Saturday, October 17, 2015


Lydia Ko and Sung Hyun Park Share 54-Hole Lead at LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship

Moving day lived up to its name Saturday at the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship, where players were making moves both up and down the leaderboard all day long, with Lydia Ko and Sung Hyun Park ultimately ending the day tied at the top at 13-under par.
36-hole leader Lydia Ko led by one stroke at the start of the day and quickly extended her lead with four birdies in her first six holes. Ko looked to be in full command of the Tournament when she arrived on the back nine, but that’s when everything changed.
Struggling with her short game and chipping around the greens, Ko made back-to-back bogeys on the 11th and 12th holes, opening the door for Mirim Lee who moved into a share of the lead with Ko at 12-under par. But Ko bounced back with a birdie at the par 5, 13th to retake the outright lead, only to make double bogey at the par 4, 14th hole after being forced to take a drop from a hazard. Having led by as many as four, Ko now trailed Lee and Yoo-Ji Cho by one.
“I thought I hit the ball pretty well until the shot on 11, pushed it on 12. I think that the 11th hole was a turning point where I started not hitting the ball very well.
" On the front nine, I thought I put myself in good position,” Ko told the media after her round.
Ko again responded with birdies at the 15th and 17th holes to move back into a share of the lead with Sung Hyun Park after Lee and Cho made bogeys to fall back.
“I thought it was an okay ball-striking day. You know, it wasn't fantastic, but it was still playable. I think that when you do hit those missed shots, you kind of have to pray to get a good lie in the rough or get a little fortunate,” said Ko.
Ko has held or shared the 54-hole lead six times in her career and has gone on to win half those events. Should Ko win on Sunday, she would re-take the number one spot in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings from current World No.1 Inbee Park. A victory for Ko would also mark the 10th of her career on the LPGA Tour, which would make her the youngest winner in the history of the game to capture 10 victories.
“I think the winner tomorrow will probably be holing a lot of putts. I think putting is the most important thing,” said Ko. “You may miss the fairway, but to putt yourself in good position and hole out the birdie or a good par save, I think that's the crucial thing about being in that winner's circle.”

Tied for the lead with Ko, first round leader Sung Hyun Park posted the low round of the season with a 62 on Thursday. She followed that up with a second round 74, which she bounced back from on Saturday with a 5-under par, 67 to return to the top of the leaderboard. Park looks to make it back-to-back victories this week after winning last week on the KLPGA and capture her first win on the LPGA Tour.
“To be really honest, I don't think I ever really thought about winning, and so I wasn't really confident coming into this week. I was more worried and nervous, but I'm quite proud of myself. So I think that would explain how I feel,” said Park. “I think my chances of winning have gone up significantly higher today, and so it's actually a great honor for me to start in the leaders group tomorrow. And this is my first LPGA championship, so I'm actually very pleased and it's a great honor. But I'm sure as all of you all know, golf is a very unpredictable sport, so I think I still have to give my best every hole tomorrow.”

For the second straight day the start of play was delayed due to heavy fog in the area. Players teed off Saturday morning only to be removed from the course soon after due to fog. Play resumed 30 minutes later.