Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kia Classic Saturday: Shin-Gal Shootout in the Works

With onechan having a sleepover and the Kia Classic leaderboard down, I don't have too much to add to bangkokbobby's excellent synopsis and overview of the action on moving day. Sandra Gal, currently ranked 100th in the world, hung tough with the world #2 Ji-Yai Shin yesterday, as both shot 3-under-par 70s that got them to -14 and -15, respectively. Barring disaster from both of them, I expect Sunday to be much like Saturday.

Well, that's if those in the lead chase pack can't put together brilliant rounds tomorrow. A sweet 65 by Na Yeon Choi leapfrogged her ahead of final-round playing partner In-Kyung Kim, -9 to -8. Anna Nordqvist shot a solid 71 to pull ahead of Mindy Kim, -7 to -6. Juli Inkster followed up Friday's 70 with a 69 yesterday to pull within 1 shot of Amanda Blumenherst, with whom she'll be playing when the sun comes up today. And media magnets Michelle Wie and Beatriz Recari will start their rounds, like Inkster, 10 shots behind Shin.

At least they're closer than Cristie Kerr (-4), Suzann Pettersen and Ya Ni Tseng (-3), and Mika Miyazato and Inbee Park (-2). Even further off the pace, I'm still psyched to see pairings like Stacy Lewis and Song-Hee Kim, Moira Dunn and Shanshan Feng, Ai Miyazato and Sun Young Yoo, and Jane Park and Pornanong Phatlum, although it would be nice if they were fighting to get into contention rather than for a top-20 finish. helpfully reminds us that a large number of golfers will be playing for the final 10 spots into next week's major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship. I'm rooting for Mindy, Moira, and Pornanong to be among those who get to play next week.

Hoping to catch up on the coverage I missed from the 1st and 3rd rounds before the final round starts. We'll see!

[Update 1 (10:33 am): Here's Hound Dog's look back at round 3 and ahead to round 4. I agree with him completely. Even though Shin uncharacteristically wilted weeks ago on the LET in Australia over her final 9 holes in the face of Ya Ni Tseng's brilliance, I think her swing and confidence have come light-years since then.]

[Update 2 (10:36 am): Here's Ruthless Mike with some great parallels between this week's LPGA and PGA events.]

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