Suzann Pettersen fired a 5-under-par 66 in the 1st round of the North Texas LPGA Shootout to take a 1-shot lead on Michelle Wie, Cristie Kerr, Christina Kim, Caroline Masson, Dori Carter, and Cydney Clanton.
18 players broke 70 Thursday, from veterans Juli Inkster and Lorie Kane to teenage rookie Xi Yu Lin, including Chella Choi, Jenny Shin, and Jodi Ewart Shadoff. But few could match Pettersen's combination of power (295 yards off the tee) and accuracy (17 greens in regulation), although Carter (298/15) and Wie (292/15) came close. With Lexi Thompson, Azahara Munoz, and Natalie Gulbis among those 4 back, Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, and Karen Stupples among those 5 off the pace, and the likes of Na Yeon Choi, Jessica Korda, Hee Young Park, and Morgan Pressel still within 6 shots of the lead, Pettersen can't rest easy tonight. She's off at 8:10 am today with Kerr and Lizette Salas (+3).
I'd love to see Salas and other faves of mine who are currently on the wrong side of the projected cut line--In-Kyung Kim, Tiffany Joh, Mina Harigae, Jennifer Song, and Se Ri Pak--bounce back in a big way today. If they want to make it to the weekend, they have to get into the top 70 as usual; but if they also want to play on Sunday, they have to find a way to get into the top 50 after 54 holes. Let's see who can do it--and if Moira Dunn (another one of my faves) can keep it going after a 5-birdie 70 got her started yesterday!