Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mizuno Classic Saturday: Ji-Yai Shin Takes 2-Shot Lead on Mizuno Girl Stacy Lewis

World #1 Ji-Yai Shin followed up yesterday's 65 with a bogey-free 66 today in the Mizuno Classic, but her 2nd victory of the year on both the LPGA and JLPGA doesn't look like it's going to come easy, for Stacy Lewis's bogey-free 64 pulled her within 2 shots of Shin and Ya Ni Tseng's 65 got her within 3. Also 3 back is Miki Saiki, who posted her 2nd-straight 67 in a bid to earn an LPGA card via a victory here. And don't count out Salonpas Cup champion Morgan Pressel, who's another shot off the pace--and would have been much closer if she hadn't bogeyed her last 2 holes.

There were other really big moving day moves--former champion Momoko Ueda's 67 got her to -7, Brittany Lincicome's 67 (aided by an eagle on the par-5 16th) got her to -4, and JLPGA veteran Junko Omote's 67 got her to -3--but with the leaders playing so well, even those who broke 70 fell further behind. 68s by Amy Hung, Na On Min, and Asako Fujimoto (-5), Eun-A Lim (-4), and Meaghan Francella (-2) were completely overshadowed by the pyrotechnics at the top of the leaderboard. 69s by Meena Lee (-8), Mika Miyazato, Young Kim, and Jimin Kang (-7), Stacy Prammanasudh (-6), M.J. Hur (-5), Song-Hee Kim and Maria Hjorth (-4), Inbee Park and Kyeong Bae (-3), and more were worth even less. 70s by Na Yeon Choi (-7), Chie Arimura (-7), and Sun-Ju Ahn (-6) simply didn't cut it on a moving day like this. Everyone more than 5 shots behind Shin is going to have to throw caution to the winds and fire at every pin tomorrow if they want to have a hope of making up ground on the leaders.

But the strangest news of the week has to be that Ai Miyazato has gone 36 holes without making a birdie. Here's someone averaging over 4 birdies per round not only getting skunked, but also making more bogeys than she usually does in 2 to 4 tournaments. Here's hoping Ai-sama's not hurt...and can avoid DFL tomorrow! Gambatte!!

[Update 1 (6:49 am): Here's Mike Southern on the similarities in the 2 #1s' games.]

[Update 2 (6:52 am): There weren't as many eagles today as yesterday, but Meena Lee's on the par-4 14th was probably the best!]

[Update 3 (6:54 am): Here are notes and interviews from]

[Update 4 (7:07 am): Nice set-up by

Come-From-Behind Queen meets the Final-Round Queen? Shin's formidable play on Sundays has earned her the nickname Final-round Queen, while Yani Tseng, who has captured four of her five career LPGA victories by coming from behind, is the Come-from-behind Queen.

Speaking of which, here are tomorrow's key pairings:

Start Time: 8:50 AM
Yukari Baba
Stacy Prammanasudh
Sun-Ju Ahn

Start Time: 9:00 AM
Jimin Kang
Chie Arimura
Na Yeon Choi

Start Time: 9:10 AM
Momoko Ueda
Young Kim
Mika Miyazato

Start Time: 9:20 AM
Miki Saiki
Morgan Pressel
Meena Lee

Start Time: 9:30 AM
Ji-Yai Shin
Stacy Lewis
Ya Ni Tseng

No doubt Ai-sama wishes she weren't in the last group off the back!]

[Update 5 (7:11 am): Not to belabor the point, but this was Ai-sama's worst round since moving day at Oakmont. She did 10 shots better the next day then--how about 20 shots better tomorrow? Hey, she'll be playing with Rikako Morita, who won last week with a final-round 62!]

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