Wendy’s Round 2 afternoon report: Laura Davies, wow!

mulligan, 26 August 2005, Comments Off on Wendy’s Round 2 afternoon report: Laura Davies, wow!
Categories: Uncategorized

I followed the pairing of Natalie Gulbis, Laura Davies, and Meg Mallon. Here are the highlights:

1. Natalie’s round: I spoke briefly with Natalie on the range before her round. She asked me to keep it from raining. I don’t have that kind of power, but, luckily, it did not rain (as of 5:40). It was not the best ball-striking or putting day for Natalie. She finished 1-under for the day, 2-under for the tourney. She’s got a very athletic set-up and swing, with the same pre-shot routine (half-swing) as fellow Butch Harmonite Justin Leonard. She was a gymnast before, and it shows. Natalie is a fairly long driver — I estimate she ranges from 270-300 yards fairly consistently on her drives, which are very high with a draw. And, as you probably have already seen, Natalie kind of lunges through the ball. Personality wise, Natalie is similar to Phil Mickelson in “nice” factor. She likes chatting on the course, never ever seems to show her temper, and always says “thank you” when the fans applaud her. Very sweet.

2. Laura Davies: Laura Davies shot 6-under 66 today (3-under for the tourney). Frankly, it could have easily been 10-under! By the 11th hole, Laura was 7-under for the day after she chipped in on the 10th. Laura Davies has to be the longest driver on the LPGA tour. She consistently hit her driver 300 yards, usually outdriving Natalie and Meg Mallon by 20-30 yards, if not more. And the freakiest sight: Laura does not use a tee for her driver, but instead chunks up a piece of grass with her wedge to make a grass divot on which to set her ball. Well, it’s weird, but it works. Laura Davies absolutely crushes the ball – she draws the oohs and aahs like John Daly!!

Laura also is fearless. Here’s how she played the 14th hole, a 549 yard par 5: Laura hooked her drive into the tall crab rough. To hit her shot, she really would need to muscle it out. Just to give you an idea, on her backswing her club “grabbed” on the tall rough, which made her backswing slow down (if not stop), but miraculously, Laura kept going with her swing and muscled the ball out down the fairway. She hit a bad third shot and it rolled into the water hazard (creek) guarding the green. But there’s very little water in it, so (after 3 caddies searched for the ball), Laura decided to give it a try and whack the ball out. Well, she did and you could hear the loud sound of club hitting rock. Someone else might have hurt her wrist, but not Laura. The shot was spectacular and drew “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd. Unfortunately, though, Laura missed the 15 footer for what would have been an “all-world” par.


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