Friday, March 27, 2009
I was with Beth Bader and Irene Cho today. Jin Young Pak withdrew sometime between last night and this morning. So did Natalie. Lots of them getting sick this week.
Irene has a back problem, too, and after a couple of her drives she practically doubled over. They were long and straight, though, and she hung in there for a 73, making the cut easily. She had 69 yesterday, playing early.
Beth did not fare so well. She was hitting the ball nicely, but missed putts from everywhere outside 3 feet, and one inside. That one inside was on 15, where she was in the left bunker in 2 and took a 7. "No indignity too small" is Cactus Dave's usual remark on such an occasion. Before the 7, she was +7 and in range of making the cut at +5, but that sealed her fate. Of course, on the next hole she made her first birdie of the day, and then finished with 2 pars.
The highlight of the day occurred before I went out, in the volunteer tent. When the walking scorers come in, we have to compare their account of events to what is in the computer, to ensure that it did not change as it passed from them to the hole reporters and into the system. While the morning groups are finishing up, and the afternoon groups are teeing off, the two walking scorer supervisors are overwhelmed getting the new people ready at the same time as checking the stats for the earlier groups. I volunteered to help out during that time, and today we got two more helpers: Sarah and Katie, the cart girls. They were quite a quick study at it, but still it took me most of the morning to train and supervise them. I would like to nominate them as co-CGOM's for March.
I kept score for Christina Kim, Grace Park, and Morgan Pressel today. Grace had to withdraw after 9 holes because of back problems. On the back 9, people were asking us constantly what had happened to her. Answer the question, walk 10 feet, and hear it again. As we approached the 17th hole, someone asked Morgan what happened to Grace and she said "We killed her".
Right about the same time, one of the officials was asking the players what they thought of the course. Morgan must have indicated that one of the fairways needed some work, perhaps because it had been overwatered and there were a lot of large, deep divots. Christina, who had 109 to the green on the 421-yard 18th, said she hadn't noticed that, because she hit her shot over all the divots.
Morgan shot 74, but played well enough for 68 or so. She had two buried lies in greenside bunkers and one under the lip in a fairway bunker. From the buried lies, she got one to the fringe, and left the other in the bunker. Had to lay up with a wedge from the fairway bunker. Bogey every time. She had several long putts that burned the edges, and missed quite a few in the 4-8 foot range. And, she was suffering greatly from allergies. She said she only has a problem here in Phoenix, nowhere else. This time of year, as Cactus Dave well knows, about half the population here is effectively incapacitated by it. Morgan was sniffling and sneezing all the way around. At the end of the round, I told her she should go to the casino, because she was overdue for some good luck.
Christina started out well with a birdie on 1, shot 34 on the front 9 (which was called the back 9, because they reversed them for the tournament, but since we teed off on the fake 10th hole, it actually was the front 9 for us today) but ended up with even par 72. We were the last group out in the morning, and as we made the turn, the winds started up and got continuously worse until play was suspended at dark. 48MPH, the weatherman just said. I think there was one score under par from the afternoon tee times. I watched Lorena and Michelle go through one green, but then went back to the scoring tent to escape the blowing sand. In-Kyung Kim is in the lead by herself at 68, 5 tied at 69, and only 20 broke par today in a field that includes 90 of the top 90 in the world rankings. The 10 players that didn't finish are a collective 67 over par. Natalie shot 33 on the front, but finished with 72. Kris Tamulis had an ace on #2.
The group in front of us was supposed to be Natalie, Paula, and Juli, except Paula got sick and was replaced at the last minute. Still, they had big crowds following them.
I suppose it might have happened before, but if not it was only a matter of time: The aforementioned leader, In-Kyung Kim, was playing in the same group with Young Kim and Song-Hee Kim. There might have been another threesome like that, but Birdie Kim, Christina Kim, Joo Mi Kim, Mi Hyun Kim and Na Ri Kim were not paired together. If they all make the cut, we could have 4 all-Kim twosomes on the weekend.
I have joked before, this might be the walking scorer's worst nightmare, 3 Kims to score for . . . 8^D . . .
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
I’ll tell you about it. The golf wasn’t very interesting (bloggable) and I don’t want to write about my “honored observers”.
My group Friday was Briny Baird (he didn’t remember me from the Fry’s), Jonathan Kaye (he didn’t remember me from Hartford) and Vaughan Taylor (the only one who introduced himself at the beginning). The standard bearers were interesting, both from AZ but not the Valley, they were here with their golf teams. One was a sophomore at a Jr College, 3 HCP, and the other was a Junior in High School. They were awed at being inside the ropes with the players. Good kids.
All three of them made the cut, but not without their ups and downs. Briny became an expert at the unplayable lie rule, and procedures for the ensuing penalty drop. On the first drop, it rolled more than 2 club lengths, and on the 2nd it rolled exactly 2 driver lengths from the drop point, but more than 2 driver lengths from the tee he had put in the ground to indicate the drop point. I tried to tell him he could use his wedge to measure the club lengths, but he called the rules official, who told him 1) it’s from the point it hits the ground, not from his tee, and 2) he can use any club the wants to measure a “club length”.
He also sent me scurrying for my rule book when he stopped at the practice green on the way from 9 to 10, and hit a few putts there. It turns out that’s OK.
So, maybe it is bloggable, though short.
I ran across an old entry the other day, and the Mr Science Icon was animated . . . something new . . . I mean, I knew it was animated, but it never showed up on the blog before! Kewl!
I was in PRG, but I saw the finish a week later . . . I guess they could show it Monday night, but then what would they show Sunday afternoon? A very Kunderan meditation. . . it was a mess, I'm not surprised Mr Science had not much to blog . . .
Monday, March 02, 2009
Eagle # 2
Like I said before, Lady Bird has some weird holes on it . . .
#5, the par 5 with a forced 3rd shot down a 40 ft bluff to an elevated green, then
#6, the par 3 back uphill that 40 ft bluff, only 126 yds, then
#7, a par 4, 256 yds where you have to hit over a large copse of large live-oaks to go for the green . . . usually very psychologically intimidating, but this day, I just stepped up with my 5wood, gave it an impressively smooth swing, just a hint of draw on a high, high shot, but it kangarooed once on the green then ran off behind . . . I couldn't find a ball mark -- those greens were too hard -- it might've gone in . . . but it was one of those weird situations where I could see the line clear as day, breaking at least 8 foot left-to-right, and I chipped in with a 7iron, barely rattled the pin going in.
Tho' the wind was howling that day (yes, with me on that tee shot), it didn't really trouble me, I drove the ball well all day, but I bladed at least 4 wedges over the green, and the pace of play (very slow) got to me on the back 9 and I lost my concentration so much I even foozled 2 7woods in a row on another par 5. Had a 41 on the front 9 with two 7s, a birdie and an eagle. had 50-something on the back, don't care. . . .