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Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia

Round 4 - Korda cruises into Sime Darby victory

October 11, 2015

Jessica Korda cruised to a four-shot victory for her fourth career title at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia when a month and a half ago she was glad simply to make the cut. Her weekend rounds of 65-65 were her two best rounds of 2015 and her 18-under-par total was the second lowest in tournament history.

“The struggle. I think just struggling and being at your lowest and then feeling this and going through these emotions,” Korda said, “just incredible gratitude and just being so humbled by everything. All the support that I’ve had, the people that have stuck with me this year, didn’t stop believing in me even when I did a little bit.”

Inbee Park Remains No. 1:
Korda wasn’t the only one that had to survive a charge by Lydia Ko. Ko would have replaced Inbee Park as the No. 1 player in the world had she won here, but Korda held Ko off and Park in turn held her off too.

However, Ko did cut Park’s lead almost in half, and with both in the field next week at the LPGA HanaBank Championship in one of the strongest fields of the year, the No. 1 ranking will surely be up for grabs.

Ko’s recent results - win, win, runner-up - are so strong that Park will have her hands full the rest of the year trying to hold off Ko - both for the No. 1 ranking and all the season-ending awards.

Special Guest:
Jessica Korda received her trophy on the practice putting green behind the grandstand and immediately asked: “Where’s Natasha? I want her out here.”

Natasha Oon, a 13-year-old Malaysian junior golfer, and Korda have become fast friends since they first met four years ago at a Taylor Made shoot and every year they make sure to reunite. They grabbed dinner on Friday night before Korda’s weekend surge, and Korda was asked in her post-tournament press conference if golf was her life purpose. It’s not but it affords her the opportunity to complete her life work.

“I feel like inspiring the younger generation is my purpose,” Korda said. “Winning, that lasts for a couple days, couple hours, that feeling of euphoria you’ve won. I think what you do with it is what matters the most. There are so many amazing kids out here this week. You know, my little - I call her my little friend. My friend Natasha was out every day and introduced me to some Malaysian food on Friday. Just seeing the impact that our little chit chats might have for her love of golf, for her drive, for her passion, I definitely think that’s more important.”

Numbers To Know:
4 - Jessica Korda posted her fourth career win here Sunday.
7 - Stacy Lewis now has seven runner-up finishes since her last win at the 2014 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G.
64 - Sydnee Michaels fired the low round of the day Sunday - a 7-under-par 64.
65 - Korda’s two 65s on the weekend were her two lowest rounds of 2015.
149 - Morgan Pressel used an 8-iron from 149 yards on the 17th hole for a hole-in-one Sunday.

Click here for full final scores & prize money.

Round 3 - Korda back in lead in Malaysia

October 10, 2015

Jessica Korda climed to the top of the leaderboard after a third-round 6-under-par 65.

“It’s a confidence builder. I haven’t been in this position in such a long time, since basically January,” Korda said. “It’s just so nice to be back.”

Following Korda's 12-under-par,are Stacy Lewis (65) and Ha Na Jang (71) two shots back at 10-under, and world No. 2 Lydia Ko (68), defending champion Shanshan Feng (69), and Xi Yu Lin (71) all are within three shots at 9-under, which was how much Feng trailed a year ago when she came back to win on Sunday in a pairing with Ko.

Pink Saturday:
Pink Saturday was in effect here Saturday at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia as the tournament raises money for Cancer Research Malaysia. The cause was particularly special to Morgan Pressel’s heart, and she was nearly moved to tears when asked about it.

“Well, for sure, in general, here in Malaysia, we play all over the world and other than in the United States, I feel like we don’t find this type of philanthropy internationally like we have here supporting breast cancer research,” Pressel said. “It’s really, really impressive. To hear the doctor here speak, her passion is unbelievable. I love hearing her speak every year. That’s what breast cancer needs in order for the disease to go away.”

If Pressel’s efforts are any indication, breast cancer doesn’t have a chance as the 26-year-old touring pro’s foundation, the Morgan Pressel Foundation, has already raised over $4 million for cancer research since she founded it.

Laughing And Making Birdies:
Regardless of how Lydia Ko played Saturday, she knew when she went to the 1st tee that she was going to have fun. That’s because she was playing with Jessica Korda. Ko loves to laugh and few on Tour make her laugh more often and harder than Korda.

