Thursday, April 24, 2014
The Associated Press
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. - Inbee Park couldn't see her final tee shot past about 150 yards.
Nothing fazes the world's top-ranked player these days, though. Fog had rolled in off Great Peconic Bay, and the horn sounded with Park's group on the 18th fairway. The threesome finished out the second round of the U.S. Women's Open, with Park calmly sinking a birdie putt from 12 feet to move closer to history.
She shot a 4-under 68 on Friday for a 9-under total to lead fellow South Korean I.K. Kim by two strokes. Park is seeking to win the year's first three major championships; no one has accomplished that feat in a season with at least four majors.
Of the players yet to finish the round, the closest, England's Jodi Ewart Shadoff, was five strokes back with three holes to go.
Players were surprised Thursday to arrive at Sebonack to find the tees moved up and the weather calm -- an easy course by U.S. Women's Open standards. On Friday, the setup and the conditions were more what they expected: The wind picked up and some pins were tucked into uncomfortable spots.
Then the mist settled in late in the afternoon session.
Of the 114 players who finished, only nine were under par for the round.
"With the wind and fog, it really made me think that's what the U.S. Open is all about," said Park, a five-time winner this year coming off consecutive victories.
PGA: Jordan Spieth hit every green in regulation and extended his streak to 29 holes without a bogey on a tough Congressional course, giving him a 5-under 66 and a share of the lead with Roberto Castro (69) before storms halted the second round of the AT&T National at Bethesda, Md.
Spieth, 19, and Castro were at 7-under 135. D.H. Lee had a 66 and was two shots behind, and Andres Romero was also at 5 under with five holes remaining.
Spieth has earned over $900,000 this year and is assured of a tour card when the new season starts in October. But he won't be eligible for the lucrative FedEx Cup playoffs unless he's a PGA Tour member, and he can't be a member this year unless he wins.
CHAMPIONS TOUR: Fred Couples birdied seven of his first 11 holes in the second round of the Senior Players Championship to take the lead before a downpour suspended play for the day with most of the field still on the course in Pittsburgh.
Couples was at 11 under, two strokes ahead of John Huston. A total of 66 players will have to complete their second rounds Saturday morning.
EUROPEAN TOUR: Peter Uihlein and Robert Rock shared the lead after the second round of the Irish Open, while Rory McIlroy missed the cut in his final tournament before the British Open.
Uihlein shot a 4-under-par 68 to move to 9-under 135 with England's Rock, who posted a 66 at the Carton House course on the outskirts of Dublin.