They showed a lot of In Gee on TV today. She was solid tee-to-green, but it was one of those days where she gave herself mostly 20 to 30-foot birdie tries and missed almost all of them. Not ever in danger, really, but not making the great shots, either.
Hye Jin and Na Rin An did the Korean rookies proud, shooting 64 and 66 respectively. Hyo Joo managed a late 67 to get onto the first page as well.
Alas, most of the big-name Koreans stalled at 2 under: In Gee, Jin Young, Six, Amy, A Lim. Just far enough back to require a little work to become a factor, but not out of it yet. Inbee and Inky are at +1, just a shot off the cut right now.
Another week, another massive second round lead. By the time leader Hye-Jin Choi started her second round, she was already six back. It didn't help that she almost immediately made a triple bogey. But she quickly climbed back to even, only to go nine holes without making another birdie (and boy did she have chances!). Still, she did make a bird on the final hole, and is in the vicinity of the lead at five back. With Thitikul missing her first cut, she might even be able to gain some ground this week. We'll see...
Eun Hee Ji shot a 64 and only gained 1 shot on Lydia. It's been that kind of week.
Hyo Joo is also at 6 under, and Na Rin An sneaked into the top ten as well. Also happy to see In Gee with a 67 that moved her into range of a top ten. She doesn't have to win this week; but she wants a good result in prep for next week. Six with a tidy 68, but Jin Young continues, endlessly, to struggle with her putting. Sometime soon she's GOT to break through and shoot a brilliant low round. She's just too good to continue to underperform.
This hasn't been a very scintillating week for the Koreans, unfortunately. I'm resigned to them not winning, but with the way these commentators focus on the LET players, I'm not even sure we are going to see any of the Koreans on the broadcast tomorrow. I sure hope we can get a few really great rounds Sunday from them to make things interesting, even if they don't get shown.
Eun Hee is still right in this. She had a strong back nine and is just two back. Woulda helped her cause to make that short birdie on 18, but she was still 3 under on the back even without it. In Gee had a nice 69 today and is once again just outside the top ten. If she has a great round in her, she could still make a run. But a top ten would be nice, too. Hye Jin had a great chance to make up ground on the leaders, but only shot 71. Na Rin and Hyo Joo are also just close enough that one of them could get this with a great final day.
Six was just even par, but A Lim shot a 68 to move close to the top twenty. Jin Young... Oi. What is going on there? +2 and now near the bottom of the leaderboard. I'm beginning to think we are not going to see another win from her this year. It's weird, because whenever they show her, her game doesn't seem that bad. But I think internally she is really frustrated that she is not playing her best, and when her mind is not 100% focused, she isn't able to create magic.
First day was great for the Sisters; let's make the last day even better! Sisters hwaiting!
Q: Not as low as you wanted to go today but you ground out a 1-under 71. Walk me through your round.
HYE-JIN CHOI: From the first hole today, I missed my tee shot and it went right next to the top of the bunker, so I made a mistake and started out with a triple, so it was a very slow start for me. But I’m happy I saved them all and ended the last hole with a birdie.
Q: When you have a day like today that's not going your way, how do you stay patient and try to grind something out?
HYE-JIN CHOI: Honestly, I wasn’t thinking much yesterday and my shots were good, putting was good so I had a good result. But today, I think I overdid it by trying to play well. In the next two days, I need to be more comfortable and trust in my shots as they come.
Q: You're in the mix again. We've seen you at the top of the leaderboard a lot this season. What's the mindset ahead of the weekend?
HYE-JIN CHOI: We’re forecasted to have the rain tomorrow and I think it’s going to be a lot cold, so I need to prepare for that. If the weather isn’t going to be good, instead of trying to score low, I need to play it safe and protect my score and take advance of chances when they come.
Eun Hee Ji
Q: Here with Eun-Hee Ji who shot 8-under 64 for the round of the day. What was going through your mind out there as you were shooting that low number?
EUN-HEE JI: First, my shots and putter were going really well today and it helped that the weather was good too. So because of that, it was a bit easier to play and with the shots being so good, I gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities. With a good feel for the putt, I was able to finish them off well.
Q: 9 birdies and one bogey on the card. Made bogey and then rattled off three, four birdies. What was going through your mind as you were trying to bounce back?
EUN-HEE JI: I got a bogey early in the round, but honestly, I could have saved par there, but just missed the putt. But my caddie was telling me “Let’s bounce back,” and cheered me on, so I played with more confidence and got a lot of birdies after that hole and finished with a good result.
