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Round 3 - Fifth LPGA victory for Nordqvist in New Jersey

May 31, 2015

Anna Nordqvist won her fitfth LPGA title on Sweden's mother's day, and for the first time her mother was there to see it.

“I couldn't have give her a better present than to spend this day with her,” Nordqvist said. “I'm just speechless right now. I fought hard today and can't believe I'm sitting here with the trophy.”

Victory wasn't always assured. She led for much of the back nine but a bogey meant a shared lead, though only for a hole. She birdied the 16th and 17th to allow an easy walk down the 18th hole for Nordqvist’s first win this season – but third in the last two seasons.

“That was pretty special because my mom's been there through thick and thin,” Nordqvist said, “and you know, helped me through my downs and pushed me through my ups. So very special.”

Nordqvist hasn't always had an easy time. She started her LPGA career with two wins as a rookie in 2009, but went through a nearly five year drought before breaking through with two wins in 2014.

“I try not to think about it now. But yeah, there was a couple of years ago where I thought that I considered doing something else. I lost all my passion and heart for the game,” Nordqvist said. “So I had to make a couple of changes around myself with some people that helped me be positive and helped me stay in the game. But you know, moments like this are amazing, but there's a lot of hard work and a lot of grind that people don't see that goes behind it and if you don't have the passion and the heart to put in all the hard work on the side, it's tough. But I'm fortunate to be able to do what I'm doing, and I'm glad I stuck to it, and just knowing the downs that I've had just makes the ups even better now.”

Cristel Boeljon missed a short five foot birdie that would have put her into a playoff after Nordqvist made bogey at the last in the group behind her. Boeljon’s runner-up finish at 7-under-par for the tournament is the best finish of her LPGA career.

Morgan Pressel started the day with the lead but bogeyed at No. 6 and a subsequent double bogey at No. 7 derailed her chances. Pressel and rookie Kelly Shon tied for third at 5-under-par, three shots back of Nordqvist. Austin Ernst (64), Karrie Webb (66), Inbee Park (68), Mirim Lee (69), and Gerina Piller (71) all tied for fifth at 4-under-par for the tournament.

Career week for Boeljon:
Christel Boeljon did not look at a single leaderboard all day on Sunday until the final

hole where she saw that she was just two shots off the lead with the leader, Anna Nordqvist, trailing in the group behind her. If she made the five-foot birdie putt on the 18th, she would’ve forced a playoff after Nordqvist bogeyed her last to drop a shot, finishing at 8-under par. Despite the disappointment in missing out on her first LPGA Tour win, Boeljon was pleased with picking up her career best finish. Her previous best was a tie for seventh at the 2014 Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic and the 2013 Reignwood LPGA Classic.

“You know, slowly starting to play better, and this week it finally sort of clicked and three rounds under par in these conditions and these winds I’m happy,” said Boeljon. “It’s a good week for me.” Boeljon admitted she had some issues with nerves on the back nine.

“I told my caddy like with four holes to go when we were on 15, I’m like, I’m starting to feel a little nervous right now,” said Boeljon. “I think for me it’s a big step.”

With her $135,995 runner-up check, Boeljon will jump 73 spots on the money list to No. 40. She missed four out of her last six starts and best finish this season came at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic (T38).

Another close call:
Morgan Pressel entered Sunday with a one-shot lead over Anna Nordqvist and looked as calm as ever in her first time sleeping on a lead heading into the final round since the 2013 RICOH Women’s British Open with a 1-under start through five holes. But Pressel bogeyed the sixth hole and made a double bogey on the seventh and couldn’t ever fully recover.

“I mean I just didn’t make anything today. I didn’t hit it quite as well,” Pressel said. “Certainly made a mess of 6 and 7 and got behind the eight ball early, and these greens are just a little bit too bumpy to make a ton of putts out here, even with good strokes. So I just had way too many putts today, and you’re not going to win a tournament hitting 2-over on Sunday.”

Although she leaves admittedly bummed that she wasn’t able to close out her third week in two months in contention on a Sunday, but Pressel’s game as hot as anyone in women’s golf right now with a tie for third Sunday. It’s just a process getting back to being comfortable being in contention after a nearly seven-year winless drought.

“I mean since I’ve been working on [my swing changes], I mean I’ve been in a lot of final groups, and that puts a lot of pressure on the swing,” Pressel said. “That’s probably the most pressure you have out here in tournament competition is playing in the final group and having a chance to win. And it progresses every tournament when you get back out there, pressure makes you swing a little bit faster, a little bit harder, and I wasn’t quite as good with that today as I was for the first couple days. And it’s getting closer, so just gotta keep getting after it and working hard, and you know, definitely looking forward to next week and KPMG.

Pressel’s now finished in the top three in three of her last six events and has finished in the top 20 in six of her last seven events. She’s up to eighth on the money list, 10th in the Rolex Player of the Year points, 11th in the Race to the CME Globe, and passed Jessica Korda for seventh in U.S. Solheim Cup points.

It’s been a dramatic change for Pressel, who said she was lost in her swing when she returned from the two-week Asia stretch in March. She called up her old coach, Ron Stockton, and they went back to work at that point. The swing change still isn’t quite where she wanted it to be, but it’s getting there. Perhaps even more important than the changes in her swing have been the changes in her mind.

“I mean I think that’s a difference in me now is the patience that I have for poor shots and myself,” Pressel said. “And just I was able to forget about it and move forward.”

Now, she wants to move forward from top threes into wins. If there’s an ideal time to play well, it’s now with three major championships coming up in the next seven events.

“I know that what I’m working on is the right thing, and I think that’s what gives me confidence heading into the big summer stretch,” Pressel said. “And just gotta make a few more putts.”

