Sunday, August 16, 2009

PGA/Futures Tours Not-Quite-Live-Blog

Yes, Tiger's going for his 15th major at the PGA Championship while Mina Harigae's only going for her 4th Futures Tour win at the iMPACT Classic, but don't think for a second that the results of today's competition mean any less to the contenders on the LPGA's developmental tour than to those on the best tour in the world. I'm going to do a little experiment in not-quite-live-blogging both events--intermittently, as I have other things I'm working on today--just to see what comes of the juxtaposition.

[Update 1 (1:45 pm): A pair of late bogeys derailed Dewi Claire Schreefel's charge in Richmond. Having won about a month ago, she had pulled within a shot of the lead before settling for a 68--still the round of the day so far--that leaves her the leader in the clubhouse at -3. A pair of 69s by Virada Nirapathpongporn and Pornanong Phatlum leave them 1 shot behind. Meanwhile, Pernilla Lindberg is -8 through 6 and 2-up on Briana Vega, Kim Welch, Song Yi Choi, Jennie Lee (who's -4 through 11), and Min Seo Kwak. Harigae's in a group 3 back that includes Garrett Phillips (who's -4 through 12 after going birdie-birdie-par-eagle-birdie over her last 5 holes). Time to play baseball with imoto and onechan. We'll try not to break a window!]

[Update 2 (2:02 pm): Correction: Phillips had been -5 through 13, but just bogeyed the 14th to drop back to -4. But Lindberg doubled the 7th, so Jennie Lee's birdie on the 12th, which brings her to -5 on the day, also gives her a 1-shot lead on the former leader.]

[Update 3 (2:11 pm): Imoto's bathroom break has become an Onegai My Melody break. Some nice early rounds at Hazeltine by some up-and-coming young pros. Ryo Ishikawa's 72 was his 1st round of par or better all week, and he did it with birdies on 3 of his last 4 holes on the front and 2 of his last 4 holes on the back. Nationwide Tour graduate Michael Sim did Ishikawa 1 better, literally. If the storms hold off, looks like there could be some very good scoring among those at the top of the leaderboard. Right now, there are a bunch of players -2 in the early going, among them Zach Johnson, who's moved to -1 overall through 5 today, 7 back of Tiger.]

[Update 4 (2:40 pm): All of a sudden we have a free-for-all in Richmond. Birdies on 10 by Welch and Choi and on 9 by Lindberg bring them all to -7 with Lee. Vega and Lisa Meldrum (who's -3 through 12) are only 1 off the pace. A 37 on the front leaves Harigae 2 back with 6 other players.]

[Update 5 (2:45 pm): K.J. Choi and Hunter Mahan are the lowest players deepest into Hazeltine right now; both are -1 on the day and E overall as the last 3 pairings tee off. Vijay Singh is -2 through 6 to move back to that total for the week.]

[Update 6 (2:56 pm): Harigae's going for her 2nd win in a row and 4th of the season. Turns out she birdied 8 for a 36 on the front and just birdied 10 to join the leaders at -7!]

[Update 7 (3:15 pm): Whoa, Lindberg, Harigae, and Choi are all -8 through 12, while Meldrum, Lee, and now Cindy LaCrosse are only 1 back.]

[Update 8 (3:18 pm): A birdie on the 3rd has pulled Lucas Glover within 3 of Tiger. Padraig Harrington and Y.E. Yang are 2 back. Nobody else is within 5. Meanwhile, in Richmond, there are 17 players within 5 of the lead.]

[Update 9 (3:26 pm): Lisa Meldrum had birdied 5 of her last 9 and 3 of her last 4 to join the leaders at -8. But it turns out Lee is only -5 on the day and -7 overall. She'll need to birdie 18 to put some pressure on the leaders. Christine Song is also 1 back with 4 holes to go. Welch, Kwak, and LaCrosse are only 2 back.]

[Update 10 (3:32 pm): John Merrick is -3 through 15 and -1 overall for the best/deepest round of the day thus far. His 5 birdies show that it's possible for the lead chase pack to make a move on Tiger. Ian Poulter, Dustin Johnson, and Michael Allen join Zach Johnson and Hunter Mahan at -2 on the day thus far.]

[Update 11 (3:39 pm): Lindberg bogeyed 13 to drop back to -7. And Lee bogeyed 18--her 1st of the day--for a 68 that makes her the leader in the clubhouse at -6. LaCrosse needs to birdie 18 to surpass her.]

[Update 12 (5:40 pm): Just as we left to pick up some groceries, Harigae bogeyed the 14th. No birdies and another bogey down the stretch later, and she had to settle for T5 with Lee, Song, Welch, and LaCrosse at -6. Gerina Mendoza birdied 4 of her last 7 to join Choi and Lindberg T2 at -7. But it was Choi's bogey on the 16th that allowed Lisa Meldrum's bogey-free 67 to be just good enough for the win.]

[Update 13 (5:51 pm): Looking down the leaderboard, I see Nirapathpongporn actually shot a 71, which puts her at E (T33). Phillips, who bogeyed 2 of her 1st 5 and 3 of her last 5 to offset her hot streak in the middle, ended up with a 72 that left her at -1 (T25 with Amanda Blumenherst, among others). And Schreefel really shot a 69, which puts her T16 at -2 with Phatlum, Paola Moreno (70), Seo-Jae Lee (70), Hannah Yun (71), and Vega (77).]

[Update 14 (6:44 pm): Just read a year-and-a-half's worth of "Goofus and Gallant" and "The Timbertoes" to onechan. Imagine my surprise when I finally get back to the PGA Championship leaderboard and see that Tiger's having an un-Tiger-like round. Twice he got to +2 on the day and only a gutty birdie on the 14th after Y.E. Yang eagled it is keeping him 1 down with 2 to play. Yang has a chance to become the 1st player ever to chase Tiger down when he has a solo 54-hole lead. Wow!]

[Update 15 (7:11 pm): Dinner done. And so is Tiger. He and Yang both bogeyed 17, but then Tiger bogeyed 18 and Yang birdied it. Call it Hazeltine history repeating itself (except that Beem's win didn't feel like a tragedy and this one didn't feel like a farce)!]

[Update 16 (7:16 pm): Bill Benzon marked the historical junction we've reached at 7:07 pm. Amazing that it wasn't Isao Aoki or Shigeki Maruyama or K.J. Choi or Ryuji Imada to be the 1st Asian-born male to win a major. But what a weekend by Y.E. Yang--7-under to chase down the best front-runner in the history of golf!]

[Update 17 (7:21 pm): Speaking of history being made by an Asian, So Yeon Ryu won her 4th KLPGA event in her last 5 starts earlier today. Normally that would be the top story in Korea. Not this week!]


Anonymous said...

good stuff as always, TC.

I was a little disappointed that Danah Ford didn't move up the money list after 2 strong rounds on the weekend, but the top 2 finishers moved into the top 10, bumping my pro-am partner down 2 more spots to 13. Nerts.

The Constructivist said...

Thanks, CG. Think Tiger can pull this one out?