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The Social Scene with Neal Reid - October

October 30 2013, Neal Reid

Pettersen continues hot streak with successful title defense

If it wasn’t for Inbee Park’s dominance in the first half of the season, the LPGA’s Player of the Year race would be a foregone conclusion.

No one has been hotter in the second half of the season than Norway’s Suzann Pettersen, who won her fourth tournament of the year by successfully defending her title in Taiwan this past weekend. Pettersen has closed the gap on Park’s stranglehold on the No. 1 spot in the Rolex Women’s Golf World Rankings and has also made the POY race interesting.

Pettersen’s five-stroke victory at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship pulled her to within 38 points of Park’s POY lead, so the final three tournaments of the season could make things interesting. Here’s another photo of Michelle Wie and Anna Nordqvist helping Pettersen celebrate the win.

The Tour has a week off this week before finishing its Asian swing with the Mizuno Classic in Japan, where Stacy Lewis will try to defend her title. After that, it’s on to Lorena Ochoa’s event in Mexico and the season-ending CME Group Titleholders in Naples, Fla. All of the year-end hardware will be determined there, providing a compelling exclamation point to the 2013 season.

Players have posted some cool things on Twitter, from Morgan Pressel hanging out with actor Rob Lowe at a breast cancer charity event to Cristie Kerr checking out the New York Rangers’ first home hockey game of the season.

Kathleen Ekey gave a junior clinic to aspiring young golfers at the Ocean Club in the Bahamas on Saturday, while Becky Morgan was in my beautiful state of Colorado. Annika Sorenstam was showing her skiing skills on the water and dressed up with her family for Lake Nona’s Halloween party that was also attended by Karen Stupples and her son, Logan, and Natalie Gulbis found some interesting Halloween decorations at her gym in Las Vegas before playing a practice round with Jennie Lee.

 One of Lexi Thompson’s fans made her part of her Halloween decorations, and she signed a ton of autographs in Taiwan as well. Jessica Korda was doing some painting on her new house that has a nice pool on Sunday, Brittany Lincicome did some horseback riding, and Sandra Gal shared a picture or two from her weeks playing in Asia.

Gulbis shared this shot of her playing some sunset golf, Stupples proved she’s pretty good at carving pumpkins, and Beatriz Recari was in Bangkok on Sunday along with Azahara Munoz for the Lexus Cup. Sophie Gustafson did her best Forrest Gump impression while enjoying a sunset on a boat, Gerina Piller enjoyed a cool drink upon returning to the States and Kristy McPherson also got a fix on some American flavor once she returned from Asia.

Mina Harigae made me jealous by posting this shot of the atmosphere she’s enjoying in Phuket, Thailand, while So Yeon Ryu took a shuttle boat from the teeing ground to a green at the Lexus Cup in Thailand and shared this picture of her and some other players all dressed up for the event’s awards dinner. Stupples got an inside look at the Golf Channel’s nerve center for the “Morning Drive” program, Gulbis did some paddle boarding by the Lake Las Vegas golf course on Tuesday, and Wie was doing her best to fight off a tough case of jet lag.

It’s already been a big news week for the LPGA, with Commissioner Mike Whan granting 16-year-old Lydia Ko early membership for the 2014 season. This was likely Whan’s easiest decision of the week, as Ko is a two-time LPGA winner who’s ranked fifth in the world.

Here is LPGA.com’s coverage of the news, and this is a link to the transcript of Ko’s chat with media after the news went public.

On Tuesday, the LPGA announced a four-year contract extension for the Kingsmill Championship, one of the players’ favorite domestic events that I was lucky enough to work one year. This is a great thing for the Tour and its fans, and it’s further proof of the great job Whan and his staff have done in solidifying the association in recent years.

Here is the press release announcing the extension. Onward and upward!

Until next time….

 

Pettersen halfway to title defense in Taiwan

A year after taking the title at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship, Norway’s Suzann Pettersen is in prime position to successfully defend her victory.

The world’s second-ranked player holds a five-stroke advantage over Korea’s Sun Young Yoo and Spain’s Carlota Ciganda after two rounds in the 60s. Pettersen won the tournament with a 19-under total last year, but scoring conditions have been tough so far, with only five players under par heading into the third round.

Pettersen’s 4-under 68 led the way on Thursday, and she followed that with a 69 on Friday that included a hole-in-one which netted her a prize of $10,000. Only nine players finished the first 36 holes at even par or better, so it will be interesting to see what transpires the rest of the way.

The rest of the field will have a difficult time chasing down Pettersen, who has arguably been the Tour’s hottest player during the second half of the season. Here is a nice piece by GolfChannel.com’s Randall Mell on Pettersen being one of the LPGA’s “Big Three” along with Inbee Park and Stacy Lewis.

Here is some in-depth coverage of this week’s tournament, and this is a neat shot of Danielle Kang taking time to give some young golfers some pointers.

Back in the States, Natalie Gulbis got some new Adidas gear and fed her chocolate fix, Lizette Salas was sporting some new nails, and Nicole Castrale spent some time in the gym while rehabbing her hip that required surgery following the RICOH Women’s British Open. Angela Stanford attended the Ben Hogan Invitational at Shady Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, on Friday, while Morgan Pressel attended an event promoting breast cancer awareness and the Morgan Pressel Center for Cancer Genetics in Boca Raton, Fla., where actor Rob Lowe was a guest speaker and was of keen interest to the ladies in attendance.

Gulbis was excited to share this flyer promoting an event to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Southern Nevada that she has worked closely with this year, and she even has a billboard in Las Vegas promoting it as well. She made an appearance at the club on Friday, where she learned the kids had made birdies for each of Gulbis’ birdies on Tour so far this year.

Salas was the guest speaker at Sandburg Middle School, where she stressed the importance of education to the attentive group of kids. Stanford is the focus of a new Athena Warrior Diaries video for Athena Water, and it’s a pretty cool piece.

As the season winds down, it’s important to note that the Tour has enjoyed a substantial amount of growth in recent years. Behind Commissioner Mike Whan and his staff, the LPGA has added eight tournaments and 11 marketing partners in the last 24 months, according to LPGA Chief Communications Officer Kraig Kann.

In addition, the LPGA has more than 300 hours of television coverage this year, the most in the organization’s history. Those are impressive feats the Tour and its players and fans should be proud of, and I can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring.

Until next time….

 

Asian swing continues in Taiwan

Amy Yang is taking a week off to rest after her first career victory at the LPGA KEB·HanaBank Championship in Korea, but there will be plenty of stars teeing it up at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship.

Defending champion and world No. 2 Suzann Pettersen will be joined by 2011 champ Yani Tseng for the $2 million event, one of just four remaining tournaments on the LPGA’s 2013 schedule. It’s a great chance for players to make big moves on the LPGA money list and in the Rolex Women’s Golf World Rankings, so there should be plenty of incentive to play well this weekend.

Sunrise Golf & Country Club (photo) is the setting for this week’s shootout and with winning scores in the high double-digits under par the last two years, birdies should be available in abundance. Michelle Wie, who tied for third last week, hopes to find quite a few birdies this weekend, including here on the seventh hole.

Pettersen, Tseng and Wie helped kick off tournament week with a Taiwanese tradition on Monday by releasing special lanterns into the sky, and there was plenty of Taiwanese media there to chronicle the ceremony. Paula Creamer got decked out for a nice dinner in Taipei, where Wie and friends enjoyed themselves and Lexi Thompson sported some pink attire for her pro-am round on Wednesday before changing into a flattering dress for the gala dinner, which featured circus-like entertainment.

Players are driving in style this week in sweet Audis, and got to walk the red carpet at the pro-am gala dinner. Beatriz Recari and Danielle Kang found each other at the party, as did Wie and Tseng (photo) and Ai and Mika Miyazato (photo).

As always, “Twitter Theater” has been entertaining this week.

Sandra Gal shared some cool photos from her escapades in Seoul, Korea, last week, and Cristie Kerr was excited to see Wine Spectator give one of her Curvature wines a good review. Angela Stanford shared a photo of her and a new friend she made last weekend in Oxford, Miss., at the LSU-Ole Miss football game, while Brittany Lincicome survived a hailstorm in South Africa on Monday.

Natalie Gulbis spent her first day back in the States on a golf course before taking in this awesome sunset on the beach.

Congratulations are in order for Wie, who on Monday was named the Youth Olympic Games Ambassador for the 2014 YOG in Nanjing, China. The International Olympic Committee bestowed this honor upon Wie, who was a highly decorated amateur, and the distinction is one she will cherish.

