Pat Hurst opened up with four birdies on her first five holes and held on to win the Safeway Classic presented by Pepsi by one shot over Jeong Jang and Kim Saiki. It is the fifth win of Pat’s career and her first since taking the State Farm Classic last September.
After the opening barrage to get to -10, Hurst went to -11 with a birdie on 11 only to give the shot right back on 12. A birdie on 15 put her up by two, but a bogey on 17 and par at 18 got her in the clubhouse at -10 with a 68. Saiki had already posted a bogey-less round of 67 that was not quite good enough to make a playoff, but it did give Kim her best finish of the year by far. Jang came to the final two holes knowing she needed birdie-birdie to win, but only parred them both to end up with 70.
Of the multitudes who were in the running at the start of the day, no others were able to sustain a run. Juli Inkster was in the middle of things until she bogeyed 10 – she got that shot back on 12 but couldn’t do better than par the rest of the way. She finished fourth at -8. Gloria Park was -8 with three to play, but bogeyed the last two to end her chances. And holes 10-18 killed Jee Young Lee for the second straight day (she started Round Two on 10). With six holes to play, Petunia was -9. Three bogeys later, hello fifth place. Of the four players who entered the day tied for first, Jang was the only one to break par. Morgan Pressel was -1 on the day (-8) with three holes to go, but doubled 16 and bogeyed 17. Jenna Daniels was even on the day (-7) until she triple-bogeyed 14. Candie Kung took care of the suspense early by tripling #1 – she did it again on 17 for good measure. Daniels and Kung both shot 77 to finish at -2.
Karrie Webb had the low round of the day (66) to end up tied for seventh. So all three of my picks this week made the Top 10. Too bad I picked the wrong one to win! I’ll give this week’s Big Surprise award to Kim Saiki, with an honorable mention to Nancy Scranton (she finished tied for seventh at -7). If you’d like to read some on-site reports of the Safeway Classic, check out the message board at SeoulSisters.com. Some great observations straight from the course!