“Yeah, you know, she’s such a close friend. She’s so much fun to play alongside. She makes everybody laugh. I told her on 17 she makes people smile. That’s a great thing about her. Every time I play alongside her we have so much fun. At least I do.”

It’s probably not a coincidence that when you’re having that much fun, good golf follows. And it certainly did for Korda as she fired her best round of the year.

“I mean, we had a lot fun out there. I played with Lydia and Haru and just had a good time,” Korda said. “I’m pretty sure people walking with us were wondering why we were cracking up so much on the golf course. But we really did just have a good time. I think for all of us the birdies were just rolling in, so you can’t ever complain about a day like today.”

Back To The Winner's Circle:
Stacy Lewis teed it up an hour and six minutes before the final group Saturday, but she’ll tee it up in the final group Sunday. Lewis posted a 6-under-par 65 but left feeling like it could have been even lower on a day that she hit 16 greens.

“Yeah, it was just nice to follow up the round yesterday with a good one today,” Lewis said. “Didn’t really make this many putts but hit a lot of shots close. Need another good one like that tomorrow.”

No one in the field has played better than Lewis over the last two rounds. She’s hit 16 greens each day and is 11-under-par her last two rounds. If it weren’t for an uncharacteristic 1-over-par on day one, she’d likely have at least a share of the lead.

“Yeah, I mean, I didn’t hit anything close [round one],” Lewis said. “I had 30-, 40-footers all day and made a little adjustment to the swing. Wasn’t anything major. Just got myself to free it up these last couple days.”

The frustration of a winless season is certainly there for Lewis, and she wants to break through. 2015 has been far from a bad year at third on the money list, but she hasn’t won and for a player as competitive as Lewis, that grates on the nerves. Specifically, seven top-three finishes without a win. But she’s back in contention and she has as good of shot as anyone Sunday.

“I have to say I haven’t been there in a while,” Lewis said. “It’s been a little bit of a frustrating year. It’s nice to be back. Hopefully I can put another good one together tomorrow.”

Numbers To Know:
3 - Ha Na Jang has three runner-ups in her rookie season.
6 - Lewis has six runner-ups in the last 16 months since her last win.
7 - Stacy Lewis has seven top-three finishes in 2015 but is still in search of her first win.
65 - Korda’s 65 was the lowest round of 2015 for her.

Round 2 - Rookie Jang takes halfway lead in Malaysia

October 09, 2015

Three times previously Ha Na Jang has owned at least a share of the lead after 36 holes in her rookie season. Three times she’s finished as the runner-up. But with the lead firmly in her grasp after a second-round 6-under-par 65 at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia Friday, Jang’s hoping this won’t be her fourth runner-up but instead her first LPGA Tour win.

Her confidence is beaming not only from her play on the course this week but also from a win two weeks prior at a KLPGA tournament, and this could be the week she breaks through. It certainly looked that way on the back nine Sunday when she poured in birdies on four of her last seven holes to storm into the lead.

“I think today’s really good round because no bogey today,” Jang said. “Just six birdies straight, so I think it’s two weeks since I won Korea tournament, so it’s a little bit more confident. No pressure today. It’s like a little more simple. It’s a really good round today.”

But Jang has a prestigious pack of challengers behind her. At 10-under-par, she currently leads by one shot over Xi Yu Lin but world No. 1 Inbee Park (66), former world No. 1 Yani Tseng (68), and rookie Alison Lee (69) all trail by just two shots at 8-under-par for the tournament. If Inbee Park’s correct, it’s going to come down to a putting contest on the weekend.

“Yesterday was a really bad putting day but today was much better,” Park said. “Putting is really key to success on every golf course, and especially this golf course. A lot of short irons and when you have a lot of opportunities you got to make those birdie putts.”

Alison Lee was the overnight leader and led for much of the day Friday until she made bogeys on 15 and 16 coming in. Shanshan Feng, the defending champion here, was just one shot back of the lead entering the 18th but dumped her approach in the water and made double bogey at the last. World No. 2 Lydia Ko posted a 6-under-par 65 to crawl into contention at 6-under-par for the tournament, just four shots back of Jang.

