Sunday, June 25, 2017

KPMG Women's PGA Championship Preview, Pairings, and More

A big congratulations goes out to So Yeon Ryu for winning the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, and in doing so, becomes the new #1 player in the Rolex Rankings. Ryu is the third different player to hold the #1 ranking this month. That ranking will be up for grabs this week when no less than 4 players (Ariya Jutanugarn, Lydia Ko, and Lexi Thompson are the other three), can claim the top spot with a win.

Image result for KPMG Women's PGA championship logo

This week the LPGA moves to the state of Illinois for the playing of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. Many may remember last year's exciting finish when Brooke Henderson defeated Lydia Ko in a playoff.

Image result for Brooke Henderson wins KPMG
Brooke Henderson will be trying to defend the KPMG Women's PGA Championship she won at Sahalee last year.
This will be tournament #17 of 34 on the 2017 LPGA schedule. It is also the 2nd of five Major Championships to be played this year.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Olympia Fields Country Club
Location: Olympia Fields, IL.
Defending Champion:  Brooke Henderson
Winning Score: 67-73-73-65 = 278 (-6)

Final Field: 156 Players
Par:  36/35 = 71
Yardage:  6,581
Purse: $3,500,000


Image result for Olympia Fields CC
This year this tournament will be played at beautiful Olympia Fields Country Club


My strength of field rating is a solid 85% (down from 86.5% last year when Ha Na Jang was in the field). All the stars from the LPGA tour will be teeing it up. The only reason the ANA Inspiration was higher, is that this tournament doesn't include stars from other tours (Jiyai Shin is the lone exception).

I will post the pairings as soon as they are made available.

Here are the television times:
June 29 - GC 12:30 PM-3:30 PM ET 
June 30 - GC 12:30 PM-3:30 PM ET 
July  1 - NBC 3:00 PM-6:00 PM ET
July  2 - NBC 3:00 PM-6:00 PM ET

Players most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
So Yeon Ryu - Will be looking to solidify her new #1 ranking
Ariya Jutanugarn - Will be looking to regain the top spot she held for just 2 weeks
Lydia Ko - Still looking to regain the form that had her at #1 for so long

Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
Lexi Thompson - Could become #1 with a win this week
Brooke Henderson - The defending champion, and she has a history of winning on parkland courses 
Inbee Park - A three time winner of this championship

Longshot picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
Moriya Jutanugarn - Suddenly isn't referred to as Ariya's sister
Amy Yang - Has her game in great shape at the right time
Gerina Piller - What a great place to pick up that first win

Other Tidbits:
There are 26 Major Champions, owning a combined 53 major titles, in the field. They are: Na Yeon Choi, In Gee Chun, Paula Creamer, Laura Davies, Shanshan Feng, Brooke Henderson, Ariya Jutanugarn, Cristie Kerr, Hyo Joo Kim, Lydia Ko, Brittany Lang, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Catriona Matthew, Mo Martin, Anna Nordqvist, Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen, Morgan Pressel, So Yeon Ryu, Jiyai Shin, Lexi Thompson, Yani Tseng, Karrie Webb, Michelle Wie, and Sun Young Yoo.

Megan Khang is the only LPGA player to tee it up in all 16 tournaments this year.

So Yeon Ryu becomes the first repeat winner on the LPGA tour this season.

Both So Yeon Ryu and Michelle Wie picked up their 5th top 5 finish this week, Only Lexi Thompson (6) has more.

Sarah Jane Smith had her cut streak stopped at 35 straight. It had been the 4th longest streak on tour.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
So Yeon Ryu moves up to the top spot. Moriya Jutanugarn continues her surge with a move from #39 to #33, while Gaby Lopez rises up from #102 to #92.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
In the tightest race ever, So Yeon Ryu now leads with 2,195 points. She is followed very closely by Ariya Jutanugarn with 2,177, and Lexi Thompson with 2,086.

Who's Hot:
Inbee Park is the only LPGA player who has finished in the top 25 in every start this year (eleven for eleven).
Marina Alex very quietly recorded her 4th top ten finish this year.

Who's Not:
Julie Yang has missed 10 consecutive cuts.

My wife and I will be attending this tournament. I will be posting pictures in a few days.


This Week's Trivia Question:

Since the year 2000, 2 LPGA players over the age of 40 have won Major Championships. Can you name them?

For the answer to this week's trivia question press here.



