Sunday, June 12, 2011

LPGA State Farm Classic Saturday: Ya Ni Tseng Overtakes Mindy Kim

For awhile on moving day at the LPGA State Farm Classic, it looked like Mindy Kim and Shanshan Feng would run away from the field as they played a game of "anything you can do I can do better" from the final pairing. But both young players looking for their 1st career LPGA victories (ranked #11 and #7, respectively, in order of their likelihood of getting it this year) got a little shaky with their ballstriking and opened the door for Brittany Lincicome (who was a little shaky with her utility club herself!) to catch Feng at -14 and Ya Ni Tseng (who birdied 4 of her last 7 holes and got robbed at 18 of both an eagle from the fairway and a birdie from 5 feet!) at -17 to take a 1-shot lead on Kim heading into the final round.

With defending champion Cristie Kerr only 4 back and a host of veterans--Juli Inkster, Sophie Gustafson, and Wendy Ward--5 off the pace, there are some great storylines coming out of moving day. And Stacy Lewis shot a great 64 and Angela Stanford a solid 66 to get to -10 (not to mention nice 66s from Pornanong Phatlum and Na Yeon Choi that brought them to -9 and -8, respectively). But the mightabeens are as compelling as the great rounds. Ji-Yai Shin couldn't even get into red numbers, Suzann Pettersen got smoked by playing partner Kerr despite shooting a creditable 69, and Paula Creamer and Michelle Wie looked on the verge of putting together great rounds, but had to settle for good ones.

As a fan, I was psyched to see Mika Miyazato, Mina Harigae, and Seon Hwa Lee put together sweet 68s, but disappointed that Jane Park and Mi Hyun Kim went over par and Moira Dunn couldn't break 70. I'm looking for Sunday charges from all of them, along with In-Kyung Kim and Amy Yang, from back in the pack.

With that, I'll leave you with's excellent overview and interviews. I'm too disappointed by my 80 at Caledonia Country Club, where I missed qualifying for the NYSGA's Men's Amateur Championship at Oak Hill in July by 4 shots, to contemplate the huge gap between my game and those of the players I admire so much.

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