“I feel so honored to be part of the Youth Olympic Games,” said Wie, a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour. “I’m hoping to teach young people to have fun with their game, to be competitive, to really want something and to realize the importance of having a dream. I think it’s really important to inspire young people to take up sports; it’s important to be active and be outdoors. I remember my childhood, playing different sports and rarely being indoors.”

Here’s a cool video of the announcement.

Wie is really coming into her own, both as a person and a professional, and it’s great to see the strides she’s made since I first saw her as an unsure teen trying to deal with sudden stardom years ago. There’s no doubt she’s happy, and you can tell that by how vibrant her life is, and I’m sure attending Stanford did wonders for her as well.

Until next time….

 

Breakthrough win for Yang in Korea

Tournament organizers and Korean golf fans at the LPGA KEB·HanaBank Championship couldn’t have asked for any better scenario this past weekend.

They were treated to four days of top-notch golf and got to see a pair of South Korean-born players square off in a sudden-death playoff for the championship. Amy Yang earned her first LPGA victory by defeating Hee Kyung Seo on the first extra hole to pocket $285,000 and finally earn her first win after a number of near-misses.

Yang, the runner-up at the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2011 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G, birdied the par-5 18th hole to take home the hardware after she and Seo finished with 9-under-par totals. Michelle Wie finished a stroke back in her family’s home land along with Korean Sei Young Kim and Norway’s Suzann Pettersen.

Sunday was an exciting day for the final group and others in contention, but it was Yang who prevailed in the end. She received a beautiful new Rolex watch in honor of becoming a Rolex First-Time Winner, which will help her make her tee times the rest of the year.

The tournament was a great chance for a number of South Korean-born LPGA players to enjoy some time at home, and the event got rave reviews for taking great care of players with perks like free nails. Sandra Gal followed her final-round 67 with some gym time, while Paula Creamer left feeling displeased after a rough week and Natalie Gulbis enjoyed one last helping of sashimi before leaving Korea.

Danielle Kang celebrated her 21st birthday on Sunday and had plenty of fun with friends – including Yang, who bought her a cake – and family over the weekend in honor of her special day. Wie loved spending time with her extended family and played great golf all week, while Lexi Thompson found a poster of herself in the Puma store in Seoul.

Earlier in the week, Thompson was styling for the pro-am dinner, where she ran into Solheim Cup teammate Lizette Salas, while Gal found an interesting likeness of herself and Wie ate live squid, helped Jessica Korda find some new specs and also had fun at the pro-am party. Creamer also had her own “Mini Me” at the soirée, Salas and her team won the pro-am, and Hee Young Park and Vicky Hurst were there as well.

Gulbis hit the practice range on Wednesday and shared this shot of a pink Lexus in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Thompson hit the gym after a practice round, and Korda (photo) and Creamer (photo) were happy to have fans cheering them on in Korea.

Here’s a cool article on ESPNW.com about the legendary Nancy Lopez being named the most influential female Hispanic athlete of all time, and I’m excited to hear that a book about her life will be coming out next year from publishing house Harper Collins. Speaking of legends, Annika Sorenstam posed with Annika Foundation Inspiration Award winner Vivian Hao at the Women’s Sports Foundation’s annual salute event.

It was a heck of a week, with a new winner emerging from the crowd. This week, players head to Taiwan for the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship before finishing their Asian swing with a trip to Japan.

It could be someone else’s turn to hoist an LPGA trophy for the first time, and it will be exciting to see what transpires.

Until next time….

 

Youth prevails in Malaysia

It’s no secret that Lexi Thompson can play golf.

That was evident when, as a 16-year-old amateur, she became the LPGA’s youngest tournament winner in history with her victory at the 2011 Navistar Classic. Sunday, she shot a final-round 69 to finish four strokes ahead of the previous week’s winner, Shanshan Feng, to take the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia and become a Rolex First-Time Winner as an 18-year-old and got to celebrate with her father, Scott.

Thompson was presented the trophy by Malaysian royalty, which had to be a pretty big thrill, and was doused with water instead of champagne since she is under age. She also jumped seven spots in the Rolex Women’s Golf World Rankings, moving from 21st to 14th as the result of her win.

Clearly, Thompson has the tools to win numerous tournaments, and the more times she’s able to put everything together for 72 holes, the more she’ll be hoisting trophies. It will be fun to watch her evolve and grow as a player the next few years.

