Saturday, August 27, 2016

Ariya recovers from knee injury to lead 

Canadian Women's Open

After a knee injury sidelined Ariya Jutanugarn in Rio, the world No 2 appeared healthy on Friday as she jumped to the top of the leaderboard at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open at Calgary, Alberta.
Jutanugarn, from Thailand, carded a bogey-free, eight-under par, 64 for the low round of the week to lead by three-strokes ahead of In Gee Chun and Stephanie Meadow.
Jutanugarn held the first round lead at the Women's Olympic Games Golf  but was forced to withdraw from the third round due to a left knee injury. She told the media on Friday she considered skipping this week’s event as well, but began feeling better as the week continued and decided to play in Calgary.
“ I hurt my knee, so that's why I didn't play very well on the third round in Brazil. I just felt okay. I just had to rest and take care of my knee. So after that I feel like ' just play golf,' and it didn't feel like anything changed,” Jutanugarn said about her knee.
“I wanted to see how I'm feeling. But after that,  on Monday, it didn't hurt that much and today it's getting a lot better.
A four-time winner in 2016, including major champion at the Ricoh Women’s British Open, Jutanugarn is one of the longest hitters on Tour. Throughout the season she has made the decision to leave her driver out of the bag in order to better navigate off the tee, choosing to instead hit 3-wood or a long iron.
"The Thai player took that approach in her major victory and has implemented the same strategy this week at Priddis Greens Golf and Country Club and has missed just two fairways this week.
“Sometimes I feel more confident with my irons. Normally, if I'm not going to bring my driver, I'm going to have 4-iron and 3-iron, so I bring my 4-iron in.”
A win this week wouldn’t be a first for Jutanugarn in Canada, who captured the 2012 Canadian Women’s Amateur in 2012 at 16-years of age. She ran way from the field, shooting a course record 65 at Lethbridge Country Club to win by five-strokes ahead of her closest competitor, her sister Moriya, who is also a member on the LPGA Tour.
Jutanugarn will sleep on the lead Friday night for the fifth time this season.
Click here to watch Jutanugarn's second round highlights.
Click here to watch Jutanugarn's post-round interview.

Stephanie Meadow and In Gee Chun are three-strokes back of Jutanugarn in a share of second at nine-under par. Chun finished with a birdie and an eagle in her final two holes, which included draining a 12-footer for eagle at the par five, 18th hole.
Chun followed her opening round 68 with a 67 on Friday despite struggling off the tee, hitting just half the fairways, but made it around in just 25 putts to climb within striking distance of the lead. She told the media after her round that her goal this week is to finish in the top-3, which is something she’s already accomplished five times this season.
Click here to watch Chun's second round highlights.

Meadow, from Northern Ireland, followed her opening round 66 with a three-under par, 69 on Friday. She got off to a hot start with four birdies in her first eight holes, but stumbled with three consecutive bogeys at the turn to fall five-back of the lead. She bounced back with two birdies on her inward nine to move into a share of second with Chun.
First round leader Chella Choi had an interesting 26th birthday that didn’t include much sleep. On Thursday, Choi played late into the afternoon due to the three-hour weather delay and once play was called for darkness, had to return Friday morning to complete four holes of her opening round. Once she was finished, it was a quick turn around for Choi who headed right back out to begin her second round, posting a one-under par, 71 to sit four-back of the lead heading into the weekend.
“Very tough,” Choi said about her experience this week. “I just had four hours sleep last night because almost 9 o'clock, 9:00pm and we woke up before 4am, so we're starting at 7:00. But we moved to 6:55, so it was really hard. So I want to go home and nap.”
After a busy summer stretch that included nine consecutive events for Choi, she made the most of her three-weeks off from the LPGA Tour by putting in some work with her instructor Mike Bender and is already enjoying the results this week.
“I worked really hard the last three weeks, off week. So my condition and my game is better, it's more stronger than before, so the game's easier,” said Choi. “But I was very tired, so I tried to work out really hard so my tee shot is better. I want to hit a hard tee shot every four days. So I focus on my just driving game, so my game is better. And confidence is better, so shot is better.”

Michelle Wie holed her approach from the fairway at the par 4, 17th hole for her fifth eagle of the year and to move inside the cut line at one-under par. Wie will play the weekend for the first time since June’s Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give after missing her last four cuts on Tour. She won the 2010 playing of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open for her second victory on the LPGA Tour and has her father on the bag this week.
Click here to watch Wie's eagle.
The projected cut is at one-under par which sends home notables Charley Hull at Even par, Cheyenne Woods at one-over par, Laura Davies at two-over par and Gerina Piller at five-over par.

Click here for complete scores from the second round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open.