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Honda LPGA Thailand

Round 4 - Yang clinches victory in Thailand

March 01, 2015

Amy Yang had finished in the top-5 in three of the last four tournaments she has played in dating back to 2014 prior to this week, and today she was finally able to break through. Battling Stacy Lewis this weekend, Yang (-15) won the 2015 Honda LPGA Thailand by two strokes over Mirim Lee, Yani Tseng and Lewis who each finished at 13-under for the tournament.

After the final putt dropped, she was shocked. “I don’t know what just happened, Yang said with a smile. “I still can’t believe I did it today.”

Yang and Lewis were tied atop the leaderboard heading into a No. 15 and after Lewis made double bogey and Yang made birdie, there was a three shot Swing and Yang never looked back despite not trying to think about it.

“I still didn’t want to decide that because we had three more holes to go and they’re not easy,” Yang said when asked if she thought she had a chance at that point. “So I just kept focusing.”

Yang took an extended break this offseason to rest both her mind and her body. She said she was tired of what she was doing. During that break, she started to get her drive back and her desire to play golf again.

“Over the winter while I’m resting I wanted to play more golf,” Yang said earlier this week. “Finally my mind changed and I wanted to go back there and play in contention if I can.”

She found herself back in contention again and this time came out on top, winning her second career tournament and first since the 2013 LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship.

Leaderboard:

Player
R1
R2
R3 
R4
To Par
Amy Yang
67
66
71
69
-15
Mirim Lee
67
69
70
69
-13
Yani Tseng
70
66
70
67
-13
Stacy Lewis 
66
64
73
72
-13

Click here for full scores & prize money.

Yang’s finishes in her last five events
2014 Fubon LPGA Taiwan – 5
2015 Coates Golf Championship – 5
2015 Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic – T19
2015 Handa Australian Open – 2
2015 Honda LPGA Thailand - WIN

Who has won - Honda LPGA Thailand:
Amy Yang becomes the eighth different player to win the Honda LPGA Thailand. Here are a list of the other winners.

Player
Year
Amy Yang
2015
Anna Nordqvist
2014
Inbee Park
2013
Yani Tseng
2012
Yani Tseng
2011
Ai Miyazato
2010
Lorena Ochoa
2009
Suzann Pettersen 
2007
Hee-Won Han
2006

 

Nerves for Yani:
Yani Tseng found herself in contention again at the Honda LPGA Thailand. Thanks to a 5-under 67 today, Tseng was right there at the end of the day, finishing runner-up along with Mirim Lee and Stacy Lewis.

It was the first time since the 2014 Kingsmill Championship that Tseng has finished that high at the event. The former No. 1 has 15 career wins but hasn’t found herself in the winner’s circle since the 2012 Kia Classic. As a result, she found herself more nervous than she thought she would be.

“I played good, but I missed bunch of putts out there,” Tseng said after she signed her scorecard. “I was just actually a little nervous out there when I putting. I don’t know, just maybe thinking a little more on my putting than others. But I got some lucky bounce and make birdie on the last hole so I was very happy. Just fricking nervous out there. I think just at least I back into the circle. Hopefully take into next week.”

Numbers to know:
0- Number of times a player from Thailand has won an LPGA event
2 - Number of LPGA Tour wins for Amy Yang
4 - Number of top-5 finishes for Amy Yang in her last five tournaments played
8 - Number of different winners at the Honda LPGA Thailand
9 - This is the ninth edition of the Honda LPGA Thailand, which began in 2006
16- The number of runner up finishes for Stacy Lewis in her career. She had six in 2014.
33- Number of official events in 2015, up from 23 in 2011
62 million (USD)- The total purse money in 2015, up from $41.4M in 2011
290.8 - Yani Tseng’s average driving distance through Rd. 3 of the Honda LPGA Thailand
410- Number of live televised hours in 2015, the most in LPGA history

Quote of the day: “Oh, I was so nervous. But I saw the ball fall in and I thought feels like it’s dream. It’s a great feeling.” - Amy Yang explaining how she felt when the final putt dropped and she won the Honda LPGA Thailand

Round 3 - Lewis taking narrow lead into final day

February 28, 2015

Players battled through a hot, humid day in Thailand to finish strong during the third round of the Honda LPGA Thailand. In what looks to be an exciting final round, Stacy Lewis takes a one stroke lead into Sunday and is seeking her 12th career LPGA win and first since the 2014 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.

