CONCOLINO’S COMFORTABLE AT KINGSMILL
Jacqui Concolino has never lead or co-lead at an LPGA tournament in any round of her eight years on Tour, until Friday at the Pure Silk Championship. After posting rounds of 66-67 for her best 36-hole score of the season, Concolino is tied atop the leaderboard with fellow American Jennifer Song and Englishwoman Bronte Law at -9 heading into the weekend, each looking for their first wins.
Concolino and Song played together in the first and second round, and Concolino said the comfortability factor between them was a big help in her making her fourth cut of the season and heading into the weekend on top.
“Jennifer [Song] and I are good friends,” Concolino said. “We fed off each other. She made a birdie I made a birdie; she was making birdies on top of me. It was really fun the last two days. When you have a good group, good friends, and you're playing well, it's definitely easy to feed off it.”
Fans in Williamsburg may be surprised to see such a large gallery following Concolino this week, after all she is from New York, lives in Florida and went to college at Vanderbilt. But back when she first played the Pure Silk Championship in 2012, Concolino befriended a group of people who own a restaurant down the road, The Sportsman’s Grill, who have now taken her in as part of their unofficial family and come out in full force to support her every year at this event.
“It's kind of a Happy Gilmore scene at times…It's been great. Probably about 20, 25 people come out tomorrow or so. Just really good energy and great friends…I definitely feed off it, especially when you're playing well. You know, you want to make more birdies and hear the roars and the, Go Concs or Jacquis. Definitely feed off it. I think everybody does.”
NO BOGEYS, NO PROBLEMS FOR NASA
It’s possible that no one likes the Kingsmill Resort River Course more than 20-year-old Nasa Hataoka. She likes the course so much so her last bogey came two years ago.
On Friday at the Pure Silk Championship, Hataoka hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation on her way to a bogey-free second-round 67 that featured an eagle on the 504-yard par-5 seventh where she reached the green in two.
Hataoka has now gone 95 rounds without a bogey at the Kingsmill Resort, and has played those 95 holes at 23-under par. That’s not including the playoff she competed in last year, where she made a birdie on the first extra hole to extend the playoff before falling to Ariya Jutanugarnwho birdied the second extra hole to win.
When asked after her round on Friday if she remembered her last bogey in Williamsburg, the young Japanese star giggled and said: “Yeah, two years ago.”
To be specific, her last bogey at the Kingsmill Resort came at the par-4 fourth hole in the second round in 2017, she ended up missing the cut (teed off on No. 10). She played three rounds in 2018 bogey-free before finishing as the runner-up, and on Thursday she carded yet another bogey-free round of 68.
Since the runner-up finish in 2018, Hataoka has added three LPGA wins to her resume, including one this season at the Kia Classic. Hataoka was home in Japan for the last few weeks, and even though she’s making her first start in over a month she’s felt comfortable on the course this week.
“It's been a while since last tournament I was playing because I was ill and then home, but I was able to just stay calm and be as is and not worry about things and just go ahead and play it.”
CIGANDA CREDITS CONFIDENCE TO TWO-WEEK BREAK
With her home across the Atlantic Ocean, Carlota Ciganda took advantage of the LPGA Tour break before the Pure Silk Championship by returning to Spain. She said a relaxing trip away from golf boosts her confidence, and it showed as she finished Friday at -8 with a bogey-free round that featured an eagle and four birdies.
“I feel rested. I feel ready to go again. I was quite tired after San Francisco,” said Ciganda, who finished T40 at the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship. “I went back to Spain for two weeks and just rested, stayed with my family, friends, eat some good food.”
Ciganda believes it is good to have balance in her life, and that it leads to being at peace on the course. “For me it's important to go home to just play other sports, stop playing golf for eight or nine days, and just, yeah, stay with family, friends,” said Ciganda. “Just have a little bit of a normal life. I don't think this is very normal what we do every day.”
Ciganda is one stroke behind the leaders going into the weekend. She has finished in the top-5 three times this year, with her highest finish T2 at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. Additionally, the 28-year-old has three top-20 performances including a T15 result at the HSBC Women’s World Championship. She also leads the Tour in eagles with nine after today.
“I’ve been playing good the whole year so I'm excited to play golf again,” said Ciganda. “I like the course. I been hitting lots of greens and putting good so far, really good speed, so I think yeah, everything is going well for me.”
