St. Andrews was just too much for Inbee Park this week at the Ricoh Women's British Open, as she's made 12 bogeys and 2 doubles since starting off with 6 birdies in her 1st 12 holes of bogey-free golf on Thursday. She's now +5 with 10 holes to go in her bid to do what nobody else has done in history: win 4 professional majors in a row in a single season. It was always a long shot, but stumbling home in the 1st round's placid weather and not being able to overcome a bad draw when the winds came up did her in. Reminiscent of weather doing in Tiger at the British Open way back when, eh?
So now attention turns to those with a chance to win the LPGA's 4th major of 2013. Will it be a 2nd career major for Morgan Pressel, Stacy Lewis, Na Yeon Choi, Suzann Pettersen, Catriona Matthew, So Yeon Ryu, or Paula Creamer? Right now it's not looking good for Matthew, who took an 8 on the par-5 5th and is now -2 through 6, or Creamer, who bogeyed 3 of her 1st 4 holes to fall back to -1.
So will a 1st-time major winner step up, like Hee Young Park (-8 through 3), Lizette Salas (-5 through 3), or the JLPGA's Miki Saiki (-7) or 19-year-old Mamiko Higa (-5 through 2), or dual JLPGA-LPGA member Ayako Uehara (-3 through 9)?
Anna Nordqvist is leader in the clubhouse at E and Cristie Kerr shot a fine 69 to get to +1. Let's see how high up the leaderboard they climb by the end of the day....
[Update 1 (8:47 am): With world #1 Inbee Park out of the picture, today's a huge opportunity for world #2 Stacy Lewis, #3 Suzann Pettersen, #4 Na Yeon Choi, and #5 So Yeon Ryu to start chasing her down in the Rolex Rankings.]
[Update 2 (8:50 am): Don't look now, but Natalie Gulbis is -1 through 12. If she posts a number, I wonder how high she can finish? Already -2 today....]
[Update 3 (8:56 am): Ouch, Inbee posted a 41 on the front when she needed a 31. But she did birdie 10!]
[Update 4 (8:59 am): Also a tough week for defending champion Jiyai Shin (+4 with 6 to play), In-Kyung Kim (+5 with 6 to go), and Lydia Ko (74, +6). These conditions can wear down the best in the world. Makes you wonder how high the leaders will go today?]
[Update 5 (9:01 am): 12 players within 5 shots of Morgan Pressel at -8. Matthew not yet out of it in that group!]
[Update 6 (9:05 am): Only players in top 20 under par today are Pernilla Lindberg (-1 through 9, -3 overall) and Natalie Gulbis (-2 through 13, -1 overall).]
[Update 7 (9:06 am): Lizette Salas joins them with 2nd birdie in her last 3 holes; she's back to -5.]
[Update 8 (9:11 am): Mike Scanlan sets up final round with Kelly Thesier at LPGA.com.]
[Update 9 (9:16 am): Katherine Hull-Kirk -1 through 2 today and E overall. Like Ayako Uehara (-2 with 6 to play), Catriona Matthew (-2 with 8 to play), and Natalie Gulbis (-1 with 5 to play), she has a chance to post a number today and see how many leaders come back to her.]
[Update 10 (9:18 am): Michelle Wie went 78-75 with a Solheim Cup spot on the line. I'd go with Gerina Piller for the last spot on Team USA (-1 through 14 today, +3 overall) if it were up to me.]
[Update 11 (9:19 am): Shanshan Feng and Hee Kyung Seo only players to join Cristie Kerr under par today; both shot 71s and finished at +4. Is there another sub-70 round out there?]
[Update 12 (9:24 am): NYC birdies 3 to join Pressel at -8. If they can keep playing well, it puts a lot of pressure on those behind them!]
[Update 13 (9:26 am): Stacy Lewis bogeyed 2 of her 1st 3 holes, but gets back to -7 with birdie on 6.]
[Update 14 (9:27 am): Meena Lee bogeyed 3 of her 1st 7 holes, but she's not out of it at -4. Needs help from the leaders, though!]
[Update 15 (9:29 am): Sandra Gal goes 69-74-75-74. I don't think that's impressive enough to sneak her past Gwladys Nocera or Charley Hull for a Team Euro captain's pick. What do you think?]
[Update 16 (9:51 am): Dori Carter -3 with 7 to play now lowest on leaderboard who's furthest on course. Still 5 behind Pressel and Lewis....]
[Update 17 (9:53 am): Looks like Matthew is done after bogeys at 10 and 12--now -1....]
[Update 18 (9:54 am): Pancake time! Back when it's all over!]