ANA Inspiration - R3

Ko leads Korean charge at the ANA Inspiration

April 04-07
Mission Hills CC, Dinah Shore Course, Rancho Mirage, California
$3,000,000
Round 1, Round 2, Round 4


Korea’s Jin Young Ko will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the ANA Inspiration after surviving a rollercoaster finish to her four-under-par round of 68.

Jin Young Ko takes lead heading into final round, © Getty Images

© Getty Image


Ko, the world no. five, had six birdies in the first 10 holes but came back to the field when she double bogeyed the 14 th and then dropped another shot at the 15 th . A birdie at the 17 th helped keep her in pole position at eight under, however, just ahead of her compatriot In-Kyung Kim.

Kim started the day three shots clear but slipped back with a 73, while another Korean Mi Hyang Lee, is tied third after a 68 which featured a hole-in-one at the 17 th . She is level with American Danielle Kang, who signed for a 70.

Ko, who is chasing her first major title, said: “Sometimes these things happen like on 14 and 15, I’m not a robot, I’m human. I don’t think about the bad things, I just look for the good things.

“I have a great relationship with IK. She’s amazing and I will really enjoy playing with her tomorrow. I’m not afraid, I’m just looking forward to Sunday.”

Kim, who missed a putt from a foot here in 2012 to win her maiden major, was three over for the front nine but ground out a two-under-par back nine to stay in touch with Ko.

She said: “I did my best. I still love playing golf – I think that’s why I played quite well on the back nine. I hit many good shots.

“The wind really didn’t come as much as I expected. That kind of got me a little bit on the front nine. But tomorrow is another day, and I think I’ve learned a lot today.

“It’s hard to stay in the process. I’m just glad to be here with my friends and a lot of people rooting for me. I feel it, and I just want to go out and enjoy tomorrow.”

England’s Charley Hull carded a 74 to slip down to a share of 15 th spot and it was a day to forget for reigning Women’s British Open champion Georgia Hall, whose 76 left her tied 50th .

Two-time LPGA winner Danielle Kang shot a 2-under 70 on Saturday in Rancho Mirage, making three birdies against a lone bogey to move -5 overall. The 26-year-old American is tied for third heading into the final round with Mi Hyang Lee , and three shots behind leader Jin Young Ko .

“To be honest, I was getting a little bit greedy. I wanted those putts to drop. I definitely hit some incredible shots coming in,” said Kang, who birdied the par-5 11th and then parred her way into the clubhouse. “Saved those pars, and each hole is very difficult out here. It’s one of the toughest it’s ever played in my opinion. I’ve been here I think 8 years now.”


Kang is making her eighth start at the ANA Inspiration with a best finish of T26 in 2015 and 2016; the highest she’s climbed on the leaderboard through 54 holes at Mission Hills was 27th in 2016. As usual, Kang watched the leaderboard today as she patiently made a steady climb to close in on the leaders.

“I definitely saw the leaderboard and one of players, I saw was at 10-under. I know I am at 5, but like I said, every hole you can’t lose your focus. There is so much going on per hole. You miss a green by a yard you might not get an opportunity,” said Kang, who hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation. “I knew that, and especially it’s a final round of a major championship. I know there are a lot of people in the hunt. It’s going to be exciting.” 

On Saturday afternoon at the ANA Inspiration, Mi Hyang Lee rolled in a hole-in-one on No. 17, from 181 yards and with a 5-hybrid. If her reaction was any indication, she was REALLY excited as she let out a loud scream. With the ace, Lee wins two first-class round-trip tickets courtesy of ANA Airlines. She finished at -5 overall and is within striking distance of the leaders heading into tomorrow’s final round tied with Danielle Kang for third.

After her round, Lee said she didn’t realize a free flight was at stake when she made the ace: “I didn’t think about that because my caddie told me no cars here, nothing…So, yeah, right now just I will think about it. Some vacation.” Lee, who wanted to be a flight attendant when she was younger, said she might use the tickets to spend time with her family in the offseason.

Her ace adds another $20,000 to the season-long CME Group Cares Challenge – Score 1 for St. Jude, which benefits St. Jude Children’s Hospital. With eight aces so far in 2019, the donation total now tallies $160,000.