Rolex Rankings No. 61 Jennifer Song (65-68—133)
- Song’s 36-hole score ties her career-best; her previous 135 was at the 2018 Indy Women in Tech Championship, where she finished T28 at -13
- She hit 10 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens
- This is Song’s ninth start of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she has two top-30 finishes this year, with her highest finish a T26 at the ANA Inspiration
- Song is in her ninth season on the LPGA Tour; her best result is T2 from the 2018 ANA Inspiration
- This is Song’s seventh start at the Pure Silk Championship, her best finish is T25 in 2012
- Song recorded 12 top-10 finishes, including two wins at USC
- In 2009, she won the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship and U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links, and was the low amateur at the U.S. Women's Open
Rolex Rankings No. 101 Jacqui Concolino (66-67–133)
- Concolino’s 36-hole score is her career second-best; her career-best is 132 at the 2016 JTBC Founder’s Cup, where she finished third at -20
- She hit 8 of 14 fairways and 12 of 18 greens, with 25 putts
- This is Concolino’s ninth start on the 2019 LPGA Tour season; her highest finish was T35 at the ANA Inspiration
- Concolino is in her eighth season on the LPGA Tour; her career-best result is T2 from the 2017 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia with -14
- This is Concolino’s eighth start at the Pure Silk Championship; her best finish is T20 in 2015
- In 2018, she had a career-best four top-10 finishes, including a career-best finish at a major championship with a T8 showing at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship
Rolex Rankings No. 41 Bronte Law (-9, 65-68—133)
- Law’s 36-hole 133 is a career-best mark; her previous best 36-hole score was 134 at the 2017 Manulife LPGA Classic where she finished T46
- Following the first round, Law held a share of the lead for the first time during any round in her LPGA career
- She hit 10 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens with 29 putts
- Law is in her third year on the LPGA Tour; her career-best finish was in her last start where she lost in a playoff at the 2019 LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship
- She is competing in her third Pure Silk Championship presented by Visit Williamsburg; her best finish is T36 in 2017
- This is Law’s 10th event of the 2019 season; she has four top-20 finishes including a runner-up finish at the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship
- In 2018, Law made 22 cuts in 25 events, with five top-10 finishes
- She represented Team England at the 2018 UL International Crown; the team finished T2 with 11 points
- Law played collegiately at UCLA, where she won the 2016 ANNIKA Award and was the 2016 Pac-12 Player of the Year
- She holds the UCLA record for most career wins with seven
Rolex Rankings No. 11 Carlota Ciganda (69-65—134)
- Ciganda’s 134 is her career-best 36-hole score at the Pure Silk Championship; her highest before was a 137 in 2017. Her 65 second-round score is her career-best at this event.
- She hit 11 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens, and went bogey-free with an eagle on No. 15
- This is Ciganda’s 10th start on the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she has three top-5 finishes with her highest result T2 at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup
- Ciganda is in her eighth season on the LPGA Tour and is a two-time champion, with wins at the 2016 LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship and CitiBanamex Lorena Ochoa Invitational presented by Aeromexico and Delta
- This is her fifth start at the Pure Silk Championship; her best finish is T5 at -9 from 2017.
- Ciganda is a three-time Team Europe Solheim Cup member (2013, 2015, 2017) and was a member of the Team Spain when they won the 2014 UL International Crown
Rolex Rankings No. 149 Madelene Sagstrom (-8, 68-66—134)
- Sagstrom’s second-round 66 is her lowest round of the 2019 season, and her second-lowest career round; she previously recorded two 65’s at the 2017 Meijer LPGA Classic and the 2017 ShopRite LPGA Classic
- She hit 11 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens with 29 putts
- This is Sagstrom’s ninth event of the 2019 season and her fifth made cut, she is searching for her first top-25 finish of the season
- Sagstrom is in her third year on the LPGA Tour; with a career-best T3 result at the 2017 Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship
- She is competing in her third Pure Silk Championship presented by Visit Williamsburg; her best finish is T7 in 2017
- In 2018, she represented Team Sweden at the 2018 UL International Crown
- Was selected as one of Annika Sorenstam's captain's picks for Team Europe at the 2017 Solheim Cup and posted a 1-2-0 record
- Was the 2016 Epson Tour Player of the Year and Gaelle Truet Rookie of the Year after she recorded three wins and 12 top-10 finishes
- 2015 SEC Player of the Year at LSU and a finalist for the ANNIKA Award