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Sunday, July 10, 2011


It appears that the House of Miyazato has risen to challenge the Empress of the Tseng Dynasty!

Well, it should be pointed out that Yani hasn't really offered any resistance this week. Given her struggles on the greens, she probably feels like that obnoxious 5-year-old at the local Putt-Putt could beat her right now. But when Ai and Mika (no relation) both shot to the top of the leaderboard after the 2nd round of this rain-plagued U.S. Women's Open, I think it shocked a lot of people. But it shouldn't have...

Miyazato, in case you didn't know, is Japanese for "We hit lots of fairways and greens."

Mika's picture from LPGA.comAi's picture from
The Miyazato on the left is Mika. The Miyazato on the right is Ai.
Informed viewers always keep their Miyazatos straight.
They're not related, you know.

We can't forget that I.K. Kim is in 3rd place. I probably should have seen this coming when, early in the week, ESPN mentioned the length of the golf course to her and she made some joke about being tired already. Besides, haven't Koreans proven to be quite dangerous at this major? (Three have won since 2005.) Inky herself has 3 Top4s in the last 3 U.S. Opens. That's worth considering.

It's also true that there's a whole group of Americans and South Koreans (plus a lone Australian) hot on the Miyazato clan's trail, including Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer, the two most recent non-Korean winners.

Here's the leaderboard after round 2. I've included the years when past winners won:
  • -5: Mika Miyazato
  • -4: Ai Miyazato
  • -3: I.K. Kim
  • -1: Stacy Lewis, Ryann O'Toole
  • E: Lizette Salas, Paula Creamer (2010), Angela Stanford, Wendy Ward, Eun-Hee Ji (2009), Sun Young Yoo
  • +1: So Yeon Ryu, Cristie Kerr (2007), Karrie Webb (2000, 2001)
This isn't to say that players farther back are out of the running. Far from it! But you can check the official LPGA leaderboard yourself for the full listing.

Given how volatile the weather has been in Colorado Springs, it certainly looks like we'll be watching the ladies on Monday. One good bit of news is that ESPN will be covering the action early Sunday morning, starting at 9am (that wasn't the original plan), and then NBC will pick up the coverage at 3pm. With a little luck we'll actually get to see some live golf instead of "taped earlier today" golf.

And we just might see a Miyazato march to victory. I understand they have lots of hilly golf courses in Japan, where they practice playing in full Samurai battle gear in preparation for just such an opportunity.

BTW, Miyazatocracy means "ruled by Miyazato." And if you can't say it, try putting the emphasis on the "toc." Better practice -- one of them might win!

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