Thursday, June 21, 2018

Inbee Park takes lead at Women's British Open

SOUTHPORT, England — One year later, Inbee Park is still chasing history at the Women's British Open.

Instead of trying to win an unprecedented fourth straight major, this year Park has a chance to become only the seventh woman to win four of the LPGA's majors. Instead of photographers capturing her every move at St. Andrews, the 26-year-old South Korean has gone about her work without fanfare at Royal Birkdale.

That changed Saturday with a remarkable start, and a late ruling that put Park in the lead.

On the tough opening stretch, she ran off three birdies that sent her to a 4-under 68. Then, Park went from a one-shot deficit to a one-shot lead when Ahn Sun-Ju was penalized two shots after her round for building a stance in the bunker on the 18th hole.

Ahn was summoned to the rules trailer, where officials determined she used her left foot to build her stance in a pot bunker left of the 18th green. Ahn was assessed two shots and her 69 became 71. She went from a one-shot lead in the final group to a stroke back at 3-under 213.

"It's disappointing, but it's my mistake and I have to follow the rules of the game," Ahn said through an interpreter.

Park is at 4-under 212 going into today's final round, though 12 players were within three shots of the lead. Park holds a one-shot lead over Suzann Pettersen (68), Shanshan Feng (69) and Ahn.

"Yeah, I start to feel a little bit of pressure from now and (today)," Park said. "But I'd rather be having the pressure than not being in contention."

U.S. SENIOR OPEN: Gene Sauers shot 3-under 68 to take a three-stroke lead in the third round at Edmond, Okla. Sauers had a 33 on the back nine to take control at Oak Tree National heading into the today's final round. He is at 7-under 206 overall. Bernhard Langer (71) and Scott Dunlap (72) are tied for second at 4-under 209. Colin Montgomerie, who led on Friday, shot 74 to fall four back. The journey to today's final round is extra special for the 51-year-old Sauers. He said a reaction to a wrongly prescribed medication caused Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a disorder that burned the skin on his arms and legs from the inside out. He got out of the hospital in June 2011 after seven weeks and returned to the course. "The good Lord said I'm going to give you another chance," Sauers said. "Bogey doesn't matter that much anymore. That's when I learned to have a great time and tried to hit everything I was capable of doing, and it worked out (Saturday)."

EUROPEAN PGA: Justin Rose set up a chance to capture back-to-back titles by shooting 5-under 66 at the Scottish Open in Royal Aberdeen to move into a share of the lead with Marc Warren after three rounds. Rose and Warren (67) are at 10-under 203, with Kristoffer Broberg (68) at 204. Phil Mickelson's chances of retaining his Scottish Open title looked doubtful after he bogeyed No. 18 for the third straight round. That completed 1-under 70 round that left him at 211. "I need a really low round (today)," Mickelson said. "It's got to be 8 or 9 under par but I think it's out there and I'll be off early enough to make some noise.

PGA: Brian Harman had two eagles in a 6-under 65 that gave him a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill. Harman is at 17-under 196, while three-time winner Steve Stricker (64) is a stroke back. Zach Johnson, who won the event in 2012, is three back at 14-under 199. Scott Brown matched his lowest PGA round this season with 10-under 61 that raised him to third overall (198). Scott flirted with a 59, but had birdie on the par-5 17th, and parred the par-4 18th.

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