AREAS OF WEST TO NORTHWEST WINDS 20 TO 30 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 50 MPH... INCREASING TO 25 TO 35 MPH TODAY WITH GUSTS TO 65 MPH. WINDS WILL BE STRONGEST NEAR THE BANNING PASS AND EAST OF INTERSTATE 10. WINDS WILL DECREASE DURING THE EVENING AND OVERNIGHT.
Let's see, the Mission Hills Country Club is just barely west of I-10, so maximum gusts were probably between 50 and 65 mph (LPGA.com went with the lower number). So players would be dealing with anything from, say, a 2-club wind in lulls to, I don't know, say, a 7-club wind in gusts? That sounds like fun!
Well, that might not be quite the word that Jill McGill (89), Louise Friberg (87), Julieta Granada (86), or the 18 other players who failed to break 80 today would use. Consider the following swings:
Brittany Lang 67-80
Jee Young Lee 69-80
Ji-Hee Lee 69-82
Michelle Wie 71-81
And they all made the cut! Not so fortunate were
Akiko Fukushima 70-83
Minea Blomqvist 73-81
Stacy Prammanasudh 73-84
Candace Schepperle 72-86
Just for comparison's sake, McGill did 17 shots worse today than yesterday, while Friberg went 15 shots higher.
Among the 18 players who scored better today than yesterday, only 1--amateur Jennifer Johnson--missed the cut (she went 77-76). And guess how many players in the afternoon pairings improved on yesterday's score? Hmmm, that would be Hee-Won Han (75-73) at 12:32 pm and Soo-Yun Kang (78-74) at 1:36 pm, so 2.
Yup, the Big Bad Wolf visited Mission Hills today. So who made like a postmodern Little Red Riding Hood--and, more important, what were their starting times?
8:57 am Cristie Kerr 71-68 (3rd)
8:49 am Christina Kim 69-69 (T1)
8:09 am Shi Hyun Ahn 75-69 (T15)
8:01 am Alena Sharp 76-69 (T18)
9:21 am Helen Alfredsson 72-70 (T7)
8:33 am Joo Mi Kim 73-70 (T11)
8:25 am Kristy McPherson 68-70 (T1)
8:01 am Jimin Kang 71-70 (T5)
8:09 am Lindsey Wright 70-71 (T5, thanks to a little 'ol eagle on the par-4 16th!)
8:49 am Pat Hurst 71-71 (T7)
9:13 am Suzann Pettersen 71-72 (T11)
9:05 am Karrie Webb 73-72 (T18)
9:05 am Eun-Hee Ji 75-72 (T31)
9:05 am Momoko Ueda 76-72 (T38)
8:49 am Paula Creamer 70-72 (T7)
8:49 am Wendy Ward 75-72 (T31)
8:01 am Alexis Thompson 72-72 (T15)
So who had the best round of the day? My vote is for Sakura Yokomine, who, playing in the last twosome on the course, bogeyed 3 of her last 4 holes but still shot a 73. Han's 73 started an hour earlier than Yokomine's, while Meaghan Francella's and In-Kyung Kim's started even earlier in the afternoon.
Let's wait and see what kind of revenge those fortunate enough to make the cut will take on Mission Hills tomorrow in much calmer weather. I leave you with choice quotations from today's survivors:
Kerr: "You just try and survive. Your golf swing doesn't matter. Putting doesn't matter. You've just got to try and see kind of what the shot is laid out for you, and then you've got to play the conditions. Whether you think--I mean, on number eight, the par 3, I had to aim 30 yards left, and the wind brought it in and I hit a great shot. So you've just got to translate the conditions and survive, and I'm glad I'm done."
McPherson: "Downwind, you can get up to 30 yards of release on to the greens, so you just have to really pay attention to where you can and cannot be on this golf course."
Stanford: "Last week, I went early/later, late/early, and missed the wind. As the year goes on, it all balances out. Unfortunately this week, it's a major, and I got a bad draw."
Ochoa: "I'm even more upset because I was in good position on certain holes, but I couldn't control my swing. With so much wind I kept losing my balance."
Too bad they couldn't get a reaction from the player to whom this happened on 18:
[A] player had marked her ball on the putting green, replaced it, had backed up from the ball, and the ball subsequently rolled into the water, for which she received a one-stroke penalty, and her option was at that point in time to--she chose to go back and play from the previous spot. She placed the ball where it originally laid and then played from there.
The ruling, the main thing you need to know about the ruling is when a player places her ball back in position, it's in play, and if the wind subsequently blows it to a new position, that's where the ball is to be played from.
For instance, if the ball had rolled into the hole, it would have been counted as being holed on the previous shot. Unfortunately this time it rolled into the hazard so we had the one stroke penalty.
Hey kids, just remember, next time you play in really windy conditions, try to leave your approach shots upwind from the hole!
[Update 1 (11:11 pm): Golfweek is again giving the KNC the major treatment. Sean Martin identifies the player whose ball rolled in the water on 18--Ji Young Oh--over at The Tour Blog. Randall Mell is kicking his and Beth Ann Baldry's butts, however, over at Golf Channel's Shag Bag blog.]
[Update 2 (11:18 pm): OK, cue the video!]
[Update 3 (4/4/09, 10:27 am): Check out Say_You_SeRi's 2nd day of on-course Pakitude. Makes you wonder why the tournament organizers didn't follow the Houston PGA event's lead...]
[Update 4 (10:32 am): Here's Hound Dog!]
[Update 5 (10:36 am): Pretty darn good job by Karen Crouse for the Times.]