This is one of the best tournaments the LPGA has on its schedule. It’s probably the most recognizable, most dramatic and most exciting major to watch. The course is in fantastic shape playing at 6738 yards long with a stimpmeter registering a quick 12.5-13. Long and fast, just the way a major should be. TV doesn’t quite capture the difficulty of the course. The par 3’s are tough because they’re long and the greens have two and sometimes three tiers to navigate. Oh, and they’re super fast from back to front and the water seems to loom at the most inopportune times. I can attest to this because we played the second stage of LPGA tour qualifying school at “The Dinah Shore” course and I’ve been at the back of some of those greens staring at a front pin location! And don’t let the lush green fairways fool you. Many of them have rolling terrain and the perfect drive can end up in the middle of the fairway but on the downhill side of one of those lovely rolling hills. And the beautiful trees, majestic and full lean nicely into to the fairway effecting shot shape and club selection if you happen to be hitting from the first cut of rough. Suffice it to say, it is a true test and all that a major should be.
Today is day two of the four-day event with six under leading the way. I thought there were some interesting stats from the top 3 players yesterday, so I had to share.
The longest average driving distance – 280 yards, this from the 3rd place finisher. Interestingly, both the leader and third place finisher hit 7 of 14 fairways. The leader of the event only hit 10 of 18 greens in regulation whereas the player in third place hit 16 of 18 greens in regulation. So what was the critical factor that separated the leader of the event from any other position on the leader board? It was putting of course! Amy Yang, leader after the first round shooting a cool 6 under par, had only 19 putts for her round. Yani Tseng, bombing drives just shy of 300 yards, and shooting a smooth 4 under par for third, had 31 putts for her round. Here’s the really interesting fact, Yani hit six more greens in regulation than Amy but had twelve more putts and their score only differed two shots!
My Thoughts ~