Inbee Park (South Korea) is one round away from claiming a spot alongside Babe Didrikson Zaharias in women’s golf history. Park started and ended the 3rd round at the 2013 US Women’s Open in firm control of the lead, despite a 3-bogey mid-round stumble. Can she sustain her momentum through Sunday’s 4th round?
The pressure of the 72-hole tournament began to show. Inbee Park, at -1, carded the only sub-par round today. Bogeys beat out birdies across the board.
Below Park, there was considerable movement up and down the board as the wind gusted and the sun came and went, casting floating shadows across the greens and further complicating already difficult putting decisions. IK Kim (South Korea), stayed in 2nd place, 2 strokes off Park’s -10 lead, and Jodi Ewart Shadoff (England) remained in 3rd at -3 for the tournament. Both are so near and yet so far off Park’s lead.
Sharing 4th at the end of the round, at -1 for the tournament, So Yeon Ryu (South Korea) climbed up from 7th and Angela Stanford (USA) edged up from 5th place. Paula Creamer (USA), who carded even par today, moved from 18th to 6th. Creamer will begin the final round 11 strokes off the lead.
Despite Juli Inkster’s (USA) pre-tournament prediction that one of the amateurs could win the Open this year, those who survived the cut have suffered and struggled through the 3rd round. Lydia Ko (New Zealand), who was at even par after the 1st round, has steadily accumulated bogeys over the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Ko carded +7 today and, at +11 for the tournament, is now sharing 51st place in the field. Nellie Korda (USA), the youngest player at the Open, who fired her caddie in the middle of the round, carded +4 for today and at +13 for the tournament is in 61st place going in to the final round.
Inbee Park looks unbeatable at this point in the Open, although a string of bogeys on one side, balanced by a string of birdies on the other side, could certainly even out the contest. Everybody needs to eat a lot of carbs and protein tonight and get some sleep because tomorrow at the Seboneck Golf Club is going to take all the mental and physical energy the best of the best in women’s golf can summon.