Monday, June 14, 2010

State Farm Classic Sunday, Part I: The Sunday Action

I can't compliment the LPGA enough on their decisions on Saturday and Sunday to do what it takes to keep the State Farm Classic a 72-hole tournament. There's just too many interesting things that can happen at Panther Creek to cap this at 54 holes. Think about it: M.J. Hur and Amy Yang were paired together in the final group after 36 holes because they were -12 and -11, respectively. Due to the weather, they're still the final pairing, but now Hur is 6 shots and Yang 4 shots behind Anna Nordqvist, who's playing 3 groups ahead of them and is -20 after her 2nd-straight 32 on the front.

Another weird effect of the weather delays is that Na On Min has already gone 64-68 on the weekend to finish at -17 and sit at T3 right now, while Ya Ni Tseng (67 with a double on 9) and Karrie Webb (65 with an eagle on 16) ended up 1 shot behind her. And none other than Moira Dunn fired a bogey-free 67 to finish at -14 (T15 so far). Yup, you read that right: there are 14 players at -15 or better so far--and 11 of them are still out on the course.

So anything can happen today. Third-round leader Cristie Kerr is bogey-free through 8 but has managed only 1 birdie thus far, so is 1 behind tied with Nordqvist, who's 2 groups ahead of her [update: sorry, even after writing the above sentence, I missed the fact that -19 and -1 makes -20 and went instead with the flawed page--it's all fixed now, there and here!]. Next there's a big group at -17. Jee Young Lee has played the most golf and is only -3 in her final round to show for it. She'll need to eagle the par-5 16th to have any chance of putting pressure on the other leaders. Fellow '06er Katie Futcher is off to the best start of the bunch; at -7 through 12, she's got a good chance to outdo Angela Stanford's 64 and give herself a great chance for her 1st career LPGA victory. A lot's going to depend on her ballstriking--she's got 92 putts with 6 holes left to go and has hit the fewest greens in regulation among the leaders (45 so far). Na Yeon Choi is another player who's been riding a hot putter this week. With 9 holes left to play (she's in the pairing between Nordqvist and Kerr), Choi is -3 on the day and has taken only 93 putts in 63 holes, while hitting only 44 greens in regulation. Finally there's LET veteran and LPGA rookie Gwladys Nocera, who's -4 today with 7 holes to go. It sure would change the complexion of the Rookie of the Year race if she made a Monday charge!

Among the players at -16 still on the course, most are already making charges, like Yang (-5 through 8), Hee Young Park (-5 through 11), and Sun Young Yoo (-4 through 14 and playing alone because Karen Stupples decided to WD), but Shanshan Feng is only -1 through 12. Like Feng, Song-Hee Kim, the only player at -15 in the field right now, got off to a slow start Sunday (also -1 through 12), although at least hers was bogey-free. Still, they've got a bit of a cushion on most of the players behind them, although Hur (-1 through 8) and Heather Bowie Young (-3 through 9) at -14, Alena Sharp (-2 through 9 and playing with NYC) at -13, and Inbee Park (-1 through 8) at -11 still have plenty of room to make big moves.

Wonder if Golf Channel has the capability and interest to televise any of the finish?

[Update 1 (5:38 am): Here's Hound Dog's rundown.]

[Update 2 (8:54 am): Heading to Buffalo to deal with a fried laptop. So no not-quite-live-blogging this morning. Right now Kerr is -22 with 8 to play, Nordqvist is -20 with 8 left, and Jee Young Lee is -19 with only the 18th left to play. After she becomes leader in the clubhouse, Na Yeon Choi, Hee Young Park and Shanshan Feng (-18 through 10, 13, and 15, in turn) will each get their chances to pass her and put pressure on Kerr and Nordqvist. Everyone else seems pretty much stalled this morning.]

[Update 3 (8:55 am): Uh-oh--Nordqvist just bogeyed 12 to fall 3 behind Kerr.]


Mike said...

Kerr held her off. She got to -23, then bogeyed the last to win at -22. We finally get an American winner this year!

Now we'll see if I was right about Kerr moving up in the rankings. Nordqvist may have played well enough to get ahead of her, given that she's played fewer tournaments. I wish the point system was easier to follow!

The Constructivist said...

Thanks for the update, Mike! Back home with a new desktop (turns out the laptop was fine; it was just the power cord that was fried, so it felt like found money!) and doing my 1st post on it!