AMY OLSON’S KEYS ARE REST AND PATIENCE FOR HOT 2019 START
HSBC Women’s World Championship first-timer Amy Olson looks to make a strong statement after a disappointing final-round 3-over-par 75 in Thailand. Through 36 holes at Sentosa Golf Club, Olson is alone at the top of the leaderboard after recording two consecutive under-par rounds (68—69) for an overall score of -7.
“Today I was hitting it really well, so I like to go for it on those kinds of days,” said Olson after her 3-under-par 69. “But I feel like I stayed within myself and kind of played smart golf. So that's really important.”
The 26-year-old, who three-putted for a double-bogey on the final hole of The Evian Championship last year to fall agonizingly short of a first LPGA Tour victory by a single stroke, knows a thing or two about patience and she remains calm heading into the weekend in Singapore.
“Yeah, I had a Top-10 my first tournament in Australia (this year) and I had two good, really solid rounds in Thailand. It's there. There's a lot of golf left, so just staying patient,” said Olson, who did not touch her clubs during the offseason. “[I] just put the clubs away for about six weeks. It's always good. I'm from North Dakota, so I'm used to putting the clubs during the off-season and just kind of getting mentally ready and getting some rest, and that always is kind of a good strategy for me.”
Olson will be joined by Inbee Park and Azahara Munoz in the final grouping for Round 3, set to tee off No. 1 at 10:23 a.m.
INBEE PARK'S REMARKABLE COMFORT FACTOR AT SENTOSA GOLF CLUB
There's nothing like enjoying a special comfort factor at a golf venue, and Inbee Park has certainly proved that so far this week at Sentosa Golf Club. Despite having not competed on the LPGA Tour since The Evian Championship in September last year, the seven-time major champion has produced good form over the past two days in challenging conditions, rounds of two-under 70 and 69 lifting her into a five-way tie for second at the tournament's halfway point.
"I feel always quite comfortable playing in Singapore, and it has been very successful for a few years," said Park, who won the HSBC Women’s World Championship in 2015 and again in 2017. "Yeah, I just love the atmosphere and I love the place, love the golf course. It really suits my eye. And, yeah, the windy conditions I really don't mind so far. Hopefully I keep that going for the next two days. You know, my putter is still a little bit rusty, so I'm trying to get the speed and the breaks right; the next couple of days, that will be really helpful."
A 19-time winner on the LPGA Tour, Park is widely regarded as one of the best ever putters in the women's game and yet even she has been fully tested by the firm and fast greens on the New Tanjong Course. "The greens are somewhat slippery this week, so you have to be careful on your speed," she said. "If you try to hit it too soft, you have to play too much break and it gets a little bit more complicated. It's a little bit grainy with the greens, so I don't know what is the good tip, because I think I need some help as well," she added with a smile.
JUTANUGARN RELIES ON PATIENT APPROACH TO CLIMB INTO CONTENTION
Patience has been the watchword for Rolex Rankings No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn during the first two rounds of the HSBC Women’s World Championship where tough pin positions and tricky breezes tested the entire field during Friday's second round. In pursuit of an 11th victory on the LPGA Tour, the long-hitting Thai has moved into a share of second place after shooting scores of four-under 68 and 71.
"It's so tough because especially when you keep playing and you're not make any birdie, you just really need to be patient," said Jutanugarn, who mixed four birdies with three bogeys on Friday to post a five-under total. "You know, you just have to understand on this course, you're not going to make many birdies. I feel like I miss all the putts. I just have to really work on that. You know, even my irons are not that good. I have to kind of like work on everything.”
The prospect of winning a tournament dubbed 'Asia's major' is a tantalizing one for Jutanugarn. "I have never won in Asia so if I can win here, it's going to be like my dream come true," she grinned.
- 23 players in the top 20 represent 10 different countries (USA, Spain, Republic of Korea, England, Thailand, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, France and Germany)
- 28 players in the 60-player field shot even- or under-par rounds in Round 2