Friday, September 19, 2008

Mission Hills Friday: Let the Stomach-Churning Begin!

I'll tell you, not being able to follow hole-by-hole live scoring at the Mission Hills sectional qualifier for LPGA Q-School makes this event even more anxiety-producing! If it's that bad for me, how must it feel right now to be Dewi Claire Schreefel, whose 2nd-straight 71 just brought her to +4--and 32nd place--with half the field still on the course? Or Maru Martinez, whose 73 puts her 1 stroke back? Or 47-year-old Caryn Wilson, who went 81-74 over the weekend to fall to +6 for the event?

For some players, of course, the anxiety is over--in a bad way. The LET's Becky Brewerton is out after a 78 dropped her all the way to +9. Aimee Cho's 77-81 weekend brought her hopes crashing down. Will it be on to Venice for these and the other non-qualifiers this week? We'll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, congratulations to Alison Walshe, whose 69 brought her back to E for the event--and T17 with few behind her in striking range.

More soon!

[Update 1 (4:31 pm): While you're waiting for more scores to post, check out Hound Dog's analysis of the current LPGA players on the bubble--between #70 and #150 on the money list. Good stuff there, especially as #81-#100 will get about equal status with the top 20 Q-School qualifiers in December, and #101-#125 will get lower status. He also helpfully notes the players having a bad 2008 who nevertheless will get high status in 2009 because of their good 2007s (the last time this rule will be in effect.) It's good stuff.]

[Update 2 (7:42 pm): Wow, Martinez squeaked through on the dot! Not so fortunate were Wilson, Natalie Tucker (71, +6, T33), Chella Choi (75, +7, T43), Jenny Suh (74, +10, T58), Samantha Richdale (75, +10, T58), Pornanong Phatlum (75, +11, T63), Gina Umeck (78, +14, T69), Sara Brown (79, +15, T72), and Christina Lecuyer (76, +16, T76). But just making it into the field for the Final Qualifying School means little. Sure, 11 players went under par and 17 shot par or better, but the top 20 is what everyone--including all the LPGA players at #101 on the money list or higher who choose to enter by the end of October, #6 through #15 on the Futures Tour money list, and the Venice qualifiers--will be shooting for there. By that standard, only Sun-Ju Ahn (-16), Anna Nordqvist (-14), Miki Saiki (-12), and Shiho Oyama, Michelle Wie, and Stacy Lewis (-8) should take much satisfaction from this week. Walshe, Melissa Reid (71, -2, T10), Tania Elosegui (73, E, T12), Mika Miyazato (75, +2, T23), and Misun Cho (72, +2, T23) will really have to play a lot better to have a chance in December (although the 21st- through 40th-place finishers will have limited LPGA status in 2009). At least everyone in the top 30 at Mission Hills only have 5 more-pressure-packed rounds to get their cards--those who didn't make it this week and don't decide to give up before the Venice qualifier have 9 to go....]

[Update 3 (9/20/08, 1:27 am): Here's the LPGA's final-round recap.]

[Update 4 (1:48 am): And here's Golf Channel's highlights and Wie interview.]


Anonymous said...

I think that's why they scheduled the Ryder Cup for this week - so you'd have something to do to kill time while waiting on these scores. :-)

This has been a GREAT day of Ryder Cup golf.

Anonymous said...

5 of 32 to move on are amateurs - that's a LOT of amateurs moving on. The women's game is getting deeper - but that many amateurs doesn't say a whole lot for the pros who couldn't play better than they did.

The Constructivist said...

[copying and pasting from Waggle Room, w/o the links, but with some minor edits]

What I take from this sectional qualifier is that there are real differences between the top 15 Futures Tour pros and the rest of them. Sure, there were 15 FT members who advanced, but look who was at the top and ask yourself who has the best chance to be among the top 20 at Final Qualifying School in December? And look how many between #15 and #30 on their money list not only missed out but bombed out this week....

Given that despite their disappointing play on the JLPGA for most or part of this season, Saiki and Oyama still blew away most of the FT hopefuls, and that Ahn has dropped from top 3 on the KLPGA last year to maybe top 10 this year but still was medalist at Mission Hills, I would hope the LPGA would consider extending automatic invitations to Final Qualifying School to the top 5 on the money list of the JLPGA, KLPGA, and LET as of mid-November each season. At least half of such players would be great candidates for top 20s there--more probably than all the non-top 5 FT players combined, I’ll bet.

The proof will be in the pudding when those LPGA players who finish outside the top 100 face off against the best of the qualifiers and FTers exempt from sectional qualifying. I’m even more curious to see which international pros and amateurs will be playing in Venice!

The Constructivist said...

Match play is great for TV, I think. Too bad I don't have it!

Anonymous said...

Con - the Ryder Cup is streaming over the internet from or You even get an added bonus with the internet coverage - no Johnny Miller !

The Constructivist said...

Fantastic! GC highlights have been great--seems like one for the ages....