Monday, March 20, 2017

Kia Classic Preview, Pairings, and More

A huge congratulations goes out to Anna Nordqvist for winning the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. Her final total of -25 under par was two shots better than runner-ups, Stacy Lewis, In Gee Chun, and Ariya Jutanugarn. For Jutanugarn, it was her second consecutive runner-up finish.

Image result for kia classic logo

This week the LPGA moves to the state of California for the playing of the Kia Classic. Lydia Ko will be trying to defend the title she won last year when she finished 4 strokes better than runner-up Inbee Park. Her -19 under par total was one shot off the tournament record that is held by Cristie Kerr.

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Lydia Ko holds up her 2016 winning trophy

This will be tournament #6 of 34 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the Key Details:

Course:  Aviara Golf Club
Location: Carlsbad, California
Defending Champion: Lydia Ko
Winning Score:  68-67-67-67 = 269 (-19)

Final Field:  144 players
Par 36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,593 yards
Purse:  $1,800,000

My strength of field rating is an incredibly strong 88% (up from 84% last year), making it the strongest field of the year so far. The past two years this tournament had the strongest field of any non major championship. It will have it again this year! Every player from the top 100 LPGA Priority List (Nicole Castrale is retired) will be teeing it up. Forty of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be in attendance. The only reason that some of the upcoming major championships might have a higher field rating, is that they invite stars from other tours that are ranked high on the Rolex Rankings, therefore raising my field rating.

Here are the first round pairings;


Here are the television times:
Mar 23 - GC 8:30 PM-10:30 PM ET (Tape)
Mar 24 - GC 8:30 PM-10:30 PM ET (Tape)
Mar 25 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Mar 26 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET

Players most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
Lydia Ko - The world's #1 player.
Ariya Jutanugarn - Number 2 and gaining on Lydia.
In Gee Chun - Takes back the #3 position.

Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
Stacy Lewis - Playing her best golf in over 2 years.
Ha Na Jang - Because she seems to be on the first page of the leaderboard every week.
Sung Hyun Park - Is this the week she gets that first win?
Jessica Korda - Has 4 top 25 finishes.

Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
Jeong Eue Lee - Don't know who she is? You will soon.
Michelle Wie - Her game seems to have re-appeared.
Moriya Jutanugarn - Can she chase down her sister?
Nelly Korda - She is playing better now than she did on the Symetra Tour.

Other Tidbits:
Minjee Lee missed her first cut in her last twenty tournaments.
Only at the Founders Cup.... can a player (Lydia Ko) have 52 pars, 20 birdies, and 0 bogeys, and never really be in contention.
Only at the Founders Cup.....can a player (Maude-Aimee Leblanc) shoot the low round on Friday, an -8 under par 64, and miss the cut.
Only at the Founders Cup.....can players play the first 2 rounds in -4 under par (Madelene Sagstrom, Cristie Kerr, Lexi Thompson, Natalie Gulbis, among others) and not get to play the weekend.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Inbee Park moves up from #9 to #7, while Anna Nordqvist jumps from #13 to #11.
Nelly Korda, who started the year at #341, continues to impress leaping 40 more spots to #199.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
Ariya Jutanugarn leads with 899 points, she is followed by Ha Na Jang with 784, and Anna Nordqvist with 629. Inbee Park placed 4th with 610, and Brittany Lincicome 5th with 607. Keep in mind that unlike in the past, the top 5 finishers will hold their fate completly in their own hands (A win at the CME will guarantee them the million). In the past it was the top three. 

Who's Hot:
Ariya Jutanugarn is the only player to record 4 top ten finishes this year. Her sister Moriya, is the only player to record 5 top twenties. 

Who's Not:
Hee Young Park has failed to register a top 35 finish yet this year. Karrie Webb has not finished better than 48th.


This Week's Trivia Question: 

What 3 LPGA players have the most total top ten finishes in the last five completed seasons (2012- 2016)

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


Update #1 - Margarita Ramos and Savannah Vilaubi were the Monday Qualifiers.
Update #2 - Sydnee Michaels is no longer in the field, she has been replaced with Amelia Lewis.
Update #3 - Charley Hull injured her wrist during the pro-am and was replaced with Ashleigh Buhai.

