Saturday, September 12, 2009

NW Arkansas Championship Friday: Is This the Week for Another Rolex 1st-Time Winner?

If you've been following the live scoring at the NW Arkansas Championship, reading the post-round notes and interviews at, or checking out Hound Dog's 1st-round overview, you'll know by now that some of the best without a win as LPGA members are in the hunt heading into the weekend's action, led by #20 Sandra Gal (64), #7 Song-Hee Kim (65), and #6 Brittany Lang (66), who all shot 31s on the back. Also in the thick of things are #8 Jane Park (67), #11 Hee Young Park (68), #13 Vicky Hurst (68), #18 Teresa Lu (68), #2 Jee Young Lee (69; only on the list b/c her win came while she was a KLPGA member), #4 Michelle Wie (69), #14 Sun Young Yoo (69), and #16 Lindsey Wright (69). Of course, with 35 players breaking 70 and 72 shooting par or better, all these talented youngsters had better bring their A-game on the weekend. Proven winners like Cristie Kerr (69), Jeong Jang (67), Pat Hurst (66), Angela Stanford (66), Ya Ni Tseng (68), Eun-Hee Ji (67), Helen Alfredsson (69), Katherine Hull (69), and Karen Stupples (67) make a living breaking their competitors' hearts.

Actually, when you consider who's due behind them, those non-winners had better bring their A+ game. Ai Miyazato's 72 was her worst round outside a major since the start of the Wegmans, so you know she has some birdies coming on the weekend. Paula Creamer's definitely not yet at full strength, but her 70 doesn't put her out of it just yet. Same goes for Se Ri Pak (70), Ji-Yai Shin (70), Morgan Pressel (71, but she finished +4 in her last 5 holes), Candie Kung (71), Christina Kim (72 with a squandered early eagle on the back), and Hee-Won Han (72). You never know when any of them will go super-low. Which is what needs to happen tomorrow for defending champion Seon Hwa Lee (74) and unofficial champion of the 18-hole inaugural playing of this event, Stacy Lewis (73), among many others, including Angela Park (78), Inbee Park (74), and Kristy McPherson (73).

Of course, if the weather takes a turn for the worse, all bets are off.

[Update 1 (12:25 am): Looks like they reshuffled the pairings first by morning/afternoon and front/back quadrants, then by score. So the lowest scorers on the front go off late in the morning and early in the afternoon, while on the back they go out early in the morning and late in the afternoon. I think.]

No comments: