Monday, August 26, 2019

Henderson, Sharp lead after 18 at Dow Great Lakes Bay International

Jul 18. 2019
Brooke Hendersona and Alena Sharp / LPGA Photo
Brooke Hendersona and Alena Sharp / LPGA Photo
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By LPGA

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Playing under bright and sunny Michigan skies, Brooke Henderson and Alena Sharp shot a 5-under 65 in Wednesday’s foursomes round and hold the lead after 18 holes at the inaugural Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational.

After an opening bogey, the Canadian duo found their groove, carding seven birdies and just one additional bogey.

“At the beginning I felt like it was kind of, like, nerve wracking a little bit to get going. Then once we got a good game plan out there, we kind of helped each other read some putts,” said Sharp, who is looking for the first win of her 15-year LPGA career. “At the beginning we didn't really know what we were doing, like we didn't really help each other out a lot. Then we got into a nice roll, a nice rhythm and hit some good shots, made some putts. Really never got into huge trouble.”

“Alena just kind of came up to me and just told me to relax a little bit on those first couple holes because I was pretty tight,” said Henderson, a two-time winner in 2019. “I think that was great advice because I just needed to kind of settle into the round a little bit.”

American fan-favorites and Solheim Cup stalwarts Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel shot a 4-under 66 and sit in solo second going into Thursday’s four-ball round. Four teams are tied for third at -3.

Playing in her first event since the 2017 CME Group Tour Championship, Suzann Pettersen teamed with Catriona Matthew for a 3-over 73 and are tied for 50th. Pettersen was on maternity leave for the 2018 season, giving birth to a son in August.

O CANADA

The “Eh” Team really was the A Team on Wednesday at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. Canadian Olympians Brooke Henderson and Alena Sharp’s opening foursomes round featured seven birdies and just two bogeys, and with a sea of Canadian red shirts outside the ropes, the duo was all smiles after their round.

“Alena was really hitting it well right from the start and she kind of bailed me out right at the beginning and we kind of just got going. We felt the energy and the adrenaline,” said Henderson. “Made a couple putts and we just kind of kept it going, which was fun.  It's cool to make seven birdies out here definitely in alternate shot.”

Sharp said as the round went on, the two became more comfortable on the course. “I think when we first started we were really quiet, and then on this hole here, No. 12 was our third hole, we started talking a little bit more and I think that relaxed both of us and I think that's something we just need to do from the get go on Friday when we're out here,” said Sharp about returning to the foursomes format in the third round. “It just eases the tension.  Not necessarily talk about golf, but just chatting, have a good laugh, and we did that and started making birdies. It's a good recipe.”

Henderson hopes that they can keep their consistent play rolling into the second round. “I think we were both hitting it well and making some putts, which is a great feeling,” said Henderson. “I think if we can kind of keep the energy and momentum going to tomorrow and the next couple days, I think that's key.”

SISTER DUOS #TEAMUP AND PLAY TOGETHER

Only three sets of sisters have both won on the LPGA Tour, and two of those pairs are playing together for the first two rounds of the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational.Jessica Korda and Nelly Korda shot a 2-under 68 on Wednesday alongside Ariya Jutanugarn and Moriya Jutanugarn, who finished at even-par 70. The camaraderie was evident between the sister duos.

“We are all good friends and like it just feels like we hang out and try to support each other as, you know, like in the same team,” said Moriya Jutanugarn. “And then watching them play, you know, like a lot of good golf out there is a lot of fun.”

“You can definitely see that we're all really comfortable with each other,” added Nelly Korda. “We all like kept to each other, but I think it was fun. I think they had fun and it was a cool group.”

The Korda sisters have combined for seven LPGA Tour victories (five for Jessica and two for Nelly), while the Jutanugarns have 11 wins between them (10 for Ariya and one for Moriya). Annika Sorenstam (72 wins) and Charlotta Sorenstam (one win) are the only other sisters with LPGA wins, while 10 total sets of sisters have played on Tour.

PETTERSEN RETURNS TO THE LPGA WITH MATTHEW ON HER TEAM

Today marked 12-time LPGA winner Suzann Pettersen’s return to the LPGA Tour, playing as a team with 2019 Solheim Cup Captain Catriona Matthew in the inaugural Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. Pettersen is making her first LPGA start since giving birth to her son Herman Alexander in August 2018.

Pettersen’s last appearance was a T11 finish at the CME Group Tour Championship in November 2017, and she said after her round on Wednesday she was really happy to be back in competition.

