Saturday, June 12, 2010

State Farm Classic Saturday, Part I: The Saturday Action

Earlier today I claimed that Karrie Webb, Ya Ni Tseng, Azahara Munoz, Brittany Lincicome, and Jee Young Lee were the players back in the pack through 36 holes at the State Farm Classic most likely to make the biggest moves on moving day. To my surprise, it's looking like the 65s by Eun-Hee Ji and Mika Miyazato will be pretty hard to beat when play resumes tomorrow. They've already joined Webb, who did shoot a 67, at -9. That means that Tseng, who's -5 through 16 holes of bogey-free golf and -10 overall, will need to play well just to stay ahead of them. And Lincicome and Munoz--playing together, -4 through 14, and -9 overall--will need to finish strong to pass them. Lee, meanwhile, birdied 3 of her 1st 5 holes but made pars over her next 5 before play was suspended. At -10 already she has the best chance to go really low the rest of the way among my picks. (Although Morgan Pressel, Juli Inkster, and Na On Min, among others, could show them all up, too.)

But with the 2 players Mike Southern has identified as most likely to benefit the most in the Rolex Rankings from a win this week--Cristie Kerr and Anna Nordqvist--already -3 through 4 and 5 holes and -13 and -12, respectively, everyone who's not yet or just barely double digits under par had better get it going in the holes they have left. Who knows how low they and the rest of the leaders will go tomorrow morning?

The other thing worth noting before I sign off is how this week can serve as a serious confidence-builder for players who have been struggling so far this season. So in addition to Ji and Mikan, it's worth pointing out 68s by In-Kyung Kim, Helen Alfredsson, Shi Hyun Ahn, and Mariajo Uribe, as well as the other players at -4 with a hole or 2 left to play tomorrow am, Mi Hyun Kim, Mina Harigae, and Moira Dunn (yay!). 69 by Seon Hwa Lee isn't half-bad either. More when the leaders are done tomorrow.

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