Monday, September 29, 2014

Reignwood LPGA Classic Preview and Pairings

After a one week break the LPGA travels to Asia this week for the playing of the Reignwood LPGA Classic. This will be the first of six consecutive tournaments that will be played in Asia.

Defending Champion Shanshan Feng

Shanshan Feng won this event in 2013 when she eagled the final hole to beat Stacy Lewis by one stroke. If you like birdies, this is the tournament to watch as four players shot -20 or better last year.
It is also a par 73, which is very unusual on any course on any tour.

This will be tournament # 25 of 32 on the LPGA schedule this year.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Reignwood Pine Valley Golf Club
Location:  Nankou, Beijing, China
Defending Champion:  Shanshan Feng
Winning Score:  70-64-64-68 = 266 (-26)

Final Field:  81 players
Par:  36/37 = 73
Yardage:  6,596
Purse:  $2,100,000

My strength of field rating is just 44%, making it the second weakest field of the year. Most American players have decided to extend their vacations and start playing next week. In fact, the only American player ranked in the top 50 of the Rolex Rankings that will be in attendance is Stacy Lewis.

Here are the television times:
Oct 1 - GC 11:00 PM-4:00 AM ET
Oct 2 - GC 11:00 PM-4:00 AM ET
Oct 3 - GC 11:00 PM-4:00 AM ET
Oct 4 - GC 11:00 PM-4:00 AM ET

Please note that there is a 12 hour difference in time if you live on the east coast of the United States.
The tournament broadcast is live, and will be shown at 11:00 PM on Wednesday night. Assuming that most LPGA fans will be taping it and watching it when they come home from work on Thursday, I will not be posting results until sometime after that.

Here are the pairings for the first 2 rounds:

Here are my picks for this week's tournament:
1- Stacy Lewis 
2- Shanshan Feng
3- Inbee Park
4- Suzann Pettersen
5- So Yeon Ryu
6- M.J. Hur
7- Chella Choi
8- Na Yeon Choi
9- Mirim Lee
10- Pornanong Phatlum
11- Yani Tseng
12- Xi Yu Lin
The Pak Picker race has really tightened up. I am currently in 5th place among the 21 current participants.

Other Tidbits:
Phase 2 of the LPGA Q-School tournament will be played this week starting on Tuesday, September 30th and concluding on Friday, October 3rd. I have posted a Separate Blog on that subject.

Check back here daily for any updates and tournament results. Live scoreboards to all ladies tours are always available by clicking on the links on the top of this page.


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LPGA Q-School Phase 2 - Cheyenne Woods Heads Field List

It will be a big week for many players as they try to earn their 2015 LPGA cards this week. LPGA Qualifying Tournament Stage 2 will take place starting Tuesday, September 30th, with the final round Friday, October 3.  There will be 192 ladies teeing it up, with the top 80 advancing to Phase 3 in December. This tournament will have no cut as all players that complete the 72 holes will receive Symetra Tour playing cards for 2015.

Cheyenne Woods 



The field for this tournament will not be lacking big names. The phase 2 field will include:

Cheyenne Woods - Niece of Tiger Woods, who won on the Ladies European Tour in 2014.

Ariya Jutanugarn - Younger sister of LPGA 2013 rookie of the year Moriya Jutanugarn, has had several top ten finishes playing as a sponsor exemption on the LPGA Tour.

Stephanie Meadow - Shocked us all with her third place finish at the 2014 U.S. Open.

Mingee Lee - Playing in just 4 LPGA tournaments this year, she opened up all our eyes with an 11th place finish in Australia, a 22nd place finish at the U.S. Open, and a 16th place finish at the Evian Championship.

Emily Tubert - She blew away the field in stage 1, and was the only player to shoot under par in all four rounds of that tournament.

Alison Lee - A freshman at UCLA, she is the #1 ranked college player in the world.

Here are some more key details:

Course:  Plantation Golf & Country Club - Panther & Bobcat Courses
Location:  Venice, Florida
Field: 192 players
Countries: Players from 33 different countries will be teeing it up.
Par:  72
Yardage:  Panther Course (6,363), Bobcat (6,536)

Other Tidbits:
There will be 93 players representing the United States, Florida having the most from any state with 15.

