Saturday, April 26, 2008

Stanford International Saturday: Elevator Going Up! (And Down)

A moment of silence for those who shot themselves out of contention on moving day at the Stanford International Pro-Am.

Christina Kim: -1 for the tournament with 10 holes to play; ended up with an 80 to drop to +9 (T69).

Kyeong Bae: started off with two straight doubles and things went downhill from there; ended up with a 78 to drop to +7 (T52).

Juli Inkster: like Kim, with only half as bad a finish; her 76 dropped her to +5 (T38).

Lindsey Wright: nothing spectacular, just your typical birdie-free, 4-bogey day; her 75 dropped her to +4 (T34).

Angela Stanford: ditto, except for it being a 5-bogey day; her 76 dropped her to +3 (T26).

Grace Park: her roller-coaster round--offsetting trios of birdies and bogeys, with a double bogey on top--was not what she needed (or her fans wanted); her 73 dropped her to +2 (T19).

These rounds were all the more unfortunate in that today presented the best conditions for scoring of the week: with 3 67s, 3 68s, 11 69s, and 8 70s today, about a third of the field went under par. Even better for those who like competition, what threatened to be a two-player showdown is now at least down to a final 5 and possibly more. With third-round leader Young Kim rebounding off the -9 barrier after a birdie on her first hole was erased by 3 bogeys over the rest of her round and Annika Sorenstam playing solid rather than spectacular golf on her way to a 70, the door was open for Paula Creamer, Momoko Ueda, and Cristie Kerr to advance up the leaderboard with scintillating 67s--Creamer in bogey-free fashion, Ueda with a birdie barrage (she had 7 on the day!), and Kerr with a little help from an eagle on the par-5 14th.

So, heading into the final round Annika has a 1-shot lead on Creamer, 2 shots on Ueda and Kim, and 3 shots on Kerr. And in the somewhat unlikely event that everyone in the lead pack has trouble on Sunday, Dorothy Delasin is only 2 shots behind Kerr, Seon Hwa Lee, Angela Park, and Ji Young Oh are 1 behind her, and Karrie Webb and Mi Hyun Kim are lurking at E (along with hot hand Teresa Lu and huh? factor Leta Lindley). It'll be interesting to see how the tournament organizers set up the course on Sunday with the amateurs gone: will it be tougher than ever or will they reward the pros for all their patience this week? My guess is the former, which might seem to play into Annika's hands, but Creamer, Ueda, Kerr, and Lee all have a chance to be the only player(s) to break 70 all three rounds they played on the Soffer Course. If Annika doesn't post a round in the 60s tomorrow, I predict one of them either joins her with 1 win on the season or beats her to her 2nd.

[Update (8:28 am): Damn! Hound Dog beat me to the recap by 16 minutes. How does he do that?]

1 comment:

The Constructivist said...

Ueda's playing in the final group with Sorenstam for the second time this year. Hope she gets the win! Momo-chan, that is....