Lewis struggled on the front nine today with four bogeys and couldn’t get much of anything going. Thanks to an eagle on 15, she escaped today with a +1 over 73 and feels fortunate to be in this position.
“That (being in the lead) is pretty much the only good thing that came out of today,” Lewis admitted after her round. “I was a bit all over the place today. I played six really bad holes to start the day but then got things going.”

Leaderboard
Player
RD1
RD2
RD3
RD4
To Par
Rolex Ranking
Stacy Lewis
66
64
73
-
-13
3
Amy Yang
67
66
71
-
-12
16
Sandra Gal
71
66
68
-
-11
47
Mirim Lee
67
69
70
-
-10
18
Jenny Shin
70
66
70
-
-10
39

Gal is ready: Sandra Gal’s only win on the LPGA Tour came back in 2011 at the Kia Classic. With a 4-under 68 today, tied for low round of the day, Gal has put herself in position to once again find herself back in the winner’s circle. It’s a position she is not unfamiliar with. She entered the final round at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic within five of the lead and is ready to finally break through.

“That was the goal at the beginning of the season, to be in contention and have a chance to win on Sunday,” Gal said. “I just need to relax and kind of do the same thing I did the last few days. I think the more chances I’ll have the better I’ll do. Tomorrow I just have to go out, and, like I said, just be relaxed and enjoy the moment.”

Hot weather, long ball: In the offseason, the golf ball Stacy Lewis had to find a golf ball after the ball she was playing, Titelist 09X, had come off the conforming list as of January 7. At her pre-tournament press conference at the seaosn-opening Coates Golf Championship, Lewis said she tested ever ball on the market during the month of December and was down to the Bridgestone.

Today, after a frustrating round of golf, Lewis talked about her plan for the night and mentioned her adjustment with the new ball.

“I‘ll be around the putting and chipping green,” Lewis said. “The ball striking really was not that bad. Just got short sided in some bad situations. Hit some good shots, hit some shots too far actually. This new golf ball in the heat is going a bit.”

Finishing strong: Amy Yang has finished in the top-5 in three of the last four tournaments she has played in dating back to the 2014 Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship. Yang had five top-10 and three top-5 finishes all year in 2014, and is looking for her second career win with her only win coming at the 2013 LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship.

She has a simple approach heading into tomorrow.

“I’ll just do my best one shot at a time,” Yang said. “I won’t think about too much. I am going to go to the range and work on some of my swing right now and putting a little bit and get ready to go. “

Yang’s finishes in her last four events
◦2014 Fubon LPGA Taiwan – 5
◦2015 Coates Golf Championship – 5
◦2015 Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic – T19
◦2015 Handa Australian Open – 2

Amy Yang has been within 5 of the lead entering the final round in each of her last five tournaments played, including all four tournaments in 2015.

Rolex projections: Regardless of what happens this week, Lydia Ko is projected to remain the No. 1 player in the Rolex Rankings. Current No. 3 ranked Stacy Lewis could move up a spot, past Inbee Park, into second with a win this week. Lewis is currently leading the Honda LPGA Thailand by a stroke over Amy Yang. Inbee Park is T21 heading into the final round.

Solkid Shin: Coming off her best year on Tour, Jenny Shin has started 2015 right where she left off in 2014. Last year, Shin had six top-10 finishes, including a season-best third place finish at Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic. Last week, Shin finished tied for fourth at the Handa Women’s Australian Open and enters the final round tomorrow just three strokes behind leader Stacy Lewis.