With a win…

Jin Young Ko, In-Kyung Kim or Mi Hyang Lee would become the fifth player from the Republic of Korea to win the ANA Inspiration, joining Grace Park (2004), Sun Young Yoo (2012), Inbee Park (2013) and So Yeon Ryu (2017)

Ko or Lee would become the 17th player to win her first major at the ANA Inspiration

Ko or Lee would become the 15th player from the Republic of Korea to win a major, the most of any country other than the United States

Kim or Danielle Kang would become the 21st player with multiple major victories; Kim won the 2017 AIG Women’s British Open, while Kang won the 2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

Ko would become the first multiple winner of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; two weeks ago, she won the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Kang would become the second consecutive American to win a major, joining Angela Stanford, who won the 2018 Evian Championship

Player Notes

Rolex Rankings No. 5 Jin Young Ko (69-71-68)

This is the second time in Ko’s career that she has the lead going into the final round of a major; she was tied for first at the 2015 AIG Women’s British Open (as a non-Member) and finished in solo second

Ko’s third-round 68 is her career-best round at the ANA Inspiration, breaking the mark set by the 69 she shot in the first round

Her 54-hole 208 is her career-best 54-hole score at the ANA Inspiration; her previous best was a 215 in 2018, when she finished tied for 64th

She hit 10 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens, with 27 putts

Ko is in her second season on the LPGA Tour; she won the 2018 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open in her Membership debut and won the 2017 LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship as a non-Member

This is Ko’s sixth event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she won the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, finished second at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and tied for third at the HSBC Women’s World Championship

She is competing in her fourth ANA Inspiration; her best finish is T64 in 2018

Ko won the 2018 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year honors, an award she clinched with four events remaining in the season

Rolex Rankings No. 25 In-Kyung Kim (71-65-73)

This is the first time in Kim’s career that she will play in the final group on Sunday at the ANA Inspiration

Her 54-hole 209 is tied for her career-best 54-hole score at the ANA Inspiration; she also shot 209 in 2018, when she finished tied for 30th

She hit 12 of 14 fairways and 11 of 18 greens, with 29 putts

Kim is in her 13th season on the LPGA Tour; she has seven career victories, including a major win at the 2017 AIG Women’s British Open

This is Kim’s third event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is T19 at last week’s Kia Classic

She is competing in her 12th ANA Inspiration; she was runner-up in a playoff with Sun Young Yoo in 2012, after she missed a 1-foot putt on the final hole that would have won the championship

Kim is a two-time member of Team Korea at the UL International Crown

In 2015, she won the Kia Community Assist Award for her charitable efforts with the Special Olympics, where she is a Global Ambassador for Golf; she donated her entire winner’s check from the 2010 Lorena Ochoa Invitational to charity, half to the Lorena Ochoa Foundation and half to the Special Olympics 

Rolex Rankings No. 54 Mi Hyang Lee (70-73-68)

Lee’s third-round 68 is tied for her career-best round at the ANA Inspiration; she shot a 68 in the second round in 2015

Her 54-hole 211 is her career-best 54-hole score at the ANA Inspiration; her previous best was a 212 in 2015, when she finished tied for eighth

She hit seven of 14 fairways and 11 of 18 greens, with 25 putts

Lee is in her eighth season on the LPGA Tour; she has two career victories, most recently the 2017 Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open

Lee’s ace on the par-3 17 th was her third career hole-in-one

This is Lee’s seventh event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is T10 at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open

She is competing in her sixth ANA Inspiration; her best finish is a tie for eighth in 2015, with missed cuts the last two consecutive years

Lee spent 2012 on both the LPGA and Symetra Tours; on the Symetra Tour, she earned Gaelle Truett Rookie of the Year honors thanks to a season that included a win at the Symetra Classic

Rolex Rankings No. 16 Danielle Kang (71-68-70)

Kang’s third-round 70 is tied for her third-best round at the ANA Inspiration; she shot two 67s in 2015, recorded a 69 in yesterday’s second round and has two other 70s

Her 54-hole 211 is her career-best 54-hole score at the ANA Inspiration; her previous best was a 213 in 2016, when she finished tied for 26th

She hit six of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens, with 33 putts

Kang is in her eighth season on the LPGA Tour; she has two career victories, including a major win at the 2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

This is Kang’s fourth event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she tied for second at last week’s Kia Classic and has two other top-20 finishes

She is competing in her eighth ANA Inspiration; her best finish is a tie for 26th in 2015 and 2016

Kang represented the USA at the 2017 Solheim Cup


Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
R2
R3
Total
1
Jin Young Ko
-8
69
71
68
208
2
In-Kyung Kim
-7
71
65
73
209
T3
Mi Hyang Lee
-5
70
73
68
211
T3
Danielle Kang
-5
72
69
70
211
T5
Alena Sharp
-3
76
70
67
213
T5
Jeongeun Lee6
-3
71
71
71
213
T5
Katherine Kirk
-3
71
68
74
213
T8
Angel Yin
-2
71
74
69
214
T8
Stacy Lewis
-2
71
73
70
214
T8
Xiyu Lin
-2
70
74
70
214
T8
Brooke M. Henderson
-2
71
72
71
214
T8
Jessica Korda
-2
70
73
71
214
T8
Sung Hyun Park
-2
71
70
73
214
T8
Ally McDonald
-2
68
72
74
214
T15
Ayako Uehara
-1
75
72
68
215
T15
Hyo Joo Kim
-1
69
76
70
215
T15
Brittany Lincicome
-1
75
69
71
215
T15
Carlota Ciganda
-1
72
72
71
215
T15
Mo Martin
-1
71
73
71
215
T15
Jenny Shin
-1
72
71
72
215
T15
Alison Lee
-1
71
72
72
215
T15
Amy Yang
-1
70
72
73
215
T15
Charley Hull
-1
72
69
74
215
T15
Jing Yan
-1
70
71
74
215
T15
Lexi Thompson
-1
69
72
74
215
T26
Sandra Gal
E
74
73
69
216
T26
Minjee Lee
E
73
74
69
216
T26
Yu Liu
E
73
73
70
216
T26
Anna Nordqvist
E
73
71
72
216
T26
Lizette Salas
E
70
73
73
216
T31
Megan Khang
1
71
75
71
217
T31
Jaye Marie Green
1
74
71
72
217
T31
Hee Young Park
1
71
74
72
217
T31
Gaby Lopez
1
71
74
72
217
T31
Linnea Strom
1
69
76
72
217
T31
Lauren Stephenson
1
70
74
73
217
T37
Sakura Yokomine
2
76
73
69
218
T37
Jiyai Shin
2
75
74
69
218
T37
Jacqui Concolino
2
74
75
69
218
T37
Moriya Jutanugarn
2
74
73
71
218
T37
Ryann O’Toole
2
73
74
71
218
T37
Madelene Sagstrom
2
72
75
71
218
T37
Kristen Gillman
2
74
71
73
218
T37
Nasa Hataoka
2
73
72
73
218
T37
Chella Choi
2
72
73
73
218
T37
Jennifer Song
2
73
71
74
218
T47
Morgan Pressel
3
76
70
73
219
T47
Eun-Hee Ji
3
72
73
74
219
T47
Lydia Ko
3
70
75
74
219
T50
Wei-Ling Hsu
4
73
76
71
220
T50
Pornanong Phatlum
4
77
71
72
220
T50
Patty Tavatanakit (a)
4
75
73
72
220
T50
Brittany Altomare
4
76
71
73
220
T50
Caroline Masson
4
73
74
73
220
T50
Mariajo Uribe
4
72
74
74
220
T50
Ariya Jutanugarn
4
75
70
75
220
T50
Georgia Hall
4
74
70
76
220
T50
Jodi Ewart Shadoff
4
73
70
77
220
T59
Haeji Kang
5
74
75
72
221
T59
Austin Ernst
5
71
78
72
221
T59
Amy Olson
5
76
71
74
221
T59
Albane Valenzuela (a)
5
75
72
74
221
T59
Inbee Park
5
73
72
76
221
T64
So Yeon Ryu
6
75
74
73
222
T64
Cristie Kerr
6
70
78
74
222
T64
Mi Jung Hur
6
72
75
75
222
T64
Marina Alex
6
75
71
76
222
T64
Beatriz Recari
6
72
74
76
222
69
Nelly Korda
7
74
75
74
223
T70
Nanna Koerstz Madsen
8
74
75
75
224
T70
Marissa Steen
8
72
75
77
224
T72
Sarah Jane Smith
9
74
75
76
225
T72
Azahara Munoz
9
72
77
76
225
74
Jane Park
11
70
79
78
227
T75
Sarah Schmelzel
12
76
73
79
228
T75
Mariah Stackhouse
12
75
74
79
228
77
Ashleigh Buhai
15
73
76
82
231
CUT
Maria Torres
6
76
74
CUT
Emma Talley
6
75
75
CUT
Lindy Duncan
6
73
77
CUT
Haru Nomura
6
73
77
CUT
Jasmine Suwannapura
7
78
73
CUT
Gerina Piller
7
77
74
CUT
Aditi Ashok
7
76
75
CUT
Mamiko Higa
7
76
75
CUT
In Gee Chun
7
75
76
CUT
Michelle Wie
7
74
77
CUT
Pernilla Lindberg
7
73
78
CUT
Angela Stanford
8
78
74
CUT
Celine Boutier
8
77
75
CUT
Juli Inkster
8
77
75
CUT
Frida Kinhult (a)
9
80
73
CUT
Shanshan Feng
9
79
74
CUT
Brittany Lang
9
78
75
CUT
Bronte Law
9
78
75
CUT
Jeong Eun Lee
9
77
76
CUT
Anne van Dam
9
77
76
CUT
Peiyun Chien
9
74
79
CUT
Mirim Lee
9
72
81
CUT
Annie Park
10
76
78
CUT
Hannah Green
11
80
75
CUT
Sei Young Kim
11
78
77
CUT
Sarah Kemp
11
76
79
CUT
Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras
12
84
72
CUT
Rachel Heck (a)
12
79
77
CUT
Kim Kaufman
12
76
80
CUT
Laura Gonzalez Escallon
12
75
81
CUT
Charlotte Thomas
13
79
78
CUT
Karrie Webb
13
78
79
CUT
Su Oh
13
77
80
CUT
Yani Tseng
14
78
80
CUT
Xin Kou (a)
24
82
86