Monday, August 30, 2010

Canadian Women's Open Sunday: Wie Goes Wire-to-Wire in Winnipeg for LPGA Win #2

By now, fans of the Canadian Women's Open have probably read's final-round notes and interviews, Hound Dog's final-round play-by-play, Bill Jempty's final-round overview and reactions, and Brent Kelley's final-round contextualization, so you know that in the end it was the bomber with the bad back who beat the precision player with the cold putter. Michelle Wie added Canada to the list of North American countries she's won in, following up on her win in Mexico last November with an impressive victory over "Final Round Queen" Ji-Yai Shin. Here are a few things you may not have read much about just yet.

Kyeong Bae had the most impressive start and most disappointing finish to her final round of just about anyone in the field. After 13 holes she had made 7 birdies and gotten to -8 for the tournament, but she bogeyed 3 of her last 4 holes to drop to T11 with fellow surprises Lorie Kane (who had birdied 6 of her 1st 12 holes!) and Becky Morgan (who was +5 on the 18th alone this week). If Kane hadn't taken an 8 and a 7 in her opening 75, she would have been right in the mix for Canadian fans! Another veteran who had a good week was Rachel Hetherington, who followed up yesterday's 66 with a 72 today and ended up T24.

Meanwhile, the LPGA's youngsters weren't twiddling their thumbs all week, either. Jennifer Song and Mika Miyazato made a bunch of birdies on the weekend to catch Ai Miyazato, Paula Creamer, and Brittany Lincicome at T15. Only 2 shots behind them at -2 overall were rookie Mina Harigae and former wunderkind Aree Song at T24.

On the down side, Song-Hee Kim suffered her worst finish of the season and the culprit was her usually-reliable putter. Inbee Park needed a 6-birdie 69 yesterday to avoid her worst LPGA finish of '10, as well. And the games of Seon Hwa Lee and Mi Hyun Kim were nowhere to be found in Winnipeg this week.

Wie's win moves her to #10 on the LPGA money list but she's only halfway to most of the leading millionaires and plans to return to Stanford this fall. Unless she can get study abroad credit for the LPGA's Asian swing, she has no chance of contending for the money list title and Player of the Year honors. Here are those whose odds are much better:

1. Ji-Yai Shin $1.40M (1 win in 14 starts, 122 POY points, 70.30 scoring average, 3.85 birdies per round)
2. Ai Miyazato $1.34M (5/15, 172, 70.55, 4.02)
3. Na Yeon Choi $1.34M (1/16, 123, 70.09, 4.25)
4. Suzann Pettersen $1.30M (0/14, 115, 69.98, 3.90)
5. Cristie Kerr $1.25M (2/14, 1 major, 148, 70.04, 4.20)
6. Ya Ni Tseng $1.13M (2/14, 2 majors, 146, 70.68, 3.75)
7. Song-Hee Kim $.96M (0/16, 91, 70.19, 4.04)
8. In-Kyung Kim $.78M (0/15, 77, 70.68, 3.70)
9. Paula Creamer $.71M (1/9, 1 major, 64, 71.36, 3.25)

Too bad the LPGA's schedule puts this drama on hold basically until October!

[Update 1 (10:44 pm): Here are Hound Dog, Ryan Ballengee, Stephanie Wei, Shane Bacon, and The Squire on the winner and event, and Brent Kelley, Beth Ann Baldry, Steph, and Shane on the DQ controversy that Bill Jempty has been writing on here and elsewhere. Reading between the lines of all the second-, third-, and fourth-hand reports, I wonder if Shi Hyun Ahn, who originally hit the ball of her playing partner Il Mi Chung on the fairway, felt any pressure, self-imposed or (in)directly from her senior countrywoman, to join in an attempted cover-up of their rules violation. If pretending it never happened was Chung's idea, her punishment should be more severe than Ahn's.]

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