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Once again, the LPGA has done an excellent job covering the final stage of Q-School, with both news and notes from today’s action and a story on Louise Friberg‘s comeback attempt. But perhaps they downplay just how big a surprise it is that Jaye Marie Green (62-68) and Megan Grehan (67-68) sit atop the leaderboard with 2 of the 5 rounds in the books. After all, Green finished 29th on the Symetra Tour’s 2013 money list and 20th in Stage II, while Grehan didn’t make the top 125 on the LET’s 2013 Order of Merit after making only 3 cuts in 7 starts.
But there they are, when much more accomplished and heralded players continue to struggle. Green is 18 shots ahead of Yueer Cindy Feng, 16 shots ahead of U.S. Women’s Open champion Birdie Kim, 15 shots ahead of LET star Lee-Anne Pace and 4-time LPGA winner Lorie Kane, 13 ahead of LPGA regular Silvia Cavalleri, and 12 ahead of Harukyo Nomura (who finished #29 on the JLPGA money list this year). She’s totally outdistancing players whom you’d normally expect to be in her league, such as Junthima Gulyanamitta (+13), Kelly Shon (+11), Cheyenne Woods (+6), Cathryn Bristow and Carlie Yadloczky (+5), Kristie Smith (+4), Frances Bondad, Rebecca Artis, and Jennifer Song (+3), Jenny Suh, Ginger Howard, and Hannah Yun (+2), Lindy Duncan and Natalie Sheary (+1), and Maude-Aimee Leblanc and Lisa Ferrero (E).
Meanwhile, Grehan is off to a better start even than others playing very good golf thus far this week, such as Tiffany Joh and 4-time LPGA winner and 2006 Rookie of the Year Seon Hwa Lee (both have gone 66-70), Stage II medalist Amy Anderson (68-69), and current and former LPGAers Ashleigh Simon (72-67), Paz Echeverria (71-68), Victoria Tanco (68-71), and Kathleen Ekey and Nicole Jeray (both 67-72). On a day when a good number of golfers who broke 70 yesterday couldn’t avoid going over par–including Yadloczky (69-80), Yun (68-78), Michele Low (69-76), Min Lee, Caroline Westrup, and Ashley Tait (69-74), Nomura and Line Vedel (67-75), Pinrath Loomboonruang (68-74), and Mitsuki Katahira and Mi Rim Lee (69-73)–Grehan put together a bogey-free round to join Green and Anderson as the only players in the field to break 70 in their 1st 2 rounds.
How long this can last is anyone’s guess. But with 36 holes to go before the field is cut to the low 70 and ties, it’s worth noting that 65 players are at +1 or better, 42 players are under par, and 29 players are at -2 or better. True, there were only 11 rounds in the 60s today, down 10 from yesterday’s total. And players are likely to get more conservative the deeper they go into the tournament. But it’s still entirely possible you’ll need to be double digits under par to have a shot at an LPGA card when all is said and done!
[Update 1 (10:48 pm): They’ve reshuffled the pairings for round 3, with the players grouped by scores on each course. Let’s see if those on the Jones course are able to take advantage of the scoring opportunities. Anyone who breaks 70 on the Hills course will have a serious advantage on Saturday!]
[Update 2 (12/6/13, 9:47 am): Great message from Annika Sorenstam to all the Q-School participants!]