Thompson couldn’t celebrate and enjoy flowers from her pro-am partner for very long, as she had to pack her bags and hit the road for Korea, where this week’s event will be contested. Here’s Thompson’s interview after Round 3, and this photo leaves no doubt in which tournament Paula Creamer was playing.

Beatriz Recari took a helicopter ride while in Malaysia, Natalie Gulbis was sporting some pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and she posted this cool shot of the clubhouse’s main entrance and the putting green. Danielle Kang and Gulbis were twins over the weekend, Michelle Wie tried out an all-blue outfit, and So Yeon Ryu and Hee Young Park were happy to be in their native Korea on Sunday.

LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship defending champion Suzann Pettersen was in Korea early and taking it easy on Sunday, and this bus had fun after attending a Korean barbecue (photo) hosted by Chella Choi. Wie found a plethora of Korean food that was to her liking and hung out with her father while he got new glasses and enjoyed shopping with her parents, and here’s an awesome picture of Wie teeing off at the 12th hole in Monday’s pro-am.

Meanwhile, back in the States, LPGA Chief Communications Officer Kraig Kann watched his Missouri Tigers defeat the Georgia Bulldogs between the hedges in Athens (I once rode with the Auburn cheerleaders in the official team caravan as my Auburn Tigers beat the Bulldogs back in my days at Auburn.) Much to his dismay, Golf World’s Ron Sirak ran into a roadblock at a closed Highland Golf Links in Cape Cod on Saturday.

Christina Kim got in a range session on Sunday with her mom, while Karin Sjodin snapped this shot of some cool clouds in Oklahoma. The Legends Tour held its annual Handa Cup, with the World Team taking home the victory behind the leadership of Captain Liselotte Neumann.

As fall sets in and I see the first snow flurries of the season from my office window here in Colorado Springs, I can’t help but think how quickly the year and LPGA Tour season have gone in 2013. It seems like we say it every year, and this year is no different.

It’s been a highly entertaining and exciting season so far, and with top-notch events in Asia anchoring October, the home stretch is off to a great start. Who will add their names to the winner’s list this weekend?

Until next time….


Humid, hot start to Malaysian event
 

With temperatures and humidity high at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia event in Kuala Lumpur, players remained “cool” on the course, pouring in birdies as sweat poured down their brows.

The first two rounds saw players card a 62 (Amy Yang), a 63 (Lexi Thompson) and a 64 (Ilhee Lee), and there were plenty of other red numbers on the board. Lee led Thompson by one after 36 holes with a 13-under total, with last week’s winner Shanshan Feng at 10-under. 

Birdies at every turn sets up nicely for an exciting weekend where the tournament is anyone’s to win. That was the case last week in China as Feng clipped Stacy Lewis by a nose at the very end, and this weekend could see more of the same.

Saturday is breast cancer awareness day at the course, so a number of players were sporting pink during play. I’m sure LPGA fans around the globe will see plenty of that color on display this month, and it’s a great thing for sure. 

It’s been a big week for birthdays, with Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam celebrating hers in Lake Tahoe on Wednesday, which prompted Golf Channel to post these photo galleries featuring Sorenstam. Michelle Wie turned 24 on Friday and celebrated with a group of friends in Malaysia, including Alison Walshe, who found an interesting use for all of the party hats. Wie finished the night standing on top of a chair at a TGI Fridays and received flowers from IMG, a nice cake from Nike Golf and more flowers from Omega while her hotel room received a nice makeover.

Thompson found a tasty snack on Wednesday, Mina Harigae and Lizette Salas made themselves at home in Danielle Kang’s hotel room, and Thompson made the cover of the Star newspaper. Here is some great footage of kids interviewing Beatriz Recari, Inbee Park and Lewis at this week’s tournament, and it’s great to see the budding reporters in action! 

In other news, amateur phenom Lydia Ko has officially petitioned Commissioner Mike Whan for early membership on the LPGA Tour and plans to turn pro for the season-ending CME Group Titleholders in November. Ko, who was named the top female amateur golfer for the third straight year on Wednesday, should be a shoo-in for membership.

The LPGA’s Kathy Lawrence presented the Plantation Golf & Country Club in Venice, Fla., a ceremonial gift in honor of the club hosting preliminary rounds of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament for 25 years. I spent a few weeks during my LPGA tenure there in Venice, and the staff was always welcoming and great, so congrats to the club for this milestone! 

Q-school is a grueling and brutal experience for some players, but also a magical and thrilling time for others who survive the gauntlet and earn their spots on Tour for the following year. It really is the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

Until next time….



