Saturday, July 20, 2013

Marathon Classic Saturday: Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu Moving Backwards; Paula Creamer and Beatriz Recari Extend Their Lead

Inbee Park's ball-striking hasn't been all that sharp the last 2 events she's played and she finally paid for it in a big way this morning at the Marathon Classic.  She doubled the 1st and bogeyed the 4th to fall back to -3 for the week.  She's in good company, though, as defending champion So Yeon Ryu also stumbled out of the gate this morning, with bogeys on 1 and 5.

Right now they're 6 shots behind Beatriz Recari, who's 1 shot ahead of Paula Creamer and Alison Walshe and 2 ahead of Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Lydia Ko, and Jacqui Concolino.  Hee Young Park and Jessica Shepley have started the hottest and are both -3 so far today.  More later!

[Update 1 (10:21 pm):  OK, so after imoto's belated birthday party at the village pool and a little tour of Hamburg's own Burger Fest (don't ask), along with an involved discussion with onechan and tomodachi-chan about cultural stereotyping (again, don't ask), I'm finally free to look at the leaderboard, and I have to say I'm impressed at how Beatriz Recari and Paula Creamer kept pressure on the rest of the field.  They didn't shoot the low rounds of the day--those belonged to Angela Stanford (64, -6 overall), Chella Choi and Jennifer Johnson (66, -8 overall), and Brooke Pancake and Danah Bordner (66, -4 overall)--but they came close, as both fired bogey-free 67s to get to -12 overall.

That meant that even people who put together very good rounds didn't make up any ground on them, like those who also shot 67s, such as Lexi Thompson (now -9), Hee Young Park (now -7), Morgan Pressel, Eun-Hee Ji, and Dewi Claire Schreefel (now -6), Se Ri Pak (now -3), Sun Young Yoo (now -2).  More to the point, it meant that you could break 70 and actually lose ground on them, as Chie Arimura (68, -9), Jacqui Concolino (69, -9), Jodi Ewart Shadoff (68, -8), and Mo Martin (68, -7).  And if you had an off-day and moved backwards, like world #1 Inbee Park, who shot a 73 and fell from 5th to 23rd, or former co-leader Alison Walshe, who also shot a 73 and dropped to T11, or Michelle Wie, who shot a 72 and fell back to T48 (tied with fellow Solheim Cup hopeful Lizette Salas, by the way), or Lydia Ko, who offset each of her 4 birdies with a pair of consecutive bogeys on each side and ended up like Walshe, Stanford, Pressel, and Gerina Piller 6 shots behind the leaders--well, you just have to be kicking yourself.

So Recari, going for her 3rd win on the LPGA, and Creamer, going for her 10th, have a nice little cushion on playing partner Lexi Thompson heading into the final round (along with Arimura and Concolino in the group behind them).  Still, on a course that has proven itself vulnerable to low scores over the years, they have to remain conscious that there are 19 golfers within 6 shots of the lead and that a round in the low 60s isn't inconceivable.  Add in the extra motivation when people playing pretty well are fighting for spots on their respective Solheim Cup teams--as Ewart Shadoff and Schreefel are for Team Euro and Johnson, Pressel, Piller, Salas, and Wie are for Team USA--and you've got a volatile mix for Sunday in Sylvania.  Since a 4 and a half-hour drive to the Toledo area is out of the question tomorrow and we still haven't shelled out the dough for Verizon's sports package (and, hence, Golf Channel), I'm going to have to settle for watching he British Open's final round to get my golf fix....  Guess I'll be following the LPGA's live leaderboard online!]

[Update 2 (10:24 pm):  bangkokbobby's got plenty of photos at Fairways and Forehands!]

[Update 3 (10:42 pm):  Just noticed that Jennie Lee tweeted that she's playing with Mika Miyazato and Moira Dunn tomorrow!  Hmm, if I left here at 5 am, I'd get there in time to follow them all day and still have time left over to watch the leaders finish up. That would mean missing the Inbee/Se Ri group going off #1 at 9:50 and the impressive threesome of In-Kyung Kim, Amy Yang, and Haeji Kang right after them, but I didn't really get to follow Moira or Mika at the Wegmans LPGA Championship (Moira at all and Mikan for any great length of time)....  Nope, just can't justify the trip, as much as it hurts!]

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