Three days, three eagles. It’s safe to say that Elizabeth Szokol really likes the 17th hole at Royal Adelaide Golf Club.
For the third consecutive day, the second-year LPGA Tour player from Chicago, Ill., eagled the par-5 hole, this time hitting a 5-iron to 6 feet. She also added a hole-out eagle from 40 yards at No. 9 on Saturday to card a 3-under 70 and moved into a tie for sixth at -9, six strokes off Inbee Park’s lead.
“I’m playing a little bit of a cut, so I think the green kind of suits my ball flight,” said Szokol. “I just played a high cut in there and held the green well and given myself good opportunities, good putts at it.”
Szokol made her first-ever LPGA Tour cut at the 2019 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, ultimately finishing T58. Her career best finish came at the 2019 Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, where she tied for sixth.
WITH A WIN
Inbee Park would earn her 20th LPGA Tour victory and become the 28th player in Tour history to reach that mark
Ayean Cho would be eligible for immediate LPGA Tour Membership or could defer Membership to the 2021 season
Ayean Cho would be the first 19-year-old LPGA Tour winner since Nasa Hataoka at the 2018 TOTO Japan Classic, and the first winner born in the 2000s (June 13, 2000)
Marina Alex would earn her second LPGA Tour victory, joining the 2018 Cambia Portland Classic
With the $195,000 winner’s check, Marina Alex would move to $3,124,634 in career earnings and become the 116th player in LPGA Tour history to cross the $3 million threshold
INBEE PARK HOPES TO WIN FOR AUSSIE CADDIE
Every victory is special. But if Inbee Park could capture her 20th LPGA Tour tomorrow at Royal Adelaide, it would be especially sweet for her support team. Her Australian caddie Brad Beecher has been on her bag for 14 years, including at all seven of her major victories and when she captured the gold medal at the 2016 Olympics. The thought of a win for him brought a big smile to Park’s face.
“My caddie always wanted me to play every year and I was like, I just think it’s too early in the year and I never really played. He is really happy that I am playing these two, the Vic Open and Australian Open this year,” said Park, who also works with an Australian osteopath team. “Hopefully a nice win will be a really, really nice present for him.”
Rolex Rankings No. 17 Inbee Park (67-69-68)
- Hit 13 of 15 fairways and 12 of 18 greens, with 26 putts
- Park is in her 14th season on the LPGA Tour; she has 19 career victories, including seven majors, and won most recently at the 2018 Bank of Hope Founders Cup
- She is competing in her second ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open; she missed the cut in 2012
- This is her fourth event of the 2020 LPGA Tour season; she tied for second at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, where she lost in a playoff
- Park won the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics
Rolex Rankings No. 34 Ayean Cho (69-69-69)
- Hit 12 of 15 fairways and 16 of 18 greens, with 30 putts
- Cho is competing in her seventh LPGA Tour event; her best finish is a tie for 16th at last week’s ISPS Handa Vic Open
- Cho is in her second full season on the KLPGA Tour, where she had two victories in 2019 and earned Rookie of the Year honors
Rolex Rankings No. 33 Marina Alex (68-70-70)
- Hit 14 of 15 fairways and 12 of 18 greens, with 26 putts
- Alex is in her eighth season on the LPGA Tour; she won the 2018 Cambia Portland Classic and has 21 other top-10 finishes
- She is competing in her seventh ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open; her best finish is a tie for fifth at the 2018 tournament held at Kooyonga Golf Club, and she finished T7 at Royal Adelaide in 2017
- This is her third event of the 2020 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is 21st at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions
- Alex represented the USA at the 2019 Solheim Cup, where she went 1-1-2
- A 2012 graduate of Vanderbilt University with a degree in communications
- At Vanderbilt, she was a two-time SEC Player of the Year and a two-time First-Team All-American
Tournament: @WomensAusOpen (Twitter and Instagram), #WomensAusOpen
LPGA: @LPGA, @LPGAMedia (Twitter), @lpga_tour (Instagram)
TV TIMES (all times Eastern)
Saturday, Feb. 16 to Sunday, Feb. 17 – 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.