With The Full Metal Archivist, onechan, and imoto leaving for Japan for 2 months in a few days, I don't have the time to both watch as much of the U.S. Women's Open as I can squeeze in and blog about it on top of everything else we're doing. So here are a few late observations on the 1st round and early ones on the 2nd. May not be able to actually finish watching the TV coverage until Tuesday!
How 'bout Them Newbies? Even though I correctly predicted some of the players who made it to Pinehurst via sectional qualifying to actually get off to good starts, I had no idea that Minjee Lee would be E through 36 holes and near the very top of the leaderboard. I still hold by my contention that a top 20 would be "a huge accomplishment" for the top-ranked amateur in the world, but to be in one of the final pairings on moving day is huge! Even more surprising to me is that Yueer Cindy Feng is within the top 15 at the halfway point of the tournament--quite a transition for a player who's been rocking the SunCoast Series and the Symetra Tour this season because her LPGA priority status in her rookie season is so low. More generally, check out how many of my top 22 pros under 22 years of age are on track to contend or simply play the weekend!
Who'da Thunk It? Suzann Pettersen, Anna Nordqvist, Cristie Kerr, Jessica Korda, and Morgan Pressel missing the cut? Lizette Salas having to withdraw due to illness? 11-year-old Lucy Li doing about as well as living legend Laura Davies? Shanshan Feng opening with a 77, Inbee Park and Lydia Ko with 76s, and Catriona Matthew and Chella Choi with 75s? I mean, we knew Pinehurst was tough, but this signals to me that anybody can have trouble breaking 75 any given day, no matter how well they played before. At the same time, I have to admit I'm surprised Na Yeon Choi, Amy Yang, and Sakura Yokomine are playing so well so far. They're all big-time players, but they haven't been playing great in 2014 thus far. Of course to have Mariajo Uribe and Sue Kim in the mix is an even bigger surprise....
I Called It! So far, I've been spot-on about Michelle Wie's and Lexi Thompson's short games, not to mention those of Stacy Lewis, Karrie Webb, Catriona Matthew, Jenny Shin, Azahara Munoz, and Gerina Piller. Let's see if some of my other picks (like Inbee Park and Lydia Ko) can improve even further today!
So far we have a rerun of the KNC shaping up on a course many commentators figured would be tougher on Michelle and Lexi. With all the leaders having to deal with afternoon conditions, however, perhaps someone from the morning can put some pressure on them, particularly if the course is set up a little easier (unlike it was for the men on Saturday).... We'll see! (I will eventually. We have a lot of packing and prepping to do today!)