Final round news and notes

 Final round news and notes

By Jeff Babineau


Ewing continues her hot play

Ally Ewing was coming off a third-place tie at the U.S. Women’s Open a couple of weeks ago, and didn’t wait long to get back into contention again.


Ewing started Sunday at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give trailing Grace Kim by five shots. By the middle of the front nine, she parleyed a hot birdie run – four straight, and five of six starting at the third – into the tournament lead.


“I got the really hot start, which is what I needed,” Ewing said. “I played solid golf. And then on 16, that was a hole I was hoping to spin it close, but I caught a bad break.”


Ewing drove it into the fairway at the short par 4, but her ball finished into an indentation in the fairway – “more than a divot,’ she said. Ewing managed to gauge her second shot onto the green, but then three-putted for bogey. “Bad timing,” she said. She also bogeyed 17.


At 18, she had a long eagle putt to join a group heading to a playoff at 16 under. The ball caught a piece of the hole and lipped out.


“You take golf for what it is. I scared the hole on my eagle putt,” said Ewing, who shot 69 to finish alone in fourth. “At the end of the day, you want a putt at the last hole to try to win a golf tournament. So I take a lot of positives into next week.”


As for the bad break she received at 16, those breaks often tend to even themselves out. At the par-5 fourth hole, she hit a wild second shot that caught a tree and stayed in bounds.


“From there, I hit a great shot to 3 or 4 feet and got off on that birdie run,” she said. “I guess I should go thank that tree.”


A better Sunday for Grace Kim

Australia’s Grace Kim had a tough result in Los Angeles earlier this year. She built a four-shot lead at the midway point of the JM Eagle LA Championship presented by Plastpro and shot 76. Then, still tied for the lead with 18 holes to play, she struggled again, shooting 77. It was tough to watch, and she fell all the way to a tie for 25th.


This week she got herself into the lead once again, and vowed that she would handle the situation better. Kim, who won in only her fifth start as a rookie in 2023, made the playoff on Sunday at Blythefield, but eventually lost to Lilia Vu, the second-ranked player in the world.


Sunday, when she got off to a tough start – Kim led by five to start the day, and went bogey-bogey to start – she picked herself up and got back into the tournament.  


“I had to grind. I had to grind all the way through,” said Kim, who is only 23. “It didn’t go my way in the end ... It does suck (tying for second), but I’m sure it’s all for the better.


“I think I can see myself ... I guess I’ve grown a lot, which is nice to see.”


Nordqvist finds the right work/life balance

Anna Nordqvist has had an incredible LPGA career, winning nine times, including three major championships. At 36, she has figured out a work/life balance that works for her, though she says it continues to be a work in progress.


“Tour life is definitely hard,” Nordqvist said. “Can be very lonely. It's a mental grind. I mean, I'm on the road for seven weeks right now and I'm a homebody, so kind of missing home a lot.


“Yeah, like when things are going well it's just obviously a lot easier, but most of the time you're going to be grinding, and you need a good support system.”


Nordqvist, 36, entered Sunday in search of her first top 10 finish of the 2024 season. She has played OK of late (three top 20s since the start of April) but came into the Meijer having missed the cut in two of her last three starts.


Away from her days on tour, she manages to leave golf in her rearview mirror.


“The days are long, but watch a lot of Netflix, a lot of movies, a lot of TV shows,” she said. “With the time difference I'm able to catch up with a lot of my friends back home in Sweden and some of my other friends when I'm not.


“I love working out. Love playing pickleball. Shouldn't probably mention that, because I know there is a lot of injuries.Yeah, I love my time off tour and I try to embrace those weeks and just live a very simple and normal life those weeks.”


At Meijer, Nordqvist (73) tied for 12th.

June 16, 2024
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