Monday, June 20, 2016

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Preview, Pairings, and More

This week the LPGA travels to the state of Arkansas for the playing of the Walmart NW Championship Presented by P&G. Many of you may remember last year's exciting finish when Na Yeon Choi eagled the par four 16th hole, and then birdied the seventeenth hole, in route to a 2 shot victory over runner-up Mika Miyazato. This is a 54 hole tournament.


Na Yeon Choi holds up winner's trophy

This will be tournament #18 of 33 on the 2016 LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Pinnacle Country Club
Location:  Rogers, Arkansas
Defending Champion:  Na Yeon Choi
Winning Score: 66-63-69 = 201 (-15)

Final Field:  144 players
Par:  36/35 = 71
Yardage:  6,386
Purse: $2,000,000

My strength of field rating is a solid 72.5% (down from last year's 81%). Thirty-nine of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and 18 of the top 25 players from the Rolex Rankings will be in attendance. Headlining the field will be the #1 player in the world Lydia Ko, and the #2 player Brooke Henderson. The field will also include the following highly ranked players: Sei Young Kim (#5), In Gee Chun (#6), Ariya Jutanugarn (#7), Amy Yang (#8), and Stacy Lewis (#10). Players missing from this week's field include: Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson, Ha Na Jang, Shanshan Feng, Anna Nordqvist, and Suzann Pettersen.

Here are the pairings for round 1.

Here are the television times:
June 24 - GC 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM ET
June 25 - GC 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM ET 
June 26 - GC 5:30 PM - 8:00 PM ET

Here are my picks for this week's tournament:
1- Lydia Ko
2- In Gee Chun
3- Ariya Jutanugarn
4- Brooke Henderson
5- Sei Young Kim
6- So Yeon Ryu
7- Minjee Lee
8- Amy Yang
9- Haru Nomura
10- Stacy Lewis
11- Gerina Piller
12- Carlotta Ciganda

My spot on picking of last week's tournament brought me my 4th victory in the last eight weeks. I currently reside in first place for the season among the 21 participants.



Other Tidbits:
In spite of Stacy Lewis' current struggles, she has made the cut in 111 of her last 112 tournaments. 

Brooke Henderson has never missed a cut as an LPGA member. She has made the cut in all 20 of the tournaments she has played in.


Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:

Carlotta Ciganda soars up 19 spots this week to #35.

Race to the CME Globe: (1 Million Dollars)
Lydia Ko continues to lead with 2,737 points. She is followed closely by Ariya Jutanugarn with 2,336, Sei Young Kim with 2,087, and Brooke Henderson with 2,019.

Fight for Olympic Spots:

Gerina Piller drops from #15 to #16 in the Rolex Rankings this week, dropping her off the American team. She still has 3 more tournaments to regain the top 15 position needed to qualify.

Who's Hot:

Lydia Ko and Lexi Thompson both had top ten finishes this past week. It was the eighth of the year for both players. That is only topped by Brooke Henderson's ten. In spite of her problems "finishing the job" on Sunday afternoons, So Yeon Ryu has 6 top ten finishes in her last 8 starts.  

Who's Not:

Ilhee Lee has failed to finish in the top 30, in her last 13 starts.

UPDATE #1 - The Monday Local Qualifiers were - Alena Uriell (a) who shot a round of 64, and Regina Plasencia (a) who shot a 69.


Here are the final results:

1Lydia Ko-17F
2Candie Kung-14F
2Morgan Pressel-14F
4Angela Stanford-13F
4Moriya Jutanugarn-13F
4Sandra Gal-13F
4Jing Yan-13F
8Sydnee Michaels-12F
8Minjee Lee-12F
8Sun Young Yoo-12F
8Giulia Molinaro-12F
8Alena Sharp-12F
13Chella Choi-11F
13Brittany Lincicome-11F
13Lee-Anne Pace-11F
13Brittany Altomare-11F
13So Yeon Ryu-11F
18Brittany Lang-10F
18Carlota Ciganda-10F
20Alison Lee-9F
20Gerina Piller-9F
20Xi Yu Lin-9F
20Nontaya Srisawang-9F
20Haeji Kang-9F

Be sure to check back here daily for any LPGA news or updates.They will be posted here at the bottom of this blog.  Links to all Women's Tour scoreboards can be found at the top of this page.


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Thursday, June 16, 2016

LPGA Priority List Reshuffle - Final 2016

The LPGA had its second and final reshuffle of its Priority List this past week. While most of the players moved up or down a few insignificant spots, there were some very significant moves also.

