U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN
Round 3: 9 Notes, Quotes, Facts and Figures
July 15, 2017 | BEDMINSTER, N.J.
By Michael Trostel, USGA
Shanshan Feng (9-under 207) is seeking to become the first start-to-finish winner, with no ties, since Hollis Stacy in 1977. Her one bogey through 54 holes is the fewest through three rounds in U.S. Women’s Open history.
If Feng wins, she would be the first player from the People’s Republic of China to win the U.S. Women’s Open and second player from China to win a USGA championship. Fumie (Alice) Jo won the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links at The Home Course in DuPont, Wash.
Feng, on meeting Chinese president, Xi Jinping, after winning a bronze medal in the 2016 Olympic Games: “We were lined up to shake his hand … when it came to my turn, I held his hand and said, ‘Mr. President, you're so handsome.’ … He was shocked. He actually stepped back and then shook my hand again. So, I actually got to meet him for four seconds rather than two.”
This is the fourth consecutive year that Amy Yang has been in the top 4 through 54 holes in the U.S. Women’s Open. While the course has been softened from more than an inch of rain, Yang does not plan to stray from her patient approach: “This course isn't suited for aggressive play. It’s playing very tough out there, but when I get a chance, I'll do my best to get it.”
Hye-Jin Choi’s 8-under 208 is the lowest 54-hole total by an amateur in U.S. Women’s Open history. It is also the first time an amateur has been in second place or better through 54 holes since Michelle Wie and Morgan Pressel co-led (with Karen Stupples) at Cherry Hills Country Club in 2005.
The 6-under 30 shot by Sung Hyun Park on her second nine ties the lowest nine-hole score in relation to par in the U.S. Women’s Open. It is the seventh 30 in U.S. Women’s Open history, one behind the record of 29 set by Chella Choi in 2015 at Lancaster Country Club.
The top-ranked player in the world, So Yeon Ryu, is just four back of Feng after three birdies on the inward nine. Ryu didn’t play her best on Saturday, but holed several clutch par putts to remain within striking distance. “My tempo was a bit off today,” said Ryu, the 2011 champion. “At a major championship, you cannot be perfect all four days. Even though I was having a bad day, I just thought, OK, I still need to hold up.”
Christina Kim shot a 4-under 68 on Saturday to move into a tie for 14th. While the 33-year-old American is known for her sometimes flamboyant outfits, her golf shoes are surprisingly old school: “I'm the last woman standing to wear metal spikes,” said Kim. “A lot of these kids weren't even born when metal spikes were taken away from competition. For me, it provides a sense of comfort. I get great traction with them. You can read the greens with your feet and you can gauge moisture levels of the golf course with the spikes.”
Cristie Kerr, the 2007 champion, leads the field in putting through 54 holes. Her 2-under 70 on Saturday was her 16th sub-par round in the U.S. Women’s Open, trailing only Inbee Park and Stacy Lewis (17) for most among active players.
Michael Trostel is the senior content producer for the USGA. Email him at email@example.com.