Q: We don't play much links golf on the LPGA Tour. What did you adjust that's allowed you to play well yesterday and today?
EUN-HEE JI: There are a lot of holes on this course where you just can’t get in the bunker. Even if some holes are playing long, as long as I don’t go in the bunker, I can use my long clubs to attack the green, so I tried to avoid those bunkers and was able to avoid mistakes as a result.
Q: You've played really well this season, have one win already. What's been working for you? What have you worked on that's helped you to play such good golf?
EUN-HEE JI: I’ve been fixing my swings and it’s gradually coming into a good place – it’s coming together one at a time. My body wasn’t initially used to those fixes, so I think there was some struggle early on, but I’m getting more and more used to it now and my shots are gradually getting better too.
Q: You're in contention. What positives and what mindset will you take into the weekend?
EUN-HEE JI: As long as the weather is good, I don’t think things will be pretty good, but who knows how the weather will be. But with my shots being good right now, I think I can play with confidence.
Looks like Eun-Hee Ji is the only sister with a legitimate chance for the win. However Na Rin An, Hyo Joo Kim, minus eleven, In Gee Chun, Hye Jin Choi minus ten is not out of it. Lydia Ko has been inconsistent and Celine Boutier usually have a great final round usually when a Korean golfer is leading. Maybe they can turn the table on her with a great round of their own.
I guess A Lim Kim is the new "Rocket", birdied four of the first five holes, after that one birdie one bogey. She had a similar third round.
Wow, this one was one of the more frustrating events for the Sisters in a while. Some good results, but a lot of struggle.
Throughout this week I don't think I have ever seen the Sisters miss so many makeable birdie putts in my life. On these links courses, it all comes down to weather, staying out of trouble and putting. If the weather is benign, and a player doesn't hit a bad shot that ends up in a bush or a ridiculous bunker (not every bad shot puts you in one of those), then she just needs to make putts. Today Furue made 'em, the Sisters did not.
I knew Ji was toast because she had three holes at the turn where she had five - eight foot birdie tries and missed them all. Hyo Joo and Hye Jin had their moments and ran a few birdie streaks here and there, but when they needed to close the deal they stopped hitting it close enough. And the icing on the cake was that Hye Jin just missed a top ten.
Still, Hyo Joo made a nice run. If you shoot a 66 and it's not enough, what can you do? In Gee had four solid rounds and somehow didn't get a top ten (again...), but whatever, I still think that puts her in good shape for next week. The commentators called Na Rin An 'Hyo Joo' at least twice, but she also had a good final day for a t-11th. Hye Jin missed a very short par save on the par 5 14th that cost her the top ten. So it goes.
If we couldn't get a win, and we couldn't get top tens, could the top stars at least have a decent final day? Nope, didn't get that, either. Six +3, A Lim +3 and Jin Young +4. Jin Young lost three shots on the final two holes. Yeesh. I'm dreading next week. To be honest, JY was probably in 'don't give a crap' mode by that time, but her stats were terrible: 225 yards driving, 11/18 GIR AND 33 putts. She didn't do anything well. Minjee had a terrible week and still somehow managed to get a top twenty. I'm sensing some burnout from Jin Young. I'd say at this point there is close to 0% chance that Jin Young will win the last Major.
Here's hoping this is a minor setback and the Sisters bring their best stuff next week. Hwaiting!
In Gee Chun, Hye Jin Choi and Na Rin An got knocked out of top ten by Lili Vu and Leblanc. They finished after them and both made birdie on the easy eighteen par five hole.
In Gee Chun didn't birdie it, Na Rin An made birdie on seventeen and eighteen but was one short.
Hye Jin Choi had four straight birdies starting the back nine, but made bogey on fourteen and fifteen. She also didn't make birdie on eighteen so Lydia Ko broke the tie with her with nine top tens.
The mystery to me is Jeongeun Lee6 being so up and down. She has always been a little inconsistent ever since her KLPGA days. But nothing like what she is going through now. She has a solid swing, so is it mental or is she having physical problems.
I really thought that A Lim would do a lot better on the LPGA than what she has done so far. Hasn't played bad but I thought that she would be at least top twenty five Ranking. Her driving accuracy is 139 but it's better than Sei Young Kim, 143 and Lydia Ko 152. She makes a lot of birdies, but also a lot of bogeys and too many double bogeys.