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Friday, January 30, 2015

Halfway Through the Coates Golf Championship...

Just before the second round coverage of the LPGA's new Coates Golf Championship ended Thursday -- yes, this event runs Wednesday through Saturday -- Terry Gannon told co-anchor Judy Rankin that he was predicting Ha Na Jang would be leading by the end of the day, even though Jang was only a couple of holes into her round.

As it turns out, he was correct. Although several players will have to finish the second round this morning, no one is going to catch Jang for the 36-hole lead. (The photo comes from this article about last year's Q-School. The photo included on the LPGA's second round update page doesn't show her face as clearly.) Stacy Lewis, who led at the end of coverage, is now a full 4 shots back of the Korean rookie.

Ha Na Jang

Frost has caused some morning delays in the first two rounds. According to the update page:
For those players not completing their rounds on Thursday, the resumption of round two will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Friday morning.
Projected starting times for round three will begin at 10:30 a.m off of the 1st and 10th tees.
When the 120-player field is cut to 70 and ties today, the tournament should get back on schedule pretty easily.

While Jang sits atop the leaderboard at -12, the crowd behind her are mostly names you should know.
  • As mentioned earlier, Stacy Lewis is at -8.
  • Lydia Ko, now sporting contacts, sits at -7 with Azahara Munoz and Angela Stanford.
  • Na Yeon Choi and Jessica Korda are at -6.
  • Cristie Kerr, Mi Hyang Lee (2014 Mizuno Classic winner), Mirim Lee (2-win rookie from 2014), Pernilla Lindberg and So Yeon Ryu are at -4.
  • Alena Sharp and Lexi Thompson are at -3.
There's a large group at -2 that includes Michelle Wie and Ai Miyazato... and Paula Creamer, who made a hole-in-one on the 6th hole, which resembles the 16th at Augusta. The Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club has a number of holes designed to look like famous holes from Augusta National, Royal Troon and St. Andrews, which makes for some interesting viewing.

GC isn't showing live coverage on Friday, which I suppose is okay because the leaders would be going off too late to make the broadcast window anyway. Instead, the third-round coverage will be broadcast from 8-10pm ET tonight. It looks like Saturday's coverage is going to be another live broadcast though, starting at 3pm ET.

So far this new tournament has made for a pretty good show. It looks to be a good weekend as well.

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