24 Apr 2022 | Professional golf |
Green leads chasers in LA
by PGA of Australia
By Tony Webeck
West Australian Hannah Green has played her way into the final group at the LPGA Tour’s DIO Implant Open but will start the final round four shots back at Wilshire Country Club.
Japan’s Nasa Hataoka shot 67 in Saturday’s third round to establish a four-stroke buffer over the field, Green her nearest challenger following her round of two-under 69 and a seven-under total through 54 holes.
The 25-year-old played the front nine in even par with a lone birdie at two and a bogey at six but as she did a day earlier made her score on the back nine courtesy of back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14 to book a place alongside Hataoka in the last group on Sunday.
Korean trio Inbee Park (68), Haeji Kang (69) and Jin Young Ko (72) are all five shots off the lead at six-under with Australian Minjee Lee (71) in a share of sixth at four-under with Lilia Vu (66) and Chella Choi (67).
The all-Aussie pairing of Jason Day and Jason Scrivener also have some ground to make up for what would be a win of major significance for both at the PGA TOUR’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
American superstar pairing Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele extended their advantage at the top of the leaderboard to five strokes with a round of 60 in the Saturday fourball, Day and Scrivener in a three-way tie for third at 23-under par and six shots back.
Day’s eagle at the par-5 second was the perfect way to start their third round run but it was Scrivener’s birdie at the par-4 15th that sparked a spectacular run into the clubhouse.
Day took over following Scrivener’s three to reel off three straight birdies to finish, the pair combining for a round of nine-under 63 to keep the runaway leaders within reach.
Day is seeking his first PGA TOUR win in four years while for Scrivener – who does not currently have status on the main tour in the US – a victory would pave the way to play both the DP World Tour and PGA TOUR.
“One shot at a time, that’s all we can really control,” said Scrivener, who can earn a start at next week’s Mexico Open with a top-five finish on Sunday.
“Obviously tomorrow is a big day, but just looking forward to having some more fun.”
“We can’t really get too far ahead of ourselves,” Day added.
“We’ve just got to just stay as present as possible and just hit the shots when they come and just add them up at the end of the day tomorrow.
“If it happens, it happens, but if not, it is what it is.
“The guys that are leading right now, Patrick and Xander, they’re playing some phenomenal golf, so they’re going to be very difficult to catch and to pass tomorrow.”
In the Aussies’ favour was their combination in the foursomes on Friday where they shot seven-under 65, equal to the best of the day.
With winds expected to strengthen for the final round, Day knows all too well that it is a format that can deliver dramatic swings in quick time.
“Tomorrow’s format is difficult. If there’s a little bit of breeze, it will add that difficulty, as well,” said Day.
“If you’re on the wrong side of it, it’s really hard to gain momentum.
“I’d like to be where those guys are, as well, but I’m pretty happy with where we’re positioned going into tomorrow.”
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