Finding the Tempo:
Yani Tseng opened the day just one shot back of the lead but was quickly well off of it after bogeys on two of her first three holes. But her caddie mentioned that she was getting a little quick on the backswing and from there she was on fire, playing the last 15 holes in 5-under-par to get to within two shots of the lead entering the weekend.

“When I start tempo was a little off,” Tseng said. “But after the three holes I tell myself to get the tempo back,” Tseng said. “Everything is good. Putting is getting better, and then I finish with birdie out of like the last four holes. So it’s always a good sign to make lots of birdies out there.

Tseng finished as the runner-up at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic a month and half ago, watching as a birdie putt at the last rolled excruciatingly past. But a return to contention is never a bad sign, and she’s excited to be back in the thick of it again this week.

“Just feel very comfortable,” Tseng said. “Just very happy to be back in position, see my name on the first page of the leaderboard.”

Feeling At Home In The Final Group:
Xi Yu Lin couldn’t help but feel comfortable on the course Friday. She got to speak in her native language. That’s because Yani Tseng was in her group, so throughout the day they were able to speak in mandarin. It’s little things like that that make a second-year player feel comfortable in contention.

“It is also my first time playing with her. Yeah, it’s good playing with someone speak Chinese as well,” Lin said. “We had a really good conversation and we all played really well." Tseng got to know Lin a bit a year ago but says the two have become close friends in Lin’s second year on Tour.

“Yeah, I mean she is one of my good friends on Tour. She’s a great kid. Very sweet,” Tseng said. “She played some great golf out there, too. It’s great to see the Chinese girl coming out more on the Tour.”

Back To The Winner's Circle:
It’s only been a little over two months since Inbee Park won her second major of the year, the RICOH Women’s British Open, but in the time since, Lydia Ko’s made a charge at her standing atop the game with wins at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open and Evian Championship. Needless to say, Park wants back in the winner’s circle and wants to keep Ko at bay when it comes to all of the season-ending awards.

“It has only been a couple months but it has definitely felt longer,” Park said. “Everybody is always wanting to win, and that’s what I’m trying to play for.”

Round 1 - Wie and Lee sharing lead in Malaysia

October 08, 2015

Michelle Wie remembers what the Solheim Cup did for her in 2009 as a wide-eyed 19-year-old. She went 3-0-1 that week, the United States won, and she carried the momentum into the rest of the season to post her first career win two and half months later at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

That’s why Wie wouldn’t be at all surprised to see 20-year-old Alison Lee use some first-time Solheim Cupper momentum of her own from a few weeks prior to post her first career win this week. Lee got off to a promising start in that regard Thursday with a first-round 6-under-65 to storm into a share of the lead with Xi Yu Lin after the first round of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. Lee had just started settling in on Tour with top-10 performances in 4 out of 5 events leading up to the Solheim Cup.

“For sure, I think it can have a lot of the effect,” Wie said. “Same for Gerina [Piller], for a lot of the players. I always feel like even after 2013 Solheim Cup for me, that really turned things around,” Wie said. “You just have to play in such high pressure situations and try to pull shots that you usually don’t, so when you do actually pull them the confidence level raises.”

Added Lee: “I mean, not only did we win, but just to be able to be there and participate and be a part of something so great like that and to go into history with the biggest comeback ever, yeah, just be a part of it and experience all that definitely go down in the books. Definitely learned a lot from it. Especially seeing Gerina make that kind of putt, you know, gave me a lot of motivation to play well as well.”

Although Wie and Lee became tight over the course of the Solheim Cup two weeks ago and Wie would love to see her win, she just hopes it doesn’t come this week as Wie proved she’s got plans of her own in that regard Thursday with a first round 5-under-par 66. Wie’s back nine birdie barrage, five in six holes, was entirely similar to the one she went on two weeks ago in singles play at the Solheim Cup when she posted 8 birdies in 14 holes. Wie posted eight birdies again Thursday and is currently tied in third with Chella Choi, Shanshan Feng, and Yani Tseng.

“Yeah, since Evian it’s been feeling really good just health-wise. Not even game or anything,” Wie said. “Just feels so good to be out here and not thinking, Oh, this swing is going to hurt my hip and my ankle. Just going out there and being actually able to hit balls and hit golf shots and play the way that I know I can.”

