All right, so the second round of the Safeway International is finally over. Conditions were much more conducive to scoring yesterday, especially after a cold and wet morning turned into a sunny afternoon (until another weather delay brought the day to an end and forced half the field back onto the course early this morning).
And people went low: Lorena Ochoa had two eagles on her way to a stunning 64, bringing her to -11 and putting her 3 strokes ahead of her nearest competitor. Sophie Gustafson shot a 66 to vault into a tie for 8th with Annika Sorenstam, Mi Hyun Kim, and Laura Diaz at -3. Gloria Park shot a 67 to get to -6 and a tie for 4th with Jeong Jang (whose wrist is injured, so don't expect too much from her this weekend), while Teresa Lu's matching 67 put her among the 27 players under par after two rounds. All in all, there were more than three times as many golfers in the 60s in the second round as in the first.
Let's hear it for the moms: Catriona Matthew, playing in her first tournament since giving birth late last year, is Ochoa's nearest competitor, at -8. Hee Won Han, five months pregnant and playing in her last tournament before taking her maternity leave, is tied for 6th at -4.
The Rookie of the Year race heats up: Irene Cho (T12 at -2) and Paige Mackenzie (who followed up a 79 with a 68 to barely make the cut at +3) look to make up ground on Angela Park, whose bogey on the 17th seemed to have sealed her fate below the cut line, but whose astounding eagle on the 18th lifted her to a tie for 45th at +2.
By the skin of their teeth: Two of my favorite golfers, Ai Miyazato and Grace Park, had the worst second rounds of anyone who will still be playing on the weekend. But they're joined by 17 other players who just made the cut at +3. It'll be interesting to see who can turn it around in the last two rounds, and who goes from bad to worse.
Close only counts in...: Did you know that all but one of the nine players who missed the cut by one stroke at +4 (including NYers Moira and Meaghan, dammit!) have won on the LPGA Tour (and the one who hasn't is a rookie who bogied her last hole to miss the cut)? Well, now you do.
Put it behind you: Who would have thought before the tournament began that Cristie Kerr (whom I still think is the best American on the LPGA right now), Karrie Webb, and Natalie Gulbis wouldn't even come close to making the cut? That's golf for you.
Oh, and by the way: There's actually a pretty interesting top 10 chasing Tiger at Doral. You can check the Safeway round 3 pairings if you're so inclined. Me, I'm calling it a night.