A 3-wood for the ages

Anna Nordqvist’s hole-in-one at the Solheim Cup now has company in the running for “Shot of the Year.”

With one swing of a perfectly struck 3-wood, Shanshan Feng sent fans at Pine Valley Golf Club into a frenzy on Sunday. Feng, in her native China, laced her second shot short of the 18th green, saw it hit the flagstick and come to rest just three feet away from the hole.

That left her with an eagle putt on the par-5, which she sank to leapfrog Stacy Lewis and win the Reignwood LPGA Classic by a stroke. Feng began the hole one shot behind Lewis, but the magical 3-wood changed things in a hurry.

When Lewis’ 18-foot birdie putt stayed out of the cup, the $270,000 first-place check was Feng’s, much to the delight of her considerable gallery. It was a storybook ending to one heck of a week for the LPGA in China, just the second time the Tour has played in the massive country.

Feng and Lewis both played great, but there could only be one winner.

As usual, there has been considerable activity online by players, both over the weekend in China and earlier this week as they traveled to Malaysia for the next event and back home for a week of rest.

Michelle Wie found some candy, while Jessica Korda enjoyed some boba tea and Lizette Salas, Danielle Kang and Mina Harigae treated their skin to mud masks.

Sarah Kemp was in beautiful Sydney, Australia, Karen Stupples provided this nice view of the Atlantic Ocean, and Annika Sorenstam was in lovely Emerlad Bay. Korda got in a workout in on Monday, and Lexi Thompson has some new headgear to sport.

Beatriz Recari participated in a Q&A with TaylorMade Golf Malaysia, while Korda was enjoying a return to Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. Jennifer Johnson found a tasty treat at her hotel, courtesy of the tournament, the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, and Natalie Gulbis had fun posing for this photo on pro-am day.

Wie met with sponsor Omega and had fun with Suzann Pettersen at a Nike clinic for juniors, and Karrie Webb, Yani Tseng and Inbee Park did their best cooking a Malaysian meal. The pro-am party was a big hit, and players were looking good and had a blast mingling with sponsors and others at the dinner, which benefited breast cancer charities.

Players have also shared a number of photos of the beautiful course. The LPGA posted this one of the 18th hole, and here’s a nice shot of Thompson hitting a shot into the 15th green.

Sorenstam posted a number of cool photos on Tuesday, including this one of a view of San Francisco from above, one of Lake Tahoe and another of the Sierra Mountains.

Visiting Malaysia was a treat when I was lucky enough to do so roughly 10 years ago, and between staying at the magnificent Palace of the Golden Horses and seeing the Petronas Towers in downtown Kuala Lumpur, it was a heck of an experience. I hope the players have a great time the rest of the week, and enjoy their experience there.

Until next time….

 

Birdie barrage materializing in China

To say LPGA players are enjoying Pine Valley Golf Club in Beijing, China, would be an understatement.

Tour pros have been on a birdie binge at the inaugural Reignwood LPGA Classic, with Jessica Korda leading the way. Korda’s 64-68 start has her at 14-under, two strokes ahead of China’s Shanshan Feng – the unofficial host of the tournament – and reigning Rolex Player of the Year Stacy Lewis.

Not only have there been a plethora of red numbers, but 48 of the tournament’s 81 players are under par heading into the weekend’s final two rounds. Local golf fans should be happy about Feng’s performance, and there are four other Chinese players who are under par through 36 holes.

Korda’s opening-round 64 is one of three 7-under rounds posted by LPGA players so far (including one by Na Yeon Choi), and there’s no reason to think we won’t see more super-low numbers in the final two rounds. This sets up for one heck of a finish for golf fans.

Players have been thoroughly enjoying themselves in Asia this week, Tweeting a number of photos from their travels and adventures. It’s been a bit more difficult for players to practice being amateur photojournalists because of limited social media access this week, but they’ve been doing their best.

Here’s a daytime look at the building players are calling the “White House” on the Pine Valley Golf Club property, and here’s a beautiful picture Sandra Gal shared on Wednesday. Brittany Lincicome is in CME Group’s latest TV ad, which debuted Thursday during the President’s Cup telecast, and here it is.

Inbee Park, So Yeon Ryu and Feng enjoyed an authentic Chinese dinner on Thursday night, Michelle Wie found some T-Rex earrings she liked, and players like Lizette Salas and Danielle Kang (photo) and Korda and Morgan Pressel had to put on masks due to a smog delay.

