If Ariya Jutanugarn's 64 to open the Kingsmill Championship was impressive for how low she could taken it, her 71 today was impressive for how high it could have gone if she had let it spiral out of control. As LPGA.com details, the 17-year-old refused to panic when her putter left her down early in yesterday's round, leading to 3 bogeys and no birdies in her 1st 8 holes. Instead, she bounced right back to play her last 10 holes bogey-free and -3...and hold onto the lead for the 2nd round in a row. Now it's only 1 shot over recent world #1 Stacy Lewis and the dangerous Angela Stanford, while Suzann Pettersen and Sandra Gal (who eagled the par-4 8th) have joined Cristie Kerr, who started the day 2 shots back and ended up there, as well.
But as tough as Jutanugarn proved to be, she did open the door to a host of proven winners. Ai Miyazato, So Yeon Ryu, Shanshan Feng, and Juli Inkster are 3 back, Paula Creamer and Karen Stupples are 4 behind, Inbee Park and Karrie Webb are 5 off the pace, and even disappointing rounds by Ya Ni Tseng, Azahara Munoz, Amy Yang, and Caroline Hedwall didn't knock them out of the tournament.
In fact, counter to my expectation that you'd need to be under par to make the cut, the cut line actually fell at +3, saving a lot of good golfers who had flat-out bad days and allowing others to make big moves up the leaderboard. Guilia Sergas's 68 tied Lewis and Stanford for low round of the day and brought her back to even par, tied with the likes of defending champion Ji-Yai Shin, Na Yeon Choi, Hee Kyung Seo, Lexi Thompson, and Anna Nordqvist--all of whom need to go low tomorrow to get into real contention. Lizette Salas, Moriya Jutanugarn, and Catriona Matthew are now in the middle of the pack, despite having done nothing all that special this week as of yet. Chie Arimura and Brittany Lincicome went under par yesterday to make the cut with ease, while plenty of people who did great yesterday and terrible today lived to fight another couple of rounds.
Unfortunately, fellow Mohawk Valley Junior Golf veteran Moira Dunn missed the cut by a shot, as did Se Ri Pak, Hee-Won Han, Michelle Wie, Haeji Kang, and Jennifer Johnson, while Song-Hee Kim came within 2 shots of making it and my faves Seon Hwa Lee, Tiffany Joh, Mariajo Uribe, Hannah Yun, and Danielle Kang missed it by more (and Jennifer Song WDed).
I may actually get to watch some of moving day with my folks this afternoon. Will let you know what I notice if so!