SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — Wind, pins located close to the edges of many greens, and tee markers pushed back on Saturday provided the toughest scoring conditions of the week at the 68th US Women’s Open.
Jessica Korda provided the drama.
Korda dismissed her caddie after playing the ninth hole on Saturday, giving Jason Gilroyed the pink slip roughly one year after they began working together. Korda’s boyfriend, Johnny DelPrete — he’s also a professional golfer — took over and worked the rest of the round.
Admittedly, it took Korda a few holes to settle down after the abrupt change — “I was very shaky” — but it helped her game, based on the scorecard. She shot 40 on the front nine, 36 on the back nine, and is tied for sixth at 1 over par, 11 shots behind the leader, Inbee Park.
“We had a couple of disagreements here and there, and I wasn’t in the right state of mind. I knew I needed to switch and have a little bit more fun out there,” Korda said. “It just wasn’t working out.”
Korda, 20, said that DelPrete would be back on the bag for the final round, but wouldn’t say who she’ll use after the US Women’s Open.
“It was tough for me, because I care about Jason a lot. He’s a great guy,” Korda said. “It was very hard for me to do. I’m not the kind of person to take these things really easily. For me, it was very hard for me to tell him that. It took a lot for me.”
Korda’s sister, Nelly, is also playing here. It’s doubtful the 14-year-old amateur will tell her caddie to get lost during a round. Her father, former tennis standout Petr Korda, is on her bag.
Nelly shot 7-over 79 on Saturday to drop to 13-over 229.
Walshe falls short
Second-round play concluded on Saturday morning, after fog rolled in early Friday evening and forced 41 golfers off the course. Only 39 returned to finish their rounds. Candie Kung withdrew, as did Michelle Wie, who cited an “illness.” Wie had one hole to complete and, at 11 over, had no chance of making the cut.
The cut came at 6 over par; there were 68 players at 6 over par or better, and they advanced to play the final two rounds.
Among those not qualifying was Alison Walshe of Westford, Mass., who had three holes to play and, because she was 7 over, looked like she needed to play them in 1 under. Walshe promptly birdied No. 16 to get to 6 over, and made par at the 17th. But she bogeyed No. 18, a dropped shot that cost her a payday.
Playing on her 23d birthday, 2011 US Women’s Open champion So Yeon Ryu shot 73 and is tied for fourth at 1 under. She was serenaded by the crowd after the round . . . Paula Creamer might be too far back to win her second US Women’s Open title — she trails Park by 11 shots after shooting a 72 — so she picked her final-round goals wisely. “I’ve bogeyed 14 every single day, so tomorrow my goal is just to make a par on 14 and move on,” Creamer said . . . Stacy Lewis, ranked second in the world, will have to wait another year to win her first US Women’s Open. Lewis shot 75, and at 6 over, is tied for 25th, 16 shots out of the lead . . . There’s a good battle taking shape for low amateur, with all six that made the cut — Casie Cathrea, Doris Chen, and Lydia Ko (all 11 over), Yueer Feng (12 over), Korda (13 over), and Brooke Mackenzie Henderson (14 over) — separated by just three shots . . . Lizette Salas was even par on her round through four holes and 4 under overall, tied for third. But the wheels came off starting at No. 5. Salas played the next eight holes in 8 over, shot 82, and dropped to a tie for 25th at 6 over.