Australian Katherine Kirk picked a great time for the round of the week at her national open.
Her 7-under-par 65 Sunday matched winner Jin Young Ko’s opening round as the lowest round of the week at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, and it moved her into fourth place alone.
Kirk, from Brisbane, Australia, said she had a bunch of family out this week cheering her on and supporting her. It made her week that much more relaxing, as she was able to have some fun off the golf course in between rounds, putting her into a good mental state for each of the four rounds.
The 35-year-old was the lone Australian to win on the LPGA Tour a year ago, and she broke a personal winless drought of seven years in the process when she captured the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic in July.
Kirk said the key to her final-round success was a hot putter. She drained a near 30-foot birdie try on the par-3 15th and had earlier nailed a 63-footer on the par-4 8th, which her both bonuses, she said.
“I didn’t make anything the first three days, so I guess maybe I was due to make some today,” she said.
Kirk explained she didn’t feel like she had a chance to make a move on Sunday. She was nine shots back of the lead heading into the final round.
“If you’re maybe within six you have a chance, but I had four good birdies in a row on the front nine and made some great par saves, so it was just an all-round good day,” she said. “The girls were playing well at the top, so I don’t expect to have a chance, but just happy I finished well today.”
Kirk also shot 65 at this tournament in 2010 at Royal Sydney and, with a smile, said she must “like last rounds at the Australian Open.”
Fellow Australian Hannah Green finished alone in third, while Minjee Lee finished tied for fifth. Stephanie Na, who aced the par-3 3rd, finished tied for 19th to round out the top Australian finishers at their national open.