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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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G Preview, Pairings, and More

A big congratulations goes out to Brooke Henderson for winning the Meijer LPGA Classic. Her final round 66 was good enough to finish 2 strokes better than both Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie. Madelene Sagstrom, Moriya Jutanugarn, and Su Oh all finished one stroke further back in a fourth place tie. As I stated in my preview to the tournament, the course fit Brooke's game to a tee. She has always said she loves park land courses, and she proved it once again. It was the fourth LPGA victory for the 19 year old Henderson.

Image result for walmart nw arkansas Championship logo

This week the LPGA moves to the state of Arkansas for the playing of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G. Last year this tournament was won by Lydia Ko, when she shot a final round sixty-eight to win by 3 strokes over both Morgan Pressel and Candie Kung.

Besides Ko's victory, this tournament has been won by some very big LPGA stars. They Include: Na Yeon Choi, Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park, Ai Miyazato, Yani Tseng (twice), and former LPGA star Jiyai Shin.

This tournament is just 54 holes.

Image result for Lydia ko wins walmart nw
Lydia Ko holds up her 2016 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship trophy.
This will be tournament #16 of 34 on the 2017 LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Pinnacle Country Club
Location:  Rogers, Arkansas
Defending Champion:  Lydia Ko
Winning Score: 66-62-68 = 196 (-17)

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



Image result for walmart nw arkansas championship
The Gatorade 17th hole is considered the loudest hole on the LPGA tour.


My strength of field rating is a middle of the road 69% (down from 72% last year). Forty-one of the top 50 players from the current LPGA Priority List, and 17 of the top 25 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. Players skipping this event include: Brooke Henderson, In Gee Chun, Sei Young Kim, Charley Hull, Lexi Thompson, I.K. Kim, and Cristie Kerr.

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times:
June 23 - GC 6:30 PM-8:30 PM ET 
June 24 - GC 5:00 PM-7:00 PM ET 
June 25 - GC 5:00 PM-7:00 PM ET

Players most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
Ariya Jutanugarn - Currently #1 in the world
Lydia Ko - #2, but her A game has not shown up
So Yeon Ryu - #3, and well rested

Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
Michelle Wie - She's been knocking at the door
Sung Hyun Park - Because she can't disappear every Sunday can she?

Longshot picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
Jacqui Concolino - Because she is playing the best golf of her life
Danielle Kang - Overdue
Madelene Sagstrom - Because I want to see how many times I can mention her name this week

Other Tidbits:
Golf Canada Communications announced recently that the 2018 Canadian Pacific Women's Open will be held at the Wascana Country Club in Regina, Saskatchewan. This will be the first time that this championship will be held in the Province of Saskatchewan.

Lexi Thompson moves into the #1 spot on the 2017 LPGA money list. She also leads the tour in scoring average. 

There has not been a repeat winner on the LPGA Tour yet this year. There has been 15 different winners in 15 weeks.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Brooke Henderson moves a couple of spots from #15 to #13, while Michelle Wie continues her surge leaping up from #48 to #33. Moriya Jutanugarn rises up from # 46 to #39, and Madelene Sagstrom now becomes a part of my field ratings, catapulting from #129 all the way up to #95.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
Ariya Jutanugarn leads with 2,177 points. Lexi Thompson is closing in fast with 2,086. They are followed by So Yeon Ryu (1,695), In Gee Chun (1,515), and Cristie Kerr (1,282).

Who's Hot:
Rookie Madelene Sagstrom has been on quite a run. She finished 7th at the Kingsmill Championship, her final round 65 on Sunday at the ShopRite Classic blew her by 40 players that day, and she tied for 4th this week at the Meijer LPGA Classic. 

Who's Not:
Christina Kim has failed to register a top 30 finish in 13 starts this year. Xi Yu Lin has missed 6 cuts in her last 7 starts. 


This Week's Trivia Question:

Seven players have won LPGA Major Championships as teenagers. How many can you name?

For the answer to this week's trivia question press here.

Update #1 - Ariya Jutanugarn is no longer in the field.
Update #2 - Regina Plasencia (66) and Julieta Granada (67) are the Monday local qualifiers.

