Thursday, April 3, 2014

Kraft Nabisco Championship Thursday: Shanshan Feng Takes 1-Shot Lead with 7-Birdie 66 over Se Ri Pak and Michelle Wie

Shanshan Feng has never finished inside the top 20 at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, but she put together a 7-birdie 66 to take a 1-shot lead on a living legend who lacks only the KNC (and the Evian) for a career Grand Slam and a former phenom who's still searching for her 1st major.  In addition to Se Ri Pak and Michelle Wie, Feng has to worry about Amy Yang (-4), Angel Yin (-4), Ji-Yai Shin (-3), Cristie Kerr (69), and Jennifer Rosales (69), as well as So Yeon Ryu, Morgan Pressel, Chella Choi, Haeji Kang, and Tiffany Joh at -2.

Feng's built a pretty comfortable cushion on other projected pre-tournament contenders:

  • -1:  Anna Nordqvist, Caroline Hedwall, Pornanong Phatlum
  • E:  Paula Creamer, Na Yeon Choi, Azahara Munoz, Hee Young Park, Sandra Gal, Catriona Matthew
  • +1:  Karrie Webb, Stacy Lewis, Lydia Ko, Lizette Salas, Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, Ha Na Jang, Charley Hull
  • +2:  Inbee Park, In-Kyung Kim, Sun Young Yoo, Angela Stanford, Eun-Hee Ji, Jenny Shin, Su-Hyun Oh
  • +3:  Ya Ni Tseng, Sakura Yokomine, Sei Young Kim, Minjee Lee, Alison Lee
  • +4:  Hee Kyung Seo, Annie Park
  • +5:  Ai Miyazato, Brittany Lincicome
But we'll just have to wait and see how the next 54 holes play out.  Given how hard many players found it to make birdies today, it looks like it'll be difficult for those in the lead to sustain their pace.  And if Mission Hills does start to play easier, then there are plenty of golfers used to going low within shouting distance of Feng, Pak, and Wie.

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