Among the 99 International players, there are twelve from Canada, twelve from South Korea, nine from Thailand, and eight from Australia.

Here are the leaders after round 2:

PositionPlayerScoringRoundsTotal
CurrentStart  TodayThruTo Par1234Score
11CANADABrogan McKinnon[B]-1 F-76671 -  - 137
T2T28USA   Ginger Howard[B]-5 F-57267 -  - 139
T2T28AUSTRALIAMinjee Lee[B]-5 F-57267 -  - 139
T2T2FRANCECeline Herbin[P]-2 F-56970 -  - 139
5T4USACarly Werwie[P]-2 F-47070 -  - 140
T6T4USA   Annie Park (a)[B]-1 F-37071 -  - 141
T6T11USAJessy Tang[B]-2 F-37170 -  - 141
T6T11SOUTH KOREAJu Young Park[B]-2 F-37170 -  - 141
T9T11USA   Alison Lee (a)[P]-1 F-27171 -  - 142
T9T4USA   Katelyn Sepmoree[P]E F-27072 -  - 142
T9T28FRANCEFiona Puyo[B]-2 F-27270 -  - 142
T9T28AustraliaSu Oh (a)[B]-2 F-27270 -  - 142
T9T4BOLIVIASusy Benavides[P]E F-27072 -  - 142


Check back here daily this week as I will be posting the results.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Year 2014 - Part 2

Now that we have completed about 3/4 of the LPGA season, I would like to look at the players that have made the biggest leaps, and taken the biggest falls in the Rolex Rankings this year.

The Rolex Rankings system awards points to players based on an accumulated 104-week "rolling" period, with the points awarded in the most recent 13-week period carrying a stronger value.
A player is then ranked according to her average points per tournament, as determined by dividing her total number of points by the number of eligible tournaments played during the 104-week period. A minimum divisor (35) is also used.

I have gone back to the first Rolex Rankings of the year and compared them to the current rankings. The only requirements for my list are
: (1) A player must have been ranked in the top 100 at the start of the year, or be in the top 100 now. (2) A player must have started the year 2014 with a minimum rating of 0.50 (or else this chart would be filled with unknown names.) Non LPGA members are included.

The Year's Biggest Gainers:


1- Michelle Wie - 1.77 to 6.56 = Gain of 4.79 (moved from #61 to #7)
2- Lydia Ko - 7.38 to 10.46 = Gain of 3.08 (move 4 to 3)
3- Stacy Lewis - 8.98 to 11.57 = Gain of 2.59 (move 3 to 1)
4- Anna Nordqvist - 3.04 to 5.45 = Gain of 2.40 (move 26 to 10)
5- Hyo-Joo Kim - 3.08 to 5.37 = Gain of 2.29 (move 24 to 11)
6- Mirim Lee - 1.23 to 3.31 = Gain of 2.08 (move 87 to 23)
7- Mo Martin - 1.21 to 3.23 = Gain of 2.02 (move 89 to 27)
8- Charley Hull - 1.03 to 2.98 = Gain of 1.95 (move 103 to 30)
9- Karrie Webb - 5.06 to 6.90 = Gain of 1.84 (move 8 to 5)
10- Lexi Thompson - 4.86 to 6.40 = Gain of 1.54 (move 9 to 8)
11- Azahara Munoz - 2.73 to 4.14 = Gain of 1.41 (move 31 to 15)
12- Christina Kim - 0.58 to 1.86 = Gain of 1.28 (move from 189 to 60)
13- Julieta Granada - 1.09 to 2.33 = Gain of 1.24 (move 105 to 42)
14- Line Vedel - 0.60 to 1.83 = Gain of 1.23 (move 179 to 63)
15- Jessica Korda - 2.45 to 3.60 = Gain of 1.15 ( move 42 to 21)
16- Mizuna Narita - 1.03 to 2.17 = Gain of 1.14 (move 111 to 49)
17- Jung Min Lee - 1.54 to 2.61 = Gain of 1.07 (move 71 to 35)
18- Jenny Shin - 1.51 to 2.57 = Gain of 1.06 (move 73 to 36)
18- Meena Lee - 1.50 to 2.56 = Gain of 1.06 (move 74 to 37)
20- Brittany Lincicome - 2.28 to 3.30 = Gain of 1.02 (move 46 to 24)

