Saturday, June 25, 2011

Wegmans LPGA Championship Saturday Afternoon: Will Any of the Leaders Pull Away from the Field?

I decided to stay at the hotel with the girls and after going to the pool while the Full Metal Archivist napped, watch the Golf Channel's coverage of moving day at the Wegmans LPGA Championship (and then meet my friends at their home for dinner) rather than try to sneak back to the course on my own or with onechan and/or imoto. You can see one product of my decision if you take a look at my scouting report on the back 9 at Locust Hill. Here I just want to note some of the notable patterns in today's later rounds.

With In-Kyung Kim birdieing 16 and 17, she joined Mika Miyazato at -4, along with Katie Futcher, who birdied 4 of her 1st 12 holes and was bogey-free on her round until the tough 16th (which broke a 38-hole bogey-free run dating back to Thursday), and Maria Hjorth, who lost a 17-hole bogey-free streak on her last hole. Stacy Lewis came back from a double bogey on the par-3 9th with birdies on her 2 closing holes to join Cristie Kerr and Meena Lee (who birdied 3 holes in a row at the very end of her round until she parred the 18th) at -5. So you can see there are definitely some scores out there for the leaders.

[Update 1 (5:28 pm): Last year's Rookie of the Year Azahara Munoz has a 25-holes-and-counting bogey-free run going, and her lone birdie of the day on the par-3 15th adds her to the group at -4. What's impressive about it is that she only hit 8 greens today, after hitting 14 and 12 the previous 2 rounds. Tiffany Joh, whom I'd love to see put herself in the running for this year's ROY race, opened with a bogey-free 32, but gave away bogeys on the 11th and 13th; still, with a par on 18, she can join the big group at -4.]

[Update 2 (5:36 pm): Darn it, Joh bogeyed 18 to settle for a 72 and join Suzann Pettersen, Inbee Park, and Candie Kung at -3. But with Ya Ni Tseng starting her round hot--on a 16-hole-and-counting bogey-free run going and birdies on 2, 9, 12, and 13--she's opened up a 5-shot lead on Morgan Pressel, Pat Hurst, and Cindy LaCrosse. These 4 players have a great chance to run away and hide from the rest of the field as they finish out their rounds. Paula Creamer and Amy Yang at E today and at -5 overall had better get it going if they want to catch them, as does Hee Young Park, who's +1.]

[Update 3 (5:38 pm): Talk about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Joh hasn't made a bogey on the front but has 8 on the back. Like Joh, LaCrosse started off hot, with 3 birdies in her 1st 5 holes, but she's sprinkled 3 bogeys and 2 birdies into the mix over her next 10. Let's see if she can finish strong!]

[Update 4 (5:59 pm): Onechan and I went foraging for snacks during a commercial break and who did we see as we waited for the elevator to arrive to take us back upstairs but Lexi Thompson stepping out of it. I said to onechan, "Do you know who that was?" and noticed that Lexi overheard me and looked back to see who was saying it. You never know who you'll run into in Pittsford!]

[Update 5 (6:01 pm): Ya Ni's lead shrunk to 3 when she pulled a drive left on 14 and had to play for a bogey, just as Pressel birdied 15, but Tseng bounced back by sticking her approach on 15 and making the tap-in to get back to -12. LaCrosse, however, birdied 17 to stay within 4.]

[Update 6 (6:03 pm): Just noticed that Momoko Ueda birdied 2 of her last 4 holes to join the big group at -4. Looks like that group's playing for 2nd right now--and maybe 4th!]

[Update 7 (6:09 pm): Great approach shot from the right rough on 18 by Paula Creamer to give herself a chance to extend her bogey-free run to 19 holes.]

[Update 8 (6:18 pm): Nice 2-putt from way above the hole by Creamer to join the group at -5, while LaCrosse also made a nice par to become leader in the clubhouse at -8. Great job by Golf Channel showing how Creamer's earrings and pony tail slapped her in the face after her drive!]

[Update 9 (6:22 pm): Nice birdie by Hee Young Park on 17 to fight back to E for the day and -6 overall.]

[Update 10 (6:25 pm): Just as imoto was referring to Morgan "Pretzel," she hit a drive straight down the middle on the narrow 18th, within 10 yards of Hee Young Park's!]

[Update 11 (6:35 pm): Ya Ni played her chip on 17 much better than Se Ri did from just a little to the right of where Pak had been and sank a great 5-footer for yet another birdie. After she striped her drive on 18, I'm thinking she's not just competing against the field, but against Cristie Kerr's -19 total last year and Rory McIlroy's dominance at the U.S. Open.]

[Update 12 (6:36 pm): Can't believe Pressel left her birdie putt on 18 a hair short! I think that means that Cindy LaCrosse is with Tseng in the final group tomorrow.]

[Update 13 (6:46 pm): Ya Ni cozied up her birdie putt on 18 to secure her 67 and stand at -13 through 54 holes with a 5-shot lead on LaCrosse and Pressel. Let's see how much she can win by tomorrow!]


pearshapedhuman said...

The TV coverage was heart breaking for Hee Young Park. The young lady is way under par, yet the only shot they showed was perhaps one of the worst in her career.

The Constructivist said...

Don't worry, she'll get plenty of chances to shine today!