|< Prev||Next >|
Rolex Rankings No. 8 Ai Miyazato set a new tournament record on Friday with an 8-under 64, taking the lead heading into the third-round at the CME Group Titleholders at 10-under-par. Miyazato entered the day tied for 16th but strung together 8 birdies after a bogey on the second hole to catapult herself to a one-stroke lead over Na Yeon Choi and a two-stroke lead over a group of four, including Brittany Lincicome, Karine Icher, Suzann Pettersen, and Sun Young Yoo.
Miyazato torched the greens on the Eagles Course at TwinEagles Club with just 25 putts, six fewer than her opening round. The Japan native says seeing those numbers today verified what she has been working on for the last few months of the season.
"Nothing, but I've been dealing with my putting since last month and it just didn't go in last couple months, but I just say to myself just be patient and it's going to go in some day," said Miyazato. "But this is the last tournament so I kind of have like no expectations to myself and nice and relaxed out there, so I was really calm all day. That's why I think I made some good putts."
Miyazato has already claimed two victories this season, including the LOTTE LPGA Championship Presented by J Golf and the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G.
Ai Miyazato set a new tournament record on Friday with her round of 8-under 64. The Japanese star showed off her putting prowess in the second round and dropped her putts from 31 on Thursday to 25. Asked what was different on the greens, Miyazato didn't have a particular.
"Nothing, but I've been dealing with my putting since last month and it just didn't go in last couple months, but I just say to myself just be patient and it's going to go in some day," said Miyazato.
Miyazato was smart enough to not get ahead of herself about the putts dropping. She ranks fourth on Tour in putting average and fifth in putts per green in regulation. Miyazato wasn't timid about dropping bombs in her birdiefest of a second round either. She said she sank at least five birdie putts over 15-20 feet.
"But this is the last tournament so I kind of have like no expectations to myself and nice and relaxed out there, so I was really calm all day," said Miyazato. "That's why I think I made some good putts."
To say that Rolex Rankings No. 4 Na Yeon Choi's putting statistics have been impressive during the first two rounds of the CME Group Titleholders would be an understatement. The winner of this year's U.S. Women's Open only needed 27 putts during yesterday's first round and 25 putts in today's second round.
While Choi has always fared particularly well in putting as she ranks 13th on Tour this year in putts per GIR and 20th in putting average, confidence has given her just the extra boost she needed this week.
"I think actually the last two days my putter was really great, you know," said Choi. "I mean, when I had a par putt, I supposed a little nervous, but last two day I had a really good confidence, and even last hole my par putt was like four meter, but I made it. And I mean, yeah, last two day my putting was great and even I hit a lot of good shots, especially today I think I was very calm on the course. I came here from home so I feel great right now."
Despite already having one victory under her belt this season and eight additional top-10 finishes, the always competitive Choi has her eyes set on a strong finish this week.
"You know, this is last tournament this year, I really want to finish strong this year," said Choi. "I know I had a great season this year, but I want to finish it strong. It doesn't matter win, if I play my best next two days, you know, I really happy where my position."
First-Round co-leader Sun Young Yoo suffered a one-stroke penalty on the par-5 14th after breaching rule 20-2a which states, "he must stands erect, hold the ball at shoulder height and arm's length and drop it".
"They say my arm wasn't high enough," said Yoo. "It was about like that height. If they -- they seen it on TV, so I take it as my mistake. All I want to say is I didn't try to cheat or anything. I mean, I was busy taking a drop and I didn't really think about my arm's height. So, I mean, so I asked the rules official if my arm can get higher and they said no. So basically I have to use my arm exactly 90-degree every time I take a drop. I mean, it happens. Basically it's my mistake and I was 2 or 3 shots behind, still in good position. So I'll try to forget about what happened and focus on the next two rounds."
Despite the one-stroke penalty this year's winner of the Kraft Nabisco Championship only stands three-strokes behind current leader Ai Miyazato.
Ai Miyazato -10, Rolex Rankings No. 8
Na Yeon Choi -9, Rolex Rankings No. 4
Sun Young Yoo -7, Rolex Rankings No. 22
Brittany Lincicome -7, Rolex Rankings No. 20
Karine Icher -7, Rolex Rankings No. 37
- 19/11/2012 12:09 - Inbee Park wins Vare Trophy and tops LPGA Official Money List
- 19/11/2012 11:15 - Na Yeon Choi claims another bumper payday winning the CME Group Titleholders
- 18/11/2012 10:50 - Choi hits the frontt at CME Group Titleholders, Miyazato gives chase