KILDEER, Ill. – Angel Yin introduced herself to the larger world of golf in a big way at the Solheim Cup late last summer.
With her good humor and titanic drives, she seemed destined for even bigger things.
Could that big day arrive Sunday?
Yin moved into contention at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship Saturday despite a double bogey at the 16th hole. With a 4-under-par 68, she will begin the final round in fourth place, five shots off the lead.
Yin, still a teenager at 19, is looking to make her first LPGA title a major championship. She broke through for her first professional title on the Ladies European Tour at the end of last year, winning the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic. She believes that and helping the Americans win the Solheim Cup as a rookie last year will help her know what to expect Sunday at Kemper Lakes.
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“When you’re playing the last day in contention, you’re going to feel that adrenaline rush throughout your body, and I experienced that in Solheim where I was bombing my driver away, 347, something like that,” Yin said. “I can’t remember.”
Yes, of course, she remembers that blast. Everyone who saw it remembers it.
Yin said she will rely on her Solheim Cup memories.
“Just know how my body works and reacts, when I’m coming close to the finish line,” Yin said.
Yin made three birdies in a row at Kemper Lakes Saturday after making the turn to the back nine. She was within two shots of the lead, but the start of “The Gauntlet” got her. That’s what they call the three, tough finishing holes. She pushed her tee shot right into a fairway bunker at the 16th. Then she mishit a layup shot, an 8-iron, flaring it right and into the hazard.
“It’s a tough hole,” Yin said.
Sunday will test how far she has come as a second-year LPGA player.
“I think my game has matured a lot,” she said.