PARK IMPRESSED BY UPSTART YEALIMI NOH
Sung Hyun Park played alongside Yealimi Noh, the young professional making waves in Oneida. She said Noh’s maturity at a young age surprised her.
“She spoke very good Korean so I had time to speak with her some. I asked her how old she was and she said she was 17,” said Park, who later joked that she was not as good as Noh at age 17. “Even though she's a young player, her swing is really good, her playing is really good. I look forward to her play in the future.”
Noh held her own playing with the world’s top player. Noh matched Park’s 69, eagling the par-5 ninth to go along with two birdies and one bogey.
“It was so fun watching her play,” said Noh. “She’s really friendly and just, man, I was like really impressed with her distance obviously and then just how many birdies. I lost count during the front nine.”
FENG AND JOH ENJOY THIRD ROUND SUCCESS TOGETHER
Two huge LPGA personalities played together Saturday and shared in the joys of Moving Day at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic. Shanshan Feng and Tiffany Joh shot -7 and -6 respectively to land in a four-way tie for first. Tomorrow, the two will tee off in the final pairing, a time that both players can not wait for.
“Every time I see Shanshan on the pairing sheet next to my name I get really excited,” said Joh. “She plays really quick. She's really refreshing. I just love watching her play. I could say I'm a big fan fan.”
The nine-time LPGA Tour winner shared Joh’s sentiment. “I was really happy to play with Tiff, too. She was being really tough on me. I made that eagle on 13th hole and I still didn't get the honor to tee off on the next hole,” joked Feng. “I would say I really enjoyed the whole day. We both played really well and I felt like we were almost on one team and trying to go low.
Feng said her mind is set on adding another win to her list. “My goal was actually try to get in the winning circle as soon as possible. I was trying to get every part of my game together, so I think I've been doing pretty well for the first three days,” said Feng.
Joh said her play has boosted her confidence going into the final round. “It's really nice. I think regardless of what happens tomorrow I can take a lot out of these three rounds that I've just kind of strung together,” said Joh. “I think tomorrow I'm just going to go out there and have a bunch of fun, and whatever happens, happens.”
ARIYA JUTANUGARN WORKING OUT PUTTING WOES
As soon as Ariya Jutanugarn finished make the media rounds following Saturday’s round of 67, she made a beeline straight for the putting green. The 23-year-old Thai was just satisfied with her putting performance, despite needing only 26 putts on Saturday.
“Of course I want to bring my best game tomorrow because I still have a lot of things to work on,” said Jutanugarn. “Today I'm getting better with my 3-wood, but you know, my putting struggled a little bit. So hope tomorrow everything can come together.”
The former World No. 1 has seen her Rolex Women’s World Ranking fall to No. 9, and she is looking for her first win since the 2018 Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open. Jutanugarn has not been outside the top 10 in the Rolex Rankings since June 2016.
SZOKOL ADDS TO ACE COUNT FOR 2019 SEASON
On the second hole at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic, Elizabeth Szokol recorded the first hole-in-one in tournament history. Szokol rolled it in on the par-3 from 129 yards with a pitching wedge.
“It was actually my first hole in one, so that was pretty great. Landed just past the pin and spun back. It was pretty exciting. So great that $20,000 is donated for that,” said the 2019 LPGA Tour rookie.
All aces in the 2019 LPGA Tour season are recognized via the CME Group Cares Challenge, a charitable giving program that turns aces into donations. CME Group will donate $20,000 for each hole-in-one made on the LPGA Tour in 2019, with a minimum guaranteed donation of $500,000 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Szokol’s ace was the 17th of the 2019 LPGA Tour season, raising the year’s total donation to $340,000.
WITH A WIN…
Sung Hyun Park would earn the eighth win of her LPGA Tour career and become the first three-time winner of the 2019 season
Park, who won last week’s Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G, would become the first player to win consecutive events since Shanshan Feng won the 2017 TOTO Japan Classic and the 2017 Blue Bay LPGA
With the $300,000 winner’s check, Park would move from 66th to 63rd on the All-Time Money List with $5,278,043 and become the 66th player in LPGA history to cross the $5 million threshold
Tiffany Joh would become the fifth Rolex First-Time Winner of the 2019 LPGA Tour season, joining Celine Boutier (ISPS Handa Vic Open), Bronte Law (Pure Silk Championship), Jeongeun Lee6 (U.S. Women’s Open) and Hannah Green (KPMG Women’s PGA Championship)
Ariya Jutanugarn would earn the 11th win of her LPGA Tour career and become the 29th player in LPGA Tour history to cross the $8 million threshold in career earnings with $8,068,272
Shanshan Feng would earn the 10th win of her LPGA Tour career and become the 12th player in LPGA Tour history to cross the $11 million threshold in career earnings with $11,058,149
Yealimi Noh would become the third Monday Qualifier to win a LPGA Tour event, joining Brooke Henderson (2015 Cambia Portland Classic) and Laurel Kean (2000 State Farm LPGA Classic)
Noh is currently 17 (she turns 18 on July 26), and the minimum age for LPGA Tour Membership is 18. If she wins and wishes to become an LPGA Tour Member prior to her 18th birthday, she must petition Commissioner Mike Whan.
