Friday, May 14, 2010

Bell Micro LPGA Classic Friday Afternoon: Ward and Lincicome Don't Back Down

Having a Hall of Famer as leader in the clubhouse, as Se Ri Pak was following the end of morning play at the Bell Micro LPGA Classic, can be a little intimidating, particularly when it's being played on a course she's won on twice before. But don't tell that to Wendy Ward and Brittany Lincicome. Ward, who's had a surprisingly bad start to the season, and Lincicome, who's had a surprisingly good one, both pulled within a shot of Pak on the strength of a bogey-free 65 and an 8-birdie 66, respectively. Just as Pak has gone -9 over her last 21 holes, Ward has done the same over her last 23. Lincicome has only followed up her closing 32 on the front yesterday with an opening 30 today--yup, that's -10 in an 18-hole stretch. If it weren't for her snowman on the par-5 13th yesterday, or her walkoff bogey today, she'd already be double digits under par, for sure.

With Pak at -9 and Ward and Lincicome at -8, the rest of the field has their work cut out for them. 1st-round leader Azahara Munoz dropped back to -6 with a double on the par-3 17th, but was caught only by Sun Young Yoo and Haeji Kang from the morning and Suzann Pettersen from the afternoon. Only Na Yeon Choi and Shi Hyun Ahn caught the morning group at -5 (Jee Young Lee, Meena Lee, and Janice Moodie). Kristy McPherson bogeyed 18 for the 2nd-straight day but not before she made 5 birdies on the back; her 67 lifted her into a large group at -4 (T13) that includes Angela Stanford from the morning and Ji-Yai Shin from the afternoon. Cristie Kerr fell back to -3 (T23) this morning, as did Amanda Blumenherst in the afternoon, which allowed Ai Miyazato and Jeong Jang, among others, to catch them. Then there's a big group at -2 (T30), including Stacy Prammanasudh, Amy Yang, and rookie Pernilla Lindberg from the afternoon pairings. Jet-lag queens Ya Ni Tseng and Momoko Ueda both made Friday charges to join the pack at -1 (T42), while Mi Hyun Kim, Brittany Lang, Natalie Gulbis, and rookie Mariajo Uribe were among those clocking in at E (T56). Last to make the cut were afternooners Sarah Jane Smith and Wendy Doolan joining Michelle Wie at +1 (T68). 10 shots in 36 holes is a lot to ask for, but as Pak, Ward, and Lincicome show, a stretch of good ball-striking and great putting can yield a lot of birdies on a Robert Trent Jones track.

Even so, a bunch of very good golfers are still left out in the cold at +2, including Grace Park, Candie Kung, Lorie Kane, Christina Kim, Kyeong Bae, and (ouch) Moira Dunn. Even further out of it were Jane Park (who gave it the old college try with a 70 today), Laura Diaz, Stacy Lewis, Vicky Hurst, Eun-Hee Ji, In-Kyung Kim, Gwladys Nocera, Sandra Gal, and Maria Hjorth. And Brandie Burton joined Angela Park in WDing after the 1st round.

Check out's notes and interviews for more details from round 2 and check out the field list for next week's Sybase Match Play Championship to see the details on the playoff for the last 3 spots of the 10 the qualify from the halfway point of this event, between Amanda Blumenherst, Amy Hung, Jeong Jang, and Karen Stupples. We'll see who among them joins Munoz, Haeji Kang, Moodie, H.J. Choi, Jimin Kang, and Shanshan Feng in the field of 64 next week. And we'll see who can make the last 4 spots by moving up in the money list at the end of the Bell Micro (not to mention who snags the 2 sponsor exemptions).

[Update 1 (11:58 pm): Gotta say, the AP game story isn't half bad.]

[Update 2 (5/15/10, 12:01 am): Great to see Hound Dog's 2nd-round overview!]

[Update 3 (12:13 am): My dad will be disappointed at this squib from

Libby Smith made the most of Monday qualifying by making the cut this week. Smith shot 71-73 and stands at even par for the tournament. A back-nine 39, which included two double bogeys, derailed her effort to play her way into the Sybase Match Play Championship next week.

Hey, even though she made those 2 doubles, she still made the cut, dad!]

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