I felt like I was reading my own thoughts as I checked out Waggle Room this morning. Mulligan Stu sees the same correlation that I see between Paula Creamer and the Lorena Ochoa of about two years ago. UPDATE: Ryan at the GNN blog weighs in as well. While I feel that her relative lack of distance will always be an obstacle, Paula will win a major someday, continue to win events for many more years and eventually enter the Hall of Fame. The last two weeks showed me that she has the resolve to overcome disappointment and internal doubts much like Ochoa has done. You could count the players we’ve seen do that in the last two years on one hand.
There were a lot of people at 18 cheering when Creamer missed her two putts there (final regulation and first playoff hole). I’m sure they were rooting for Inkster but isn’t it a little rude to celebrate someone’s failure like that? I’m biased for Paula, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. If Juli had won, I would have been very proud of her achievement as well.
The first three rounds of the SemGroup were the three highest scoring rounds on Tour this season. So it shouldn’t be surprising when I tell you that the overall event average of 75.27 was the highest this year and the highest since the British Open’s 76.01. Of course St. Andrews played to par of 73 while Cedar Ridge played to 71. Creamer and Inkster were the only players to finish under par – or better than +2, for that matter.
Ochoa didn’t extend her winning streak but she finished tied for fifth, her ninth straight Top 10 and 30th straight Top 20. I already know who my three picks are at the Michelob Ultra this weekend – the trick will be deciding which one gets the #1 spot. Speaking of picks, I finished 12th in the PakPicker this week – an improvement, but still out of the running.
Inkster wasn’t the only player to rediscover her game this weekend – Jeong Jang closed with a 68 to finish tied for third, her first Top 10 since being runner-up to Creamer at Fields. Leta Lindley didn’t have a great Sunday but she registered her first Top 10 since September 2005, at this very event (it was the John Q. Hammons Classic then). Jimin Kang posted sub-par rounds the last three days (coming back from an 82 on Thursday) to finish eighth. Dorothy Delasin gets my Big Surprise Award by finishing tied for fifth, her first Top 10 since the Mitchell TOC in 2006 and her first Top 5 since the 2005 Corona Championship. The Big Disappointment goes to Morgan Pressel, who missed her second straight cut.
In honor of Delasin’s great week, here is a clip which shows her finishing up on the final hole. It also includes Angela Stanford’s birdie at 16 which helped her tie for third.
17-year-old Vicky Hurst finished T21. Since we’ll probably be seeing a lot more of her in the near future, here’s a clip of her at 18.