Australian Ladies Professional Golf
Brave Aussies hang tough at UL International Crown
Date: 5th October 2018
Photograph courtesy of LPGA

The Australian team fought back bravely on day two of the UL International Crown today, and are still in with a chance of claiming their first UL International Crown title on Sunday at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, Korea.
Due to the horrendous weather forecast for Friday and Saturday off the back of Tropical storm Kong-Rey, play in round 2 started two hours earlier than scheduled this morning. 

It was a miserable day for both players and spectators alike with the rain starting just before 9:00 am local time and hanging around for the entire day, but the tale was far from gloomy for the Australians who took two points off the tournament favourites Korea providing them with an opportunity to qualify for the final day' singles matches.

Katherine Kirk and Su Oh had struggled on the opening day losing convincingly to England, but it was a rejuvenated and determined Australian duo who took to the course this morning against World Number 1 Sung Hyun Park and former major champion I.K Kim.
The Australians started strongly with Kirk and Oh both making birdies at the long par 5 3rd hole to take an early 1-up lead, and the pair continued to play solidly in the difficult conditions making the turn 2-up against their more fancied Korean opponents.
Oh made an impressive birdie at the par 4 12th hole to extend the lead to 3-up, and made another birdie at the par 3 13th hole for a half to keep their lead intact.
I.K Kim put the pressure back on the Aussies with a birdie at the 14th, but Oh was determined to close the match out making another birdie at the par 5 15th hole, and holing for par from 2 metres at the 16th hole to seal the victory 3&2.

A rain-soaked Kirk and Oh were clearly delighted with their win, Oh saying,
"Kat played great on the front nine to set us up, but I think the key was that we both were in every hole, neither of us were really in trouble and we had teo chances at birdie on almost every hole."
When asked how determined the pair had been to get a win on the board for Australia today Oh replied animatedly "Very!" 

Kirk said that the course was playing extremely difficult today given the wet conditions, and when asked if she had played more aggressively today replied, " The course was playing ridiculously long today so I would say that we actually played more conservatively. The pins are tough to get to and there are a lot of run-offs if you miss the grees so we were just trying to give ourselves chances."
Kirk said that herself and her younger team-mate Oh would take a lot of confidence from their win into the round 3 matches which got underway this afternoon.

In the other match this morning, it was Minjee Lee and Sarah Jane Smith who were presented with the challenge of taking on the Korean powerhouses In Gee Chin and So Yeon Ryu, with the Aussies hoping to overcome the disappointment of a halved match against England yesterday after being 3-up with 5 holes to play.
Lee and Smith fought hard to keep up with the Korean superstar pair early in the match being all square through 7 holes.
However the class of Chun and Ryu showed through as they made impressive birdies at both the 8th and 9th holes to take a 2-up lead into the back 9. When the Koreans won the 12th hole to take a 3-up lead all hope seemed lost for the Australian duo, but Minjee Lee was never going down without a fight and birdied the 13th hole for a half and further birdies at the 14th and 15th holes to cut the lead to just 1-up with three holes left to play. 
Smith had a great chance to square the match on the par 4 16th hole after hitting a magnificent second shot but her putt agonisingly missed and it was off to the 17th tee.
After Lee hit a superb rescue club to five metres from the hole on the tough par 3, Ryu responded with her own piece of magic hitting her tee shot to within three metres of the pin.
Lee was left with a tough, downhill and sidehill putt which she could not convert and Ryu calmly rolled in her putt to seal a Korean victory 2&1.

The Australians had less than 30 minutes to recover from their morning matches before they were back on the course again against the team from Chinese Taipei. 
Lee and Smith recovered from a slow start against the number 1 Chinese Taipei pairing of Teresa Lu and Candie Kung to be 1-up through 10 holes before bad light stopped play at 5:50 local time. Kirk and Oh continued where they left off this morning and were 3-up through nine holes against Phoebe Yao and Wei Ling Hsu when play was suspended.

Due to the impending weather there will be no play before 2:30 pm tomorrow afternoon, and it is a possibility that in fact there will be no play at all tomorrow if the heavy rain and high winds which are forecast arrive.

In the instance play is not possible tomorrow it will resume at 7:00 am on Sunday morning, after which the final five teams to qualify for the final session will be finalised.

In terms of qualifying for the final round singles matches there are many permutations, and as things stand it is mathematically possible that any of the 8 teams can still qualify. 

Points table after Round 2 

Pool A

Pool B

No. 4 England – 7 points

No. 2 United States – 6 points

No. 1 Republic of Korea – 6 points

No. 3 Japan – 4 points

No. 5 Australia – 3 points

No. 6 Thailand – 3 points

No. 8 Chinese Taipei – 0 points

No. 7 Sweden – 3 points

Round 2

Pool B – Japan (JPN) vs. Sweden (SWE)

Anna Nordqvist/Caroline Hedwall (SWE) def. Misuzu Narita/Mamiko Higa (JPN), 6 and 4

Ayako Uehara/Nasa Hataoka (JPN) def. Pernilla Lindberg/Madelene Sagstrom (SWE), 4 and 3

Points – Japan, 2; Sweden, 2

Pool B – United States (USA) vs. Thailand (THA)

Jessica Korda/Michelle Wie (USA) def. Moriya Jutanugarn/Pornanong Phatlum (THA), 6 and 4

Cristie Kerr/Lexi Thompson (USA) def. Ariya Jutanugarn/Sherman Santiwiwattahanaphong (THA), 4 and 3

Points – United States, 4; Thailand, 0

Pool A – England (ENG) vs. Chinese Taipei (TPE)

Charley Hull/Georgia Hall (ENG) def. Wei-Ling Hsu/Teresa Lu (TPE), 2 and 1

Bronte Law/Jodi Ewart Shadoff (ENG) def. Candie Kung/Phoebe Yao (TPE), 6 and 4

Points – England, 4; Chinese Taipei, 0

Pool A – Republic of Korea (KOR) vs. Australia (AUS)

So Yeon Ryu/In Gee Chun (KOR) def. Minjee Lee/Sarah Jane Smith (AUS), 2 and 1

Su Oh/Katherine Kirk (AUS) def. Sung Hyun Park/In-Kyung Kim (KOR), 3 and 2

Points – Republic of Korea, 2; Australia, 2


Round 3 (in progress)

Pool B – Thailand (THA) vs. Sweden (SWE)

Moriya Jutanugarn/Ariya Jutanugarn (THA) lead Anna Nordqvist/Caroline Hedwall (SWE), 3 up through 14

Pernilla Lindberg/Madelene Sagstrom (SWE) lead Pornanong Phatlum/Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong (THA), 2 up through 13

Pool B – United States (USA) vs. Japan (JPN)

Nasa Hataoka/Ayako Uehara (JPN) lead Jessica Korda/Michelle Wie (USA), 1 up through 12

Cristie Kerr/Lexi Thompson (USA) lead Misuzu Narita/Mamiko Higa (JPN), 1 up through 11

Pool A – Australia (AUS) vs. Chinese Taipei (TPE)

Minjee Lee/Sarah Jane Smith (AUS) lead Candie Kung/Teresa Lu (TPE), 1 up through 10

Su Oh/Katherine Kirk (AUS) lead Wei-Ling Hsu/Phoebe Yao (TPE), 3 up through 9

Pool A – England (ENG) vs. Republic of Korea (KOR)

Sung Hyun Park/In-Kyung Kim (KOR) lead Charley Hull/Georgia Hall (ENG), 4 up through 8

Bronte Law/Jodi Ewart Shadoff (ENG) lead In Gee Chun/So Yeon Ryu, 1 up through 6

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