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Saturday, July 3, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes...

After the 1st round of the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, Karine Icher and Marisa Baena were tied for 3rd (-5) with Christina Kim, a mere 2 strokes off the lead. After each shot a 2nd round of +1, they found themselves at -4... 7 shots off the lead.

Christina shot -4 and remains 2 behind the leader, who is still Na Yeon Choi (-11). Alena Sharp shot -3 and remains in second -- only a shot further back than Thursday and now tied with Christina. Inbee Park managed a -5 to make the new threesome in second place. In case that's not real clear, here's what it looks like:
  • Na Yeon Choi -11 (-4)
  • Christina Kim -9 (-4)
  • Alena Sharp -9 (-3)
  • Inbee Park -9 (-5)
Bear in mind that this week's course plays as a par-71, which should make it more difficult, right?

Not the way the ladies are playing.

That's the way it is in golf, regardless of whether it's the PGA or the LPGA... go big or go home, as they say. But it's tough when the cut falls right at even (unexpectedly low for most weeks) and all you had to do was hold your ground to make it. If you can find it in your heart, spare a little pity for Louise Stahle, Becky Morgan, Paula Creamer, Meg Mallon, Moira Dunn, and Joo Mi Kim, all of whom began the day at even par but missed the cut.

Personally, the shocker for me was Mariajo Uribe, one of the rookies I've been watching. At -2 after the first round, she shot a 75 to miss the cut by 2. I thought she might make up a little ground on leaders Azahara Munoz and Amanda Blumenherst (and 3rd-place rookie Gladys Nocera) but alas, it is not to be. Blumenherst improved to -1, while Munoz widened her lead and moved to -4. I still think Munoz is the one to beat in the ROY race, and she seems to be running with her newfound confidence.

The top point-getters in the 2010 Rookie of the Year race so far are:
  1. Azahara Munoz, 309
  2. Amanda Blumenherst, 237
  3. Gwaldys Nocera, 119
  4. Mariajo Uribe, 63
  5. Beatriz Recari, 58
  6. Marianne Skarpnord, 28
  7. Pernilla Lindberg, 27
  8. Misun Cho, 26
  9. Yoo Kyeong Kim, 25
  10. Mina Harigae, 20
As you can see, Uribe really needed a good week. Recari put on a run Friday to reach -6 (T5). Lindberg is at -5 (T11), Skarpnord and Cho are at -3 (T32), and Harigae is at -2 (T43). Nocera just made the cut at even, and Kim (like Uribe) missed the cut.

I don't know exactly how many points the players get for a given finish (and of course majors would count more) but Munoz finished just out of the top 10 last week and got nearly 100 points for it. (Munoz was 14 points behind going into last week, and she's 72 ahead now, so she got at least 86 points. It looks like Blumentherst got around 10-15 points -- I don't remember exactly how many she had to start, but I think it was around 225.) Even without "major" points, if the players who made the cut play well, Uribe will probably drop to at least sixth... and could drop as far as ninth.

What a difference a day makes...

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