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Park Leads After 36 Again

The Tampa Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: May 23, 2013 at 05:57 AM

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The U.S. Women's Open Improv, Starring Blomqvist

EDINA, Minn. - Welcome to the U.S. Women's Open Improv, this week featuring special guest star Minea Blomqvist, straight from Espoo, Finland, where she stars as her homeland's only LPGA player.

"I hang out with the Swedes," she said. "They are more close to me, kind of.

"I always tell a story why Swedes are so good in the golf. Because in golf you need empty mind, and there's nothing going on in their heads. That's why they play good."

Blomqvist was killing them Friday at Interlachen CC and she had some pretty funny lines, too.

The 23-year-old LPGA rookie shot a second-round 4-under 69. She is 5 under and in contention for a U.S. Women's Open title. Already she has won over American fans.

Besides getting off the zinger directed at her Scandinavian neighbors, Blomqvist even took aim on her fiance, Roope Kakko, a player on the PGA European Tour.

"And you should feel bad for me about this surname because it is not very nice," she said. "Kako means let's just say the word starts with an 's' and can't be printed in a newspaper in Finnish. So it's very close. I'm not very happy about that if we are going to stay together."

Angela Park, a 19-year-old born in Brazil to South Korean parents and in her second LPGA season, shot 67 Friday and at 6 under is the 36-hole leader-in-the-clubhouse of the U.S. Women's Open.

Again.

The 2007 LPGA Rookie of the Year was in the same position last year and went on to finish tied for second behind winner Cristie Kerr.

Along the way, NBC golf analyst Johnny Miller raved - which he almost never does - about Park's swing.

"Definitely, I heard after the tournament," she said. "Everybody was coming up to me, and they were like, 'You have the best swing on the LPGA Tour.'

"He was being very kind. I really appreciated his comments and hopefully I'll keep it up this year."

Major Difference

Paula Creamer turned professional right before her high school prom. In the 31/2 seasons since, the 21-year-old has won six times and, at No. 4 in the world, is America's top-ranked player.

She was 2005 LPGA Rookie of the Year, and already has played on two U.S. Solheim Cup teams.

The only thing missing from her resume is a major.

But Creamer, 4 under and two shots out of the lead, would rather not talk about that.

"I think that's always been the problem is that the pressure and the amount of emphasis I've put on a major," she said. "I'm just trying to go out and do my thing."

Tight Squeeze

Following the almost 21/2-hour weather delay, some 80 players returned to the golf course to resume play at 6:47 p.m. local time to play until darkness in an effort to squeeze in as much golf as possible.

The problem with that was after such an extended delay, significant range time was needed before resuming play, and the Interlachen practice tee typically accommodates some 20 players at a time.

As a quick solution, officials opened the back end of the range, doubling the still-cramped quarters. A short-game area also was open.

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