Thursday, June 5, 2014

Manulife Financial LPGA Classic Thursday: Michelle Wie and Hee Young Park Grab Early Lead with 66s

Michelle Wie birdied 3 of her last 4 holes to take the early-morning lead at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, but defending champion Hee Young Park responded with 5 birdies in her last 10 holes to match Wie's opening 65 and share a 1-shot lead on Shanshan Feng and a 2-shot lead on Cristie Kerr and Xi Yu Lin.  Of the 12 other players to shoot 68s in the 1st round, perhaps the only ones who weren't surprises are So Yeon Ryu and Na Yeon Choi, but it sure is nice to see names like Moira Dunn, Jee Young Lee, Kristy McPherson, Belen Mozo, Sarah Kemp, Harukyo Nomura, Jacqui Concolino, Paz Echeverria, Alejandra Llaneza, and Marina Alex in the 1st paragraph of one of my posts!  (It seems the only 2 who needed to scramble their way there were McPherson and Mozo--let's see who can keep it going tomorrow!)

Lower down the leaderboard but still right in the mix are some of the biggest names in the field:

  • -2 Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park, Anna Nordqvist, In-Kyung Kim, Jennifer Rosales
  • -1 Suzann Pettersen, Chella Choi, Jeong Jang, Candie Kung, Seon Hwa Lee
  • E Laura Davies, Catriona Matthew, Angela Stanford, Morgan Pressel, Lydia Ko

With 71 players at E or better, expect the cut line to fall under par tomorrow.  That means that players like inaugural champion Brittany Lang (+1), Christina Kim and Gerina Piller (+2), Ai Miyazato and Pat Hurst (+3), Sandra Gal (+4), Laura Diaz (+5), and Moriya Jutanugarn (+6) will need to play a lot better in the 2nd round than they did in the 1st.

But hey, if newbies like Caroline Masson, Austin Ernst, Mirim Lee, and Line Vedel could shoot 70s and Jaye Marie Green, Brooke Pancake, Jackie Stoelting, Megan McChrystal, and Brooke Henderson 71s, then there's nothing stopping these much more established players (well, except for Moriya) from going low on Friday!

Then again, everyone's got to treat every day like moving day at Grey Silo if they want to be in contention on Sunday.  I'm expecting even lower scores tomorrow!

1 comment:

Colin N.Z said...

So annoying the Golf Channel could not be flexible enough to continue with the live LPGA coverage the last 2 days while the PGA is stopped for rain. Do they think more people want to watch a replay of last years PGA event? Just hope we don't get this when the 12-year TV deal with Fox Sports begins in 2015. I'm off to send them an email....