)

On her play today

“I worked really hard today. It was a tough day but I made a lot of good par saves on the front nine so I had a chance on the back nine and got it to 4-under so it was good.”

On what she likes about Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club

“I like this course. I played good last year so I have a good thing here. A lot of people like me and are cheering. The golf course is not too far you just have to focus on each shot and I think I have a good chance.”

On playing all six events in Asia

“I’m playing my sixth week this week so it’s really exciting that next week is an off week. I’m not playing in the Lorena. It’s exciting with this being my last tournament in Asia. I’m just going to try and focus on my last event in Asia. I’ve worked very hard.”

Rolex Rankings No. 145 Dame Laura Davies (-4)

On her play today

“I played very well. Obviously, it was very windy. A lot of left to right holes which for the way I hit the ball makes it quite difficult. Overall, I think I played well. I hit three bad shots and into the wind they turned into very bad shots but apart from the last I managed to make some up-and-downs. I had 27 putts today which was very good.”

On her motivation to keep playing at age 51

“I still think I’m good enough. I still think I can win tournaments and while I still think I can win I’m still going to play. The only thing holding me back is putting and that’s what I believe and that’s why I keep going. The fact that I’m 51 is irrelevant really. If you can walk you can play golf which is nice.”

On having a chance going into the weekend

“I’m playing well. I’m looking forward to the last two days and if I putt well then I believe I have a chance to win. If I don’t putt well I have no chance because like I said years ago the players weren’t as strong but now they’re so good that you have to have every part of your game going to have a chance. If I can keep this going I have a chance.”

On having the opportunity to earn at spot in the CME Group Tour Championship with a solid finish

“That’s one of the things that I’ve been counting down every week. I need two top-15s, I need one top-6 and now I need a top-3 so it would be a great finish to what’s been an good year. My expectations are a lot higher than just qual- ifying for these events, I want to do well. That would certainly mean that I’d played pretty well this year if I get in it. At the start of the year I had no real status and it was a struggle.”

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