Just a day after I touted them here at Mostly Harmless, Sun-Ju Ahn failed to win her 3rd consecutive JLPGA event at the Golf5 Ladies and So Yeon Ryu failed to defend her title at the Hanwha Classic on the KLPGA. Yumiko Yoshida outplayed Ahn and beat Miki Saiki in a 4-hole playoff to take her 4th career JLPGA title and move to 2nd place on the JLPGA money list, while Sae Young Kim made 2 approach-shot eagles in her last 10 holes to catch Ryu and beat her on the 1st playoff hole.
So of course I started to get worried about Caroline Hedwall, who I also assumed would win the Helsingborg Open after taking a 4-shot lead into today's final round, and who moreover was the subject of Ruthless Mike's "Solheim bump" post today where he practically awarded her the title. Talk about a double whammy--would the Mostly Harmless jinx add onto or multiply the Ruthless Golf jinx in a perfect storm of bad luck for the Solheim Cup's heroine?
Well, on another tough day when only 3 golfers are under par right now (among them legendary Laura Davies, whose 69 brought her to -2 for the week and solo 5th right now), it just so happens that Rebecca Artis is not only 1 of them, but is putting together the best round of the day. She's -3 through 15 holes, thanks to a 5-hole stretch as she made the turn where she canned 4 birdies, and -8 for the week. Hedwall, meanwhile, is struggling after doubling the 330-yard par-4 5th; with no birdies and a pair of bogeys to start the back, she's fallen from -10 through 54 holes to -6 through 69. That's right--she has 3 holes to make up a 2-shot deficit on the 24-year-old Australian. Let's see what happens!
[Update 1 (9:42 am): Correction, Carin Koch and Marjet Van Der Graaff are also under par today, so that's 4 golfers who might do it today! Artis is playing in the group ahead of Hedwall's and just parred the 16th.]
[Update 2 (9:46 am): Terrible weekend for In-Kyung Kim, who opened the week with a 65 but moved backwards with a 75 yesterday (thanks to a 41 on the back) and is +5 through 17 today.]
[Update 3 (9:47 am): Kim's birdie on 17 was her 1st since the front 9 yesterday!]
[Update 4 (9:49 am): Anna Nordqvist's weekend wasn't anything to write home about, either; she went 73-74 to fall back to E for the week and is currently T6 with Pernilla Lindberg. Meanwhile, Hedwall parred the 16th. 2 down with 2 to play for Sweden's last hope for a native winner.]
[Update 5 (10:03 am): Artis birdied 17 and so did Hedwall. -9 to -7 with only 18 left to play!]
[Update 6 (10:06 am): Add Sophie Sandolo and Pamela Pretswell to the list of sub-par shooters today--6 in all! And Artis is on track for best round of the day....]
[Update 7 (10:16 am): Hold the presses! Artis bogeyed 18. If Hedwall can birdie the par 4, we'll have the 3rd playoff of the day!]
[Update 8 (10:16 am): Hedwall couldn't do it. The 3rd titan of the day falls!]