Bank of Hope Founders Cup - R3

Yu Liu takes solo lead in Arizona

March 21-24
Wildfire Golf Club, Phoenix, Arizona
$1,500,000
Round 1, Round 2, Round 4


After a third round that at one point had 10 players tied for the lead, it was second-year LPGA Tour player Yu Liu who emerged from the pack and sits atop the leaderboard heading to the final round of the 2019 Bank of Hope Founders Cup. Liu, who won the 2014 NCAA National Championship with the Duke University women’s golf team, shot 4 under over her final four holes on Saturday, including an eagle-3 at the par-5 15th. At 19-under 197, she holds a one-stroke lead over Spain’s Carlota Ciganda, who is looking for her first LPGA Tour win since she took two titles in 2016.

“They moved the tee up today and the pin is on the front right, so I knew it’s pretty much a birdie hole,” said Liu of No. 15, this week’s hole for the Aon Risk-Reward Challenge. “You would lose a shot if you don’t birdie that hole. So I just tried to keep it on the fairway and ended up with a pretty good drive. Had about 190 to the pin and hit my 5-iron to about 20 feet. It was really good.”


Ciganda, who attended nearby Arizona State University, shot the round of the tournament, riding her hot putter to a bogey-free 9-under 63 and matching the best score of the week.

“When you make putts it’s great,” she said. “I’ve been playing great, hitting lots of green, so it was a matter of making putts.”

Angel Yin is in third at -16 after birdieing five of her final eight holes.

After Yu Liu sank her eighth birdie of the day on No. 18 at Wildfire Golf Club, as every player does at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, she shook the hands of the three LPGA Founders sitting on their perch. Marilynn Smith, Marlene Hagge and Shirley Spork offered words of congratulations and gave a quick pep talk to Liu who enters the final round with a one-shot lead.

“Without the Founders there would be no me,” Liu said. “Playing golf for a living is definitely not something that I take for granted. I really appreciate what the Founders done for us. Yeah, I’m very grateful for that.

It’s not only for the LPGA Founders that Liu would like to capture her maiden LPGA win, but another role model of hers – fellow Chinese player Shanshan Feng (-13), who is the only golfer from the People’s Republic of China to capture a win on the LPGA Tour.

“She’s an amazing player and greatest role model for all the girls and golfers from China,” Liu said. “Her achievement is just so, so far up there that I haven’t really think about it. Definitely trying to follow her footsteps.”

Angel Yin (-16) knows what it is like to be on top. The 20-year-old earned her first professional title at the Ladies European Tour’s 2017 Omega Dubai Ladies Classic, where she defeated then-reigning Women’s British Open champion In-Kyung Kim on the second playoff hole. In 2017, she was also selected to the Solheim Cup team as a captain’s pick and ranked second in the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year standings.

Yin, who sits alone in third after finishing Saturday with a 66, hopes to have that same winning feeling after the final round in Phoenix. “This is not my first time,” said Yin. “I’m going to try to do the same I’ve been doing the past three days and just play my game. If it works, it works.”

With a win

Yu Liu would become the second player from the People’s Republic of China to win on the LPGA Tour, joining nine-time winner Shanshan Feng

If Liu takes the victory, she would become the third LPGA Tour winner from Duke University, joining two-time winner Brittany Lang and Celine Boutier, who in February won the 2019 ISPS Handa Vic Open

Liu and Angel Yin would become the season’s second Rolex First-Time Winner, joining Celine Boutier

Carlota Ciganda would win her first tournament in the United States, joining wins in the Republic of Korea (the 2016 LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship) and Mexico (the 2016 Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Invitational)

Ciganda would become the second Arizona State University alumna to win the tournament, joining 2017 winner Anna Nordqvist

Player Notes

Rolex Rankings No. 71 Yu Liu (68-64-65)

Liu’s third-round 65 is tied for the third-lowest round of her LPGA Tour career; she shot a 63 in the second round of the 2018 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic and a 64 in Friday’s second round of the 2019 Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Her 54-hole 197 is the lowest 54-hole score of her LPGA Tour career, besting the 202 she shot at the 2018 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic

She hit 11 of 14 fairways and 10 of 18 greens

Liu is in her second season on the LPGA Tour; her best finish is third at the 2018 Volunteers of America Texas Classic

This is Liu’s fifth event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she finished T10 at the Honda LPGA Thailand and has yet to finish worse than 32nd

She is competing in her second Bank of Hope Founders Cup; she missed the cut in 2018

She played the 2013-14 season at Duke University and was a member of the 2014 NCAA National Championship-winning team

Rolex Rankings No. 37 Angel Yin (67-67-66)

Yin’s third-round 66 is tied for the third-lowest round of the LPGA Tour career; she shot 64 in the first round of the 2018 Indy Women in Tech Championship to go with five 65s and four previous 66s

Her 54-hole 200 is the second-lowest 54-hole score of her LPGA Tour career; she shot a 199 at the 2017 Bank of Hope Founders Cup, where she ultimately finished T19 after a final-round 72

She hit nine of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens

Yin is in her third season on the LPGA Tour; her best finish is second at the 2018 CP Women’s Open

This is Yin’s fourth event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she finished T4 at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open

She is competing in her third Bank of Hope Founders Cup; her best finish is T19 in 2017

Rolex Rankings No. 11 Carlota Ciganda (66-69-63)

Ciganda’s third-round 63 is tied for the lowest round of the LPGA Tour career; she shot 63 in the fourth round of the 2019 Honda LPGA Thailand and the fourth round of the 2015 Lorena Ochoa Invitational

Her 54-hole 198 is the lowest 54-hole score of her LPGA Tour career, besting the 200s she returned at the 2016 and 2017 Meijer LPGA Classics

She hit 11 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens

Ciganda is in her eighth season on the LPGA Tour; she has victories at the 2016 LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship and the 2016 Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Invitational

This is Ciganda’s fourth event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she finished third at the Honda LPGA Thailand and has yet to finish worse than 27th

She is competing in her sixth Bank of Hope Founders Cup; her best finish is T29 in 2015

She has three wins on the Ladies European Tour and represented Spain at the 2018 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, which she finished T39

She attended Arizona State University, where in 2009 and 2010 she became the first player to win consecutive Pac-10 Championship titles


Quick hits

Defending champion Inbee Park is T25 through 54 holes at -10

There were six eagles on the Aon Risk Reward Challenge No. 15 hole on Saturday; with the tee moved forward, the par-5 hole played at 479 yards in the third round

Jing Yan was disqualified following the third round for multiple breaches of Rule 4.3a. The yardage book that her caddie was using did not meet the new standards in Interpretation 4.3a/1 – Limitations on Using Green Reading Materials. 


Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
R2
R3
Total
1
Yu Liu
-19
68
64
65
197
2
Carlota Ciganda
-18
66
69
63
198
3
Angel Yin
-16
67
67
66
200
T4
Hyo Joo Kim
-15
69
68
64
201
T4
Jin Young Ko
-15
65
72
64
201
T4
Nelly Korda
-15
68
67
66
201
T4
Lydia Ko
-15
67
67
67
201
T4
Sung Hyun Park
-15
66
66
69
201
T9
Shanshan Feng
-13
70
69
64
203
T9
Bronte Law
-13
69
69
65
203
T9
Jessica Korda
-13
69
67
67
203
T9
Sei Young Kim
-13
69
67
67
203
T9
Charlotte Thomas
-13
65
71
67
203
T9
Mi Jung Hur
-13
68
66
69
203
T15
Azahara Munoz
-12
70
71
63
204
T15
Cristie Kerr
-12
69
67
68
204
T15
Brooke M. Henderson
-12
67
68
69
204
T15
Linnea Strom
-12
69
65
70
204
T19
Mo Martin
-11
71
68
66
205
T19
Jennifer Song
-11
70
68
67
205
T19
Mirim Lee
-11
67
70
68
205
T19
Sarah Schmelzel
-11
67
70
68
205
T19
Na Yeon Choi
-11
65
71
69
205
T19
Amy Yang
-11
68
66
71
205
T25
Austin Ernst
-10
72
68
66
206
T25
Stephanie Meadow
-10
72
67
67
206
T25
Pornanong Phatlum
-10
66
70
70
206
T25
Inbee Park
-10
69
66
71
206
T25
Cheyenne Knight
-10
66
68
72
206
T25
Nanna Koerstz Madsen
-10
65
69
72
206
T31
Haru Nomura
-9
70
71
66
207
T31
Anne Van Dam
-9
74
66
67
207
T31
Caroline Masson
-9
71
69
67
207
T31
Ariya Jutanugarn
-9
70
70
67
207
T31
Anna Nordqvist
-9
72
66
69
207
T31
Hee Young Park
-9
71
67
69
207
T31
Jeongeun Lee6
-9
70
65
72
207
T31
Celine Boutier
-9
64
70
73
207
T39
Emma Talley
-8
73
69
66
208
T39
Chella Choi
-8
69
71
68
208
T39
Annie Park
-8
71
68
69
208
T39
Jodi Ewart Shadoff
-8
70
69
69
208
T43
Lizette Salas
-7
69
74
66
209
T43
Mi Hyang Lee
-7
70
72
67
209
T43
Tiffany Joh
-7
69
73
67
209
T43
Moriya Jutanugarn
-7
69
71
69
209
T43
Brittany Lincicome
-7
74
65
70
209
T43
Amy Olson
-7
72
67
70
209
T43
Alana Uriell
-7
65
73
71
209
T50
Daniela Darquea
-6
67
76
67
210
T50
Alison Lee
-6
70
72
68
210
T50
Eun-Hee Ji
-6
72
69
69
210
T50
Ruixin Liu
-6
70
71
69
210
T50
Georgia Hall
-6
69
72
69
210
T50
Su Oh
-6
69
72
69
210
T50
Gaby Lopez
-6
70
70
70
210
T50
Ally McDonald
-6
69
71
70
210
T50
Marina Alex
-6
68
70
72
210
T50
Jenny Shin
-6
66
71
73
210
T60
Kristen Gillman
-5
74
69
68
211
T60
Dana Finkelstein
-5
72
70
69
211
T60
Wichanee Meechai
-5
71
70
70
211
T60
Peiyun Chien
-5
69
71
71
211
T60
Thidapa Suwannapura
-5
72
67
72
211
T65
Minjee Lee
-4
71
72
69
212
T65
Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong
-4
72
70
70
212
T65
Hannah Green
-4
69
72
71
212
T65
Katherine Kirk
-4
68
73
71
212
T65
Kim Kaufman
-4
73
67
72
212
T65
Tiffany Chan
-4
73
66
73
212
T71
Elizabeth Szokol
-3
73
70
70
213
T71
Charley Hull
-3
73
70
70
213
T71
Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras
-3
73
70
70
213
T71
In Gee Chun
-3
72
71
70
213
T71
Gemma Dryburgh
-3
70
73
70
213
T76
Brianna Do
-2
74
69
71
214
T76
Wei-Ling Hsu
-2
70
71
73
214
T78
Brittany Altomare
-1
69
74
72
215
T78
Clariss Guce
-1
68
75
72
215
T78
Sandra Gal
-1
73
69
73
215
T81
Megan Khang
E
74
69
73
216
T81
Yoon-Ji Cho
E
72
71
73
216
T81
Sarah Jane Smith
E
71
72
73
216
T81
Xiyu Lin
E
70
73
73
216
85
Lee-Anne Pace
4
73
70
77
220
CUT
Stacy Lewis
E
75
69
CUT
Jaye Marie Green
E
74
70
CUT
Morgan Pressel
E
74
70
CUT
Christina Kim
E
73
71
CUT
Brittany Marchand
E
71
73
CUT
Mariah Stackhouse
E
71
73
CUT
Nicole Broch Larsen
E
70
74
CUT
Brittany Lang
E
69
75
CUT
Juli Inkster
1
76
69
CUT
Catriona Matthew
1
75
70
CUT
Laura Davies
1
74
71
CUT
Isi Gabsa
1
74
71
CUT
Aditi Ashok
1
73
72
CUT
Jenny Haglund
1
73
72
CUT
In-Kyung Kim
1
73
72
CUT
Lauren Stephenson
1
73
72
CUT
Kendall Dye
1
72
73
CUT
Ayako Uehara
1
72
73
CUT
Candie Kung
1
71
74
CUT
Marissa Steen
1
71
74
CUT
Haeji Kang
1
69
76
CUT
Lindy Duncan
2
75
71
CUT
Jane Park
2
75
71
CUT
Anne-Catherine Tanguay
2
75
71
CUT
Celine Herbin
2
74
72
CUT
Alena Sharp
2
74
72
CUT
Mariajo Uribe
2
74
72
CUT
Mel Reid
2
73
73
CUT
Csicsi Rozsa
2
73
73
CUT
Pernilla Lindberg
2
72
74
CUT
Ashleigh Buhai
2
70
76
CUT
Youngin Chun
3
76
71
CUT
Sakura Yokomine
3
76
71
CUT
Mina Harigae
3
74
73
CUT
Jackie Stoelting
3
74
73
CUT
Dani Holmqvist
3
73
74
CUT
Ryann O’Toole
3
73
74
CUT
Jacqui Concolino
3
72
75
CUT
Laura Gonzalez Escallon
3
72
75
CUT
Yani Tseng
3
72
75
CUT
Maria Torres
3
69
78
CUT
Angela Stanford
4
76
72
CUT
Dottie Ardina
4
75
73
CUT
Pavarisa Yoktuan
4
75
73
CUT
Angelina Kim (a)
4
74
74
CUT
Jeong Eun Lee
4
74
74
CUT
Jaclyn Lee
4
73
75
CUT
Lindsey Weaver
4
73
75
CUT
Karine Icher
4
72
76
CUT
Gerina Piller
5
78
71
CUT
Madelene Sagstrom
5
74
75
CUT
Klara Spilkova
5
73
76
CUT
Benyapa Niphatsophon
6
78
72
CUT
Kris Tamulis
6
77
73
CUT
Becca Huffer
7
75
76
CUT
Joanna Klatten
9
76
77
CUT
Maddie McCrary
9
73
80
DQ
Jing Yan
69
69
WD
Beatriz Recari