Friday, July 31, 2009

Women's British Open Friday: Hanging On

Conditions appear to be no easier at the Women's British Open today than yesterday, at least going by the early scoring. Song-Hee Kim bogeyed the 4th and 5th to fall back to E for the tournament through 25 holes. Maria Hjorth followed up yesterday's walkoff double with 3 bogeys in her 1st 6 holes and only a birdie on the 7th has brought her back to +2 for the tournament. Perhaps her tweeted observation that the wind is the opposite of yesterday's has something to do with the early difficulties she and many other players are running into.

Still, there are some who have gotten off to good starts, among them Kim and Hjorth's playing partner, Becky Morgan, who birdied 3 of her 1st 4 holes and has climbed back to +5 for the tournament. Ya Ni Tseng birdied 2 of her 1st 3 holes and joins Kim at E through 25. Brittany Lang is now -3 over her last 16 holes (going back to #15 in her 1st round) and +7 through 30. And Gwladys Nocera is -4 over her last 9 holes (never mind what she was before). More later.

[Update 1 (6:00 am): Mark Garrod follows up his late-night story with an early-morning report. At least if the wind stays the same the back should play easier. Morgan Pressel claims it's a more difficult, if lighter, wind. Song-Hee Kim would agree--she went from a 32 on the front yesterday to a 38 today. Hjorth fell almost as hard, from 34 to 38. Conversely, Moira Dunn went 43-36 today to break 80 for the 1st (and last) time this week. Shiho Oyama could use a similar comeback if she wants to make the cut; her 2nd triple of the tournament, this time on the par-5 6th, helped bring her to +10 through 32 holes. If she can stay there through 36, I think she'll be playing on the weekend. After a 40 on the front, Juli Inkster is +11 with 6 holes left to play. She'll need to make a run to help justify Beth Daniel's most likely captain's pick for the US Solheim Cup team.]

[Update 2 (6:09 am): Jane Park needs to win to make the team, and if she can make a birdie coming home, she'll be the leader in the clubhouse for a long time to come. She's +3 through 34 holes, tied with Michelle Wie (who's +3 through 30). Lang shot a 34 on the front and has added 2 more birdies on the back; she's now -4 over her last 18 holes and riding an 11-hole bogey-free streak (tied for 3rd-longest in the tournament thus far). Too bad the same can't be said for Paula Creamer, who's riding a 28-hole birdieless streak and is +6 for the tournament. Nicole Castrale will need to make a charge over her last 9 holes today to avoid her 2nd-straight missed cut heading into the Solheim Cup. And Natalie Gulbis (+8 through 28) needs to hang on to give herself a chance to get any more points and make it more difficult for anyone to take that 10th and last guaranteed spot away from her.]

[Update 2 (6:11 am): Tseng is impressing me. She came back from yesterday's back-9 birdieless 40 with a front-side bogey-free 32--both against the wind--so is poised to improve on her -1 total for the tournament thus far.]

[Update 3 (6:13 am): Catriona Matthew, who's fighting for a spot on the European Solheim Cup team, just went eagle-eagle (the latter a hole in one!) to fight back to -2 on her day and E for the tournament. Wow!]

[Update 4 (6:36 am): Park birdied 18 for a great 72 that leaves her at +2 heading into the weekend. Kim stopped the bleeding with a birdie on 10 that brings her back to E for the tournament. Creamer finally made her 1st birdie of the tournament on the 11th hole. Maybe she can pull off what Candie Kung did at the U.S. Women's Open after not making a birdie for so long in the early going there.]

[Update 5 (6:54 am): Lang's bogey-free streak ended at 13 holes and she had to settle for a 70 today, but an 11-shot comeback is nothing to sneeze at. A 78 by Suzann Pettersen that leaves her at +10 for the tournament puts her on my expected bubble, though.]

[Update 6 (6:58 am): A solid 73 by resurgent Senior Standout Sun Young Yoo means she'll live to play another weekend; at +8, she's a lock to make the cut.]

