Friday, July 19, 2013

Marathon Classic Friday Morning: Creamer, Johnson, Wie Off to Good Starts

Paula Creamer leads the Marathon Classic after firing a bogey-free 31 on the front to get to -8 through 27 holes.  Locked in a duel for the last spot on the U.S. Solheim Cup team, and fighting to make the cut, Jennifer Johnson and Michelle Wie are also off to good starts this morning, with Johnson moving to -2 for the week with a bogey-free 33 on the back and Wie fighting back to +1 on the strength of a 3-birdie 32 on the front.

Meanwhile, last week's winner Hee Young Park has moved to -3 for the week after opening with a bogey-free 34 on the back, while defending champion So Yeon Ryu (also -3) and world #1 Inbee Park (-4) are stuck in neutral after each made 2 bogeys on the front, offsetting their birdies.

[Update 1 (11:18 am):  Ryu now -4 after birdie on 10.  Haeji Kang (-1 through 12) and Amy Yang (-3 through 11) both -5 now.]

[Update 2 (11:20 am):  Beatriz Recari now -4 for the week after going -2 through her 1st 12 today.]

[Update 3 (11:23 am):  My old golfing buddy Moira Dunn has matched Johnson's bogey-free 33 on the back and is also at -2 for the week!  Go, Moira!]

[Update 4 (11:46 am):  After a Pink Panther bogey on 11 and an Inbee Park birdie on 12, Creamer's lead on the world #1 is only 2 shots.  Alison Walshe may not have to go that low to retain the lead this afternoon....]

[Update 5 (11:47 am):  Nice to see veteran Candie Kung and youngster Cindy LaCrosse both at -3 on the day and for the week.]

[Update 6 (11:51 am):  Wie birdied 11 and 12 to get to -1 for the week, but bogeyed 12.  She's still -3 today and T44 on a day when only Johnson (now -5 today) and Dunn (still -4) going lower than her thus far.]

[Update 7 (11:52 am):  Kang back to E on the day after making her 3rd bogey.  I would have thought a lot of people would pass someone stuck in neutral like that, but so far she's still T7.  Could Highland Meadows actually have some teeth this week?]

[Update 8 (11:55 am):  Glad I put Recari in my top 12 this week!  She just went birdie-birdie-par-eagle to tie Creamer for the lead at -7!!]

[Update 9 (11:58 am):  Kung now -4 through 15/33 holes....]

[Update 10 (12:01 pm):  Inbee's ball-striking hasn't been as on in her last 2 starts as it was in that run of wins.  She's scrambling like crazy today with only 7 out of 14 greens hit so far, but she just made her 3rd bogey of the day to fall back to -4.]

[Update 11 (12:03 pm):  Katherine Hull-Kirk now -4 through 12 today and -2 overall.  Good to see her putting a good round together!]

[Update 12 (12:05 pm):  Wow!  Johnson still -5 and tied with Recari for low round thus far, but Wie bounced back from bogey to get back to -4.  They really are rising to the occasion!]

[Update 13 (12:08 pm):  LPGA rookie and Ohio State grad Inhong Lim making the most of her 2nd LPGA start this season, following up yesterday's 73 with a 68 today to ensure she'll make her 1st cut of the season.]

[Update 14 (12:15 pm):  Angela Stanford is in danger of missing the cut right now after going -26 last week and losing in a playoff to Hee Young Park in Waterloo.  She's +3 with 4 to play.]

[Update 15 (12:16 pm):  From the LPGA's twitter account:  Ace alert! Katherine Hull-Kirk records a hole-in-one on the 14th, holing out from 172 yards with a 5-iron. She wins a new Kia Cadenza!]

[Update 16 (1:03 pm):  Recari tacked another birdie on to the end of that run but couldn't birdie either of the back-to-back closing par 5s to "settle" for a 65 and the lead in the clubhouse at -8.]

[Update 17 (1:07 pm):  Jodi Ewart Shadoff making another strong case for a captain's pick for Team Euro after opening 69-68 to match defending champion So Yeon Ryu's 68-69 start.  Both 3 off the pace, but could be 4 if Paula Creamer can birdie the 18th.]

[Update 18 (1:11 pm):  Other good morning scores:  Jennifer Johnson (66), Michelle Wie (67), Paula Creamer (68--she failed to birdie 18), Hee Young Park (68), Cindy LaCrosse (68).  Moira Dunn -4 with 2 to play.  Candie Kung's walkoff double forced her to settle for a 69.]

[Update 19 (1:14 pm):  True grit.  Texas tough.  Call it what you will, Angela Stanford birdied 17 and 18 to fight back to 72 for the day and end up only +1 through 36 holes.  She's on the bubble with 76 other golfers there right now.]

[Update 20 (1:20 pm):  Definitely missing the cut:  Ya Ni Tseng (75-74), Guilia Sergas (74-74), Moriya Jutanugarn (71-76), Julieta Granada (74-73), Jeong Jang (73-73), Jee Young Lee (73-73), Hee Kyung Seo (74-72), Nicole Castrale (71-74), Jennifer Song (74-71), Austin Ernst (75-70).  Need help:  Paola Moreno (73-71).]

[Update 21 (1:21 pm):  How tough is Inbee Park?  Fell to -4 with 5 to play.  Birdied last 2 holes to pull within 2 of co-leaders and take solo 3rd.]

[Update 22 (1:24 pm):  Amy Yang (69-69) and Haeji Kang (67-71) quietly hanging in there 4 off pace.  Not a bad place to be at halfway point.]

[Update 23 (1:26 pm):  Wie has to keep her good play from today going over the weekend.  Now tied with Katie Futcher, another possible captain's pick, at -1, having made up 5 shots on her today.  She climbed out of the hole she dug for herself in round 1.  Now she needs to build a ladder and start climbing the leaderboard on moving day!]

[Update 24 (1:31 pm):  Last 2 days a microcosm of Wie's last 5 starts:  T9, T9, MC, WD, T16.  Either very very good or horrid.  Needs more of former.]

[Update 25 (1:32 pm):  67 for Moira Dunn tied for 3rd-lowest round of the morning wave.  Scoring is definitely higher than I expected this week.]

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