Sunday, July 5, 2009

Jamie Farr Classic/Se Ri Pak Shootout Sunday: Attaaaaack!!

With Eunjung Yi holding a 4-shot lead on playing partner Song-Hee Kim and Morgan Pressel at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic and the next 7 players 6 back at -12, everyone else is going to have to go super-low to join or catch them. Among those back in the pack, Minea Blomqvist is showing how to do it, with 3 birdies in her 1st 5 holes to climb to -6 for the tournament. That's on pace to better Hye Jung Choi's 32 earlier this morning on the par-34 front side at Highland Meadows. But Eva Dahloff presents a cautionary tale for everyone chasing Yi. After making birdies on 4 of her 1st 5 holes, she's since offset her only other birdie with a bogey and just took a double on the par-4 12th to fall back to -2 on the day and -1 for the tournament.

[Update 1 (10:10 am): Nice bounceback birdie by Dahloff on the 13th. BTW, there's a great chance for everyone who made the cut to end the tournament under par. Right now, Anna Rawson and Jeanne Cho-Hunicke are the only players at E overall.]

[Update 2 (10:18 am): Some very interesting pairings today. Momoko Ueda and Shiho Oyama go off together at 11:09 am, just like old times on the JLPGA. Anna Nordqvist and Sophie Gustafson follow them. Jane and Inbee Park (no relation, ;) ) can relive their junior golf days at 12:05 pm. Jennifer Rosales and Michelle Wie follow them 3 groups later. Moira Dunn gets to play with someone even more of a veteran than she is, the amazing Helen Alfredsson, at 1:17 pm, right in front of Lorena Ochoa and Natalie Gulbis. And from then on, you have those at -12 or better. I'd be tempted to pick up the Ya Ni Tseng-Shanshan Feng pairing on the 10th if I were in Toledo, after following Ueda and Oyama for the front and watching everyone between them come through the 9th green.]

[Update 3 (10:25 am): Blomqvist just birdied the par-5 7th.]

[Update 4 (10:33 am): Scoring may be tougher today. Of the 30 or so players now on the course, only the 3 I've mentioned already are doing better than -1 on their day thus far.]

[Update 5 (10:48 am): Dahloff is now -4 w/the 2 closing par 5s to go. Choi is -4 through 14. And Blomqvist shot a 30 on the front. Plus, 2 of my picks are off to good starts: Angela Stanford is -2 through 6 and Na Yeon Choi has bounced back from a 1st-hole bogey with 3 birdies in her last 4 holes. Both are at -6 for the tournament right now.]

[Update 6 (11:12 am): The 1st had been Hee-Won Han's nemesis this weekend: she doubled it yesterday and bogeyed it today. But she's rattled off 3 birdies in a row since then to climb to -8 for the tournament.]

[Update 7 (11:30 am): Birdie Kim birdied the 2nd and 3rd to join Han at -8. Irene Cho shot a 32 on the front to join Stanford at -6. But Choi and Dahloff could only manage 67s.]

[Update 8 (4:10 pm): Wow, step away to eat lunch, do some chores, and try (unsuccessfully) to get the girls to nap, and you miss a lot! Let me try to cath up on what's been happening while I've been out of the loop. Minea Blomqvist ended up with a 66, but she needed 2 birdies in her last 3 holes to get there, despite her opening 30. That triple on the 11th yesterday cost her a top 30; she finishes at -8, tied with Na Yeon Choi, who was the 1st player to match Hye Jung Choi's and Dahloff's 67s, but she went 31-36 to do it and only birdied 1 of 3 par 5s. Kim ended up shooting a 69 that puts her at T30 right now, while Stanford's matching score may be good enough to get her a top 50. And Irene Cho shot a 68 that guarantees her a top 50. At least Hee-Won Han shot a 67 that gt her to -10 for the tournament, T25 right now, but I can't imagine she's happy going 30-37 to do it. Looks like the back is playing tough today.]

