Friday, April 24, 2009

Corona Championship Friday: Going Low

Lorena Ochoa shot her 2nd straight 65 in the Corona Championship today, making her 1st eagle of the tournament to go with her 14 birdies. Suzann Pettersen's 64 made her the only player in the field to actually gain ground on Ochoa, but she's managed to make "only" 12 birdies and has a bogey to offset her eagle, so she's 3 shots back with 36 holes to go. Others getting to double digits under par include Ya Ni Tseng, who's made 13 birdies in her last 31 holes of bogey-free golf, Na Yeon Choi, who joins her at -11 thanks to 9 birdies and an eagle, and Kristy McPherson, who's fired a pair of 68s.

As Hound Dog points out, everyone else in the field is going to need a combination of extraordinary play on their part and help from Ochoa to have a chance to overtake her. It's all fine and dandy that a host of players moved up the leaderboard with sweet 67s, but it's one thing for Karrie Webb and Irene Cho to catch Michelle Wie and Sarah Lee at -9, for Morgan Pressel to catch Eunjung Yi at -8, or for Paula Creamer to catch Ai Miyazato and Jill McGill at -7, and it's another thing to do the same to Ochoa.

If it can be done, though, maybe Tres Marias is the place to do it. If anyone could put together Pettersen's 7-birdie barrage on the back with, say, Alena Sharp's hole-in-one-aided 31 on the front, I doubt even Ochoa would be able to keep her from making up some significant ground tomorrow. When someone playing as well as Katherine Hull can make a double and a triple in her 1st 36 holes, what are the odds that Ochoa can keep her bogey-free run going all weekend? Although it might be just as pertinent to ask whether she has a legitimate shot to break -30 this week...!

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