Rolex Rankings No. 26 Shanshan Feng (64-67-65)
- Her 196 is the lowest 54-hole score of her LPGA Tour career; her previous best was 197 at the 2017 TOTO Japan Classic, which she won (a 54-hole event)
- She hit 11 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens, with 26 putts
- Feng is in her 12th season on the LPGA Tour; she has nine career victories, most recently at the 2017 Blue Bay LPGA
- This is Feng’s 15th event of the 2019 season; her best finish is a tie for fourth at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions
- She is competing in her first Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic
- On Nov. 13, 2017, Feng became the first player from the People’s Republic of China, male or female, to be ranked No. 1 in the world, a position she held for 23 weeks
- Won the bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil
Rolex Rankings No. 211 Tiffany Joh (64-66-66)
- This is the first time since the 2011 CN Canadian Women’s Open that Joh has held or been tied for the lead following 54 holes; in 2011, she went on to finish T12
- Her 196 is the lowest 54-hole score of her LPGA Tour career, shattering the previous low of 203 that she shot at the 2017 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G
- She hit 12 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens, with 28 putts
- Joh is in her ninth season on the LPGA Tour; her best finish is second at the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic
- This is Joh’s 12th event of the 2019 season; her best finish is a tie for 11th at the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer
- She is competing in her third Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic; she tied for 56th in 2018 and tied for sixth in 2017
Rolex Rankings No. 9 Ariya Jutanugarn (65-64-67)
- Her 196 is the lowest 54-hole score of her LPGA Tour career; her previous best was 197 at the 2017 Bank of Hope Founders Cup
- She hit 11 of 14 fairways and 12 of 18 greens, with 26 putts
- Jutanugarn is in her fifth season on the LPGA Tour; she has 10 career victories, most recently at the 2018 Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open
- This is Jutanugarn’s 16th event of the 2019 season; her best finish is a tie for third at the LOTTE Championship
- She is competing in her third Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic, finishing T15 in 2018 and withdrawing after the first round in 2017
- In 2018, she swept all five major season-ending awards – Rolex Player of the Year, the Vare Trophy, the Money Title, the Race to the CME Globe and the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award
- Has been No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings for a total of 23 weeks, most recently for the week of Feb. 25, 2019
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Sung Hyun Park (65-62-69)
- Her 196 is the second-lowest 54-hole score of her LPGA Tour career; she shot a 195 last week en route to winning the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G (a 54-hole event)
- She hit 10 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens, with 33 putts
- Park is in her third season on the LPGA Tour; she has seven wins, most recently at last week’s Walmart NW Arkansas Championship
- This was Park’s 12th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she won the HSBC Women’s World Championship and the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship
- This is her second Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic; she missed the cut in 2018
- Park tied with So Yeon Ryu for 2017 Rolex Player of the Year honors and clinched the 2017 Louise Suggs Rolex Player of the Year Award with five events remaining on the schedule, becoming the first player to win Rookie of the Year and Player of the Year awards in the same year since Nancy Lopez in 1978
Rolex Rankings No. 558 Yealimi Noh (63-65-69)
- She hit 11 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens, with 29 putts
- Noh, who turns 18 in two weeks, is playing in the third LPGA Tour event of her career; she finished T46 at the 2018 CP Women’s Open and T59 at the 2018 LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship, both as an amateur
- Noh turned professional in January 2019 after winning the 2018 Girl’s Junior PGA Championship, U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship and 2018 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship in consecutive weeks
- Noh earned a spot in the tournament by tying for the win at the Monday Qualifier; two Monday Qualifiers have won an LPGA Tour event – Brooke Henderson (2015 Cambia Portland LPGA Classic) and Laurel Kean (2000 State Farm LPGA Classic)