Sung Hyun Park and Carlota Ciganda lead as Aditi Ashok is T12

Sung Hyun Park and Danielle Kang shot 63 each on Saturday, setting the stage for a great climax in Arkansas. Aditi Ashok is T12, bogey-free through 36 holes

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Carlota Ciganda - LPGA - Getty Images

30 June 2019: On a course known for low numbers, Carlota Ciganda knew a solid round would keep her towards the top. A second-round 66 was enough to get her to T1 with Sung Hyun Park at -13. Aditi Ashok continued her fine run this week, keeping a clean sheet through 36 holes. At 9-under through the second round, Aditi is lying at T12 with scores of 66 and 67.

Ciganda followed her nine birdies from yesterday with an eagle, three birdies and no bogeys today at Pinnacle Golf Club.

“I like the course, and I have been working hard.  I think I have been playing good the whole year except the last few events, but still been making cuts and playing good, shooting lower scores,” said Ciganda on her consistent play. 

Ciganda said she did not peek at the leaderboard until the last few holes.“I try not to watch too much, but, I mean, at the end I saw that I was leading.  I mean, there’s still lots of golf to play tomorrow and it can go very low here, so I think it’s nice to be up there, but I think there are some great players there,” said Ciganda. “I’m happy with the way I played…I try not to think too much about the score, yes. Give myself hundred percent every shot. And I think if I play well, I will be very good.”

When asked what a perfect day for her tomorrow would be, Ciganda said she only has one thing on her mind. “To win the tournament,” she said. “I guess going to go out there and just play.”

SUNG HYUN PARK STAYS COOL IN ARKANSAS HEAT

With temperatures reaching 89 degrees and a heat index in the triple digits, Sung Hyun Park kept her cool in the afternoon heat. The 25-year-old from Republic of Korea shot one of the low rounds of the day, 8-under 63, to move up from T13 to T1 heading into the final round.

“My shots, especially my wedge shots worked today, and with my putts I was able to make a lot of birdies,” said Park, who birdied nine holes against a lone bogey on No. 16. “I wasn’t really worried when I made that bogey.  I like 17th and the 18th holes, and I made a birdie on the last hole yesterday too, so I knew that I wouldn’t have to worry after that bogey.”

Park, coming off of a runner-up finish at last week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship feels like her game is strong and doesn’t seem to be worried about the mistakes she’s made at Pinnacle Country Club, fueling her confidence for play on Sunday.

“I only have one win this season, but overall I think I have been doing a good job,” said Park who has claimed victory in the 2019 season. “Last week I did pretty well too. Tomorrow I hope to focus on each shot going into the fourth round.” 

RAZORBACK RECAP

After the day two of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, Gaby Lopez leads the pack of Arkansas Razorbacks. Lopez shot a 67 to land T17 at -8, carding six birdies and hitting 12 of 13 fairways along the way.

I think I hit the ball solid, maybe not the best, but I had a couple tuck-in birdies, and putting was sticking to me, and I was hitting — I was rounding the ball pretty good, so I think that’s all I can ask for,” said Lopez. “It was a lot of fun. That front nine kind of treats me very well. And I don’t know, I’m just very excited to be able to attack the pin, so the greens are receiving pretty well.”

Stacy Lewis sits two back at -6 after shooting a second-round 68. Lewis and Lopez were the only two Razorbacks to make the cut. Alana Uriell missed the cut by one stroke at -2 (T73), with Kaylee Benton finishing her professional debut at -1 (T90). Maria Fassi landed at T114 (+2) after shooting a 73 to end her day, but said it was a blast to play as a professional in her second home.

“This week, I mean, coming back to Arkansas is very special to me. And it’s just been very fun. I think I am—I am enjoying it a lot. It’s been exhausting at times, but overall it’s just been a lot of fun,” said Fassi. Former teammate Dylan Kim ended at +9. 

WITH A WIN…

With a $300,000 winner’s check, Carlota Ciganda would cross the $15 million mark and move from 69th to 64th on the LPGA Career Money List with $5,172,376

Ciganda would earn her third career LPGA Tour victory, the first player from Spain to win on Tour since her victory at the 2016 Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Invitational presented by Aeromexico and Delta

Ciganda would tie Beatriz Recari, with three wins, as the top Spaniards with the most wins on the LPGA Tour and the 15th different winner on the LPGA Tour for the 2019 season 

With the $300,000 winner’s check, Sung Hyun Park would move to $4,978,043 in career earnings and move from No. 70 to No. 66 on the Career Money List

Park would earn her seventh career LPGA Tour victory, her second on the 2019 season; she won the 2019 HSBC Women’s World Championship

Park would become the third multiple winner on the 2019 season, joining Brooke Henderson and Jin Young Ko with two wins

ROLEX WOMEN’S WORLD GOLF RANKINGS PROJECTIONS

Two players in the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G field have a mathematical chance to overtake Rolex Rankings World. No. 1 Jin Young Ko – No. 2 Sung Hyun Park and No. 3 Minjee Lee.  

No. 2 Sung Hyun Park

Sung Hyun Park has a mathematical chance to overtake Rolex Rankings World No. 1 Jin Young Ko with a solo 17th or better finish at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G. 

Sung Hyun Park is the only player where if she wins, she is projected to become No. 1 outright.

No. 3 Minjee Lee

Must win and have Jin Young Ko finish solo fifth or worse and Sung Hyun Park finish solo fourth or worse

Top-Ranked American

Lexi Thompson is projected to be the top American even if the next highest-ranked Americans – Jessica Korda or Danielle Kang – were to win this week.

A win for Jessica Korda projects her to move ahead of Nelly Korda in the rankings.

A win for Danielle Kang projects her to move ahead of Jessica Korda, but not Nelly Korda.

*There may be additional possibilities with tie scenarios and separate projection scenarios would be run to check. 

PLAYER NOTES

Rolex Rankings No. 2 Sung Hyun Park (66-63)

  • Park’s second-round 63 ties her best score at Pinnacle Country Club, she previously shot 63 in the first round in 2017; this is her lowest round of the 2019 LPGA Tour season
  • Park’s 129 is her best 36-hole score at this event
  • She hit nine of 13 fairways and 15 of 18 greens
  • Park is in her third season on the LPGA Tour; she is a six-time winner on the LPGA Tour. Her most previous win came at this year’s HSBC Women’s World Championship
  • This is Park’s 11th event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she won the HSBC Women’s World Championship and has two additional runner-up finishes (KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and Kia Classic) 
  • She is competing in her third Walmart NWA Championship; her previous finishes were T19 in 2017 and T61 in 2018

LPGA Report