Numbers to know:
0 - Number of times a player from Thailand has won an LPGA event
6 - Number of different countries represented within the top 10 of the Rolex Rankings
9 - This is the ninth edition of the Honda LPGA Thailand, which began in 2006
16 - This week, 16 of the top 20 in the Rolex Rankings will play at the Honda LPGA Thailand
22 - The average age of the three LPGA winners (Na Yeon Choi, Sei Young Kim and Lydia Ko) in 2015
33 - Number of official events in 2015, up from 23 in 2011
62 million (USD) - The total purse money in 2015, up from $41.4M in 2011
290.8 - Yani Tseng’s average dricing distance through Rd. 3 of the Honda LPGA Thailand
410 - Number of live televised hours in 2015, the most in LPGA history

Quote of the day:
“I do you have a new trainer, David Donatucci. He works with Michelle, Stacy, and, I mean, I feel great. I been work with him couple months now and I feel my body, the way I swing, it matches my body and just get my body and my core stronger so I’m able to hold the shot better and a bit more consistently, too.”

-Yani Tseng explaining how much stronger she feels this year. She leads the Tour in average drive distance

Round 2 - Lewis takes clear lead heading into weekend

February 27, 2015

Stacy Lewis shot 64 today to take a three stroke lead heading into the weekend at the Honda LPGA Thailand. The 30-year old, who just celebrated the milestone birthday on February 17, sits at the top of the leaderboard ahead of Amy Yang, Caroline Masson, Jenny Shin, Ariya Jutanugarn and Mirim Lee.

Lewis in particular has enjoyed the front nine this week. A 29 yesterday was followed with a 32 today on the front nine as she got on a roll midway through with four straight birdies.

“Well, it got off to a bit of a slow start, but about midway through the front nine there kind of caught fire with the putter and started hitting some shots close, Lewis said of her round. “It really was a pretty easy day. I didn’t cause myself too much stress. Hit a ton of greens, which is what have to do on this golf course. Just happy with the day.”

Lewis is looking for her 12th career win and first since the 2014 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.

On a roll:
Amy Yang has finished in the top-5 in three of the last four tournaments she has played in dating back to the 2014
Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship. Yang had five top-10 and three top-5 finishes all year in 2014, and if she could hold this position this week, she would have three already in 2015.

The reason for her improved play of late? She took an extended break and allowed herself to rest in the offseason.

“You know, sometimes you get tired of what you’re doing,” Yang explained. “I think that’s what happened to me last year. That’s why I decided to finish season earlier, too. But over the winter while I’m resting I wanted to play more golf. Finally my mind changed and I wanted to go back there and play in contention if I can.”

Yang started working with a new coach in the winter, Tony Ziegler, and she credits him with her improved play.

“He helped me fix my tendency, like long time tendency, so I feel pretty confident about play and swing right now,” Yang said.

Yang’s finishes in her last four events:

2014 Fubon LPGA Taiwan – 5
2015 Coates Golf Championship – 5
2015 Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic – T19
2015 Handa Australian Open – 2

Rolex projections:
Regardless of what happens this week, Lydia Ko is projected to remain the No. 1 player in the Rolex Rankings. Current No. 3 ranked Stacy Lewis could move up a spot, past Inbee Park, into second with a win this week. Lewis is currently leading the Honda LPGA Thailand by three strokes, while Inbee Park is T42 heading into Saturday.

Good start for Matthew:
Catriona Matthew, who recently celebrated her 21st wedding anniversary with her husband Graeme, fired a 6-under 66 today thanks to a run of birdies after making the turn.

“Yeah, I just saw there were quite a few 3s,” Matthew joked after the round. “Yeah, think I was just so annoyed with myself on 10 for that shocking chip. Kind of holed a good putt on 11 for birdie and then hit it in quite close on the other ones for birdies.”

