Monday, June 4, 2012

ShopRite LPGA Classic Overview: Stacy Lewis Dominates, Now Top American on LPGA

Very impressive win for Stacy Lewis at the ShopRite LPGA Classic this week.  Barring a few hiccups as she made the turn, which ended up helping whittle her lead down to 4 over a resurgent Katherine Hull and 5 over a similarly-resurgent Mika Miyazato and en fuego Azahara Munoz, Lewis looked bullet-proof out there yesterday at Seaview's tricky Bay Course.  With her 2nd and 3rd career wins on the LPGA coming in her last 3 events, and with the rest of the LPGA's super-elite struggling (by their standards), she is my favorite heading into Pittsford, NY, this week, for the Wegmans LPGA Championship.  I plan to be on-site at the LPGA's 2nd major of 2012 Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday, as well as at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic the 3rd week of June, which will push me to move from spectating mode back to blogging mode this month.

But since I've got a NYSGA State Days event this afternoon, I'm going to keep my other comments and observations brief, and, again, bullet-pointed.

  • Lexi Thompson impressed the heck out of me this week.  I kinda had her pegged as a bomber without highly-developed touch or course management skills, but she really hung in there on some very tricky greens and a course that largely negated her distance advantage off the tee.
  • Great to see Hee-Won Han and Eun-Hee Ji snagging top 10s--it's been a while!
  • I picked Ai Miyazato to win the ShopRite, but her short irons and short game weren't as zoomed in as I expected them to be.  It was probably close to her worst putting performance of 2012.  But she bounced back from a similarly-tough stretch in California with a win in Hawaii, so maybe she's primed to break out this week at Locust Hill.
  • It's great to see Mika Miyazato's game rounding into shape for the Wegmans, a tournament she seems to love.  Can't wait to ask her how she climbed out of her mini-slump.
  • A lot of players lucked out that the cut line moved up to +4 late Saturday!  In-Kyung Kim and Brittany Lang made the most of it, matching Lexi Thompson for low round of day Sunday with 67s that brought them into a tie for 25th.  If Inky's wrist is truly healed and if Lang can play like she did on the weekend, they should be factors in Rochester.
  • Hannah Yun finished strong after slow starts on both weekend rounds, going -3 over her last 10 holes of bogey-free golf to make the cut on Saturday and finishing with 3 birdies in her last 6 holes on Sunday to snag a T59.  Not a great result, or a lot of money, but it shows the rookie has a lot of fight in her.  Looking forward to interviewing her at her 1st LPGA major!
  • On the downside, another fave, Tiffany Joh, made bogeys in bunches on Friday and Saturday to miss the cut by a single stroke, despite birdieing both par 5s on the front in a furious effort to come back.  Here's hoping we have as much fun with this year's interview as we had last year at the end of the Wegmans.
  • Also looking forward to following Mina Harigae, who missed only her 2nd cut of the year at the ShopRite, a big disappointment given how solid her season has been thus far (top 20s at the Honda Thailand, Kia Classic, and Sybase Match Play, where she took apart Michelle Wie in the 1st round).
OK, look for more from me after I hack it around this afternoon!

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