The bad guys got me .... so I paid the ransom tonight .... and will be there Friday.
The "Feature Groups" in the LPGA IG posting are all The Usual Suspects, which was predictable. Of course, I agree that they are all excellent players these days, but I almost never follow players I could watch 20 times per year on TV. Here are The Expert's Feature Groups:
SJ Smith/Mind M/Avery
I may have to make some on-the-fly adjustments, as this layout is totally unknown to me and who knows if the roping will or won't be crazy like a USWO tourney.
I saw Chang tee off at the Seaview's 6th hole last week ... her mom (I assume) followed along wearing a Southern Cal pullover with a Woori Investments umbrella over her head. Lucky for Jen she picked up a top-ten in March, or else she'd be in deep doo-doo.
The time and place of this event is a little quirky. The first tee time Friday is at 7:15 AM, while sunrise is at 7:01 AM. Last week, the Seaview had two mini-trailers with tall light stanchions at the range so the dew sweepers would not have to warm up in the dark. They'll need the same equipment this week.
Ugh, heavy morning fog caused a 90-minute delay of Round One ... 30 players will have to go out there early Friday AM to finish up ... what a mess. Of course, they'll get caught up Saturday after the cut, but that will limit the amount of trunk slamming I might see on Friday. Now what do I do? Hmm, Avery has five holes to play ... that would be a good start, and then JTibs/AVD/Chella could be next. MHL has a 1:12 PM, but that'll probably get pushed to later. FYI, Accuweather predicts two hours of rain on Sunday.
There are the temporary light fixtures I mentioned earlier ... one for the practice green and one for the range. You can see the gear van.
WEST CALDWELL, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 07: A general view of the driving range and 1st fairway during the first round of the Cognizant Founders Cup at Mountain Ridge Country Club on October 07, 2021 in West Caldwell, New Jersey. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
What I heard a club member say to another guy today:
The greens are slow and soft ... they never play like this for us ... they're probably no more than tens today ... normally, when your ball goes ten or fifteen feet past the flag, you're left with a treacherous shot ... I hope time will improve them this weekend, but they can't get the moisture out.
Mind Muangkhumsakul wears two gloves.
AVD is a gorilla. At the par-5 8th, she hits an iron from the tee ... I assume it was her longest one, which is a 22-degree driving iron ... launched a moon ball draw. When I got out there, her ball was 15 yards past Chella's driver tee shot.
This pic is from Thursday AM ... I can't believe they had Sarah Kemp teeing off into this pea soup. This is exactly how the first hole looked downrange Friday AM ... causing a longer fog delay than before, two hours.
WEST CALDWELL, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 07: Sarah Kemp of Australia hits her tee shot on the 1st hole during the first round of the Cognizant Founders Cup at Mountain Ridge Country Club on October 07, 2021 in West Caldwell, New Jersey. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Jin Young slowed down a bit today but still has (so far) managed to increase her lead somewhat. It's still too early to say she is the one to beat, but she sure is playing well right now. It'll be interesting to finally get to see her in action tomorrow!
Meanwhile, several more Sisters are positioning themselves for a run. So Yeon, Jenny, Chella and In Gee all 3 under for the day, with Ryu and Chun still having a few holes to play. And sneaking up the leaderboard is Lee6, who is just outside the leaderboard at this point.
Inbee looked like she might join them. She made three birdies in four holes, but just when she moved into the top ten, she immediately gave it all back by missing several short putts. She isn't going to win this week, but it looks like she'll make the cut at least.
I see on lpga.com that Chella is getting married in December. Yes, love was in the air Friday ... first player I saw when I walked in was JTibs, hand-in-hand with her boyfriend. The big dude hubby was with MJ Hur. The little dude hubby was carrying Sakura Yokomine's bag, as usual. Lindy Duncan made a scrambling par save at #1, drawing a cheer from Ariya 51 at the practice green. Duncan replied by holding her thumb and index finger tips together ... Ariya replied by doing the heart over the head move with her arms. Lewis rolled a ball back forth with her little girl on the grass. A little boy was on top of his daddy's shoulder and SJ Smith gave the kid a ball. Three middle-aged Korean women (Attack Girls in training?) went berserk when Annie Park rolled in a birdie putt for her last shot of the day. They all hugged Annie, who is from Long Island, but I don't think these women were family ... one of them gave MS Kwak a hug so she wouldn't feel left out. Lastly, on the way out to the shuttle, I passed Gerina holding her child. Odd ... I saw her play a couple of holes and she wasn't wearing a ring. I report, you decide.
They blew the horn at 6:20 PM Friday, but still had the option to complete the hole you were playing. MHL had a birdie putt of 40+ feet at #11 and rammed it past the hole. Then she marked her ball with a tee and slept on a 6 or 7-foot slightly downhill par saver overnight.
When Lucky 6 walked from the range to the practice green on the side, manager girl walked beside her holding an umbrella over Six's head.
The cut was +1 and 78 players made ... Round Three starts at 10:45 AM EST.
No surprise MHL woke up and missed that par saver at #11 ... and missed a lot more after that, I guess ... hit 15 of 18 greens for Round Two and took 37 putts! This season must be aging Mr. Lee terribly and he's the oldest K-Daddy out there to begin with. How can his little angel with the beautiful swing get kicked to Passaic Avenue, while playing partner Meechai, with her stevedore swipes at the ball, slip in under the wire to play the weekend? Meechai showed me nothing most of yesterday, but did what she had to do - hits the par-4 9th in three shots, but makes the putt - birdies the par-4 10th - stuffs it close when it's starting to get dark at the par-4 11th and makes the putt. Oh, and she was the shortest driver in the group. Btw, Duncan was the longest driver in the group, and often by a lot. I was shocked ... where has she been?
Someone should do an auditory study of iron shots by LPGAers for volume and pitch ... and see if there is a correlation to brand and performance. I remember Grandma Judy saying that Mannika's irons didn't sound like her competition. An unscientific observation yesterday: Jenny from The ROK is hitting her irons really HARD these days.