Sime Darby LPGA 2013 – Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club

The Sime Darby LPGA returns to the KLGCC for the fourth time with an increase in the prize money to USD2 million.

Since I have been too busy working with my new company, I could only afford to go to the first day and catch up with the delectable ladies of the LPGA. Once again the usual suspects have managed to make their ways to KL, after an exciting tournament in China where Feng Shanshan of China did not disappoint the home crowd when she won with 26 under par! Fat chance that anyone is going to see that kind of winning score at KLGCC’s East Course, which despite being fairly short is very tight and full of water hazards!

After a full stomach of nasi lemak for breakfast at the Golfers Lounge, I trudged over to the 1st tee just to see Michelle Wie about to tee off. Michelle Wie as we all know is probably the biggest sporting hype of the century only to fall flat on her face time and time again. First she thought just because she’s the longest hitter in the women’s game, she could take on the guys on the PGA tour. It took a couple of tries for her to realize that “it is not the drive, stupid!”. So after being humbled by the men, she decided to concentrate where she should be, on the LPGA tour. And how many wins has she got so far? Two, I think, in more than 5 years! Since her arrival, there have been many young ladies who have made impressive debuts on the LPGA Tour, and with so much less noise! And these ladies, from Na Yeon Choi, Park In Bee, Lexi Thompson, Charley Hull and the likes, have certainly given the fans so much excitement. And then there’s the amateur 17 year old Lydia Ko from New Zealand, despite storming ahead in many professional tournaments, still has no interest in turning pro!

As expected, Michelle drove it long on the 1st tee, and not on the fairway! Luckily, her ball landed in light rough and she had a clear line to the 1st green. I must stay she did well with her 2nd shot, landing 4 feet from the hole. And she did not disappoint with her putt, rolling it in beautifully for a birdie.

So I thought, maybe she has put a lot of practice before coming to KLGCC. I decided to follow her to the next tee box.

After learning her lesson from the first drive, she decided to take out what looks like either a 3 wood or a 5 wood for her second tee shot.

And did she improve on her tee shot? Nope!! Again the ball looked like it was heading for the rough. And anyone who is a member of the KLGCC would know, hole number 2 is an index 3 hole, and if you are not on the fairway, you are going to have a tough time putting your ball on the green. In fact most club player would not even attempt regulation on even when their drives are on the fairway as the hole is long as well. I have put it on a few times but even then using a hybrid or a fairway wood for the second shot, as I would normally be left with about 175 metres away from the green with a big pond in front of it. Now if anyone care to remember, in 2011, Michelle got an 8 on the first day on this hole!

So I followed her as she went looking for her ball, and where did it land? One feet way from a small tree! There is absolutely no way for her to go for the green.

So as expected she attempted to put the ball back on the fairway, and what did she do? She duffed it, and the ball went absolutely nowhere and deeper in the rough! I have not seen even an amateur do that! Her looks certainly cannot help her golf!

“How did I do that?”, she asked her caddy. Her caddy did the honourable thing by not saying anything!

After a long discussion with her caddy, she finally decided to take a drop, which meant hitting her fourth shot!

I must say that I was impressed with her fourth shot, a beautiful draw from the rough into the green, though a good 30 feet away from the flag.

She ended up with a double bogey 6 on the second hole, an improvement of two shots from 2011! She ended the first day with even par 71. Now I know why she is currently ranked somewhere in the fifties on the LPGA Tour!

At the end of the day, it was another South Korean leading the pack, Lee Ilhee with 7 under 64, equaling the course record set by Suzann Pettersen last year. Those who have been following the tournament, the first three winners of the tournament have been South Korean, Kang Jimin, Choi Na Yeon and last year Park Inbee. Kang Jimin did not turn up this year and seems to have disappeared from the scene. She’s not even in the top 100 anymore on the money list. Perhaps she’s too busy bonking her Black American boyfriend! Choi Na Yeon, despite still being in the top 10, blew up with 5 over 76 on the first day! Hmmm, is there a boyfriend in the background? The defending champion, Park Inbee only managed a 1 under 70 on the first day. She blamed the weather! Yea, right, it did not bother you last year! And my dear girl, why are you wrapped up like a Christmas gift in this type of weather?

So that was my experience on the first day of the Sime Darby LPGA 2013. I just wanted to have a feel for the tournament on the first day and follow the rest of the tournament online and on TV.

Some of the pictures I took of the ladies from the first day. And keeping up with the spirit of breast cancer awareness theme of the tournament, the background of the page is in pink.

Paula Creamer (Pinky) practicing her putting. In third place with 5 under 66 on the first day.

Natalie Gulbis (The hot bod) on the practice putting green. Ended up with 2 under 69 on first day, tied for 21st place.

Michelle Wie on the 1st tee

Na Yeon Choi (the 2011 champion, and now number 7 on money list) practicing her chipping.

Stacy Lewis (number 3 on the money list). Ended up with 2 under 69 on the first day, tied 21st place.

Karrie Webb (member of LPGA Hall of Fame, with 39 tour victories and currently ranked 12)

Park In Bee (number 1 ranked player and only the second woman to win 3 majors in a row) on the practice green.

Park In Bee walking towards the 3rd tee box.

Anna Nordqvist (20th on money list) at the first tee box

Lee Ilhee (first round leader with 7 under 64 and tied course record) at the first tee.

Suzann Pettersen (Number 2 ranked player in the world) and Karrie Webb walking towards the 3rd tee box

Brittany Lang (36 on money list) on the practice green. Ended the first day with 6 under 65, at 2nd place.

 

LPGA Tour Guide

 

2013 LPGA Tour Money List

http://www.lpga.com/golf-players/players.aspx?t=Top100MoneyList&q=100

Rolex World Rankings

http://www.lpga.com/content_1.aspx?pid=5844&mid=4

 

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