Monday, February 19, 2018
Golf

Park up by 4 at U.S. Women's Open

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — Inbee Park was mad, even if it didn't show in her always placid demeanor.

She had made bogey, her third straight, on a hole she thought she should have birdied, and the world's top-ranked player was looking shaky.

Time for a clutch putt.

Park entered today one round from history, leading the U.S. Women's Open by four strokes. She shot 1-under 71 Saturday in harsh third-round conditions at Sebonack and was at 10-under 206.

Fellow South Korean I.K. Kim ( 73) remained second. Jodi Ewart Shadoff (74) was third at 3 under. She had to play 21 holes after the second round was suspended because of fog.

With the wind whipping, the course set up long and the pin placements tricky, Park was the only player to shoot under par in the third round.

No one has won the first three majors in a year in which there were at least four.

"I'm just going to try to do the same thing that I did for the last three days," Park said. "Yeah, it will be a big day. But it's just a round of golf, and I just try not to think about it so much."

She wasn't too disappointed by her bogeys on the 11th and 12th; those were tough holes. But on the par-5 13th, her chip on her third shot rolled into the bunker when it should have put her in position for a birdie putt.

She still led by three but appeared vulnerable, at least by her standards.

"That bogey was a bad bogey," Park said, "so after that I really got my concentration going."

On the par-4 14th, she thought her second shot would be pushed back by the wind, but it carried too far and settled on the ridge above the hole. She holed a 30-foot, downhill putt for birdie. "That was a big putt for me."

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (74) was 2 over. Tampa's Kristy McPherson (72) was 5 over, and Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse (82) was 14 over.

Michelle Wie raised eyebrows by withdrawing rather than showing up at 7 a.m. to complete her final hole of the second round. Wie cited illness, but she was 11 over and knew she had no chance to make the cut of 6 over.

"I know it's not going to be viewed well by the public," said Stacy Lewis, who is No. 2 in the world and is very friendly with Wie. "I know she's frustrated with her game, but it's the U.S. Open. I think you've got to get back out there and finish." Lewis shot 75 in the third round and was 6 over.

PGA: Bill Haas (68), Andres Romero (70), Roberto Castro (71) and James Driscoll (68) were tied for the lead in the AT&T National at Bethesda, Md., at 7-under 206. At the end of a day in which the third round followed completion of the rain-delayed second, they led Jason Kokrak (70) by one.

CHAMPIONS: Fred Couples shot 3-under 67 and had a two-stroke lead over Kenny Perry (63) at 15-under 195 after the third round of the Senior Players Championship in Pittsburgh. Couples completed a 62 in the morning in the rain-delayed second round of the tour major.

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