Numbers to know:
0- Number of times a player from Thailand has won an LPGA event
6- Number of different countries represented within the top 10 of the Rolex Rankings
9 - This is the ninth edition of the Honda LPGA Thailand, which began in 2006
16- This week, 16 of the top 20 in the Rolex Rankings will play at the Honda LPGA Thailand
22- The average age of the three LPGA winners (Na Yeon Choi, Sei Young Kim and Lydia Ko) in 2015
33- Number of official events in 2015, up from 23 in 2011
62 million (USD)- The total purse money in 2015, up from $41.4M in 2011
410- Number of live televised hours in 2015, the most in LPGA history

Round 1 - Tseng, Lang and Lewis tied in Thailand

February 26, 2015

The opening round of the Honda LPGA Thailand ended with Yani Tseng, Brittany Lang and Stacy Lewis tied atop the leaderboard after each firing a 66. For Lewis, it was the second time she’s led or co-led after Rd. 1 this year. For Tseng and Lang it’s a position they are more unfamiliar with. Tseng hasn’t led after the first round since the 2012 CN Canadian Women’s Open and Lang has never done so, and both players are looking for their first win since 2012.

With the high temperature nearing 90 degrees Fahrenheit, players battled the heat all day and will have to do so the rest of the week. Temps will be in the high 80’s to low 90’s all weekend.

This is the second time Lewis has led or co-led the Honda LPGA Classic after the first round, with the last time coming in 2013 after an opening-round 63. Tseng has won the event two times (2011 and 2012) while Lang’s best finish at this event was a T4 in 2009.

Hot start for Lewis:
Stacy Lewis began her round with an eagle on the first hole at the Siam Country Club, Pattaya Old Course on her way to a 29 on the front nine but came back down to earth on the back nine.

“There are tough holes that if you get on the wrong side of it,” Lewis said. “I mean, we misjudged the wind on 13 and got on the wrong side of the hole, and then made a couple bad decisions there on 18. You know, it happens on this golf course. You get short sided, you’re going to make a bogey. Just try to minimize the damage.”

Lewis, who has finished in the top five of this event in each of the last three years, is feeling strong early this season and that may strike fear into opposing players.

“I was pleased coming out today with the ball striking,” Lewis said. ”That was something those first two events that wasn’t quite there. Pleased with the way I hit it. Put a new driver in the back this week and was pretty pleased with that, too. I’m excited about the rest of the week.”

Lewis dealt with the headaches of a traveling golfer early in the week. The airline was unable to find her clubs early in the week but thankfully the World No. 3 had her clubs in time for the start of this tournament. The extra rest may have led to Lewis’ 29 on the front nine.

“I kind of think it might have been to my advantage,” Lewis said. “You come out Tuesday and maybe you’re sweating like crazy and taking some energy out. If anything, I got to save some energy on Tuesday.”

A fan of Thailand:
Prior to 2015, Yani Tseng has played the Honda LPGA Thailand seven times and seven times she has finished in the top-7 including back-to-back wins in 2011 and 2012.

“I always love here,” Tseng said. “I have so many friends out here and the fans out here always give me great support. I feel like coming back here always start of the season and I feel fresh and give me good energy. We play on this great golf course. I think it kind of suits my game. It’s good for the long hitter out here.”

Tseng was paired today with Thailand native Ariya Jutanugarn and sees a lot of herself in the young Thai golfer.

“I feel like when I watch her play I feel like that’s how I play when I was young,” Tseng said. “Just grip and hit it. Don’t really worry about it. I give my 100% every shot. If I pitch it right, I go there to save my shot. I think that’s how golf should be. I feel I just worry too much out there. I might actually learn something from her. Very happy to play with her. She kind of give me good motivation. She hits great shot out there and makes good putt, and that makes me feel like I want to catch her. “

Solheim motivation:
The 14th edition of the Solheim Cup will take place in September at the St. Leon course of Golf Club St. Leon-Rot, St. Leon-Rot, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Brittany Lang sits 11th on the Solheim Cup points list at 154.5 points. She was asked after her opening-round 66 if it being a Solheim year adds any motivation for her.