Here the leaders after round 3:

1 Mirim Lee -13 F
2 Mi Jung Hur -12 F
3 In Gee Chun -10 F
3 Cristie Kerr -10 F
5 Brittany Lincicome -9 F
5 Karine Icher -9 F
5 Austin Ernst -9 F
8 So Yeon Ryu -8 F
8 Gerina Piller -8 F
8 Sung Hyun Park -8 F
8 Jackie Stoelting -8 F
8 Mo Martin -8 F
13 Michelle Wie -7 F
13 Ariya Jutanugarn -7 F
13 Moriya Jutanugarn -7 F
16 Inbee Park -6 F
16 Carlota Ciganda -6 F
16 Nasa Hataoka -6 F
16 Madelene Sagstrom -6 F
16 Anna Nordqvist -6 F
16 Sei Young Kim -6 F
16 Caroline Masson -6 F

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, March 12, 2017

Bank of Hope Founders Cup Preview, Pairings, and More


Image result for Bank of Hope Founders Cup


After a one week break, the LPGA resumes its schedule this week with the playing of the LPGA Founders Cup. This will be the first of 3 consecutive tournaments that will be played on the west coast of the United States, and will include the year's first major championship.

This will be the seventh year for this tournament which had a history of very close finishes until last year when Sei Young Kim's final round 62, was five strokes better than runner-up Lydia Ko. Kim's total of 27 under par 261, tied Annika Soremstam's record for the most strokes under par in LPGA history.

Sei Young Kim will be trying to defend her Founders Cup championship.


This will tournament #5 of 34 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriot Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
Location:  Phoenix, Arizona
Defending Champion:  Sei Young Kim
Winning Score:  63-66-70-62 = 261  (-27)

Final Field:  144 Players
Par:  72
Yardage:  6,538
Purse:  $1,500,000

My strength of field rating is a very strong 82% (same as last year). As always this tournament will be one of the strongest non major fields of the year. Ninety five of the top 100 players from the LPGA Priority List, and twenty of the top 25 players from the Rolex Rankings will be in attendance. Among the missing this week include: Shanshan Feng (#3 in Rolex Rankings), Carlota Ciganda, and Charley Hull.

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times:
Mar 16 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Mar 17 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Mar 18 - GC 7:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Mar 19 - GC 7:00 PM-9:00 PM ET

Players most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
  • Lydia Ko - Still the world #1
  • Ariya Jutanugarn - #2 and narrowing the gap
  • In Gee Chun - #4 ranked player
Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
  • Sei Young Kim - The defending champion is always dangerous
  • Stacy Lewis - Always contends here
  • Brooke Henderson - Course fits her game
  • Sung Hyun Park - Because she is always good
Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
  • Jodi Ewart Shadoff - Has been playing the best golf of her career
  • Pornanong Phatlum - Overdue
  • Jessica Korda - Has had three good finishes this year

Other Tidbits:   
Juli Inkster won the Walgreens Charity Classic, which is a 36 hole event on the Legends Tour. 

The Symetra Tour got under way this past weekend woith the playing of the Florida's Natural Charity Classic. Olivia Jordan-Higgins won the event with a 10 under par total. Christine Song and Yu Liu finished one stroke back. Lindsey Weaver finished fourth, just 2 strokes back of the winner.

UPDATE #1 - Augusta James and Kaylin Yost are the Monday local qualifiers.
UPDATE #2 - Mel Reid is no longer on field list, she has been replaced by Stephanie Meadow.
UPDATE #3 - Sydnee Michaels has dropped out. She is replaced by Casey Grice.
UPDATE #4 - Kris Tamulis has withdrawn. She was replaced with Sandra Changjkiya.

Here are the Final Results:
1 Anna Nordqvist -25
2 In Gee Chun -23
2 Stacy Lewis -23
2 Ariya Jutanugarn -23
5 Ha-Na Jang -21
5 Inbee Park -21
5 So Yeon Ryu -21
8 Moriya Jutanugarn -20
8 Lydia Ko -20
10 Jessica Korda -19
10 Lizette Salas -19
10 Caroline Masson -19
13 Brooke Henderson -18
13 Sun Young Yoo -18
13 Sandra Gal -18
13 Mirim Lee -18
13 Sung Hyun Park -18
13 Karine Icher -18

This Week's Trivia Question:

In the history of the LPGA, only two Monday qualifiers went on to win the LPGA event.  Who are they?


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, March 8, 2017

LPGA Player Profile: Belen Mozo

With the LPGA taking a one week break before resuming its schedule in the United States, I thought it would be a good time to do my third LPGA player profile.

The player I have chosen this time around, may not be a household name like the first two were, but I have received a number of requests to do this profile.


          Belen Mozo

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Belen posed for the Sports Illustrated Body Issue, proving golfers can be sexy too.


