Friday, April 29, 2016

From Piller to post, that's Gerina's first victory bid

Gerina Piller matched her low round of 2016 with a bogey-free 6-under par, 65 today to take the early lead in round two of the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout. 
Piller currently leads by one stroke at 10-under par, ahead of Eun Hee Ji at 9-under and Ariya Jutanugarn at 7-under par. Canadian-Scot Brooke Mackenzie Henderson went off in the morning wave and carded a second round 3-under par, 68 to sit 5-back of the lead.
Following that critical must-make putt Piller drained during the Sunday singles matches of the 2015 Solheim Cup that was essential to keeping the U.S. hopes alive, Piller has continued to grow in confidence this season, thanks to encouragement from her caddie and LPGA veteran Nancy Lopez. 
Piller is in search of her first win on the LPGA Tour. Should she lead at day's end, this week would mark her first 36-hole lead on Tour.
“I have been playing really solid and my game feels great and we've just got to keep pressing on and just use all the cliches, just be patient and kind of take care of what I can take care of,” said Piller.
 “I can't take care of the other girls, what they're doing out there, but I can hit a fairway and I can hit a green so that's just kind of my focus.”
The Texas resident is playing well this week despite the challenge that comes with balancing time at home and playing in front of friends and family.
“I don't get to have my family out a lot so having them out definitely takes my mind off of it because I just love spending time with them,” said Piller. “ But the same side it's hard to get in your tournament routine when you go back home and you might have laundry to do or dishes to put away, something that you don't normally do on the road.  Tuesday trash day.  So you've kind of got to remind yourself that it's a tournament and just stick to your routine.”
VIDEO - Gerina Piller Round 2 Highlights
VIDEO - Gerina Piller Round 2 Interview

As they say, beware the sick or injured golfer. Eun-Hee Ji is battling allergies this week in what have been windy conditions at Las Colinas Country Club. But, Ji continues to battle on, carding a second round 5-under par, 66 to finish the day at 9-under par.
“Actually, it was a lot better this morning, but when wind starts it just getting a little bit worse, yeah,” Ji said after her round. “ But it's a lot better than yesterday actually.”
VIDEO - Eun-Hee Ji Round 2 Highlights

Bouncing back from three consecutive bogeys to start the day, Ariya Jutanugarn sits just three-back back of Piller. After the difficult start, Jutanugarn carded six birdies and an eagle to post a 5-under par, 66.
VIDEO - Ariya Jutanugarm Round 2 Highlights
VIDEO - Ariya Jutanugarn Round 2 Interview

Henderson, who Monday qualified for this event last year, went out in the morning wave and despite her under-par performance felt she could have done more on day two to move up the leaderboard.
“It was a lot more scoreable than it was yesterday, especially in the morning it was a little bit softer after the rain last night and the greens were holding and you were able to be aggressive,” Henderson told the media. “I didn't really take advantage as much as I would have liked, but 3 under is a solid round and I'll have to be better on the weekend.”

VIDEO - Brooke Henderson Round 2 Highlights

VIDEO - Brooke Henderson Round 2 Interview

Players who went out in the morning were relieved to finish before inclement weather is expected to move into the area during the afternoon.

Click here for scores from the second round of the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout.