Inbee Park, Jin Young Ko tied at the top in ShopRite LPGA

Oct 2, 2021, 3:52 AM | Updated: 3:53 pm
Jin Young Ko, of South Korea, watches het tee shot on the 17th hole during the final round of the L...

Jin Young Ko, of South Korea, watches het tee shot on the 17th hole during the final round of the LPGA Arkansas Championship golf tournament, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Rogers, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

(AP Photo/Michael Woods)

GALLOWAY, N.J. (AP) — Inbee Park birdied three of her last five holes to match Jin Young Ko with a 6-under 65 and the leave two top South Koreans in the world tied for the lead Saturday in the ShopRite LPGA.

Ko, the No. 2 player in the world, played in the morning on the windy Bay Course at Seaview and ran off five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the front nine. She had to settle for only one bogey on the back nine and was the first to post at 11-under 131.

Park is the No. 3 player in the world and putted well all day, her hallmark. She holed a 30-foot birdie on No. 6 and had a 6-foot par save on the next hole.

They were two shots ahead of ANA Inspiration winner Patty Tavatanakit, who birdied the final hole to cap off a bogey-free 65.

Brittany Lincicome (67) and Nanna Koerstz Madsen of Denmark (68) were three shots behind going into the final round.

Ko has a recent history of playing her best golf at the end of the year. She sat out most of the LPGA Tour season last year, staying home during the pandemic, and returned to capture the CME Group Tour Championship.

Now she sets her sights on a third victory in her last five starts on the LPGA Tour. That doesn’t include the Olympics, where Ko tied for ninth.

“I like it better than earlier in the year,” said Ko, who changed swing coaches late last year and feels all parts of her game are starting to come together.

Park won her first start of the year at the Kia Classic, but has been struggling of late by going six consecutive events outside the top 10.

“I remember putting good in Kia and then earlier in the season,” Park said. “And then middle of the season to the end of the season, not as good. I feel like this week is almost back to like where I was putting really good earlier in the season.”

Nelly Korda, the No. 1 player in women’s golf, has not played since the U.S. loss in the Solheim Cup a month ago. That leaves Ko and Park, both multiple major champions and former No. 1 players, to battle it out.

“Jin Young is really, really good player, too, so I think it’ll be really fun out there tomorrow playing with her,” Park said. “Obviously, you need some birdies out here to win tomorrow. Knowing that No. 2 player in the world is hunting for the same thing I am hunting for, definitely need to put some good performance. Good motivation to play for.”

Not to be overlooked is Tavatanakit, the first major champion of the year, who is well within range.

“I was thinking since I’m two back, I would say 4 or 5 under tomorrow would put myself in a really good position because I know how good they are,” Tavatanakit said. “No pressure, no expectations. I’m just going to go out there and play golf, and hopefully I get up to where I think I should be.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) is sacked by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Y...
Associated Press

Ryan drives Colts to 1st win with 20-17 comeback vs Chiefs

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Matt Ryan threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to rookie Jelani Woods with 24 seconds left Sunday to give the Indianapolis Colts a 20-17 comeback victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Ryan earned his first win with the Colts in their home opener by hooking up with Woods for both Indianapolis touchdowns, one […]
14 hours ago
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. (15) runs the ball down the field for 67 yards...
Associated Press

Panthers defeat Saints 22-14 to snap 9-game losing streak

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Laviska Shenault caught a 67-yard touchdown pass from Baker Mayfield, Marquis Haynes returned a fumble 44 yards for a touchdown and the Carolina Panthers defeated the New Orleans Saints 22-14 on Sunday to snap a nine-game losing streak. Mayfield threw for 170 yards and Christian McCaffrey ran for 108 as the […]
14 hours ago
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) passes under pressure from New England Patriots defe...
Associated Press

Jackson accounts for 5 TDs, Ravens hold off Patriots 37-26

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Lamar Jackson threw four touchdown passes and ran for another score to help the Baltimore Ravens hold off the New England Patriots 37-26 on Sunday. New England’s Mac Jones suffered a leg injury with less than two minutes to play, hopping off the field and heading straight to the locker room. […]
14 hours ago
Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) celebrates with Robert Woods (2) after Tannehill r...
Associated Press

Titans never trail in keeping Raiders winless with 24-22 win

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Ryan Tannehill threw for 264 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score and the Tennessee Titans never trailed Sunday, holding off the Las Vegas Raiders 24-22 for their first victory this season. Derrick Henry also ran for 85 yards and a touchdown. Henry also added 58 yards more receiving […]
14 hours ago
Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith, right, is tackled by Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills ...
Associated Press

Smith INT sets up game-ending FG as Bears beat Texans 23-20

CHICAGO (AP) — Roquan Smith set up Cairo Santos’ game-ending field goal when he intercepted Davis Mills deep in Houston territory, and the Chicago Bears beat former coach Lovie Smith and the Texans 23-20 on Sunday. Khalil Herbert ran for a career-high 157 yards and two touchdowns for Chicago. The Texans had third-and-1 at their […]
14 hours ago
Toronto Blue Jays' George Springer, right, celebrates with teammate Ric Tapia after hitting a two-r...
Associated Press

Springer 2 homers, Blue Jays beat Rays 7-1 for 4-game split

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — George Springer homered twice, Alejandro Kirk and Teoscar Hernández also went deep and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-1 on Sunday to gain a foiur-game split. Toronto (86-67) opered a two=game lead over Tampa Bay (84-69) for the top wild card with nine games left. Seattle […]
14 hours ago
Inbee Park, Jin Young Ko tied at the top in ShopRite LPGA