Friday, May 31, 2013

ShopRite LPGA Classic Friday: Jutanugarn and Blumenherst Lead, Lewis and Wie Trail

Moriya Jutanugarn and Amanda Blumenherst lead the ShopRite LPGA Classic on the strength of 5-under-par 66s, while defending champion Stacy Lewis is hot on their trail after opening with a 67 and Michelle Wie is in the hunt thanks to her low round of the season, a 5-birdie 68.  As you can see from just this selection of names, there were some real surprises on the 1st day of this 54-hole event.

On the upside, Ji Young Oh, Jennifer Song, and Sara-Maude Juneau also broke 70, while Mi Hyang Lee and Nicole Jeray got under par with opening 70s and Christina Kim and Heather Bowie Young shot even-par 71s.

On the downside, Sandra Gal shot a 78, Morgan Pressel and Jane Park 77s, Suzanne Pettersen, Angela Stanford, Ilhee Lee, and Danielle Kang 76s, Hee Kyung Seo, Catriona Matthew, and Ayako Uehara 75s, Inbee Park, Na Yeon Choi, So Yeon Ryu, Yani Tseng, Paula Creamer, and Karine Icher 74s, and Cristie Kerr, Azahara Munoz, Chie Arimura, Momoko Ueda, and Caroline Hedwall 73s.

Of course, a good number of golfers played to expectations, with Shanshan Feng, Beatriz Recari, Hee Young Park, and Pornanong Phatlum shooting 69s, Ai Miyazato, Haeji Kang, Chella Choi, Gerina Piller, Mo Martin, and Jenny Shin shooting 70s, and players like Ji-Yai Shin (71), Karrie Webb (72), Anna Nordqvist (72), In-Kyung Kim (72), and Mika Miyazato (72) hanging at or near par.

Given how quickly a round can change at Seaview--Chella Choi opened with a bogey-free 29 on the back but closed with a birdie-less 41 on the front, to take just one example--a lot of golfers are still in this thing, provided they can get and stay hot on moving day.  With only 26s golfers at par or better after the 1st round, you can pass a lot of people with a low Saturday score.  Let's see if anyone can do it!

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