Thursday, June 21, 2018

Park leads rain-delayed U.S. Women's Open

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — Inbee Park couldn't see her final tee shot past about 150 yards.

Nothing fazes the world's top-ranked player these days, though. Fog had rolled in off Great Peconic Bay, and the horn sounded with Park's group on the 18th fairway. The threesome finished their second round of the U.S. Women's Open on Friday, with Park calmly sinking a birdie putt from 12 feet to move closer to history.

She shot 4-under 68 for a 9-under 135 total to lead fellow South Korean I.K. Kim (69) by two strokes. Park is seeking to win the year's first three major championships; no one has accomplished that feat in a season with at least four majors.

Of the other players to complete the round, Lizette Salas (72) was third at 4 under. Jodi Ewart Shadoff, among the 41 who didn't finish, was 4 under with three holes to go.

Ha-Neul Kim, the first-round leader, shot 77 to fall to 1 under.

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome was at par through 16 holes. Tampa resident Kristy McPherson was 2 over through 12, and Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse was 4 over after finishing her round of 74.

Play was expected to resume at 7 this morning.

Players were surprised Thursday to arrive at Sebonack to find the tees moved up and the weather calm, an easy course by U.S. Women's Open standards. On Friday, the setup and conditions were more what they expected: The wind had picked up, and some pins were tucked into uncomfortable spots.

Then the mist settled in late in the afternoon session.

Of the 114 players who finished, only nine were under par for the round.

"With the wind and fog, it really made me think that's what the U.S. Open is all about," said Park, a five-time winner this year coming off consecutive victories.

PGA: Jordan Spieth, 19, extended his streak to 29 holes without a bogey, giving him 5-under 66 and a share of the lead with Roberto Castro (69) before storms halted the second round of the AT&T National at Bethesda, Md. They were at 7-under 135, with the round scheduled to be completed this morning.

Champions: A downpour caused play to be suspended for the day with 66 players still on the course for the second round of the Senior Players Championship in Pittsburgh. Fred Couples was atop the leader­board of the major at 11 under through 11 holes of his round. He was two shots ahead of first-round leader and Palm Harbor resident John Huston, who was through 15 holes. The round was to resume at 8 this morning.

PGA Europe: American Peter Uihlein and Robert Rock shared the lead after the second round of the Irish Open in Maynooth, and Rory McIlroy missed the cut in his final tournament before the British Open. Uihlein shot 4-under 68 to move to 9-under 135 with England's Rock (66). McIlroy shot 72 to remain at 2 over, missing the cut by two shots. "I am still confident in my ability to hit the golf ball and hit good shots, but then confidence comes from hitting good shots and seeing the ball go in the hole, and shooting good rounds and posting good results," McIlroy said. "I guess in that way the results are not great, but … I am definitely more positive now than this time (Thursday)."

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