Scholars, Stars, & Twins:
Outside of attending rival schools in UCLA and Stanford, there’s a lot of similarities between Alison Lee and Michelle Wie. Both played professional golf at the highest level while still attending classes to get their degrees at world renowned universities. Both studied communications. And both competed on a winning United States Solheim Cup team before their 21st birthday.

And according to Wie, it goes even further than that.

“I guess she says a lot of people think she’s me, recognize her as me. We’re both tall, Asian, I guess,” Wie said with a laugh. “She’s smart. She’s great and a great player. I’ll do anything I can to help.”

Wie was particularly proud of the steps Lee’s taken to continue to have a life outside of professional golf. She knows the juggle that it requires and was proud of Lee for not pushing school off to later years, which would have been easy to do as a rookie on Tour.

“We’ve talked a lot about it. She just joined a sorority, which I was really proud of her for doing. I’m proud of her,” Lee said. “We’re both the same major. UCLA is a great school, and it’s kind of her passion. Her goal, her dream was to graduate from college, so I commend that a lot. She’s smart and definitely handling it great.”

Even Lee at times isn’t sure how she’s juggled it. Wednesday, for example, she woke up early and went out and got a practice round in before lunch time then proceeded to do school work the rest of the afternoon.

“Honestly, I have no idea. Right after Solheim I took one day off and started school right away and did my apartment and bought books and went to class, did rush,” Lee said. “Yeah, I don’t know how I’m sitting here right now. I don’t know how I survived, but I did it somehow. I feel like it’s all a great experience. I love still being in school and seeing all my friends back at school. I haven’t seen a lot of them since March because I took the spring quarter off, so it was nice to see all of them and friendly faces. I feel like that’s what keeps me going, just seeing a lot of friendly faces and having a great atmosphere and support base supporting me back home.”

Learning From An Old Friend:
Xi Yu Lin didn’t have fond memories of this tournament a year ago. Not because the experience wasn’t amazing but because of illness. Safe to say this year is off to a far better start after Lin fired a first-round 6-under-par 65 Thursday to storm into a share of the lead with Alison Lee.

“Well, this is my second year playing this tournament, and last year I was sick first two rounds so I didn’t play very well,” Lin said. “Last year I finished pretty good, so I know I can play well on this course. I’m happy.”

Lin opened with 72 and then 74 a year ago but closed on the weekend with 67 and 68 for a tie for 31st. She continued that string of good play here Thursday on a day where she posted seven birdies with her lone blemish coming on the 18th when she three-putted from about 10 feet. Still, it was hard to walk away annoyed after a career-low 6-under-par 65.

“I guess I was a little too aggressive trying to make another birdie,” Lin said.

Lin was actually the second Chinese player ever behind Shanshan Feng to earn LPGA Tour membership, and Feng’s father worked with Lin’s mother when she was a child and suggested that Xi Yu take up golf. Her mother agreed, so Feng’s father took Xi Yu to the driving range for the first time. From there she was hooked.

Now, she has a chance to become the second consecutive Chinese player to win on this golf course, and she vividly remembers watching Feng's back nine on Sunday of last year.

“I watched her on TV when she played the back nine last year, and so we didn’t really talk about [this course],” Lin said, “but I think I learned lots about how to play this golf course.”

Strong Start:
Shanshan Feng fired a final-round 8-under-par 63, a round that tied her career best, to storm into the winner’s circle here a year ago. She got off to a strong start Thursday in her attempt to defend with a 5-under-par 66 that was blemish free until a bogey at the 18th.

“I think overall I did really well. I mean, the last hole there the ball just bounced. It hit something and bounced off. But overall I think I did pretty well today. 5-under,” Feng said. “I’m really happy that I didn’t have too much pressure during the round. I still brought out my A Game. Still three more days to go.”

Numbers To Know:
1 - This is the first time either Xi Yu Lin or Alison Lee has ever held a share of the first round lead. Lee has led after the second round twice but not after the first. This would be both’s first career LPGA win.
3 - Inbee Park’s quest to retain her No. 1 ranking got off to a solid start Thursday as her 3-under-par 68 has her three shots up on her challenger, Lydia Ko, who shot even par.
8 - Michelle Wie had eight birdies Thursday, the same amount she had in her final match at the Solheim Cup.
65 - Xi Yu Lin fired a career-low 6-under-par 65 Thursday.
66 - Michelle Wie’s first-round 66 tied her lowest round of the year and is her best opening round of the 2015 season.

