If you're a Mostly Harmless regular, I don't need to remind you of my detailed scouting reports from the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic last year on the front and back 9s at Grey Silo, or my take on the Sunday pins, but if you're as new to this site as I was to that site, I'd recommend a quick scan to get a feel for how vulnerable to low scoring the course can be. So I can't say I was very surprised that Catriona Matthew and Angela Stanford fired 63s today, or that Inbee Park, Hee Young Park, Meena Lee, Belen Mozo, and Irene Cho came within 2 shots of matching them, or that another 5 players shot 66s, another 10 67s, another 18 shot 68s, and another 13 shot 69s, or that shooting even par at 71 put you in a tie for 77th.
What I can say surprised me is who went low and who didn't today. Besides pretty much everyone not named Inbee Park in the above paragraph, upside surprises included Amy Yang, Ji Young Oh, and Ryann O'Toole at 66, Seon Hwa Lee, Hee-Won Han, Becky Morgan, Momoko Ueda, Paola Moreno, and Nicole Hage at 67, and Sandra Gal, Alena Sharp, Silvia Cavalleri, Tiffany Joh, Karlin Beck, Kathleen Ekey, Lisa McCloskey, and Austin Ernst at 68. Downside surprises included Vicky Hurst at 75, Ya Ni Tseng, Paula Creamer, and Azahara Munoz at 72, and So Yeon Ryu, Shanshan Feng, Lexi Thompson, and Lizette Salas at 71.
OK, one more thing surprised me. Irene Cho hit only 9 greens and failed to birdie any of Grey Silo's very accessible par 5s, yet still shot a 65. Guess how many putts she took? (Click on the link to check your guess against reality.)
If Waterloo's weather is as beautiful as western NY's is forecast to be over the next several days, expect a birdiefest this week. I'm hoping Creamer, Mika Miyazato (70), Chie Arimura (70), and Mitsuki Katahira (72) turn on the afterburners for the next 2 rounds, as that'll give me more ammunition to convince the Full Metal Archivist to take a little family vacation to Waterloo on Sunday to see the final round in person. The 9-year-old girl from Japan whom I'll refer to here as Tomodachi-chan arrived in the States late Monday night and is showing no signs of jet lag, so we don't have to worry about one of the expected obstacles to the 5 of us making the drive! I think it would be a pretty cool opportunity for her to see how Japanese players compete against the best of the world in our neighbor to the north....