“You know, it does,” Lang said. “ Of course I want to play on the Solheim, but I am just going to keep doing what I have been doing: seeing my shots, committing, having fun, being positive. Because if I start thinking about Solheim it’s going to get me away from what I’m doing. Solheim is the most fun you ever have on the course. It’s one of the most important things to me, so it’s hard not to think about it. You got to have some mental strength to just stick to what you’re doing.”

The cut-off event for American players to earn points will be at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open August 20-23 in Vancouver. Players started earning points at the 2013 CN Canadian Women’s Open and will receive heavier weighted points at LPGA events in 2015 and double points at the Tour’s five major championships. Members of Team USA are decided by the top-8 U.S. Solheim Cup Points earners, two players from the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings not already qualified by points, and two captain’s picks.

Rolex projections:
Regardless of what happens this week, Lydia Ko is projected to remain the No. 1 player in the Rolex Rankings. Current No. 3 ranked Stacy Lewis could move up a spot, past Inbee Park, into second with a win this week.

Numbers to know:
0- Number of times a player from Thailand has won an LPGA event
7 - There have been seven different winners of the Honda LPGA Thailand. Only Yani Tseng has won the event more than once (2011-2012)
6- Number of countries represented within the top 10 of the Rolex Rankings
9 - This is the ninth edition of the Honda LPGA Thailand, which began in 2006
16- This week, 16 of the top 20 in the Rolex Rankings will play at the Honda LPGA Thailand
22- The average age of the three LPGA winners (Na Yeon Choi, Sei Young Kim and Lydia Ko) in 2015
33- Number of official events in 2015, up from 23 in 2011
62 million (USD)- The total purse money in 2015, up from $41.4M in 2011
410- Number of live televised hours in 2015, the most in LPGA history

