Monday, November 23, 2009

LPGA Tour Championship Monday: Na Yeon Choi Makes an Early Move

For all the complaining I've been hearing about "no-name winners" on the LPGA this season, there have been very few I'd consider truly surprising. Sure, I didn't expect M.J. Hur to win so soon and found Eunjung Yi's win even more surprising. But every other winner on tour is a big-time player. Case in point: Na Yeon Choi birdied her 1st 4 holes in a row today to climb to -6 and pull within 2 shots of the lead in the LPGA Tour Championship. If she were to win this week, Choi would join Ji-Yai Shin and Lorena Ochoa as the LPGA's only 3-time winners in 2009. She's already made a million dollars each of her 2 LPGA seasons and has never missed a cut in her 53 LPGA starts. She's already improved her ballstriking from her rookie season; if she ever got her putter going, she'd be a real threat for Player of the Year. Watch for her today and in 2010!

[Update 1 (2:20 pm): Wow! After parring 4 holes in a row, Choi made the turn with an eagle at 9 and a birdie at 10 to catch Lorena Ochoa at -9! Game on! And don't look now, but Ai Miyazato has caught Ji-Yai Shin at -6. Let's see if either of them can move into serious contention on the back.]

[Update 2 (4:24 pm): Well, except for a bogey on the par-4 13th, Choi did what she had to do--she birdied both par 5s coming in for a 64 that brought her to -10 for the week. Now she just has to wait and see if Anna Nordqvist, Lorena Ochoa, Kristy McPherson, or Ai Miyazato can stay ahead of her or pass her.]

[Update 3 (4:42 pm): Jamie RS gives more background on NYC's LPGA career.]

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