Scores

Pos. Player Scores Total Dif. Prize Money
1 Jessica Korda 69 - 67 - 65 - 65 266 -18 $300,000.00
2T Lydia Ko 71 - 65 - 68 - 66 270 -14 $141,128.00
2T Shanshan Feng 66 - 69 - 69 - 66 270 -14 $141,128.00
2T Stacy Lewis 72 - 66 - 65 - 67 270 -14 $141,128.00
5 Yani Tseng 66 - 68 - 71 - 66 271 -13 $83,633.00
6 Ha Na Jang 67 - 65 - 71 - 69 272 -12 $68,427.00
7T Anna Nordqvist 71 - 67 - 70 - 65 273 -11 $50,856.00
7T Mika Miyazato 68 - 69 - 68 - 68 273 -11 $50,856.00
7T Xi Yu Lin 65 - 68 - 71 - 69 273 -11 $50,856.00
10T Haru Nomura 71 - 65 - 70 - 68 274 -10 $39,535.00
10T I.K. Kim 68 - 68 - 69 - 69 274 -10 $39,535.00
12T Ryann O'Toole 72 - 66 - 68 - 69 275 -9 $34,365.00
12T Amy Yang 67 - 68 - 70 - 70 275 -9 $34,365.00
14 Caroline Masson 71 - 69 - 67 - 69 276 -8 $31,223.00
15T Eun-Hee Ji 70 - 68 - 71 - 68 277 -7 $27,844.00
15T Alison Lee 65 - 69 - 73 - 70 277 -7 $27,844.00
15T Inbee Park 68 - 66 - 71 - 72 277 -7 $27,844.00
18T Q Baek 68 - 72 - 73 - 65 278 -6 $22,534.00
18T Sakura Yokomine 67 - 70 - 76 - 65 278 -6 $22,534.00
18T Azahara Munoz 71 - 67 - 73 - 67 278 -6 $22,534.00
18T Mirim Lee 73 - 71 - 65 - 69 278 -6 $22,534.00
18T Jaye Marie Green 69 - 71 - 67 - 71 278 -6 $22,534.00
18T Ariya Jutanugarn 71 - 67 - 69 - 71 278 -6 $22,534.00
18T Chella Choi 66 - 69 - 72 - 71 278 -6 $22,534.00
25T Lexi Thompson 71 - 69 - 72 - 67 279 -5 $17,943.00
25T Karine Icher 70 - 72 - 69 - 68 279 -5 $17,943.00
25T Charley Hull 74 - 66 - 71 - 68 279 -5 $17,943.00
25T Gerina Piller 73 - 69 - 67 - 70 279 -5 $17,943.00
25T Morgan Pressel 71 - 73 - 63 - 72 279 -5 $17,943.00
30T Sandra Gal 68 - 71 - 73 - 68 280 -4 $15,611.00
30T Mi Hyang Lee 69 - 71 - 70 - 70 280 -4 $15,611.00
32T Lee-Anne Pace 71 - 69 - 75 - 66 281 -3 $13,280.00
32T Cheyenne Woods 72 - 72 - 70 - 67 281 -3 $13,280.00
32T Austin Ernst 75 - 70 - 68 - 68 281 -3 $13,280.00
32T Hee Young Park 71 - 72 - 68 - 70 281 -3 $13,280.00
32T Wei-Ling Hsu 73 - 68 - 69 - 71 281 -3 $13,280.00
32T Candie Kung 69 - 68 - 73 - 71 281 -3 $13,280.00
