Wie striking an all too familiar pose for her 2012. (Mary Langenfeld-US PRESSWIRE)

Shin Holds Lead at Halfway Mark; Kerr, Wie Miss Cut

After firing a first round score of 62, Jiyai Shin backed up to the field a bit with a second round 68. Shin holds a precarious one shot lead after the first two rounds of the Kingsmill Championship where she is resting at 12-under-par.

Jiyai Shin (Allan Henry-US PRESSWIRE)

It’s not like Shin struggled during her second round. She only carded one bogey, and that came on the par-4 16th. That is also her only dropped shot over the first two rounds. Her first round consisted of nine birdies on the par-71 course. Today, it was that lone bogey which Shin backed up with four birdies.

The round of the day belonged to American Danielle Kang who posted a 7-under-par 64. Kang, starting on the back nine for her round, fired a 29 for her first nine holes. Her back nine, (the River Course’s front nine) displayed only two birdies and a bogey. That bogey on the par-5 3rd is Kang’s only dropped shot of the week.

Kang is Shin’s nearest competitor at 11-under. Paula Creamer and and Dewi Claire Schreefel both sit two shots back at 10-under-par.

Maybe the shock of the day came from Cristie Kerr. As the defending champ at Kingsmill (the venue did not host a tournament in 2010 or 2011 and Kerr notched the last win there), Kerr struggled in both of her rounds and finished at 4-over-par, missing the cut which was at 1-under. Kerr was only 1-over after her first round, but she could not get the putter going…in either round.  She needed a total of 65 putts for her two rounds of work.

In the past, the flat stick has been one club that held some stability for Kerr. This year, not so much. So far for 2012, Kerr is 28th in putts per round (29.73) and 26th in putts per GIR (1.81). Last year, Kerr led the LPGA in putts per GIR with a 1.75 and her putts per round was 29.11. Strange thing is that Kerr ranked 49th last year in that stat. Just goes to show that ranking isn’t everything.

Still, we’ve seen Kerr drop a key putt or two in her day.

This will also end the streak I referred to the other day. Kerr had been ranked in the Rolex top 10 for 438 consecutive weeks. That is in serious jeopardy.

For Michelle Wie, 2012 has been a lost cause of sorts. I feel like a jinx because I thought she would have a fantastic season after she would eventually graduate from Stanford and be able to concentrate more on her game. Was I ever wrong. And it has been the putter that has failed Wie. Well, pretty much any club in her bag. Here’s how she has performed so far in 2012.

Scoring average: 74.26 (120th)
Putts per GIR: 1.92 (139th)
Putts per round: 31.42 (142nd)
Driving accuracy: 54% (148th)
Greens in regulation: 65% (82nd)
Sub-par holes: 30 (128th)

Two other stat notes here. While Wie hasn’t been accurate off the tee, she has managed to be in the top 10 in driving distance (269 yds, 7th). Wie has only played 39 rounds this year. Of those 39 rounds, only 8 (21%) have been under par. And of those 8, 3 have been in the 60’s. Considering she has either birdied or eagled an average of less than one hole in those 39 rounds, you can easily surmise that Wie has not performed well. That and seeing that she has now missed nine cuts this year.

In what might be viewed as a side note to some, but definitely not to those on the tour, Leta Lindley played her final round of professional golf today. She is retiring after 18 years on the LPGA Tour. On how her final round went and her walk down the 18th fairway with her caddie, who just happens to also be her husband.

“I think I’ve had a mix of emotions. Obviously very bittersweet, but knowing that it’s the right time for me. Obviously I was very tearful coming up 18. I’ve been out here for 18 years and I’ve grown up out here and this has been my family for so long and it’s been a big chunk of my life, but I know that it’s time but it doesn’t make it any less sad.”

In her career, Lindley owns a win (2008 LPGA Corning Classic) and 33 top-10 finishes. That win tied a record for longest time on the LPGA before posting a win. 295 starts. Lindley’s top finish in a major came in 1997 at the LPGA Championship, now known as the Wegmans LPGA Championship.

One last thing that I must get off my chest.

I was mildly upset (possibly an understatement now that I think about it) that Golf Channel did not have live coverage today. I know, I know. The PGA and the Playoffs trump all. I get it. I understand. With tee times moved up due to the potential of inclement weather moving in at Crooked Stick, the guysd took the ladies spot.

Fine. What I felt they could have done was switch over to the live coverage over in Williamsburg after the guys finished. Instead, we get the guys again…on tape delay…for the round we just witnessed. Why not switch over to the ladies afterwards?

Golf Channel is the outlet for the LPGA. I know the PGA brings the ratings, therefore, the dollars, but I would think there could be a little flexibility here.

Tags: Cristie Kerr Kingsmill Championship Michelle Wie

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