clearn.png
Tuesday September 22nd, 2020 8:37PM

Kang survives wild back nine to share lead at Inverness

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Danielle Kang returned from a 45-minute rain delay with two straight birdies. By the end of the round Saturday, she was happy to have a share of the lead in the LPGA Drive On Championship.

Kang followed her back-to-back birdies with three straight bogeys, another birdie and finally a 4-foot par on the final hole to salvage a 1-over 73 and tie Celine Boutier and Jodi Ewart Shadoff.

Inverness Club, already a tough test that will host the Solheim Cup next year, was even more of a challenge in wet weather and a little more wind. Only two players, including Sarah Schmelzel, broke 70.

Boutier and Ewart Shadoff played in the morning before the harshest of the weather. Boutier had four birdies over her last 10 holes to offset a few mistakes and shot 71. Ewart Shadoff, still searching for her first LPGA Tour victory, overcame a double bogey on the 15th hole with a birdie on the 18th. She shot 72.

They were at 5-under 139 in the LPGA Tour's first event since the Women's Australian Open on Feb. 16. Inverness is hosting the one-time event, with the LPGA staying in northeast Ohio next week before heading to Scotland.

For the leaders, it was all about the recovery.

“I think it was a little bit of lapse of concentration on 15,” Ewart Shadoff said of her double bogey. “I just told myself, 'Just try and get a birdie coming in. Even (par) is a pretty solid score out here today.”

No one was on a more wild ride than Kang, the No. 4 player in the world and a former Women's PGA champion.

After the delay, she birdied the 11th hole and then found herself in a bunker right of the 12th green with little green between her and the hole. She splashed it out perfectly, it checked up and curled into the cup for an unlikely birdie.

And then the bogeys followed. Kang said it didn't help that her group fell behind and they were being timed for most of the back nine as she tried to figure out how weather was affecting shots while keeping her grips dry.

“There was a lot of rushing for us,” she said. “We were on the clock for over 10 holes. I haven't played on the clock for a long time. The golf course conditions are completely different. Yesterday I hit a 7-iron from 180 yards. Today it was a 4- or 5-iron. That was the case for everybody.”

Even as she went from leading to trailing, she kept her cool after a third straight bogey, reminding herself she had three holes left.

“I knew I was getting hasty,” Kang said. “I started walking slower. I had to give myself a birdie opportunity. On 17, I had the exact same number I had on 15.”

She came up well short on the 15th by taking a little off, not knowing how far it would go. She went at it hard on the 17th to set up birdie, and he made the par putt on the final hole to get back into a share of the lead.

Boutier returned with some form, having won the Women's Texas Open in June at Old American, site of an LPGA Tour event later in the year. Boutier, from France, now lives in the Dallas area. Playing in whatever tournaments she could find kept her motivated to practice.

“When you don't have tournaments for three months, sometimes you don't even want to go to the course,” she said. “So the fact that I had a couple tournaments, I had something to look forward to and some kind of competition was nice.”

Schmelzel had a 69 to match Yui Kawamoto (71) at 3 under. Minjee Lee (73), Amy Olson (73), Sarah Burnham (72) and Lee-Anne Pace (74) were 2 under.

The cut was at 6-over 150, and Lydia Ko had to struggle to make it to Sunday in the 54-hole event. Ko opened with a 69 and shot an 80 on Saturday to make it with one shot to spare.

Nelly Korda, at No. 2 the highest-ranked player in the field, had a 74 and made it on the number. Lexi Thompson bogeyed her last hole for a 72 and was at 145, six shots off the lead in a tie for 20th.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Golf, AP Sports - Women's Golf
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Isaias weakens; may strengthen on path to virus-hit Florida
Isaias snapped trees and knocked out power as it blew through the Bahamas and churned toward Florida's heavily populated east coast
8:09PM ( 14 minutes ago )
NASA astronauts aim for Florida coast to end SpaceX flight
The first astronauts launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company have left the International Space Station for the final and most important part of their test flight: returning to Earth with a rare splashdown
8:01PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Kang survives wild back nine to share lead at Inverness
Danielle Kang is in a three-way tie for the lead going into the final round of the LPGA Tour's first tournament in five months
8:01PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Dumba kneels, NHL puts focus on Black Lives Matter movement
Minnesota's Matt Dumba became the first NHL player to kneel during the U.S. anthem when he did so before Oilers-Blackhawks in Edmonton
7:01PM ( 1 hour ago )
Todd shoots 1-under 69 for 54-hole lead at WGC in Memphis
Brendon Todd shot a 1-under 69 on Saturday at the FedEx St. Jude Invitational for a one-stroke lead through 54 holes at this World Golf Championship event
6:56PM ( 1 hour ago )
Manfred confident MLB can get through playoffs despite virus
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says he’s confident his sport can get through the regular season and postseason without being stopped by the coronavirus, though not every team might play all 60 games and winning percentage could be used to determine playoff teams
6:48PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
LPGA returns with Kang posting 66 at Inverness for the lead
The LPGA Tour is back in business and Danielle Kang played like she had never been away
7:04PM ( 1 day ago )
Brendon Todd takes 2-stroke lead with 65 at WGC in Memphis
Brendon Todd shot a 5-under 65 and grabbed a two-stroke lead through 36 holes of the FedEx St. Jude Invitational
3:09PM ( 1 day ago )
Koepka matches career best round for lead at WGC in Memphis
Defending champion Brooks Koepka matched his career best with an 8-under 62 to take a two-stroke lead over Rickie Fowler at the FedEx St. Jude Invitational
7:57PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Online Golf
Asia Today: South Korea to let fans watch sports live again
South Korea will allow baseball fans to return to the stands beginning Sunday as health authorities outline a phased process to bring back spectators in professional sports
4:45AM ( 1 week ago )
Michelle Wie West going to Solheim Cup as assistant captain
Golfer Michelle Wie West has another new job
10:14AM ( 1 week ago )
LPGA Tour to resume with plenty of testing, maybe some fans
The LPGA Tour is two weeks away from finally returning after nearly six months because of the pandemic
6:16PM ( 2 weeks ago )
AP Sports - Women's Golf
Isaias weakens; may strengthen on path to virus-hit Florida
Isaias snapped trees and knocked out power as it blew through the Bahamas and churned toward Florida's heavily populated east coast
8:09PM ( 14 minutes ago )
NASA astronauts aim for Florida coast to end SpaceX flight
The first astronauts launched by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company have left the International Space Station for the final and most important part of their test flight: returning to Earth with a rare splashdown
8:01PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Bosox LHP Rodríguez out for year, inflamed heart from COVID
Boston Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodríguez will miss the entire season because of heart inflammation caused by COVID-19
7:55PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Varlamov stops 27 shots, Isles beat Panthers 2-1 in Game 1
Semyon Varlamov stopped 27 shots and the New York Islanders opened their best-of-five playoff series with a 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday in the NHL’s return following a 4 1/2-month break
7:52PM ( 32 minutes ago )
SEC contenders must navigate 10 games versus league foes
The Southeastern Conference has long touted itself as the nation’s toughest football league from top to the bottom
7:25PM ( 58 minutes ago )