The 2019 Cambia Portland Classic was nearly a week to remember for Yealimi Noh. Then just 18 years old, Noh reached the tournament via the Monday Qualifier and carried a three-stroke lead into the final round, but ultimately fell to a surging Hannah Green. After securing 2020 LPGA Tour Membership via LPGA Q Series, Noh again finds herself near the top of the leaderboard in Portland at -8, four strokes behind leader Mel Reid.
“I wasn't really expecting anything coming into the week but playing the practice round, I just like remember the course, how much I like the course,” said Noh, who has veteran caddie Colin Cann on her bag. “Feels really good to be back and post a few good scores.”
2020 has been a mixed bag so far for Noh. While she has missed just one cut in her nine starts, she has just one top-25 finish. Perhaps Columbia Edgewater, a course where she already has success, could finally be the place that Noh gets her game truly into gear.
“I'm hitting it really good right now, so just going to work on my putting a little bit more,” said Noh. “Tomorrow like the mindset is just like not leave anything out there. Just take every opportunity.”
AMY OLSON CLOSER TO BOTH HER BALL AND A FIRST VICTORY
North Dakota’s Amy Olson cracked a wry smile when told she was bogey-free through 36 holes at the Cambia Portland Classic. “You had to bring that up, didn't you?” she said with a sarcastic laugh.
It may a taboo to mention that streak, but there’s no denying the ease with which Olson has played her first two rounds. In her seventh Cambia Portland Classic appearance, Olson is the only player with a clean scorecard through the first two rounds. She attributes her success to some hard work she did last week at the ANA Inspiration with her coach Ron Stockton.
“I got a little closer to the ball so that the plane got a little bit steeper versus so much around and behind me,” said Olson. “That was kind of just causing some issues and some left and right misses that I wasn't liking.”
Olson was itching to hit the practice range during the week’s early smoke stoppages, relegated to taking swings in her hotel room. Now that she can see her hard work paying off, Olson has her eyes clearly set on Sunday’s final round.
“I love being in contention. It's so fun. It's what we play for, what we practice for. So the experience has definitely been just super positive,” said Olson, who trails Mel Reid by three strokes heading into the final round. “I take a lot confidence out of the fact that I have been if not in this position on Sunday, but, you know, throughout the week. And my game is there. I can compete. The biggest thing is just to stay in the moment and stay in your process and enjoy it.”
AMY YANG AIMING FOR FIRST U.S. VICTORY
Korea’s Amy Yang first joined the LPGA Tour in 2008 and has since claimed four victories, including three titles at the Honda LPGA Thailand and a win in her home country. So could this be the week that Yang gets her first victory on U.S. soil? A second-round 66 puts her firmly in contention moving to Sunday’s final round, sitting just three strokes off the lead at -9 overall.
“Feeling great,” said Yang, “I have been hitting the ball solid and have been putting well. My game feels great, so I'm really looking forward to playing the final round. My putter helped my game today. I made many of mid-range putts and it helped me keep my score low. It wasn't bad yesterday, but just especially well today.”