There was nothing drastic like the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, where the 14th hole could play 435 yards or 277 yards. But the tee markers were moved up 36 yards on the tough 17th, making it play 405 yards. Tees also were moved up 25 yards on the 10th and 19 yards on the 13th, both par 5s.
The idea behind No. 17 was to allow players to take on the bunkers down the left side, and it sure did make a difference.
Annika Sorenstam decided to hit driver, but she pulled it left and hit a tree before it fell into the deep rough. Her next shot clipped a tree again, leaving her in the rough. From there, the Swede did well to knock it onto the green and two-putt from 60 feet for a bogey.
Paula Creamer, who is much shorter than Sorenstam off the tee, played a 3-wood to the right side of the fairway, a long iron onto the green and two-putted from 18 feet.
When the tee is in the back, nobody can carry the bunker on the left, Sorenstam said. I dont know if you saw the pin today, but its tucked way back there on the left. And if you are not way out to right'which then, you put the bunker and the rough into play'you dont have a good angle in. Its one of those holes you have to be smart, but conservative.
The idea on the 10th and 13th holes was to make players think about going for the green in two. The pin was back right on the 10th, bringing an oak tree and the pond to the right into play. Sorenstam drilled a 3-wood to 20 feet and two-putted for eagle.
Sorenstam and Suzann Pettersen both hit 3-wood off the tee on the 504-yard 13th. Creamer hit driver, then a fairway metal that ran across the fairway but well short of the water. That left her a sand wedge to the green.
The golf course played totally different than it did yesterday, Creamer said. A lot of tees moved up. Well see how it is tomorrow.
Finlands Minea Blomqvist shot a 4-under 69 on Friday to climb into second place when play was halted by weather. If the 23-year-old cant manage to carve a career out as a golfer, she can always rely on her caddying skills to pay the bills.
Blomqvist hasnt played since the McDonalds LPGA Championship in the first week in June because she has been spending her time caddying for fiancee Roope Kakko on the Challenge Tour in Europe.
Im a perfect caddie, Blomqvist said with a smile. You know, I have like two top-10s as a caddie. So if this doesnt work out, Ill go for that.
With his girlfriend caddying for him, Kakko finished tied for seventh at the Open de Saint Omer two weeks ago, earning Blomqvist a nice little commission from the $20,124 purse.
Of course, you know, Blomqvist said with another giggle. Im not cheap.
The pair has been dating for seven years now, despite the surname Blomqvist is set to inherit. Kakko, she said, is a Finnish word for a rather dubious bodily function.
You should feel bad for me about this surname because its not very nice, she said. So Im not very happy about that, if were going to stay together.
Speaking of translations, an irreverent Blomqvist was asked about the contention by Swedes that Finns talk funny. She didnt hesitate to fire back.
Swedes are so good in golf because in golf you need an empty mind, and theres nothing going on in their heads, Blomqvist said playfully. So thats why they play good.
SHOT OF THE DAY
Choosing the shot of the day from a field so large can be difficult. Not this time.
Patricia Meunier-Lebouc of France hit a hole-in-one on the 164-yard, par-3 12th. Her 7-iron rolled right into the hole, which was located on the right side near the front of the green, for the 20th known ace in U.S. Womens Open history.
She said the shot was a beautiful 7-iron that landed on the green, about five paces from the hole, and rolled slowly into the hole.
Meunier-Lebouc also birdied No. 18, but had seven bogeys on her first 14 holes of the day. She was 4-over with four to go when play was suspended because of bad weather.
Meunier-Lebouc has twice won the LPGA Tour, at the State Farm Classic in 2002 and the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2003.
PLAYING TO THE CROWD:
Several players used their wardrobes to pay homage to Interlachens home in Minnesota.
Swedens Sophie Gustafson wore a Minnesota Twins shirt and cap while Sorenstam was decked out in a maroon and gold outfit from her apparel line. Its the color scheme of the University of Minnesota, and former football coach Glen Mason was among those in attendance on Friday.
When asked if her outfit choice was a coincidence, Sorenstam said, You think everything is luck?
No. There is a reason that Im wearing it.