Did Ariya 2-peat?

Can a player win a tournament, fly home to meet the Prime Minister of Thailand and to sign a get well card for the King then head back to the US to prepare for the Kingsmill Championship and win it? If we are talking about Ariya Jutanugarn then the answer is a loud “YES”.

Ariya came from behind on third round to take the lead. Other promising players like Stacy Lewis, In Gee Chun and So Yeon Ryu were one stroke behind and all of them except In Gee was the outright leader.

Judy Rankin on the Golf Channel liked the way Ariya swings her club. We see her struggle on the tee box with her M1 driver, often pulling it left like she did yesterday. But as a strong player, she managed to bat it out and was on the side of the green in two. She saved par and moved on like nothing had happened. Talk about confidence.

It is going to be a huge celebration for the Jutanugarn’s family tonight. Hope she invites all her friends and fans but I know I am dreaming. Congratulations again Ariya!


Ariya is Close Again

If you’re listening Ariya, please win the tournament in Texas this weekend. It would bring so much happiness to fans in Thailand and here. Your sister Moriya will celebrate it with you and so would your mom and brother. Ariya Jutanugarn played so well today that she could have ended the day higher than third on the leaderboard. She played fearlessly. It was unheard of but she went for the green in two on the last hole. A wonderful chip and a great putt earned her a birdie. Nice shot Ariya!

According to Judy Rankin, Ariya’s swing is compact and repeatable. It is a beautiful golf swing and Ariya can win more tournaments because she is a good player. Judy thinks that Ariya is an untapped player, ready to be a star but unfortunately, she can’t seem to close. The last time she was leading a tournament was at the ANA Inspiration before faltering on the last 3 holes. Ariya was a bundle of nerves and pulled her tee shot into the water. She could have tied Lydia Ko and force a playoff but instead, she fell down the leaderboard.

Ariya needs to believe that she can win here. Don’t let this opportunity get away from you. Win it for Thailand.


Another Tough Week for Michelle Wie

It was another tough week for Michelle Wie and after two dreadful rounds, she missed the cut again and will not be playing in Texas this weekend. Michelle ended up at +6, four strokes away from the proposed cut. She hasn’t played the weekend since the ANA Inspiration.

Round 2 was cut short because of weather and play was suspended. It will resume at 7:30am in the morning before Round 3.

Fans of Michelle can’t believe this is happening to her. She seems to be injury-free and swinging freely. Her drives are out there and she gets on the green in regulation but when it comes to putting, she can’t seem to find the line. I know it is getting used to the new putting technique but I wished she did not add Jack Nicklaus’ scrunched up style to her tabletop setup. She used to putt better.

No wonder why Michelle is not as friendly as before. As a fan, I forgive her for telling me that she has no time for a picture with her. And as far as an autograph is concerned, I’ll just dust off an old program with her signature on it. I hope you will get better Michelle. Smile – life is not so bad.

Stop! In the name of P.K. Krongaphan

Screenshot 2016-04-24 at 10.41.08 AM.pngAs a LPGA fan, I love taking pictures of LPGA players on practice days and on pro-am. I don’t even bring a camera on tournament rounds because cameras are not allowed.

At the last tournament that I attended, I was annoyed at fans using their smartphone to take pictures. When they say cameras are not allowed; they mean all cameras including the one in our smartphones.

After round 2 at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, P.K. Kongkraphan missed the cut and decided to stay around the range to work out alignment issues. A fan was about to take her picture and she held her hand up when she saw the smartphone was aimed at her. No pictures meant no pictures anywhere, on the course or on the range. Please be considerate to LPGA players in the future.


Coaching Inside the Ropes

Some LPGA players like Lydia Ko and Suzann Pettersen pay to have their golf coach/ instructor around with them at tournaments. Depending on the coach/ instructor, one or more of his students will share the cost of having them at the event toDSCN8834.JPG provide on-the-course instruction.

Lydia who is coached by David Leadbetter had him at the ANA Inspiration during practice rounds and the pro-am. He was on the driving range with her and he walked inside the ropes at pro-am. Luckily for Lydia’s pro-am partners, David provided private advice to them.

David is really pleased with his students who include Lydia Ko, Danielle Kang, Michelle Wie, Adam Scott and many others.

All-Star Lineup

Caitlyn Jenner's team

Caitlyn Jenner’s team

When it was called the Kraft Nabisco, organizers invited celebrities who played golf to participate at the pro-am. That’s when I met Alice Cooper and Wayne Gretzky. Today it is called the ANA Inspiration and no celebrities were invited to the pro-am.

Careful examination of the pairing sheet heightened my curiosity. The first name was ‘C. Jenner’ and the other was ‘G. Fuhr’. You guessed it, Caitlyn Jenner was playing alongside LPGA pro, Danielle Kang and Grant Fuhr, ex-goaltender of the Edmonton Oilers was playing in the afternoon.

It turned out that Caitlyn’s pro-am team shot the lowest score. She was talking to David Leadbetter at the driving range and mentioned that her swing is coming around. She said she carries a single digit handicap. I was pleasantly surprised to see Caitlyn at a LPGA event and hope she makes it out next year.