KirkwoodGolf: Catriona Matthew falls back wth a 75 but Charley Hull repeats opening 70

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Catriona Matthew falls back wth a 75 but Charley Hull repeats opening 70

Ariya Jutanugarn sits atop leaderboard 

in third straight LPGA event

There seems to be no stopping Ariya Jutanugarn.
For the third consecutive week, the Thailander  finds herself atop the LPGA Tour leaderboard. 
Friday, Jutanugarn carded a four-under par, 68 to take the 36-hole lead at the inaugural LPGA Volvik Championship at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 
Jutanugarn holds a two-stroke lead at 11-under par, ahead of So Yeon Ryu, Christina Kim and Marina Alex at nine-under par.
“Today was pretty good.  I mean, I didn't hit my iron that good but still okay, and I start to make some putt on the back nine,” Jutanugarn said.
Having learned how to handle the nerves and stress that comes with closing out a win, Jutanugarn is chasing her third consecutive win on Tour after picking up wins in her last two starts at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic and Kingsmill Championship. Inbee Park was the last to accomplish the feat of winning three straight events in 2013, something Jutanugarn is trying not to think about.
“I mean, right now I'm really happy with it and I really enjoy play golf right now, so I'm not thinking about I'm going to win, I'm going to lose, but just have fun and keep play good.”

Kim held a narrow one-stroke lead ahead of Jutanugarn after round one, carding an eight-under par, 64 on Thursday for her low round of 2016. Kim said the putter was the key to her success on day one but it cooled on Friday, making it around in 30 putts en route to a one-under par, 71.
“Yeah, everything was great, just the ball wasn't in the hole,” Kim said. “I mean, it wasn't like I was backing off of putts after I hit them trying to figure out how did I miss that break or anything like that.  It was just a matter of just burning the edges and just, I mean, not even really being a degree off.  So I'm still very confident going into the weekend.  I've still got a lot of confidence in my putting.”

So Yeon Ryu made a leap up the leaderboard on Friday, carding a bogey-free, five-under par, 67 to move into a share of second with Kim and Alex. Ryu is in search of her first win since 2014 and has come close in recent weeks, putting herself in contention and producing three top-10 finishes in her last four starts.
“Yeah, I was so close to winning the last three tournaments, the final round wasn't good enough to get the trophies so I was really disappointed in myself as well,” Ryu told the media. “But the good thing is I just kept in contention, that I just kept fighting.  I really want to hold this and I really want to keep my positive mind until Sunday.”

Marina Alex is also T-2 at nine-under par after beginning her day four-strokes back of the lead. But she quickly made up ground by making birdie on three of her first five holes. The American carded her low round of the season Friday with a five-under par, 67 to take the lead early on Friday morning. Alex missed the first four cuts of the 2016 season but has since hit her stride, having not missed a weekend since the Kia Classic in March. A win this week would not only be the first for the 2013 rookie, but also mark her first top-20 finish of the year.
“You know, I don't necessarily think I was playing all that bad at the beginning of the year, I was just really rusty,” said Alex. “I've been making a ton of swing changes in the offseason and now they're starting to feel more comfortable and just kind of everything is starting to feel like it's mine and I own it, whereas at the beginning of the year I think I was just a little unsure with what I was doing and just not really fully committed to where I was and obviously now I am, so it's paying off, yeah.”

The cut line fell at two-over par, sending home several notables this weekend, including Paula Creamer at four-over par, Yani Tseng at four-over par and Michelle Wie at eight-over par.

BRITWATCH (by Colin Farquharson).
Charley Hull leads the Brits with a pair of 70s for 140 and is T14, seven behind the leader.
Catriona Matthew has fallen back to T58 on 145 (70-75), alongside Jodi Ewart Shadoff (72-73).
Laura Davies (72-74) made the cut on 146 (72-74) and in T66 position.
But Felicity Johnson missed out with 79-73 for 152.