38T Danielle Kang 72 - 68 - 72 - 70 282 -2 $10,771.00
38T So Yeon Ryu 68 - 69 - 74 - 71 282 -2 $10,771.00
38T Pornanong Phatlum 69 - 69 - 71 - 73 282 -2 $10,771.00
38T Catriona Matthew 70 - 68 - 69 - 75 282 -2 $10,771.00
42T Sydnee Michaels 71 - 71 - 77 - 64 283 -1 $9,149.00
42T Mo Martin 74 - 68 - 71 - 70 283 -1 $9,149.00
42T Minjee Lee 69 - 66 - 77 - 71 283 -1 $9,149.00
42T Aditi Ashok 70 - 73 - 68 - 72 283 -1 $0.00
42T Michelle Wie 66 - 72 - 69 - 76 283 -1 $9,149.00
47T Kim Kaufman 73 - 73 - 68 - 70 284 E $7,856.00
47T Pernilla Lindberg 75 - 70 - 69 - 70 284 E $7,856.00
47T Mariajo Uribe 74 - 68 - 71 - 71 284 E $7,856.00
47T Julieta Granada 70 - 72 - 70 - 72 284 E $7,856.00
51 Sei Young Kim 72 - 76 - 72 - 65 285 1 $7,096.00
52T Christina Kim 71 - 74 - 72 - 69 286 2 $6,691.00
52T Kris Tamulis 72 - 72 - 69 - 73 286 2 $6,691.00
52T Brittany Lang 73 - 66 - 73 - 74 286 2 $6,691.00
55T Suzann Pettersen 77 - 77 - 66 - 67 287 3 $6,184.00
55T Paula Creamer 73 - 70 - 70 - 74 287 3 $6,184.00
57T Carlota Ciganda 74 - 71 - 74 - 69 288 4 $5,575.00
57T Min Lee 72 - 74 - 72 - 70 288 4 $5,575.00
57T Karrie Webb 77 - 71 - 68 - 72 288 4 $5,575.00
57T Moriya Jutanugarn 70 - 71 - 75 - 72 288 4 $5,575.00
61 Kelly Tan 70 - 74 - 74 - 71 289 5 $5,069.00
62T Angela Stanford 76 - 73 - 72 - 69 290 6 $4,815.00
62T Jane Park 70 - 73 - 76 - 71 290 6 $4,815.00
62T Melissa Reid 73 - 71 - 71 - 75 290 6 $4,815.00
62T Lizette Salas 75 - 69 - 70 - 76 290 6 $4,815.00
66 Sun Young Yoo 72 - 75 - 73 - 71 291 7 $4,561.00
67 Ilhee Lee 70 - 72 - 78 - 74 294 10 $4,460.00
68 Paula Reto 76 - 71 - 78 - 72 297 13 $4,360.00
69 Jenny Shin 76 - 72 - 79 - 73 300 16 $4,257.00
70 Michelle Koh 77 - 75 - 77 - 72 301 17 $4,156.00
71 Cindy Lee-Pridgen 74 - 80 - 79 - 75 308 24 $4,055.00
72 Nur Durriyah Damian 79 - 71 - 83 - 77 310 26 $0.00
73 Jennifer Rosales 76 - 85 - 77 - 74 312 28 $4,005.00
74 Ainil Bakar 80 - 81 - 73 - 81 315 31 $3,953.00
WDC Hyo Joo Kim 71 - 76 147 5 $0.00

