Danielle Kang relishes the tough test at Aronimink
NEWTOWN SQUARE, PA – The stressful test that is Arnonimink Golf Club isn’t one that Danielle Kang shies away from. In fact, she relishes it.
That same attitude served her well in 2017 when the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship was held at Olympia Fields Country Club, another challenging layout that, in August when the PGA Tour’s BMW Championship was held there, Tiger Woods described the setup as difficult as “basically a U.S. Open.” Kang captured her first win on the LPGA Tour and first major title when she won at Olympia Fields Country Club.
“I really truly enjoy the challenge,” Kang said Friday. “It's difficult. Some days you succeed and some days you fail, and I think that's the beauty of a challenging golf course, and Aronimink itself, it's just bringing a lot of challenges. It's fun.”
The tougher the course, the more dialed in the two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur champion becomes. Rather than letting the stress of the test ahead of her cripple her ability to perform, she becomes hyper-focused. Friday, Kang followed her opening round of 68 with a 1-under par, 69 to move to the top of the leaderboard early in round two. She sits at three-under par through 36-holes.
“It's so stressful. From beginning to the end, I can't really take my mind off of it” Kang said about Aronimink Golf Club. “There's just so many mistakes that are just right around the corner.”
Friday, Kang made her share of mistakes as she struggled to gauge the speed of the greens that vary throughout the course depending on the green and the amount of undulation. She dropped shots at the par 4, fourth and par 3, eighth holes, but her positive attitude kept her day from derailing. She bounced back with a birdie at the par 3, fifth hole and went two-under on the back nine. When she felt like she couldn’t get a putt to drop, she imagined she was having a putting contest with her brother, Alex, and rolled them right in.
“You just have to have a good attitude no matter what happens. Even today I three-putted,” Kang said. “But I wasn't trying to get too down, it was just, ‘let's go to the next hole,’ and I think that's what you have to do because the next challenge is waiting for you on the next tee or the next shot.”
The stress test awaits Kang again this weekend. And she will be enjoying every minute.