Sunday, September 12, 2010

P&G NW Arkansas Championship Saturday: Can Michelle Wie Make It 2 in a Row?

1st-round leader Morgan Pressel stumbled to a 1-over 72 today at the P&G NW Arkansas Championship, opening the door for none other than Canadian Women's Open winner Michelle Wie, who blew by her with an opening 28 on Pinnacle Country Club's back 9 and remained the only player double digits under par by the end of her 64. Only 5 other players broke 70 each of the 1st 2 days and 3 of them--Juli Inkster (66), Ya Ni Tseng (68), and Na Yeon Choi (68)--are only 3 behind Wie heading into today's final round. The former pair will be paired with Wie (Tseng for the 3rd-straight round), while Choi will be playing with '08 champion Seon Hwa Lee and Paige Mackenzie, who fired matching 65s to catch Janice Moodie at -5 (with a little help from the veteran, who bogeyed her last 2 holes). With Stacy Lewis, Kristy McPherson, and Brittany Lincicome joining Pressel another shot back, Golf Channel should have plenty of Americans to follow in the final groups:

Start Time: 11:07 AM
Stacy Lewis
Morgan Pressel
Beth Bader

Start Time: 11:18 AM
Janice Moodie
Kristy McPherson
Brittany Lincicome

Start Time: 11:29 AM
Na Yeon Choi
Seon Hwa Lee
Paige Mackenzie

Start Time: 11:40 AM
Michelle Wie
Juli Inkster
Ya Ni Tseng

Me, I'm psyched to see that Ai Miyazato and Ji-Yai Shin are tied at -2, along with Moira Dunn (who'll be playing with Shin and Anna Nordqvist) and Jane Park (who'll be playing with Miyazato and Sarah Kemp). I'll be interested in seeing who among them can climb into the top 10, along with Song-Hee Kim, Mika Miyazato, and Jee Young Lee at -3 and In-Kyung Kim and Amy Yang at -1.

Unfortunately, even though a host of players squeaked in at +2 to swell Sunday's field to 81, Hee-Won Han, Jeong Jang, Mi Hyun Kim, Mina Harigae, Mariajo Uribe, Karrie Webb, Katherine Hull, Natalie Gulbis, Brittany Lang, and Amanda Blumenherst won't be in it. Still, it was nice to see that Julieta Granada shot a 66, Vicky Hurst a 67, Na On Min a 68, and Cindy LaCrosse a 69 yesterday to make the cut. I still think a lower round than a 64 is waiting for someone who can put 2 great 9s together today. Let's see who gets it! If Wie breaks 70 for the 3rd straight day, she's going to be tough to catch....

[Update 1 (9:49 am): Here are Hound Dog and Stephanie Wei on the 2nd round.]

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