Final group rush:
LPGA Tour rookie Kelly Shon played in the final group for the first time in her young career on Sunday and turned in a respectable 1-under 70, good for a tied for third finish. Although she said her main goal was to walk away with a win, her career-best finish and great learning experience were a nice consolation prize.

“I was really proud of the way I handled myself out there,” said Shon. “I think even before, within those first 14 holes, I think I could have made a couple more. But you know what, all in all pretty happy with the way I handled myself, and I got to learn a lot. You know, playing with Anna, the champion, and then Morgan, just watching these guys play and how they handle themselves in the final three, I learned a lot today.”

Shon admitted to intense nerves on the first hole, but knows she grow to be more comfortable in the high pressure situations with every time she’s in them.

“Oh, it means a ton. I was nervous,” said Shon. “On the first hole, I don’t think my hands have ever shaken that much on the first hole thinking about that. So got it out of the way, and hopefully I can get better.”

The 2014 Princeton University grad has been open about her post-graduation debate on whether to pursue a professional golf career or not. But being in contention on Sunday made it clear that her gig on the LPGA Tour was the right decision for now.

“This is as much fun as I’ve had ever playing golf,” said Shon. “Just because of the competition. Like today, the thrill, the excitement, the ups and downs. I don’t know. I’m glad I chose this path, for now. We’ll see.”

Coming for the No.1 spot:
Inbee Park made a charge at Lydia Ko’s No. 1 ranking Sunday but Ko will enter the Manulife LPGA Classic next week as the No. 1 player in the world for the 18th straight week after Park came up just one shot short of stealing Ko’s spot. Park finished in a tie for fifth but needed a two-way tie for third to take over Ko’s No. 1 spot.

Park and Ko have had a back-and-forth battle ever since Ko took the No. 1 spot from Park after the first event of the year. Ko, the youngest No. 1 in the world, won in February at the ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open to begin to separate herself from Park but Park responded by winning the HSBC Women’s Champions, where Ko finished second, and the chase has been on ever since. Ko won the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic at the end of April but Park responded by winning the very next week in Dallas.

This will be a back-and-forth show of one upping to watch throughout the summer heading into next week’s Manulife LPGA Classic, where Park won a year ago.

Wounder warrior eagles:
Karrie Webb, the 2013 winner of this event, had the lone eagle on Sunday on the par 5 3rd hole. The Hall of Famer increased the season-long weekend eagle total to 115 and the total money raised for the Wounded Warrior Project to $115,000.

Numbers to know:
1 – Number of shots Inbee Park missed out on in her effort to take back the No. 1 ranking.
3 – Morgan Pressel has three top three finishes in her last six starts.
5 – Anna Nordqvist’s number of career wins.
6 – Inbee Park has now finished in the top five in six of her last 10 starts.
7 – Christel Boeljon’s previous best finish on the LPGA Tour was a tie for seventh at the 2013 Reignwood LPGA Classic and 2014 Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic.
43 – Number of spots Kelly Shon jumped on the money list; up to No. 49
64 – Austin Ernst’s final round 64 on Sunday was the round of the tournament and helped propel her to a tie for fifth.
73 – Number of spots Christel Boeljon jumped on the money list with her runner-up finish, moving up to the 40th on the money list.
135,995 – Christel Boeljon’s payout this week for her runner-up finish is almost eight times her earnings for the season heading into this week.

Click here for full scores & prize money.

Round 2 - Pressel maintains lead ahead of Nordqvist

May 30, 2015

Just four weeks ago Morgan Pressel watched in San Francisco as two putts that could have clinched a victory – her first since a 2008 win at the Kapalua LPGA Classic – rolled agonizingly past. She was that close to her third career victory, but she’ll have a shot to make amends on Sunday at the ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer after maintaining her lead Saturday with a 2-under-par 69 to lead by one over Anna Nordqvist.

As Pressel looks to snap a nearly seven-year winless drought, she will sleep on the lead heading into the final round for the first time since the 2013 RICOH Women’s British Open, where she finished in a tie for fourth. Pressel’s been arguably as hot over the last two months as at any other point in her career, reeling off a third place finish at the ANA Inspiration, a runner-up at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic Presented by CTBC, and top-20 finishes in five of her last six starts heading into this week.

“I guess the more that I am in that position, the more comfortable I am with it,” Pressel said. “I think at the end of the day, you have to be comfortable with the results, the outcome, no matter what it is. I feel like I’m in a good place, and I’m there, and no matter what happens tomorrow, I’m happy with my game and the direction that I’m heading. Tomorrow is not the end of the world one way or the other, but I’m going to go out there and give it my best shot.”

With a 20 mile per hour cross wind ripping in off of the water through the course for much of the day, the lowest score of the day was a 4-under 67 by second-year Tour member Jaye Marie Green. So Pressel was more than happy to walk away with only one bogey in a 2-under-par 69.

“It was a tough day to play. I think that the wind tomorrow is going to be pretty similar,” Pressel said. “I was able to keep the ball in front of me really well today. I only hit a couple of poor shots, one on 13 where I ended up having to pitch out after a poor drive, but the wind is tough to club, but it’s also tough to commit, and I think that I did a pretty good job committing to all the shots today, committing to my target lines. Sometimes when you have an 8-iron or a 9-iron in your hand it’s hard to aim 40 yards right of the pin and trust that the wind is going to bring it all the way back, but I did a pretty good job of that today, and going to need more of the same tomorrow.”

