Friday, March 28, 2014

Kia Classic Friday: Dori Carter Bogeys Last 2 Holes for 64 and a 2-Shot Lead on Stacy Lewis and Cristie Kerr

Dori Carter birdied 4 of her 1st 7 holes, then birdied 5 holes in a row as she made the turn, then added 2 more for good measure after taking a break for 1 hole with a mere par.  By that point, she was -12 and running away with the Kia Classic, so of course she finished bogey-bogey to settle for a 64 and only a 2-shot lead on Stacy Lewis (7-birdie 66) and Cristie Kerr (whose bogey-free 32 on the front, her back, was sparked by an eagle on the par-4 1st).  With Lizette Salas (who's gone 36 holes and counting without a bogey and followed up yesterday's 69 with a sweet 68 today) 3 back and Tiffany Joh (no big deal, just a smooth bogey-free 69) 4 off the pace, the top of the leaderboard is proudly flying Old Glory.

Sure, sure, sure, Mariajo Uribe is tied with Joh at -6, Chella Choi's bogey-free 65 brought her into a group at -5 that includes Paula Creamer (72), Lexi Thompson (70), and Shanshan Feng (71), and Se Ri Pak, Inbee Park, Julieta Granada, and Ashleigh Simon are hanging out at -4, so the international contingent is doing just fine, thank you very much (as are 2 of the most popular Americans on tour).  And my fave Ai Miyazato is hanging in there at -3 along with the likes of So Yeon Ryu, Anna Nordqvist, and Azahara Munoz, so I have something to really look forward to on moving day.

Plus, a lot of players I really like bounced back from tough starts to their weeks.  Lydia Ko (68, -2), Karrie Webb (68, -1), Sydnee Michaels (68, E), Hee Young Park (68, +1), Mina Harigae (69, +1), and Jennifer Song (69, +1) lead the way, but it was great to see Seon Hwa Lee playing solid golf (72-72), fun to see Na Yeon Choi riding the roller coaster (eagle on par-5 8th, double on par-3 11th while going 72-72 herself), and encouraging to see In-Kyung Kim (73-70) tuning up her game, particularly because it's looking like Amy Yang (who made the cut on the number at +2) won't be passing her for the last spot on Team Korea for the International Crown.

So I have a lot to cheer me up in the face of 2 and outs for the likes of Sei Young Kim, Moira Dunn, Juli Inkster, Mariah Stackhouse, Angela Stanford, Chie Arimura, Pornanong Phatlum, Moriya Jutanugarn, Laura Davies, Ilhee Lee, Caroline Hedwall, Jeong Jang, and Danielle Kang, among many others.  Not only is winning tough on the LPGA, but also just finishing in the money sometimes....

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