Friday, March 27, 2009
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 . . .