July 22, 2011
As some of the nation's top ranked female amateurs teed off today -- on Pinehurst No. 2 -- in the quarterfinals of the 109th Women's North & South Championship, birdies were nearly happenstance.
In the early morning time, birdie putts were dropping left and right on the greens between the tree lined holes of Donald Ross' crown jewel course.
However as the Sandhills sun began to rise, along with the humidity and temperature, those birdies soon became a rarity -- and par replaced birdies as the score that won most of the holes.
The eight women who competed this morning had already played three rounds of golf over the last two days, enduring excessive heat and two lengthy weather delays. They will play the rest of the way under an excessive heat warning according to The Weather Channel and the National Weather Service -- all while trying to exercise the proper amount of skill, focus, endurance and concentration needed to claim one of the most venerated amateur golf crowns in the game's history.
Check out the hole-by-hole scorecards for each of Friday's quarterfinals to see how the heat put the clamp down on even the best of golfers.
(1)Lisa McCloskey (nation's ninth-ranked amateur) VS (41) Laura Wearn -- In this -- the first match out -- only one of the final 9 holes was won by birdie. Result:McCloskey 4 and 3.
(4) Danielle Kang (nation's 2nd ranked amatuer) VS (12) Meghan Stasi (nation's third-ranked am.)-- In this top-three showdown the pair combined for five birdies in the first five holes -- but from there seven bogeys were carded against just three brides over the final 12 holes. Result: Kang 2 and 1
(10) Marina Alex (sixth-ranked amateur) VS (15) Cyna Marie Rodriguez. Through regulation of this extra-holes match -- which was third to go off in the morning -- the pair had carded just one birdie and seven bogeys: Result: NA
(3) Mitsuki Katahira VS (11) Doris Chen -- Four birdies and one bogey in three holes was how it started -- but two birdies, four bogeys and a double-bogey over the final 15 was how it finished. Result: Chen 2up
Currently it is 95 degrees in Southern Pines, sunny, with a "dangerous heat index," of 107. They tell me online, outdoor exposure should be limited, as I ready -- to enter this blog and meet "FotoPhil"-- our photographer -- to head to No.2 and cover the semifinals.
Franco (FRI @ 1 PM)