Sunday, March 1, 2009

Honda LPGA Thailand Sunday: Prammanasudh Fires 31 on Front

Stacy Prammanasudh made 4 birdies in her 1st 6 holes and tacked on another for a 31 on the front today in the final round of the Honda LPGA Thailand, moving to -3 for the tournament and T8 as the leaders tee off. Prammanasudh has joined Jee Young Lee in figuring out how to take advantage of the opening holes--Lee made 10 birdies and only 4 bogeys in that trio of 6-hole stretches, while Stacy P's hot start today brings her to -5 for those 18 holes. If Karrie Webb and Lorena Ochoa are going to make runs at Paula Creamer, look for it to happen early: whereas Creamer has excelled on the back, Webb and Ochoa have a chance to outdo even Prammanasudh and Lee over the opening 6 holes (and, for that matter, Cristie Kerr, who's already played 16 bogey-free holes at -5, and Mika Miyazato, who's -5 on that stretch with 5 left to play). On the other hand, if they don't make a move, they'll have to hope Creamer falters on a back 9 where she's never shot worse than 35. Let's see what happens!

[Update 1 (12:56 am): Well, that didn't take long at all. Lang doubled 1 to drop to -6 and Webb tripled it to drop to -2. Ouch!]

[Update 2 (12:57 am): So barring a miracle charge from someone still on the front, this comes down to a 2-player race with the world #1 trying to chase down her closest competitor.]

[Update 3 (12:59 am): Having said that, nice bounce-back birdies from Lang and Webb!]

[Update 4 (1:01 am): Cautionary tale from the early starters...Giulia Sergas was -3 through 7 and -4 through 11, but could only manage a 71.]

[Update 5 (1:03 am): How about that Hee Young Park? She's now bogey-free and -6 on that opening 6-hole stretch after making back-to-back birdies on the 2nd and 3rd holes.]

[Update 6 (1:06 am): Unfortunately for Ai Miyazato, she offset her 4 birdies in those opening holes with 4 bogeys. Combine that with her 1st bad back 9 yesterday and it makes a top 10 look increasingly difficult for my favorite golfer. So that's it for me until the morning!]

[Update 7 (7:22 am): Wow, I gotta tell you, I didn't see that one coming. Sure, Lorena Ochoa was tied with Creamer by the 3rd hole, ahead by the 5th, and comfortably ahead by the 8th--going -4 while Creamer's going +2 will do that for you. But I just didn't expect Ochoa to be that dominant that early this season. Nor did I expect Hee Young Park to shoot her 2nd 31 on the front, either. What a great runner-up for Park! Finally, I didn't expect Prammanasudh to go and take the course record away from her, despite that hot start of her own. Great finish to tie Lang for 4th.]

[Update 8 (7:25 am): I was kinda hoping I would get the whole Ai-chan prediction thing wrong, actually. But even though she made 5 birdies today--including 3 in a 4-hole stretch to start the back--she bogeyed 2 of her last 3 holes to fall back to T22 at E for the tournament. That's been thr story of her year, thus far. She's making birdies like the Ai-chan of old but making way too many bogeys to contend. Oh, well, there's always next week!]

[Update 9 (12:22 pm): Hound Dog isn't sure whether to be more impressed with Ochoa or Park!]

[Update 10 (2:48 pm): Brent Kelley notes that Ochoa's victory--her 25th on the LPGA--puts her past Se Ri Pak and Donna Caponi. Not bad!]

[Update 11 (10:23 pm): Here are notes and interviews from, your source for the AP!]

[Update 12 (3/2/09, 8:35 am): Here's Bill Jempty's take on Lorena's win and Hee Young's runner-up!]

[Update 13 (9:22 am): Here are Hound Dog's reflections on the 2nd event of the season.]

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