Wie Close Song Park Lead

By Associated PressMarch 27, 2004, 5:00 pm
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Grace Park posted a flawless 5-under 67 on Saturday to join Aree Song atop the leaderboard at 8-under-par 208 after the third round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Jung Yeon Lee, who held a share of the 36-hole lead, got to 10 under on her round but struggled down the stretch to finish alone in third place at 7-under-par 209 after a round of 71.
Amateur sensation Michelle Wie was one shot further back at 6-under-par 210 along with Karrie Webb.
Wie, who played in the final group of this event last year, has been impressive all week in her second appearance at this major championship.
'Last year I didn't really have a specific goal because I didn't know how well I could shoot,' said Wie. 'And this year I think I have a more specific goal. Like this time I am trying to win it or be in the top five, at least.'
The 14-year-old jumped out of the gate with birdies on her first two holes. At the par-4 10th, Wie dropped her approach inside 14 feet and drained the birdie putt en route to a bogey-free round of 69.
Park, who can lift herself unto the upper echelon of women's golf with a victory on Sunday, began the day three strokes off the lead at Mission Hills Country Club.
The Korean parred her first six holes before catching fire around the turn. Park ran off four consecutive birdies starting at the par-4 seventh and took hold of the outright lead as Lee's fine round was derailed on the back nine.
At the par-4 16th, Park played her approach to the back fringe within 17 feet of the cup and drained the birdie putt. The four-time LPGA winner then parred her two remaining holes to secure her share of the 54-hole lead.
'Today it was just really easy out there,' said Park. 'Obviously the condition was much easier than yesterday. My ball striking has been good all week and I just felt like this was the day to attack, get aggressive and move up the leaderboard.'
Song, who held the lead after the opening round, had fallen behind the leaders after a 73 on a windy Friday.
The 17-year-old LPGA rookie tallied back-to-back birdies from the second to move to 7 under but found trouble with a bogey at the par-4 sixth.
Song faltered again with a bogey at the 11th but managed to recover with a birdie at the very next hole.
She got back to minus-7 with a birdie at the 14th and drained a long birdie putt at the par-3 17th to match Park after a round of 69.
'My goal was to shoot 3 under. And I did that,' said Song, who would become the youngest player to win a major on the LPGA Tour should she come out on top on Sunday. 'I think I set myself up for a pretty nice day tomorrow. Exciting day, I've always dreamt about this and that's why I worked so hard to get to where I am.'
Lee was steady early on with three birdies on the front nine before a birdie at the 11th gave her a three-shot lead over the field.
The 25-year-old, who fired a 60 in the opening round of the Welch's/Fry's Championship earlier this year, game back to the field at the par-3 14th after her tee shot bounced in the water.
Lee walked away with a double-bogey and dropped another shot with a bogey at the 17th to finish one shot back.
Rosie Jones shot a 71 to join Wendy Doolan and Stacy Prammanasudh in a tie for sixth place at 5-under-par 211.
Dottie Pepper, who shared the second-round lead with Lee, struggled to a round of 74 to finish one shot further back at 4-under-par 212.
Annika Sorenstam's quest to win the single season grand slam seemingly failed to get off the ground. The Swede posted a 3-under 69 on Saturday to finish eight shots off the pace at even-par 216.
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - Kraft Nabisco Championship

  • Full Coverage - Kraft Nabisco Championship
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    Watch: Rory finds trouble, and more trouble, and more ...

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 4:33 pm

    Rory McIlroy was in a must-win situation against Brian Harman in order to have a chance to advance to the one-and-done portion of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

    And, as you can see, McIlroy did not get off to an ideal start on Friday.

    McIlroy lost the third, fifth and ninth holes at Austin Country Club. Harman led, 3 up, at the turn.

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    Watch: Stefani makes hole-in-one, has no clue

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 3:18 pm

    Shawn Stefani made a hole-in-one on the par-3 17th in the second round of the Corales Puntacana Resorts and Club Championship.

    However, he never saw it go in.

    Stefani knew he hit a great shot, and this isn't shown in the video below, but he just questioned everyone around him if they saw the ball go into the hole.

    A Golf Channel cameraman finally gave him the news and Stefani responded with an enthusiastic thumbs up.

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    Trio lead Kia Classic; Davies shoots 82

    By Associated PressMarch 23, 2018, 3:01 am

    CARLSBAD, Calif. - Laura Davies had a nightmare round days after contending for a title at age 54, and Caroline Hedwall, Jackie Stoelting and Hee Young Park topped the Kia Classic leaderboard.

    Davies shot a 10-over 82 on Thursday at rainy Aviara Golf Club - four days after tying for second behind Inbee Park in the Founders Cup, and five days after shooting a 9-under 63 in the Phoenix event.

