|< Prev||Next >|
Suzann Pettersen, So Yeon Ryu, and Sun Young Yoo all fired first-round 6-under 66's to finish in a three-way tie for the lead at the season-ending CME Group Titleholders. Pettersen's mistake free scorecard on the Eagles Course at the TwinEagles Club in Naples, Fla. consisted of six birdies while Ryu, this year's Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year, notched seven birdies and one bogey and Yoo, the winner of this year's Kraft Nabisco Championship recorded nine birdies, one bogey and one double-bogey.
The trio head into tomorrow's second round with a one-stroke lead over Karine Icher, Lindsey Wright, Na Yeon Choi, and Cristie Kerr.
Known on tour for her grit and will to win, Suzann Pettersen finds herself in contention for her third victory this season at the CME Group Titleholders. When asked after her 6-under round what a win at this week's season-ending event would mean to her, she further affirmed her competitive nature.
"I'm in it to win it," said Pettersen. "That says it all."
Regardless of if Pettersen wins this weekend or not, she has closed out the 2012 season in style as she recorded back-to-back victories at the recent LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship and Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship Presented by Audi.
"There's a lot of golf left and I don't really think about it too much," said Pettersen. "I feel like my shoulders are fairly freed up after kind of winning two in Asia. I don't feel like I really have to go out and do anything. That makes the game just that much easier and you can kind of try and hit the different shots you see and play your instincts."
So Yeon Ryu has managed to reach nearly every goal that she set for herself in her rookie season. In addition to earning Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year honors, she captured the second LPGA victory of her career at the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic
But still one goal remains for Ryu -- capping off her season with a victory at the season-ending CME Group Titleholders. Ryu made that a possibility with a strong opening round on the Eagles Course at the TwinEagles Club in Naples, shooting a 6-under 66 to tie for the lead after the first round of play although she said that this great round came as a bit of a surprise.
"Actually, yesterday on driving range my shot was so bad so I couldn't expect this really great results," Ryu said. "But the first I'm really happy with my results so far. Actually, the last week on Sunday in Lorena Ochoa Invitational, my putt wasn't really great. That problem is really speed control problem, so I was practice speed control, then today my putting was really great."
It's a busy final week for Ryu, who will be accepting her Rookie of the Year award on Friday night at the Rolex Awards Celebration. She joked about having big shoes to fill following tremendous speeches by the two previous Rookie of the Year winners, Azahara Munoz and Hee Kyung Seo. So perhaps it's no surprise that her plans for Thursday night following her stellar play were centered around practicing her speech.
"When I'm going to hotel today, I have to go in front of mirror and I just practice myself," Ryu said with a laugh.
To say that Lizette Salas stumbled upon the game of golf as an accident wouldn't be farfetched. Salas's father, Ramon Salas, has been working at Azusa Greens golf course for over 30 years and when her brother disliked the game, Lizette picked up right where he left off.
"My dad has been working at Azusa Greens golf course for 30-plus years and he's the head mechanic there," said Salas. 'It was my brother supposed to play but he didn't like it, so I'm the youngest of three, so I went out there and just kind of took it as a hobby."
Salas's newfound hobby proved to be just what she needed to help her achieve her longtime goal of attending college but the Azusa, Calif. native got more out of the experience than what she originally bargained for.
"Yeah, that was my first and foremost goal when I was a child is that I knew golf can get me into school," said Salas. "I was the first person in my family to graduate from college and I think that's another reason why I stayed. I wanted to win four national championships and that's why I stayed."
Salas, a rookie on this year's LPGA Tour, not only played collegiate golf but was the University of Southern California's (USC) first four-time All-American. Immediately after college, Salas turned her attention to professional golf and after spending one year on the Symetra Tour, she moved onto the LPGA in dramatic fashion.
"I think I was in 21st or just outside the Top 20 and I made a birdie on the final hole to get into a nine-way playoff," said Salas. "I just went straight to the putting green and I knew it was going to come down to putting. I didn't know the whole playoff situation, so they came up to us and they're like okay, there's nine of you. Then we asked how many spots are there and they just said three. We're like oh, shoot."
Faced with a difficult task ahead of her, Salas rose to the occasion birding the three playoff holes to solidify her spot on this year's LPGA Tour and earning her the nickname, "Miss Clutch".
Suzann Pettersen -6, Rolex Rankings No. 5
So Yeon Ryu -6, Rolex Rankings No. 9
Sun Young Yoo -6, Rolex Rankings No. 22
Cristie Kerr -5, Rolex Rankings No. 11
Lizette Salas -4, Rolex Rankings No. 107
- 17/11/2012 11:45 - LPGA Awards: Gustafson, Miyazato Voted Winners by Peers
- 17/11/2012 11:44 - Nancy Lopez Receives Patty Berg Award
- 16/11/2012 15:47 - Caroline Hedwall to bring secret weapon with her for Women's Indian Open