U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN
U.S. Women's Open Day 3: Five Things to Watch
June 2, 2018 | Shoal Creek, Ala.
By Joey Flyntz and Scott Lipsky, USGA
The second round of the 73rd U.S. Women’s Open Championship at Shoal Creek featured one of the Round 1 co-leaders matching her first-round performance, and it unfortunately featured a return of the rain storms that pelted the Birmingham area earlier in the week. A 3-hour, 49-minute delay for dangerous weather stopped play in the late afternoon and play had to be suspended for the day at 7:20 p.m. CDT. Here’s what to watch as Round 2 resumes Saturday at 6:45 a.m., followed by Round 3:
Oh? ... Oh! After Sarah Jane Smith fired a second consecutive 5-under 67 to finish at 10-under 134, another Aussie quietly ascended the leader board.
Su-Hyun Oh, 22, shot 4-under 68, highlighted by an eagle on the par-4 15th hole when she holed out from 116 yards, to finish 36 holes at 6-under 138.
Oh finished the rain-shortened day trailing her countrywoman, Smith, by four strokes.
“Nothing was outstanding. I putted quite well today,” said Oh, who teamed with another Women’s Open competitor, Minjee Lee, to help Australia to the 2014 Women’s World Amateur Team title and owns one career victory on the Ladies European Tour. “Yesterday I had a three-putt. I think it’s special. I kind of hung in there and just took my chances well. Not a lot of mistakes.”
Big Birthday Weekend for Carlota? While half of the field will be up bright and early on Saturday morning to resume Round 2, Carlota Ciganda, of Spain, can relax and focus on what lies ahead the rest of the weekend. Ranked No. 29 in the world, Ciganda, who turned 28 on Friday, has two LPGA Tour victories to her credit, both coming in 2016. In last year’s U.S. Women’s Open, she was on the fringe of contention throughout the week, breaking par in three out of four rounds to ultimately finish tied for fifth, five strokes behind champion Sung Hyun Park.
On Friday, Ciganda once again firmly established her place in the hunt, carding five birdies against just one bogey on her way to a 4-under 68. She was tied for fourth with half the field still on the course.
“I think the key here is hit as many fairways as you can, as many greens and if you miss the greens I think it’s tough to get up and down,” said Ciganda, whose best finish in a major is a tie for fourth in the 2016 ANA Inspiration. “You want to make birdies but at the same time you don’t want to make silly mistakes. I think if you shoot 3, 4 under tomorrow and then 3, 4 under on Sunday, you’ll have a good chance.”
Watch Your Back: Players from the Republic of Korea have won seven of the past 10 U.S. Women’s Opens. While a pair of Australians top the leader board at the start of the day, there are several Korean players ready to pounce if opportunity arises.
Led by two-time Women’s Open winner Inbee Park (2008 and 2013), a quartet of Korean players finished 36 holes at 3-under 141. Chella Choi, Jenny Shin and Sei Young Kim matched Park’s score. Behind them, Hyo-Joo Kim and first-round co-leader Jeongeun6 Lee finished 36 holes at 142.
History says they will play a role this weekend.
Lots of Work Left Before the Cut: Everyone who had an afternoon tee time on Friday will be back at it at 6:45 a.m. CDT on Saturday morning. Due to a weather delay that lasted nearly four hours, half of the players have yet to complete their rounds, some with as many as 15 holes left to play. It’s an opportunity for the top of the leader board to become a lot more crowded on Saturday morning, as 18-hole co-leader Ariya Jutanugarn is the only player in the top 10 who hasn’t completed Round 2. Jutanugarn is currently tied for second at 6 under par with 10 holes left in her round. 2014 U.S. Women’s Open champion Michelle Wie is in a group of players who still need to finish Round 2 who currently sit at 2 under, tied for 11th. The projected 36-hole cut was at 4 over, with lots of golf left to play.
Tune In: Live coverage of the U.S. Women’s Open begins at 2 p.m. EDT on Fox, with accompanying live-streaming video on uswomensopen.com of a Featured Group to be determined. Visit uswomensopen.com for news, live scoring updates, photos and video highlights.