Not a great start to the week, but a solid one, with a ton of Sisters at 4 under and 3 under. Included in that mass at 3 under are Jin Young, A Lim and Hye Jin, while the 4 unders include Sei Young and Chella. Some rare bird sightings, too: Sung Hyun at 4 under, Jiwon Jeon (has she ever been close to the lead before?) and even Na Yeon Choi at -3!
A Lim had the lead for a while before fading on her back nine. it does feel like she got a slight boost from her big win in Korea, but can she maintain it?
Amy is the only Sister in the top ten after a 66. Yeah, the course was too easy today.
On the downside, In Gee, Inky and So Yeon have some work to do to make the cut...
After making a bogey on her second hole Jin Young started a climb up the Leaderboard with four birdies. But a double bogey on thirteen derailed her and she had only one other birdie. It looks like a top ten even with a great weekend is the best she can do. To many players ahead of her with a course that's not playing too tough.
No Korean golfers in the top ten however there are eight at minus five and six.
Alas ,So Yeon missed the cut by one. She got to minus one with a birdie on sixteen, but a bogey on seventeen dropped her to even. Usually So Yeon although she is struggling with her game find a way to make the cut.
For the most part an average day for the Sisters, and with Minjee Lee taking off like a rocket, I'm not expecting any wins this week. There were some nice rounds from unexpected places: Jenny Shin with a 64, Sung Hyun Park hanging near the top ten, Jiwon Jeon in the top 20, and In Gee with her 65. As a result, we have 8 Koreans in the top 22, but none in the top ten. A lot of stars up there, including Hye-Jin, Jin Young, In Gee, A Lim and Sung Hyun. I expect a couple of them will have good days, and I hope we'll see a number of them card top tens in the end, but wins seem unlikely.
I really don't know the philosophy behind the daily course setups. I assumed they would make it longer on Friday ... instead, it was shorter at 6290 yards. Maybe there's a fairness issue at play, assuming there's a big difference playing this course in the AM versus the PM. The greens are a Poa/Bent mix ... I don't know how bumpy they are in the PM. Meanwhile, the par-4 18th was even more of a joke at 326 yards and none of the par-3 holes were over 170 yards. They added one yard to the par-5 2nd hole, but I'm sure it was still a NOTHING hole at 469 yards. However, it was NOT that way when it was No. 11 during the 2007-09 Sybase events ... with a brook in front of the green, it was genuine toss-up on the risk of getting there in two. But, on Thursday players had between 195 and 205 to the green center and knocked it on with ease ... I think the players have improved since 2009 and the equipment has NOT gotten worse, so move this tee back by 15-20 yards (490 is the white line yardage). Haeji Kang surprised me by laying up on this hole Thursday ... made only par there both days and is now out on the street.
A 14-under score doesn't "look" good, but the cut is not crazy low at -1. The LPGA is hard to figure out ... one might assume there is a huge talent disparity from top-to-bottom this week (which is true), yet the trunk slammers included Ryu, Lewis, Inky, Madsen, Maguire, Alex, Kirk and Salas.
Speaking of 14-under, this pic of Major League Minjee in the VIP outdoor dining area was taken before the start of the tournament by TV Wowow's Mitsuki Katahira. Good timing ... she posted an article on her this week and started a collection this season on various LPGA stars ... full collection is here:
Google mush excerpt: By the way, just before that "Evian", she invited Yuka Saso, who she had known for a long time, to participate in the "Dow Gray Treaks Bay Invitation" where she played in pairs. While talking in English, Saso communicates with Korean, which he can speak a little. She is a good friend after that, such as having a meal together.
In Gee Chun seventy five was the highest first round score of all the Korean golfers. Yet she is the only one in the top ten. Jenny Shin was the second highest score and she is tied for twelfth. I hope I didn't jinx her however I don't believe in jinxes.
Back to the battle between Min Ji Park and You Min Hwang. There are others not out of it either.
Gah, I can't believe it, Thitikul did it again! Another mediocre event and a ridiculously low final round to secure a top ten. I hope Hye Jin can beat her, they're tied at the moment with one hole to go for Hye Jin.