With the afternoon groups about to venture out for their 2nd round in the Canadian Women's Open, Katherine Hull and H.J. Choi are showing how to get it done. Hull has made 4 birdies on each side and with 2 holes to play is -7 on the day and -8 for the tournament, while Choi has made 5 birdies and no bogeys through her 1st 15 holes to vault to -4. With Lorena Ochoa, Nicole Castrale, and Se Ri Pak not making big moves in their opening 9s today, the door is wide open for Annika Sorenstam, Hee-Won Han, and Meena Lee to take advantage.
But it won't be easy. The other players in the morning groups with the best chance to break 70 are Christina Kim (-2 through 10 today) and Natalie Gulbis (who just shot a 33 on the back). Michelle Wie gave it the good old college try, but could only manage a 70. Still, she lives to play another day and at +1 is in much better shape than many might have expected after her 1st round. There aren't that many players from the morning under par thus far, so the course is playing as tough as ever.
With the cut line coming in anywhere between +2 and +4, Ai Miyazato is going to need to play the last 6 holes on the front very well (she's +6 for the tournament heading into them). She's in very good company, but a missed cut would be a huge setback in her recent comeback. Here's hoping she can string together a few birdies early this afternoon!
[Update 1 (4:32 pm): Holy turnaround, Batman! Ochoa strung together a flawless 32 on the front to become the leader in the clubhouse at -10, while Gulbis finished with 4 bogeys and a double to post a 41 on the front and end up 10 shots behind Ochoa! Meanwhile, Christina Kim birdied her last 2 holes in a row for a 33 on the back and a bogey-free 67 that brought her to -4 in the tournament. Michelle Wie is tied right now with the last 2 rookies of the year, Seon Hwa Lee and Angela Park, so her 70 is looking more and more impressive, particularly given the names who have missed the cut for sure: Gloria Park, Young Kim, Kristy McPherson, Becky Morgan, Rachel Hetherington, Karen Stupples, Kyeong Bae, Sherri Steinhauer, Ai Miyazato, Pat Hurst, Mhairi McKay, and Linda Wessberg. And that's just from the morning groups.]
[Update 2 (4:39 pm): And so far, it's not Meena Lee, Hee-Won Han, or Annika Sorenstam who have taken advantage of the morning groups' difficulties, but Ya Ni Tseng, who's -6 through 10 holes today and -8 overall. She's pulled ahead of Nicole Castrale, who shot a great 69 to get to -7, and Se Ri Pak who came back for a solid 70 and a -6 total through 36 holes. Castrale and Ochoa are the only 2 players in the field to shoot 2 sub-70 rounds, although Sorenstam and Han could finish strong and join them (both are E so far).]
[Update 3 (8:06 pm): LPGA.com has the lowdown on the suspension of play and its resumption tomorrow at 8 am. The third round should begin sometime around noon.]
[Update 4 (8/16/08, 5:48 pm): Wow, a 64 by Tseng pulled her even with Ochoa! And how about that 68 by Jennifer Rosales? Very strange--and good--to see her in the top 10 again. Annika's 71 kept her within shouting distance of the lead, while Han's 72 dropped her pack in the chase pack. The cut ended up being at +4, which saved such rookies as Hee Young Park, Louise Friberg, Sandra Gal, Jimin Jeong, and Liz Janangelo along with close to a dozen others with more experience. For the comprehensive round-up, check out Hound Dog's 2nd-round recap.]