Friday, May 14, 2010

Bell Micro LPGA Classic Friday Morning: Pak Attack!

Se Ri Pak continued her bounce-back from her lone blemish yesterday in the Bell Micro LPGA Classic--a double bogey on the par-3 14th--by following up her 3 consecutive closing birdies from the 1st round with 5 more in her 1st 7 holes today. Her 2nd-straight 35 on the back gave her a 66, which made her the leader in the clubhouse at -9 at the end of morning play today. [Correction: Pak started on the back! Perils of writing quickly....] The Hall of Famer is a former champion of the Tournament of Champions, also held at Magnolia Grove, so with both her driver (she averaged 293 yards yesterday!) and putter (only 54 putts in her 1st 36 holes) working is a serious threat to contend deep into the weekend.

Others making nice moves from the morning pairings today include Alena Sharp, who birdied 6 of her last 13 holes for a 67 that guaranteed she'll make the cut, Kris Tamulis, who bounced back from a walkoff quad yesterday with her 2nd-straight eagle on the par-5 16th that helped her to a 69 and a made cut, Karrie Webb, who got to -4 with a 69, despite doubling the same hole today her fellow Hall of Famer had the day before, and Haeji Kang, who made 4 birdies in her last 6 holes, but had to settle for her 2nd-straight 69 when she bogeyed the par-4 18th. Kang only has hit half her greens in regulation, but with only 48 putts so far, I'd say she's scrambling pretty well. Still, she's going to have to improve her ball-striking if she wants to stay in contention. Same goes for Mika Miyazato, who had a bogey-free round going until she doubled the 18th, but still shot her 2nd-straight 70 despite hitting only 23 greens thus far.

No worries on that score for Sun Young Yoo (70, -6, 29 GIR), Angela Stanford (70 despite a triple on 14, -4, 28 GIR), and Song-Hee Kim (70, -4, 26 GIR). They moved up the leaderboard while Cristie Kerr (74, -3, T19), Katherine Hull (74, -4, T10), and Jee Young Lee (73, -5, T6) moved down it. The saddest downfall, though, comes down to either former ROY Angela Park, who withdrew after shooting an 80 yesterday, or former top Canadian on tour Lorie Kane, who followed up yesterday's 69 with a 77 today. At +2, Kane may still make the cut if people in the afternoon pairings help her out. But Park's struggles continue. And if the cut line moves in the other direction (+1 is T65 right now), Michelle Wie will have missed it.

Jet lag already got the best of Eun-Hee Ji, but Inbee Park, Morgan Pressel, and Sophie Gustafson converged at -2 overall (T30 thus far). Now if Ya Ni Tseng can turn it on in her last 9 today and Momoko Ueda can keep it going from the afternoon pairings, all but one of the JLPGA jet setters will have made the cut. Not bad!

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