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Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Golf Gods Giveth...

But the USGA did the taking away.

Michelle Wie at 16

Pinehurst #2 was a bit longer on Friday -- one of the par-5s was 100 yards longer -- and it played much tougher. That seemed to work out just fine for Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson... but perhaps Stacy Lewis shouldn't have said her Thursday round was easy.

The USGA never likes that.

In Thursday's round Stacy had 3 birdies. She did that again Friday, which was great. It was the 6 bogeys that wrecked her round.

Meanwhile, Michelle Wie posted a second 2-under 68. It wasn't the back-to-back 65s Martin Kaymer managed last week, but Michelle seemed happy just the same:
“I can’t complain. End of the day yesterday I was thinking if I just did this again, that would be nice. But always finishing with two birdies is always great. It’s a grind out there. It’s not easy. Really grateful for the par putts that I made and some of the birdie putts that I made. I can’t complain, I’ll take it.”
And when asked about Saturday's round she said:
“I’m just going to go out there and have fun. I’m really grateful for the opportunity that I have. Being in contention, having the clubhouse lead for now, I’m just really excited for the weekend. I’m really excited that I have a chance and I’m going to have a lot of fun this weekend.”
Stacy, please take note: Michelle bowed and scraped like a good little victim. She specifically said "It's a grind out there, it's not easy." Nothing about how great she played, although she did say she and her caddie managed their way around the course pretty well -- and noted that she ended up with 50-foot birdie putts as a result.

That's how you make an offering to the golf gods and their agents of vengeance, the USGA, Ms. Lewis. You don't have the best of records in the US Women's Open, so you can't afford to tick them off. Please, please make note of this for next year!

I took a quick look at the leaderboard and didn't see any scores better than 68; Michelle, Lexi, and Sakura Yokomine (T7) had those. Amy Yang (T3), Catriona Matthew (T14), and Se Ri Pak (T22) posted 69s, and a number of players posted par 70s... but it got nasty after that.

And if the men's Open is any indication, it's going to get worse.

As you may remember, the USGA declared war in the third round last week. Players claimed they had never seen so many tough pins in a single round before. The survivors then found a "getable" course setup on Sunday...

At least, it would have been getable if it mattered by then. With Martin Kaymer so far ahead, nobody could get enough to catch him.

But this week could be a different story. Michelle is only 3 strokes ahead instead of the 6 or 7 Martin enjoyed, and that could easily fall away if she shoots 71 today. This major is far from over.

Unless, that is, somebody forgets to appease the golf gods -- and especially the USGA -- again. Just remember the three magic words, ladies... it's not easy.

Or if you prefer, bow and scrape. I suspect those will do as well.


  1. Will she finish?