Pronounced: (bay-LEN moh-thoh)
Born: 9/25/88 (28 years old)
Hometown: Cadiz, Spain
Resides: Cartagena, Columbia
College: USC
Rookie Year: 2011
2016 Earnings: $76,263 (104th)


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In spite of her limited success thus far on the LPGA tour, Belen has become a big fan favorite


Belen has not yet won on the LPGA tour: Here are her best finishes:
  • Finished 5th at the 2016 LPGA Volvik Championship
  • Finished 4th at the 2014 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic
  • Finished 10th at the 2014 Airbus LPGA Classic
  • Finished 5th at the 2011 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

Best Finishes in Major Championships:
  • ANA Inspiration (formerly the Kraft Nabisco Championship) - Finished 41st in 2013
  • KPMG Women's PGA Championship - Finished 58th in 2013
  • U.S. Women's Open - Finished 55th in 2014
  • Ricoh Women's British Open - Finished 29th in 2014
  • The Evian Championship - Finished 37th in 2013
Belen stops to take a picture with my wife Cindy and me at the U.S. Women's Open in Colorado Springs.










Career Stats:
  • 129 career starts
  • 74 cuts made (57.4%)
  • 4 top tens (3.1%)
  • 14 top twenty-fives (10.9%)
  • Has earned $807,615 in prize money through the 2016 season (269th on all time career money list).

Other Career Highlights:
  • Was a member of the victorious Team Spain at the 2014 UL International Crown, recording a 2-1-1 record.
  • Won British Ameteur Golf Championship in 2006

Previous Player profiles:


This week's Trivia Question:   (For those who missed it earlier this week).

What LPGA player picked up the most Hall of Fame points during the 2016 season, and how many? 

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




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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Stats & Facts - Vol 32 - Fast starts

Congratulations go out to Inbee Park for winning the HSBC Women's Champions. She did it in record fashion, shooting a course record 8 under par 64 on Sunday. She finished one stroke ahead of runner up Ariya Jutanugarn.

Image result for Inbee Park wins HSBC 2017
Inbee Park becomes the first player to win the HSBC crown twice.

With the LPGA taking a one week break before resuming its schedule in the United States, it is as good a time as any to look at some key player statistics after the first four tournaments of the year.


Rolex Player of the Year: (Winner receives a Hall of Fame point)
1- Ha Na Jang - 37 points
2- Brittany Lincicome - 30
2- Amy Yang - 30
2- Inbee Park - 30
5- Ariya Jutanugarn - 24

Vare Trophy - (Winner receives a Hall of Fame point)
1- Sung Hyun Park - 68.000 strokes per round
2 -So Yeon Ryu - 68.250
3- Lexi Thompson - 68.500
4- Stacy Lewis - 68.917
5- Inbee Park - 69.000

Race to the CME Globe: (1 million dollars)
1- Ha Na Jang - 674 points
2- Ariya Jutanugarn - 599
3- Amy Yang - 570
4- Brittany Lincicome - 560
5- Inbee Park - 500

Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year:
1- Sung Hyun Park - 75 points (played in just 1 event)
1- Nelly Korda - 75 (played 2 events)
3- Laura Gonzalez Escallon - 53
4- Mel Reid - 44
5- Katherine Perry - 39

Most Victories:
1- Brittany Lincicome - 1
1- Ha Na Jang - 1
1- Amy Yang - 1
1- Inbee Park - 1

Most Top Five Finishes:
1- Lexi Thompson - 2
1- Ariya Jutanugarn - 2
1- Ha Na Jang - 2

Most Top Ten Finishes:
1- Ariya Jutanugarn - 3
2- Five players tied with - 2

Most Wins By Country:
1- South Korea - 3
2- United Staes - 1

Most Consecutive Tournaments without a missed cut:
1- So Yeon Ryu - 65
2- Stacy Lewis - 41
3- Lydia Ko - 39
4- Anna Nordqvist - 37
5- Amy Yang - 36

Solheim Cup Standings: (Team USA)
1- Lexi Thompson - 408 points
2- Stacy Lewis - 317.5
3- Gerina Piller - 286
4- Brittany Lang - 211
5- Jessica Korda - 185
6- Brittany Lincicome 160 5
7- Austin Ernst - 156.5
8- Angela Stanford - 154
Mo Martin and Cristie Kerr would make it via the Rolex Rankings.



Other Tidbits:
Michelle Wie's 4th place finish may have earned her a nice $65,500.00 paycheck, but the money will not be counted as official earnings as she was a sponsor invitee on foreign soil with no cut.

Lorena Ochoa announced that she will be making a one tournament comeback, playing in the Lorena Ochoa Match Play Championship in May of this year.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Shanshan Feng makes the most important move sneaking past In Gee Chun into the #3 position. Inbee Park jumps back into the top ten moving from #12 to #9. Michelle Wie leaps up from #177 to #118.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
See above 

Who's Hot:
See above

Who's Not:
Candie Kung, Jenny Shin, and Hee Young Park, are the only golfers with a Priority Ranking in the top 35, that have played 3 events and failed to have a top 35 finish.


This week's Trivia Question:   

What LPGA player picked up the most Hall of Fame points during the 2016 season, and how many? 