Here’s a nice article about this week’s event that appeared in the Times Colonist, and here is a cool video about the LPGA’s experience in China so far. The LPGA posted this photo gallery of the tournament’s gala dinner, which looked like an amazing event.

Meanwhile, back in the States, Michelle McGann found a huge duck in Pittsburgh, Lincicome went fishing with her mother, brother and nephew and Lexi Thompson was sporting a new ‘do and shades (photo).

On a personal note, I was happy to learn that Auburn golf coach Kim Evans has been deemed cancer-free! Congrats Kim, and I hope you a speedy recovery. Here’s Beth Ann Baldry’s Golfweek article about Evans’ good news.

It is also with great pleasure that I report that this column has crossed 100,000 page views for 2013! Thank you to everyone who has been reading all year, and pass my links on to new fans if you don’t mind!

It’s been fun writing this column twice a week, and I appreciate the LPGA giving me the opportunity. The rest of the year should be interesting, especially with the impressive global swing and the season-ending CME Group Titleholders looming on the horizon next month.

Until next time….


The LPGA goes to China

For the second time in its more than 60-year history, an LPGA tournament will be contested in China.

The Reignwood LPGA Classic is all set for Pine Valley Golf Club in the capital city of Beijing, and players are thrilled to be in China this week. The tournament came about largely in part because of Shanshan Feng becoming the first Chinese golfer, male or female, to win a major championship when she claimed the Wegmans LPGA Championship last season.

Tour players will have the pleasure of competing on a Jack Nicklaus-designed course, and with only 81 players in the $1.8 million tournament’s field, they all have great chances for big pay days. They’re staying here, which is not a bad pile of bricks, as the saying goes, and are being pampered this week.

Naturally, players have done some sightseeing and are excited about being able to visit the burgeoning country. There has been plenty to see, and the LPGA made a special trip to the Great Wall (photo) for this photo shoot (photo). Christina Kim and Jane Park were there as well, as were Julieta Granada, Morgan Pressel and Anna Nordqvist (photo) and players did some martial arts poses, too.

Lexi Thompson got in some practice on Monday, Paula Creamer has a new spiffy yardage book holder, and there was a big press conference at the tournament on Tuesday. Sandra Gal and Nordqvist were looking good as they headed to the event’s gala dinner Tuesday night, Lizette Salas announced that Toyota is her new sponsor, and Michelle Wie, Pressel and Natalie Gulbis got to wear some expensive jade jewelry to a tournament-related fashion show.

Meanwhile, back in the U.S., 10 players from the Symetra Tour – including my fellow Auburn Tiger Cydney Clantonearned their cards for the 2014 LPGA Tour, so congrats should go out to them. Brittany Lincicome helped promote the season-ending CME Group Titleholders championship at a media day on Tuesday, and Nicole Hage was getting in the mood for Halloween.

Here are some highlights from “Twitter Theater” from the end of last week.

Swing guru David Leadbetter presented Suzann Pettersen with a special cake commemorating her major triumph at The Evian Championship, Angela Stanford took in a Texas Christian University football game, and Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam enjoyed some boating with her family. Salas’ blonde hair experiment is over, she kicked her feet up on her flight to China, and Azahara Munoz hit a tee shot from her knees as part of a golf clinic for kids for her sponsor LaCoste and also won the Ladies European Tour event in France that was sponsored by LaCoste.

Gulbis found some awesome Lexus sports cars made by her sponsor and shared this amazing photo of a California coastline, Dottie Pepper attended her 30-year high school reunion, and Wie was in China early for a practice round. On Saturday, Stacy Lewis had the thrill of being honored on the field at her alma-mater, Arkansas, for her RICOH Women’s British Open win during the Hogs’ game against Texas A&M.

We’ll see whose game is ready this weekend after a two-week layoff and who will get in position during the first two rounds to hoist the winner’s trophy on Sunday.

That’s all for now.

Until next time….



Neal Reid is a freelance writer based in Colorado Springs, Colo., who has written for USA Today, The Associated Press, ESPN.com, ESPNW.com, Newsday, the Colorado Springs Gazette, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Oakland Tribune, Marin (Calif.) Independent-Journal and numerous regional and national magazines. He was an LPGA media relations coordinator from 1998-2004 and served as PR Manager for this year's Solheim Cup. Follow him on Twitter @NealReid21

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