Saturday, February 23, 2008

Fields Open - 2nd Round

Jeong Jang carries a one-shot lead into the final round of the Fields Open. Song-Hee Kim is in second place at -11 with Paula Creamer in third at -10 and Lindsey Wright fourth at -9. Annika Sorenstam is lurking at -8 along with Angela Stanford, Minea Blomqvist and Kelli Kuehne.

JJ kept cranking out the birdies but took three bogeys to total a 68. Jang is looking for her first win since the Wegmans in 2006. It’s hard to believe this Top 10 player has only two career victories. Kim, the consensus preseason favorite for 2007 Rookie of the Year, posted her best LPGA round and tied the tournament record with a 64. Her disappointing rookie year saw no Top 20 finishes but it looks like that record of futility is about to change. Aussie Wright has contended before – don’t think she can’t steal this one, she’s a fine player especially when she’s on a hot streak. If Annika were to make it to the top, it would be the first time since 1966 that a player has won the first two LPGA season events.

The cut failed to reach my lofty expectations. It came at even par, allowing Jee Young Lee, Sherri Steinhauer and Angela Park (ugly 75 from my pre-tourney pick) to play one more day. Moving their flights up a day are Top 30 stalwarts Se Ri Pak, Natalie Gulbis, Sophie Gustafson, In-Kyung Kim and Pat Hurst, as well as the lovely and talented Grace Park, Ai Miyazato and Jane Park. I’m very surprised that Jane wasn’t able to continue her good play from last week and that 77 from Se Ri Pak was rather unsettling.

Michelle Wie posted a 73, which was good enough to make it to Saturday. On a couple of occasions during the telecast, Dottie Pepper was talking about Wie’s swing and I would say she doesn’t think much of David Leadbetter’s work. Too mechanical and not enough “feel” for Dottie’s taste. Hard to argue with her.

Who will fire the 64 today? If any of the top five do it, the trophy will probably be theirs. There aren’t enough players jammed together to call this a free-for-all like at SBS, but it should be a really good final round shootout.

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