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Davies & Lee leading in Japan
November 08, 2014

Interviews:
Rolex Rankings No. 58 Ilhee Lee (-9)
Rolex Rankings No. 145 Dame Laura Davies (-9)
Rolex Rankings No. 25 Chella Choi (-8)

Dame Laura Davies, Ilhee Lee and JLPGA player Ai Suzuki will enter Sunday’s final round of the Mizuno Classic tied for the lead at 9-under.

“Obviously the main thing is to try and win,” Davies said. “It’s going to be tough because there are so many good players who are playing well this week.”

Davies has a chance to make history and become the oldest winner in LPGA history at the age of 51 if she can close out the tournament for the 21st LPGA victory of her career.

“Obviously, it’s a bad thing, really, because it means I’m really old,” Davies joked of the possibility of being the oldest winner. “But it would be a nice thing too because it would mean I have a good record.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Suzuki, who in September became the youngest winner of the Japan LPGA Championship at age 20 and is competing in her first LPGA event.

“I won’t be thinking about the win,” Suzuki admitted. “I’ll just try my best and see how I can do in an LPGA tournament.”

Lee, who will also be looking for her first LPGA victory, has been one of the most consistent players on Tour in the past few months finishing outside of the top-20 only once in her last nine events.

“Sunday is always exciting,” Lee said. “It’s going to be really fun to play with Laura and Ai.”

A group of three players - Mi Hyang Lee, Kotono Kozuma and Chella Choi - sit a single stroke back of the three leaders at 8-under.

“There’s some really good players here,” Davies said. “I think it will be fun tomorrow because I think there are going to be 15 or 20 players who can still win this.”

Chella Choi Looking for First Win: Chella Choi has been one of the most consistent golfers on the LPGA Tour since her rookie season of 2009 racking up an impressive 25 top-10 finishes, including nine this season along. However, the one thing that has eluded Choi has been a trip to the winner’s circle. Choi will be looking to change that tomorrow as she sits one back of the leaders entering the final round.

“I played good last year here. I made six birdies and shot 6-under on Sunday last year,” Choi explained. “I think if I can focus on every shot that I can reach 14 or 15-under.”

“I played really good last year and I’ve played good in the past couple of tournaments so I have a lot of confidence,” Choi continued. “My shots and my putting is good and I like this course. I want to win every tournament but it’s one of my favorite golf courses so I’ll try.”

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
49
89
+40
Dewi Claire Schreefel
67
66
-1
Marina Alex
68
69
+1
Amelia Lewis
69
68
-1
Sydnee Michaels
70
71
+1
Dori Carter
71
67
-4
Laura Diaz
72
72
-
Kris Tamulis
73
74
+1
Candie Kung
74
69
-5
Ji Young Oh
75
73
-2

Numbers to Know:
46 years, 8 months, 29 days - Current record for oldest winner on the LPGA Tour held by Beth Daniel at the 2003 BMO Financial Group Canadian Women’s Open.
51 years, 1 month, 4 days - Age Dame Laura Davies would be if she wins tomorrow
2007 - The last time Dame Laura Davies held a lead going into the final round on the LPGA was at the Mizuno Classic in 2007 where she finished in a tie for fifth
21 - 21 golfers sit within five strokes of the lead after the first round, including past champions Teresa Lu and Karrie Webb
3.436 - The course played nearly three and a half shots easier during the second round (69.615) compared to the first round (73.051)
11 - The par-3 11th played as the hardest hole on course at 3.231
7 & 13 - The par-5 7th and par-5 13th played as the easiest holes on the course at 4.500

Quote of the Day:“It’s great. I’ve been playing well but my results have been horrendous. If you don’t hole putts you can’t compete out here anymore. It’s not like it’s a shock to me but it’s a nice surprise. I’m hitting it nice and like I said I’ve had 27 and 30 putts which is a lot lot less than last week already so it’s all about the putting really for me.”

–Dame Laura Davies on being in the final group again.

INTERVIEWS

Rolex Rankings No. 58 Ilhee Lee (-9)

On her play this week: “Putting and chip shots have been really good this week. I’ve been playing good during this Asia swing so everything has worked fine.”

On playing all six events of the Asia swing: “It’s the first time that I’ve played six weeks in a row. It’s really tough. I’m actually acting to be really ok on the golf course but I’m barely walking. I’m really tired but I’ve been playing well and that can help a little bit.”

On her expectations for tomorrow’s round: “Sunday is always exciting. It’s going to be really fun to play with Laura and Ai but it’s going to be the same to me. Same approach to Sunday.”

On what it will take to win: “I think it will take patience. It will take making putts. Here putting is very important. Hopefully the wind is blowing for me.”

Rolex Rankings No. 145 Dame Laura Davies (-9)

On her play today: “Pretty good. I played really well on the front nine and then just steady on the back nine. I made some really nice putts early on and missed a few putts on the way in but I’m pretty happy. It was a good day.”

On her putting: “Putting was pretty good. I had 30. Like I said, on the front nine I putted extremely well. I made some long putts. The last really good putt I made was a long par save on 12 and that really helped me to keep it together because I hit a couple of bad shots and then I finished off pretty nice but didn’t make any. It was a good day on the greens.”
On her strong play

“I’ve been playing well for the last seven or eight months and I think my confidence is much better now and this week I’ve finally made some putts and that’s the difference between 30th and having a chance to win.”

On playing in the final group with two young players: “There’s some really good players here. I think it will be fun tomorrow because I think there are going to be 15 or 20 players who can still win this. I think it will be good for TV. It’s going to be fun.”

On having a chance to be the oldest winner: “Obviously the main thing is to try and win. Like I said it’s going to be tough because there are so many good players who are playing well this week so that would be a bonus. Obviously, it’s a bad thing really because it means I’m really old but it would be a nice thing because it would mean I have a good record.”

On what she thinks she’ll need to shoot tomorrow to win: “I think to win that you’d have to be 15-under so I think you’d have to shoot 6-under tomorrow if you want to win. Again depending on the weather but I think someone will go and shoot 6-under so that has to be my target.”

On being in contention again: “It’s great. I’ve been playing well but my results have been horrendous. If you don’t hole putts you can’t compete out here anymore. It’s not like it’s a shock to me but it’s a nice surprise. I’m hitting it nice and like I said I’ve had 27 and 30 putts which is a lot lot less than last week already so it’s all about the putting really for me.”

Rolex Rankings No. 25 Chella Choi (-8)

On her success at this tournament: “I played good last year here. I made six birdies and shot 6-under on Sunday last year. I think if I can focus on every shot that I can reach 14 or 15-under.”

On the final round approach: “I’m going to try and focus on every shot. I checked the weather and it is supposed to rain so everybody has the same conditions and we’ll have to focus on each shot intently.”

On what a win would mean for her:“I played really good last year and I’ve played good in the past couple of tournaments so I have a lot of confidence. My shot and my putting is good and I like this course. I want to win every tournament but it’s one of my favorite golf courses so I’ll try.”

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