Scores

Pos.
Player
Score
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Prize Money $
1 Amy YANG
-15
67
66
71
69
273
225,000
T2 Yani TSENG
-13
66
72
70
67
275
106,941
T2 Mirim LEE
-13
67
69
70
69
275
106,941
T2 Stacy LEWIS
-13
66
64
73
72
275
106,941
T5 Sei Young KIM
-12
70
73
68
65
276
57,612
T5 Beatriz RECARI
-12
72
71
70
63
276
57,612
T7 Suzann PETTERSEN
-11
67
75
68
67
277
38,536
T7 Inbee PARK
-11
70
74
68
65
277
38,536
T7 Sandra GAL
-11
71
66
68
72
277
38,536
10 Shanshan FENG
-10
70
69
71
68
278
31,111
T11 Karrie WEBB
-9
72
69
71
67
279
27,845
T11 Azahara MUNOZ
-9
69
70
71
69
279
27,845
T13 Julieta GRANADA
-8
70
74
71
65
280
20,064
T13 Ariya JUTANUGARN
-8
67
69
77
67
280
0
T13 Haru NOMURA
-8
73
72
71
64
280
20,064
T13 Sun Young YOO
-8
75
67
71
67
280
20,064
T13 Karine ICHER
-8
71
72
70
67
280
20,064
T13 Ilhee LEE
-8
72
71
69
68
280
20,064
T13 Brittany LANG
-8
66
73
72
69
280
20,064
T13 Anna NORDQVIST
-8
72
70
69
69
280
20,064
T13 Mo MARTIN
-8
68
71
70
71
280
20,064
T13 Lee-Anne PACE
-8
71
67
71
71
280
20,064
T23 Mika MIYAZATO
-7
69
72
73
67
281
0
T23 Kim KAUFMAN
-7
72
69
70
70
281
14,687
T23 Hyo Joo KIM
-7
72
70
69
70
281
14,687
T23 Lexi THOMPSON
-7
68
71
71
71
281
14,687
T23 Jenny SHIN
-7
70
66
70
75
281
14,687
28 Caroline MASSON
-6
70
66
74
72
282
13,059
T29 Carlota CIGANDA
-5
76
70
71
66
283
13,059
T29 Catriona MATTHEW
-5
71
66
76
70
283
13,059
T29 Chella CHOI
-5
71
69
69
74
283
13,059
T32 Jessica KORDA
-4
70
71
74
69
284
10,908
T32 Pornanong PHATLUM
-4
74
71
71
68
284
10,908
T34 Moriya JUTANUGARN
-3
70
74
71
70
285
9,832
T34 Michelle WIE
-3
73
66
74
72
285
9,832
T34 Cristie KERR
-3
68
69
75
73
285
9,832
T37 Brittany LINCICOME
-2
71
73
71
71
286
8,181
T37 Christina KIM
-2
69
74
73
70
286
8,181
T37 Danielle KANG
-2
72
69
75
70
286
8,181
T37 Austin ERNST
-2
72
74
71
69
286
8,181
T37 Pernilla LINDBERG
-2
73
73
72
68
286
8,181
T37 So Yeon RYU
-2
72
74
72
68
286
8,181
T43 Hee Young PARK
-1
70
71
74
72
287
6,913
T43 Ai MIYAZATO
-1
71
75
72
69
287
0
T43 Paphangkorn TAVATANAKIT [A]
-1
72
70
69
76
287
0
T46 Na Yeon CHOI
E
71
72
71
74
288
6,299
T46 Caroline HEDWALL
E
68
76
72
72
288
6,299
T46 Paula CREAMER
E
70
76
75
67
288
6,299
T49 Lizette SALAS
1
67
76
73
73
289
5,339
T49 Mina HARIGAE
1
71
72
72
74
289
5,339
T49 Thidapa SUWANNAPURA
1
71
71
74
73
289
0
T49 Budsabakorn SUKAPAN [A]
1
67
72
73
77
289
0
T49 Meena LEE
1
71
72
74
72
289
5,339
T49 Belen MOZO
1
72
73
73
71
289
5,339
T49 Mariajo URIBE
1
75
72
72
70
289
5,339
T56 Gerina PILLER
2
72
74
72
72
290
4,686
T56 Line VEDEL
2
71
71
76
72
290
4,686
T58 Eun-Hee JI
3
71
73
77
70
291
4,378
T58 Mi Jung HUR
3
73
74
74
70
291
0
T60 Morgan PRESSEL
5
76
71
75
71
293
4,071
T60 Angela STANFORD
5
73
76
75
69
293
4,071
62 Mi Hyang LEE
7
72
75
78
70
295
3,841
T63 Haeji KANG
8
72
76
77
71
296
3,726
T63 Jennifer JOHNSON
8
75
75
77
69
296
3,726
65 Jodi EWART SHADOFF
9
73
73
75
76
297
3,610
66 Cheyenne WOODS
11
73
75
72
79
299
0
67 Katherine KIRK
14
74
76
75
77
302
3,456
68 Sherman SANTHIWIWATTHANAPHONG
19
76
76
82
73
307
3,380
69 Jane PARK
20
79
76
76
77
308
3,304
70 Se Ri PAK
21
76
78
78
77
309
3,226

 

Preview

DATES:  February 26 - March 01
SITE:  Siam Country Club, Pattaya Old Course, Chonburi
PAR:  72
YARDAGE:   6,548
PRIZE MONEY: $ 1,500,000
WINNER: $ 225,000
Click here for tournament stats & info

The LPGA Tour returns to the Siam Country Club, Pattaya Old Course this week for the Honda LPGA Thailand. It is the ninth consecutive year that Honda has served as the title sponsor for this great event. Anna Nordqvist returns to defend her title against a field that includes 16 out of the top-20 players in the Rolex Rankings and past winners of this event Inbee Park (2013), Yani Tseng (2012, 2011), Ai Miyazato (2010) and Suzann Pettersen (2009).

