YIN USING PAST CONFIDENCE TO HELP IN FINAL ROUND
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.”
LIU AIMING FOR BREAKTHROUGH WIN AT THE BANK OF HOPE FOUNDERS CUP
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. “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.
LIU LOOKS TO WIN IN HONOR OF HER ROLE MODELS
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.”
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
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
- 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.