7:35 PM EDT, September 7, 2012
The 2009 LPGA Kingsmill Championship winner will not defend her title this weekend.
Christie Kerr, the tournament's only multiple winner, failed to make the cut Friday as her two-round, 4-over par was not good enough to make the 1-under cut threshold. It is the first time Kerr has missed the cut in eight appearances at Kingsmill.
Kerr made just three birdies in two days, carding rounds of 1-over 72 and 3-over 74.
Kerr, the 10th-ranked player in the world, won the tournament in 2005 and 2009, the last time the event, then known as the Michelob Ultra Open, was held at Kingsmill.
Kerr's last LPGA Tour victory came at the 2010 LPGA Championship in Pittsford, N.Y.
Other notables to miss the cut include Michelle Wie (4-over par) and Juli Inskter (even par).
The biggest turnaround was made by Jean Bartholomew, who missed the cut by 12 strokes. She shot an 84 on Thursday, then rebounded with a 69 on Friday.
The LPGA's return to Kingsmill after a two-year absence is drawing tournament-record crowds.
Announced attendance for Thursday's opening round was 10,209, shattering the previous first-day best of 7,762 set in 2009. Moreover, tournament officials announced that Friday's ticket sales exceeded Thursday's by 10 a.m. — an exact count was not available.
"The great thing about hosting a first-rate sporting event like the Kingsmill Championship is that all of the fans are eager to come out and watch," Wayne Nooe, the event's executive director, said in a press release. "With a clear forecast and stellar leaderboard ahead, we anticipate even larger crowds through the weekend."
Second-round leader Jiyai Shin has won eight times on tour, and among her closest pursuers are Paula Creamer (nine victories, including the 2010 U.S. Women's Open), and Stacy Lewis (the top-ranked American and a two-time winner in 2012).
Dewi Claire Schreefel is positioned for the first top-10 finish of her two-year LPGA career after a second consecutive 66 Friday.
At 10-under-par, Schreefel trails leader Jiyai Shin by two strokes halfway through the tournament.
Her top finish is an 11th-place tie at last year's Women's British Open. Her best this season is a 15th-place tie at last month's Women's Canadian Open.
Schreefel began the week 110th on tour in greens-in-regulation at 62 percent. At Kingsmill, she's an astounding 34-of-36, or 94.4 percent.
"Hitting a lot of fairways, so I got to shoot at the pins with the soft conditions," Schreefel said.
Schreefel attended the University of Southern California and is a fan of the Trojans' second-ranked football team. In fact, with no LPGA event last week, she was in the stands as USC opened with a rout of Hawaii.
At the merchandise tent behind the 18th hole, many items aren't staying on the shelves for long.
The response for polo shirts, hats, visors and sunglasses has been high, said merchandise manager Melissa Bieger.
"It's been pretty successful the past two days," she said.
A steady stream of customers enter the tent, as many items people are buying are the canvases for autograph seekers, like commemorative pin flags for adults and oversized soft golf balls for children, Bieger said.
"We always sell tons and tons of that," she said.
Bieger said as the tournament progresses, so will interest from fans.
"It builds every day," she said.
One particular item, a men's lavender polo shirt by Nike, is a notable hot-seller. There was only one left in stock as the second round got under way.
"It's something about the color," Bieger said.
For Kingsmill volunteers Rob Williams and Lucy Merritt, the thrill of autograph-seeking is an added bonus to working the LPGA tournament.
On their own time, Williams, from Virginia Beach, and Merritt, from Hampton, have their Sharpies and pin flags ready.
"I'd love to get the whole thing filled up," Williams said, noting he had 23 signatures around 1 p.m. Friday.
Why just a pin flag and not have a hat or a golf ball for players to sign?
"I try to be considerate to others," Williams said, adding that he saw an autograph seeker with a photo album, hats and other items for one golfer to sign.
"I was like, 'Oh, come on'," he said.
Merritt already has one pin flag covered, so she has another one out for players to sign — but for her friend.
"Every one of them is so nice and sweet," she said of the players.
One player in particular, Dewi Clarie Schreefel, was of particular interest to Williams and Merritt but she taken to the media center for interviews after she finished at the 18th hole.
"Oh well," Merritt said. "We'll have to try tomorrow."
Some brotherly help
Danielle Kang got some help on her putting from a very close source.
"My brother says I owe him five percent of whatever I win this week," she said. "So I hold him, hey, if he can get me to shoot under par and go low, I'll give you 20 percent."
Kang could have to pay up, as she carded a 7-under 64 to take her to 11-under par overall in the tournament, putting her second place behind leader Shin.
"My brother taught me how to putt so it's been working pretty well as far as I can see," she said.
Copyright © 2014, Newport News, Va., Daily Press