Saturday, November 18, 2017

Shanshan Feng leads U.S. Women's Open


BEDMINSTER, N.J. — Shanshan Feng is going to have the president of the United States looking over her shoulder in the final round of the U.S. Women's Open today, and probably a lot of South Korean fans, too.

Feng rolled in a short birdie putt on the final hole Saturday to take a one-shot lead after three rounds of the biggest tournament in women's golf. The 27-year-old from China shot 1-under 71 to reach 9-under 207 at President Donald Trump's Trump National Golf Club.

Hye-Jin Choi (70) — 17 years old and the world's second-ranked amateur — and Amy Yang (70) were tied for second in an event in which the South Koreans have shined. The top six players chasing Feng are from South Korea, and you had to go to eighth place to find an American. That was Cristie Kerr (70), who was five shots off the lead.

It should make for an interesting final day in a tournament that has an even bigger stage with Trump in attendance. He's the first sitting president to attend a U.S. Women's Open.

"Coming to this week, I didn't have any expectation at all," said Feng, who has led from the start in her quest for a second major. "I wanted to bring out my 'A' game. And then I think I did really well for the first three days, and then I'm going to stick to my game plan. I just focus on my own game and let's see what happens."

Sung Hyun Park, the top rookie on the LPGA Tour, was 6 under after 67. Top-ranked So Yeon Ryu (71), Mirim Lee (67) and Jeongeun6 Lee (73) were 5 under.

Kerr, who won the 2007 U.S. Women's Open winner and is a member at this course, was tied at 4 under with Spain's Carlota Ciganda (72).

"I feel pretty good," Kerr said. "I'm going out there doing my thing, and I'm trying to be in a good mental space where I'm not putting pressure on myself."

With the arrival of the president Friday afternoon, security was stepped up Saturday. Dogs sniffed cars driven by players entering the course, and fans and media had to walk through airport-type security checkpoints.

Outside the course, a small procession of cars and trucks circled the course and bore signs criticizing Trump and supporting women's rights.

Trump spent the night in his house on the course and took the short drive from his residence to his box overlooking the 15th green, arriving around 2:35 p.m. He sparked so much noise from the crowd at one point that officials had to tell fans to keep it down as Lexi Thompson, Brooke Henderson and Stacy Lewis approached the 15th green.

PGA: Patrick Rodgers shot 3-under 68 to maintain a two-stroke lead in the John Deere Classic at Silvis, Ill. Rodgers, the second-round leader, was at 16-under 197. Daniel Berger (63) and Scott Stallings (64) were 14 under.

Champions: Bernhard Langer shot a bogey-free 6-under 66 to take a one-shot lead at 18-under 198 into the final round of the Senior Players Championship at Owings Mills, Md. Brandt Jobe (65) was 17 under. Corey Pavin (71) and Scott McCarron (69) were 12 under.

PGA Europe: Ian Poulter moved in sight of his first title in 41/2 years by belying sideways rain and strong winds to shoot 1-under 71 at the Scottish Open, giving him a three-way share of the lead at Irvine. With him at 9-under 207 were second--round co-leader Callum Shinkwin (68) and Andrew Dodt (69). Padraig Harrington (79) started with a share of the lead but dropped to 2 under. Alexander Knappe (76), the other second-round co-leader, was in a group at 5 under with Rickie Fowler (74).


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