Pressel will look to hold off Nordqvist, who is one shot back and looking for her first win since ripping off two in the first five tournaments of 2014, and five additional players – Kelly Shon (68), Christel Boeljon (70), Gerina Piller (70), Pernilla Lindberg (70), Catriona Matthew (70) – that are tied just three shots back of Pressel’s lead.

Piecing the rounds together:
At this point in the season last year, Anna Nordqvist had two victories and a runner-up finish. By the end of 2014, she put together one of the most consistent seasons of her six-year career. She has yet to replicate her success from a year ago but it doesn’t mean the Swede has been playing poorly. Nordqvist has four top-10 finishes so far this year and ranks fifth on Tour in scoring average (70.25). She said putting four good rounds together has been the factor holding her back.

“I feel like this year I’ve been playing solid, just haven’t really put four solid rounds together,” said Nordqvist. “Been up there a few times. I felt like I had a good chance at ANA this year, but you’ve really got to shoot four good rounds, or this week you’ve got to shoot three good rounds, and I think that’s the missing part. I’m definitely working on consistency and giving myself chances to be up there, and I’m very proud of myself for battling it out this week and certainly gives me a chance for tomorrow.”

Nordqvist finished third at this event last year and says it’d be an honor to add her name to the list of esteemed champions that includes Juli Inkster, Betsy King, Annika Sorenstam and Nancy Lopez. She sits one shot off the lead and in great position to break back into the winner’s circle for the first time this year.

“Well, I feel like this is one of my favorite places,” said Nordqvist. “It’s such a good golf course, and it’s such a great tournament with a lot of history. It’s been a lot of great winners over the years. It would mean a lot. Just trying to take a day at a time, and I’m one shot back going into tomorrow. That’s all I’m trying to focus on right now.”

The pride of Princeton:
LPGA Tour rookie Kelly Shon feels close to home this week and put herself in contention heading into the final round for the first time in her young career. Shon’s alma mater, Princeton, is an hour and a half trip from Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club but said she was shocked to see a group of supporters show up at the turn during her round yesterday. A group of friends came to cheer her on in the midst of Reunions weekends, an alumni association event that hosts over 25,000 alumni, family and friends to the campus. Both the men’s and women’s golf coaches were onsite on Saturday for the second round as well.

“I feel really close. Unfortunately and kind of fortunately, the Reunions are going on right now, so a lot of my friends are having fun there, but actually a big group of friends came out yesterday to cheer me on,” said Shon. “Yeah, pretty much hungover, but it was good. It was a good hour and a half trip. And they lied to me about it, too. They’re like, oh, we’re sorry we’re going to miss you, and then they showed up when I was making the turn. Like eight or so, yeah. It was good. They were all wearing their orange.”

Shon hasn’t turned in many strong results in her eight starts since her season-best T11 finish at her first event, the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. She’s missed five cuts and her next best finish was a T62 at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic. She said a few people gave her advice two weeks ago to not concentrate so much on her swing mechanics and play more freely.

“I actually got a great tip when I was down in Kingsmill,” said Shon. “I was starting to get bogged down with techniques, and someone just told me, go out there and play golf, and then I reflected back on my rounds when I had played with buddies back home just for matches and I had fun, so that’s kind of what I thought about.”

Shon says she’s excited to put two good rounds together and getting in prime position for the final round.

“I’m nervous, of course, but I’m excited, and just trying to have fun and trying to fight really hard, play hard,” said Shon.

She’d be the fourth rookie winner this season and would join Sei Young Kim, Hyo Joo Kim and Minjee Lee. She currently ranks 11th in the Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year race.

Shock factor:
If Catriona Matthew ends up not winning this golf tournament, she’ll have two holes to point to – her first two of the tournament. Matthew opened the tournament with a triple bogey, double bogey start but reeled off birdies on eight of next 16 holes on Friday and followed that up Saturday with a 1-under-par 70 to get to 4-under for the tournament – three shots back of Morgan Pressel.

“I think I was in shock. I was numb,” Matthew said of her start Friday. “I don’t know, it was windy yesterday when we started, and obviously the putter started it. I just thought if I could hang in and get back to a couple over, but I played pretty well.”

Matthews joked that the triple and double start happened “quite easily” but she’s steadied herself in the 34 holes since and sits with a prime chance of her first LPGA Tour win since the 2011 Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

“It should be around there I would say by the end of the day. It should give me a chance tomorrow anyway,” she said.

Playing on Sunday:
The 36-hole cut fell at 3-over par 145 with 81 players earning their spots to play on Sunday. Notables to miss the cut:

Michelle Wie (+4), Lexi Thompson (+7), Brittany Lincicome (+9) and Cheyenne Woods (+13).

Round 1 - Pressel takes narrow first day lead in NJ

May 29, 2015

Two-time LPGA winner Morgan Pressel took the first-round lead on Friday at the ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer with a 5-under 66 on the Bay Course at Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club. The major champ leads a group of five players by one shot. Pressel had five birdies, two bogey and an eagle on the day and finished birdie-eagle to get to five-under par. She felt like she had some unforced errors but was thankful for her strong finish.

“I really didn't put myself in a whole lot of trouble,” said Pressel. “I wouldn't say that I certainly had the best game out there. I felt like I made a few mistakes. And I didn't play all that well, but then I came down birdieing 8 and eagling the last hole. That definitely helps.”

Pressel’s bogeys came on No. 14, her fifth hole of the day and No. 6 and followed both up with birdies two holes after each dropped shot.

“And I only made two bogeys today,” said Pressel. “I mean they weren't great bogeys by any means. I shouldn't have really made them, but hopefully tomorrow I can eliminate those kinds of mistakes and can keep giving myself opportunities for birdie.”

The group of pursuers who sit one shot back at 4-under par include major champ Anna Nordqvist, Americans Sydnee Michaels and Ryann O’Toole, Alena Sharp of Canada and 2015 rookie Min Lee.

