South Korean Seung-Yul Noh has played bogey-free for three rounds of the Zurich Classic golf tournament and that has resulted in the first 54-hole lead of his career. Noh, looking for his first PGA win, shot his second 65 of the tournament on Saturday and leads Keegan Bradley by two shots at 18 under par. He is the first golfer to ever complete 54 holes at TPC Louisiana without a bogey.
To honor the victims of the April 16 ferry accident in his homeland, Noh wore black and yellow ribbons on Saturday and put together three birdies in a row on the back nine at 14, 15 and 16 to pull away to his two-shot lead. Playing in front of Seung-Yul Noh, Bradley had knocked in a birdie on 15 to tie for the lead. Bradley had a pretty good day himself, shooting 65 to rise to second after starting the day tied for seventh.
For Seung-Yul Noh, a win at the Zurich Classic will be doing his part to lift the spirits of a South Korean nation mourning some 300 souls who are missing or dead after a ferry sank in the waters off the southern coast of his country. Many of the victims are students who were on a field trip. So far, 152 have been confirmed dead. Noh says that he hopes to “make all the Korean people happy,” adding that if he shot another bogey-free round tomorrow it would be “hopefully good news for Koreans.”
In addition to being the first golfer ever to play bogey-free through three rounds at the golf course, Noh has a good chance to set another record. No player has ever finished four rounds at better than 20 under par at TPC Louisiana. Sitting at 18 under after the third round on Saturday, Noh would need to shoot 69 or lower on Sunday to better that mark.
Robert Streb is in third place, three shots behind Noh at 15 under. Ben Martin, who shot the course record of 62 on Thursday and had the lead for the first two days, had a discouraging 73 on Saturday. He has dropped back into a tie for fourth with Jeff Overton and Andrew Svoboda at 14-under 202.
In the LPGA, Stacy Lewis maintained her lead after three rounds of the Swinging Skirts Classic in San Francisco. Lewis started the day one shot up on New Zealand’s Lydia Ko, and both players had 68 on Saturday. Lewis is at 10-under 206 heading into the final round on Sunday. A pair of South Korean women occupy third and fourth place, as Jenny Shin is four strokes back at six under, and Hee Young Park is five under par. Much like Seung-Yul Noh, much of South Korea will be watching Shin and Park on Sunday.
The Swinging Skirts Classic is in its inaugural year on the LPGA Tour and is sponsored by a group which goes by the same name. “The Swinging Skirts” is a non-profit organization based in Taiwan, and is made up of men and women who are dedicated to promoting and growing the game of golf worldwide. According to their website, Swinging Skirts’ members “wear colorful kilts when playing the game” in homage to the tradition born at St. Andrews in Scotland, the home of golf.
Golf Shots is a daily series which provides analysis and commentary on the PGA tour and golf-related topics all year long.
Commentary by Chuck Podhaisky