The Year's Biggest Decliners:

1- Ai Miyazato - 3.56 to 1.50 = Loss of 2.06 (move 21 to 77)
2- Mika Miyazato - 3.54 to 1.67 = Loss of 1.87 (move 22 to 70)
3- Beatriz Recari - 3.72 to 2.21 = Loss of 1.51 (19 to 45)
4- Suzann Pettersen - 10.25 to 8.75 = Loss of 1.50 (move 2 to 4)
5- I.K. Kim - 4.55 to 3.30 = Loss of 1.25 (move 10 to 25)
6- Na Yeon Choi - 5.63 to 4.40 = Loss of 1.25 (move 7 to 13)
7- Caroline Hedwall - 3.30 to 2.09 = Loss of 1.21 (move 23 to 52)
8- Catriona Matthew - 4.45 to 3.36 = Loss of 1.09 (move 11 to 22)
9- Ariya Jutanugarn - 2.76 to 1.74 = Loss of 1.02 (move 29 to 66)
10- Hee Young Park - 3.75 to 2.75 = Loss of 1.00 (move 18 to 33)
10- Ihlee Lee - 2.69 to 1.69 = Loss of 1.00 (move 32 to 68)
12- Miki Saiki - 2.32 to 1.35 = Loss of 0.97 (move 44 to 89)
13- Chie Arimura - 1.65 to 0.71 = Loss of 0.94 (move 66 to 180)
14- Yani Tseng - 2.62 to 1.72 = Loss of 0.90 (move 35 to 72)
14- Mi Jeong Jeon - 2.13 to 1.23 = Loss of 0.90 (move 50 to 102)
16- Mamiko Higa - 2.15 to 1.31 = Loss of 0.84 (move 49 to 94)
17- Sun Young Yoo - 2.10 to 1.26 = Loss of 0.84 (move 51 to 98)


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Monday, September 22, 2014

Stats & Facts - Volume 21

The LPGA is taking its final break of the 2014 season this week. Play will resume next week with a six tournament Asian swing. The season will then wind down with a tournament in Mexico followed by the CME Group Tour Championship in Florida.

I thought that this would be a good time to look at the key statistics compiled through the first 24 tournaments of the year.



Stacy Lewis currently leads the LPGA in most major categories 



Rolex Player of the Year: (winner receives a Hall of Fame point)
1- Stacy Lewis - 212 points
2- Inbee Park - 171
3- Michelle Wie - 151
4- Lydia Ko - 134
5- Lexi Thompson - 106

Vare Trophy: (winner receives a Hall of Fame point)
1- Stacy Lewis - 69.38 strokes per round
2- Michelle Wie - 69.71
3- Inbee Park - 69.74
4- Suzann Pettersen - 69.93
5- So Yeon Ryu - 69.99

Race to the CME Globe: (winner receives 1 million dollars)
1- Stacy Lewis - 4,333 points
2- Inbee Park - 3,087
3- Lydia Ko - 2,906
4- Michelle Wie - 2,588
5- Anna Nordqvist 2,325

Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year:
1- Lydia Ko - 1,306 points
2- Mirim Lee - 600
3- Line Vedel - 457
4- Kim Kaufman - 300 (didn't play until much later in season)
5- Amy Anderson - 292

Most Consecutive Tournaments Without a Missed Cut:
1- Stacy Lewis - 66
2- Lydia Ko - 35 (unofficial total that includes her playing as non LPGA member)
3- Shanshan Feng - 31

Most Victories This Season:
1- Stacy Lewis - 3
2- Six players tied with - 2

Most Top Five Finishes:
1- Stacy Lewis - 10
2- Inbee Park - 9
3- So Yeon Ryu - 8
3- Lydia Ko - 8
5- Anna Nordqvist - 6
5- Michelle Wie - 6

Most Top Ten Finishes:
1- Stacy Lewis - 15
2- Inbee Park - 13
3- Cristie Kerr - 11
3- So Yeon Ryu -11
5- Ko, Pettersen, Wie - 10

Most Top Twenty Finishes:
1- Stacy Lewis - 19
2- Inbee Park - 15
3- Azahara Munoz - 14
3- So Yeon Ryu - 14
3- Chella Choi - 14
3- Lydia Ko -14

Most Wins By Country:
1- United States - 12
2- South Korea - 6
3- Sweden - 2
3- Australia - 2
3- New Zealand - 2

Solheim Cup Standings:
1- Stacy Lewis - 578 points
2- Lexi Thompson - 386
3- Michelle Wie - 352
4- Cristie Kerr - 240
5- Angela Stanford - 196
6- Paula Creamer - 184
7- Lizette Salas - 170
8- Gerina Piller - 165
Note: Jessica Korda (#21) and Brittany Lincicome (#24) would get in through the Rolex Rankings.
Players such as: Mo Martin, Morgan Pressel, and Brittany Lang would not qualify.

How good a year is Stacy Lewis having? She leads in every one of the above categories, except Rookie of the Year, which (of course) is a category that does not apply to her.
Stacy ranks 2nd in Greens in Regulation and 1st in Putts per Greens in Regulation. That is a deadly combination and shows why she is #1 in the world.

Other Tidbits:
There have been five first time winners this year: Lizette Salas, Mirim Lee, Austin Ernst, Mo Martin, and Hyo Joo Kim.

Stacy Lewis has not finished outside the top 25 in her last 18 tournaments.

South Korean players, after a horrible start to the season, have now won 5 of the last 6 tournaments.

Hard to Believe Fact of the Week:
Ai Miyazato, Mika Miyazato, Chie Arimura, and Ayako Uehara, generally considered the best four Japanese golfers on the LPGA tour, do not have a top 10 finish  between them in 75 starts this year. In fact they only have 4 top twenties and 24 missed cuts.

Rolex Ranking Mover of the Week:
M.J. Hur continues her meteoric rise this week by jumping up from #94 to #65.

Race to the CMA Glove: (1 Million Dollars)
Stacy Lewis increases her lead and now has accumulated 4,333 points. She is followed by Inbee Park (3,087), and Lydia Ko (2,986).

Who's Hot:
M.J. Hur has 3 consecutive top 10 finishes. Brittany Lincicome has finished in the top twenty-five, 6 consecutive tournaments.

Who's Not:
Victoria Tanco has now missed the cut in her last 10 starts.

*** Just a note to the readers on here from the Seoul Sisters forum. That site has been down, but they
have opened up a new one. This is the new web address.


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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic Preview & Pairings

The LPGA moves to the state of Alabama this week for the playing of the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. This tournament was last played in 2012 when it was called the Navistar Classic.

This will be the last stop for the tour in the United States until the final tournament of the season. After a one week break, the next 7 tournaments will be played in China, Malaysia, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan, and Mexico. The season will then conclude in Florida with the CME Championship.

Stacy Lewis at the Navistar LPGA Classic
Defending Champion Stacy Lewis

This will be tournament #24 of 32 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  RTJ Golf Trail, Capitol Hill, Senator Course
Location:  Prattville, Alabama
Defending Champion: Stacy Lewis
Winning Score:  66-70-65-69= 270 (-18)

Final Field:  144 players
Par: 36/36 = 72
Yardage:  Not shown
Purse:  $1,300,000

My strength of field rating is 37%, making it the weakest field of the year so far.
Defending Champion Stacy Lewis will be headlining a field that will also include highly ranked players: Lexi Thompson, Christie Kerr, Lizette Salas, Angela Stanford, I.K. Kim, and Chella Choi.

Here is the final field listing.

Here are the television times:
Sep 18 - GC 5:00 PM-7:00 PM ET
Sep 19 - GC 5:00 PM-7:00 PM ET
Sep 20 - GC 5:00 PM-7:00 PM ET
Sep 21 - GC 5:00 PM-7:00 PM ET

Here are my  Pak Picker Picks for this for this week's tournament:
1- Stacy Lewis
2- Lexi Thompson
3- Chella Choi
4- Cristie Kerr
5- Lizette Salas
6- Julieta Granada
7-Angela Stanford
8- Jenny Shin
9- Brittany Lincicome
10- M.J. Hur
11- Beatriz Recari
12- Jodi Ewart Shadoff
I finished in 5th place last week and remain in 5th place among the 19 participants currently playing.