“I actually enjoyed being out there today,” Pettersen said after the pair opened with a 73 in foursomes. “I think I was actually more nervous yesterday on the first tee in the pro-am than I was today. It's just really hard to get the rhythm, but for what I've been through the last 12 months, it was about the same rhythm that I've had recently. I just really enjoyed it.”

Pettersen, an eight-time member of the European Solheim Cup team, will serve as a Vice Captain for Matthew at the Solheim Cup in Gleneagles this September. Matthew said that Pettersen, who chipped in for birdie on 13, played extremely well for being away from the LPGA so long.

“Well, obviously great to come back, it's a great event to come back and play in for Suzann, and then playing with Anna [Nordqvist] and Carro [Hedwall], it was a nice comfortable pairing for us all,” Matthew said. “Suzann hit a lot of good shots. She's being a modest there, some really good shots. I told her it felt as though she's never been away.”

#TEAMPINK OFF TO STRONG START

Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer, aka Team Pink, came out strong during the first round of the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational and sit solo second at -4. After an eagle on No. 3, the pair recorded an additional three birdies to sit one back of Canadian leaders Brooke Henderson and Alena Sharp. Creamer said they felt that their bond and experience gave them an advantage on the course.

“We're best of friends, we played a lot of team events together, so it's nothing new for us to be able to come out here,” said Creamer. “We haven't played alternate shot for a little while, and when we have played it in the past, it's always match play and you never have to finish.  Out here you actually have to shoot a score, which is a little bit different. But I definitely think we have kind of the upper hand with the experience.”

Creamer and Pressel have played in a combined 12 Solheim Cups between 2005 and 2017. They have been paired together five times with a 2-2-1 record, in four-ball and foursomes combined. Pressel said after grinding it out in Wednesday’s foursomes, the duo is focused on a new strategy for the second round of four-ball play.

“Tomorrow's back to your own ball, trying to make as many birdies as possible. Maybe slightly more aggressive than we would potentially play if it was if we were playing by ourselves individually,” said Pressel. “But for the most part, even when we go out individually, we're still trying to make birdies. Definitely very similar to individual play.”

PLAYER THOUGHTS ON THE TEAM FORMAT

“I's always nice to play for each other and not just for yourself. You play so much individual golf through your life, but every now and again it's nice to mix it up. To have a team event on the schedule, I'm sure everyone's quite happy about. It's not the easiest to come out for me and play foursomes straight off the bat, but I really am looking forward to tomorrow. We're both going to play our own ball and hopefully get even better rhythm.” – Suzann Pettersen

“This (foursomes) format is hard to find momentum like on the golf course and like sometime like you miss one shot and you want to hit another one, so for you to get 2 feet better.” – Moriya Jutanugarn

“I think this week I'm definitely looking forward to the best ball maybe a little bit more, but it was fun and a different experience I think for both of us. Just kind of you're thinking all the time you want to put your partner in a good position. Sometimes you've got to just put that out of your mind and play your own game.” – Brooke Henderson

PLAYER NOTES

Rolex Rankings No. 9 Brooke Henderson and No. 125 Alena Sharp (65)

  • This is Henderson’s fifth season on the LPGA Tour; she has nine career victories, including two in 2019
  • This is Henderson’s 17th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she has wins at the LOTTE Championship and the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, as well as five additional top-10 finishes
  • Henderson’s win at the Meijer LPGA Classic was her ninth career victory, making her the winningest Canadian golfer in the history of the LPGA and PGA Tours
  • This is Sharp’s 15th season on the LPGA Tour; her best finish is fourth at the 2016 CP Women’s Open
  • This is Sharp’s 14th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she has top-10 finishes at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give
  • Henderson and Sharp both represented Canada at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil; Henderson tied for seventh, while Sharp finished 30th

Rolex Rankings No. 157 Paula Creamer and No. 88 Morgan Pressel (66)

  • This is Creamer’s 15th season on the LPGA Tour; she has 10 career victories, most recently at the 2014 HSBC Women’s World Championship
  • This is Creamer’s 13th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is a tie for eighth at the ShopRite LPGA Classic for Acer
  • This is Pressel’s 14th season on the LPGA Tour; he has two wins, most recently at the 2008 Kapalua LPGA Classic
  • This is Pressel’s 15th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is a tie for third at the HUGEL-AIR PREMIA LA Open and she tied for sixth at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give
  • Creamer and Pressel have played in a combined 12 Solheim Cups; they have been paired together five times with a 2-2-1 record

DOW GREAT LAKES BAY INVITATIONAL FORMAT

The tournament is a 72-hole, stroke-play team event with teams comprised of two players. The first and third rounds will be played in foursomes (alternate shot) and the second and final rounds will be played in a four-ball (best-ball) format. After 36 holes, the field will be cut to the low 35 teams and ties.