Defending champion Stacy Lewis eagled her final hole on No. 9 to get to 1-over par for the day and is in a tie for 56th. Rolex Rankings No. 2 Inbee shot even-par 71 and is tied for 40th. In her first event back after withdrawing from the Kingsmill Championship two weeks ago, Michelle Wie is tied for 95th, finishing with a 3-over 74.

Flying high on confidence:
Morgan Pressel’s swing changes have been in the public eye since her return from the Tour’s Asian swing earlier this season and has seen a dramatic change in results after working on keeping the club more out in front on her takeaway.

But the 27-year old says that it’s not so much the technicality of the changes that has helped her on the course but the new-found confidence it has given her.

“I think it’s just a confidence thing,” said Pressel. “I think it’s not standing up to the tee afraid of where the golf ball might go, but knowing on the next one I certainly can give myself a good opportunity to make birdie. So it’s really just a confidence thing and it’s nice to stand up to the tee with more confidence.”

Pressel has two top-3 finishes in her last five starts including a runner-up at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic and a third-place finish at the ANA Inspiration. The Florida native is looking to break back into the winner’s circle for the first time since the 2008 Kapalua LPGA Classic and continues to work on transitioning her range work to the course.

“I mean it’s still a little bit in the middle,” said Pressel. “It regressed a little bit the last month or so, so I’ve kind of tried to go a little bit back to square one and really slow things down again and keep working on getting it where I’d like it to be, and it’s a hard thing to work on it a lot on the range and then take it to the golf course, so I’ve had to be patient with myself in that respect.”

“And so far it’s -- like I said, I hit some squirrely shots and those are kind of the ones where maybe I thought too much or I wasn’t comfortable with my club and wasn’t as free as I should be, and I can learn from that and move onto tomorrow,” she added.

Change of attitude:
Min Lee came into her rookie season with high expectations of her first year on theLPGA Tour. She had thoughts about winning and immediate success. But after missing four cuts out of her last five starts, the 19-year old found some solace in changing her attitude, of all places, at a 36-hole U.S. Women’s Open qualifier after the Kingsmill Championship. She finished one shot off earning a spot in the major championship and is first alternate from the Manakin-Sabot, Va. qualifier.

“I’ve been struggling for a while, like a couple weeks,” said Lee. “And then so last week is an off-week, and I was looking for like what’s different when I’m playing good at Symetra and then here, and I kind of lost myself a little bit for the past few weeks. And then after Williamsburg, we played U.S. Open qualifier, and I just

changed my mind and I really enjoyed it, and I played really good, and I just bring the attitude here to today.”

Lee came to South Jersey right from her qualifier in Virginia on Monday and got in three practice rounds plus a pro-am round before day one of the event on Friday.

“This is my first time here, and after the qualifying school I just come straight to here and then stay a couple of days before this tournament,” said Lee. “I really like the golf course. The greens are very tiny and little, and it gets very windy. But it’s windy in Taiwan, too, so…I really like.”

Lee said she immediately knew the wind would be a factor this week after seeing thunderstorms her first day here then high winds on the second day. But it didn’t deter the Taiwan native one bit because she grew up playing in windy conditions in her native country.

“I know how to deal with it, but, well, just be patient,” said Lee.

Lee is trying to improve on her season-best finish, T24 at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic back in February.

Holding out on any jinx:
In what has become commonplace over the last four weeks, 17-year-old Canadian Brooke Henderson, playing on a sponsor’s exemption, has again played her way into contention with a 3-under-par 68 on Friday and sits just two shots back of her idol, Morgan Pressel. It was a Henderson and Pressel battle four weeks ago in San Francisco at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic where Pressel lost in a playoff to Lydia Ko and Henderson finished one shot back in solo third. Henderson again played her way into contention over the weekend in Dallas three weeks ago at the Volunteers of America North Texas Shootout before a disappointing final round pushed her into a tie for 13th.

The patience Henderson displayed Friday was particularly impressive in an up-and-down round. She bogeyed her second hole of the day but immediately followed with a birdie. On the day, she posted an eight birdie, five bogey round that she closed with a birdie at the ninth and feels like the lessons she’s learned the last month have her game in position to challenge on the weekend.

“I think my game is right there,” Henderson said. “I just need to get a little more consistent throughout my game and just keep it going. And I’m excited to be in the positions that I have been in the last couple of weeks and playing with great players and seeing my name up on the leaderboard, and hopefully that continues.”

On the season Henderson’s yet to miss a cut in four starts and has three consecutive top-25 finishes, a fact Henderson’s proud of but won’t be celebrating.

“I don’t want to jinx anything, so hopefully I’ll have a good round tomorrow and stay clear,” Henderson said.

Free bag giveaway:
Brooke Henderson’s caddie this week comes with many titles. Best friend. Sister. Symetra Tour player. She’s also free. There will be no percentage cut or standard fee paid by Brooke this week. Call it the sisterly discount, as she’s got her sister, Brittany, on the bag this week. Brooke caddied for Brittany last week on the Symetra Tour and she’s returning the favor this week.

“It was nice having her there,” Brooke said. “She’s definitely a calming effect, and there was a lot going on today, and it was nice just to stay down to earth and keep it going.”

Brittany says Brooke typically wants to take a bit more aggressive of a line than she’d be comfortable for but she’s not about to try to pull back the reigns as Brooke’s caddie.

“She usually is able to execute the shot,” Brittany said, “So it works out.”

