Sunday, June 22, 2014

Reflections on the 3rd Round of the U.S. Women's Open

Michelle Wie was poised to make like Martin Kaymer midway through moving day at the U.S. Women's Open, but instead she played a little army golf off the tee and became yet another big-name victim of Pinehurst's devilish green complexes.  Still, she kept the damage as close to a minimum as possible and ended the day tied with Amy Yang for the lead at -2.

Given that Yang made up a 4-shot deficit in 18 holes and would have had the solo lead if she could just have parred the 18th, there's no way today will be a 2-player show.  I don't see Juli Inkster (playing her last USWO) replicating yesterday's amazing 66 or Stephanie Meadow (playing her 1st USWO--and tournament--as a professional) her 69, but I do see Na Yeon Choi or Minjee Lee breaking 70 to put pressure on the co-leaders.  And while I have to admit to being surprised that So Yeon Ryu, Sakura Yokomine, and Pornanong Phatlum are only 5 off the lead, I'm not at all surprised about Karrie Webb or Lexi Thompson and I wouldn't be surprised at all if either or both were to make a run of her own.  Stacy Lewis, Paula Creamer, and Chella Choi remain real threats at +4, as well.  Anyone further back will need to do something truly historic, as it's hard to imagine 14 players coming back to them, but there's a real possibility there won't be anyone under par when all is said and done today.

I did get to see the entire 1st- and 3rd-round coverage and couldn't help noticing how many players who got off to great starts had trouble sustaining their runs.  Well, that's too nice a way of putting it, actually.  Lexi's 2 doubles in a row yesterday were not quite as bad as amateur Marissa Chow's 3 in a row after she jumped out to an early 1st-round lead, but neither was able to get back on track after making such big numbers.  8, 9, and 10 have been many players' Waterloo, even though the latter 2 have also given up a lot of birdies.  So expect a lot of drama early on today.  Yokomine has 2 eagles in a row on the par-5 5th and the par-5 10th has given up its share, as well.

I'm hoping we'll get to Cleveland in time to watch the end of the tournament.  Feel free to give me play-by-play and color commentary in comments!

1 comment:

Colin N.Z said...

Such a good and popular win by Michelle. It's going to be interesting to see how this win plays out next week at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship for her. Shame this has all come a little to late for the International Crown. Barring an injury or a withdrawal which I can't see happening for the sake of the US team we won't be seeing her there.