Saturday, July 13, 2013

Manulife Financial LPGA Classic Friday: Matthew Follows Up 63 with 64

Catriona Matthew would normally be running away with a tournament after following up Thursday's 63 in the opening round of the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic with a bogey-free 64 yesterday.  At -15, though, she has only a 3-shot lead on former co-leader Angela Stanford (67), a 4-shot lead on Anna Nordqvist (64),   Chella Choi (65), Ryann O'Toole (65), Meena Lee (66), Belen Mozo (66), and a 5-shot lead on Suzann Pettersen (64), Austin Ernst (64), Inbee Park (67), and Hee Young Park (67).  And those weren't the only 64s of the day:  Mina Harigae (-7, T17) and Mi Hyang Lee (-3, T64) also kept pace with the leader.  With 65s by Christina Kim (-6, T24), Kris Tamulis (-6, T24), Felicity Johnson (-6, T24), and Julia Boland (-3, T64), I'm getting the feeling that the LPGA is figuring out Grey Silo!

Let's put it this way:  Mitsuki Katahira, who lost in a playoff on the Symetra Tour last week, shot a respectable 72-68 and missed the cut by a shot; Vicky Hurst bounced back from an opening 75 with a 66 and missed it by 2 shots; and the likes of Ya Ni Tseng (+1), Chie Arimura (+1), Jeong Jang (E), Seon Hwa Lee (-1), Mika Miyazato (-1), Hee Kyung Seo (-1), Eun-Hee Ji (-1), defending champion Brittany Lang (-2), Shanshan Feng (-2), Laura Davies (-2), and Lexi Thompson (-2) won't have a chance to make up any ground on Matthew on moving day, because they all missed the cut.

How bad must that feel when the top 18 players and 35 in all have 2 rounds in the 60s already?  When there were only 6 over-par rounds in 2 days among the 73 golfers who made the cut?

Let's see what kind of moving day scores everyone is able to put up today.  The Constructivist family's got a big decision to make on Sunday.  With Paula Creamer, Karrie Webb, Jane Park, Danielle Kang, and So Yeon Ryu 11 off the pace, Na Yeon Choi and Tiffany Joh 10 back, Jee Young Lee 9 back, Stacy Lewis, Momoko Ueda (the lone Japanese survivor of the cut line), and Mina Harigae 8 back, In-Kyung Kim 7 back, and Amy Yang 6 back, there are plenty of players well off the pace thus far whom we could follow.  But it would really help our departure time tomorrow for our 2-hour-minimum drive if some of them would go low today!

[Update 1 (6:18 am):  More tidbits from yesterday's round....  Meena Lee is the only golfer in the top 7 to have made 2 bogeys this week (everyone else has only 1).  Except for Austin Ernst (5 bogeys) and Suzann Pettersen (3), nobody else double digits under par has made more than 2.  In-Kyung Kim had a hole in 1 on the 9th.  Nicole Hage bounced back from a triple-bogey start with 2 eagles, 1 on each side, both on par 5s.]

[Update 2 (6:24 am):  Check out for more notes on the low 36-hole rounds and cuts in LPGA history; what Inbee Park's 25th birthday was like; Solheim Cup trash-talking; O'Toole, Hage, and Ueda qualifying for the Women's British Open; and more!]

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