However, they’re not quite sure how next week is going to work out caddie wise. That’s because both are in the field next week at the Manulife LPGA Classic as sponsor’s exemptions to play in front of their home crowd. Bunk, as he’s

known, is a family friend that has caddied for Brooke previously so he’ll be on one bag and their dad, Dave, will be on the other bag. They just haven’t decided who is going with who yet, but they’ll get to that at some point. In the meantime, they’re just stoked to return to the first of two stops in Canada on the LPGA Tour.

“I think it’s going to be awesome, and I can’t wait for people from my hometown probably to come and watch and bethere and to have support,” Brittany said. “It’s going to be awesome. I can’t imagine a better debut for me on the LPGA,

and the support for both of us is awesome.”

Both being in the same field, though, isn’t a rarity despite six years in age separating the two. Both were in the field at the Symetra Tour’s Florida’s Natural Charity Classic in late March and both finished tied as runner-ups. The Hendersons also finished one and two at a Florida Sun Coast event in early March with Brooke topping the field and Brittany finishing just a spot behind.

Of note:
Amy Yang withdrew after 10 holes in the first round due to illness and Lisa McCloskey withdrew after the first round.

Scores

Pos. Player Scores Total Dif. Prize Money
1 Anna Nordqvist 67 - 69 - 69 205 -8 $225,000.00
2 Christel Boeljon 68 - 70 - 68 206 -7 $135,995.00
3T Kelly Shon 70 - 68 - 70 208 -5 $87,486.00
3T Morgan Pressel 66 - 69 - 73 208 -5 $87,486.00
5T Austin Ernst 72 - 73 - 64 209 -4 $44,748.00
5T Karrie Webb 70 - 73 - 66 209 -4 $44,748.00
5T Inbee Park 71 - 70 - 68 209 -4 $44,748.00
5T Mirim Lee 70 - 70 - 69 209 -4 $44,748.00
5T Gerina Piller 68 - 70 - 71 209 -4 $44,748.00
10T Mo Martin 69 - 75 - 66 210 -3 $25,513.00
10T Maria McBride 70 - 73 - 67 210 -3 $25,513.00
10T Hee Young Park 68 - 74 - 68 210 -3 $25,513.00
10T Shanshan Feng 70 - 70 - 70 210 -3 $25,513.00
10T Moriya Jutanugarn 69 - 71 - 70 210 -3 $25,513.00
10T Kim Kaufman 69 - 70 - 71 210 -3 $25,513.00
16T Meena Lee 73 - 72 - 66 211 -2 $17,933.00
16T Pornanong Phatlum 71 - 74 - 66 211 -2 $17,933.00
16T Sarah Kemp 72 - 72 - 67 211 -2 $17,933.00
16T Mariajo Uribe 70 - 71 - 70 211 -2 $17,933.00
16T Paula Creamer 72 - 68 - 71 211 -2 $17,933.00
16T Sun Young Yoo 69 - 70 - 72 211 -2 $17,933.00
16T Catriona Matthew 68 - 70 - 73 211 -2 $17,933.00
23T Brooke M. Henderson 68 - 77 - 67 212 -1 $12,970.00
23T Angela Stanford 72 - 72 - 68 212 -1 $12,970.00
23T Ha Na Jang 73 - 70 - 69 212 -1 $12,970.00
23T Hyo Joo Kim 71 - 72 - 69 212 -1 $12,970.00
23T Jane Park 71 - 72 - 69 212 -1 $12,970.00
23T SooBin Kim 70 - 73 - 69 212 -1 $12,970.00
23T Jenny Shin 68 - 75 - 69 212 -1 $12,970.00
23T Wei-Ling Hsu 72 - 70 - 70 212 -1 $12,970.00
23T Suzann Pettersen 72 - 70 - 70 212 -1 $12,970.00
23T Ryann O'Toole 67 - 73 - 72 212 -1 $12,970.00
33T Lizette Salas 73 - 71 - 69 213 E $8,819.00
33T Beatriz Recari 73 - 70 - 70 213 E $8,819.00
33T Na Yeon Choi 71 - 72 - 70 213 E $8,819.00
33T Sandra Gal 71 - 72 - 70 213 E $8,819.00
33T Minjee Lee 72 - 70 - 71 213 E $8,819.00
33T I.K. Kim 73 - 68 - 72 213 E $8,819.00
33T Ayako Uehara 72 - 68 - 73 213 E $8,819.00
33T Mika Miyazato 69 - 71 - 73 213 E $8,819.00
33T Marissa Steen 69 - 70 - 74 213 E $8,819.00
42T Sei Young Kim 72 - 73 - 69 214 1 $6,130.00
42T Ilhee Lee 72 - 73 - 69 214 1 $6,130.00
42T Hee Kyung Seo 69 - 76 - 69 214 1 $6,130.00
42T Jing Yan 72 - 72 - 70 214 1 $6,130.00
42T Mina Harigae 69 - 74 - 71 214 1 $6,130.00
42T Ashleigh Simon 70 - 72 - 72 214 1 $6,130.00
42T Ai Miyazato 71 - 70 - 73 214 1 $6,130.00
42T Jaye Marie Green 73 - 67 - 74 214 1 $6,130.00
42T Felicity Johnson 70 - 70 - 74 214 1 $6,130.00
