Sunshine Coast's Kirk helps Australia produce a major upset
GOLF: Sunshine Coast product Katherine Kirk and Australian teammate Su Oh and have produced a major upset at the International Crown golf tournament by beating South Korea's top pairing at Incheon.
Oh and Kirk recorded the surprise outcome of day two at a rainswept Jack Nicklaus Golf Club on Friday when they combined to beat world No.1 Sung Hyun Park and 10th-ranked In-Kyung Kim three and two on their home patch to keep Australia's title hopes alive.
The Australians were soundly beaten in their match-up with England's Brodie Law and Jodi Ewart Shadoff on Thursday and were not expected to threaten the gun Korean duo.
However, a Kirk birdie on the opening hole gave Australia the ideal start to the fourball format and when world No.75 Oh did likewise on the 12th the underdogs were three-up.
Park bogeyed her first two holes and was never able to settle into a rhythm in difficult conditions, leaving Kim to belatedly bridge the gap when she birdied the par-four 14th.
Korea's comeback was mercifully brief for the Australians, who wrapped up the match when world No.69 Kirk birdied the 15th to restore an unassailable three-hole margin.
In the second match, Korea regrouped through world No.3 So Yeon Ru and In Gee Chun (27th) who beat Minjee Lee and Sarah Jane Smith two and one.
Oh and Kirk's heroics enabled Australia to halve their contest and sit third overall in pool A on three points on Friday before the second leg of their double header against stragglers Chinese-Taipei.
When play was curtailed due to bad light Australia was in control of both matches as they seek maximum points.
Oh and Kirk were three-up through nine while Lee and Smith are one-up with eight to play.
"This golf course is tough. We're not playing not aggressive,” Kirk told LPGA media.
It was Kirk's first win in five UL International Crown matches.
"Probably playing a bit more conservatively because a lot of the runoffs are so severe. It is playing ridiculously long.”
England currently lead the pool on seven points and were also dominating both clashes part way through their match-up with Korea, who hold second place with six points.
The United States lead pool B on six points after they won both matches against Thailand on Friday.
Sweden follow on four after they halved their contest with Japan, who are locked with Thailand on three points.
Tournament organisers changed Friday's schedule to feature two rounds as typhoon Kong-Rey bears down on the region.
Saturday's play has been cancelled due to weather.