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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Can In Gee Chun Smash the Women's Major Scoring Records?

I know you've heard the talk about In Gee Chun possibly breaking the women's major scoring record with a win at the Evian today. But we should really be talking about records -- plural.

In Gee Chun during the third round

The record on everyone's mind is the lowest score in relation to par. That score is -19, and the record is held by five different women:
  • Dottie Pepper, 1999 Kraft Nabisco Championship
  • Karen Stupples, 2004 Weetabix Women's British Open
  • Cristie Kerr, 2010 Wegmans LPGA Championship
  • Yani Tseng, 2011 Wegmans LPGA Championship
  • Inbee Park, 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship
In Gee sits at -19 after only three rounds. If she just has a decent round today, she'll break that record -- and should she get beat, the winner will likely have to beat that record as well. (And just as a side note, the men's major record is -20, held by Jason Day and Henrik Stenson. She's in rarified air for sure.)

That's the one everybody's buzzing about... but there's more.

The winning score can also be an aggregate score, which simply means it's the total of strokes taken, regardless of what par is. That record is 267 and is held by only one woman:
  • Betsy King, 1992 Mazda LPGA Championship
Bear in mind that In Gee's aggregate score after three rounds is 194. If she merely shoots par (71) today, her aggregate winning score will be 265. You can certainly blame the wet weather for some of this, but In Gee is beating 2nd-place Sung Hyun Park handily -- by four shots after three rounds -- and Park not only has seven KLPGA wins this season, but she's outdriving In Gee by around 16 yards (258 VS 242, according to the week's stats) and sometimes by over 30 yards on certain holes.

This definitely counts as a powerplay performance.

And of course, with a win In Gee would be only the second player to make both of her first two LPGA wins majors. The other woman is none other than Se Ri Pak, who did it as a rookie in 1998 (US Open and LPGA Championship). In Gee wouldn't break that record, but that's heady company -- and she's already got Rookie of the Year pretty well locked up, just like Se Ri did.

Of course, making history is never a sure thing. The weather predictions for the final round aren't looking that good and, as tight as the Evian Resort Golf Club is, In Gee could have her hands full just holding on to her lead, which is four shots to start the day.

The coverage is split -- from 8am-noon ET on GC, then from noon-1:30pm ET on NBC. I have trouble believing it will be live, since the prudent thing to do is send them out early in threesomes off split tees. But even if it isn't live, we could see history today.

That's certainly worth watching in either case.

1 comment:

  1. They did this split on Sunday last year as well and it wasn't live then either. It certainly won't be today as the leaders tee off just after 4amEDT, the point from which Golf Live Extra will be streaming live, a feed which in turn will be picked up by some of the Tour's overseas partners such as JTBC Golf in Korea.