ITURRIOS STARTS STRONG ONCE AGAIN
For a second straight week, Nuria Iturrios (Palma de Mallorca, Spain) is off to a strong start. She looks down on the rest of the 144-player field in Opelika, Ala. after a bogey-free, 8-under par 64 in the opening round of the Zimmer Biomet Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez.
After 18 holes at River Run Country Club last Wednesday in the Epson Classic, the 23-year-old Spaniard also held a one-stroke advantage going into the second round only at 6-under par. Iturrios ended the event tied for 27th. Even so, her confidence remains high and she is eager to put together a complete tournament.
“The thing is I’m playing good, hitting good shots and the putter was so good,” said Iturrios, who recorded 24 putts today. “I made almost everything and am happy to be here. I like the course and I’m in a good time. I’m playing hole-by-hole, shot-by-shot and my caddy is doing a really good job. Let’s keep going on that because I just want to play well and go to the LPGA.”
TARDY FINALLY FOCUSED SOLELY ON GOLF
A recent University of Georgia graduate, Bailey Tardy (Norcross, Georgia) recorded a career-best round this afternoon of bogey-free, 7-under par 65 to sit only one shot back following 18 holes on the Lake Course at Grand National on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
Tardy walked at UGA commencement on May 10 and throughout her final semester, juggled the start to her rookie season on the Epson Tour and taking classes in Athens. Now with only one thing on her mind, she is playing free and easy.
“I’ve been struggling a little bit on the golf course and to be able to not only play well, but do so at a big tournament, it means a lot,” Tardy said. “Now that I’m done with school I can focus on golf, go home and relax instead of trying to catch up on schoolwork, or take quizzes online. It’s nice to clear my head.”
SON SETS CAREER LOW MARK IN OPENING ROUND
The medalist at Stage I of the 2018 LPGA Qualifying Tournament, Yujeong Son (Busan, Republic of Korea) flashed the game that helped her earn Epson Tour status with a 5-under par 67 showing in round one.
Across seven starts, the 18-year-old has made only one cut at the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout. She is on the cusp of that and more after firing a career low in her rookie campaign on the Epson Tour.
“It was solid throughout the whole round,” said Son. “My drives were good, irons shots I got on the green and made a few putts. Everything was solid all around and that helped me shoot low today. I haven’t been playing really great so far this season. To have this 5-under and know I can shoot this low on a difficult course, it does boost my confidence a lot.”
Krystal Quihuis (-5, T3) on gathering herself and motivation from her playing partners:
"Honestly, I was really nervous in the beginning and couldn’t even hit shots from the fairway. Then I just started seeing everyone in my group look calm and relaxed, so I started feeding off that. Told myself to have no fear out there and do what I do best. Nuria was pushing me because every time I saw her, she kept getting birdie. I was just trying to keep up with her.”
Csicsi Rozsa (-5, T3) on how to stay composed even with the stakes as high as they are:
“It’s the beginning of a long week, so I was just going one shot at a time. When I holed my eagle putt, I started rolling everything and just tried to stay in the present. We have three more days in this heat and need to pace ourselves. This is the biggest tournament of the season, but we must stay within ourselves and treat it like just another week. Everyone is probably putting a little extra out there, so you have to put a little extra out there to keep up with the crowd.”
Elin Arvidsson (-4, 7th) on why the Lake Course at Grand Nationals sets up well for her game:
“I have been practicing really good for a long time and haven’t got the results that my practice should yield. This course fits me well because I can hit a lot of different clubs from the tee, don’t have to go with the driver all the time. Just keep going.”
- Iturrios, 23, is a native of Palma de Mallorca, Spain
- Member of the Ladies European Tour (LET) since 2016 with total of 36 starts
- Stepped into winner’s circle for the first time as a professional at the 2016 Lalla Meryem Cup
- Rookie on the Epson Tour in 2018 competed in 19 events and made 11 cuts with season-best T5 result at Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic
- Captured back-to-back LET tournament titles between late April and early May of 2019 at the Lalla Meryem Cup and Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic
- Played the weekend five times in six starts on the “Road to the LPGA” this year with a season-best performance of T14 at Florida’s Natural Charity Classic