Saturday, March 7, 2009

HSBC Women's Champions Saturday: Stanford and Hull Pull Away

The 2 hottest golfers in the world of women's professional golf after the LPGA's 1st event of 2009 are neck-and-neck in its 3rd. Katherine Hull (-11) and Angela Stanford (-9) fired sizzling 66s on moving day in the HSBC Women's Champions, to pull away from the field. Only Sun Young Yoo (-8) among the leaders could keep pace with them, thanks to a 68 marred only by bogeys on the 1st and 17th holes. But there are only 4 players within 5 shots of Hull heading into Sunday's final round. Looks like the rain delay made things tough on many players.

Even though a few other players made big moves today, it may be too little, too late for them. Ji-Yai Shin's bogey-free 66 joined Hull's and Stanford's as the low rounds of the day, moving her into a tie for 6th with Lorena Ochoa (69), Juli Inkster (69), Amy Yang (69), and Jane Park (73) at -5. Karen Stupples's 67 was capped off by an eagle on the short par-4 16th hole, but it only moved her to T19 (-2). Candie Kung's 67 was 10 shots better than Friday's round's results, bringing her to +2 for the tournament (T33).

Too many of yesterday's leading golfers basically treaded water today, allowing themselves to get caught from behind. It didn't happen to Mi Hyun Kim (70, -7, 4th) or Paula Creamer (4-birdie, 4-bogey 72, -6, 5th), but, along with Jane Park, it happened to Ai Miyazato (72, -4, T11), who was -6 for the tournament after playing her 1st 8 holes bogey-free, but then collapsed with a double and 2 bogeys over her final 10 holes that more than offset her 2 birdies on the back. She got caught by Ya Ni Tseng (69), Angela Park (69), and Eun-Hee Ji (70). None of the players T15 at -3--Suzann Pettersen (71), Meena Lee (71), Se Ri Pak (72), and Lindsey Wright (72)--made tomorrow's round any easier on themselves, either.

The final-round pairings are a treat. Check out the last 5 groups:

9:50 AM
Eun-Hee Ji
Ai Miyazato
Meena Lee

10:00 AM
Jane Park
Yani Tseng
Angela Park

10:10 AM
Amy Yang
Juli Inkster
Lorena Ochoa

10:20 AM
Mi Hyun Kim
Paula Creamer
Jiyai Shin

10:30 AM
Katherine Hull
Angela Stanford
Sun Young Yoo

Hopefully I'll be able to stay up tonight to watch them!

[Update 1 (11:56 am): Hound Dog reminds us not to forget Sun Young Yoo!]

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