Jun. 9, 2012; Pittsford, NY, USA; Sandra Gal hits from the rough on the first hole in the third round of the Wegmans LPGA championship at the Locust Hill Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

It's All About Sandra Gal at the Titleholders

Sandra Gal Leads by 3 Shots at CME Group Titleholders. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

At the mid-point in the CME Group Titleholders, Germany’s Sandra Gal has taken a 3 shot lead over her closest competitor, South Korean  Sun Young Yoo.  Gal, who’s Rolex Ranked No 52 and winless in 2013, was a woman on fire in the 1st round. She opened the round with 6 back-to-back birdies and couldn’t be caught.  She shortened her drives today, turning to her 3-wood to gain control over the windy conditions, went to the clubhouse with 69 on her card and is -11 for the tournament.

It was a lot windier than yesterday so all the holes played really different. It took me a little bit to kind of get used to the conditions . . .

Sandra Gal

Yoo carded back-to-back rounds of 68 and sits in solo second at 8-under par. A trio of players is in a tie for third at 6-under par including Americans Cristie Kerr and Gerina Piller and Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum.

Among the Trifecta, Inbee Park will start the 3rd round at -4, while Stacy Lewis and Suzann Pettersen will both tee off at even par.

Rolex Ranked No.1 Park balanced birdies and bogies in her 2nd round and carded 72.  Her mind was probably focused on her Friday night acceptance speech for the Rolex Player of the Year award.  She was philosophical about her 18th hole bogey, determined not to let a couple of bad shots ruin the evening awards ceremony.

I’m going to be nervous up there once everybody just looking at me and having the spotlight

Inbee Park, on Her Rolex Player of the Year Acceptance Speech

Lewis carded 73 and Pettersen carded 72, the windy conditions taking a toll on everybody’s game.

The LPGA’s newest pro, Kiwi teenager Lydia Ko, shot 71, 71 and is -2 for the tournament, with a share of 23rd place.  Ko, too, fought the wind, working constantly to make adjustments to her putting that would accommodate speed and direction changes.  It hasn’t been a resounding debut for Ko so far, but there are still 36 holes of golf to be played, and much can change over the coming 2 rounds.

Conditions are predicted to improve tomorrow, with sunny skies, light winds, and temperatures in the 80s.  We can expect the scores to reflect that improvement.  Will that change the year-end Rolex Rankings?  Will Stacy Lewis hold on to her lead for the Vare Trophy?  We’ll try to project some outcomes after the Saturday round.

Golf Channel will join the Titleholders in mid-round Saturday, starting at 1:30pm ET and I’ll provide a 3rd round wrap-up tomorrow night.

Tags: CME Group Titleholders Golf LPGA Sandra Gal

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