Saturday, June 27, 2009

Wegmans Saturday: Shin Pulls Away from Lewis and Pressel

At the end of play in round 2 Saturday morning at the Wegmans, 4-time LPGA winner Ji-Yai Shin held a 1-shot lead on a resurgent Morgan Pressel and Stacy Lewis, 2 rising American stars who have struggled more than many expected early in their professional careers. And after Lewis eagled the par-5 11th to get to -12, pulling 1 shot ahead of Pressel, who shot a 34 on the front, it looked like Shin was going to be in a dogfight, even with her pair of birdies to open the back that got her to -13. But she reeled off 3 more in her final 6 holes to post a 32 and open up a 4-shot lead on Pressel, who only made 1 more over her last 10 holes, and a 5-shot lead on Lewis, who bogeyed the 18th (following up her double there in the 1st round).

Sure, fellow rookie Haeji Kang bounced back from a 2nd-round 75 with 4 straight birdies to close out her round for a 31 on the front and 65 on the day, but nobody else made up ground on the 2nd-round leader on a moving day that was perfect for scoring. Sure, Lindsey Wright (-10, T4), Mika Miyazato (-8, T7), Brittany Lincicome (-4, T21) didn't lose any ground to Shin, but even those who shot 68s today (Ji Young Oh, In-Kyung Kim, Wendy Ward, and Irene Cho) did, and many lost far more than them. Scores were surprisingly high, particularly for Natalie Gulbis (74), Jee Young Lee (75), Michelle Wie (75), Lindsey Wright (76), Jane Park (78), and Amanda Blumenherst (79). Cheyenne Woods's 75-74 missed cut is looking better and better by the hour, eh?

Onechan and I followed Mika Miyazato's group from the 1st through 4th tees and Ai Miyazato's from the 4th through 8th before I had to give in to her demands to play at the Sports Zone. More on our experiences walking the front in a separate post, but I was sure glad to see that Ai-chan could finally get some birdie putts to drop late in her round. She made some great par saves while we were watching her, but missed a real short one on the 4th and a makeable one on the 7th.

As I sign off on this post, please follow my advice and check out Cristie Kerr's scorecard. Which Kerr will show up tomorrow?

[Update 1 (7:50 pm): Hound Dog, who got to watch the tv coverage this afternoon, adds important details to my post. Onechan's still sleeping from our early afternoon nap and I didn't get up until 6:30!]

[Update 2 (8:03 pm): More recommended reading, this time the notes and interviews from The interviews with Shin, Pressel, and Lewis were hilarious. Sounds like they had a great time playing together today.]

[Update 3 (8:37 pm): Ben Dobbin does a good job for the AP.]

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