The former US amateur champion shot a 67 yesterday to take a one-shot lead over Jacqueline Yang. A large group is two back, led by Cristie Kerr but also including Meena Lee, Sherri Steinhauer, and Wendy Ward. Annika Sorenstam and Paula Creamer are among those three shots back.
If you want to read more details about the first round, click here.
I wouldn’t be writing about the first round of a non-major except for the interesting reaction from two members of the golf media. First lets read what Beth Ann Badry of Golf Week has to say-
I know, it looks like I’m cheating after her opening 5-under 67. But if you saw her determination at Q-School, you’d know she’s serious. “I was on a mission,” Kuehne said. She’s got Tracy Phillips, her longtime short game coach, on the bag here this week reading all her putts. If she can convince him to come out a few more times this season it might put her on the right track. Kuehne struggled off the course the last few seasons dealing with an emotional divorce. She now seems both focused and confident.
Kelli has never had a problem with enthusiasm. People with a memory that goes back past the last golf season will remember Kuehne’s flag waving or patriotism at the 2002 Solheim Cup, and that leading to her questionable Captain’s Selection to the 2003 team.
Ron Sirak at Golf World writes-
Let’s go back to Leilei’s Bar. Let’s go back to Tuesday night. Let’s revisit the conversation Kelli Kuehne had with Beth Daniel when she told the captain of the 2009 U.S. Solheim Cup team, “I’m going to be playing for you next year.” And let’s listen once again to the words of Cristie Kerr that night when she said, “Kelli is going to have a big year. Trust me.” The leader board after one round of the SBS Open makes those words look like more than mere barroom boasts.
Now we may have a clue as to the cause of Ron Sirak’s careless golf writing. He spends time at bars.(Draw your own conclusions)
All of this hindsight would have some meaning if Ron or Ruth Ann(who I met at the ADT) had written any of this Kelli Kuenhe hype prior to Thursday’s round. Cristie Kerr thinks Kelli will have a big year, now it means something!
Will Kelli have a good year? I’m skeptical, because her play for the last four years has been nothing short of rotten. Even when she played well, Kelli was a journeywoman golfer at best. A poor woman’s Pat Hurst.
Based on Kelli’s play, I’d safely say she is more likely to shoot a 73 or higher today rather than another round in the 60′s. After all Kelli’s stroke average since 2004 has been over 73.5 per round. A more prudent golf analyst wouldn’t read too much into this one round. Note- Kelli did have a good round with the putter. Needing just 25 putts for the day.
These two articles exemplify why I’m starting to conclude the golf media has a very limited attention span. Forgetting a top 15 player in the world from rankings lists because she hardly played the year before due to giving birth is pretty darn good proof in itself. The Suzann Pettersen bandwagon is another. Was anyone predicting greatness for Suzann before 2007? I don’t recall a single person in the golf media predicting it. On the other hand I remember championing Julieta Granada based on her win at the 2006 ADT. Where are those writers today.(Paging Ron Sirak) One big year doesn’t prove a golfer is one of the best on tour, just as one off year doesn’t drop a established pro off the list either, nor does one round prove a golfer has comeback from the abyss.
Note- I’m more confident Suzann is real than of Kelli having a comeback. Pettersen’s big 2007 is tough to dismiss.
After reading what they wrote, do Beth Ann and Ron have the attention span of your average toddler or suffer from Attention deficit disorder? Maybe I’m just expecting too much from people paid to cover pro golf.
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