Saturday, October 16, 2010

CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge Friday: Easy Come, Easy Go

Brittany Lincicome was as cold on day 2 of the CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge as she was hot on day 1. Well, not quite. She didn't follow up her 61 with an 83, after all. But she did take 15 more strokes than the day before on Blackhawk Country Club, opening the door in the process for 2 LET stars who have had ho-hum LPGA rookie seasons. Gwladys Nocera and Beatriz Recari fired matching 66s to take the lead at the halfway point at -10. Recari shot a record-breaking 29 on the back 9 and was actually -7 in a 9-hole stretch between the 9th and 16th holes, as well.

That's the way it's been at Blackhawk this week, though. Take Lindsey Wright, who started on the back with a 32, but then followed it up with a 42 on the front, dropping from -6 to -1 for the tournament in the process. Stacy Lewis went 30-37 over the same sequence of 9s to get in the mix but fail to put up a really low number and remain 2 off the lead. A 37 by Michele Redman on the front was her only 9 over 34 of the week, keeping her at -8, as well. Il-Hee Lee has played her last 23 holes of bogey-free golf in -6 to get to -8 for the week. Wendy Ward needed 2 birdies in her last 4 holes to salvage a 71 after being incapable of doing anything wrong the day before and also got to -8. Even Amy Hung, who made 7 birdies over her last 5 holes Thursday and 1st 6 holes Friday to get to -9, stayed there over her last 12 holes.

So even though Lincicome dropped from -11 to -7, she's still right in the thick of things. But with the leaders 1 shot worse after 36 holes than she was at 18, the door's been opened for a host of players to also put themselves in the mix on moving day today. Katherine Hull at -6, Karrie Webb, Laura Davies, Natalie Gulbis, and Jane Park at -5, even Seon Hwa Lee and Karine Icher at -4 and Cristie Kerr and Morgan Pressel at -3, all have to feel that 1 really low round on the weekend can get one of them a win.

To tell you the truth, the only players without a chance are the ones who missed the cut, among them Brittany Lang, Azahara Munoz, and Pat Hurst. There's no reason we couldn't see a player put together 2 rounds in the low 60s on the weekend. I'd love to see that happen!

[Update 1 (11:31 am): Lots of maturity from Lincicome in her post-round interview. She'll be back!]

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