Saturday, October 6, 2007

And by "Bamboo," I Meant...

Not for your scores to soar like the heroes and villains of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. More like your spirits, or something like that.

Minea Blomqvist got it--her 31 on the back vaulted her into the top 40 heading into the weekend of the Longs Drugs Challenge and gives her a great shot to keep her card for 2008. Paula Creamer got it--she was +5 with 5 holes to go, but birdied three of them to get into the top 50. And Maria Hjorth certainly got it--despite taking a quadruple bogey late in her first round, she bounced back into the top 15 with a 69 on Friday. Even Morgan Pressel's two bogeys down the home stretch to drop her to +5 minimized the damage enough that she squeaked past her second consecutive cut line.

But two of my favorites just didn't get it. Mi Hyun Kim got the doubles early on and WDed. And Ai Miyazato was done in by an early double and two late ones. She started off with birdies on 2 of her first 3 holes, but then a double and two bogeys put her at +7 with the tougher front 9 left to play. After gutting out a bunch of pars and a birdie, she was right at the cut line with 3 holes to play when disaster struck. The dreaded double double.

At least they get to rest for the Samsung World Championship. Unlike Annika Sorenstam, who just declined the sponsor's invitation to join the 20-player elite field. There are various ways of interpreting Sorenstam's decision--doing the right thing (by taking a stand against last-second entrance criteria changes), showing up Michelle Wie (who WDed from Annika's tournament under strange, and to many suspicious, circumstances earlier this year and who has come under loads of criticism for accepting the sponsor's invitation that was given out in the spring), setting an example for Wie--but my read is that she just doesn't feel that her body and her game are up to beating Lorena Ochoa. She wants to take her on on her own schedule, not Samsung's.

And given that Ochoa is sitting pretty at the Longs Drugs--1 shot behind leaders Lorie Kane and Karrie Webb and 1 shot ahead of Se Ri Pak, Juli Inkster, and Suzann Pettersen, not to mention the 22 other players within 5 shots of her on a course where anything can happen--maybe Sorenstam is right to defer such a challenge until the 2008 season.

At least she has that option. Virada Nirapathpongporn needed a great round on Friday just to make the cut and couldn't produce one. Katie Futcher lucked in on the cut line but needs to move in the opposite direction on the weekend if she wants to avoid joining her fellow Super Soph at the final stage of Q-School. We'll see if Shigeki Maruyama can do the same in Texas. He's fallen back to 6th place and although he has a little more time to claw his way back into the top 125 on the PGA money list and secure his card for 2008, playing more like he did on the front than the back Friday over the weekend would do him a world of good.

1 comment:

bill benzon said...

up a little late, or is it early?