SISTER DUOS #TEAMUP AND PLAY TOGETHER
Only three sets of sisters have both won on the LPGA Tour, and two of those pairs are playing together for the first two rounds of the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational.Jessica Korda and Nelly Korda shot a 2-under 68 on Wednesday alongside Ariya Jutanugarn and Moriya Jutanugarn, who finished at even-par 70. The camaraderie was evident between the sister duos.
“We are all good friends and like it just feels like we hang out and try to support each other as, you know, like in the same team,” said Moriya Jutanugarn. “And then watching them play, you know, like a lot of good golf out there is a lot of fun.”
“You can definitely see that we're all really comfortable with each other,” added Nelly Korda. “We all like kept to each other, but I think it was fun. I think they had fun and it was a cool group.”
The Korda sisters have combined for seven LPGA Tour victories (five for Jessica and two for Nelly), while the Jutanugarns have 11 wins between them (10 for Ariya and one for Moriya). Annika Sorenstam (72 wins) and Charlotta Sorenstam (one win) are the only other sisters with LPGA wins, while 10 total sets of sisters have played on Tour.
PETTERSEN RETURNS TO THE LPGA WITH MATTHEW ON HER TEAM
Today marked 12-time LPGA winner Suzann Pettersen’s return to the LPGA Tour, playing as a team with 2019 Solheim Cup Captain Catriona Matthew in the inaugural Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational. Pettersen is making her first LPGA start since giving birth to her son Herman Alexander in August 2018.
Pettersen’s last appearance was a T11 finish at the CME Group Tour Championship in November 2017, and she said after her round on Wednesday she was really happy to be back in competition.
“I actually enjoyed being out there today,” Pettersen said after the pair opened with a 73 in foursomes. “I think I was actually more nervous yesterday on the first tee in the pro-am than I was today. It's just really hard to get the rhythm, but for what I've been through the last 12 months, it was about the same rhythm that I've had recently. I just really enjoyed it.”
Pettersen, an eight-time member of the European Solheim Cup team, will serve as a Vice Captain for Matthew at the Solheim Cup in Gleneagles this September. Matthew said that Pettersen, who chipped in for birdie on 13, played extremely well for being away from the LPGA so long.
“Well, obviously great to come back, it's a great event to come back and play in for Suzann, and then playing with Anna [Nordqvist] and Carro [Hedwall], it was a nice comfortable pairing for us all,” Matthew said. “Suzann hit a lot of good shots. She's being a modest there, some really good shots. I told her it felt as though she's never been away.”
#TEAMPINK OFF TO STRONG START
Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer, aka Team Pink, came out strong during the first round of the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational and sit solo second at -4. After an eagle on No. 3, the pair recorded an additional three birdies to sit one back of Canadian leaders Brooke Henderson and Alena Sharp. Creamer said they felt that their bond and experience gave them an advantage on the course.
“We're best of friends, we played a lot of team events together, so it's nothing new for us to be able to come out here,” said Creamer. “We haven't played alternate shot for a little while, and when we have played it in the past, it's always match play and you never have to finish. Out here you actually have to shoot a score, which is a little bit different. But I definitely think we have kind of the upper hand with the experience.”
Creamer and Pressel have played in a combined 12 Solheim Cups between 2005 and 2017. They have been paired together five times with a 2-2-1 record, in four-ball and foursomes combined. Pressel said after grinding it out in Wednesday’s foursomes, the duo is focused on a new strategy for the second round of four-ball play.
“Tomorrow's back to your own ball, trying to make as many birdies as possible. Maybe slightly more aggressive than we would potentially play if it was if we were playing by ourselves individually,” said Pressel. “But for the most part, even when we go out individually, we're still trying to make birdies. Definitely very similar to individual play.”
PLAYER THOUGHTS ON THE TEAM FORMAT
“I's always nice to play for each other and not just for yourself. You play so much individual golf through your life, but every now and again it's nice to mix it up. To have a team event on the schedule, I'm sure everyone's quite happy about. It's not the easiest to come out for me and play foursomes straight off the bat, but I really am looking forward to tomorrow. We're both going to play our own ball and hopefully get even better rhythm.” – Suzann Pettersen
“This (foursomes) format is hard to find momentum like on the golf course and like sometime like you miss one shot and you want to hit another one, so for you to get 2 feet better.” – Moriya Jutanugarn
“I think this week I'm definitely looking forward to the best ball maybe a little bit more, but it was fun and a different experience I think for both of us. Just kind of you're thinking all the time you want to put your partner in a good position. Sometimes you've got to just put that out of your mind and play your own game.” – Brooke Henderson
Rolex Rankings No. 9 Brooke Henderson and No. 125 Alena Sharp (65)
- This is Henderson’s fifth season on the LPGA Tour; she has nine career victories, including two in 2019
- This is Henderson’s 17th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she has wins at the LOTTE Championship and the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, as well as five additional top-10 finishes
- Henderson’s win at the Meijer LPGA Classic was her ninth career victory, making her the winningest Canadian golfer in the history of the LPGA and PGA Tours
- This is Sharp’s 15th season on the LPGA Tour; her best finish is fourth at the 2016 CP Women’s Open
- This is Sharp’s 14th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she has top-10 finishes at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give
- Henderson and Sharp both represented Canada at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil; Henderson tied for seventh, while Sharp finished 30th
Rolex Rankings No. 157 Paula Creamer and No. 88 Morgan Pressel (66)
- This is Creamer’s 15th season on the LPGA Tour; she has 10 career victories, most recently at the 2014 HSBC Women’s World Championship
- This is Creamer’s 13th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is a tie for eighth at the ShopRite LPGA Classic for Acer
- This is Pressel’s 14th season on the LPGA Tour; he has two wins, most recently at the 2008 Kapalua LPGA Classic
- This is Pressel’s 15th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is a tie for third at the HUGEL-AIR PREMIA LA Open and she tied for sixth at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give
- Creamer and Pressel have played in a combined 12 Solheim Cups; they have been paired together five times with a 2-2-1 record