Caddie Change Working Well For Ryann O’Toole
Ryann O’Toole has a new caddie on the bag this season and it appears to be paying dividends following an opening-round 67 at the Honda LPGA Thailand.
“Mark and I, we met out at Scottsdale National, and right off the bat — like usually I would never take a country club caddie, but he’s played the mini tours and so he had a lot of background in golf,” O’Toole explained. “Him and I just read greens really well. We read greens very well. I think we read very similar, so that communication was key. Then I just love his drive and passion. Like we sat down yesterday and talked about what’s our game plan. I think, to be honest, it’s nice to have that team feel and kind of know that, Okay, he wants it just as much as I do.”
Inbee Park Is Back
In her first round back since capturing Gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Inbee Park shot an even par round of 72 to sit six shots back of the lead.
“I’m feeling really good,” Park said. “I don’t feel much of the injury anymore. I feel like I’m really free of injury. Ball-striking was really good today. Just around the greens wasn’t as sharp as I wanted. Obviously that’s just going to happen. Just got to be patient.”
Kerr Bringing New Mindset After Surgery
Cristie Kerr, who sits two-back of the lead after a four-under 68, enters this season with a new mindset following off-season knee surgery.
“I had knee surgery on November 29th and wasn’t ready to come back for the Bahamas,” Kerr explained. I feel good now. I’ve been working really hard on rehab and getting my leg strong again. I’ve been working with a trainer now for the last six weeks, which it’s been a few years since I’ve done that. I feel better. I feel very lucky to be playing golf for a living. I think having surgery kind of changed my perspective again for the better.”
Sei Young Kim Used Time Off To Visit Coach In Vietnam
Sei Young Kim used her time off following the LPGA’s season opener in the Bahamas to visit her coach Kyung Hoom Lee for a training session in Vietnam.
“We practice a little bit — we practice not much. Just talk a lot with the conversation and figure out how play steady and how play better than last years. We find out some answer, and I think works today. That’s what help me.”
The session appears to be paying off as Kim shot and opening round 67 to sit a shot back of the lead.
Thai Player Updates
Ariya Jutanugarn leads the way for the Thai contingency this week sitting in a tie for the lead at 6-under. Her sister, Moriya (-3) and Pornanong Phatlum (-1) are the only other Thai players under par.
Charity Auction Raises One Million Bhat
As part of the Honda LPGA Thailand’s charitable initiatives, the tournament hosted its Charity Auction on Wednesday night at the player’s party. Players including Ariya Jutanugarn, Lydia Ko, Lexi Thompson, Inbee Park and Ai Miyazato donated items to the event.
The total figure raised from the Charity Night is 1,000,000 THB (one million Thai Baht). Parts of this money will be donated to “The Chaipattana Foundation”, a non-governmental organization. All committee members have freedom to consider and initiate work activities. The King is the Honorary President of the Foundation which is public-spirited developers joining to contribute to national and social development.