[Update 7 (6:59 am): Matthew is on fire--she followed up her pair of eagles with a birdie to join Tseng at -1 for the tournament.]

[Update 8 (7:32 am): If is to be believed, Matthew is now -7 through 7 holes on the back, -5 on her day, and -3 for the tournament!]

[Update 9 (7:49 am): Warren Ellis's FreakAngels is worth a read. Set in post-apocalyptic London, it's pretty compelling weekly webcomic psi-fi. I bring it up b/c of the mind-over-matter feats of Song-Hee Kim, now, too. She's -4 over her last 8 holes of bogey-free golf and tied with Matthew at -3 overall. And not to be outdone, Guilia Sergas has birdied 4 of her last 5 holes and has a 15-hole bogey-free streak going--the longest of the tournament--to jump to -2 through 33 holes. Jane Park won't be leader in the clubhouse for much longer!]

[Update 10 (7:54 am): Just realized that Tseng had had a share of the lead until she broke her 13-hole bogey-free streak with a double on the 14th. She can become the 3rd player in the field to break 70 with 2 pars or better on her last 2 holes--barring a disaster from Matthew, who finally bogeyed a hole, the 17th, to drop to -4 on her day. Sergas, meanwhile, birdied the 16th--her 4th in a row--to tie Kim for the lead. Yuko Mitsuka and Ai Miyazato have early birdies, Mitsuka on the 4th and Ai-sama on the 1st (I'm trying that out over Ai-sempai, which I fear makes me sound like a teenager).]

[Update 11 (8:00 am): 3 birdies in her last 4 holes gave Karrie Webb a 71 that keeps her in the hunt at +4. A walkoff double dropped Wie a shot behind her. A double on the previous hole dropped Momoko Ueda a shot behind her. Inkster, Gulbis, Helen Alfredsson, and Janice Moodie all joined Pettersen on my expected bubble at +10 (T94 right now). People had better take advantage of the relatively good weather while it lasts!]

[Update 12 (8:02 am): My bad--Sergas has a 17-hole bogey-free streak going, going back to the 17th yesterday, which she doubled. She's playing it now.]

[Update 13 (8:03 am): Wow, Matthew birdied 18 for a 30 that brings her back to -3 for the tournament. Wonder if Sergas can beat that?]

[Update 14 (8:04 am): Kim bogeyed 14--her 4th of the day--to fall back to E on her round and -2 overall.]

[Update 15 (8:06 am): Creamer birdied 2 of her last 4 holes to shoot her 2nd straight 74. Not out of it at all.]

[Update 16 (8:07 am): Speaking of +4, that's what Hjorth now is on her day and for the tournament as she plays 18. And Ji-Yai Shin got back there with a birdie on 1.]

[Update 17 (8:59 am): Girls woke up! Let's catch up. Sergas parred out for a bogey-free 67, tying her with Matthew and putting her 2 shots up on Kim, who bogeyed out. A bogey on 17 forced Tseng to accept a 70, which puts her 3 back of the co-leaders. Young Kim is the latest player to go on a tear; she's -4 over her last 12 holes of bogey-free golf and +3 for the tournament, tied with Shin, who's now -2 on her day. Cristie Kerr is -1 through 5 and Kristy McPherson +1 through 6 to join them. Christina Kim bogeyed her 1st to join Ai-sama at +2. Mitsuka doubled 6 and bogeyed 8 to drop to +1 for the tournament; Angela Stanford went birdie-bogey-triple in her 1st 3 holes to join her. And those are the players at the top of the leaderboard on the course right now.]

[Update 18 (9:05 am): Becky Morgan bogeyed 3 of her last 5 holes to settle for a 71 and join Lang at +7. Hjorth ended up with a 76, tied with Webb and Creamer at +4. Joining Wie at +5 is fellow rookie M.J. Hur, who shot a solid 73 and takes an 8-hole bogey-free streak into Saturday. Young Kim's own bogey-free streak came to an end on the 14th. Let's see if she can get it going again. Sandra Gal just got off a 6-hole bogey train that has dropped her all the way back to +4 overall.]

