Forget about all the belly putters, pendulum timing techniques and mental mumbo-jumbo that goes into the psychology of putting. Suzann Pettersen has a simpler way to go about it.
Just close your eyes and pray.
After posting a 2-under 69 to move to 5-under 137 for the tournament at the midway point, just two shots behind leader Ariya Jutanugarn, Pettersen revealed she's putted in competition off-and-on since 2007 with her eyes closed.
Unconventional? Sure, but it works for her.
"I feel very comfortable with it … what can I say? I feel freer when I close my eyes," Pettersen said. "Once I close my eyes, I just have to trust what I've seen and trust the feel and the speed and start praying."
Pettersen said she knew Nick Faldo, who won six majors on the PGA Tour, also putted with his eyes closed during competition. There are no special secrets to her eyes-shut putting stroke.
"I tell you, the hardest things are the really short ones," Pettersen said. "You just expect to go over and take the ball out of the hole. Well, for me, it's a very calming feel.
"It's automatic. It's not like you look, 'How hard do I have to hit it?' If you have a piece of paper, and you toss it at the bin, you don't think how hard. It's just a natural motion."
Inkster denied access
Sophie Gustafson tweeted Friday morning that Juli Inkster, a 30-year veteran of the Tour, was denied access to the locker room.
"Funniest thing I heard this morning? @JuliInkster not being allowed into the locker room. 'No badge, no entry,'" Gustafson tweeted.
Inkster, who finished at 4-under, said with a smile that she left her badge in the car and "I wasn't going to back to the car for it."
She finished Friday at 4-under, making the cut for the first time in four tournaments. A tie for 18th at the Founders Cup is her only top-40 finish this season.
She played in six events in 2012 because of surgery on her right elbow, including the September stop at Kingsmill where she missed the cut.
Inkster has had varying success in Hampton Roads tournaments. She has four top-15 finishes at Kingsmill. Inkster won the 1988 and '89 Crestar Classics, the first at Sleepy Hole in Suffolk, in a four-way playoff with Nancy Lopez, Betsy King and Rosie Jones. Her '89 win was at Greenbrier Country Club in Chesapeake.
"It's not a job," Inkster said of golf, then stopped. "It's a job and I work hard at it, but I just play because I like to play."
Sushi in Richmond hit with Schreefel
Dewi Claire Schreefel says in her LPGA Tour Player Guide bio that her favorite meal is sushi from Umi Sushi in Richmond. She was introduced to it in 2009 by her host family when she made a stop in the state capital on the Symetra Tour.
"They have unbelievable sushi there, it's really fresh and the host just kind of splurges, he gets really good tuna," said Schreefel. "I love sushi and it's the best sushi I've had."
She made a point to visit on her way to Williamsburg for the week.
Giulia Sergas (74-68) and Brittany Lincicome (75-69) were six shots better Friday than Thursday. Lincicome began the day tied for 123rd and finished tied for 51st. Sergas went from tied for 107th to tied for 28th.
Conversely, Schreefel (67-78) fell from a third-place tie to a tie for 62nd.
Doughtie misses cut
Suffolk's Lauren Doughtie, a rookie on the LPGA Tour, missed the cut for the fifth time this season. Doughtie, a graduate of Nansemond-Suffolk Academy and N.C. State, shot rounds of 77 and 74 at the River Course. She eagled the par-5 seventh hole Thursday, but had 11 bogeys and a double bogey over her two rounds.
Some notable names missing the cut include Michelle Wie (4-over), Christina Kim (14-over), 2004 Kingsmill champion Se Ri Pak (4-over) and Morgan Pressel (8-over).
Kim tweeted Friday: "Apparently going for a top five finish was in my cards. Just from the bottom going up. Stupid, stupid, stupid."
The 3-over-par cut line was four shots higher than the 1-under from September's tournament at Kingsmill. That was due primarily to a significant spike in scores Friday, when the wind swirled and the temperature dropped.
Friday's average score of 73.67 was 1.94 shots higher than Friday's 71.73. The biggest change was at the par-4 18th.
Thursday No. 18 was the seventh-toughest hole with an average score of 4.118. Friday it was the hardest, yielding just six birdies from 142 players, with an average score of 4.528.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun