With 20+ mph winds, thunderstorms threatening off and on throughout the round, and fog that rolled in and brought things to a halt during the final holes for the last groups on the course, players at the 2013 US Women’s Open missed birdie opportunities and sent tee shots flying into dunes and the thick fescue rough during the 2nd round today. Scorekeepers were kept busy updating a volatile leaderboard.
First round leader Ha-Neul Kim (South Korea) racked up 2 doubles, 3 bogeys, 2 birdies, and carded +5, which used up most of her lead, left her at -1 for the tournament, and sent her plummeting from 1st to 9th on the board.
I.K. Kim (South Korea), who had started the day with a share of 3rd place, avoided the double bogey disasters and claimed the top of the board at -7 until late in the round. Then Inbee Park (South Korea), who had struggled with her putter and missed one birdie opportunity after another during the middle of her round, finially got hot again, caught Kim and then passed her to reclaim the lead on the 15th hole. At -9, Park is 2 strokes ahead of Kim, who finished the day in 2nd place.
Keep an eye on Lizette Salas (USA) and Jodi Ewart Shadoff (England) as the 3rd round unfolds. Both are at -4 for the tournament, are sharing 3rd place, although Shadoff suspended play on the 15th hole and could easily improve her standing when the 2nd round resumes early Saturday morning, sans fog.
Stacy Lewis (USA) managed a single birdie and, with 32 putts and 5 bogeys, finished today’s round at +4, tumbling from a 17th place tie to 32nd place. Lewis just can’t get here putter working. Carolina Hedwall (Sweden) had a similar problem. A triple on #4 followed by bogeys on 6 and 7 sent her from her 3rd place finish at the end of the 1st round to a tie for 7 today.
Amateurs Lydia Ko (New Zealand) and Annie Park (USA) both had problems too. Park carded +3 today and +10 for the tournament, and won’t make the cut. We haven’t seen the last of her on the LPGA Tour. A year of competition time could make a big difference in her performance at the 2014 Open. Ko hit a snag on the par-3 third hole and salvaged what she could with a double, then bogeyed 2 and birdied 2 before her round was suspended with 2 holes remaining. She’ll likely make the cut and, if she starts hot, could significantly improve her current +3 for the tournament before the 3rd round begins.
Expect to see umbrellas and rain gear tomorrow and Sunday. Although the forecast calls for lighter winds at Seboneck on Saturday, it also calls for morning showers transitioning to afternoon thunder-storms, creating a new set of challenges and more delays in the round for the players who make the cut.