Sunday, July 4, 2010

Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Sunday Afternoon: Let the Fireworks Begin!

With Na Yeon Choi and Christina Kim several strokes ahead of their nearest competitors as they begin the final round of the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, everyone in the late morning and early afternoon pairings will have to do their best to set off some early fireworks on July 4th in an effort to chase them down. One early role model is Maria Hjorth, who birdied 6 holes on the front, including her last 4 in a row, for an opening 29 that brought her to -9 for the tournament, 5 shots behind Choi. Besides Chella Choi (65) and Haeji Kang (67), no one going out in the early-morning groups went low at Highland Meadows, which suggests that there is an opportunity for someone who does to make up a lot of ground on any leaders who stall today. Let's see how this plays out!

[Update 1 (1:15 pm): Ryan Ballengee found 3rd-round highlights on youtube from a local Fox affiliate. Well done!]

[Update 2 (1:22 pm): Vicky Hurst reports the pins are in tough places today.]

[Update 3 (1:24 pm): Sarah Kemp needs to birdie out on the 2 closing par 5s to match Choi's 65 and tie her for leader in the clubhouse at -8. But 1st Karen Stupples has a chance to birdie 18 for a bogey-free 67 that matches Kang for 2nd-low-round of the day.]

[Update 4 (1:29 pm): Kemp birdied 17!]

[Update 5 (1:32 pm): Ouch, Stupples bogeyed 18. 69 ain't bad, but not what she was looking for. Allison Fouch has the same opportunity as Stupples, although her 67 wouldn't be bogey-free.]

[Update 6 (1:37 pm): Things are already happening at the other end of the course! Choi and Kim both bogeyed the 1st to fall to -13 and -12, respectively, so Inbee Park (-1 through 3) and Song-Hee Kim (-2 through 4) are only 2 back!]

[Update 7 (1:38 pm): Whoops, Choi birdied 2 to extend her lead to 2 on Christina Kim and 3 on Song-Hee Kim and Inbee Park. 4 now at -10.]

[Update 8 (1:44 pm): Fouch had to settle for a 68 after parring 17 and 18, but playing partner Kemp matched Chella Choi's 65 and they are co-leaders in the clubhouse at -8. Let's see how many people end up ahead of them today!]

[Update 9 (3:44 pm): Wow, try to put the girls down for a nap and you miss a lot, eh? Let's try to get caught up. Ji-Yai Shin is showing why one of her nicknames is "Final Round Queen." She's got a bogey-free round going as she plays the par-5 18th and would match Hee Young Park's 64 with a walkoff birdie. The Rocket had birdied 7 of 9 holes on the back to finish the tournament at -11. She surpassed Momoko Ueda (67, -9) and Beatriz Recari (66, -10) as the new leader in the clubhouse.]

[Update 10 (3:46 pm): As far as the action at the top goes, Song-Hee Kim had matched Hjorth's 29 on the front to get to -14, where she remains after a bogey on the 10th and a birdie on the 13th. She's 1 behind Na Yeon Choi, who made her 2nd birdie of the day on the 4th to get to -15 and has stayed there since. In-Kyung Kim is 2 behind Choi with the 2 closing par 5s left to play. Then comes Shin, who's on the 18th now.]

[Update 11 (3:49 pm): Old Glory must be weighing heavy on Christina Kim today. She made a trio of bogeys and a pair of birdies on the front to drop to -12, then doubled the 10th. But a birdie on the 11th gets her back to -11, still in the hunt. Fellow American Kristy McPherson has made 12 pars in a row to fall 5 off the pace.]

[Update 12 (3:54 pm): Shin did birdie the 18th for her 64! She's leader in the clubhouse at -13. Meanwhile, Inbee Park has faltered since getting to -11 on the 3rd. She's played her last 11 holes in +2 and needs several miracles in her last 4 holes to get back in the hunt. It's another story for Katherine Hull, who's on a 32-hole bogey-free streak and just birdied the 13th, joining Christina Kim, who just birdied the 12th, at -12 for the tournament.]

[Update 13 (3:56 pm): Meena Lee has quietly moved to -11 with 3 holes left to play. Let's see if she can make anything special happen on them.]

[Update 14 (3:57 pm): Hjorth, by the way, had to settle for a 67 today that leaves her T17 for now at -8, so it's not a done deal that those who go low on the front will continue their hot play on the back.]