“I have great memories here.” Defending champ Anna Nordqvist said. “This place meant so much to me last year and coming back here I remember a lot of the shots I hit and I remember a lot of the good moments. I sure have a big smile on my face this week. “

Rookie and Evian Championship winner Hyo Joo Kim makes her 2015 LPGA debut this week while fellow rookie and 2015 Bahamas LPGA Classic winner Sei Young Kim will be looking for tournament title No. 2. Last week’s runner-up at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, Amy Yang, is looking for her second career LPGA victory. Pornanong Phatlum (No. 28), sisters Ariya (No. 44) and Moriya Jutanugarn (No. 105) and sponsor invite Thidapa Suwannapura (No. 129) are Thai natives looking to become the first woman from Thailand to win on the LPGA Tour.

Inbee Park comes in with some unfinished business after a runner-up finish in 2014. The No. 2 player in the world is a fan of the Siam Country Club, Pattaya Old Course.

“I think it’s just the golf course here is great,” Park said. “They are always in really good shape. I had good results here in 2013 and ‘14 obviously with the win in 2013 and the runner up finish last year. I just feel comfortable with the golf course and the atmosphere. And the food and the people they are just so nice here. I just love to coming to Thailand.”

In the first three events of 2015, there have been two South Korean (Na Yeon Choi and Sei Young Kim) winners and one Kiwi (Lydia Ko) this season. the average age of those three winners is 22 years of age.

Jutanugarn clinic:
Ariya Jutanugarn knows first hand what an important influence an LPGA player can make on a young golfer. As a young golfer, she was fortunate to attend a clinic run by an accomplished LPGA player.

“When I was younger, I went to a clinic with Cristie Kerr and I felt like it helped me a lot.” Jutanugarn said. “And to now be able to help someone else makes me feel so good.”

When asked if she was going to tell Cristie Kerr that she helped her as a young golfer Jutanugarn laughed and said. “No, I don’t think she would remember. That was a long time ago.”

On the driving range today, Jutanugarn hosted a golf clinic for special guests of Honda, the title sponsor of the tournament this week. Roughly 20 Honda guests were able to meet with Jutanugarn and learn from the No. 44 ranked player in the world.

“Right now I have the chance to help somebody and it feels so good.” Jutanugarn described of the experience. “I can help them know more golf and if they feel like they have something to ask they can ask me.”

Playing in her native Thailand means there will be extra demands for her time but she’s thankful and excited for the chance to play here.

“All my fans here are cheering for me and I am really greatful to come here and play here and this is my seventh year playing the event. My schedule is really busy this week. I have something every morning and afternoon but I enjoy it a lot. Everything I do is for the sponsor because they invite me and I am happy about that.” Jutanugarn said.

Thai look pretty:
LPGA players Anna Nordqvist, So Yeon Ryu, Belen Mozo, Pornanong Phaltum, Cheyenne Woods and Moriya Jutanugarn took part in a photo shoot today in Thailand. The players dressed in clothing from the King Rama V era in Thai history. In 2014, the players dressed in authentic Thai dresses but this year the tournament wanted to show a different era in the history.

This era of dress reflects a golden era in Thai culture that mixed traditional Thai clothing with more or a Western/Victorian style. It did catch the players off guard when they were shown what to wear. Most were expecting the traditional dresses that players have worn in the past, but were pleasantly surprised with the style that was chosen.

“I love learning about different cultures so taking part in a photo shoot like this is a fun time.” Anna Nordqvist said after the photo shoot finished. “I didn’t know what to expect as far as what we would wear but I was very happy to be a part of it.”

Also the tallest member of the group, defending champion Nordqvist, sat in the middle of the other players during the shoot and was constantly reminded to sit up even more straight than she was.

“I never heard my posture was bad before today but I guess it gives me something to work towards.” Nordqvist joked after the shoot was over about the challenges of posing that long.

The players enjoyed the experience and the chance to learn about new cultures.

“I think it’s interesting to find out about different cultures so getting dressed up like this is fun.” Belen Mozo said.

