Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Jasmine and Jutanugarn sisters steal show at Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational

Jul 20. 2019
eammates Jasmine Suwannapura of Thailand (R) and Cydney Clanton of the United States walk to the 18th green. / LPGA Photo
eammates Jasmine Suwannapura of Thailand (R) and Cydney Clanton of the United States walk to the 18th green. / LPGA Photo
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By LPGA

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After a blazing-hot 7-under 63 in Friday’s foursomes round, Jasmine or Thidapa Suwannapura and Cydney Clanton pulled five strokes clear of the field heading into the final round of the 2019 Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational.

Powered by eight birdies and one lone bogey, Jasmine and Clanton survived a day that saw the heat index soar in the triple digits and put themselves in prime position to become the first official team winners in LPGA Tour history.

“Today I think what we did was quite impressive just with our ball striking in general,” said Clanton, a graduate of Auburn University. “Jasmine's putting's on point. I think you've just got to look at it as it's just another opportunity to play and the more that you can think of the fact that it's just another day on the golf course, we're going to go out and try to do what we've been doing, the better it's going to be.”

With the competition returning to the foursomes format for Saturday’s final round, the duo knows that no lead is safe, even their five-stroke advantage.

“I can see that we play (foursomes) pretty good and I feel like tomorrow's going to be pretty fun day to see like how many opportunities we are going to get and how many birdies we are going to make,” said Jasmine, who won the 2018 Marathon Classic for her first LPGA Tour win. “We are just going to focus on that and play our own game and just try to find birdies tomorrow.”

Four teams are tied for second at -11 – Ariya Jutanugarn and Moriya JutanugarnRuixin Liu and Simin FengJenny Shin and Na Yeon Choi, and Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.

WEATHER ADJUSTS SATURDAY SCHEDULE

Due to a storm system forecasted to affect the Great Lakes Bay region on Saturday afternoon, tee times for the final round of the 2019 Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational will be adjusted to 7 a.m. to 8:57 a.m., with teams teeing off the first and 10th tees. Gates will open to the public at 7 a.m. with an estimated finish time of 2:15 p.m., depending on weather conditions.

JUTANUGARN SISTERS GO LOW

The sister duo of Ariya Jutanugarn and Moriya Jutanugarn started the day five strokes off the lead in a tie for 23rd. After a bogey-free 64 on Saturday, the Jutanugarns are still five strokes off the lead, but this time in a tie for second with five other teams. Younger sister Ariya particularly enjoyed this second day of foursomes play after having the opportunity settle into the format in Wednesday’s first round.

“I felt like in the first round, I don't want to miss any shot because I don't want my sister to have like tough shot and I was kind of worried and scared,” said Ariya Jutanugarn. “Today we already make the cut and nothing to lose, so we keep playing golf.”

Moriya Jutanugarn agreed with her sister, saying, “It's so hard to find momentum of two players, like two together.  And, you know, it's just like today is better because you have play, you know, foursome in the first round already and you kind of feel like more relaxed.”

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). Only two other sets of sisters have both won on the LPGA Tour – Annika Sorenstam (72 wins) and Charlotta Sorenstam (one win), and Jessica Korda (five wins) and Nelly Korda (two wins) – while 10 total sets of sisters have played on Tour.

LIU AND FENG MAKING THE MOST OF DOW GLBI

Riuxin Liu and Simin Feng, aka Team Dumpling, stormed out of the gate yesterday at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, posting an 8-under four-ball round to sit comfortably at T10 going into the third day. After switching back to foursomes, the duo stayed consistent and finished today tied for second at -11.

“I think it's just after the best ball you kind of has like certain expectations since it's like 8-under round for us yesterday and today we know a different perspective. So you just try to be patient when you're not making birdies, so I think that helps us a lot,” said Liu.

Yesterday, the partners said their strategy for today was to go with the flow. “We said we're not going to expect a lot out of this round,” said Feng. “But I think as much as we were expecting, we got a lot more out of that than what we were expecting.”

The friends are both searching for their first win on the LPGA Tour. Feng’s career-best finish is T6 from the 2016 COATES Golf Championship. Liu, a 2019 rookie, remembers the feeling of being in the winner’s circle from her recent Symetra Tour experience. She finished first in the Volvik Race to the Card in 2018 with three wins, and became the sixth person in Symetra Tour history to surpass $100,000 in single-season earnings ($124,839). She said being close to the top is a definite confidence boost for Team Dumpling.

“It will be a really huge honor to be in contention, so I will just try to be patient and be myself and play my game and don't think about anything else,” said Liu.

SHIN AND CHOI ARE IN SYNC HEADING INTO FINAL ROUND

On Friday at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, “Team Insynch” of Na Yeon Choi and Jenny Shin improved in the foursomes format, posting a 3-under round with just one bogey. Choi was pleased they were able to make a move up the leaderboard at Midland Country Club as they enter the final round tied for second.

“I think even on Wednesday we did a great job,” said Choi, a major champion at the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open. “The only one thing that we made one or two bogeys, I think two bogeys on Wednesday from three-putts, both three-putts. So that wasn't like I felt something I left on the course after the first round. But today even we had one bogey, but we made a lot of save, like par save. So I think we both did a really good job.”

The pair from the Republic of Korea will enter the final four-ball round on Saturday five shots back of leaders Jasmine Suwannapura and Cydney Clanton. Shin is looking for her second career LPGA victory on Saturday and first since 2016, while Choi is looking for her 10th career LPGA win and first since 2015.