The Priority List is what is used to fill the required amount of spots for any given tournament. Without me getting into the categories, which is potentially confusing, here is a brief explanation. Most full field events have a field of 144 players. Usually 140 of the players come from the Priority List ranking. Two players are Monday qualifiers, and 2 more are sponsor exemptions. So to keep it simple, if your Priority Rating is #150, you have to hope that 10 players decide not to play, or you are probably not getting into the field.


Su Oh jumped up 50 spots.

The following players made the biggest jumps in last week's reshuffle:
Su Oh - 138 to 88
Jing Yan - 137 to 94
Cydney Clanton - 127 to 97
Lindy Duncan - 134 to 98
Tiffany Joh - 113 - 92
Sarah Jane Smith - 117 - 99

Although the jumps made by the above players look good on paper, it is not that significant as they were playing all full field events anyway.



Belen Mozo's jump to #138 should get her into most events.

The following players made the most important gains, and should now be playing in most full field events:
Belen Mozo - 151 to 138
Ashleigh Simon - 164 to 140
Celine Herbin - 150 to 142
Samantha Richdale - 155 to 144
Ssu-Chia Cheng - 159 to 146

The following players are not guaranteed to play all full field events, but have a much better chance than before the reshuffle:
Marissa Steen - 358 to 160
Anne-Catherine Tanguay - 177 to 161
Hannah Collier - 184 to 163
Stephanie Meadow - 357 to 164

The following players took the biggest drops in this week's reshuffle:

Jennifer Johnson - 60 to 117 (lost medical exemption)
P.K. Kongkraphan - 96 to 113
Thidapa Suwannapura - 99 to 115
Simin Feng - 95 to 122
Nontaya Srisawang 97 to 129
Julie Yang - 93 to 130
Joanna Klatten - 92 to 137

Although the drops made by the above players look to be significant, they are really not, as they will probably get to play in most events anyway.

The following players got hurt the most and will likely be seeing less playing time, or no playing time at all:
Giulia Sergas - 140 to 148
Marion Ricardeau - 131 to 150
Stephanie Kono - 141 to 154
SooBin Kim - 143 to 157
Paige Mackenzie - 121 to 404 (lost medical exemption)



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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Mariah Stackhouse to Make Pro Debut at Cambia Portland Classic

The Cambia Portland Classic Presented by JTBC announced today that Mariah Stackhouse has been selected to receive a sponsor’s exemption into this year’s tournament scheduled for June 30-July 3 at Columbia Edgewater Country Club. Stackhouse’s Portland appearance is expected to be her first tournament as a professional. The exemption adds to an already remarkable few days for Stackhouse who turned professional, announced a global sponsorship agreement with KPMG, signed with Sterling Sports Management last week, and attended her Stanford graduation ceremony on Sunday to receive her degree in Communication.



Stanford Graduate Mariah Stackhouse

"I am truly excited to be starting my professional career at the Cambia Portland Classic, a tournament with such a rich tradition,” said Stackhouse. 

Stackhouse was the No. 19 ranked player in the world at the collegiate level for the NCAA Division I runner-up Stanford University Women's Golf Team. She helped Stanford capture the 2015 NCAA Championship in dramatic fashion, coming from behind to win her decisive match in extra holes. In 2014, she was named the Global Golf Post Amateur of the Year and led the U.S. Curtis Cup Team to victory. A 4-time WGCA (Women's Golf Coaches Association) All-American, Stackhouse won four collegiate championships. 


The 2015 NCAA Division 1 Champion Stanford Team.


“Mariah’s exciting, athletic style of play will make her a great addition to a field of the LPGA’s world-class players,” said Tom Maletis, President of tournament owner Tournament Golf Foundation.  “We saw Brooke Henderson earn her LPGA status in Portland last year and look forward to seeing if Mariah can match that feat this year.”

The 72-hole Cambia Portland Classic features a purse of $1.3 million and broadcast coverage on the Golf Channel for all four rounds that will be distributed to 170 countries.  2016 marks the 45th year of the LPGA in Portland, a history only matched by one other LPGA tournament.  Brooke Henderson won the 2015 tournament by eight strokes for her first win on the LPGA Tour.




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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Meijer LPGA Classic For Simply Give, Preview, Pairings, and More!

Congratulations go out to Brooke Henderson for winning the KMPG Women's PGA Championship. Click here for a full recap of that tournament.


This week the LPGA travels to the state of Michigan for the playing of the Meijer LPGA Classic For Simply Give. This will be the third year year that this tournament is on the LPGA schedule. Many may remember last year's nail biting finish, when Lexi Thompson shot a final round 65, to come out one stroke better than Gerina Piller, and Lizette Salas.


