Ya Ni Tseng did everything she needed to do on a Sunday to hold her 3rd-round lead at the LPGA State Farm Classic. She got off to a good start with a birdie on the par-5 1st hole to get to -18 and closed with 3 more birdies in her last 11 holes, but probably the key shot of the day was her chip-in from behind the 15th green to save par after her only bad drive of the day forced her to chip out to the fairway. With 4 rounds at 68 or better and a closing bogey-free streak of 48 holes, Tseng's pursuers needed to play perfect golf to catch her, but even though both Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer put together great 67s in tougher conditions than on moving day, they each left a lot of strokes out there on the course as they finished 3 and 5 shots back, respectively.
For Brittany Lincicome, Mindy Kim, and Shanshan Feng, by contrast, it was a tough final round, but they hung in there, finishing with a top 3, top 5, and top 10 respectively. It's not what they were hoping for, but except for Se Ri Pak, who broke 70 all 4 rounds despite playing all week with a stiff lower back, everyone had 1 so-so round. For Ji-Yai Shin and Kyeong Bae, it was moving day; for Angela Stanford and Michelle Wie, it was Thursday; for veterans Juli Inkster and Wendy Ward, it was Sunday. But that's what the LPGA in Springfield has been all about for decades. Let's hope they find a new sponsor soon!
Hound Dog notes that with 5 worldwide wins this year, 2 of them on the LPGA, and 7 LPGA wins already in her short career, including 3 majors, Tseng is the player with the best chance to meet the stringent requirements for entry into the LPGA's Hall of Fame. With her combination of power, accuracy, and finesse, she certainly has the potential to go on a major run in the next month. Let's see how she handles the weight of self-imposed expectations in the Wegman's LPGA Championship, U.S. Women's Open, and Ricoh British Women's Open! From the looks of her interview, she knows what it's going to take to play well at Pittsford in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, with the Full Metal Archivist in Japan until the 24th, the girls still in school, and my parents able to come for only 1 night, my on-site blogging will be limited to Tuesday evening, Wednesday morning, and the weekend, but I hope to get in a few quick words with a range of players early in the week!
[Update 1 (11:01 pm): You may have noticed that I've been too busy/lazy to link to bangkokbobby's State Farm blogging--until now!]