Saturday, June 06, 2009

After two days of calm conditions and low scores, wind is coming to Springfield, Ill. Saturday's forecast calls for winds of 21 miles per hour, which could put an end to the birdie and eagle fest at the State Farm Classic.
I'm going to be watching Jiyai Shin on Saturday because she almost always finds the center of the clubface, an important skill in tough conditions. As a non-LPGA member a year ago, Shin won the Women's British Open at Sunningdale by controlling her ball flight better than anyone in the field. (She won two other times last year and won the HSBC Women's Champions earlier this year).
On Friday, I watched Shin play nine holes with Suzann Pettersen and Angela Stanford, and she was a pleasure to watch. Though shorter than Pettersen and Stanford off the tee, Shin never strayed from the fairway. She nestled her mid-irons close, hit her putts pure, and walked away with a 67 to follow her opening 69 (she trails Pettersen and Se Ri Pak by two shots).
On the short par-5 16th hole Friday, Shin hit her drive down the middle, launched an iron to 25 feet and rolled in the eagle putt. Golf never looked so easy.
I'm also going to be watching Morgan Pressel, who has back to back 69s and trails the leaders by four. Pressel is in constant communication with her golf ball as it flies toward the green, yelling at it to get left and get right, and so forth. Watching Pressel play golf is fun. A grinder, I think she'll handle Saturday's winds just fine.
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