PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Rolex world No. 1 Inbee Park moved into position early Sunday to claim back-to-back major championships.
With a 36-hole Sunday finale required after heavy rains pushed Thursday’s start to Friday, players face a marathon finish. After their putts dropped at the 18th, Pressel and Park had about 25 minutes to eat lunch and get back on the first tee for the final round.
Park won the Kraft Nabisco in April. She is trying to become just the third player in nearly 40 years to win the first two majors of the women’s season. Annika Sorenstam did it in 2005 and Pat Bradley in ’86.
“I putted great today and got up and down from a lot of places,” Park said. “I didn’t hit it as good as the last two days, ball striking wise.”
Five shots behind Pressel at the turn in the third round, Park needed just six holes to catch her. Park made birdies at the 13th, 14th and 15th holes to draw even. She took the lead from Pressel with a birdie on the 17th.
Pressel dropped two shots on the back nine but made a spectacular save to avoid dropping a third shot at the 18th hole. After pulling her drive left behind a tree, Pressel had to punch back into the fairway. She hit a wedge to about 40 feet and ignited a roar around the 18th by jarring the putt to save par.
“I scrambled out there, but I scrambled well,” Pressel said. “I had a good string of three birdies, but I could certainly have made more. I just need to hit a few more drives in the fairway.”
Shin made back-to-back birdies at the 16th and 17th holes to briefly gain a share of the lead. A bogey at the 18th dropped her two back.