Kaufman holds lead at Vic Open

American Kim Kaufman leads the women's Vic Open by two shots with one round to play.

09-Feb-2019 By John Salvado, Australian Associated Press
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American Kim Kaufman played two remarkable shots on an extraordinarily tough day as she claimed a two-stroke lead with one round to play at the women's Vic Open.

The strong winds howling around 13th Beach on Saturday reminded Kaufman of her college days in west Texas.

She was able to deal with the conditions better than most, shooting a three-over 75 to be at 10-under 207, two shots clear of Australian Su Oh (74) and Frenchwoman Celine Boutier (69).

The only thing that prevented Kaufman's remarkable approach shot into the teeth of the wind on the 13th from being the shot of the day was her slam dunk out of a bunker for birdie on the fiendishly difficult 104m par-3 7th.

"It was so windy in that bunker," said Kaufman.

"My club wasn't even set but I stood there too long and thought 'I've just got to hit this' and as soon as I did I thought 'it's gone way too far'.

"I just jarred it.

"I can say (I've never holed a bunker shot) like that before but it was a great time to do it.

"That round was six hours of getting beat up by the wind."

Japan's Haru Nomura, the 2016 Australian Open winner, was in outright fourth at 210.

Oh and Katherine Kirk, who carded a 73 to be in a four-way tie for fifth at 213, were the only Australians in the top 25 with one round to play.

Seven-time major champion Karrie Webb had a tough day, dropping five shots in the last six holes to sign for a 10-over 82 which saw her miss the round-three cut.

Fellow Australian Minjee Lee's title defence also ended on Saturday.

The world No.7 had a two-over 74 to be at two-over 218 in the event which is being co-sanctioned by the LPGA Tour for the first time in 2019.


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