Here are the leaders after round 1:

1 Sung Hyun Park -8 F
2 Ally McDonald -6 F
2 Melissa Reid -6 F
2 So Yeon Ryu -6 F
5 Katherine Kirk -5 F
5 Stacy Lewis -5 F
5 Juli Inkster -5 F
5 Moriya Jutanugarn -5 F
5 Felicity Johnson -5 F
10 Lee-Anne Pace -4 F
10 Gerina Piller -4 F
10 Mi Hyang Lee -4 F
10 Austin Ernst -4 F
10 Pornanong Phatlum -4 F
10 Megan Khang -4 F
10 Jeong Eun Lee -4 F
10 Celine Herbin -4  


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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Monday, June 12, 2017

Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Preview, Pairings and more

Congratulations go out to Ariya Jutanugarn for winning the Manulife LPGA Classic in a playoff over Lexi Thompson and In Gee Chun. For Lexi Thompson (who blew a 4 shot lead with 7 holes to play), it was her third playoff loss this year. For Ariya, it was her first victory of the 2017 season, and she did it without making a single birdie over the last 6 holes of regulation. We now have had 14 different winners in 14 tournaments this year.

Image result for meijer classic for simply give logo


This week the LPGA moves back to the state of Michigan for the playing of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give. Many of you may remember last year's exciting finish when Sei Young Kim defeated Carlota Ciganda in a playoff. This is year number four for this tournament on the LPGA schedule. Each year it has come down to the final putt on the final hole. In 2014 the tournament was won by Mirim Lee in a playoff over Inbee Park, and in 2015 Lexi Thompson came out on top by one stroke over two players.

Image result for Sei young kim wins meijer
Sei Young Kim holds up her 2016 Meijer LPGA Classic trophy

This will be tournament #15 of 34 on the 2017 LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Blythefield Country Club
Location:  Grand Rapids, Michigan
Defending Champion:  Sei Young Park
Winning Score:  65-69-65-68 = 267 (-17)

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

My strength of field rating is 64 % (down from 69.5 last year). Thirty five of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and 20 of the top 25 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up.
The field will be led by the new #1 player in the world, Ariya Jutanugarn. It will also include Lydia Ko (#2), Lexi Thompson (#4), and In Gee Chun (#5). Key players skipping this week's event include: So Yeon Ryu, Anna Nordqvist, Amy Yang, and Minjee Lee.

Here are the pairings for round 1:

Here are the television times:
June 15 - GC 4:00 PM-7:00 PM ET 
June 16 - GC 4:00 PM-7:00 PM ET 
June 17 - GC 3:00 PM-6:00 PM ET
June 18 - GC 12:00 PM-3:00 PM ET

Players most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
Ariya Jutanugarn - The new #1 player in the world
Lydia Ko - Well rested after taking off the last 3 tournaments
Lexi Thompson - Has won here before

Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
In Gee Chun - Because she seems to be near the top every week
Brooke Henderson - This course fits her game
Mirim Lee - Has also won here before

Longshot picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
Emily Pedersen - Finally getting a chance to play, her worst finish has been 23rd
Laura Gonzalez Escallon - This rookie has been a major surprise
Danielle Kang - She is quietly having a very good year

Other Tidbits:
Congratulations to Amy Anderson on her recent marriage. She will now be known as Amy Olson.

Brittany Lang had her cut streak stopped at sixteen.

Lexi Thompson has taken over the lead for the Vare Trophy. Her 69.079 per round average has her in the lead for that Hall of Fame point.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Ariya Jutanugarn becomes the new #1 player in the world. She is the first player from Thailand to hold that ranking. Jodi Ewart Shadoff jumps up from #47 to #40.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
Ariya Jutanugarn takes over the top spot with 2,128 points. Lexi Thompson jumps up to second with 1,786. They are followed by So Yeon Ryu (1,695), In Gee Chun (1,515), and Cristie Kerr (1,233). Keep in the mind that the rule change this year now has the top five players (it was previously three) controlling their own fate for the million dollar bonus.

Who's Hot:
Ariya Jutanugarn, Lexi Thompson, and In Gee Chun all picked up their 5th top five finish this year, which leads the LPGA tour.

Who's Not:
Ssu-Chia Cheng has missed nine consecutive cuts, the most on the LPGA tour.


This Week's Trivia Question:

What player had by far and away the best rookie season in LPGA history?

