Sunday, June 1, 2008

Ginn Tribute Saturday: Gustafson Breaks Away

As Hound Dog and Pete Iacobelli report, the Ginn Tribute is now officially Sophie Gustafson's to lose after she posted her 3rd straight round in the mid-60s and begins Sunday's round at -18. Her moving day round was "only" a 67, thanks to a double bogey on the back, but 4 bogeys in 5 holes on the back from Karrie Webb moved her in exactly the wrong direction at exactly the wrong time and only 1 golfer who started the round at -8 did appreciably better: Na Yeon Choi, whose 68 pulled her even with Webb at -12 but actually lost her further ground on Gustafson.

The only other players to match Gustafson's score also left strokes out on the golf course. Jane Park bogeyed the 18th for the second day in a row to drop back to -11. Bogeys on the 7th and 15th held Song-Hee Kim to -10. For Karen Stupples, Diana D'Alessio, and Sandra Gal, their 67s were too late to get them a chance to get into contention, but they did move them up to T11 (-7), T15 (-6), and T20 (-5), respectively.

Some big names made some big moves, both positive and negative. Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak extended her bogey-free streak to 49 holes and leaped into at tie for 8th place at -8 with her 68, while Paula Creamer's 68 was her best round of the week thus far and got her into the top 20 at -5. Suzann Pettersen, however, had her worst round of the week, a 73, to drop out of the top 10 at -7. And so did Jeong Jang (72, -4, T26), Mi Hyun Kim (74, -4, T26), and Annika Sorenstam (75, -3, T34).

So it's possible that the streaky Gustafson could open the door for someone at -8 or better who comes up with a career round, but the biggest drama today may come from the races-within-the-race: whether Pak can make up 4 shots on Webb in the top Hall of Famer category, whether Yani Tseng can make up 5 shots on Choi in the best rookie category, whether Song-Hee Kim can make up that 1 shot on Jane Park in the top Super Soph category (or Inbee Park can come back from 2 down), whether Sun Young Yoo can make up that 1 shot on Seon Hwa Lee and Teresa Lu in the best Junior Mint category (or whether Jee Young Lee can come back from 3 down), whether Candie Kung can make up that 1 shot on Natalie Gulbis in the best among the Class of 2002 category, whether 2003 standout Stacy Prammanasudh can make up that 1 shot on her classmate Christina Kim (and whether either can catch Pettersen at -7), and whether ex-JLPGA stars Ai Miyazato or Momoko Ueda will come out on top. On the RiverTowne course, though, you never know--especially if the wind comes up!

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