In the event of a playoff, the champions will be determined by a hole-by-hole playoff in the foursomes format.

Each LPGA Member on the winning team will receive the standard two-year winner’s exemption on the LPGA Priority List. Winners will also get into the 2019 Evian Championship, 2019 AIG Women’s British Open, 2020 ANA Inspiration and 2020 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, as well as the 2020 and 2021 Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. CME points and prize money will be official for the purposes of the current-year LPGA Official Money List and Race to the CME Globe Standings. Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, Rolex Player of the Year, Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year and U.S. Solheim Cup points will not be allocated, and statistics will not be calculated.

SOCIAL MEDIA - #DriveOn

Tournament: @DowGLBI; #DowGLBI, #TeamUp

LPGA: @LPGA, @LPGAMedia (Twitter), @lpga_tour (Instagram)

TOURNAMENT SCORING RECORDS

18 holes: 65 (-5), Brooke Henderson and Alena Sharp, first round, 2019

TV TIMES (all times Eastern on Golf Channel)

Thursday, July 20 – 8-10 p.m. (tape delay)

Friday, July 21 – 8-10 p.m. (tape delay)

Saturday, July 22 – 6-8 p.m.

DOW GREAT LAKES BAY INVITATIONAL FIELD

Lori Beth Adams, Kelly Tan

Cindy LaCrosse, Vicky Hurst

Marina Alex, Brittany Lang

Jaclyn Lee, Robyn Choi

Brittany Altomare, Elizabeth Szokol

Min Lee, Silvia Cavalleri

Dottie Ardina, Pavarisa Yoktuan

Minjee Lee, Jin Young Ko

Aditi Ashok, Louise Stahle

Pernilla Lindberg, Linnea Strom

Celine Boutier, Karine Icher

Ruixin Liu, Simin Feng

Ashli Bunch, Heather Bowie Young

Lee Lopez, Rachel Rohanna

Sandra Changkija, Paula Reto

Brittany Marchand, Daniela Darquea

Peiyun Chien, Tiffany Chan

Stephanie Meadow, Giulia Molinaro

Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel

Anna Nordqvist, Caroline Hedwall

Brianna Do, Laura Diaz

Su Oh, Mel Reid

Lindy Duncan, Ally McDonald

Amy Olson, Katherine Kirk

Kendall Dye, Kristy McPherson

Ryann O'Toole, Jacqui Concolino

Austin Ernst, Bronte Law

Jane Park, Tiffany Joh

Dana Finkelstein, Mina Harigae

Suzann Pettersen, Catriona Matthew

Isi Gabsa, Cheyenne Knight

Pornanong Phatlum, Wichanee Meechai

Sandra Gal, Natalie Gulbis

Gerina Piller, Stacy Lewis

Kristen Gillman, Lauren Stephenson

Louise Ridderstrom, Lilia Vu

Jaye Marie Green, Dani Holmqvist

Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong, Marissa Steen

Clariss Guce, Maddie McCrary

Sarah Schmelzel, Lauren Kim

Nasa Hataoka, Suzuka Yamaguchi

Jenny Shin, Na Yeon Choi

Brooke M. Henderson, Alena Sharp

Jennifer Song, Hee Young Park

Celine Herbin, Joanna Klatten

Angela Stanford, Dori Carter

Becca Huffer, Amelia Lewis

Jasmine Suwannapura, Cydney Clanton

Ariya Jutanugarn, Moriya Jutanugarn

Kris Tamulis, Kim Kaufman

Danielle Kang, Lizette Salas

Anne-Catherine Tanguay, Sophia Popov

Chaithra Katamneni (a), Elayna Bowser (a)

Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras, Pajaree Anannarukarn

Sarah Kemp, Xiyu Lin

Lexi Thompson, Cristie Kerr

Megan Khang, Annie Park

Maria Torres, Luna Sobron Galmes

Hyo Joo Kim, Eun Hee Ji

Mariajo Uribe, Karrie Webb

Christina Kim, Karen Chung

Alana Uriell, Youngin Chun

Lydia Ko, In Gee Chun

Lindsey Weaver, Sarah Burnham

P.K. Kongkraphan, Muni He

Cheyenne Woods, Olafia Kristinsdottir

Stephanie Kono, Erynne Lee

Amy Yang, Mirim Lee

Nelly Korda, Jessica Korda

Angel Yin, Yu Liu

Jennifer Kupcho, Maria Fassi

 

 

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