The year 2020 was as gracious to the golfers at the Champions Golf Club as it was to the rest of mankind. We’ve found that narcissism always plays a part in the USGA Tournament Set-up Committee. We’ve discovered there’s little to no chance of the fourth round ending on Sunday. All and all, December in Houston appears to be a bit easier than July in Houston, just the other end of the temperature continuum.
It was a tough day on Saturday for the world’s finest professional golfers. Only two golfers reached par on the day and the strong score will be far more powerful than the low score. In reality two holes (1 and 15) registered zero birdies on the day. It’s almost ironic that Chella Choi has a 180-yard 12th ace. It’s no comfort that there was also a glimpse of perfection on such a lousy day.
Below are the five noteworthy points to ponder from this Saturday’s 75th Women’s Open:
1. Ji Yeong Kim2 has set a round for the ages
It seems Ji Yeong Kim2 would have win the tournament but instead she managed just four birdies, zero bogies, and fourteen pars. To appreciate its meaning, remember that Kim began the day on the other side of the draw, the day on the back of the nine. There were 33 golfers in front of her at dawn. At sunset, there are just two. Kim2 is tied to Moriya Jutanugarn for 3rd place, Amy Olson for 2nd place and Hinako Shibuno for 3rd place. Hae Run Ryu was the only other golfer to aim below par on Saturday, and she accomplished only one stroke below the dais.
2. The Amateurs
Within the top 15, three amateurs got in, which is considered to be a remarkable achievement. Linn Grant is not one of them. Grant reached the final 36 holes for the second time in her young career with a shot to win. Grand fired herself out of competition for the second time in her young career, with a poor day-three performances. In total comparison, Kaitlyn Papp retained a semblance of composure, returning just three strokes to Old Lady Par. She remains in the tie for the fifth time, just four shots from the first. Sweden’s Maja pair “House of” Stark and Ingrid Lindblad are paired to +2 for 15th. They’re not going to win on Sunday, but one of them might say a low amateur, should Papp lose.
3. Hinako Shibuno barely held her lead
Hinako Shibuno sideline her three-game lead on Saturday. Currently, the Cypress Creek path brought much of it down. Shibuno made three bogies and one birdie on day three, advancing to four-deep, one shot ahead of North Dakota’s Amy Olson, the day one winner. After making 10 birdies in the first two days, Shibuno proved that she will hang on when the well runs dry. Another 74 might be enough to win tomorrow. It’s going to hold her under par for a week. Shibuno’s going to have to be smarter to claim a second major career title.
4. The golf course has turn and run again
It may not be Shinnecock Hills today but it could all turn around tomorrow. The sayers of the USGA expressed they have feeling that the weather would change the whole scenario. The bogey golf might have grabbed the viewer’s attention up in December? The USGA has the chance to highlight women’s golf at a time of year where it was an afterthought, and fell miserably. Let’s assume that the Olympic Club will deliver a manageable set-up in 2021, or at least a plan B. After all, Olympia has a track record of delivering an uncomfortable end to the case.
5. The forecast
For today, my unflagging admiration for Kang ends as she grappled hard for a 79. For now, there is no definite favourite to win on Sunday. Lydia Ko is here, seeking to reclaim her youthful superiority. How about Moriya Jutanugarn, who would love to come out of the long shadow of her sister? .Amy Olson, like one who’s been here before and gotten away, and would love to throw the memories away But I’m going to take Yealimi Noh for the victory. Noh performed well last week at the VOA, and she is going to have ample decent shots and putts left to hang on as the golfers around her crash.