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.”
Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard beat Tunisia and power Belgium to brink of World Cup last 16
- Romelu Lukaku drew level with Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of the World Cup goalscoring charts on Saturday
- Belgium captain Eden Hazard scored in either half, including an early penalty at the Spartak Stadium
MOSCOW: Romelu Lukaku drew level with Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of the World Cup goalscoring charts on Saturday, scoring twice as Belgium moved to the brink of the last 16 after a 5-2 romp against Tunisia.
The victory leaves the Red Devils top of Group G with two wins ahead of their clash on Thursday against England, who play Panama on Sunday.
After also scoring twice in the opening 3-0 win against Panama, Manchester United’s Lukaku showed clinical finishing with two first-half goals in Moscow, matching Ronaldo’s tally in Russia.
Not to be outdone, Belgium captain Eden Hazard scored in either half, including an early penalty at the Spartak Stadium, before substitute Michy Batshuayi added their fifth.
Tunisia’s consolation goals came from defender Dylan Bronn and captain Wahbi Khazri.
The Belgians were criticized by coach Roberto Martinez for starting slowly against Panama in their first group match but flew out of the blocks in Moscow.
Hazard — having been on the receiving end of some bruising tackles in Belgium’s opener — was sent tumbling after just five minutes but converted the penalty to open his Russian account.
Midfielder Ferjani Sassi picked up an early booking for complaining when Tunisia’s appeals for a penalty fell on deaf ears, just before Belgium added their second goal.
Ali Maaloul’s weak pass on the halfway line was collected by Dries Mertens, who sprinted away and put Lukaku clear.
The striker coolly hit his shot inside the far post, just past the outstretched glove of Tunisia keeper Farouk Ben Mustapha, in the 16th minute.
Tunisia responded two minutes later, Bronn leaping highest to head home a free-kick from his skipper Khazri on 18 minutes, only to be later carried off after landing awkwardly following a collision.
With half-time approaching, the Belgians grabbed their third goal.
After earlier squandering two clear chances created by Kevin De Bruyne, Lukaku converted his third opportunity just before the half-time whistle.
Thomas Meunier put him in behind the defense and Lukaku tucked his shot away, celebrating with De Bruyne, who started the move.
The Manchester City midfield maestro turned provider again after the break for Hazard.
The Chelsea star sprinted onto De Bruyne’s lofted pass, held off two defenders, rounded keeper Ben Mustapha and tapped home Belgium’s fourth goal in the 51st minute.
With one eye on the England game, Martinez took off Lukaku, then Hazard as the half wore on and for the final 22 minutes brought on Batshuayi, who could have scored five.
The Borussia Dortmund forward had a chance cleared off the line, was twice denied by Ben Mustapha’s saves and hit the crossbar, finally converting a cross for Belgium’s fifth goal.
Tunisia captain Khazri grabbed their second goal just before the final whistle of their second defeat in Russia.