Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hana Bank Championship Friday: Soo-Jin Yang Upstages Ya Ni Tseng and Na Yeon Choi

KLPGA star Soo-Jin Yang made 4 birdies in her 1st 5 holes today then tacked on another 3 to post a bogey-free 65 and move into the 36-hole lead of the Hana Bank Championship at -10.  With only 1 round left to play, she's 1 ahead of 2-time defending champion Na Yeon Choi, who's got a bogey-free run of 36 holes and counting going this week, as well as world #1 Ya Ni Tseng, who made 4 birdies in a row on the front and brought her total for the week to 16 with a pair on the back, but offset them with 4 bogeys on her day (to bring that total to 7!).  And if tomorrow's final pairing falters in the heat of Sunday competition, there are a number of golfers poised to take advantage:  Jimin Kang and Chella Choi at -7, Meena Lee at -6, and Mi Hyun Kim, Angela Stanford, Brittany Lincicome, Sun Young Yoo, and Shin-Ae Ahn at -5.

Unfortunately (from my perspective since I picked her to win this week, and no doubt onechan's, as well), Paula Creamer's 1 bogey and 1 birdie today mean she's stuck at -4--and has been caught at T12 by Maria Hjorth (who shot a sweet bogey-free 66), Shanshan Feng (who fired a bogey-free 67), and Ji-Yai Shin (who posted a 6-birdie 68), among many others, including the likes of Juli Inkster, Amy Yang, Azahara Munoz, and Ha-Neul Kim.  Even worse, my other picks in this week's PakPicker at Seoul need to make runs tomorrow to get into the top 12:  In-Kyung Kim's at -3, Hee Kyung Seo's at -2, Inbee Park's at -1, Morgan Pressel and Anna Nordqvist are at E, Stacy Lewis and So Yeon Ryu are at +1, and Suzann Pettersen's at +3!  It's not looking good for me to make it it 2 wins in a row over there.  But it is looking pretty good for Na Yeon Choi to make it 3 in a row over there.  I'll be rooting for her to pull it off!

I'll update this post after I get to watch the 2nd-round action on Golf Channel.  With some premiere pairings going off early on the back--Pettersen/Nordqvist/Lewis are 1st off the 10th and Wie/Kerr/Pressel are 2 after them--I'm wondering how much we'll see of the struggling stars and how much we'll see of the actual leaders!  While you wait, here's the AP story from the New York Times, which has details on how Se Ri Pak got DQed for turning herself in after realizing she turned in the wrong score Friday.

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