51T Juli Inkster 74 - 71 - 70 215 2 $4,204.00
51T Kendall Dye 73 - 72 - 70 215 2 $4,204.00
51T Stacy Lewis 72 - 73 - 70 215 2 $4,204.00
51T Laura Diaz 70 - 75 - 70 215 2 $4,204.00
51T Yani Tseng 70 - 75 - 70 215 2 $4,204.00
51T Carlota Ciganda 74 - 70 - 71 215 2 $4,204.00
51T Christina Kim 71 - 73 - 71 215 2 $4,204.00
51T Becky Morgan 72 - 71 - 72 215 2 $4,204.00
51T Perrine Delacour 71 - 72 - 72 215 2 $4,204.00
51T Alena Sharp 67 - 76 - 72 215 2 $4,204.00
51T Alison Lee 72 - 70 - 73 215 2 $4,204.00
51T Min Lee 67 - 74 - 74 215 2 $4,204.00
51T Pernilla Lindberg 68 - 70 - 77 215 2 $4,204.00
64T Tiffany Joh 71 - 74 - 71 216 3 $3,351.00
64T Julieta Granada 72 - 72 - 72 216 3 $3,351.00
64T Lisa Ferrero 71 - 73 - 72 216 3 $3,351.00
67T Katie Burnett 72 - 73 - 72 217 4 $3,060.00
67T Laetitia Beck 72 - 72 - 73 217 4 $3,060.00
67T Jacqui Concolino 72 - 71 - 74 217 4 $3,060.00
67T Amy Anderson 71 - 72 - 74 217 4 $3,060.00
67T Kris Tamulis 70 - 73 - 74 217 4 $3,060.00
72T Xi Yu Lin 72 - 73 - 73 218 5 $2,831.00
72T Cristie Kerr 74 - 70 - 74 218 5 $2,831.00
72T Karlin Beck 71 - 73 - 74 218 5 $2,831.00
72T Azahara Munoz 74 - 68 - 76 218 5 $2,831.00
72T Ji Young Oh 71 - 69 - 78 218 5 $2,831.00
77T Yueer Cindy Feng 74 - 71 - 74 219 6 $2,690.00
77T Mi Hyang Lee 72 - 71 - 76 219 6 $2,690.00
77T Jodi Ewart Shadoff 69 - 73 - 77 219 6 $2,690.00
80 Kathleen Ekey 73 - 69 - 78 220 7 $2,622.00
81 Sydnee Michaels 68 - 76 - 77 221 8 $2,588.00
CUT Haru Nomura 76 - 70 146 4 $0.00
CUT Ju Young Park 75 - 71 146 4 $0.00
CUT Sadena Parks 75 - 71 146 4 $0.00
CUT Belen Mozo 74 - 72 146 4 $0.00
CUT Michelle Wie 74 - 72 146 4 $0.00
CUT Brooke Pancake 73 - 73 146 4 $0.00
CUT Jennifer Song 72 - 74 146 4 $0.00
CUT Alison Walshe 70 - 76 146 4 $0.00
CUT Katherine Kirk 69 - 77 146 4 $0.00
CUT P.K. Kongkraphan 69 - 77 146 4 $0.00
CUT Kelly Tan 69 - 77 146 4 $0.00
CUT Karine Icher 79 - 68 147 5 $0.00
CUT Marina Alex 75 - 72 147 5 $0.00
CUT Mallory Blackwelder 75 - 72 147 5 $0.00
CUT Jee Young Lee 75 - 72 147 5 $0.00
CUT Jane Rah 73 - 74 147 5 $0.00
CUT Christine Song 73 - 74 147 5 $0.00
CUT Caroline Masson 75 - 73 148 6 $0.00
CUT Mi Jung Hur 73 - 75 148 6 $0.00
CUT Kristy McPherson 73 - 75 148 6 $0.00
CUT Sarah Jane Smith 73 - 75 148 6 $0.00
CUT Jenny Suh 73 - 75 148 6 $0.00
CUT Thidapa Suwannapura 68 - 80 148 6 $0.00
CUT Jennifer Johnson 77 - 72 149 7 $0.00
CUT Dori Carter 76 - 73 149 7 $0.00
CUT Amelia Lewis 76 - 73 149 7 $0.00
CUT Candie Kung 75 - 74 149 7 $0.00
CUT Haeji Kang 74 - 75 149 7 $0.00
CUT Min Seo Kwak 74 - 75 149 7 $0.00
CUT Jennifer Rosales 74 - 75 149 7 $0.00
CUT Dewi Claire Schreefel 74 - 75 149 7 $0.00
CUT Lexi Thompson 74 - 75 149 7 $0.00
CUT Sue Kim 73 - 76 149 7 $0.00
CUT Eun-Hee Ji 71 - 78 149 7 $0.00
CUT Maria Hernandez 77 - 73 150 8 $0.00
CUT Lee-Anne Pace 76 - 74 150 8 $0.00
CUT Candy Hannemann 75 - 75 150 8 $0.00
CUT Chella Choi 74 - 76 150 8 $0.00
CUT Laura Davies 74 - 76 150 8 $0.00
CUT Natalie Gulbis 74 - 76 150 8 $0.00
CUT Ariya Jutanugarn 74 - 76 150 8 $0.00
CUT Garrett Phillips 74 - 76 150 8 $0.00
CUT Jackie Stoelting 71 - 79 150 8 $0.00
CUT Simin Feng 81 - 70 151 9 $0.00
CUT Demi Runas 77 - 74 151 9 $0.00
CUT Brittany Lincicome 75 - 76 151 9 $0.00
CUT Therese Koelbaek 74 - 77 151 9 $0.00
CUT Brittany Lang 74 - 77 151 9 $0.00
CUT Stephanie Meadow 74 - 77 151 9 $0.00
CUT Karin Sjodin 74 - 77 151 9 $0.00
CUT Danah Bordner 77 - 76 153 11 $0.00
CUT Pat Hurst 79 - 75 154 12 $0.00
CUT Nannette Hill 77 - 77 154 12 $0.00
CUT Birdie Kim 77 - 77 154 12 $0.00
CUT Paz Echeverria 76 - 78 154 12 $0.00
CUT Sophia Popov 74 - 80 154 12 $0.00
CUT Q Baek 73 - 81 154 12 $0.00
CUT Paige Mackenzie 73 - 81 154 12 $0.00
CUT Paula Reto 77 - 78 155 13 $0.00
CUT Cheyenne Woods 77 - 78 155 13 $0.00
CUT Julie Yang 81 - 79 160 18 $0.00
WDC Lisa McCloskey 83 83 12 $0.00
WD Amy Yang 0 E $0.00

