MUNOZ INSPIRES LOCAL FAN WITH PERFORMANCE
Azahara Munoz shot a 1-under 70 in the second round at the HUGEL-JTBC LA Open, rounding out for a score of 3-under par. Munoz just recently discovered that her low energy and anxiety was due to an auto-immune disease called Hashimoto’s, where antibodies against the thyroid gland lead to chronic inflammation. Instead of making excuses, Munoz turns her condition into an opportunity to encourage other people with the same condition.
“I don’t want this as an excuse, but if I can help someone and that’s what I’ve been getting from people, like so many people have contacted me and saying, this really helps…I’ve actually been in touch with a few people saying what I’m doing. So if I can help one person, I’m actually happy that it came out.”
Munoz was contacted by via Instagram by a fan that was suffering from the same condition and received positive feedback from sharing her story.
Listen to latest "On The Tee" podcast where Munoz details her battle with Hashimoto's disease.
“Today I even had a lady following me that actually contacted me saying that she’s going through the same thing, so I’m really happy I talked about it, because if I can help anybody…and she was following me the whole round, so it was really nice of her.”
MO FLIES HIGH IN L.A., ON AND OFF THE COURSE
A few weeks ago, major champion Ariya Jutanugarn caddied for childhood friend Kiradech Aphibarnrat at The Masters Par-3 contest. Meanwhile, her older sister Moriya was ziplining here in L.A. next to Mountain High.
“Yeah, because she [Ariya] was in The Masters, so it’s good chance for me to do it. Yeah, [it was my] first time. I’m like, I think it’s pretty dangerous, but my mom [was] a little freaked out,” said the 23-year-old. “But it’s fun to me, so I just want to do something.”
Mo noted the Jutanugarn sisters spend a lot of time in L.A. and when they’re not playing on Tour.
“L.A. is so much fun. You know, be in L.A. before Phoenix and after ANA, so just spend time with friends and family here.”
NOTABLE QUOTES FROM THE SECOND ROUND IN LA
Moriya Jutanugarn, Thailand (68,66, -8), on what it’s like to be 8 strokes ahead of her sister:
“That’s sounds pretty good for me. I’m trying to beat her all the time. Yeah, I think she’s in a pretty good position for the weekend. Hopefully she plays better.”
Marina Alex, USA (67-68, -7), on her visit to L.A.:
“It’s tough, like eat really is the one thing I’ve wanted to do, but beyond that, I don’t really care that much about the sights. I’m more here for the food.”
So Yeon Ryu, Republic of Korea (71, 65, -6) on what it’ll take to win this weekend:
“But only thing I can say is I want to be the one holding the trophy, so I want to do my best to play really well the next two days, and then I really want to enjoy my game with a lot of Korean friends and all the fans out here.”
Inbee Park, Republic of Korea, (66, 71, -5), on what she’ll need to work on this weekend:
So, yeah, just I’m trying to be a little bit patient with the putter. Hopefully next two days -- greens not going to get any smoother, so I think I’m just going to have to be a little bit more patient.
Caroline Inglis, USA (68-71, -3), on her goals for the 2018 season:
“I keep telling everyone, I really want to make a hole-in-one and win a car. I know that’s stupid. But no, I mean, I already -- like one of my big goals in the beginning of the season was to make it to the ANA and make the cut, and I did that, so that was awesome.”
- Moriya Jutanugarn is looking for her first career victory - she has three runner-up finishes including one this season at the 2018 Honda LPGA Thailand.
- M. Jutanugarn has held the lead through 36 holes just once in her LPGA career - last year at The Evian Championship, where she finished in a tie for third.
- Marina Alex currently ranks third on Tour in driving accuracy (84.34%) - she has ranked the inside the top 22 in driving accuracy in the past five seasons and inside the top 10 the last three seasons.
- Alex recorded her best career finish and the first runner-up of her career at the 2018 Bank of Hope Founders Cup, finishing five shots behind champion Inbee Park.
- M. Jutanugarn is making her 156th career LPGA start this week, while Alex is making her 111th LPGA start.
- There have been two Rolex First-Time Winners so far in 2018 - Jin Young Ko (ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open) and Pernilla Lindberg (ANA Inspiration).
- Last year, So Yeon Ryu and Sung Hyun Park became the first players to share Rolex Player of the Year honors in the 51-year history of the award.
- Amy Yang withdrew from the HUGEL-JTBC LA Open on Friday with an arm injury.