Sunday, September 12, 2010

P&G NW Arkansas Championship Sunday: Ya Ni Tseng Denies Michelle Wie Again

Wow! Must have been a great finish at the P&G NW Arkansas Championship! Ya Ni Tseng had a 1-shot lead on Michelle Wie going into the final hole, and both ended the tournament with birdies. They were the only bombers in the field to outdo all the precision players and straight shooters who came through on the weekend, and what a duel it was....

More later!

[Update 1 (6:46 pm): What a cool final round this must have been to watch. Ai Miyazato and Anna Nordqvist fired 67s that netted them top 10s in the end, bringing them to -6 with Juli Inkster, Na Yeon Choi, Song-Hee Kim, and Stacy Lewis. Ji-Yai Shin made 7 birdies on her way to a 66 that got her to -7 overall. In-Kyung Kim fired a 30 on the back that included a hole in 1 on the par-3 11th and ended up with a 65 that got her to -7, as well, tied with Shin, Kristy McPherson (68), and Seon Hwa Lee (69). Meanwhile, Inbee Park's 65 was bogey-free and got her to -8 for the tournament. Mika Miyazato trumped them all by birdieing half her holes in her final round; if it weren't for an early double, she would have put even more pressure on Wie and Tseng. But Tseng shot a 30 of her own on the back and her 65 kept her ahead of all the other chargers. And it was just good enough to pass Wie, who made 4 birdies in her last 12 holes herself, but whose bogey on the par-4 16th put her behind the 8-ball, 2-down with 2 to play. She birdied the last 2 holes, but Tseng hung tough.]

[Update 2 (7:20 pm): Here's how all the LPGA's big season-long races stand:

1. Ji-Yai Shin $1.46M (1 win in 15 starts, 128 POY points, 70.20 scoring average, 3.86 birdies per round)
2. Ya Ni Tseng $1.43M (3/15, 2 majors, 176, 70.44, 3.84)
3. Ai Miyazato $1.38M (5/16, 174, 70.46, 4.06)
4. Na Yeon Choi $1.37M (1/17, 125, 70.03, 4.24)
5. Suzann Pettersen $1.32M (0/15, 115, 70.00, 3.81)
6. Cristie Kerr $1.26M (2/15, 1 major, 148, 70.10, 4.15)
7. Song-Hee Kim $.99M (0/17, 93, 70.13, 4.05)
8. Michelle Wie $.85M (1/16, 62, 71.20, 3.65)
9. In-Kyung Kim $.84M (0/16, 83, 70.57, 3.71)
10. Inbee Park $.74M (0/16, 55, 70.86, 3.52)
11. Paula Creamer $.71M (1/9, 1 major, 64, 71.36, 3.25)

Pretty impressive stuff!]

[Update 3 (7:21 pm): Here's Hound Dog's final-round play-by-play.]

[Update 4 (9/13/10, 7:40 am): Congrats to Mika Miyazato for her 1st Golf Babes appearance!]

[Update 5 (1:06 pm): Shane Bacon writes the obligatory "Michelle Wie is taking over golf" piece. Me, I'm not convinced she's ready to dominate yet. Also, the real story is the budding Tseng-Wie rivalry. Not as interesting to me as the other big friendly rivalry on tour--Ai Miyazato and Ji-Yai Shin--but then I'm not a bomber myself.]

[Update 6 (9/15/10, 7:00 am): Mike Southern compares the race for #1 in the Rolex Rankings with the race for Player of the Year and argues that the LPGA's stretch run will be the most interesting of any tour's.]

[Update 7 (12:50 pm): Somehow I missed Hound Dog's epilogue!]


courtgolf said...

Not so much an exciting finish in Arkansas. Luckily, Tseng waited until early in the back 9 to put Wie two shots down.

I'm a big Tseng fan - she's a gambler and seems to relish the opportunity to come from behind. She put the pressure on Wie and Wie folded...regardless of the platitudes and hype being spewed by xxx Golf Channel "experts". :-D

diane said...

Wie didn't fold, she shot a 69. Tseng outplayed her to earn the win.

The Constructivist said...

In CG's defense, Wie did shoot 5 shots worse on the back Sunday than she did Saturday. Oh, wait...still a 33.

The Florida Masochist said...


Till CG gets treatment for his WDS, he will always cut down Wie. It is as predictable as sunrises and sunsets.

courtgolf said...

Hmm - four shots to reach the first par 5 on the back 9 ? Plus a bogie on a short par 4 ? With her length on a course laid out for her to not miss fairways ?

No - she didn't play bad golf - but she didn't do anything to close on Tseng once she lost the lead.

Awsi Dooger said...

courtgolf is the typical pathetic Wie basher, flailing inaccuracy. Wie was never 2 shots down early on the back nine. It wasn't until the 3-putt from long range on 16.

Wie folded so badly she stuck a 5 iron to 5 feet on the difficult #17, making birdie to give herself a chance on 18. Only a great second shot by Tseng out of the rough sealed the win. Tseng is the most athletic and explosive player out there. I'm surprised she has so many dull weeks.

If you rip or downplay Michelle Wie you're going to go through life making one poor evaluation after another. That's the way I look at it. Congratulations. Bar stool over reactive ineptitude. It takes bizarre talent level to nearly make a PGA cut at age 14. Two years ago we were told Vicky Hurst and Stacey Lewis would have superior careers to Wie. Whoops. Last year the darling of the Wie bashers was Amanda Blumenhurst. Kind of tough out there, isn't it? Now the anti-Wie crowd, while waiting desperately for Lexi Thompson, mostly shuts up on predictions and merely roots for anyone other than Wie to prevail. It's a wimp choice, always a 12-1 or 15-1 favorite, since those are typically the odds against Michelle winning.