Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Venice Tuesday: Who Will Step Up?

Today's pairings in the 2nd sectional qualifier for LPGA Q-School aren't particularly impressive, mostly being composed of Futures Tour players who failed to qualify at Mission Hills. We'll have to see how good the scoring is this week. I don't expect anyone who can't go more than a few under par to have a decent chance for a top 40, much lass a top 20, at Q-School. There are some pretty darn good players in danger of finishing outside the top 100 on the LPGA money list this season who will be joining #6 through #15 on the Futures Tour money list and the top Mission Hills qualifiers.

But keep an eye on LET young gun Kiran Matharu (8:50 am off the 10th tee on the Bobcat course) and former can't-miss AJGA star Esther Choe (9:20 am off the 1st tee on the Bobcat course), who have not been living up either to their promise or the hype surrounding them, to see how they stack up against a much less star-studded field than at Mission Hills. Much more likely to succeed are 2007 Women's Australian Amateur champion Sunny Park, who will be going off the 1st tee at the Panther course with Futures Tour #20 player Jenny Suh at 9:40 am. Starting on the back in the group behind FT #17 player Chella Choi will be 2008 FT winner and #19-ranked Sunny Oh. And Angela Oh, who made it to the Sweet 16 at the Women's Amateur Public Links this summer and earlier had been the 3rd-low qualifer for the U.S. Women's Open at the Maryland site, will also be going off the back about an hour earlier, at 8:30 am.

[Update 1 (7:25 pm): After the 1st round, Sunny Oh is tied for the lead at -4 with Moah Chang, who I'll admit I've never heard of. Angela Oh and Chella Choi are 3 back, Jenny Suh is 4 back, and Sunny Park is 5 back, so they're in pretty good shape when it comes to making the cut. But Kiran Matharu blew up with an 82 and Esther Choe with a 78, so they'll need good rounds tomorrow just to play all 4 rounds. And yet, the one thing that characterizes players of this caliber is volatility. They're still learning how to keep their bad rounds near par and their decent ones at or under it, much less how to get used to going low. With 77 players at +3 or better, the cut could be anywhere between +6 and E. And with only 23 players under par after the 1st round, I don't expect you to have to go under par to get into the top 30 after 72 holes. If +5 was good enough at Mission Hills with a much stronger field, there's no need to panic after 1 or even 2 rounds over 75, so long as your other 2 rounds are good enough to offset them just enough. Only 4 people in the entire Mission Hills field went under par every round. So even though Leanne Bowditch's 1st round, for instance, was 9 shots worse in Venice than it was in Mission Hills, if she shoots 3 72s the rest of the way here instead of the 3 75s she shot there, she could very well give herself a chance to do better at the Final Qualifying School....]

[Update 2 (7:28 pm): OK, OK, here's something on Moah Chang.]

[Update 3 (10/1/08, 2:42 am): LPGA.com has more.]

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