Inbee Park a shot back as women's golf returns to Olympics


Inbee Park a shot back as women's golf returns to Olympics

Inbee Park of South Korea hits out of a bunker on the 18th hole during the third round of the women's golf event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Aug. 19, 2016.

Friday in Rio de Janeiro, wind gusts of almost 30 miles per hour challenged players in their quest for Olympic gold and created the toughest conditions of the women's competition so far this week.

Gerina Piller, the American who narrowly qualified for the Olympics in her final event, shot a 68 and joined them in the final group, two shots behind.

A former No. 1 in the world, Lewis has gone more than two years since her last victory. Henderson, playing with Suzann Pettersen of Norway (even) and Lexi Thompson of the United States (-3), is scheduled to tee off for her second round at 10:09 a.m. Thursday.

"It was my first eagle at the Olympics, so I think it's great", Ko said after the round. "It just kind of got me more focused instead of going in the opposite direction". Park kept her composure, even as she was making one birdie after another to demoralize Ko and anyone else trying to challenge her.

Lewis shot an 8-under-par 63 in the second round of the Olympic women's golf competition Thursday, including a double-bogey, to surge up the leaderboard.

Inbee Park (-11) - With six birdies and five bogeys in her third round, Park will need to be more consistent Saturday if she is going to hold off Ko.

The 18-year-old from Bengaluru, who won the qualifying finals to earn a full card on the Ladies European Tour this season, picked up birdies on the 2nd, 10th and 14th holes and parred the rests to stay three strokes adrift of the leader.

"I second guessed it for a little while, but then I kinda to myself 'how can I not play in the Olympics, how can you not want to be a part of this", Lewis said. Park was shaky at times Friday, so if Ko comes out with the same aggression in the fourth round, she might add a gold medal to her glistening resume.

"I guess I have a course record here, and it's great to put my name on that, and being near the top of the leaderboard at the Olympics", said Lewis.

"He's learning the different levels of grumpiness with me, I guess", Lewis said with a smile. She began the day a shot out of the lead but shot 76.

Kim had a 12-under 128 total to take the two shot advantage over Furyk, Lucas Glover, Kevin Na and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama into the weekend.

"I played aggressive golf there, and it really worked good", Park said. When she tapped in for par on the final hole, she threw both hands in the air and leaned back her head at the cloudy sky. "I definitely hit it better, but the putter was on fire".

She was particularly concerned with the two double bogeys she posted in her opening round.

On day three, the Republic of Korea's top-ranked player remained in control of her game and minimized her mistakes in windy conditions while her competitors struggled.