Thursday, December 9, 2010

LPGA Q-School Thursday: Libby Smith and Jimin Jeong Break 70 for 2nd Time, Pornanong Phatlum Goes Low

Now that everyone in LPGA Q-School has played the Legends and Champions courses once, we have a pretty good sense of who's got their A-game and who's still searching for it. Pornanong Phatlum fired a 7-birdie 66 today on the Champions course, the low round of the week thus far. Playing the tougher Legends course, Libby Smith and Jimin Jeong broke 70 for the 2nd day in a row, Smith by making 4 of her 6 birdies over her last 6 holes (unfortunately the other 2 were bogeys!) and Jeong by firing a bogey-free 33 on the front (her back).

On the other end of the spectrum, Pernilla Lindberg and Ayaka Kaneko, who were among the very few youngsters to break 70 yesterday, ran into serious problems at the same venue and dropped out of the top 20. Esther Choe, who was just outside the top 20 yesterday, failed to break 80 and is now near the bottom of the pile. But big numbers weren't limited to the relatively inexperienced. Ashleigh Simon, who's 14th on the LET money list and forgoing Dubai to try to keep her LPGA card for another year, ballooned to an 82 on the Legends course. Becky Brewerton, who's 1 spot behind Simon on the LET money list, is tied with her at +8 after shooting identical 76s on both courses. As Brewerton's example suggests, problems weren't limited to the Legends course; many screwed up the easier Champions course today.

But that's what makes this Q-School. If you can go under 70 for every time you go over 75, you'll give yourself a shot at getting a 2011 LPGA card. If you can break 75 all 5 rounds and go under par on at least a couple, you'll probably have a good shot of landing a top 20 finish. Anyone who can back to E in the next 3 rounds probably has a great shot of ending up with full status on the LPGA next season.

Here's how the notables stand after 36 holes:

(Note: L=Legends, C=Champions, [a]=amateur)
1st/-8 Libby Smith (67C-69L)
T2/-6 Pornanong Phatlum (72L-66C), Jimin Jeong (69C-69L)
4th/-5 Aree Song (67L-72C)
T5/-4 Belen Mozo (68L-72C), Reilley Rankin (67L-73C)
T7/-3 Mollie Fankhauser (70L-71C), Shasta Averyhardt (70C-71L)
T9/-1 Sarah Brown (73C-70L), Jin Young Pak (72C-71L), Allison Fouch (71L-72C), Jeehae Lee (71C-72L)
T13/E Lisa Ferrero (74L-70C), Jessica Korda [a] (72L-72C), Katie Kempter (72C-72L), Caroline Hedwall (71C-73L), Nicole Hage (71C-73L), Angela Oh (70L-74C), Dewi Claire Schreefel (70L-74C), Nicole Jeray (70L-74C)

T21/+1 Harukyo Nomura [a] (76L-69C), Leah Wigger (75L-70C), Jenny Suh (74L-71C), Nannette Hill (73L-72C), Sara Brown (72L-73C), Cathryn Bristow (73C-72L), Amelia Lewis (72C-73L), Jennifer Johnson (71L-74C), Dori Carter (71C-74L), Pernilla Lindberg (68C-77L)
T31/+2 Jaclyn Sweeney (75L-71C), Junko Nakada (73L-73C), Paola Moreno (72L-74C)
T35/+3 Mo Martin (74L-73C), Adrienne White (71L-76C), Christi Cano (71L-76C), Christel Boeljon (71C-76L), Angela Buzminski (70C-77L), Ayaka Kaneko (69C-78L)

T45/+4 Meredith Duncan (75L-73C), Hannah Jun (74L-74C), Jane Rah (74C-74L), Mallory Blackwelder (73L-75C), Tiffany Joh (73C-75L)
T56/+5 Samantha Richdale (77L-72C), Beth Bader (74L-75C), Jean Reynolds (73C-76L), Young-A Yang (71L-78C), Sophia Sheridan (71C-78L), Alison Walshe (71C-78L), Kimberly Kim (71C-78L)
T67/+6 Danielle Downey (77L-73C), Kim Welch (77L-73C), Jennie Lee (77L-73C), Sydnee Michaels (74L-76C)
T74/+7 Ryann O'Toole (76L-75C), Yukari Nishiyama (75L-76C), Michelle Ellis (73L-78C)
T81/+8 Jodi Ewart (79C-73L), Becky Brewerton (76L-76C), Lucy Nunn (75C-77L), Ashleigh Simon (70C-82L)
T91/+9 Lisa Strom (76C-77L), Jessica Shepley (74L-79C)
T100/+11 Song Yi Choi (77L-78C), Dorothy Delasin (76C-79L)
T106/+12 Briana Vega (78C-78L), Esther Choe (73C-83L)
T109/+12 Whitney Wade (80L-77C), Shayna Miyajima (73C-84L)
T112/+14 Danielle McVeigh [a] (77C-81L)
T116/+15 Miriam Nagl (82C-77L)
118th/+25 Kelli Kuehne (83C-86L)

DQ Virada Nirapathpongporn (80CDQ)

[Update 1 (8:59 pm): Looks from the pairings like being in the middle of the pack is like losing the ol' Janx spirit drinking game from the Hitchhiker's Guide series, although I wonder how much a difference it really makes going off an hour or so later than the 1st group....]

[Update 2 (9:07 pm): Here's a photo of Libby and her caddy/dad, courtesy of Dave Andrews.]

No comments: