Paula Creamer extended her already sizeable lead with a 65 (-17 overall) at the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic. Eun-Hee Ji (-11) trails her by six shots while Rachel Hetherington and H.J. Choi are ten behind at -7. You read that right – after 36 holes, Ji is the only player within ten strokes of Creamer.
Matching Giulia Sergas for Round-of-the-Day honors, Paula prevented everybody from making up ground on her today. A bogey at 4 gave back her birdie at 2 but at hole 7 she began a run of six birdies over the next ten holes. Her 36-hole total of 125 is the third-best raw score in LPGA history, missing Annika Sorenstam’s (2001 Standard Register PING) and Meg Mallon’s (2003 Welch’s/Fry’s) mark by one. Creamer’s -17 ties the third-best mark relative to par after 36 holes – Annika has twice beaten that total at -20 and -18. If Paula can shoot 66 or better on Saturday, she will break Annika’s record raw score of 192 over 54 holes at the 2003 Mizuno Classic. For some reason, there is no entry for “54 holes – in relation to par” on the LPGA scoring records page.
Eun-Hee Ji is shooting the lights out too, but it’s hard to notice under the glare of Creamer’s play. Ji followed up Thursday’s 65 with a 66 to open up a four-shot cushion on third place. Stacy Lewis made a good move to -6 T5 by firing a 66 and the afore-mentioned Sergas reached -5 T9. Defending champ Se Ri Pak is also T9 after her 69 today. Gloria Park took a step back from yesterday’s 65, posting 73 to end up –4 T15.
The cut was even par. Given the incredible scoring by the front-runners, it’s surprising to me that -1 or even -2 gets to play this weekend. Saying bye-bye are Christina Kim, Natalie Gulbis and Laura Davies. Sneaking in at even par are In-Kyung Kim (another HD prediction will bite the dust), Sandra Gal and Michelle Wie. The Lovely and Talented Grace Park is -1 and will play on Saturday for the first time since the Stanford International Pro-Am. Giving equal time to TC’s fave, Moira Dunn is in the tie for ninth at -5 along with Jennifer Rosales and Brittany Lincicome. Brandie Burton plays on as well, currently T25 at -3.