Here are the Final Scores:

1 Brooke Henderson -17 F
2 Michelle Wie -15 F
2 Lexi Thompson -15 F
4 Su-Hyun Oh -14 F
4 Madelene Sagstrom -14 F
4 Moriya Jutanugarn -14 F
7 Danielle Kang -13 F
7 Carlota Ciganda -13 F
7 Hyo Joo Kim -13 F
10 Jacqui Concolino -12 F
10 Mi Jung Hur -12 F
10 Lydia Ko -12 F
13 Jane Park -11 F
13 Jenny Shin -11 F
13 Sung Hyun Park -11 F
13 Lee-Anne Pace -11 F
17 Cydney Clanton -10 F
17 Haru Nomura -10 F
17 Kim Kaufman -10 F
17 Lizette Salas -10 F
17 Shanshan Feng -10 F
22 Azahara Munoz -9 F
22 Beatriz Recari -9 F
22 Sei Young Kim -9 F
22 Inbee Park -9 F
22 In-Kyung Kim -9 F
22 Mi Hyang Lee -9 F
22 Ariya Jutanugarn -9 F
22 Emily Pedersen -9 F
22 Stacy Lewis -9 F
22 Cristie Kerr -9 F

For the answer to this week's trivia question press here.

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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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Solheim Cup Update - Players fighting for Remaining Spots

With the Solheim Cup just about 2 months away, I think it's a good time to look at what players are a lock to be playing, and which players are fighting for spots.

Image result for solheim cup 2017 logo



Qualifying for Entry:  (Europe)
1- A player must finish in the top 4 on the LET Solheim points list.
2- The top 4 players from the Rolex Rankings that have not already qualified.
3- Four captain's picks.

Here are the top 4 Solheim Cup point leaders as of today:
1- Georgia Hall
2- Florentyna Parker
3- Mel Reid
4- Anna Nordqvist


Here are the 4 highest Rolex Ranked players, that wouldn't have already qualified:
1- Suzann Pettersen
2- Charley Hull
3- Carlota Ciganda
4- Karine Icher

The event is played over three days. Since 2002, they play 28 matches - eight foursomes, eight four balls, and twelve singles matches.


Image result for u.s. wins 2015 solheim cup
The USA will be trying to defend the Solheim Cup title they won in 2015, when they recorded the biggest comeback ever. 


Qualifying for Entry:  (USA)
1- A player must finish in the top 8 on the Solheim Cup points list.
2- The top 2 players in the Rolex Rankings that have not already qualified.
3- Two captain's picks.

Points are accumulated the following way:
(From the first event after the previous Solheim Cup match in 2015 through the end of the 2016 season)
Winner - 40 points, 2nd - 20 points, 3rd - 18 points, 4th - 17 points, all the way down to 20th - 2 points.
(The 2017 season tournaments, leading up to the Solheim match)
Winner - 60 points, 2nd - 30 points, 3rd - 28.5 points, 4th - 27 points, 5th - 25.5 points, all the way down to a 20th place finish worth 3 points.
The reason for the increased points for the last part of the term is to give an advantage to the players who are hot going into the match. 
Points are doubled for major championships.

Here are the top 8 Solheim Cup point leaders as of today:
1- Lexi Thompson - 552 points
2- Stacy Lewis - 386.5
3- Gerina Piller - 350.5
4- Cristie Kerr - 338.5
5- Jessica Korda - 299
6- Brittany Lang - 247
7- Angela Stanford - 211
8- Austin Ernst - 210.5
The above 8 players would make the USA team on points if it were held today. 

9- Brittany Lincicome -192 
10- Michelle Wie - 184
11- Danielle Kang - 180
12- Mo Martin - 178
13- Lizette Salas - 144.5
14- Jennifer Song - 135
15- Marina Alex - 128.5
The above 7 players would fail to qualify via the points system. 

Here are the highest Rolex Ranked players, that wouldn't have already qualified:
Mo Martin - #35 in Rolex Rankings
Brittany Lincicome - #36 in Rolex Rankings
The above 2 players would make the team via their position on the Rolex Rankings.

Danielle Kang - #41
Michelle Wie - #51
Lizette Salas - #52
Alison Lee - #55
Jennifer Song - #63
Angel Yin - #66
Beth Allen - #73
Jacqui Concolino - #74
Marina Alex - #75
Ryann O'Toole - #83
The above 10 players would fail to qualify via the Rolex Rankings.

With approximately 8 weeks still to go before the teams are finalized, their is still plenty of time for some of those players who are not currently qualified to either make the team, or impress Captain Juli Inkster enough to use one of her 2 picks on them.

Of the previous 14 matches, the USA has won nine, and Europe has won five. 


This Week's Trivia Question: (for those who missed it earlier this week)

Who holds the all time record for official prize money won in one season?

For the answer to this week's trivia question press here.




