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Friday, July 2, 2010

From Missed Cut to Leader

Ain't it the way? Players miss the cut one week, then make a big move the next.

It's unlikely we're going to see any change in the Top 5 of the Ladies' Rolex World Rankings, as only Jiyai Shin is playing and she's nearly a full point behind Cristie Kerr and Ai Miyazato. But Na Yeon Choi dropped from #10 to #11 last week when she missed the cut at the Wdgmans LPGA Championship (lots of ranking points in play there) and apparently broke a pretty good string of made cuts, so I guess she feels she has something to prove at the Jamie Farr this week. (HoundDog calls it the "Klinger Klassic," which I kinda like, but the LPGA is unlikely to pick up that promotional attempt.)

After the 1st round, Choi is on top at -7. Alena Sharp is 2nd at -6 (you may not have heard of her, as she hasn't won yet), and Marisa Baena, Karine Isher, and Christina Kim round out the -5 group. Shin is sitting at -4, which still amazes me since this is only her third week since her emergency appendectomy. Paula Creamer (back from thumb surgery) is in a pack at even.

I won't go through all the players, but I will mention a few interesting ones.

Azahara Munoz passed Amanda Blumenherst last week in the Rookie of the Year race. Munoz is at -1, Blumenherst at even. Mariajo Uribe might be able to make up a little ground this week -- she's at -2. (There are so many players close to par that one stroke could make a big difference. There are 18 players at -1 and 17 at even.)

Natalie Gulbis is at -3. She apparently (and quietly) had some back surgery early this year, which she says was to "clean out the facet joints" and such. She also says she had to make some swing changes -- although that dip in her swing still looks pretty pronounced -- but she says she's not in pain now and her scores do seem to be improving. Maybe by the end of this year she'll be scoring really well again.

Stacy Lewis is in the -4 group with Shin. You'll remember she had a share of the lead at last week's major on Thursday, before Cristie Kerr discovered "that other course" and left everybody else in the dust.

And my SC girl Kristy McPherson is at -3. Go, Kristy!

We'll see what happens today, but Shin certainly has to feel that she lost the top position in the rankings due to a bad break. The battle between her, Kerr, and Miyazato over the next few weeks should be interesting! (I'm not writing off the #4 and #5 players -- Suzann Pettersen and Yani Tseng -- but they need some poor play from the Top 3 and some great finishes of their own if they want to challenge for #1. Right now, I have trouble believing they're going to get any help from the top.)

1 comment:

  1. Nice to see Christina Kim's name up there with two good rounds back to back. Her consistency hasn't been on the good side of the ledger this season.

    And since we're pulling for the state girls - Jean Reynolds (from Newnan, GA) is having her best performance as a rookie. And Taylor Leon (not a Georgian, but played at UGA), perhaps the LPGA's best entry for Breck Girl, is having her best performance of the year.