CHARLEY HULL REIGNITES TITLE HOPES WITH BIRDIE FLURRY AFTER THE TURN
Local favorite Charley Hull reignited her AIG Women's British Open title bid with a stunning run of four birdies in five holes after the turn, a brilliant recovery after she had bogeyed two of the first eight because of one bad shot and one loose one. Her homeward nine of 4-under 32 left her at -9 overall, five strokes off the pace heading into Sunday's final round.
"I didn't really feel like I played that badly on the front nine," Hull said after shooting a 2-under 70 in the third round. "Probably hit one bad shot on the par 3, the eighth, where I fatted my tee shot, but apart from that I feel like I played pretty well. On the second hole (the par-five 2nd), I hit a good drive and not a bad second shot but had a 5-iron in, plugged into the bank and didn't manage to get up and down."
Asked how she had managed to turn things around after the turn, Hull replied: "I hit some good putts on the front nine and wasn't really holing anything and I said, 'Gosh, I could be a couple under on the front nine, so if I hit it as good as I hit it on the front nine and make a couple putts, I'll do well.'"
Hull, a member at Woburn since age 11 who has been playing in front of several of her friends and family this week, plans to enjoy herself as much as possible in the final round as she seeks a second career win on the LPGA Tour. "Just going to go out there and have fun. Treat it like another day at the office and pretend I'm out there with my friends playing golf. I'm hitting it well. I'm putting well and I've just got to be confident tomorrow."
WITH A WIN
Hinako Shibuno would be the second player this decade to win in her first major appearance, joining Hyo Joo Kim (2014 Evian Championship)
Shibuno would become the second Japanese player to win a major championship, joining Chako Higuchi, who won the 1977 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship; no male Japanese player has won a major championship
Shibuno would become the 26th player to win an LPGA event as a non-Member; she would be able to accept immediate LPGA Tour Membership (making 2019 her rookie season) or defer Membership to the 2020 season
Ashleigh Buhai would become the second South African player to win a women’s major championship, joining Sally Little, who won the 1980 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and the 1988 du Maurier Classic; seven male South African players have won major championships
Buhai would become the season’s fifth Rolex First-Time Winner and the third player of 2019 to win a major as her first LPGA win, joining Jeongeun Lee6 (U.S. Women’s Open) and Hannah Green(KPMG Women’s PGA Championship)
Sung Hyun Park would earn the eighth win of her LPGA Tour career and become the second three-time winner of the 2019 season, joining Jin Young Ko
Park would earn her third major title, joining the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship; she now needs wins at the ANA Inspiration or Evian Championship to complete the Career Grand Slam and victories at both to complete the Super Career Grand Slam (only seven players have completed the Career Grand Slam and only Karrie Webb has completed the Super Career Grand Slam)
Jin Young Ko would join Pat Bradley, Ben Hogan, Inbee Park, Tiger Woods, Mickey Wright and Babe Zaharias as the only players to win three professional majors in a single season
MORE THAN A WIN ON THE LINE FOR MORGAN PRESSEL
It’s been 262 LPGA tournaments since Morgan Pressel has visited the winner’s circle, last tasting victory at the 2008 Kapalua LPGA Classic. Sunday at the AIG Women’s British Open could change that stat. After a third-round 6-under 66, including a closing run of three straight birdies, Pressel is tied for fourth at -10, just four strokes off the lead.
“The confidence that I have in my golf swing right now allows me to play that way,” said Pressel when asked about her aggressive play on Saturday. “The greens aren't super-firm so you can take dead aim on some shots, and my distance control, especially on the back nine with the irons was really stellar.”
This week’s performance is also just as much about next month’s Solheim Cup as it is about her play at Woburn. Pressel is a veteran of five USA squads, but missed the team in 2017 for the first time since she turned professional. Her season has been a see-saw affair of good performances and missed cuts, but a good finish this week could put her in the conversation for one of Juli Inkster’s captain’s picks, especially to balance out what will be a rookie-heavy crew for the Americans.
“It would be amazing. I've been fortunate enough to be on five teams. I missed it last time and that was difficult,” said Pressel. “I really am happy that I'm playing well, playing much better this year, even for myself, and obviously to have the opportunity to wear red, white and blue would be great. Maybe giving Juli something to think about.”
Rolex Rankings No. 46 Hinako Shibuno (66-69-67)
- Shibuno is playing in her first AIG Women’s British Open and first-ever LPGA Tour event
- She is a 20-year-old rookie on the JLPGA; she has two victories on that tour in 2019, including a major win at the World Ladies Championship Salonpas Cup
- Shibuno is trying to become the second Japanese player to win a women’s major championship, joining Chako Higuchi, who won the 1977 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship
Rolex Rankings No. 123 Ashleigh Buhai (65-67-72)
- Buhai has held LPGA Tour Membership since 2008; her best finish is second at the 2017 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic
- This is Buhai’s 18th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is a tie for 11th at the Pure Silk Championship presented by Visit Williamsburg
- She is competing in her 12th AIG Women’s British Open; her best finish is a tie for 30th in 2017 at Kingsbarns, while she tied for 47th at the 2016 championship held at Woburn
- She spent 2010 to 2013 on the Ladies European Tour, where she has three career victories
- Buhai represented South Africa at the 2016 Summer Olympics, where she finished 50th
Rolex Rankings No. 2 Sung Hyun Park (67-70-68)
- Her 205 is her lowest 54-hole score at the AIG Women’s British Open; she previously shot 206 in 2018 at Royal Lytham and St. Annes
- Park is in her third season on the LPGA Tour; she has seven career victories, including two major victories at the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship
- This is Park’s 14th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she won the 2019 HSBC Women’s World Championship and 2019 Walmart NW Arkansas presented by P&G and has four other top-10 finishes
- She is competing in her fourth AIG Women’s British Open; her best finish is a tie for 15th in 2018 at Royal Lytham and St. Annes, while she tied for 50th at the 2016 championship held at Woburn
TV TIMES (all times Eastern)
Aug. 4 – 7-11:30 a.m. (Golf Channel), 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. (NBC)