Pinehurst No. 8 | Pinehurst, N.C. | Aug. 27-29, 2018
Second-Round Notes – Aug. 28, 2018
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LPGA WINNER KANG ON TOP AT PINEHURST
Through two rounds at the 2018 LPGA T&CP National Championship, a familiar face is on top of the leaderboard. Two-time LPGA winner Jimin Kang (Scottsdale, Ariz.) fired a one-under par 71 at Pinehurst No. 8 on Tuesday and holds a one-shot lead in the Championship division over Seul-Ki Park (Winchester, Mass.) and Stephanie Eiswerth (Fleming Island, S.C.).
After being misdiagnosed and over-medicated for moderate allergies, Kang was forced to take time away from golf in 2013 and has been slowly mounting a comeback to the LPGA Tour while also working on her LPGA Class A teaching certification.
Kang’s first taste of LPGA golf in 2018 was at the Monday qualifier for the Bank of Hope Founders Cup in Phoenix, she missed qualifying by two strokes but left with a lot of confidence.
“I wasn’t really ready, but it was down the street, so I was like alright let me see if I can do something. Then, all the sudden I’m trying to get back on the Tour. It wasn’t really like I planned it, but then I saw myself and I could shoot low out there and I was like I know what I need to work on: consistency.”
Kang’s big personality was evident as she sat down to sign her scorecard after posting the low round of the day, and took a sigh of relief and said, “I don’t know what I shot, but progress!” If Kang keeps it rolling on Wednesday, she’ll have a chance to play in her first LPGA major since the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open.
The top eight finishers in the Championship division will go on to represent the LPGA T&CP in the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, one of five major championships on the LPGA Tour, which will be held at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota.
2017 Championship division winner, Wendy Doolan (+6) (Lakeland, Fla.) got things back on track on Tuesday with a 2-over par 74 to sit in a tie for seventh heading into the final round. Ashley Grier (Springfield, Penn.) is looking to qualify for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship for a second-straight year and is in good position to do so at 4-over par through two rounds.
“I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing,” Grier said, “and not think about anything different. It’s just one more round. I’m going to try to keep the exact same mindset, it’s been working so far.”
After 36-holes the field was cut to the top 70 players and ties.
CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION LEADERBOARD
COE HOPES TO QUALIFY BACK-TO-BACK
Joanna Coe (Baltimore, Md.) had a busier Summer than usual after she Monday qualified into the ShopRite LPGA Classic outside her hometown in June. Coe, a PGA Professional at Baltimore Country Club, then played a few weeks later at the 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Kemper Lakes in July, thanks to her runner-up finish at the 2017 LPGA T&CP National Championship.
This week, Coe is playing for the first time at Pinehurst No. 8 and is drawing motivation from her experiences over the Summer to stay in the top eight.
“It was so cool to Monday qualify in my hometown,” Coe said. “Then I played in KPMG two weeks later, I felt like I was back on Tour with two LPGA events in June so that was super cool. I always like to test my game against the best in the world. Got to get one more good round in tomorrow and see what happens.”
LOCAL LOOKING FOR BACK-TO-BACK CHALLENGE DIVISION WINS
Defending champion in the Challenge division, Charlaine Hirst (Pinehurst, N.C.) may have only played her fourth round of golf all year on Tuesday, but any rust she had wore off quickly as she posted a 6-over par 150 36-hole total. Hirst holds a nine-stroke lead over Liz Cooper (Woodbridge, Va.), Joellyn Crooks (Fuquay Varina, N.C.) and Susan Fasoldt (Sarasota, Fla.).
Hirst is a Teaching Professional at the nearby Country Club of Whispering Pines, and with her busy schedule doesn’t get to play a lot of golf but every year she relishes the opportunity to play the LPGA T&CP National Championship.
“I just love to compete, and this is my one time a year I do it,” Hirst said. “I don’t really get to prepare for it, but no matter where this event is it’s the one time I get to come travel and play tournament golf again. When I work with my students I have something to draw on and can speak from experience, not just that I played way back when.”
CHALLENGE DIVISION LEADERBOARD
FORMER SENIOR DIVISION CHAMP ENJOYING PINEHURST TEST
Barbara Moxness (Edina, Minn.), who played on the LPGA Tour between 1978 and 1986, is playing Pinehurst No. 8 for the first time this week and is finding it to be a really fun challenge as she holds a five-shot lead over Kelley Brooke (Belle Harbor, N.Y.).
“I didn’t miss a green today,” Moxness said. “Just trying to figure out where to land it and what it’s going to do is the key, because these greens are really difficult.”
Moxness, an LPGA T&CP Life member and founder/owner of the Moxie Golf Academy, has good memories at French Lick Resort as it was the site of her 2012 Senior division win, and thanks to a T3 finish at this event in 2017 she is set to compete at the 2018 Senior LPGA Championship.
“Absolutely, I’m looking forward to playing. That’s a great event at French Lick, it’s one of the most difficult courses we play.”
The top five finishers in the Senior division will qualify for the 2019 Senior LPGA Championship at the French Lick Resort as well as any competitors over the age of 45 who finish in the top 10 in the Championship division.
SENIOR DIVISION LEADERBOARD
Jimin Kang, on her second round:
“All the instructors always say, ‘take it one shot at a time.’ I think that’s what I did today. I won’t say that I listened to my own advice, but I think that’s what happened.”
Charlaine Hirst, on playing close to home:
“I love this course, it’s one of my favorites in the area. Being local I’ve got a lot of friends in the area, and people that I work with and give lessons to so it’s fun to have them come out and watch me play. Being at home is always fun, sleeping in my own bed and getting to relax at home at the end of the day is always nice.”
Joanna Coe, on her second-round play:
“Definitely happy with the way I played today. I hit it so much better today, and I actually made some pretty good par saves. I hit it well, I probably could’ve shot a couple under, but you have to protect some of these putts you could slam some by that you don’t mean to. It’s hard to make birdies out here.”
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