Womens Open Crawls to Exciting Conclusion

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The golf at the U.S. Womens Open has been pretty good from the outset. And its getting better as it inches its way, in between stultifying weather delays, to a conclusion.
 
But the stories off the course are, for the most part, superior to the accomplishments on the immaculate grasses of Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club.
 
My favorite so far is the Rip Van Winklian tale told by Amy Hung, a 27-year-old journeywoman from Chinese Taipei. Hung immediately stood out at this championship just for the fact that she isnt a Korean national or an American teenager.
 
Then she went out and followed up a neat 1-under par 70 on Thursday with an even neater 69 in a round that wasnt completed until Saturday because of meteorological illogic'it has barely rained all week but the threat of lightning has cast an almost continuous pall.
 
All of which pushed Hungs second round tee time back, enabling her to set an unofficial USGA record for Zs.
 
You want the truth, Hung said after 36 holes.
 
We did.
 
Actually, Thursday I went to bed like nine oclock and I sleep in to 11. Thats probably the funniest thing I ever done. I just catching up on some sleep and then relax.
 
By my count that would be 14 hours of rack time. Which, by the way, is five more than the number of holes Michelle Wie completed before withdrawing halfway through her second round.
 
Wie woke up with a sore wrist. It got worse. She missed all seven fairways en route to a front nine 42. Her first 18 had produced an inglorious 82.
 
What she does next is anybodys best guess. Including her own. I definitely have to evaluate because I obviously dont want this to happen again, she said.
 
Wie said she probably would return to Florida where she works with her coach David Leadbetter.
 
Doctors appointments?
 
Yeah, probably going to see some guys, not really sure where or when, but definitely going to see someone.
 
Maybe what Wie needs the most is a doctor who can convince her not to touch a golf club for six months unless she wants to suffer permanent damage to the injured wrist which would jeopardize a career that is still full of promise but currently mired in the throes of a increasingly desperate stall.
 
Anyway, the U.S. Womens Open lurches along. The third round finally got underway late Saturday afternoon with first round leader Angela Park still hanging on to a two-shot lead over Hung, Julieta Granada and Ji-Yai Shin.
 
The goal was to get as much golf in as possible before one of two things arrived: Darkness or more bad weather.
 
The weather held off and Lorena Ochoa and a red-hot Cristie Kerr had squared off for what promised to be an exciting end to the third round Sunday morning followed by the final round in the afternoon. Meanwhile Shin led at 5-under with Kerr, Ochoa and Park one back.
 
The USGA caught a break with only 67 players making the cut of 6-over par. But the 36-hole leaders didnt tee off until 5:30 p.m.
 
The other thing the USGA had going for it, in the interests of finishing Sunday, was the abolition of the traditional 18-hole Monday playoff. This year, for the first time at a U.S. Womens Open, there will be a three-hole playoff in the event of a tie after 72 holes.
 
Meanwhile there was a definite sense, shared by the players, the volunteers and the media that they were being held captive at Pine Needles.
 
World No. 1, five strokes back after 36 holes, didnt play a hole Friday. She finished her first round Thursday before weather chased everybody off the course. She didnt begin her second round until Saturday morning.
 
Like Hung, she slept in Friday. Then she watched a movie. Asked for the name of the movie, she replied, Prison Break.
 
And speaking of breakouts, how about the prospect of a Granada victory? Last year the 20-year-old Paraguayan won a million dollars for winning the ADT Championship. It was the biggest first-place check in LPGA history.
 
Two week ago fellow South American, Angel Cabrera, won the U.S. Open at Oakmont. Can two South Americans simultaneously hold the two most prestigious national titles in North America?
 
Im sure they paying attention (in South America), said Granada, three back when darkness halted play late Saturday. Who knows?
 
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