Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wegmans LPGA Championship Saturday: Who Will Make a Move as the Rains Move in on Pittsford?

I'm watching Golf Channel after walking 27 holes with Chie Arimura, Ayako Uehara, and Harukyo Nomura earlier today at the Wegmans LPGA Championship.  (I got off the course just before rain arrived here at Monroe Golf Club.)  My goal today was to follow Japanese golfers I haven't gotten to know as well as Ai Miyazato and Mika Miyazato; tomorrow, I want to follow Asian American golfers who are having great weeks like Tiffany Joh (-4), Jane Park (-4 through 12), Danielle Kang (-1), and Jennifer Song (E).

But it's time now to focus on the top of the leaderboard.  Brittany Lincicome continues to play great golf this week, with birdies on 7, 9, and 12 to offset bogeys on 5 and 10.  At -10, she leads Suzann Pettersen (-4 through 14 holes today) and Inbee Park (-2 through 12) by 2 shots.  Julieta Granada is working on a 32-hole bogey-free streak and is only 3 off Lincicome's pace.  Gerina Piller takes a 22-hole bogey-free run into the 18th hole and is tied with the fighting Lees, Meena and Mirim, at -6.  And Anna Nordqvist's 69 has brought her to -5, tied right now with a struggling Lexi Thompson and a stuck-in-neutral-while-riding-a-roller-coaster Lydia Ko.

On to the not-quite-live blogging!

[Update 1 (5:49 pm):  Meena Lee just birdied the par-5 14th to move to -7.]

[Update 2 (5:51 pm):  Inbee jetted a birdie attempt well past the hole on 13 but I guess she saved par.  Lexi went for 14 in 2 after a great drive but yanked it left into deep rough.  Pettersen made her 4th birdie in her last 6 holes to move to -9.  She's tied for the lead now as Lincicome missed her par save on 13.]

[Update 3 (5:56 pm):  Lexi did birdie 14!  Piller made a great 8-footer on 18 to keep her bogey-free run alive!]

[Update 4 (5:59 pm):  Both Inbee and Brittany hit 14 in 2.  Lincicome was 1 yard shorter than Kirby, apparently.]

[Update 5 (6:00 pm):  Nice sand play from Pettersen as Golf Channel goes to commercial.]

[Update 6 (6:02 pm):  I hope Golf Channel shows Mirim Lee's birdie on 17!]

[Update 7 (6:04 pm):  Instead they show Brittany just miss an eagle on the low side and tap in for birdie to take the lead.  Pettersen made her sandie and Inbee her birdie.]

[Update 8 (6:07 pm):  Maybe I missed them showing Mirim's birdie on 17.  Because they just showed her par on 18 for a 69 that puts her at -7 through 54 holes.]

[Update 9 (6:10 pm):  In case anyone watching Golf Channel is wondering if Jane Park exists, she is still -5, playing with Lexi.]

[Update 10 (6:12 pm):  Weak approaches from Lincicome and Park on 15 from barely over 100 yards out.]

[Update 11 (6:13 pm):  Granada bogeyed 15 and 16 to end her bogey-free run at 32 holes and drop out of GC coverage.]

[Update 12 (6:15 pm):  After doubling 13, Shanshan Feng battled back with 2 birdies in her last 5 holes to shoot a 71 and return to -5.]

[Update 13 (6:16 pm):  Inbee made her 1st bogey of the day, catching the edge of the cup but on the low side.  She returns to -8.]

[Update 14 (6:18 pm):  BTW, Lexi bogeyed 15 to drop back to -5.]

[Update 15 (6:20 pm):  Best rounds of the day include a 67 by Carlota Ciganda and 68s by Caroline Masson and Ashleigh Simon.  And the latter 2 did it with a double and a bogey on 16, respectively.]

[Update 16 (6:21 pm):  Nice 6-birdie 69 by Jenny Shin, too!]

[Update 17 (6:22 pm):  Great birdie attempt from downtown Rochester by Jane Park hit the hole and spun out on 16.]

[Update 18 (6:23 pm):  Great birdie by Ko on 17!  Stuck it and made the 3-footer!  She's now -6.]