[Update 19 (9:12 am): Nicole Castrale shot a 77 that ensures she'll miss her 2nd-straight cut. But at least she beat Nocera, who ended up settling for a 74 today. Paula Marti's 2nd-straight 83 kept Nocera out of DFL, though. Right now the projected cut line includes the top 67 golfers at +7 or better. Is it top 60 and ties at the WBO? Or is it lower of top 70 and 10 shots within the lead?]

[Update 20 (9:48 am): Off to story time! It's daddy day, and once the Full Metal Archivist brings the Super-Prius back from work at Buffalo, we're heading out to Grandpa and Grandma's house tonight and the Syracuse Futures tour event tomorrow. Onechan and imoto are pumped! I'm pumped to see Se Ri Pak go -3 over her last 8 holes of bogey-free golf and fight back to +3 for the tournament. And to see Mitsuka birdie 9 to get back to E through 27. Must be a bottleneck on the par 5s right now--Ai-sama's score hasn't been updated in a long time.]

[Update 21 (1:30 pm): Done with lunch, now a little down time before we nap. Lots to catch up on before then. A nice 71 by Mitsuka--her 2nd straight thanks to a -3 finish over her last 10 holes--puts her 1 out of the lead. 2 birdies in her last 4 holes allowed Christina Kim to tie Tseng at E through 36. A great 69 by Marianne Skarpnord--fueled by a bogey-free 32 on the back--gives her a 12-hole bogey-free streak heading into moving day and ties her at +1 with Sophie Gustafson, who recovered from an opening double to post a 71. Ai-sama bogeyed the 9th to offset her 1st hole birdie, then birdied 3 of her next 4 before tripling the par-4 14th. But she birdied the par-5 15th and parred out for a 71 that ties her with Jane Park at +2, still in the thick of things at T11 right now. 71s by Pak and Kerr allowed them to catch Shinobu Moromizato at +3 overall, but Kerr won't be happy going 33-38 on a day like today. 71s by Webb and Shin allowed them to catch Mika Miyazato and Inbee Park (along with Creamer, McPherson, and Hjorth) at +4. Young Kim had to settle for a 71, too, thanks to her walkoff double, so she climbs to +5 (which is where Gal ended up and Pressel stayed). A flawless 70 (well, except for that 6th-hole double) lifted In-Kyung Kim to +7, tied with Lang, Morgan, Lu and Na Yeon Choi (who fired a 71 of her own). Lorena Ochoa, Jeong Jang, and Laura Diaz will make the cut at +8, as will Yuri Fudoh and Anna Nordqvist at +9. The question now is, will it go as high as +10? Right now there are 74 players at +9 or better, but how many will be at +10 or better at the end of the day?]

[Update 22 (1:33 pm): Hee Young Park (-1 through 27) and Kyeong Bae (E through 31) continue to impress in recent majors. I'll be curious to see if Meena Lee and Vicky Hurst (both +2 on their round as they play the back and +4 overall) will be able to climb back into contention.]

[Update 23 (1:57 pm): Everyone at +10 must be hoping Carmen Alonso (+8 through 11) and Vicki Laing (+7 through 13) join them. Otherwise there will be 70 or 71 players ahead of them and they won't be playing on the weekend.]

[Update 24 (1:58 pm): Unless, that is, Allison Hanna-Williams (who's won on the Futures Tour this year) and Samantha Head (Johanna Mundy's sister) fall way back from +6 through 12.]

[Update 25 (2:00 pm): Oh, and that only works if nobody tied at +10 or behind that bunch gets back to +9 or better.]

[Update 26 (2:03 pm): Alonso parred 18. That leaves 3 who need to move way back and 0 who can move up. Odds are against Inkster, Gulbis, Pettersen, Alfredsson, Moodie, Wright, Kemp, Simon, Oh, Ahn, and Kang.]

