Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G
Pinnacle Country Club
Mika Miyazato -6, Rolex Rankings No. 15
So Yeon Ryu -5, Rolex Rankings No. 5
Angela Stanford -5, Rolex Rankings No. 20
Stacy Lewis -4, Rolex Rankings No. 2
Sarah Kemp -4, Rolex Rankings 235
Change a Putter and Shoot Lights Out
Mika Miyazato was having a bad year with regards to her standards and golf game. In April of this year and after missing a cut in Texas, M. Miyazato had enough of her putting woes and made a decision to change it up a bit and grab a new flat stick. The change paid off and she has since found herself creeping up the leader board almost every golf tournament.
M. Miyazato continues her journey today with her best round of the year firing 6 birdies in 10 holes in the middle of R1 at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G carding an impressive 65. This was only the second round in the 60’s for LPGA player from Japan’s M. Miyazato.
“But like yesterday, I working hard on short putt, like 3 feet, 6 feet, 9 feet because I change the putter like Bahamas week. So I use like mallet type and I use now ping type. So real difference, so I need more confidence. So I practice a lot so far yesterday. So much confidence today.”
She finished the round 2 up on LPGA #2 Rolex World Ranked Stacy Lewis and only 1 up on Angela Stanford and So Yeon Ryu. A new face in the hunt is Sarah Kemp (-4)who is ranked 235…but don’t count out the dark horse in any race!!!
M. Miyazato must really like the course since last year she finished this tournament in a tie for 2nd, missing a 15 foot birdie putt to win it outright over Ai Miyazato. It was quite heartbreaking and she will admit it affected her game a bit since.
”Well, I was disappointed last year, but I was very good friends with Ai, like (an) older sister (to) Ai,” Mika Miyazato said. ”It was a good experience last year.”
All year Miss Miyazato has been trying to find her groove and blames her putting for most of her woes. However, she is quick to say too that she has lacked a bit of self confidence in her game to this point, but feels as though things are starting to click.
Let’s see if this is M. Miyazato’s year and can she hold it all together with her flat stick and mental toughness to take it to the bank. I believe she can with putts dropping and her mind clear and confident there is not doubt she can win this and many more.
Who is in the hunt?
There are 10 golfers within 2 shots of Miyazato at -4 and we must add the Stacy Lewis is one of those and is a crowd favorite having gone to nearby University of Arkansas. Lewis has a huge following and anyone paired with her will have to be dead on their mental game since they will not be cheered for as loudly as Miss Lewis. As a matter of fact on #17, her incredibly large gallery serenaded her with a call of “Woo Pig Sooey”!!!
”I got off to a little bit of a slow start, just wasn’t really making any putts on the front and then kind of relaxed there on the back, made a few putts,” Lewis said. ”… I was feeling good. Even when I was even par, I was feeling good about my game.”
Rolex #1 Ranked Inbee Park is just 4 back at -2 and feels she is in a good position to move up the leader board through the weekend. Miss Park had a routine type round shooting 69 while hitting most fairway and greens. She felt more putts could have easily dropped.
There has been so much rain in the area and on the course over the past few weeks, but the sun is out and the hot and humid conditions are speeding up the course daily.
Players are saying that one must really stay patient on the course as it continues to change with the weather. Some of the top players even think a final total of -2 to -4 may be the winning score at Sunday’s conclusion.
Overall the course is trying to be the bad guy here and steal putts left and right from any and every player. The player who stays patient and plays within themselves without any negativity will prevail.
Stay tuned here for tournament wrap ups and please let Bunkers Paradise know who you would like to see take home the winning check!!
‘keep smiling and always believe’