Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mobile Bay LPGA Classic Friday: Young Americans II, The Sequel, Part Deux

Jessica Korda has started the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic 66-65 to take a 1-shot lead on Karrie Webb, who charged up the leaderboard with a bogey-free 63, but the low round of the day belonged to Sydnee Michaels, whose 62 included an eagle and 8 birdies.

With Lexi Thompson and Mina Harigae at -9 and Jennifer Johnson, Kim Welch, and Lisa McCloskey at -7, the Young Americans are still in this thing (not to disparage the not-quite-so-young Americans Nicole Castrale at -8 and Moira Dunn at -5!).  But the Thai contingent made a move today, with Pornanong Phatlum (65) and Thidappa Suwannapura (67) catching Michaels at -10 and leapfrogging Ariya Jutanugarn (66), who's "only" at -9.  Azahara Munoz's 64 and Beatriz Recari's 70 meant the Spanish Armada isn't out of this, either, although at -9 and -6 respectively they'll have to go even lower on moving day, no doubt.  And of course the Korean contingent isn't to be forgotten, although having Chella Choi (67-66) as their standard-bearer is a little surprising, with Hee Kyung Seo at -8, Eun-Hee Ji at -7, and Ji-Yai Shin and Hee Young Park at -6 a little lower down the leaderboard than expected.

With Angela Stanford at -5 and Stacy Lewis at -4, the door is open for Webb, a Young American, or a young international star to take this thing on the weekend.  But it's also an opportunity for Song-Hee Kim at -4, Mitsuki Katahira and Seon Hwa Lee at -3, Sun Young Yoo at -2, Jennifer Song and Ryann O'Toole at -1, and Chie Arimura and Tiffany Joh at E to get their seasons going.  Rookie of the Year race leader Moriya Jutanugarn unexpectedly missed the cut, so this is a great opportunity for Arimura to make up some ground on her.  She'll need a great weekend to do it!

[Update (9:27 am):  Here's bangkokbobby's take!]

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