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Anna Nordqvist and Amy Yang are the biggest names among the co-leaders of the LPGA KEB-HanaBank Championship, but their 6-birdie 67s were matched today by Katherine Hull-Kirk and the KLPGA’s Ju Young Park and Caroline Hedwall finished only 1 behind them despite taking a double on the par-4 6th.
Even worse for Nordqvist, looking for her 1st LPGA victory since her rookie season in 2009, and Yang, still searching for her 1st career LPGA win, is that Suzann Pettersen, Ji-Yai Shin, and Ha-Neul Kim are only 2 back (along with Michelle Wie, Carlota Ciganda, Brittany Lang, and Jenny Shin, they were the only other players to break 70 today), Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu are only 3 off the pace (despite a double and 3 bogeys by Ryu!), and a host of tough golfers are right in it at -1, including last week’s winner Lexi Thompson, 2-time champion here Na Yeon Choi, KLPGA Rookie of the Year race leader Hyo Joo Kim, Jessica Korda, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Hee Kyung Seo, and LPGA Rookie of the Year contender Ayako Uehara.
And it’s not like Paula Creamer, Azahara Munoz, Karine Icher, and Haeji Kang (E), Se Ri Pak, Cristie Kerr, Morgan Pressel, Chella Choi, Soo Jin Yang, Lizette Salas, and Caroline Masson (+1), or Ha Na Jang (who’s won the last 2 KLPGA events in a row), Moriya Jutanugarn, or Candie Kung (+2) are totally out of this thing just yet. It is only a 54-hole event, however, so they’ll really need to get it in gear tomorrow, as will Ya Ni Tseng (+3), Beatriz Recari, In-Kyung Kim, and Chie Arimura (+4), and Catriona Matthew and KLPGA ROY contender In Gee Chun (+5).
Even though my hotel gets Golf Channel, I won’t be able to watch any of today’s play unless they re-air it late night. Would have loved to see the reactions to Yang’s 5-hole birdie train and other such LPGA fireworks!