Saturday, June 21, 2014

U.S. Women's Open -- Day Two Wrap Up

Michelle Wie of Honolulu, Hawaii is six feet, one inch tall.  She is 24 years old, and she has been a pro for nine years.  Lexi Thompson of Coral Springs, Florida is six feet tall.  She is 19 years old (a year younger than Emma Talley), and she first qualified for this event seven years ago.

For a long time now, Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson have been advertised as the next two great hopes for American women's golf, and this year they are living up to their promise.  Lexi Thompson became a major winner earlier this year when she won the Kraft Nabisco, and she is currently ranked sixth in the world on the Rolex Rankings.  Michelle Wie -- who tied for third in this tournament eight years ago, when she was only 16 -- came in second in the Kraft Nabisco this year, and won the LPGA Lotte Championship in April.  She is ranked 11th in the world.

Between them, these two dominated the headlines yesterday at the U.S. Women's Open in Pinehurst, N.C.  Wie shot her second straight 68 to take the lead at four under par, while Thompson shot her own 68 to move into second place at 1 under par.  Today they will play together in the last group of the U.S. Women's Open, where each has a golden opportunity to become the face of her sport (at least in this country).

Pinehurst appears to be working much better for the Women's Open than it did for the men.  This is a very impressive leaderboard, which features no less than four former U.S. Women's Open title-winners:

1.  M. Wie:  -4 (68+68=136)

2.  L. Thompson:  -1 (71+68=139)

T3.  Miss M. Lee (am):  Even (69+71=140)
T3.  S. Lewis:  Even (67+73=140)
T3.  A. Yang (KOR):  Even (71+69=140)

6.  N.Y. Choi (KOR):  +1 (71+70=141)

T7.  P. Creamer:  +2 (70+72=142)
T7.  M. Uribe (COL):  +2 (72+70=142)
T7.  S. Yokomine (JPN):  +2 (74+68=142)

T10.  S. Meadow (NIR):  +3 (71+72=143)
T10.  S.Y. Ryu (KOR):  +3 (69+74=143)
T10.  A. Stanford:  +3 (71+72=143)
T10.  K. Webb (AUS):  +3 (70+73=143)


  1. Emma Talley shot a 78 today, so she is at 16 over par, in a tie for 68th place.

  2. Wie has bogeyed the first hole, so the leaderboard looks like this:

    1. M. Wie: -3 (37 holes)
    2. L. Thompson: -1 (37)
    T3. S. Lewis: Even (38)
    T3. A. Yang: Even (38)

  3. 53-year old Juli Inkster is four under par through 14 holes today, and has moved to two over par for the tournament -- only five shots off the lead. She won this tournament in 1999 and 2002.

  4. Inkster finished with a 4-under par 66, and she is tied for 7th at 2 over par.

    Stacy Lewis is three over for the day and the tournament, and is now seven shots off the pace.

    1. M. Wie: -4 (43 holes)
    2. L. Thompson: -3 (43)
    T3. S. Meadow (NIR): -1 (46)
    T3. A. Yang (KOR): -1 (46)

  5. Have I mentioned that the land around Pinehurst may be the ugliest land in the South? It looks like they're playing on some barren planet.

  6. Lexi Thompson double bogeys the 8th hole, and falls back to 1 under par -- three shots behind Michelle Wie.

  7. On the par-3 ninth, Lexi Thompson has a true Pinehurst experience. She hits a lovely tee shot that lands about five feet from the hole, but bounds off the rock-hard green, rolling far down a distant slope. She has a drop from where she was, but her drop rolls into a divot, and her second shot fails to get back on the green. Her third shot scoots well past the hole, and then she two putts for her second consecutive double bogey.

    Meanwhile, Michelle Wie's tee shot stops within 10 feet of the hole, and she rolls in the putt for a birdie two.

  8. 1. M. Wie: -5 (45 holes)
    2. A. Yang (KOR): -2 (46)
    T3. S. Meadow (NIR): Even (47)
    T3. Miss M. Lee (am) (AUS): Even (46)

  9. Michelle Wie follows up her birdie on 9 with a birdie on 10, and she is now 6 under par -- four shots clear of Amy Yang in second place.

  10. Thompson follows up here back-to-back double bogeys with a birdie, so she's back to even par for the tournament.

  11. Amy Yang birdies the 12th hole to move to 3 under for the tournament, three shots off the lead.

  12. Wie hits a disastrous tee shot on 11, and ends up with double bogey. So now her lead is suddenly back down to one shot.

  13. Wie bogeys the 12th hole, and falls into a tie for the lead with Amy Yang.

  14. T1. A. Yang (KOR): -3 (49 holes)
    T1. M. Wie: -3 (48)
    T3. Miss M. Lee (am) (AUS): +1 (49)
    T3. L. Thompson: +1 (48)

  15. Germany and Ghana are tied at 2 in the 80th minute, so I'm going to see how that turns out.

  16. Germany and Ghana finish with a 2-2 draw. That's probably bad news for the U.S., since it means that Germany will have a strong incentive to win their last group match against the Americans.

  17. Now this is looking more like a U.S. Women's Open. The big American stars -- Lewis, Wie, and Thompson -- are collapsing, and a South Korean golfer has now taken the lead.

    1. A. Yang (KOR): -3 (51 holes)
    2. M. Wie: -2 (50)
    3. Miss M. Lee (am) (AUS): +1 (51)

  18. Lexi Thompson has not been able to recover from those double bogeys at 8 and 9. She just bogeyed 15, and she is now 3 over par for the tournament, six shots behind Yang.

  19. 1. A. Yang (KOR): -3 (52 holes)
    2. M. Wie: -2 (51)
    T3. J. Inkster: +2 (54)
    T3. S. Meadow (NIR): +2 (54)
    T3. N.Y. Choi (KOR); +2 (53)
    T3. Miss M. Lee (am) (AUS): +2 (52)

  20. On the par three 17th, Yang's drive rolls into a greenside bunker. But her bunker shot is outstanding, rolling to within a few feet of the hole.

  21. Minjee Lee, the 18-year-old amateur from Australia, birdies the 17th hole to take over third place at one over par. Yang completes her up and down to save par and remain 3 under.

  22. Stacy Lewis finishes with a third-round 74, which leaves her four over par and seven shots off the lead, so her chances of winning the U.S. Open are just about gone.

    Lexi Thompson bogeys the 16th hole for her third bogey in a row, so she is now tied with Lewis at plus 4.

    Unless Juli Inkster can come up with another miraculous round tomorrow, Michelle Wie is the only American left with a realistic chance of victory.

  23. Minjee Lee bogeys the last hole to finish at 2 over par.

    Yang also bogeys the last hole. She shoots a 68, and is tied with Michelle Wie for the lead at 2 under par.

  24. Lexi Thompson holes a long, curling putt on the last hole for birdie. She finishes with a 74 that leaves her at 3 over par, five shots off the lead.

  25. Wie pars the last hole to finish with a 72. She is 2 under par for the tournament, tied with Amy Yang for the lead.