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Safeway Classic – Second-Round Notes and Interviews

Posted by on Aug 21st, 2011 and filed under Golf. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola
Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, Ghost Creek Course
North Plains, Ore.
August 20, 2011
Second-round notes and interviews

Na Yeon Choi -8, Rolex Rankings No. 5
Stacy Lewis -5, Rolex Rankings No. 11
Mika Miyazato -3, Rolex Rankings No 22
Ryann O’Toole -2, Rolex Rankings No. 125
Grace Park -2, Rolex Rankings No. 266

2010 Vare Trophy winner and Rolex Rankings No. 5 Na Yeon Choi fired a 2-under 69 on Saturday and holds a three-shot lead at 8-under-par heading into the final round of the Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola. Choi leads Rolex Rankings No. 11 Stacy Lewis by three shots as she looks to capture her first victory of the 2011 season. Choi, who was the first-round leader, didn’t have her putter working quite as well on Saturday as she did in the first round when she shot 65. But she still managed to deliver an under-par round on a day where scoring conditions were difficult. Choi had three birdies and just one bogey en route to her round of 69, helping her to maintain the lead for a second straight day.

"It was really warm out there, and then wind was very switching a lot and it was a lot firmer than yesterday," Choi said. "So sometimes really hard to stop the ball on the green. But I felt very comfortable and confident out there. I don’t know what reason, actually more comfortable than yesterday. And I was very calm until last hole. That’s why I played well today."

Back on top: Last year, Choi tallied two wins and recorded 16 top-10 finishes en route to capturing the 2010 LPGA Official Money List title and also the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average. This year, Choi has yet to pick up a victory although she has five top-10 finishes. Still she admitted that finding herself at the top of the leaderboard after the first round resulted in a few nerves, which she tried to calm before teeing off on Saturday.

"I talked to my swing coach yesterday and then I told my coach I feel a little scared to lose this chance [to win]," Choi said. "You know, I say this is my first time win to chance this year. And he say, this is not the first time. I had it four times before, so this is not this is a little bit like fifth time.

"So you know, he say don’t be scared, and I can’t think about winning. So yeah, my instinct was like, okay, I’ll do my best, and if I don’t, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes other players, I can’t control that. So just go out there and just hit some shots. That’s it… Actually I am very excited for playing tomorrow, and I was missing that feeling, you know. I’m very excited. I like this chance."

Up and down round: Stacy Lewis couldn’t help but crack a smile when asked to describe her day in Saturday’s second round of the Safeway Classic.

"A rollercoaster round," Lewis said with a laugh.

Lewis looked poised to shoot a very low score at the start of her round. The 2011 Kraft Nabisco champion recorded birdies on her first four holes to move into a tie with Choi atop the leaderboard at 6-under-par. But just as quickly as she got hot, Lewis then hit a few bumps in her round. She went 3-over in her next six holes to fall three shots out of the lead.

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