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Friday, April 26, 2013

A Pair of 64s

It's unusual for the men and the women to tie for low round of the day. That's not a sexist observation, however it may sound. Rather, the tours don't set up courses the same way every week. Some courses are known for low scores while others have reputations for being... difficult. Rarely are both the PGA and the LPGA playing courses set up for the same type of scoring.

It's even more unusual for neither of the leaders to be big name players. And yet, this week we have that very situation. Two 64s were posted Thursday -- Ricky Barnes posted -8 at the Zurich Classic (New Orleans LA) and Caroline Masson posted -7 at the North Texas LPGA Shootout (Irving TX).

Caroline Masson Ricky Barnes

Perhaps this is a matter of proximity, as the two cities aren't that far apart. But the PGA played twice in Texas right before the Masters and the courses were quite different in levels of difficulty.

Conversely, the two players themselves seem quite different at first. Masson is a German rookie on the LPGA (she's still got a three-year card for the LET) while Barnes has been a pro for ten years.

And yet the similarities are striking. Masson has missed 3 of 4 cuts in 2013 (75%), and her best finish is a T13; while Barnes has missed 7 of 10 cuts in 2013 (70%), and his best finish is a T16.

I see this as a reminder that golf is truly an egalitarian sport, as neither gender nor experience is a guarantee against disappointment. Or, to put it another way, golf is an equal opportunity torturer.

For Caroline and Ricky, two things are certain: First, they both need a good week to get their 2013 back on track. And second, there are enough big name players chasing them that this just may not be the week for 2013 to start looking up.

Still, if you've got to be tortured, a pair of 64s isn't a bad way to start.

2 comments:

  1. Caroline was #2 on the LET money list last year, right behind the player in 2nd position at Las Colinas, Carlota Ciganda. Many young LET stars struggle to compete when they move to the LPGA. I'm thinking Ciganda definitely has what it takes; the jury's still out on Masson. How she handles this lead will be an interesting test!

    http://mlyhlss.blogspot.com/2013/04/north-texas-lpga-shootout-thursday.html

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  2. The kids aren't scared anymore. You know that old saying that the golf ball doesn't know how old you are? I don't think they know when you're a rookie either... and the new kids have started to realize it!

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