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Four tied at Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic after Park’s late collapse

By Murray Gleffe


HOBART—For 50 holes, Sung Hyun Park looked nearly invincible. Then, inexplicably she fell apart.

Standing in the middle of the fairway on the par-5 15th hole, Park was 23 under par and looking at breaking Sei Young Kim’s 54-hole LPGA record set in 2018.

Park’s second shot with a three wood went into the water. After a drop, she hit onto the green and three putted for double bogey.

The misfortune didn’t stop there.

After narrowly missing the penalty area with her drive on the 16th hole, Park was forced to pitch out and ended up bogeying to fall back into a four-way tie with Ariya Jutanugarn, Tiffany Joh and Shanshan Feng heading into tomorrow’s 18-hole finale.

“So, I’m not 100 percent satisfied with the third round today,” said Park (through translation). “I had a good start but not so good of a finish. The swings weren’t that good. The play on the green wasn’t good as well. I believe that the final round will be important, and I’ll try to focus and play a good round tomorrow.”

Joh and Feng, playing in the third to last group, fed off each other with 11 birdies and 2 eagles.

Tiffany Joh shares the lead at 20 under par after carding five birdies and an eagle in Round 3. Photo by Murray Gleffe

Both will be in the last pairing for Sunday’s final round.

“Man, it feels great,” said Joh about her position after 54 holes. “There is still a lot of golf left to play, especially on a course like this when you can really get on a roll. I’m not getting ahead of myself, but it’s nice to be in one of the last few groups.”

Meanwhile, Jutanugarn was only one under through her first 8 holes on Saturday before making a late charge on her back nine to grab a share of the lead.

“I would say its’s getting better, “ said Jutanugarn about her tee shots. “Just like today I feel I have a lot of chance to make birdie, but miss a lot of the short putts, too. I feel like everyone can shoot like 10-under tomorrow. Everybody here is the best.”

Teen sensation, 17-year old Yealimi Noh held her own playing with the World No. 1 Park for much of the day and after the last putt fell in fact matched Park’s three under score.

She will start the final round one stroke back and will try to accomplish something that a Monday qualifier (Brooke Henderson) hasn’t done since 2015 —win the tournament.

Just before the third round got under way, it was announced that Noh accepted a sponsor’s invitation to play in next week’s Marathon Classic held in Sylvania, OH.

“For tomorrow, I just want to think about my game and just shoot my score and see how it goes,” said Noh. “I don’t really want to think about if I can win it or not, because then I’ll not be able to focus.”

Elizabeth Szokol made the first ace of the tournament when she dunked her ball on the par-3 second hole.

“It was pretty awesome,” said Szokol on the hole-in-one. “It’s actually my first. Landed just past the pin and spun back. So great that $20,000 is donated for that.”

There have been 28 other eagles made on the par-5 holes through three days of competition.

2019 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic Leaderboard after 54 holes (Top 10)

1 Feng -20

1 Park -20

1 Joh -20

1 Jutanugarn -20

5 Noh -19

6 Mini Harigae -18

6 Amy Yang -18

8 Jing Yan -17

9 Hyo Joo Kim -16

9 Alison Lee -16

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