Friday, March 23, 2007

Safeway International – 1st Round

A two-hour weather delay, featuring some rather awesome lightning displays, prevented the afternoon wave of players from completing the opening round of the Safeway International. Play was suspended due to darkness about 6pm PDT and will resume at 6:50am PDT Friday. The second round is expected to start around 8:30.

The wind that preceded the delay added to the slick undulating greens to wreck havoc on a lot of scores. 22 rounds of 78 or higher were carded, with more to come this morning. Somehow, Catriona Matthew (in her first round back from maternity leave) and Young Jo were able to carve out rounds of 68 while Lorena Ochoa and Mi Hyun Kim managed 69s. Defending champion Juli Inkster had a day that typified the conditions – her round of 71 featured six birdies, with five bogeys to nearly offset them. TL&T Grace Park also got in with a 71.

About three-quarters of The Golf Channel’s coverage was of the weather-delay variety. Though I would rather see them playing, I enjoyed the lengthy player interviews with Inkster (who said her caddy from Kentucky is “slow”), Morgan Pressel (who is apparently addicted to her Blackberry) and Meaghan Francella (who overcame a learning disability – no specifics – to graduate from UNC), among others. I could have done without hearing about the mushrooms in Helen Alfredsson’s house, though. Beth Daniel was in the booth with Grant Boone and did a passable job subbing for Dottie. With a little more practice (and less weather delay), she might be pretty good.

When the first round results are complete, I’ll post an update.

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