    Fighting Achilles tendon and calf problems in her left leg, Davies opened double bogey-bogey-par-bogey. She bogeyed Nos. 9, 10 and 12, had another double on 15 and bogeyed 16. The 82 was the World Golf Hall of Famer's highest score on tour since also shooting 82 in the 2013 Marathon Classic. On Monday, she jumped 208 spots to No. 155 in the world.

    Hedwall, Stoelting and Park shot 66 in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week at Mission Hills. Ariya Jutanugarn, also coming off a second-place tie in Phoenix, was a stroke back with 2015 champion Cristie Kerr, In-Kyung Kim and Nicole Broch Larsen.

    Hedwall closed her bogey-free round with birdies on the par-5 eighth and par-4 ninth. The Swede played her final 10 holes in 6 under. Players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls in the fairways because of the damp conditions.

    ''I hit it really well and started making a couple putts in my back nine,'' Hedwall said. ''I'm really happy with how I'm playing and looking forward to the rest of the days.''

    Stoelting finished with a birdie on the par-4 18th. She had seven birdies and a bogey.

    ''I hit a lot of fairways,'' Stoelting said. ''I don't necessarily hit if far, but keeping it in the fairway is super key this week. The rough is much thicker this year than last year.''

    Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

    Hee Young Park birdied the final three holes, finishing on No. 9.

    ''The greens are really soft,'' Park said. ''So, easier on the second shot.''

    The 40-year-old Kerr had a bogey-free round.

    ''I like this golf course,'' Kerr said. ''I think it's a tough golf course and you can't fall asleep on any shot. I mean, it's just a really great course. The layout. The rough is high. You got to pay attention. I think that's maybe why I play a little better here than some other places.''

    Jutanugarn closed with a 5-under 31 on the front nine.

    ''It's rain today and a little bit windy, but my irons help me a lot,'' Jutanugarn said. ''Just start to make some putts. ... It's pretty tough for me. I always feel like the course here is really hard because the greens really bumpy, and you're not going to hit far here.''

    Lydia Ko and defending ANA champion So Yeon Ryu topped the group at 68.

    Ko also played her final nine in 31. She missed the cut last week in the Founders Cup in Phoenix.

    ''I holed some really good putts on my back nine,'' Ko said. ''I didn't hit the ball fantastic, but just being able to hole some good birdie putts was key.''

    She won the 2016 event at Aviara.

    ''This is a pretty tough golf course,'' Ko said. ''Putting is a huge key around this course where if you do miss a green, making those clutch par putts and then making those birdie opportunities that you get.''

    Jennifer Song and Jeong Eun Lee also shot 68. Brooke Henderson had a 69, and Lexi Thompson a 70.

    Inbee Park was at 71 with Singapore champion Michelle Wie and 2014 Kia winner Anna Nordqvist. Top-ranked Shanshan Feng had a 72, playing alongside Park. Defending champion Mirim Lee shot 74.

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    With old clubs returned, Kim (and new clubs) starts strong at Kia

    By Randall MellMarch 23, 2018, 1:53 am

    Almost two months after her golf clubs went missing, the same clubs she used to win last year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open, In-Kyung Kim was happily reunited with them this week.

    She fetched them and her golf bag two days ago at the Carlsbad, Calif., police department.

    A man bought them as a used set from a sporting goods store in the area, with Kim’s LPGA I.D. still in the golf bag.

    Notably, Kim celebrated with a return to the leaderboard Thursday in the first round of the Kia Classic.

    Kim opened with a 5-under-par 67, though she didn’t use her newly rediscovered clubs. She stayed with the replacement set that she put together after her clubs went missing. Her Women’s British Open clubs never showed up after she got off a plane in Southern California upon her return home from the season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic.

    “It was really difficult at first,” Kim said of getting used to her new set of clubs. “I really worked hard, like worked a lot, went to the factory like a dozen times.”

    Full-field scores from the Kia Classic

    Kim said she made several visits to the factory folks, trying to get the loft and lies of her new clubs just the way she wanted, close to the configuration that helped her win the Women’s British Open.

    “They were like, `I.K., are you ever happy?’” Kim said.

    Actually, only five of Kim’s “lost” clubs turned up with her golf bag at that sporting goods store. Still, Kim was happy to get three wedges, two hybrids and her golf bag back.

    “It’s kind of good to have a conclusion,” Kim said.

    Kim can thank a “What’s in the bag?” segment with Ladies European Tour TV analyst Alison Whitaker for leading to the retrieval of her clubs. Kim explained to Whitaker how her clubs went missing during the telecast of the HSBC Women’s World Championship three weeks ago.

    A golf fan in the San Diego area saw Golf Channel’s telecast of that segment.

    “One of his friends bought the tour bag,” Kim said. “The other friend knew about my story, and he was like, `No, dude, that's not for selling. It's stolen.’”

    Kim was delighted to meet the men who returned her clubs when she picked them up at the Carlsbad Police Department.

    “Just good for me,” Kim said.