Congrats to Erica Blasberg, whose eagle-par-birdie start and three-birdies-in-her-final-six-holes finish led to a 68 and a tie for 9th overall thus far at 5-under.
Congrats to Diana D'Alessio, who shot the low round of the back (31) and of the tournament (67), thanks to a birdie-par-eagle-hole-in-freaking-one start to her round today, vaulting all the way to -4 and a tie for 16th thus far.
Congrats to Kris Tamulis (-1, T31 so far), who bounced back from an opening 43 on the back 9 Thursday to shoot a 30 on the front side on Friday on her way to a 67, tied for low round of the day and of the tournament.
Congrats to Kyeong Bae, whose 33 on the front, her final nine today, helped her to a 69 and to join Tamulis and 16 other golfers who stand at -1 thus far.
Congrats to Jane Park, whose 32 on the back, her final nine today, earned her a 68 and put her in the company of the 50 or so other golfers under par thus far, among them fellow rookie Song-Hee Kim, who also shot a 32 in her final nine holes (on the front) for a 69. Park and Kim will be trying to catch their peers on the weekend.
Just like the rest of the field. Na On Min just rattled off three birdies in her last four holes to grab the lead at -8, but then fell back to a tie for second with a bogey on the 8th. Chasing her are fellow rookies Angela Park, who shot a 34 on the back already and has fired three birdies in her last four holes to get to -6 for the tournament with three holes to play; Sarah Lynn Sargent, who is in the clubhouse at -5 (T9 so far), and Ji-Young Oh, who is 4-under over her last 9 holes to catch her and has a chance to pass her over her final three holes; Jin Joo Hong, who is safely in at -2 (T26 so far); and Maru Martinez, who is tied with Park and Kim at -1, with the easier front side still ahead of her.
But enough about the rookies. What about my faves? Moira Dunn had a disappointing bogey-bogey finish to fall back to even par on the day and get passed by a lot of people for the tournament; still, at -4, she is only 4 shots off the lead and among the 20 players or so with a realistic chance to beat Ochoa this week, who is only E through 12 today, having just bogeyed two holes in a row herself. It looks like Ai-chan has a good chance to make the cut; at -1 through 12 and +2 for the tournament, she is currently one shot above the cut line (my pick this week, Jee Young Lee, is right on it).
So it remains to be seen if Julieta Granada (-5 today through 15) and Pat Hurst (-4 through 11) can finish strong on the back and if Yu Ping Lin (-5 through 13 today, with many birdie holes yet to come on the front) can catch or pass the leader Silvia Cavalleri, who is -4 on the day and -8 for the tournament with a number of birdie holes to come on the front. Or will Stacy Prammanasudh (she's -1 through 15, which is good enough to be tied for second) or Ochoa make a move on the more difficult back? Stay tuned!
[Update: Here's the Round 2 leaderboard. Clearly there are more congratulations in order:
- to Sarah Lee, whose 28 on the front gave her a 66 on the day, brought her from E to -8 in a 9-hole-stretch, and left her alone in 4th, one shot off the lead;
- to Angela Park and Yu Ping Lin, whose 65s took low rounds of the day and tournament away from Lee and vaulted them into a tie for 1st at -9;
- to Silvia Cavalleri, whose bogey-free 68 earned her a share of the lead;
- to Julieta Granada, who tied Teresa Lu in 5th at -7 for the Super Soph lead by matching her 68 today;
- to Pat Hurst, who gave a few shots away at the end but still is in a tie for fifth after her 69 today;
- to Beth Bader, whose 68 matched Erica Blasberg's earlier one, putting them in a tie for 10th with rookie Sarah Lynn Sargent and veteran Kate Golden at -5;
- to Lindsey Wright, whose 67 was marred only by a double bogey-bogey hiccup in the middle of her round but who nevertheless leaped into a tie for 16th with Diana D'Alessio, Ji-Young Oh, Moira Dunn, and Lorena Ochoa (who shot a 74 due to four bogeys in her last 8 holes);
- and to Wendy Doolan, for having the guts to follow up an 81 with a 68 and make the cut.
Condolences to Jee Young Lee, whose double-bogey on the par-5 18th dropped her below the cut line by one shot, and to Brittany Lang, who completely self-destructed, as well as to all the rookies who ended up missing the cut. At least Ai-chan will be playing on the weekend (her 72 was better than playing partners' Ochoa's and Lang's rounds by far, but still not enough to get her back to par).
So there are 20 people within 5 shots of the lead, among them a great mix of rookies, Super Sophs, players with a few years of experience under their belts looking to make names for themselves, and veterans looking to recapture (or find) the magic. Ochoa and Prammanasudh didn't do themselves any favors today, so it'll be interesting to see how the lazy LPGA press covers today's round.]
[Update 2: Here are the pairings for Saturday's round. Round 3 is known as moving day, so we'll see if anyone is able to break away from the pack. Moira is playing with Lorena, so it should be quite a show. I also think the earlier Jane Park-Kyeong Bae pairing and the later Julieta Granada-Teresa Lu pairing look as interesting as the Angela Park-Yu Ping Lin final group. But I would definitely be following Moira and Lorena all day and then waiting to watch the leaders' groups come into 18.]