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

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Monday, February 27, 2017

HSBC Women's Champions Preview, Pairings, and More

A big congratulations goes out to Amy Yang for winning the Honda LPGA Thailand. Her final round 68 = 266 (-22), was 5 strokes better than runner up So Yeon Ryu. It was Amy's third win on the LPGA tour, and second at this event in Thailand.


Image result for 2017 hsbc women's champions logo
This week the LPGA moves to Singapore for the playing of the HSBC Women's Champions. Ha Na Jang will be trying to defend the title she won last year when she shot a final round 65, to finish four strokes better than runner up Pornanong Phatlum, and 8 strokes better than 3rd place finisher Amy Yang.

Ha Na Jang dances after winning the 2016 HSBC Women's Champions.

This will be tournament #4 of 34 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Sentosa Golf Club, The Tanjong Course
Location:  Singapore
Defending Champion:  Ha Na Jang
Winning Score:  70-66-68-65 = 269 (-19)

Final Field:  63 Players
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,600
Purse:  $1,500,000

My strength of field rating is a very solid  77.5% (down from last year's 78.5%). Forty-nine of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List (I.K. Kim is once again not teeing it up) and 38 of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be in attendance. Once again, the reason my field rating isn't higher, is that the limited field leaves out some key players that would have made the field stronger. Players such as: Pernilla Lindberg, Gaby Lopez, Xi Yu Lin, Sandra Gal, Mariajo Uribe, Ai Miyazato, and Yani Tseng are among the players who will not be there.

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times:
GC Wednesday March 1 - 10:30 pm - 2:30 a.m. ET
GC Friday  March 3 - 12:00 mid. - 2:30 a.m. ET
GC Saturday March 4 - 12 mid - 2:30 a.m. ET 
GC Sunday March 5 - 12:00 mid. - 2:30 a.m. ET
I believe the time difference between East Coast and Singapore is 13 hours.

Players Most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
  • Lydia Ko - Number one player in the world
  • Ariya Jutanugarn - #2 and playing well
  • In Gee Chun - Moves into the #3 spot this week
Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
  • Ha Na Jang - The defending champion
  • Amy Yang - Trying to make it two in a row
  • Lexi Thompson - Has 2 top five finishes
Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
  • Danielle Kang - Playing the best golf of her LPGA career
  • Jodi Ewart Shadoff - Ready to contend?
  • Moriya Jutanugarn - Can she beat her sister?

Other Tidbits:
The Symetra Tour, Road to the LPGA, announced Thursday that the first-ever Facebook Live broadcast of a women’s professional golf tournament round will take place at the season-opening event. An all-female announce team, the first ever in golf, will broadcast the final round of the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic from approximately 4:00-6:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 12. This is the first time that the Symetra Tour has ever showcased live golf. The broadcast will originate from the LPGA’s Facebook page 




Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Amy Yang moves into the top 10 this week, jumping from #11 to #8. Jodi Ewart Shadoff leaps up from #56 to #44, while Danielle Kang rises from # 72 to #57.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
Brittany Lincicome jumps into the lead with 560 points, She is followed by Ha Na Jang with 539, Amy Yang with 524, and Lexi Thompson with 435.

Who's Hot:
Lexi Thompson became the first player this year to have two top 5 finishes. 
Moriya Jutanugarn and Austin Ernst are the only players to finish in the top 25 in all 3 tournaments.

Who's Not:
Na Yeon Choi picked up where she left off last season. She finished 38 strokes behind winner Amy Yang. She was able to finish better than just one player in the entire field, and that was a non LPGA sponsor invitee.

This Week's Trivia Question: 

Since the current Rolex Rankings went into effect in 2006, nine players have reached the #1 position. How many of them can you name?

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

Here are the final results:
1 Inbee Park -19
2 Ariya Jutanugarn -18
3 Sung Hyun Park -16
4 Brooke Henderson -14
4 Ha-Na Jang -14
4 Michelle Wie -14
7 So Yeon Ryu -13
7 Anna Nordqvist -13
9 Mirim Lee -12
9 Chella Choi -12
9 Lydia Ko -12
12 Moriya Jutanugarn -11
12 Charley Hull -11
12 Shanshan Feng -11
15 Beatriz Recari -10
15 Jodi Ewart Shadoff -10
15 Morgan Pressel -10
15 Jessica Korda -10
15 Suzann Pettersen -10
20 Angela Stanford -9
21 Pornanong Phatlum -8
21 Mo Martin -8
21 Caroline Masson -8
21 Carlota Ciganda -8
25 Lexi Thompson -7
25 Karine Icher -7
25 Stacy Lewis -7
25 Hyo Joo Kim -7
25 Amy Yang -7



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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