There were certainly a lot of surprises at and near the top of the Portland Classic leaderboard after the conclusion of Thursday's round. It's hard to say which was the biggest one of them all, but In-Kyung Kim's bogey-free 65, which was sparked by 7 birdies in her 1st 13 holes, including 4 in a row to start the back 9, has to rank among them. Once one of the top players in the world, Inky has only 1 top-15 finish all season, way back in late April. I doubt whether anyone saw the bogey-free 66s from Jennifer Song and Amelia Lewis coming, either. It was Song's lowest round since the end of June and Lewis's since mid-April.
Just a little further down the leaderboard, only a few of the LPGA's Royals show up--such as Anna Nordqvist (bogey-free 67) and Chella Choi (68 with a double)--it's mostly Rebel Alliance. From veterans like Laura Diaz (-5) and Juli Inkster (-4) to established players like Julieta Granada (-5), Mina Harigae (-5), and Karine Icher (-4) to newbies like Emma Jandel (-5), Paula Reto (-5), Jennifer Kirby (-4), Xi Yu Lin (-4), and Jacqui Concolino (-4), players we haven't been used to seeing on or near the 1st page of the leaderboard this season are right there today.
Sure, it's not like the Royals are out of this thing. Lizette Salas (-3), So Yeon Ryu (-2), Na Yeon Choi (-2), and Suzann Pettersen (-1) did just fine today. But of the 76 players at E or better, the ratio of Rebels to Royals seems much higher than usual for 2014. It'll be interesting to see whether this can continue over the next 54 holes.