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Saturday, September 15, 2018

Thoughts on the Evian So Far

Well, I don't know about you but this is certainly not what I expected to see. It's thrilling -- I've got no complaints -- but still, not what I expected.

Co-leadersMaria Torres, Amy Olson, Mo Martin and Mi Hyang Lee

I admit that I am most shocked by the weather. It's actually nice! Usually we see a lot of wet weather this time of year, and it has a dramatic effect on the outcome.

But this time, it's the sunshine that seems to bringing the drama.

Our four leaders are certainly not what I expected either.
  • Rookie Maria Torres is playing more like a veteran than the new kid on the block.
  • Amy Olson, still after her first tour win, is playing well in another major this year.
  • Mo Martin -- who does fit my "5 to Watch" criteria for this event -- hasn't been penalized by wet fairways that play long.
  • And Mi Hyang Lee seems to finding these narrow fairways and tricky pin locations just fine despite her stats in those areas.
By comparison, my pick to win -- Jin Young Ko -- isn't hitting greens the way she usually does. And a number of players I left off my list because of their accuracy issues are playing just fine. (As an aside, I seriously considered but specifically passed over Austin Ernst, So Yeon Ryu and Georgia Hall for that very reason.) Ironically, the best performer among my picks is Nasa Hataoka, who was my flier!

And since the weather looks to behave for the remaining two rounds, it appears that we'll have a very different type of winner this year. Will the players even know how to play this event without delays? I don't know. But with 20 players within four shots of the lead, this is anybody's game.

Still, if one of the four current leaders is going to win, I'd put my money on Mo Martin. Mo has not only hit more fairways and more greens than the other three, but her putting numbers are equal to or better than the other three. That means she's not only scrambling less, but she's giving herself better putts as well.

So far, anyway. We'll see what happens.

GC coverage is pretty big today. It starts at 6am ET for five-plus hours then the entire broadcast repeats at 4:30pm ET, so you should have a good chance to see most of it.

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