[Update 15 (4:01 pm): Inbee Park birdied 15 to get back to -10. She's caught rookie Azahara Munoz, who was -2 over her 1st 5 holes but +1 since.]

[Update 16 (4:06 pm): Choi parred a hole many had birdied today, the short par-4 13th. Hull bogeyed the 14th, the par 3 that set Choi back yesterday (along with the 15th). So now it's

Na Yeon Choi -15 through 13
Song-Hee Kim -14 through 15
Ji-Yai Shin -13 (64)
In-Kyung Kim -13 through 17
Christina Kim -13 through 13

Yup--Kim birdied her 3rd hole in a row!]

[Update 17 (4:07 pm): Whoops, Song-Hee Kim just bogeyed the par-4 16th. She's 2 back with 2 to play!]

[Update 18 (4:12 pm): Inbee Park birdied 16 to join Hull at -11.]

[Update 19 (4:14 pm): Wow, Choi bogeyed the par-3 14th for the 2nd day in a row! She now has only a 1-shot lead on the 4 at -13!]

[Update 20 (4:15 pm): And In-Kyung Kim birdied 18 to catch her at -14!!]

[Update 21 (4:22 pm): Guess who just birdied 17 to make it a 3some at -14? That's right, the best player without an LPGA win to her name, Song-Hee Kim!]

[Update 22 (4:24 pm): Sweet 68s by Alena Sharp and Kris Tamulis bring them to -10 and a chance for a top-10 finish.]

[Update 23 (4:28 pm): Inbee Park birdied her 3rd hole in a row, the 17th, to get to -12. Can she eagle the 18th to get to -14?]

[Update 24 (4:30 pm): By the way, if Stacy Prammanasudh can birdie 18, she'll have broken 70 all 4 rounds and gotten to double digits under par, just after closig with a 77 at the LPGA Championship!]

[Update 25 (4:31 pm): OMG! Choi bogeyed the 15th for the 2nd day in a row! Now she trails Song-Hee Kim and In-Kyung Kim by 1!!]

[Update 26 (4:32 pm): Prammanasudh did it!]

[Update 27 (4:36 pm): Unless we see some serious closing charges from Kristy McPherson, Christina Kim, and Na Yeon Choi, Stacy P will be the only player in the field to break 70 4 times this week!]

[Update 28 (4:41 pm): Song-Hee Kim had a chance for solo leader in the clubhouse, but she couldn't birdie 18, so her 66 puts her in a tie with In-Kyung Kim at -14. The door is open for Christina Kim or Na Yeon Choi to turn their days around and catch or pass them!]

[Update 29 (4:43 pm): It didn't happen on the 16th. It's coming down to the 2 closing par 5s!]

[Update 30 (4:45 pm): Yeesh, gotta take the girls to the park to see their friends before they leave for Japan Tuesday. This had better be resolved in the next 5 minutes!]

[Update 31 (4:47 pm): Inbee Park's birdie run ended at 3 holes with a par at 18. So far, though, she's the only player at -12 for the week. Meena Lee ended at -11 and Azahara Munoz at -10.]

[Update 32 (4:54 pm): Ah, the suspense is killing me! But gotta go....]

[Update 33 (6:30 pm): Wow, looks like Christina Kim birdied 17 and na Yeon Choi birdied 18 to join In-Kyung Kim and Song-Hee Kim at -14--and the only non-Kim in the playoff won it!]

[Update 34 (6:32 pm): Great choice of a photo over at the Golf Babes post commemorating Choi's 3rd career LPGA win!]

[Update 35 (6:40 pm): IceCat over at Seoul copied down the twitter feed playoff play-by-play!]

[Update 36 (7/5/10, 9:58 am): Here's Hound Dog's final-round overview.]

[Update 37 (10:04 am): Here's Christina Kim's account of last Monday through Wednesday at the Farr.]

[Update 38 (10:08 am): Here are's notes and interviews from the final round.]

[Update 39 (7/6/10, 3:02 am): Must-read from Christina Kim on her final round.]

[Update 40 (9:14 pm): More goodies from Christina Kim--the first on her search for a new putter in Rochester, the next on her goals in Toledo.]

[Update 41 (9:26 pm): Missed Jamie Belyea's final-round post.]

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