 

Preview

DATES:  May 29-31
SITE:  Seaview Hotel & Golf Club, Galloway, NJ
PRIZE MONEY: $1,500,000
Click here for tournament stats & info

LPGA returns to the Jersey shore for the 27th year:
The ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer is back on the shores of New Jersey for the 27th edition this week. The tournament originally debuted in Atlantic City in 1986 but did not take place from 2007-2009. It’s the fourth longest-running, non-major event on the Tour’s current schedule, trailing only the Marathon Classic, the Cambia Portland Classic and the LPGA Japan Classic.

The event is one of only three tournaments all season that crowns a champion after 54 holes and the first to do so this season. A stellar field of 144 players will tee it up on the Bay Course at Seaview and will include 46 out of the top-50 players on the current LPGA Tour Official Money List. Seven past champions are also set to play this week: Stacy Lewis (2014, 2012), Karrie Webb (2013), Brittany Lincicome (2011), Ai Miyazato (2010), Cristie Kerr (2004), Angela Stanford (2003) and Juli Inkster (1986, 1988).

Can Lewis make it win No.3 in the Garden State?
Stacy Lewis wrote herself into the ShopRite LPGA Classic record books last year after putting together three rounds in the 60’s (67-63-67) for her 10th career victory. Lewis finished at 16-under par, one shot shy of the tournament record set by Annika Sorenstam in 1998 and 2005 and won by a six-stroke margin, the largest margin of victory in the event’s history. She also joined three Hall of Famers as the only multiple winners of the event: Juli Inkster (1986, 1988), Betsy King (1987, 1995, 2001) and Annika Sorenstam (1998, 2002, 2005). She’ll have a chance this week to join King and Sorenstam as the only players to win three times.

Her victory also pushed her back to the No. 1 ranking in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, a spot she would hold for 21 consecutive weeks in her second time at the top. Her win came in the middle of a brilliant stretch of golf last summer that included three wins and three additional top 10s in a seven-week span. Lewis has yet to break into the winner’s circle in 2015 but has consistently put herself in contention each week and co-leads the Tour with Lydia Ko with the most top-10 finishes (7 in 10 starts). The reigning Rolex Player of the Year also has the lowest scoring average (69.53) and ranks second in putts per GIR (1.71) and putting average (28.21).

2015 Rookie class continues to impress:
Minjee Lee’s victory at the Tour’s last stop at the Kingsmill Championship helped solidify this year’s LPGA rookie class as one of the most dominant and achieved classes in Tour history. Lee became the third different rookie to win through the first 12 events this year joining Sei Young Kim (2 wins) and Hyo Joo Kim. The class as a whole has seven career wins (Hyo Joo Kim and Q Baek won last season as non-members).

Currently five LPGA Tour rookies are ranked in the top 25 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings and seven are ranked in the top 50.

Rolex Ranking
Rookie Player
 
4
Hyu Joo Kim
 
15
Sei Young Kim 
 
20
Minjee Lee
 
21
Q Baek 
 
22
Ha Na Jang 
 
43
Ariya Jutanugarn 
 
47
Charley Hull 

Lee bounces back:
Another rookie and California native Alison Lee bounced back last week after falling short of her first career title at the Kingsmill Championship. Lee held as much as a four-shot lead in the third round but finished with a double bogey on the 16th and a bogey on the 17th to drop one shot back. Fellow rookie Minjee Lee ran away with the win after an over two-hour rain delay that pushed the finish to Monday morning.

Alison was scheduled to play in the U.S. Women’s Open qualifier in Virginia on Monday but was granted a transfer to the Mira Loma qualifying site at Goose Creek Golf Club outside of Los Angeles. On Tuesday, she shot 71-73 to share medalist honors and earned herself a spot in her fourth U.S. Women’s Open. She tied for 26th in 2009 as 14-year old, missed the cut in 2010 and tied for 60th in 2012 all as an amateur.

Avoiding the cracks:
The cracks in Stacy Lewis’ driving distance in 2015 – a dip from 259 yards in 2014 to 250 this year – isn’t the result of declining power. Instead, the cause is cracks in her driver.

She first had cracks in the face of her driver happen at the Evian Championship a few years ago and wanted to ensure she took precautions in advance in the future and had a new driver in place before it got to that point. She’s now five different drivers into the process of finding a replacement since this past off season but thinks she’s finally found the one.

“My old driver was going to crack soon, so I felt like I wanted to get ahead of the game and find a new driver,” Lewis said. “But I’ve played the last three events with the same driver, so I feel like I’m moving in the right direction.”

In other words, it’s not a loss of distance that she’s in search of finding. It’s a loss of a driver that fit, and now she’s trying to find it again.

The initial one she tried at the Coates Golf Championship also brought with it a left miss when she didn’t catch it right.

The next two she tried didn’t go as long as she was typically used to when she missed it. The one that followed was great but went a bit too high. But the loft is down, the right combination is in, and she’s seen her distance return to normal levels.

“You’re looking for a driver that obviously they’re all going to go good when you hit it well,” Lewis said, “but when you don’t hit it well, you still want it to go a pretty good distance. So that’s what I’ve been looking for.”