Lexi Thompson's fabulous final round 65, brought her the 2015 Meijer Classic trophy.


This will be tournament #17 of 33 on the 2016 LPGA Schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Blythefield Country Club
Location:  Grand Rapids, Michigan
Defending Champion:  Lexi Thompson
Winning Score:  69-64-68-65 = 266 (-18)

Final Field:  144 players
Par:  36/35 = 71
Yardage:  6,414
Purse:  $2,000,000

My strength of field rating is a very solid 69.5%, up from 59% last year. Thirty-nine of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and 20 of the top 25 players from the Rolex Rankings will be in attendance. Leading the field will be the number 1 and 2 ranked players in the world, Lydia Ko and Brooke Henderson. It will also include defending champion (#4 in world rankings) Lexi Thompson. Players skipping this week's event include: Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Ha Na Jang, and Chella Choi.

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times:
June 16 - GC 2:30 PM - 5:30 PM ET
June 17 - GC 2:30 PM - 5:00 PM ET 
June 18 - GC 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM ET
June 19 - GC 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM ET

Here are my Pak Picker Picks for this week's tournament:

1- Ariya Jutanugarn
2- Lydia Ko
3- Gerina Piller
4- Brooke Henderson
5- Lexi Thompson
6- Amy Yang
7- In Gee Chun
8- Sei Young Kim
9- So Yeon Ryu
10- Minjee Lee
11- Suzann Pettersen
12- Shanshan Feng
My alternates are: Anna Nordqvist, Mirim Lee, and Haru Nomura
My accurate picking last week landed me in third place among the 20 participants.
I continue to hold onto the number one spot for the year.

Other Tidbits:

Jenny Shin missed the cut at last week's KMPG Championship, halting her cut streak at 31.

Lydia Ko, Brooke Henderson, and Ariya Jutanugarn, have now got to be considered the three best players on the LPGA. It is very interesting to note how much Lydia gives up off the tee, compared to her 2 rivals. Brooke Henderson is ranked 10th in driving distance, averaging 268 yards. Ariya Jutanugarn is ranked 14th (although she mostly uses a 2 iron off the tee), averaging 266 yards. Lydia is ranked 118th, averaging just 247 yards. Lexi Thompson leads the tour with an average of 284.


Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:

Brooke Henderson jumps all the way up to #2 in the world rankings. Ariya Jutanugarn jumps up from #10 to #7. Hee Young Park leaps up from # 67 to #46.

Race to the CME Globe: (1 Million Dollars)
Lydia Ko continues to lead with 2,602 points. She is closely followed by Ariya Jutanugarn with 2,283, and Brooke Henderson with 1,969.

Fight for Olympic Spots:

Gerina Piller's move from #16 to #15 in this week's Rolex Rankings, puts her back on the Olympic Team as of now. There are still 4 more tournaments to be played before the teams are set. It is also worth noting that Karrie Webb (Australia) has lost her Olympic spot this week as she has been passed in the rankings by Su Oh.

International Crown:

The International Crown teams have now been finalized. Click here for the complete list of the teams and players that have qualified.

Who's Hot:

Brooke Henderson leads the tour with 10 top ten finishes. No other player has more than seven. So Yeon Ryu has had 5 top ten finishes in her last 7 starts. She also leads the tour with 51 consecutive cuts made. Stacy Lewis is next with 27.

Who's Not:

Yani Tseng seems to have hit rock bottom, missing her last 7 cuts. Sun Young Yoo has missed 6 straight.I

Update #1 - Sally Watson (67) and Elizabeth Nagel are the local qualifiers added to the field.


Here are the final scores:

1x-Sei Young Kim-17F
2Carlota Ciganda-17F
3In Gee Chun-15F
4Lydia Ko-14F
4Lexi Thompson-14F
6So Yeon Ryu-13F
7Shanshan Feng-12F
8Azahara Munoz-11F
9P.K. Kongkraphan-10F
9Haru Nomura-10F
9Amelia Lewis-10F
9Xi Yu Lin-10F
13Moriya Jutanugarn-9F
13Alena Sharp-9F
13Anna Nordqvist-9F
16Becky Morgan-8F
16Kyu Jung Baek-8F
18Ariya Jutanugarn-7F
18Karlin Beck-7F
18Pernilla Lindberg-7F

Be sure to check back here daily for any LPGA news or updates.They will be posted here at the bottom of this blog.  Links to all Women's Tour scoreboards can be found at the top of this page.




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