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Tour News

Katherine Kirk's three shot lead at Thornberry Creek

Kirk a signficant form reversal has her in front (Photo: Henry Peters)
Five birdies and an eagle in a closing nine of 29 for a round of 63 have given Australian Katherine Kirk a three-shot lead through 36 holes of the weather delayed and inaugural Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic in Oneida in Wisconsin, the 35 year old describing her round as perhaps the best of her lengthy LPGA Tour career.

“I think it might be my best on the LPGA. Yeah, I'm trying to think -- I know I've had eight (under) but I don't know if I've had nine, so yeah, really happy with it.”

Asked if she had been expecting something like this sort of form coming into the week Kirk replied; “Not really. You hope that they're in there, but it's golf. I mean, the two girls I played with the last two days, they've both been playing really well, had good finishes last week in the major, and you'd think that they'd have some momentum coming in here.

“I’ve been hitting it pretty well lately but I always struggle with timing or with something else that is not hot when everything else is firing.

“But golf is just a funny game, so you kind of ride the highs when you can and try and get out of the lows as fast as you can.”

Kirk’s last of two LPGA Tour victories came in 2010 and since then there have been some tough times and a form line that shows only one top ten since July of 2014.

Kirk not only has a potential victory on the line tomorrow but as things stand right now she does not have a start in next week’s US Open after missing out on a spot via Sectional Qualifying where she finished as an alternate. A win this week would earn her the right to play in women golf’s greatest championship in Bedminster in New Jersey next week.

The former Women’s Collegiate Golf Hall of Famer and star while at Pepperdine University has always been an exceptional talent and the sort of golf she displayed today is a far better reflection on her capabilities than that she has been producing in recent times.

Kirk leads by three over American Jaye Marie Green and Germany's Sandra Gal although Gal still has five holes to play when the delayed second round resumes on Saturday morning.

South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai, Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn and Pavaris Yoktuan and Korea’s Ilhee Lee are tied for 4th at 9 under and four from the lead.

Minjee Lee appears as if she will make the cut. She currently sits on the cutline at 3 under and has finished her round while Karrie Webb will be required to finish her second round on Saturday morning and is on the cutline at 3 under through eleven holes.

The disappointment of the week has been the withdrawal of Ariya Jutanugarn who after an opening round of 78 yesterday withdraw from the event reportedly with a shoulder injury which is a major concern given the US Women's Open is now only six days away.