Wie back in action:
Michelle Wie returns to action this week after withdrawing after the first round at the Tour’s last stop at the Kingsmill Championship with a hip injury. Wie went through a series of evaluations and MRIs and was diagnosed with bursitis and was thankful for no further or serious damage.

“They thought it might have been a disk issue, so we went straight to the MRI,” said Wie. “Thankfully it was not a disk issue, which I was really excited about. And then I flew back to Jupiter immediately, took three more MRIs that day just because my whole left leg was hurting. So thankfully everything came out clean, except for my hip, which is kind of what I was thinking. No tears, nothing, no structural damage, which I was really happy about.”

With a week of rest ahead of her in Florida, Wie said she’s never one to sit around and just watch TV. She wanted to stay away from sulking on an injury and filled her time with attending an NHL playoff game in Tampa, a Darius Rucker concert and dying her hair purple.

“I mean it’s tough when you’re injured, so I think the worst thing to do is just kind of sit at home and sulk and do nothing,” said Wie. “So I definitely made the most out of it. We went to the hockey game, my first hockey game, which was amazing. Big hockey fan now. And then we went to a Darius Rucker concert. So yeah, the week actually flew by really fast.”

Rolex Rankings scenarios:
The fight at the top of the Rolex Rankings continues this week on the Jersey Shore and with world No. 1 Lydia Ko taking the week off, the door is open for No. 2 Inbee Park to make a statement. She’s the only player to have a chance to move into the No. 1 spot. Here are the scenarios:

Inbee Park would become No. 1 if:
• She finishes in a two-way tie for third or better. She would NOT go to No. 1 if she finishes in a three-way tie for third.

Key numbers to know:
27 – This is the 27th staging of the ShopRite LPGA Classic, the fourth-longest running event on Tour outside of the majors
7 – past champions in the field this week
17 - of the top-20 players in the Rolex Rankings are in the field this week
3 - Stacy Lewis will try to become just the third player in the event’s history to win three times and would join Hall of Famers Annika Sorenstam and Betsy King with a win this week
16-under par - Stacy Lewis’ winning score last year, one shot off of Annika Sorenstam’s tournament record
6 & 4 - Stacy Lewis won this event two out of the past three years and won by four (2012) and six (2014) shots respectively

Peaking at the perfect time:
Players are taking this week in New Jersey as the start of a critical stretch in the LPGA’s schedule in 2015 and are hoping to have their games fine-tuned for the summer. The Tour plays three of its five majors in a six-week stretch starting at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in New York in two weeks.

Last year around this time was when Stacy Lewis was in the midst of a three-win stretch in the months of May and June and the 3rd ranked player in the world knows it’s the time of the year where she wants to have everything fall into place.

“This is the time. I took some time off last week and didn’t play as much golf as I normally do just because of the business of this stretch and to really get ready for these next few weeks, because this is -- you know, I’ve talked about all year, the summertime is when you want to be playing your best golf,” said Lewis. “That’s when we have our biggest events, the most number of events. So this really for a lot of people and for me is a kick start into the rest of the year.”

Michelle Wie echoed Lewis saying coming off an off week is a great setup for a good summer run and is looking forward to the upcoming tournaments.

“I think it’s like the perfect time to peak,” said Wie. “You know, I’m just kind of slowly building, slowly building. Maybe a little bit too slowly this year, but I’m slowly building. I want to peak right at that time, and I think this is a really good three-week stretch. I love this week. I love Canada and KPMG is a really new, exciting event in New York at Westchester and I’ve only heard great things about it, so I’m excited for the upcoming events.”

Bayside elements:
A year ago Stacy Lewis finished just one shot short of Annika Sorenstam’s tournament record of 17-under-par in a week in which Lewis blew away the field for a six-shot win with a 16-under-par 197 three-day total. However, just the year prior, Karrie Webb won the golf tournament by two shots with a 4-under 209 total. When it comes to the Bay Course at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club, it’s all about the elements.

“The winning score here is just all based on weather,” Lewis said.

More specifically, the wind.

“You know, the two times I won I think it’s been about the same, but ’13 when Karrie won it was crazy windy and scores weren’t that low. So you just gotta take what the golf course gives you and not try to force it.”

If anyone knows, it’s Lewis. She’s won this event two of the last three years with wins by six and four shots, respectively. It was here last year where Lewis was in the middle of the best stretch in women’s golf. From March through June last year, Lewis won three times and recorded three additional top-10 finishes in a seven-tournament stretch. And it was here where she produced her best work of the stretch – a second-round 8-under-par 63.

Good vibes in Jersey:
Christina Kim can’t pin point exactly what is it about what she likes about playing in the Garden State but the three-time LPGA Tour winner joked it has nothing to do with the jug handles on the road, routes that direct drivers to take an exit right to make a left turn.

“It’s definitely not the jug handles,” said Kim. “I don’t think those have a lot to do with it…People say what they think here, which I appreciate, you know. And it’s just -- it’s good vibes. I can’t put a finger on why. I just enjoy being here.”

Kim won her first professional event at the 2002 Hewlett-Packard Garden State FUTURES Summer Classic in Manalapan on the Symetra Tour and has always appreciated returning to New Jersey ever since. She was runner-up here last year to Stacy Lewis in the midst of one of her best seasons on Tour. She finished 27th on the money list, improving from 76th in 2013.

“You know, I think I’ve got -- I’ve forged a lot of friendships out here, and you know, people are great out here,” Kim said. “They’re just really excited for golf, and they’re really excited to have us back. It’s one of the traditions of the area, and I think people really, really -- you know, they -- tradition is very important to people around here, and I love that.”





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