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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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Manulife LPGA Classic Preview, Pairings, and More

Congratulations go out to I.K. Kim for winning the ShopRite LPGA Classic. Although she had pressure on her throughout the final round, she stayed calm and nearly played flawless golf. It was her 5th win on the LPGA tour.




This week the LPGA moves to Ontario, Canada for the playing of the Manulife LPGA Classic.
You can expect lots of birdies this week as the winning score for this tournament has always been between 16 and 26 under par. Caroline Masson won here last year by just one single stroke over Mi Hyang Lee, Karine Icher, and Minjee Lee.


Image result for caroline masson wins manulife
Caroline Masson won this tournament in 2016. It was her first and only LPGA victory.


This will be tournament #14 of 34 on the 2017 LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Whistle Bear Golf Club
Location:  Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Defending Champion:  Caroline Masson
Winning Score:  68-69-68-67 = 272 (-16)

Final Field:  150 players
Par:  36/36=72
Yardage: 6,613
Purse: $1,700,000

My strength of field rating is 49% ( down from 67% last year). Twenty-eight of the top 50 players from thr LPGA Priority List, and 13 of the top 25 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. The field will be led by Ariya Jutanugarn who with a good showing can take over the #1 spot in the world rankings.

Here are the pairings for round 1:

Here are the television times:
June 8 - GC 1:30 PM-3:30 PM ET 
June 9 - GC 1:30 PM-3:30 PM ET 
June 10 - GC 3:00 PM-5:00 PM ET
June 11 - GC 3:00 PM-5:00 PM ET


Players most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
Ariya Jutanugarn - Should take over the #1 spot.
Lexi Thompson - Currently #4 in the world, but within striking distance of top spot.
In Gee Chun - Number 5 player in the world is always a threat.

Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
Suzann Pettersen - Has won here before.
Brooke Henderson - Hometown favorite.
Minjee Lee - Finished 2nd and 4th here the 

last two years.

Longshot picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
Angel Yin - Trying to create attention and become a Solheim Cup pick.
Caroline Masson - Because she is the defending champion.
Mi Jung Hur - Has played well most of the year.

Other Tidbits:
So Yeon Ryu missed the cut this week and had her streak come to an end at 64. Stacy Lewis now has the longest streak with 49.

We have now had thirteen different winners in the first 13 weeks of the LPGA season.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
In spite of what you heard on TV during the broadcast, Lydia Ko does indeed keep her #1 ranking by .001 of a point over Ariya Jutanugarn. She will not be playing the next 2 weeks and will almost certainly lose that top ranking.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
In what has turned out to be the closest race in the history of this race, So Yeon Ryu currently leads with 1,695 points. She is followed by Ariya Jutanugarn (1,628), Lexi Thompson (1,486), Cristie Kerr (1,233), and In Gee Chun (1,215).

Who's Hot:
Moriya Jutanugarn's 9th place finish this past week was her 11th top 25 finish this year, tying her sister Ariya for the LPGA lead.

Inbee Park has finished in the top 25 in all of the 9 tournaments she has entered this year.

Jeong Eun Lee has finshed 3rd and 4th in her last 2 starts. 

Who's Not:
HeeYoung Park has now missed eight consecutive cuts. I have been told that she has been experimenting with new clubs this year. Am I the only one who thinks that maybe she should go back to the old ones before it's too late to salvage this season?

Azahara Munoz has not had a top 20 finish in her last 13 starts dating back to last year.

Although Candie Kung has made 20 consecutive cuts, she has not finished better than 33rd in her eleven starts this year.

This Week's Trivia Question:

Who holds the LPGA record for most official prize money in one season?


For the answer to this week's trivia question press here.

Here are the final results:
1 Ariya Jutanugarn -17 (won)
2 In Gee Chun -17
2 Lexi Thompson -17
4 Jodi Ewart Shadoff -16
5 Laura Gonzalez Escallon -14
5 Mi Hyang Lee -14
7 Perrine DeLacour -13
7 Minjee Lee -13
7 Lindy Duncan -13
10 Suzann Pettersen -12
11 Austin Ernst -11
11 Chella Choi -11
11 Brooke Henderson -11
11 Hyo Joo Kim -11
15 Mi Jung Hur -10
15 Lizette Salas -10
15 Angel Yin -10
15 Tiffany Joh -10
15 Shanshan Feng -10
15 Paula Reto -10
15 Alena Sharp -10
22 Alison Lee -9
22 Charley Hull -9
22 Emily Pedersen -9
25 Karine Icher -8
25 Candie Kung -8
25 Ashleigh Buhai -8

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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