OH CHARGING FOR HOME-STATE WIN
Su Oh has come oh-so-close to her first LPGA Tour victory, with four top-10 finishes in 2018 putting her within striking distance of becoming a Rolex First-Time Winner. The native of Melbourne, just 40 miles northeast of Barwon Heads, would love nothing more than capturing that breakthrough victory so close to home.
“A lot, like everything, I guess, but especially at my state Open,” said Oh, when asked what it would mean to take the win on Sunday. “The first tournament, it would be just be amazing. I don't think anybody would be sad that they won, so I'm going to fight for it.”
KAUFMAN SURVIVES WIND, HOLDS 54-HOLE LEAD AT ISPS HANDA VIC OPEN
In an afternoon of sheer survival, Kim Kaufman survived an up-and-down day to card a third-round 75 and take a two-stroke lead into the final round of the 2019 ISPS Handa Vic Open. Highlighted by a slam-dunk birdie from a greenside bunker at No. 7, the American carded three birdies, four bogeys and one double-bogey through a day that saw a combination of bright sunshine, sideways rain and whipping winds that reached gusts of 30 mph.
“I went to school in west Texas, which is pretty windy, but this was up there,” said Kaufman of the day’s weather conditions. “It really felt like a British Open day, but we all just fight and good things that happen and bad things that happen would happen to everyone.”
France’s Celine Boutier took advantage of playing in the afternoon wave’s first group, before the worst of the winds picked up. The former Duke University player shot a 3-under 69, tied for the day’s low round, and jumped from 12th to a tie for second. She is joined in second by leading Australian Su Oh, who shot a 2-over 74. Japan’s Haru Nomura, who started in the day two strokes behind Kaufman in second, struggled to a 4-over 76 and fell into solo fourth.
In a format unique to world professional golf, the ISPS Handa Vic Open is a leader in sports equality. Staged at 13th Beach Golf Links on Australia’s Bellarine Peninsula, men and women play on the same courses, at the same time, for equal prize money. The ISPS Handa Vic Open is jointly sanctioned by the LPGA Tour, the ALPG, the European Tour and the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia.
SECONDARY CUT LINE AT +1
The secondary cut for the women’s competition at the 2019 ISPS Handa Vic Open came at 1-over 218, with 43 players making the 54-hole cut. On the men’s side, 36 players made the cut, led by 54-hole leader Wade Ormsby of Australia.
KAUFMAN’S MIRACLE ON THE NO. 7
When Kim Kaufman stepped into the greenside bunker at No. 7, a slam-dunk birdie was not on her mind. Even when she hit the ball – that outcome? Not remotely possible.
“I thought I hit a great shot, didn't think it was short at all,” said Kaufman, who quickly raised her arms in victory as the ball dropped right into the hole. “It was in the bunker and I thought that's the spot to be in, but it was so windy in that bunker, my club wasn't really even set but I stood there too long and I said, I've got to hit this. The minute I hit it, I was like, oh, it's way too far, and I just jarred it. I can say I've never done that before and it was a great time to do it.”
That ended up being the shot of the day for the Texas Tech graduate, who battled the elements all day but emerged with a positive outlook for Sunday’s final round.
“Today was a good day to show that we all made bogeys, we all made birdies and you've just got to roll with it,” said Kaufman, who will tee off at 12:23 p.m. with Celine Boutier and Su Oh. “I did everything out there. I jarred it, I shanked a chip, I had everything. It will all happen tomorrow, too. I think we're all going to enjoy the nicer conditions and be able to make a few more birdies, a little more aggressive like it was the first two days.”
DE ROEY ENJOYS HISTORIC CO-ED ROUND
For the first time in ISPS Handa Vic Open history, the tournament included a co-ed group. The final group in Saturday’s morning wave off the 10th tee included Ladies European Tour player Manon De Roey playing alongside Gavin Moynihan andDale Williamson.
“We kind of talked a little bit and they were very nice,” said De Roey, who said she plays with men frequently back home in Belgium. “They were very polite and stuff, so yeah, it was nice.”
With 156 players (76 women and 80 men) making the cut, tournament officials decided to group the final players in each competition rather than add a group of two and a solo player to the mix.
Rolex Rankings No. 241 Kim Kaufman (66B-66C-75B, -10)
- Kaufman leads heading into the final round for the second time in her career, joining the 2017 CME Group Tour Championship
- Kaufman is playing in the final group for the first time since the 2017 CME Group Tour Championship
- She hit 12 of 14 fairways and 11 of 18 greens, with 31 putts
- Kaufman is in her sixth season on the LPGA Tour; her best finish is T2 at the 2015 Blue Bay LPGA and she has 10 top-10 finishes
- Kaufman is a 2013 graduate of Texas Tech University with a degree in political science
Rolex Rankings No. 123 Celine Boutier (69C-71B-69B, -8)
- She hit 13 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens, with 30 putts
- Boutier is in her third season on the LPGA tour; her best finish is third at the 2018 Blue Bay LPGA, her only career top-10 finish
Rolex Rankings No. 78 Su Oh (67C-68B-74B, -8)
- She hit nine of 14 fairways and 11 of 18 greens, with 31 putts
- Oh is in her fourth LPGA Tour season; her best career finish is second at the 2016 Kingsmill Championship and she has eight top-10 finishes, including four in 2018