Saturday, August 28, 2010

Canadian Women's Open Friday: Michelle Wie Still Leads, But for How Long?

1st-round leader Michelle Wie started on the 10th tee yesterday and promptly bogeyed the par-3 she had gotten a hole in 1 on the day before, but bounced back with 3 birdies in her next 6 holes and consecutive birdies late in her round to post her 2nd-straight sub-70 score and get to double digits under par at the Canadian Women's Open. Only 8 players made up ground on her as conditions continued to challenge the LPGA's best--and 1 of them, Rookie of the Year Race leader Azahara Munoz, missed the cut despite following up Thursday's 82 with a 68 Friday. Ji-Yai Shin fired a bogey-free 31 on the front (her back) to pull within 3 of Wie and lead Na Yeon Choi, Jee Young Lee, and Katherine Hull in the 67 brigade, while Morgan Pressel got her bogey-free 31 on the back (her front) to move within 4 of the lead and match Sarah Jane Smith's 66 as low rounds of the day. Meanwhile, Suzann Pettersen fired her 2nd-straight 69 to stay within 4 of Wie.

With only 6 players at 5-under or better, Wie has opened up a big lead on some very good golfers. She's 8-up on In-Kyung Kim and Paula Creamer, 10-up on Ai Miyazato, 11-up on Hall of Famers Karrie Webb and Juli Inkster, 12-up on Cristie Kerr and Se Ri Pak, 13-up on Song-Hee Kim, and 14-up on Inbee Park and Brittany Lang. But at least they have a chance to try to make up ground on her. Joining Munoz on the wrong side of the cut line are Ya Ni Tseng, Lexi Thompson, Anna Nordqvist, Angela Stanford, Momoko Ueda, Hee-Won Han, Stacy Lewis, and Amanda Blumenherst, among all too many others.

Back to the top of the leaderboard, Wie has missed only 6 greens in her 1st 36 holes, despite having trouble finding the fairway off the tee. Can she make like Cristie Kerr at Locust Hill and run away from the field despite lacking reliable accuracy with her driver? Or is she due for some big numbers that will open the door for more of the field to get into contention? Only time will tell!

[Update 1 (12:52 am): Hound Dog's 2nd-round overview and's notes and interviews help flesh out my all-too-brief post. Too much going on at work, at home, and in house-hunting to do more than this, though.]

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