Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic
Paradise Island, Bahamas
January 25, 2017
Hyo Joo Kim will look to defend her title at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic.
“It’s great to be back,” Kim said through a translator. “But there’s a lot of wind these past few days and so I came initially very happy to be coming to the Bahamas and now I’m a little bit more anxious given the weather and the strong winds.”
The victory was the third of her young career on the LPGA Tour.
“My win on the LPGA Tour at the 2014 Evian Championship came much earlier than expected, so you’re right, I joined the LPGA a little bit earlier than I prepared for. I’m very, very slowly walking up a very steep hill.”
Despite wins in each of the last three seasons, Kim has set her sights on consistency for the 2017 season.
“My main goal is that from the start of the season to the finish of the season, I hope I’m able to demonstrate an upward trend in my performance,” Kim explained. “Even more than any specific win, it is that continuing development in my game that I would like to see this season.”
Kim spent her offseason back home in South Korea where she was able to take part in an activity that she had always wanted to do - ice skating with her friends in Seoul.
“So I’ve always wanted to ice skate but was a little bit afraid because it looks very difficult,” Kim said. “Ultimately my friend said, “Let’s ice skate,” and so I did.”
ariya jutanugarn ready for 2017
Rolex Rankings No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn is looking forward to starting her 2017 season after a busy off season in her native Thailand.
“Actually when I went back I had to do the stuff for sponsor like two weeks, so I do all two weeks and then after that get rest,” Jutanugarn explained.
While there were many sponsor obligations for the five-time winner she was able to escape down for some vacation time with her sister.
“Oh, we went to the beach, south in Thailand and we play jet ski. We do a lot of fun.”
Jutanugarn is just getting back into playing golf as she arrived in the states after the New Year.
“Right now to me, especially this week, no expectation at all,” Jutanugarn said of her approach this week. “I just going to play, try to do the things under my control. And, you know, like this year is 2017 is not going to be like 2016. We’re just going to try to do something fun and don’t worry about the outcome.”
brooke henderson looking to build on solid 2016 season
After leading the LPGA in events played last season with 31 Brooke Henderson was ready for a break.
“Yeah, actually I didn’t intend on putting the clubs away for as long as I did, but I think a break is good considering how busy it was last year and I just really enjoyed the rest and relaxation,” Henderson said with a smile. “So right after seeing me we spent a few weeks in Florida and just kind of vacationed a little bit in the sun,” Henderson said. “And then we went back home for a month where it was snowy and cold, we built snowmen, went to tons of hockey games, and just enjoyed seeing friends and family at home. The last few weeks we went back down to Florida to practice and train and get ready for the season where, you know, practicing just a few little things that I wanted to be a little bit better at this year.”
The break did Henderson good as she enters 2017 motivated to build on an impressive 2016 season where she won twice including her first major at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
“You know, I’d love to get a few more wins and move my world ranking up a little bit. Being number two last year, you know, and then slipping back to eight kind of it’s a good feeling to be number two so I’m trying to get back there and repeat that.”
The process of trying to climb back up the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings begins tomorrow for Henderson at the Ocean Club.
“You know, this course looks a lot different than it has,” Henderson admitted. “I actually played two years ago too. I won the money qualifier, but it looks a lot different and looks a lot more scoreable. I think I was a little bit intimidated by it. But it looks like if the wind stays down a lot of birdies can be made and a low score. So hopefully everything goes my way this week and I get a Top 10 or finish high.”
NUMBERS TO KNOW
125 - 30 players who would represent their countries in Rio at the 2016 Summer Olympics are in the field this week
14 - Not a single winner this year on the LPGA Tour has been over the age of 23
22 - Through the first 13 events of the 2016 LPGA season the average age of winners is 20.925 - Lexi Thompson is one of only five players on the LPGA or PGA Tour to have won an event in each of the last four seasons. Dustin Johnson (9 straight), Jimmy Walker (4 straight), Patrick Reed (4 straight) and Lydia Ko (5 straight) are the other four