The top of the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open leaderboard features a 19-time LPGA Tour winner and a 10-year Member looking for her breakthrough first career victory. Korea’s Inbee Park, whose 19 wins include seven major titles, shot a bogey-free 69 in the morning’s perfect scoring conditions to grab the clubhouse lead at -10.
“It was a little bit more calm this morning, so it was nice to play out there,” said Park, looking for her first win since the 2018 Bank of Hope Founders Cup. “My putting was consistent, like the last couple of days, so it was good. I just love the golf course and the atmosphere here. So, hopefully I can pull it off on the weekend.”
After an afternoon that brought misty rain and wind gusts to 20 mph, England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff joined Park atop the leaderboard with a round of 3-under 70. Two early bogeys dropped Ewart Shadoff off the pace, but she rallied with five birdies to grab a share of the 36-hole lead.
“It was a different day today. The wind was obviously a lot stronger, so it was a lot tougher, but I played really steady again,” said Ewart Shadoff, who has two career runner-up finishes, including at the 2017 AIG Women’s British Open. “I didn’t get off to the greatest of starts but I managed to fight back.”
Rookie Jillian Hollis, playing in her third event as an LPGA Tour Member, shot a bogey-free 69 to hold solo third at -9 overall. American Solheim Cup player Marina Alex and Korea’s Ayean Cho are tied for third at -8. Cho held the 54-hole lead at last week’s ISPS Handa Vic Open before a final-round 81 dropped her into a tie for 16th.
Defending champion Nelly Korda shot even-par 73 on Friday to enter the weekend tied for 24th.
The cut came at even-par 73, with 80 players advancing to the weekend. Notable players to miss the cut include former Rolex Rankings No. 1 Lydia Ko (+1), five-time Women’s Australian Open winner Karrie Webb (+2) and two-time champion Dame Laura Davies (+17).