Preview

DATES:  October 08-11
SITE:  Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, Malaysia
PRIZE MONEY: $ 2,000,000
Click here for tournament stats & info

Youngest ever to reach world No. 1. Youngest ever to win a major championship. Youngest ever to win an LPGA Tour event. Youngest ever to win Rolex Rookie of the Year honors. Youngest ever to reach nine LPGA Tour wins.

There’s prodigies and then there’s Lydia Ko - the most prodigious women’s golfer ever that still doesn’t own a driver’s license. At this point in Lydia Ko’s career, it’d be easier to name off the youngest ever records she doesn't own than to go through the entire laundry list she does own.

Ko could add another to the list with a win this week. After winning the Evian Championship three weeks ago to become the youngest major champion in LPGA history, Ko is looking for her 10th LPGA title this week - a mark that would best Nancy Lopez’s previous mark of 22 years, 2 months, 5 days by more than 3.5 years.

Ko has already won back-to-back starts and is looking for her third consecutive win here. Notably, it’d be Ko’s first LPGA win in Asia; although in 2015, she’s already won in four different countries on three different continents.

But does Ko ever think of things like reaching 10 career wins or other milestones? Not if she can help it.

“Not really. Not at all actually. No, when I play tournaments I really just play one shot at time, one round at time, and just kind of go from there,” Ko said. “This tournament’s a top field every year. Coming in and saying, Hey, I’m going to win every week is kind of unrealistic. I just got to play some good golf out there and just have fun. There’s a lot of great things to look forward to, and personally I think I play better when I have fun and have a smile on my face.”

That’s without question. When Ko’s playing well, no one looks like they are having quite as much fun as Ko. And every now and then she even manages to impress her own self like she did with her work at the Evian Championship where she broke Morgan Pressel’s prior record as youngest major champion ever on her last crack at the record.

“I mean, it was an unbelievable experience,” Ko said. “Either way, if I hadn’t won, it would have still been my last chance. Nobody would ask me if I would be the youngest major winner. But I’m very fortunate that I am now. Yeah, it was so amazing, and I still can’t believe that week happened.”

Park and Ko battle for No.1 continues:
Much like the back-and-forth battle for the last three years between Inbee Park and Stacy Lewis for the No. 1 ranking, a new contender has arose for Inbee Park and her stranglehold on the world No. 1 ranking. It’s Lydia Ko.

Ko took over the No. 1 ranking following the first event of the year, the Coates Golf Championship Presented by R&L Carriers, to become the youngest ever - male or female - to ascend to the No. 1 ranking, and she’s remained in the conversation ever since.

Ko’s run at No. 1 lasted through the first week of June when Inbee Park regained it with her win at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Park’s held the No. 1 spot ever since, but Ko’s wins in back-to-back starts has her on the verge of regaining No. 1 again. Ko is only .28 points behind Park now and a win here would put the pressure on Park.

Here are the scenarios for No. 1:

Ko would become No. 1 if:
•She wins and Park finishes in a three-way tie for 2nd or worse
•She finishes in 2nd and Park finishes in solo 40th or worse.

Park would retain No. 1 if:
•She finishes in runner-up or higher
•Lydia Ko finishes higher than second

Feng's paradise:
The question was posed to Lydia Ko in Tuesday’s press conference of how this course, Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, fits her game after finishing in a tie for 8th here a year ago.

Ko laughed, pointed to Shanshan Feng, the defending champion next to her.

“It suits her game,” Ko said with a laugh.

That’d be impossible to argue. Feng not only rolled to a three-shot win in 2014 after a final-round 8-under-par 63 but she also finished runner-up the year prior. Feng is the first to admit she loves Malaysia and this course, however she has a theory of what happened that week last year when she won her fourth career LPGA title.

“I have to say thanks to Lydia, because I think she decided she’s making too much money so last year she let me to have the chance to win,” Feng joked. “So thank you very much!”

Go DJ! Go DJ! That's my DJ!
Ryann O’Toole and Jaye Marie Green served delicious eats out of the food truck. Then they started chowing down. Meanwhile, Michelle Wie and Cheyenne Woods stood above them in the pavilion, hovering over the 1s and 2s cranking out hits as guest DJs of the event Tuesday. When play starts on Thursday, the massive, resort-style club pool will be open to patron’s children to provide a fun option for youth attending the event.

As much as the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia is about golf, it’s also about all the other great things going on outside of the golf course. Everything from the on-site resident DJ to the food trucks to the masterful work that the Women With Drive campaign is doing for raising money for cancer awareness and research.

Although Lydia Ko wasn’t sure if she’d be breaking out her signature workout dance moves in front of the DJ’s set, she was definitely going to ensure her taste buds got a workout.

“I don’t know how good my dancing skills are. It’s out there on Instagram. Maybe. I’m a big foodie, so I’m really interested in a lot food,” Ko said. “I’ll be having some good food, and I’m sure the food truck will have a lot of good stuff there. Might not be one visit for me.”

Along with the finest golf in the entire world on display, it’s also the stuff going on around the tournament that has helped grow this event into a staple of the top player’s schedule. It shows in the field this week too with the top five players in the world all in attendance.

“Being here is a highlight. I think we all love to come to this event,” Paula Creamer said. “It shows in the field. It shows in how this tournament has been growing, what we’ve been doing for women and just families and touching people’s lives in a different way, through the game of golf, is pretty special. I think we all want to be a part of that and we all want to help. Even now all the structures around here, this event is getting bigger and bigger. There is no way any of us are real going to miss it. So I’m really glad to be back.”





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