Friday, November 17, 2006

ADT Championship – 2nd Round

Ai Miyazato leads the way at -7 at the ADT Championship, two shots ahead of Julieta Granada. Natalie Gulbis and Karrie Webb are tied for third at -4, Wendy Ward is fifth at -3, and Paula Creamer, Se Ri Pak and Il Mi Chung at tied for sixth at -2. Tied for ninth at -1 are Diana D’Alessio, Jeong Jang and Mi Hyun Kim, and tied for twelfth at even par are Hee-Won Han and Cristie Kerr. Six players finished tied at +1 for the final three Saturday spots – more about the playoff for those spots shortly.

Annika Sorenstam (+2) missed the playoff by one stroke when she couldn’t muster any birdies over the final 11 holes. Lori Kane (+3) had a good day with a 69 but missed the cut by two. Also coming up short were Stacy Prammanasudh (+5), Seon-Hwa Lee (+9) and Sherri Steinhauer (+16 with an 84). Morgan Pressel was -3 through the 6th but played the next six in +5. She birdied 15 to get back to +1 and parred out to make the playoff. Brittany Lang also got off to a hot start but doubled the 8th and then bogeyed 15 to fall back to +1. Lorena Ochoa was +4 through 8, but birdied 9, 10 and 16 to get to +1. Juli Inkster played the last 11 holes in -2 to get in the playoff. Pat Hurst bogeyed 18 to back into the playoff, and Jee Young Lee took double-bogey at 18 after stubbing her greenside bunker shot, then chipping too far past the hole to make the putt coming back.

I’ve never seen a six-way playoff before, so I was fascinated by the whole thing. They went to the par-3 17th and drew numbers to group them in threesomes. Pressel and Ochoa landed on the green but Hurst put hers in some thick brush next to the green. Pat chipped up reasonably well but missed her par putt. Lorena missed a decent birdie chance, then both she and Morgan made par. Lang, Inkster and Lee all made par - Brittany’s birdie try lipped out and Petunia’s just slid by – and that eliminated Hurst. I’ve never seen pros play a fivesome before either, but that’s what they did on 18. Amazingly all five players made the green in regulation. Ochoa came up just short on her birdie attempt and once again Lang’s try looked good right up to the point it went by the hole. Then Pressel rolled hers dead-center to advance to the third round. Inkster and Lee made par, and the remaining four went back to 17 with two slots left on Saturday.

Four pretty good tee shots ensued. Petunia’s 40-footer came up a couple of feet short. Lang made another good attempt but didn’t get it done. Inkster was just off the green about 15-20 feet away but rolled it in to take the second available spot. Then Ochoa made hers from a little over 10 feet and the playoff was suddenly over.

So of the eight players I predicted would be playing Sunday, two of them (Sorenstam and Lang) didn’t make it past Friday and a couple more had to play extra holes to avoid that fate. Still, I’m enjoying the format and expect to see more of this same stuff tomorrow.

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