[Update 19 (6:25 pm):  Pettersen hits a great 7-iron or so in on 18 but it trickles into the gully away from the tucked pin.]

[Update 20 (6:26 pm):  Ciganda, by the way, has eagled 14 2 rounds in a row now!]

[Update 21 (6:28 pm):  This is the 3rd day in a row Lexi has made back-to-back bogeys in those last 4 holes on the back.  She's now only -4.]

[Update 22 (6:31 pm):  Pettersen's birdie putt on 18 died in the last 3 feet, so she has to settle for a 67 today, tied for low round of the day with Ciganda.]

[Update 23 (6:33 pm):  You almost never see Inbee hit a 10-foot putt so badly she walks after it before it reaches the hole, but that's what happened on 16.  Right after Lincicome made a great par save, that putt looked particularly ugly!]

[Update 24 (6:34 pm):  Ko's approach on 18 trickles into the same gulch that Pettersen and so many others ended up in.]

[Update 25 (6:35 pm):  Granada bogeys 18 for 3 in her last 4 holes.  Her 72 leaves her at -4.]

[Update 26 (6:38 pm):  Pettersen has made only 4 bogeys all week, only 2 in her last 37 holes, and none in her last 17.  She's averaging 279 yards off the tee, has hit over 75% of her fairways, and has hit 42 of 54 greens in regulation.  I'd say she's the favorite heading into Sunday, wouldn't you?]

[Update 27 (6:39 pm):  Ko couldn't make the tough birdie putt, so her 71 leaves her at -6 through 54 holes.]

[Update 28 (6:40 pm):  Ko will need to hit more greens Sunday to make a move on those ahead of her, though.]

[Update 29 (6:41 pm):  Lincicome just didn't give her birdie putt on 17 enough oomph!]

[Update 30 (6:43 pm):  Inbee birdies 18 to get back to -9.  Meena Lee parred 17 and 18 to right the ship and shoot a 71 that ties her with Ko at -6.]

[Update 31 (6:44 pm):  Suzann Pettersen is in the media center!]

[Update 32 (6:55 pm):  Great interview!  Be sure to go to soon to read it!]

[Update 33 (6:56 pm):  Just saw Inbee make a 10-foot par save on 18.  She's in at -9 with a 69.]

[Update 34 (7:00 pm):  Think Inbee will be the next interview....  To sum up Suzann's interview, she's brimming with confidence and believes she's playing the best golf in her career.  She's being very cautious with her workout schedule, doing only cardio to avoid reinjuring her back.  She's trying to find other ways to work out her golf frustrations.  (I can identify, having hurt my back last fall and still not being 100%.  And on the frustration front.)  I'm glad I picked her to be the #1 player in 2014--I think she's due for a big 2nd half of the season!]

[Update 35 (7:06 pm):  Inbee's in the interview room!]

[Update 36 (7:12 pm):  Inbee certainly buys into the bombers paradise narrative, although she doesn't sound intimidated by the advantage the longer hitters have on the par 5s.  She just said she has to putt really well to beat them!]

[Update 37 (7:13 pm):  Next in the chair is Brittany Lincicome!]

[Update 38 (7:22 pm):  Brittany was very forthright about her nerves coming into the afternoon and persisting into the back 9 today.  She hopes she's worked it out of her system.  It shows up for her on the greens; she called her lack of aggressiveness with her putter today "wimpy."  She doesn't plan to look at a leaderboard tomorrow.  She just wants to make as many birdies as possible.  She still sings together with her caddy on the course.]


Colin N.Z said...

A real gutsy round by Lydia today she took a lot of risks trying to make up for her shorter length and couldn't nail enough of them. The bumble bee, and quite appropriate for todays dress, was just so solid but the bombers reigned today just Lexi needs to put better. Lincicome won't win on her last 2 rounds and will need to go at least 3 under tomorrow to stay in the hunt with what's just behind her.

diane said...

275 will likely win the tournament. The question is, will it be Brittany, Suzann or Inbee? My heart is with Lincicome; but I don't have much confidence in her ability to focus after not being in the spotlight for so long.