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Katherine Kirk's encouraging start in Phoenix

Kirk continues her recent good form (Photo: Bruce Young)
Katherine Kirk has made a strong start to the Bank of Hope Founders Cup in Phoenix in Arizona, her opening round of 3 under par having her just two from the first-round leaders, Chella Choi and Karine Icher.

Despite the cool and breezy conditions in the opening US based event of the LPGA Tour season, nearly sixty players broke par on day one and therefore that many players are within just four shots of the lead as the event heads into tomorrow’s second round.

Kirk is Australia’s second highest ranked female golfer and while much of the hype in Australian golf in recent times has been on the emerging talents of Minjee Lee, Hannah Green and Su Oh, the 36 year old has shown in the last twelve months that she continues to have the game to contend with the elite.

Not only did she win in Wisconsin last year she has recorded several other very good finishes since including when 3rd at the Evian Championship and 4th at the recent Women’s Australian Open.

Today, Kirk made the turn in 3 under and although she essentially trod water over her closing nine she is well enough placed looking ahead.

Choi and Icher lead by one over a large group of players that includes former World Number Ones Inbee Park and a resurgent Ariya Jutanugarn.

Recent winner Michelle Wie is at 3 under and tied for 9th with Kirk and several others including another recent winner Jessica Korda while the 2018 Women’s Australian Open Champion Jin Young Ko was at 2 under 70 and tied for 18th.

Of the other Australians Sarah Jane Smith had 71, Rebecca Artis in her first start in the US as an LPGA Tour member had 72 and Hannah Green also in her rookie season a 73.




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