Coming in fresh:
Prior to her win at the 2014 Honda LPGA Thailand, Anna Nordqvist was considering walking away from the game. She hadn’t won since her rookie season at the 2009 LPGA Tour Championship (95 events between wins). She spent that offseason working hard to get to where she needed to be and that resulted in two wins last year.

This past offseason, Nordqvist took more time to relax and come in fresh.

“This is one of the first years where I don’t feel like I have done any major changes,” Nordqvist said. “I did a lot of changes coming into last year, so actually felt like a little less stressful in this off season. I took a lot of time off and just kept the same team and, you know, been working on the same things.”

She’s hopeful that she’ll have just as fast a start this year as she did in 2015.

“Had a really good beginning of last year, so I’ll just be trying to do the same.”

Grading her performance:
Michelle Wie was asked today to grade her performance to start the year and her acting debut on the television show Hawaii Five-0. With a T24 finish at the Coates Golf Championship and a missed cut at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic after getting strep throat, Wie is ready to get back to playing good golf.

“You know, I played okay in Ocala,” Wie described of the season-opening event. “I was just a bit little rusty. Very up and down. I had brief flashy moments of brilliance and then just moments of pure stupidity. Unfortunately I got really sick in the Bahamas, so that was that. So beginning of the year. Just working out some kinks, having fun. Really happy to be back in Thailand and back into the rhythm of playing again and being on the road with these great ladies.”

As for her acting debut on Hawaii Five-0 where she played herself, she gave a mixed review.

“Hawaii Five-0 was so much fun to shoot,” Wie said. “It was so weird. I hate watching myself on TV, but definitely watched it. I was like, ‘Am I really that awkward in real life? What am I doing with my head?’ But it was actually really fun. They made me feel really comfortable. It was definitely an experience. I kind of wish I was the arsonist at the end, the villain, but maybe next time.”

Workout buddies:
Stacy Lewis and Michelle Wie live close to each other near Jupiter, Fla.. and the duo happen to share a trainer in David Donatucci. As a result, they find each other in the gym at the same time and joked about it being a motivating factor.

“Our workouts are pretty similar,” Lewis said. “There are days in the gym where we have the same workout. Michelle is trying to keep up with me usually. But it’s cool. We have been able to motivate each other. I think we’re both kind of checking each other, seeing what the other person is doing. I think it’s been good for both of us, both of our games.

Wie joked that she brings a smile to Stacy’s face whenever she shows up in the gym at the same time.

“I think I bring great entertainment to her day when I workout,” Wie said. “See a smile on her face for sure.”

Lewis agreed and added a final, joking dig to her workout buddy.

“She’s really tall,” Lewis noted. “She just can’t jump very high. The whole awkward thing, it’s very true.”

Stress at home:
Pornanong Phatlum resides in Bangkok, Thailand and the pressure of playing at home in front of so many fans may have gotten to the No. 28 ranked player in the world.

“In the beginning, yes I was so nervous and stressed out,” Phatlum explained. “I had to go see a sport psychologist to get myself to calm down. Now I am ok. I will just play my game. I want to do my best for the fans here. I hope to win this tournament but if not I will be happy to finish in the top 5.”

This is her sixth time playing in the Honda LPGA Thailand, with her best showing thus far coming in 2011 with a T13 finish.

Numbers to know:
0- Number of times a player from Thailand has won an LPGA event
6- Number of countries represented within the top 10 of the Rolex Rankings
7 - There have been seven different winners of the Honda LPGA Thailand. Only Yani Tseng has won the event more than once (2011-2012)
9 - This is the ninth edition of the Honda LPGA Thailand, which began in 2006
15- Number of countries the LPGA plays in
16- This week, 16 of the top 20 in the Rolex Rankings will play
28- Pornanong Phatlum’s Rolex Ranking, the highest ranked Thai player
22- The average age of the three winners (Na Yeon Choi, Sei Young Kim and Lydia Ko) in 2015
34- The number of combined wins by the five International players participating in today’s press conference (Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park, Michelle Wie, Anna Nordqvist and So Yeon Ryu)





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