Kang turns support into a tie with Choi
OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. — Danielle Kang got a text message from Wayne Gretzky on Saturday morning. Caitlyn Jenner called Friday, and fourtime major winner Hollis Stacy also reached out.
Lots of high-profile support for Kang as she goes for her first major championship.
Kang, 24, and Chella Choi shared the lead heading into the final round of the Women’s PGA Championship. Kang won the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2010 in 2011, but she has never won an LPGA Tour tournament.
“It would be incredible to be called a major champion, especially out on this tour,” Kang said.
She got a boost before her afternoon tee time when Gretzky, like Jenner a friend from her days at Sherwood Country Club in California, passed along a simple message.
“He said, ‘Just go win it,’” Kang recalled. “And you know, I was like, ‘It’s third round.’ And I was like, ‘Thank you, Wayne.’ And he’s like, ‘You just go, get it done.’ Caitlyn Jenner called me yesterday. I have a lot of people just beyond that, just calling me up and encouraging me to just keep playing my game and that they are rooting for me. I love it.”
While several of the LPGA’s biggest stars challenged for the lead, it was Kang and Choi on top after a challenging day at an increasingly difficult Olympia Fields. Choi, 26, hit 11 of 14 fairways on her way to a bogey-free 67.
Kang birdied the par-5 18th for a 68, joining Choi at 10 under and setting up an unlikely final pairing for the fourth round.
“I feel very good right now,” Choi said. “My shot and my putting, very good before last couple weeks. So I have a confidence and, you know, like my father’s come back to here, so I’m very excited to work with my dad and he give me a lot of confidence.”