Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wegmans LPGA Championship Thursday Afternoon: Who Will Follow the Morning Leaders?

The differing fates of Angela Stanford and Ji-Yai Shin epitomize how much harder Locust Hill Country Club is playing for the afternoon groups in the Wegmans LPGA Championship. Stanford bounced back from the only bogey in her round on the tough par-4 18th with a bogey-free 32 on the front to post a fine 68 and tie Meena Lee from the morning groups for 3rd (so far), but Shin bogeyed 3 holes in a 4-hole stretch early in her round on the back and needed a walkoff birdie on the par-3 9th, her only one of the day, to salvage a 75 that puts her 9 shots off the lead and at the moment T107.

Mika Miyazato, meanwhile, birdied 3 and 4 but bogeyed 7 and 10 for her 72, while In-Kyung Kim needed a birdie on 17 to salvage a 73.

I'll have to start updating this post after the girls and I have dinner!

[Update 1 (9:07 pm): More after I get the ladies to bed, but did you notice that Na Yeon Choi hit 2 fairways and 6 greens (most toward the very end of her round) and hung in there for a 73 by birdieing 2 of her last 3 holes on the front (her bag)?]

[Update 2 (6/24/11, 2:13 am): Diana D'Alessio had one of the most surprising low rounds of the 1st day, a bogey-free 68 in which she hit only 6 fairways and 12 greens but took only 26 putts. Almost as surprising to me was Stacy Prammanasudh's 7-birdie 68, but given how good she used to be, a return to form is a little less unexpected than a great round out of almost nowhere like D'Alessio's!]

[Update 3 (2:16 am): On the downside, just as unexpected were high rounds by Se Ri Pak (78), Karrie Webb (74), and Sun Young Yoo (73).]

[Update 4 (2:21 am): I wasn't at all surprised by Stacy Lewis's 5-birdie 69, except perhaps that she didn't go lower after her bogey-free 33 to start her round on the back, but the fact that vets Amy Hung and Minea Blomqvist and newbie Jennifer Johnson matched her--Hung despite going on a 3-hole bogey train on the front, Blomqvist despite hitting only 5 fairways and 12 greens, and Johnson by hitting 14 greens and never making a bogey--did surprise me!]

[Update 5 (2:22 am): Clearly, it's not how many fairways and greens you hit that really mattered yesterday, but how close you came to them when you missed them, instead! I think fairways will matter a lot more in the coming rounds, though, as they don't plan to cut the rough the rest of the week!]

Update 6 (2:36 am): Great 70 by Cindy LaCrosse, who won the Futures Tour money list race last year, particularly under the circumstances. And after hearing Pat Hurst putting down her putting for 45 minutes on Tuesday evening, I'm guessing she wasn't any happier about it after hitting 14 greens and never making a bogey but sinking only 2 birdies. But the round I'm probably most psyched about is Tiffany Joh's. After birdieing 10 and 11 out of the gates, she weathered a rough patch midway through the back and played her last 11 holes bogey-free and -1 to secure an opening 71 despite hitting only 10 greens. Who was it who said those FT kids were going to be alright?]

[Update 7 (2:44 am): Nice 71s by Hee Kyung Seo (great comeback), Maria Hjorth, Vicky Hurst, Natalie Gulbis, and Pornanong Phatlum and 72 by Momoko Ueda (who hit only 5 fairways). They bring the totals to 31 players under par (Leta Lindley can join them by going at least E in her final 2 holes early this morning), and 51 at par or better (Karin Sjodin and Dina Ammaccapane can join them by going at least E on 8 and 9).]

[Update 8 (2:49 am): With what look like scattered showers heading Rochester's way by the early morning but nothing else on the horizon, I'm thinking the players, fans, and tournament organizers may dodge a wet bullet today, unless we get some pop-up activity in the afternoon and early evening. Even so, I think that wetness (and the chance of it on Saturday, as well) will only make Locust Hill tougher. I expect those numbers of players at and under par to steadily shrink over the course of the week, as errant driving catches up to people, as hot putters cool off, and as changing course conditions and the difficulty of reading and adjusting to them kick in, not to mention the pressure. Anyone who gets and stays double digits under par this week has a great chance of winning!]

[Update 9 (2:57 am): Yup, just as I figured, reports there was a 2-hour weather delay in the early evening.]

[Update 10 (3:12 am): Great quotes from Ya Ni Tseng

At Kraft, I tried my best and Stacy played good, I'm happy for her. That's all I can do. I try my best. I still coming into this week, I'm still looking forward to the Majors.

Actually last night I did think a little bit about Kraft. I try not to think too much.

I asked Steve, does Jack Nicklaus miss more tournaments that he won? He said, yes, all of the best players are going to miss a lot of tournaments. You need to learn from this.

Paula Creamer

I think that they've done a really good job with the golf course. I think normally they probably would have put some water on it when it was getting so dry on Tuesday evening when I played it. I think they've done a really good job. It's still bouncing. It's not like it used to be. You can't fly it to the flags. You still have to allow for release and you have to think, because if you're above the hole out here, it's death.

You see a lot of putts that are 5 feet by. I think that the way the course is playing is different. It's not easier by any means.

and Angela Stanford

I gave myself probably the most chances that I’ve ever had here. I seemed to be below a lot of holes. Really I felt like the only bad decision that I made today was on 18 out of the rough and it was kind of a bad swing off the tee. I just struggled with my driver. But I never made the mistake off the tee that I couldn’t recover.

. I like the way Stanford put it. The key is minimizing the number and consequences of big mistakes off the tee.]

[Update 11 (3:15 am): bangkokbobby found great interviews on youtube, including one with Karen Stupples not on]

[Update 12 (3:25 am): Looks like Creamer, Pettersen, Pressel, and Inkster played in the CVS Classic last week. Pressel said she got in her prep at Locust Hill beforehand.]


Tony Jesselli (Tonyj5) said...

I think Na Yeon choi hitting only 2 fairways is just a fluke. Song-Hee on the other hand hitting only 3 is certainly a concern. At what point do we stop saying she is in a slump and start to look for other explanations?

The Constructivist said...

You think she's hurt? I didn't see any of her on T or W....