Katherine Hull and Tamie Durdin fired bogey-free 35s on the front 9 to get to -14 and -11, respectively, as they enter the home stretch of the ANZ Ladies Masters. Durdin had cut Hull's lead to 2 strokes after her birdie on the 341-yard par-4 6th hole, but a Hull birdie on the short par-5 9th put them right back where they started. Sarah Kemp (-3 through 10) and Gwladys Nocera (-4 through 12) have gotten to -9, but are running out of holes to make their move. We'll see if they can top Sarah Oh's 66 (which brought her to -4 for the tournament, T21 so far) or the 68s by Christel Boeljon (E, T44) and Rachel Hetherington (-6, T13), much less match Nikki Garrett's hot round (-5 through 15 to get to -8 and T5). They'll need a lot of help from Hull and Durdin if they can't, as will those Garrett has caught at -8--Mollie Fankhauser, Becky Brewerton, and, yes, Anna Rawson. Meanwhile, Ai Miyazato has just joined Ya Ni Tseng, Ji-Yai Shin, So Yeon Ryu, and Lindsey Wright at -7 after making her 2nd straight birdie on the back. With 5 holes to play, she has a great chance to break 70 for the 1st time all week.
More when the ALPG live scoring page is less buggy.
[Update 1 (11:08 pm): Garrett is now -6 through 17 and -9 for the tournament. Nocera is now -5 through 13 and only 4 shots behind Hull at -10. Shin is now -2 through 12 and part of the big group at -8. Hull and Durdin have 7 holes remaining and remain at -14 and -11....]
[Update 2 (2/8/09, 5:54 am): Well, it turned into an easy--and impressive--win for Hull. Looks like I made a mistake leaving her out of my preseason top 30! Even if Tseng and Shin had been healthy all week, they would have had to play great to beat her.
Here are the final results:
1st/-16 Katherine Hull (69-67-68-68)
T2/-11 So Yeon Ryu (71-68-71-67), Tamie Durdin (70-71-66-70)
T4/-10 Ya Ni Tseng (71-72-69-66), Gwladys Nocera (69-73-69-67), Sarah Kemp (73-68-69-68), Mollie Fankhauser (70-70-68-70)
T8/-9 Lindsey Wright (71-70-71-67), Ji-Yai Shin (69-69-72-69)
T10/-8 Nikki Garrett (72-70-71-67), Anna Rawson (71-70-70-69)
T12/-7 Ai Miyazato (71-70-70-70), Becky Brewerton (67-73-70-71)
T14/-6 Rachel Hetherington (70-73-71-68), Marianne Skarpnord (67-72-72-71)
T16/-5 Anne-Lise Caudal (72-72-70-69), Nikki Campbell (69-65-78-71), Linda Wessberg (72-72-67-72)
T20/-4 Sarah Oh (70-72-76-66), Melissa Reid (74-69-72-69), Nina Reis (75-68-72-69), Bo Bae Park (71-72-71-70), Hee Kyung Seo (72-69-72-71), Lee-Ann Pace (67-70-76-71), Frances Bondad (70-70-73-71), Rebecca Flood (69-69-75-71), Titiya Plucksataporn (74-68-70-72), Kristie Smith (73-62-75-74)
T30/-3 Haeji Kang (69-72-72-72), Karrie Webb (70-73-69-73)
T32/-2 Carmen Alonso (68-71-76-71), Beatriz Recari (73-67-73-73)
T36/-1 Sarah-Jane Smith (73-72-73-69), He Yong Choi (70-74-71-72), Diana D'Alessio (72-73-70-72)
T41/E Christel Boeljon (72-74-74-68), Samantha Head (70-70-73-75), Beth Allen (69-72-72-75), Ursula Wikstrom (68-69-75-76)
T47/+1 Bettina Hauert (76-70-74-69), Beth Bader (73-73-73-70), Laura Davies (79-67-71-72), Wendy Doolan (73-73-69-74), Il-Hee Lee (67-74-74-74)
T54/+2 Trish Johnson (75-70-69-74), Stephanie Na (72-69-74-75), Aram Cho (72-68-73-77)
T60/+3 Alison Walshe (69-70-73-79)
T63/+4 Lorie Kane (71-72-75-74), Tania Elosegui (74-70-72-76)
T67/+5 Rebecca Hudson (72-74-71-76), Smriti Mehra (73-69-75-76)
T75/+9 Lotta Wahlin (71-75-75-76)
Outstanding top 10s for Mollie Fankhauser, Sarah Kemp, Lindsey Wright, and Anna Rawson. Bodes well for their return to the LPGA (whenever that is for Fankhauser--she's still listed in both fields for next week, in Australia and Hawaii). Good solid golf by Ai Miyazato, Rachel Hetherington, Haeji Kang (who's waiting on Fankhauser's decision to see if she'll get off the alternate list), and Linda Wessberg; although you wouldn't know it by Ai-chan's failure to break 70 all week, she made 19 birdies in all, so I'm hoping that means her ball-striking is closer to where she wants it to be.
Among the KLPGA players, So Yeon Ryu just established herself as the player to beat when their season starts; Hee Kyung Seo has more rust to scrape off before then. JLPGAers Tamie Durdin and Nikki Campbell must be feeling pretty good about their games, despite Campbell's moving backwards day. Gwladys Nocera will be the LETer to beat again this season, it looks like, but there were good signs from Becky Brewerton, Marianne Skarpnord, Anne-Lise Caudal, and others.
All in all, a very competitive tournament dominated by Katherine Hull. Next week should be good!]
[Update 3 (6:16 am): The Australian media are quite pleased with Hull's win, as they should be. Although it would be nice if they could get straight who the KLPGA ROY actually was and figure out where Ya Ni Tseng really comes from.]
[Update 4 (6:20 am): You can read the interviews yourself at the LET site. And check out their moneylist.]
[Update 5 (1:28 pm): Aussie Golfer has video, Golf Babes has photography, and Brent Kelley has context on Hull's win.]