Thursday, November 12, 2009

Lorena Ochoa Invitational Thursday: Will We See a 1st-time Winner This Week?

With Song-Hee Kim making birdies on every par 5 at Guadalajara Country Club on her way to a bogey-free 65 in the 1st round of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, I have a new question to be added to yesterday's list: will we see yet another 1st-time winner this week? After all, new pro Mariajo Uribe is bouncing back from a disappointing week at Futures Tour Q-School in a big way: she's only 2 behind Kim with 1 hole to play. A win this week would allow her to withdraw from LPGA Q-School in early December. And who's that at -3 through 13? Some of you may have heard something about her: Michelle Wie.

But of course that 1st LPGA win never comes easy. Just ask Hee Young Park, who came as close as anyone in the field did last week to catching Bo-Bae Song at the Mizuno Classic. What did the Rocket shoot today? Let's just say she had a hat trick of double bogeys and leave it at that, shall we?

Of course, the LPGA's best aren't going to just stand aside for Kim or Uribe. Ji-Yai Shin is playing like she wants to clinch Player of the Year and money list leader this week--at -5 through 12, she could easily be the leader at the end of the day. Paula Creamer is back to making birdies in bunches; she's tied with Uribe and Shin through 13 holes. Eun-Hee Ji had her best round in ages, a 68 that leaves her within striking distance of Kim.

I'll be back when I can. Got to pick up the girls and figure out who's healthy enough to take onechan to the ceremony where she gets named Student of the Month for her school building. Don't ask me how that happened!

[Update 1 (7:24 pm): Well, nobody got any closer to Kim. Uribe, Shin, and Creamer ended up with 67s, Catriona Matthew joined Ji at 68, and Cristie Kerr, Brittany Lang, and Brittany Lincicome were the only other players to break 70. Here's how other big-name players fared:

70 Michelle Wie, In-Kyung Kim
71 Lorena Ochoa, Ai Miyazato, Juli Inkster
72 Ya Ni Tseng, Suzanne Pettersen, Morgan Pressel
73 Karrie Webb, Angela Stanford
74 Na Yeon Choi, Natalie Gulbis
75 Se Ri Pak
76 Laura Davies

With just over half the field going under par today, it's looking like the tournament record is in danger of falling this week!]

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