Friday, December 4, 2009

LPGA Q-School Thursday: Chin Chases Down Garrett

Jane Chin took advantage of the more forgiving Champions course with a 65, the low round of LPGA Q-School's Final Qualifying Tournament thus far. Despite making her 2nd bogey of the day on her final hole, Chin caught 1st-round leader Nikki Garrett, who shot a solid 71 on the more challenging Legends course yesterday. They'll get to size each other up on the Legends course today, as they go off the 1st with Katie Kempter, who's only 1 shot behind them after a 69 on the Champions course, around 9:30 this morning.

While scoring wasn't nearly as low as I anticipated, perhaps because winds gusted a little higher than predicted around mid-day at Daytona Beach, Garrett's LET peer Marianne Skarpnord, who won twice on tour this season, did fire a 66 on the Champions course. Still, only 4 other players broke 70 (including Julieta Granada, who did it on the Legends course), so you know there were a lot of disappointed players last night. Still, you have to be at par or better to be in the top 20 right now, so it's not like the field is playing badly. Here's how the top 10 and notables stand:

T1/-6 Jane Chin (73L-65C), Nikki Garrett (67C-71L)
3rd/-5 Katie Kempter (70L-69C)
4th/-4 Nicole Jeray (70C-70L)
T5/-3 Julieta Granada (72C-69L), Lisa Meldrum (71C-70L), Azahara Munoz (69C-72L)
T8/-2 Marianne Skarpnord (76L-66C), Carolina Llano (72L-70C), Sung Ah Yim (71C-71L), Leah Wigger (69C-73L), Gwladys Nocera (68C-74L)

Some pretty solid golf here so far, but there are real opportunities for anyone who can break 70 more than a couple of times this week to take medalist honors.

T13/-1 Young-A Yang (75L-68C), Maria Hernandez (73L-70C), Amanda Blumenherst (72L-71C), Emma Cabrera-Bello (71C-72L)
T20/E Liz Janangelo (74L-70C), Meredith Duncan (72C-72L), Christine Song (71C-73L), Dewi Claire Schreefel (71C-73L), Iben Tinning (70C-74L), Yuko Mitsuka (69C-75L)

It was great to see Yang make the move she did on the Champions course, but surprising to see Mitsuka and Tinning struggle so much on the Legends.

T28/+1 Tamie Durdin (75L-70C), Virada Nirapathpongporn (74L-71C), Jeehae Lee (74L-71C), Lisa Ferrero (74C-71L), Diana D'Alessio (73L-72C), Sarah-Jane Smith (73C-72L), Paola Moreno (72L-73C), Il Hee Lee (69C-76L)

Lots of hanging around among these players, which is not a bad thing to do over the 1st 36 holes of Q-School.

T39/+2 Tania Elosegui (76C-70L), Mariajo Uribe (75C-71L), Pornanong Phatlum (75L-71C), Mallory Blackwelder (74L-72C), Pernilla Lindberg (73C-73L), Nontaya Srisawang (72L-74C), Lisa Strom (71C-75L)

T48/+3 Alison Walshe (74L-73C), Kitty Hwang (73L-74C), Esther Choe (71L-76C)
T56/+4 Ashleigh Simon (75C-73L), Stephanie Connelly (73C-75L)
T58/+5 Miriam Nagl (77C-72L), Sophia Sheridan (77C-72L), Sofie Andersson (77C-72L), Kris Tschetter (77L-72C), Gerina Mendoza (77L-72C), Stephanie Na (72L-77C)
T70/+6 Beatriz Recari (79L-71C), Angela Oh (79L-71C), Lauren Doughtie (77C-73L), Ayaka Kaneko (77C-73L), Erica Blasberg (72C-78L)

Huge wasted opportunities for Choe and Na on the Champions course yesterday, while Elosegui made a nice move on the Legends. But these players will need to get it closer to E over the next few rounds to put themselves in position for a top-20 charge in the final round.

T80/+7 Charlotte Mayorkas (77L-74C), Cindy LaCrosse (77L-74C), Nanette Hill (73C-78L)
T85/+8 Mollie Fankhauser (76L-76C)
T89/+9 Briana Vega (80L-73C), Tiffany Joh (78L-75C)
T99/+11 Hannah Jun (82L-73C)
101st/+12 Aree Song (80L-76C)
103rd/+14 Maru Martinez (79C-79L)

No time to panic yet, but these players will need 2 solid rounds to make the 72-hole cut. Let's get it going, T-Joh! However, it's looking like a cold and rainy day today, so it may be a long, hard slog, provided they're even able to finish the round. It all depends on how much water LPGA International can take.

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