Rookie Angela Park managed to catch Stacy Prammanasudh for a share of the lead Saturday heading into the final round of the Fields Open. The 18-year-old Park, making her second LPGA Tour start as a pro, was on the verge of becoming the youngest winner in tour history.
"I really don't have that in mind during the round or when I'm warming up," she said. "But if I do get that privilege to win and actually win it, how awesome would that be? It would be a great honor."
Park and Prammanasudh shot 68s and were at 10-under 134 after two rounds. The final round was scheduled to be completed late Saturday.
With a three-hour rain delay Friday, Park was among 70 players who had to return to the course Saturday morning to complete the second round. Skies were mostly clear with slight tradewinds.
Park was at 9 under with nine holes to go when play was suspended Friday. She returned with two birdies and a bogey to tie Prammanasudh, who had to wait a day to see if her lead would hold up.
Park sank a 15-foot putt on No. 2 to move to 10 under, but sailed her drive into the water to bogey the par-5 fifth to lose a stroke. She then hit an 8-iron shot, setting up a difficult 20-foot birdie putt that she dropped on No. 8 for a share of the lead.
She had about a two-hour break before teeing off again.
"I'm going to rest, eat some healthy food and get back to my routine warmup," Park said.
Jee Young Lee, who had to finish four holes Saturday, couldn't make a move and remained at 9 under.
Morgan Pressel (65), also vying to supplant Paula Creamer as the youngest winner of a full LPGA Tour event, managed to finish her second round Friday and was two shots behind the leaders at 8 under. Creamer won the 2005 Sybase Classic at 18 years, 9 months, 17 days.
The 18-year-old Pressel got close at last week's season-opening SBS Open. She shared the lead heading into the final day and closed with a 74 to tie for fourth.
Wendy Doolan (67) and Vicki Goetze-Ackerman (67) both were able to take advantage of the calm morning and moved up the leaderboard, finishing at 7 under. Mi Hyun Kim (67), Carri Wood (68) and Nichole Castrale were another stroke back.
The players at 5 under included Karrie Webb (69), Ai Miyazato (68) and Natalie Gulbis (67).
Park, who has five AJGA wins, earned her first LPGA paycheck last week _ worth $6,625 _ for her 33rd-place tie at the season-opening SBS Open. As an amateur, she tied for 15th at the 2006 Kraft Nabisco Championship, her only LPGA start of the year.
She was followed by one of the largest galleries as she completed her second round and was mobbed by autograph seekers.
Despite not having a single sponsor, Park could become an international marketing machine. She's unusually comfortable in front of reporters and speaks three languages fluently, including English, with a touch of Valley Girl. She has also studied Japanese.
The Brazilian-born Korean grew up in Torrance, Calif., and recently moved to Orlando, Fla.
The 27-year-old Prammanasudh is hoping to hold the youngsters off.
"I'm making the birdies. I've got to continue doing that," she said. "There's too many tough competitors behind me."
The former University of Tulsa standout won the Franklin American Mortgage Championship in 2005 for her lone LPGA Tour title. That was the last tournament she led heading into the final round.
Seventy players advanced to the final round, with the cut falling at even par. Among the players who missed the cut was Julieta Granada (74), who finished second last week at Turtle Bay. Granada missed the cut by a stroke.
Former University of Hawaii golfer Cindy Rarick (72) just made the cut after an ace on the 171-yard 12th, her first hole of the day. She needed to play seven holes to finish her second round.
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