Jessica Korda Birdies to the Lead at the Pure Silk LPGA Classic
The first thing that emerged in the first round of the Pure Silk LPGA Classic was a dominating bloc of American players at the top, but thatâ€™s happened before, usually to evaporate before the weekend is over. I expect that to be the case this weekend as well. After a birdie war in the second round, Jessica Korda has become the gatekeeper, and the third round goes through her. As for the American block, several players from various parts of the globe are still close, and those who might, for the moment, appear out of the running, such as Stacy Lewis, are far from it.
The most pressing problem for me is that a quartet of my favorite players are crowding the top of the leader board, and Iâ€™m rooting for all of them for different reasons. Korda is at minus 11, and my choices are all within three.
Iâ€™m in Lydia Koâ€™s camp because sheâ€™s already made so much history before even getting started that she couldnâ€™t help but make more, sooner or later. So, why not sooner, like winning the first event she enters for money? That would make a tour memory. A Ko victory would be suitably extraordinary, and she canâ€™t be put in the category of a rookie with the jitters after winning on tour before she can learn to drive or vote in most places. Sheâ€™s calm, sheâ€™s ruthless, and sheâ€™s a lot of fun. I have to wonder sometimes if someone forgot to tell her how hard this whole thing is.
Iâ€™ve got to root for Michelle Wie, because so many critics have ragged on her for this and that, and harped on what they believe to unrealized potential, etc. that she deserves to have her day at their expense. I hate it when mobs with a lot of ink do that, and a big part of me would love to see Michelle smile all the way to the trophy. She played a truly fine second round, and has been generally hitting the ball well lately. Why not in the Bahamas, this week, that is Jessica Korda will give her permission.
Lizette Salas has been at this for a year or two now, and has come from about as far as a person can come, from nowhere to top professional. Even if she hasnâ€™t been an utterly dominating player yet (and face it, very few have been), sheâ€™s almost always in the running somewhere around the top ten or twenty, and when she ignites, very low scores can suddenly follow. I want to see someone win who is so into family, possesses so much talent and sticks to the process with so much persistence. I love to check her career and annual winnings once in a while, knowing what she started with – ok, so thatâ€™s the nice person in the role of the underdog favorite.
Paula Creamer shot up the board today like nobodyâ€™s business, and sits one stroke back of Jessica â€œCatch Me if you Canâ€ Korda. Creamer is playing like she believes thatâ€™s no problem, with two days left. She was one of the new superstars just a few short years back, and should be coming into the beginning of her best years. Time for her to win again, and more often – sheâ€™s that good. Iâ€™ve met her twice, and watched her pre-tournament prep on the range both times. It may be tempting to think that yesterdayâ€™s super-kids are now over the hill, but thatâ€™s ridiculous.
Whoâ€™s going to win the Pure Silk Bahamas? I havenâ€™t a clue, and it may be none of these people, considering that Stacy Lewis is still in the upper field, along with a few who could explode on a momentâ€™s notice. Ok then, letâ€™s make it interesting – Ko, 3 to 1, Creamer, 4 to 1, Salas, 6 to 1 and Wie, 8 to 1 – or maybe not.