While Shin would love to hoist the trophy along with her good friend and partner, she’s focused on a good finish in the four-ball format where they fired a 64 during the second round four-ball.

“We would really, really have to step up our game tomorrow, but if we finish in the top-5, I think we'll be still happy with it because that's a regular top-10 in a regular tournament and that's a $2 million purse,” Shin said. “So, you know, my objective right now is to get in the Scottish Open and Asia and everything in the near future. You know, that's our goal. We're just going to do everything we possibly can to go for the win tomorrow.”

WITH A WIN…

Na Yeon ChoiCydney ClantonSimin Feng or Ruixin Liu would earn a spot in the Evian Championship and the AIG Women’s British Open

Paula Creamer would earn a spot in the AIG Women’s British Open, a tournament she has not missed since she became an LPGA Member in 2005

Clanton, Liu or Feng would become the fifth Rolex First-Time Winner of the 2019 season

Jasmine Suwannapura or Moriya Jutanugarn would join Ariya Jutanugarn as the only Thai players with more than one LPGA Tour victory

Creamer would earn her first LPGA win since the 2014 HSBC Women’s World Championship, while Morgan Pressel would earn her first win since the 2008 Kapalua LPGA Classic

RESHUFFLE TIME

The second and final reshuffle of the 2019 LPGA Tour season will happen after the conclusion of this week’s Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational.

Category 8 on the LPGA Priority List comprises members in the Top 80 of the current year’s Money List with priority based on the order of the list. In addition, Members in Categories 13 through 19 who have earned official money will be re-seeded into Category 13 and ranked in the order of their position on the current year's Money List through the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational.

  • Simin Feng is currently No. 449 on the Priority List in Category 19 and is poised to make the biggest leap on the Priority List as she and partner Ruixin Liu are T2 through 54 holes at -11
  • Joanna Klatten is currently No. 429 on the Priority List in Category 19 and is T28 at -4 with partner Celine Herbin following Saturday’s round
  • Cydney Clanton is currently No. 179 on the Priority List in Category 15, and through 54 holes she and partner Jasmine Suwannapura are alone atop the leaderboard at -16
  • Karine Icher is currently No. 159 on the Priority List in Category 13, and through 54 holes she and partner Celine Boutier are T6 at -10

A link to the current LPGA Priority List: http://bit.ly/Priority19

PLAYER NOTES

Rolex Rankings No. 106 Jasmine Suwannapura and No. 268 Cydney Clanton (67-64-63)

  • This is Suwannapura’s eighth season on the LPGA Tour; she won the 2018 Marathon Classic
  • This is Suwannapura’s 20th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is a tie for seventh at the Kia Classic
  • Suwannapura broke her back while swinging a club during a practice round at the 2016 Kingsmill Championship and was sidelined for six months for surgery and rehab
  • This is Clanton’s eighth season on the LPGA Tour; her best finish is a tie for seventh at the 2014 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic
  • This is Clanton’s fourth event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is a tie for 40th at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic
  • Clanton has also played in seven Symetra Tour events this season, taking the win at the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout
  • Clanton attended Auburn University, where she was named the 2008 NGCA Freshman of the Year

Rolex Rankings No. 6 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 26 Moriya Jutanugarn (70-65-64)

  • This is Ariya Jutanugarn’s fifth season on the LPGA Tour; she has 10 career victories, most recently at the 2018 Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open
  • This is Ariya Jutanugarn’s 17th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is second at her last event, the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic
  • Ariya Jutanguarn represented Thailand at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil; she was the first-round leader but withdrew during the third round with a knee injury
  • This is Moriya Jutanugarn’s seventh season on the LPGA Tour; she won the 2018 HUGEL-JTBC LA Open
  • This is Moriya Jutanugarn’s 17th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is a tie for fourth at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions

Rolex Rankings No. 282 Ruixin Liu and No. 660 Simin Feng (70-62-67)

  • This is Liu’s rookie season on the LPGA Tour; this is her 16th career start, with a best finish of T26 as a non-Member at the 2018 Buick LPGA Shanghai
  • This is Liu’s 14th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is a tie for 11th at last week’s Marathon Classic, one of two cuts she has made this year
  • Liu won the Symetra Tour’s 2018 Volvik Race for the Card to earn her 2019 LPGA Tour Membership; she was a three-time winner in 2018 and became the sixth player in Symetra Tour history to surpass $100,000 in single-season earnings with $124,839
  • This is Feng’s fifth season on the LPGA Tour; her best finish is a tie for sixth at the 2016 COATES Golf Championship
  • This is Feng’s fifth event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; this is her second made-cut of the year, joining last week’s Marathon Classic, where she tied for 71st
  • Feng spent one year at Vanderbilt University, where she was named SEC Freshman of the Year

Rolex Rankings No. 46 Jenny Shin and No. 396 Na Yeon Choi (68-64-67)

  • This is Shin’s ninth season on the LPGA Tour; she won the 2016 Volunteers of America Texas Shootout
  • This is Shin’s 15th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is solo fourth at the Honda LPGA Thailand
  • This is Choi’s 12th season on the LPGA Tour; she has nine wins, most recently at the 2015 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, and took a major win at the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open
  • This is Choi’s 14th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is a tie for 27th at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup
  • Choi missed most of the 2018 LPGA season due to injury

Rolex Rankings No. 157 Paula Creamer and No. 88 Morgan Pressel (66-64-69)

  • 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; she 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.

 

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