Choi's Saturday and Shin's Sundays
Na Yeon Choi owned Saturday on the South Course at Torrey Pines, shooting a nine-under par 63 that included a bogey to vault into the lead through 54 holes of the Samsung World Championship, two strokes ahead of the woman who owns Sundays.
Jiyai Shin is known in Korea as "the Finals Queen" for her final-round success, but it is a nickname that apparently travels well. In nine of 19 tournaments on the LPGA this year, she has delivered her best round of the tournament. Last week, she closed with a 64 that gave her a victory in the P&G Beauty NW Arkansas Championship. The week before, she closed with a 63 to jump to a tie for 10th in the CN Canadian Women's Open.
Shin, the LPGA's leading money winner, had to cede the stage on Saturday to her fellow South Korean, who dazzled on a course that even on its soft days does not readily yield low scores. Choi bettered the second best score of the day (Shin and Ai Miyazato each had 68s) by five strokes. It also equaled the best tournament score since the South Course was redesigned in 2001. Greg Chalmers shot 63 there in the Buick Invitational in 2002.
"I talked to Ai Miyazato today, all the time we say, wow, it's a tough course with tough pin locations, but she's still nine-under. Unbelievable."
-- John Strege