[Update 9 (4:18 pm): Kyeong Bae and Karine Icher also shot 67s to join Han at -10, the former by riding the roller coaster all day (the Senior Standout birdie machine had 7 of them today), the latter by coming on strong on the back. But they got leapfrogged by Junior Mint Eun-Hee Ji, who shot a bogey-free 65, and Se Ri Pak, who made 7 birdies on the way to her 66. Anna Nordqvist shot a 66 of her own, thanks to 6 birdies in her last 10 holes--4 of them coming in her last 6--to jump to -12. We still haven't gotten to the top-10 contenders, though.]

[Update 10 (4:24 pm): Michelle Wie came on strong with 7 birdies in her last 10 holes to shoot a 64 that makes her the leader in the clubhouse at -16. But I'm sure the press will focus on her par on the 18th that broke a 4-hole birdie streak. Yes, she had trouble on 18 all week, but this is another strong--and, at least for me, unexpected--result from Wie. She finishes 2 shots ahead of Lindsey Wright, who shot a bogey-free 65 today, and 3 shots ahead of Allison Fouch, whose 65 came courtesy of 7 birdies in her last 11 holes. Maybe late charges aren't out of the question on Highland Meadowns today, eh?]

[Update 11 (4:34 pm): Next let's devote an update to those who shot themselves out of contention today. Moira Dunn is +4 through 16 and hemorraghing money all the way, while Shanshan Feng is +4 through 12; the former is fighting for a top 50, while the latter for a top 30. Ouch. Ji-Yai Shin is +1 through 15 and fighting to stay in the top 20. She's all the way back at -11 with Cristie Kerr, Natalie Gulbis, and Helen Alfredsson. No, wait, Gulbis bogeyed the 16th to fall back to 10. Little is going right for Song-Hee Kim, either, as she's +1 through 11. Failing to make charges today have been Lorena Ochoa (-2 through 16, she's T10 at -13 right now), Ya Ni Tseng (-2 through 13 and -14 for the tournament), and Seon Hwa Lee and Suzann Pettersen (-2 through 14 and also -14, tied with Sarah Kemp, who's made 4 birdies but 2 bogeys through 15 holes). They're in danger of being leapfrogged by Nicole Castrale, who needs a birdie on 18 for a 66 that would get her to -15.]

[Update 12 (4:42 pm): Finally it's time to get to the top of the leaderboard. Eunjung Yi birdied 2 and 3 to get to -20 for the tournament, but bogeyed the 9th to fall back to -19 and has stayed there through the 12th. Morgan Pressel birdied the 8th, 9th, and 10th to get to -17, so she's 2 shots back as they play the 13th. Then it's Wie at -16, Suzann Pettersen and Seon Hwa Lee at -15 through 14 (apparently they just caught a mistake on the site!), and Wright and Castrale (who didn't birdie 18) T6 at -14. No, wait, Pressel just bogeyed the par-4 13th. Yi has a 3-shot lead on her and a 4-shot lead on Lee and Pettersen with 6 left for her to play.]

[Update 13 (4:48 pm): Yi parred 13 while Pettersen bogeyed 15 and Lee parred it. Kemp, Pettersen, Tseng, and Kim are running out of holes to make up their 5-shot deficit. But the middle 2 at least could potentially have 2 eagle opportunities on their last 2 holes, so they won't need much help from Yi if they play great golf in the time they have left today.]

[Update 13 (4:52 pm): Tseng birdied 15 to pull even with Lee--and Pressel, who just bogeyed her 2nd in a row--and 4 behind Yi.]

[Update 14 (4:55 pm): Meaghan Francella is walking with Pressel and live-blogging her round. I won't call out the LPGA twitterites who are watching the PGA or driving to Bethlehem for the U.S. Women's Open.]

[Update 15 (5:01 pm): Yi parred 14, while Pettersen bogeyed her 2nd in a row to fall 6 back.]

