03 Feb 2024 | Vic Open |
#VicOpen: Shin charging in tournament defence
by Patrick Taylor
Korea's Jiyai Shin and Queensland’s Karis Davidson will tee it up together in the final group tomorrow tied at the top at 8-under as the former world No.1 looks to become the first player to go back-to-back at the Vic Open. While Shin will be looking to add to her impressive collection of worldwide trophies which sits an amazing 64 on six different tours worldwide, Davidson is hunting down the most important win of her career to date. Having a major winner in the way of her first Vic Open title is nothing new for the LPGA Tour member who has finished second to Minjee Lee and Hannah Green in previous visits to 13th Beach Golf Links. World no.15 Shin showed all her trademark class and skill on the Beach Course on Saturday, finishing with a 4-under 68, highlighted by an unbelievable hole out eagle on the par-4 16th. "I couldn't see it go in, because I'm not that high," Shin joked about the 153 metre second shot. After starting the day in fifth, the world No.15 reached the top of this year's leaderboard for the first time for the week today, and history would suggest that she is unlikely to relinquish that position. "I'm really enjoying playing right now, and my shots and my putting just works this week," she said. Playing in the group behind Shin, Davidson had three straight birdies on the back nine to ensure she would be in the final group on Sunday. "I felt like on a few putts I was I was a little bit like, quick, so I'll just keep it smooth out there tomorrow because the greens are just getting quicker," she said. To snare the biggest win of her career tomorrow, Davidson, from the Gold Coast, will have to overcome both the predicted high temperatures on the Beach Course, and going head-to-head with Shin, who is known as the “Sunday Queen” and looks in no mood to give up her title. “Jiyai has been number one in different countries all over the world. She’s such a phenomenal golfer,” Davidson said. “That (beating her) would definitely be something.” Fellow Queenslander Sarah Jane Smith shrugged off a second round 78 on Friday to rocket up the leaderboard with a 6-under 66 to be right in the mix heading into Sunday just 2-shots back. Also bouncing back from a tough opening two days was Karrie Webb, who carded a 5-under 67, reminding everyone to never count her out.
The only place to watch the Vic Open live is on Fox Sports, available on Foxtel and Kayo.
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