Matthew, Stanford set pace at LPGA Classic
Matthew, Stanford set pace at LPGA Classic
Scotland’s Matthew had nine birdies and one bogey in her round at the Grey Silo Golf Course, while Stanford played without a bogey on a layout that was softened by heavy rain earlier in the week.
World number one Park In-Bee, seeking her fourth victory in as many LPGA starts, led a chasing group of five players on six-under, that included fellow South Koreans Park Hee-Young and Meena Lee, Spain’s Belen Mozo and American Irene Cho.
Matthew teed off at the par-four 11th. After a bogey at the 12th she gradually gained steam, with five of her birdies coming in her last six holes.
“I hit it close all day, which gives you a lot of chances, and then obviously I putted well,” Matthew said.
She hit all 14 fairways in regulation, which gave her a chance to attack the pins.
“The ball was just stopping pretty much where you hit it in, so you could get it quite close if you were on the fairways,” Matthew said.
Stanford also opened her round at the 11th, later in the afternoon.
Three off the pace with three to play, she birdied eight, nine and 10 to tie the lead.
“I kind of thought about it on the eight tee box, that I had three holes left and I knew one of them is a par-three and the other two par-fours — I might have a wedge in,” she said.
“I really just tried to hit quality shots into the greens and had the opportunities I wanted and made them.”
Park, coming off the whirlwind of publicity sparked by her historic US Women’s Open triumph earlier this month, was pleased with her effort.
“It was an excellent round,” she said. “I had a really good start this morning, five-under through seven holes. I missed a couple opportunities on the back nine, but I’m pleased with the way I played today.
“I hit the ball great, I putted great. The greens look like they’re getting a little bit faster ... looking forward to playing the next few days with a little bit more speed on the greens.”
Park, who won the Kraft Nabisco in April and the LPGA Championship in June, joined US sporting legend Babe Zaharias as the only women to win the first three majors in a season with her US Open victory.
She’ll have a chance to become the first man or woman to win four major golf championships in a calendar year at the Women’s British Open at St. Andrews, August 1-4.
A victory this week would make her the first player to win four straight LPGA starts since Lorena Ochoa in 2008. She said putting together that kind of streak seemed impossible for her, back when she was watching golfers like Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam win week-in and week-out.
“I thought they were so good, that I would never be in that kind of position, never be able to win like four, five tournaments in a row,” Park said.
“I thought that was toughest thing to do and I’m getting really close to that. I’m not as good as them yet, but I’m still learning now, just starting.”
Profligate Arsenal punished by 10-man Atletico Madrid
- The Gunners played with an extra man for over 80 minutes
- Arsenal now need to become the first away team to score in 12 matches at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium next week
LONDON: Arsenal’s hopes of sending outgoing manager Arsene Wenger off with a trophy suffered a major blow as they could only draw 1-1 with 10-man Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Europa League semifinal on Thursday.
The Gunners played with an extra man for over 80 minutes at the Emirates Stadium, with Sime Vrsaljko’s early red card handing them the initiative.
However, they were made to rue a host of missed chances before and after Alexandre Lacazette headed them in front on the hour mark.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone was also sent to the stands shortly after Vrsaljko’s dismissal, but the Spaniards resisted manfully and pounced when their chance came as Antoine Griezmann prodded home a vital away goal eight minutes from time.
Arsenal now need to become the first away team to score in 12 matches at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium next week if Wenger’s last game in charge is to be the final in his homeland in Lyon on May 16.
Moreover, Arsenal’s hopes of Champions League football next season also hang on becoming the first side other than Real Madrid to eliminate Atletico from Europe for five seasons.
There was a far more highly-charged atmosphere for Wenger’s penultimate home game in charge than there had been for last weekend’s game against West Ham United.
And the hosts were given plenty of encouragement early on, even when still up against Atletico’s full complement.
Lacazette volleyed off the outside of the post and forced Jan Oblak into the first of a series of fine saves with a header from close range.
Vrsaljko had been booked within two minutes for bringing down Jack Wilshere.
"Absolutely criminal."— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 26, 2018
Arsenal dominate for 81 minutes, and then... Antoine Griezmann comes up with a huge away goal for Atleti.
A sucker-punch for Arsene Wenger :facepunch: pic.twitter.com/z24UgZE60j
And the Croatian left his side a man light after just 10 minutes when French referee Clement Turpin showed no leniency for another late challenge on Lacazette.
Moments later, Simeone was also dismissed by the officious referee for taking his protests too far when an Arsenal player wasn’t booked for what he thought was a similar foul.
Atletico’s excellent defensive record is what has carried them to five European semifinals in seven seasons under Simeone.
The visitors battened down the hatches with 10 men, but were reliant on Oblak to keep them in the tie.
Wilshere headed straight at Oblak when unmarked at the back post at the end of a flowing Arsenal move.
And the Slovenian then spread himself well with an outstretched leg to deny Danny Welbeck.
Having weathered the Gunners’ early storm, Atletico only began to threaten themselves late in the first half and David Ospina had to be alert to parry a fiercely struck Griezmann shot following a fine run from Thomas Partey.
Atletico retreated ever deeper toward their own goal after the break and were finally punished on the hour mark when Wilshere’s deep cross found Lacazette rising above Lucas Hernandez to head in his seventh goal in seven games.
However, the French international and Arsenal could have had more.
Laczette’s dangerous ball across goal found no takers before he headed another good opportunity wide.
And Arsenal paid heavily for their profligacy, and some comical defending, when Atletico grabbed a vital away goal on 82 minutes.
Griezmann outmuscled French international team-mate Laurent Koscielny and then benefited from a slip by Shkodran Mustafi after his initial effort had been saved by Ospina to prod his 27th goal of the season into the roof of the net.
There was still time for Oblak to show why Griezmann isn’t the only Atletico player wanted by Europe’s elite with a spectacular one-handed save to turn Aaron Ramsey’s header behind and keep Los Rojiblancos on course for another European final.