[Update 16 (5:07 pm): Pressel stopped the bleeding with a par on 15, but she really needs to bear down on the last 3. Ochoa's walkoff birdie brings her to -14, good enough for T6 now. Kerr birdied 17 but not 18 to get to -12, T17 right now. BTW, Dunn's birdieless 75 will put her at T49. 74s by Jin Joo Hong and Russy Gulyanamitta also cost them a lot of money, as did 72s by Laura Diaz, Jane Park, and Sun Young Yoo.]

[Update 17 (5:11 pm): Yi keeps making pars and her chasers keep failing to put any pressure on her. Let's see how Lee, Tseng, and Pressel do on the par 5s.]

[Update 18 (5:18 pm): Well, Pressel has some momentum heading into them. Found out about her birdie from a Francella tweet. Lee couldn't birdie 17, though. So she just got caught at -15 by a Song-Hee Kim birdie on 15. Pettersen birdied 17 to get back to -14.]

[Update 19 (5:21 pm): Bogey on 18 gives Sarah Kemp a closing 39 that dropped her all the way back to T12. BTW, Final Round Queen Ji-Yai Shin needed her walkoff birdie just to climb back to E for the day; she joins Kerr at T17.]

[Update 20 (5:23 pm): Tseng couldn't birdie 17, either.]

[Update 21 (5:30 pm): Uh-oh! Yi made her 2nd bogey since the 9th hole to drop back to -18 with the 2 par 5s left to play. Lee's walkoff birdie on 18 ties her with Wie for leader in the clubhouse at -16. Pettersen made her 2nd birdie in a row to finish T6 at -15. I wouldn't mind seeing Yi get her 1st win, but a playoff between Wie and Lee would be awesome!]

[Update 22 (5:33 pm): Scratch that! A Pressel eagle on 17 pulls her into a tie for the lead with Yi!! Song-Hee Kim is the only one at -16 still out on the course.]

[Update 23 (5:41 pm): Like so many before her, Yi could only par 17, but Kim birdied it to cut the deficit to 1. Pressel needs to birdie 18 to put some pressure on Yi and distance on Kim.]

[Update 24 (5:46 pm): Pressel couldn't do it. So she's the leader in the clubhouse at -18, waiting to see if Kim can tie her and Yi can beat her. It's enough to make me wish I had cable--or a working tv!]

[Update 25 (5:58 pm): Of the players who broke 70 each day at Highland Meadows, Pressel went 64-68-67-67, Pettersen went 65-69-67-68, Tseng went 68-68-65-68, and Ochoa went 67-68-67-68, and Janice Moodie went 67-69-67-68. But only Presse went low enough to catch Eunjung Yi. Pressel's hit 12 more fairways and 10 more greens than Yi, but 10 more putts. Still waiting to see it Kim will make it a 3-some.]

[Update 26 (6:00 pm): Nope, Kim bogeyed 18 to fall back to T3 at -16.]

[Update 27 (6:06 pm): Looking at Ai Miyazato's card, seems like her putter let her down this week, especially today when she needed to go super-low. But if she can figure out Saucon Valley's greens, watch out for her next week!]

[Update 28 (6:09 pm): says Pressel and Yi are starting on 18.]

[Update 29 (6:11 pm): Ron Sirak tweeted that Pressel's eagle on 17 was a hole-out from the fairway. How long, I wonder?]

[Update 30 (6:17 pm): Ouch. tweets that Pressel has a 25-footer and Yi a 12-footer. So much for Pressel's better ballstriking this week, eh?]

[Update 31 (6:19 pm): Putt for dough, indeed! Yi cans it for the win!]

[Update 32 (6:21 pm): Here's Ron Sirak's tweet of the winning putt.]

[Update 33 (7:03 pm): Yi qualified for the Women's British Open after 36 holes and the U.S. Women's Open after 73. Now that's a great week!]

[Update 34 (7/6/09, 2:04 pm): Hound Dog says the playoff started on 17 and that Pressel's eagle was from about 75 yards out.]

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