Kirk makes ma­jor im­pact in France

Sunshine Coast Daily - - LOCAL SPORT - — Steele Tay­lor

GOLF: Sun­rise Beach prod­uct Kather­ine Kirk is rel­ish­ing a star­tling sea­son on the US LPGA Tour, in­clud­ing an im­pres­sive dis­play at a ma­jor.

The 35-year-old was sched­uled to com­pete in the fi­nal round of the rain-af­fected Evian Cham­pi­onship at France last night, af­ter a strong per­for­mance dur­ing the first two rounds.

She went into the last day of play in third place, on seven-un­der par, two strokes adrift of Thai­land’s Moriya Ju­tanu­garn.

Rounds of 66 and 69 put her in a po­si­tion to win her first ma­jor.

Kirk is in good shape this year. She claimed her third vic­tory on tour, and first in seven years, at the Thorn­berry Clas­sic at Wis­con­sin in July, when she ad­mit­ted she al­most gave the game in 2015 and 2016 fol­low­ing sea­sons of strug­gle.

She went into the French event ranked 77 in the world and 38th in the tour stand­ings.

She said she was in a good head-space lead­ing into the fi­nal round there.

“Any time you’re in con­tention it’s a good thing,” she said.

“Whether you’re lead­ing or one or two behind, I’m just happy to be hav­ing a chance.”

She steeled her­self dur­ing the sec­ond round of the event, which was re­duced to 54 holes due to rain..

“The front nine was a lit­tle bit slow for me,” she said.

“I told my­self to .... just go back to good swing thoughts and hit­ting fair­ways and greens and the putts will even­tu­ally drop,” she said.

Co-in­ci­den­tally, the Kather­ine Kirk Clas­sic, for tal­ented young­sters, is be­ing held at Ma­roochy River at the mo­ment.

Coaster Sarah Jane Smith was also amid the ac­tion in the event in France.

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