English or Korean, final pairing sure to be chatty

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:41 AM ET

There will be no surprises for Jiyai Shin on Saturday when she tees it up with Michelle Wie in the final group of the day.

“She hits so long … but I already knew that,” Shin said, showing her comedic timing is as good, if not better, than her remarkably accurate driving skills.

Shin fired a 5-under-par 67 on Friday to move into second place all by herself. She is three shots back of Wie, whom she is looking forward to playing with in the third round.

“We’ve played almost 10 times already this year,” Shin said. “She speaks good English and she speaks good Korean, too, so we’re talking all the time. So it makes it really comfortable.”

Shin and Wie both officially joined the LPGA Tour last year, but the big difference is Shin has six career victories compared to just one for Wie. Shin believes Wie’s skills have improved substantially over the years, but, more importantly, it’s the phenom’s mental game that keeps getting better.

“She is grinding out right now,” Shin said, pointing at her head.

Shin could almost be considered the favourite going into the weekend, as she’s finished no worse than sixth in nine of 12 tournaments this year.

BLOODIED: Poor Rebecca Lee-Bentham looked like she had just left the ice instead of the golf course.

There were several drops of blood on the front of her white skirt, and the 18-year-old Toronto native was crushed after four-putting the 18th green for a triple bogey seven.

She shot 45 on the back nine, 82 on the day and missed the cut by nine strokes at 13 over.

Her nose started bleeding on the 10th tee, so she stuck a big piece of gauze up her right nostril. She three-putted the 10th, and the wheels fell off.

“It was just disappointing, because I did play well in the beginning and I had a chance,” said Lee-Bentham, who won the Canadian junior women’s championship earlier this month. “And then unfortunately my nose started bleeding and it was just tough to focus.

“I got sick (Thursday). I woke up five times in the middle of the night to blow my nose. I couldn’t breathe. I think I got a cold or something.”

Lee-Bentham was planning on Saturday to return to the University of Texas, where she plays college golf for the Longhorns.

CHIP SHOTS: Friday’s attendance was 12,200 after 12,000 showed up on Thursday … Michelle Wie is tied for 134th when it comes to driving accuracy (10 of 28), but she is tied for first in greens in regulation (30 of 36) after hitting 17 on Friday … Australian Sarah Kemp was in second place after an opening-round 68, but she barely made the cut after ballooning to an 80 on Friday … South Korea’s Na Yeon Choi, who is tied for fifth, has finished in the top three in her last five events. That includes a win at the Jamie Farr Classic … Notables who missed the cut included two-time 2010 major winner Yani Tseng (73-76), 15-year-old phenom Lexi Thompson (71-78) and Australian Anna Rawson (73-77) … Spain’s Azahara Munoz gave the cut a great run, shooting 82-68, but she missed by two.


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