Park Hyun-kyung is looking to escape the ‘runner-up jinx’ for the second year in a row.
Park shot a 4-under 68 with five birdies in the third round of the SK networks-Seoul Economic Ladies (800 million won) on the Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) Tour at Pinx Golf Club (Par 72) in Seogwipo City, Jeju Province, on Monday.
With a 5-under-par 211 total, Park will head into the final round tied for the lead with Lee Da-yeon, Lim Jin-hee and Bae So-hyun.
Park has finished runner-up nine times without a win since her career-best three victories at the Chris F&C KLPGA Championship in May 2021.
She finished runner-up in three consecutive events in 2021 and has already finished runner-up three times this year.
Her seventh-best scoring average and sixth-best Order of Merit this year suggest that she’s in good enough shape to win at any time, but she fell just one step short of the title.
It’s been two months since Park led the final round at the Doosan E&C Weave Championship in August.
“I think I’m not playing well because I’m desperate to win,” said Park, who was unable to hold onto the lead in the final round and finished tied for sixth. “I’m trying to let go of my desire to win and just play for fun,” she said.
“I think I’m past the point of desperation. I’m grateful for the support I get from people around me, but it tends to make me shrink, so I’m trying to relax and not think about winning,” she said.
Park diagnosed her situation as “more mental than technical,” and said, “There is no problem with reducing the number of hits in the technical part. It’s the psychological part that’s important,” and repeatedly hypnotized herself to play the final round without pressure.
“My shot feeling has been improving since the last tournament,” Park said, adding, “Yesterday I struggled a bit with the wind, but I hit a lot of good shots on the first day and today.” Her 68 was the best score of the day.
Her 68 was the best score of the day.
However, Park will have to overcome some strong competition if she is to escape the runner-up jinx and win the title.
Lee, who has won two major tournaments this year, the Chris F&C KLPGA Championship and the Hana Financial Group Championship, is two strokes off the lead after the day and will be looking for her third win of the season.
Im Jin-hee, who won her third title of the season at the Sangsang Inn-Korea Economic TV Open on Sept. 22, shot a 1-under 70 to move into a share of the lead and will be the first to look for her fourth win of the season.
Bae So-hyun, who is yet to win a tournament, will also be looking for her first career victory with a steady stream of under-par scores over the next three days.
Lee So-young, who fired the best score of the day with a 4-under 68, and first- and second-round leader Lee Chae-eun are in a tie for fifth place (4-under 212), one shot behind the co-leaders and within striking distance of an upset.
A resurgent Lim enters the final round two strokes back in a tie for seventh (3-under par 213).
Lee Ye-won, the winner of the prize money, grand prize, and scoring average, is tied for 20th (1-over par 217). 토토사이트