[Update 27 (2:09 pm): Sad to see Seon Hwa Lee needing a miracle to make the cut. Stacy Lewis will have to make a serious move over her last 6 holes, too, to do so. Jee Young Lee, Melissa Reid, and Karen Stupples are already done. (Lee is 1 of 9 players not even to break 80 once this week.) OK, too depressing. Nap time!]

[Update 28 (3:07 pm): Girls won't nap. Bae shot 71, joining Tseng and Kim at E. Park hanging tough at -1 overall through 14. Vicky Hurst stumbled to a 75, now +5 for the tournament. Laing +9 on 18. Hanna-Williams and Head still +6 with 2 to play. Lewis got to +10 but a double at 17 did her in. Pat Hurst can make the cut with a -1 finish over her last 3 holes (she's at +10). 11 players have now failed to break 80 either day.]

[Update 29 (3:12 pm): Bogey at 15 makes Park +2 over her last 9 holes, E overall. Lee still +3 overall with 2 to play. If Hanna-Williams triples 18, Laing bogeys it, and Pat Hurst fails to get to -9, everyone at -10 is in for the weekend.]

[Update 30 (3:27 pm): Some fun stats at the WBO. Well, fun if you're not playing in it.

# of players under par both days: 1 (Yuko Mitsuka)--unless Hee Young Park goes -2 over her last 2 holes.

# of players under 75 both days: 14 13 (unless Park and Meena Lee blow up down the stretch) [I still don't think anyone will make it through all 4 rounds--and look in the next update, Park couldn't do it this round]

# of players over 80 both days: 11 (this number could still go higher [but didn't])

Scoring was definitely lower today, so maybe with both kinds of winds the players will be ready for anything on the weekend, but so far, wow, Royal Lytham is winning!]

[Update 31 (5:27 pm): Yikes. Hee Young Park bogeyed 3 of her last 4 holes to fall to +2 for the tournament, now tied for 10th with Ai-sama, Jane Park, and Angela Stanford. That makes 13 players within 5 shots of the lead heading into moving day. And 9 of them are due to not break 75 tomorrow or Sunday. The cut line ended lower than I expected, at +9. Ouch.]

[Update 32 (5:30 pm): Here's Hound Dog!]


Pyoung said...

I'll fill in a bit while you're at story time.

Eww. Ai had a 7 on the 14th... triple bogey but bounced back with a birdie on 15th and she parred 16th to stay at -1 for the day and +2 total.

Hee Young Park birdied 6 to tie for 3rd at -2. Hope she can keep this up.

Both Christina Kim and Kyeong Bae is now at E for the day +1 for tournament. Good job gals! Keep it up.

Glad to see Inky have a better day today... -2 and +7 total. She'll make the cut.

Sophie was at -2 for the day but she bogeyed 17th and came down to -1 for the day and +1 total at 18th. Really cool to see Jane Park doing well...

Marianne Skarpnord is inching up the board, -2 at 16th, +2 total. Kerr is also floating to the top with a -1 at 17th for +3 total. She's joined by her old pal from the 4th round of US Open Ji with the same score at 16. Looks like the cut line is going to be around +8... we'll see what it really is later.

The Constructivist said...

thx much!

courtgolf said...

Looks like they are talking about adding a little wet stuff in the mix for the weekend. It's possible that there will be nobody left under par if they get doused on Saturday, with the extra wind following behind the rain.

There have been some good performances, but so many of these women just don't have much, if any, experience in these conditions on a real links course.

The Florida Masochist said...


If Jane Park finished solo second, she would tie Natalie Gulbis for the last Solheim Cup spot.(Gulbis 201 pts, Park 141. Solo 2nd is 60 pts, 30x2= 60. Double points for a major) Natalie missed the cut.

I wonder what happens in the event of a tie. I'd have to assume both make the team and the Captain gets one less selection but who else but Beth Daniel knows right now?

The Constructivist said...

Wow, Bill, nice catch! If Ai-sama can get win #2 here, I wouldn't mind seeing Jane in solo 2nd!