Saturday, September 19, 2009

Samsung World Championship Friday: Miyazato, Ochoa Chase Shin; Kerr, Choi, and Tseng Back in Hunt

The lowest scores of the day at the Samsung World Championship belonged to Cristie Kerr and Ya Ni Tseng, but Ji-Yai Shin lead for the 2nd round in a row at the end of the day yesterday. Kerr's putter heated up as she birdied 4 in a row on the front and her last 2 on the back on her way to a 66 that brought her to -6 for the tournament, T5 with Na Yeon Choi (67) and Paula Creamer (69). After shooting a 39 on the front at Torrey Pines on Thursday, Kerr made 8 birdies in her next 13 holes, so you know she has the firepower to win this thing. Speaking of firepower, Tseng made 6 birdies in a 7-hole stretch as she made the turn and entered the back 9 yesterday, but she'll need all of that and more on moving day as she still trails Shin--who made 6 birdies in her 1st 13 holes but also 3 bogeys between the 4th and 14th--by 6 shots. Much closer to the leader are Lorena Ochoa (69 thanks mostly to a walkoff eagle) and Ai Miyazato (who bookended her 2nd-straight 68 with a walkoff bogey, her only mistake since her bogey to begin the tournament)--both are only 1 back at the halfway point.

There are 2 ways of looking at the fact that Shin leads while only hitting 22 of 36 greens in regulation. On the one hand, you might argue that Torrey is too long for her and she's only riding a hot putter right now. But on the other you might expect her to go super-low on the weekend, because she's hitting plenty of fairways and giving herself every chance to hit more greens and give herself even more birdie chances. Same goes for Ochoa, who's hit the 2nd-fewest GIR among the leaders (although her issues are more with accuracy than length). So it would have been poetic justice for them to have been paired together today, but as it turns out Ai-sama and Chalk Line will be teeing it up in the final pairing, while Ochoa will play with Sophie Gustafson.

With onechan's violin lesson cancelled for the 2nd week in a row, I wonder if I can convince someone in the Buffalo Nihongo Club to let us watch Ai-sama with them in the early afternoon!

[Update 1 (2:22 am): Here are Jamie RS and Catherine Forsythe on Friday's round. But as usual, the post-round notes and interviews on are not to be missed.]

[Update 2 (2:26 am): One of the Waggle Roomers asks how the Samsung can be treated so lo-fi, while Beth Ann Baldry provides the 3-letter answer.]

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