Scoring has always been low at Highland Meadows in the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic, which may as well be called the Se Ri Pak Shootout, what with her 5 wins at this event. Paula Creamer hung on in 2008 after opening with a 60. Eunjung Yi shocked the field with a moving-day 61 in 2009 and beat Morgan Pressel in a playoff. In fact, the last player to win without breaking 65 was Mi Hyun Kim in 2006.
Given that history, everyone playing this week knew they'd have to go low or go home. With the cut line at E, big names like Ya Ni Tseng, Ai Miyazato, Azahara Munoz, Anna Nordqvist, Michelle Wie, and Pressel have had to settle for the latter option, not to mention players of the caliber of Eun-Hee Ji, Mina Harigae, Jennifer Song, Mariajo Uribe, Lizette Salas, Nicole Castrale, Vicky Hurst, and Ryann O'Toole. But plenty of other golfers have gone the former route, including many names we haven't seen in a long time near the top of the leaderboard.
On Thursday, Pernilla Lindberg fired an 8-birdie, 7-under-par 64 to take a 2-shot lead on fellow members of the rebel alliance Meredith Duncan, Numa Gulyanamitta, Chella Choi, and Karine Icher (not to mention Mika Miyazato and Angela Stanford). Joining them in the 60s were the likes of Ayaka Kaneko, Gerina Piller, Ilhee Lee, and Jenny Shin (and, oh yeah, Amy Yang and So Yeon Ryu) at -4, Jane Park, Jee Young Lee, Lizette Salas, Danielle Kang, Dewi Claire Schreefel, Danah Bordner, Jane Rah, Jacqui Concolino, Brooke Pancake, and Rachel Rohanna (whoops, also, Laura Davies, Stacy Lewis, Paula Creamer, Hee-Kyung Seo, Hee-Won Han, Jeong Jang, and Janice Moodie) at -3, and a huge group at -2 that included P.K. Kongkrapham, Valentine Derrey, Cindy LaCrosse, Mo Martin, Kathleen Ekey, Sydnee Michaels, Christine Song, Samantha Richdale, Jennie Lee, Nicole Hage, and Moira Dunn (oops, forgot Ji-Yai Shin, In-Kyung Kim, Inbee Park, Brittany Lincicome, Sandra Gal, Momoko Ueda, Natalie Gulbis, Katherine Hull, Lindsey Wright, and Candie Kung).
On Friday, the empire struck back to some extent, with Mika Miyazato, Inbee Park, and Hee Kyung Seo only 1 shot behind new rebel alliance leader Chella Choi, followed by So Yeon Ryu, Hee-Won Han, Karine Icher, and Pernilla Lindberg at -7, Ji-Yai Shin, In-Kyung Kim, Angela Stanford, Beatriz Recari, and Jacqui Concolino at -6, and Stacy Lewis, Mi Jung Hur, Lindsey Wright, Dewi Claire Schreefel, Sydnee Michaels, and Kathleen Ekey at -5.
So as moving day beckons, will we see another Eunjung Yi-like performance by a rebel alliance leader, or will a big name bring a Se Ri Pak-like Death Star blast to the hopes of the rest of the field? I'd say "stay tuned," but between the London Olympics and Tiger in contention at the PGA Championship, the decision by the tournament organizerts to save money and not pay for Golf Channel coverage is looking pretty smart (although maddening to LPGA junkies like me!). I'm hoping for big moves by Momoko Ueda (E), 2010 champion Na Yeon Choi (-1), Amy Yang (-2), Tiffany Joh (-2), Ayaka Kaneko (-2), Paula Creamer (-3), and Jane Park (-3), rooting for Mika Miyazato to break through for her 1st LPGA win, and expecting at least a couple of golfers to go lower than Lindberg's opening 64 on the weekend. How about you?