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Friday, March 31, 2017

Michelle Is Playing Well Again

True, Michelle Wie is only part of the news from the ANA on Thursday. But the fact that she is continuing to play well is certainly big news for the LPGA.

For those of you who missed it, let me summarize the golf that the field managed to finish.

Michelle Wie during first round of the ANA

Yes, the heavy winds that were predicted came in, so there was no late coverage of the ANA on GC. Just before 6pm ET, balls began to move on the greens, one of the small billboards around the course blew out of the ground, and the local airport measured gusts of 65mph. It was too dangerous for the fans, let alone the golfers, so play was suspended. They'll start over early this morning.

Of the five players I picked earlier in the week, only In Gee Chun isn't within three strokes of the lead. That's because she is in the late-early draw and played in the worst of the wind. Judy Rankin noted that since play had to be suspended fairly early during the afternoon round, it evened out the draw somewhat. Chun is even after seven holes, so she still has time to make up some of the ground.

Michelle -- who is only one stroke off the -5 lead held by Karine Icher -- made only one bogey and her putting looked very solid. She was paired with Lucy Li, who managed a -1 round herself. Not bad for a 14-year-old amateur on a long course! It should be noted that she qualified for the tournament by winning the ANA Jr. Inspiration, and she shot even par when she played the Dinah Shore course in that event.

Fellow amateur Eun Jeong Seong made a hole-in-one on the par-3 5th and finished at -4, in the group tied one off the lead.

As for my picks besides Michelle:
  • So Yeon Ryu (my pick to win) is tied with Michelle at -4.
  • Anna Nordqvist and HaNa Jang are tied at -2.
Although it's too early to tell how things will play out, it looks as if the winds will die down before the players retake the course this morning, so Thursday's disruption may not have much of an effect after all.

While I'm excited to see Michelle playing well in a major again, the big show today will probably be Lucy Li. When she played the 2014 US Women's Open at age 11 -- ironically, the major her playing partner won -- she missed the cut. (I think she shot 78-78, but don't quote me on that.) She has a realistic chance to make her first cut in a major today, and that will almost certainly be the biggest story for GC when Friday is done. Can Lucy do it?

Stay tuned...


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  2. It was a strange first round for Michelle. She was all over the place with her driver. She hit just 6 fairways. Miraculously she turned that in 14 greens hit. Add to that just 28 puts and she had a fine round. If she can straighten out her drives, this course is made for her. By the way she averaged 296 yards off the tee on day one.