Other Tidbits:
Chella Choi is the only LPGA player to play in all 24 tournaments so far this year.
Paula Creamer's top ten finish was her first since her win in Singapore. 

Rolex Movers of the Week:
Karrie Webb makes this week's most important move, jumping from #9 to #5. M.J. Hur leaps up from #212 to #94. Non LPGA member Hyo-Joo Kim surges up ten spots to #10. On the downside a pair of former # 1's continue their decline as Yani Tseng drops down to #65, and Ai Miyazato to #74.

Race to the CME Globe: (1 million dollars)
Stacy Lewis continues to have a huge lead with 4,033 points. She is followed by Inbee Park with 3,087 and Lydia Ko with 2,986.

Who's Hot:
Inbee Park has 5 consecutive top 10 finishes, while Suzann Pettersen has 6 in her last 7 starts.

Who's Not:
Giulia Sergas has missed 5 consecutive cuts.

Here are the final results:
1Mi Jung Hur-21F
2Stacy Lewis-17F
3Paula Reto-14F
4Kris Tamulis-13F
5Jodi Ewart Shadoff-12F
5Moriya Jutanugarn-12F
7Cydney Clanton-11F
7Alison Walshe-11F
9Kim Kaufman-10F
9Karin Sjodin-10F

Be sure to check back here periodically for any updates. Links to all women's tours are always available at the top of this page.



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Monday, September 15, 2014

Symetra Tour Championship - Who will earn their LPGA Cards This Week?



UPDATE:  Here are the 10 players who received full time playing status on the LPGA Tour for 2015:

11Steen , Marissa$75,348.0016
22Kwak , Min Seo$69,143.0017
37Stoelting , Jackie$60,452.0019
43Parks , Sadena$57,597.0017
54Lee , Min$57,011.0018
65Hsu , Wei-Ling$53,004.0013
76Feng , Yueer Cindy$51,992.0012
88Dye , Kendall$47,684.0020
915Runas , Demi$45,095.0020
109Blackwelder , Mallory$41,381.0020





The Symetra Tour will complete its 2014 schedule this week with the playing of the Symetra Tour Championship. The Championship starts on Thursday, September 18th and concludes on Sunday, September 21st.

Why am I writing about this today? The answer is simple. All LPGA fans should be paying close attention to this week's Symetra Tour results.

The Symetra tour, also known as "the Road to the LPGA", will be handing out 10 LPGA tour cards to the top ten money winners at the completion of play.

Those ten players will get full tour status for the 2015 LPGA season. They will be issued a category 9 playing card, meaning they will be listed immediately after the top 80 LPGA players on the 2015 LPGA Priority List. These players will be able to compete in all full field events in 2015.

There are currently 39 players that have a chance to attain that card this week. If Ashley Tait, who is currently #39 on the Symetra Tour money list, was to win this week, she would then have more money than the player currently sitting at #10. 


The following players are safe and will receive their card no matter what happens this week:
1- Marissa Steen - $75,348
2- Min Seo Kwak - $68,552  
3- Sadena Parks - $55,232
4- Min Lee - $53,487
5- Wei-Ling Hsu - $53,004
6- Cindy Feng - $51,992

The following players are not safe:
7- Jackie Stoelting - $48,500
8- Kendall Dye - $46,032
9- Mallory Blackwelder - $39,487
10- Veronica Felibert - 39,479

The following players have the best chance to sneak in this week with a good finish:

Player
Earnings
Minimum Finish
Projected Final Earnings
11. Sara-Maude Juneau
$36,538
11th($2,995)
$39,533
12. Lee Lopez
$36,115
9th ($3,531)
$39,646
13. Lindy Duncan
$36,063
9th ($3,531)
$39,594
14. Brittany Altomare
$33,864
5th ($6,435)
$40,299
15. Demi Runas
$33,223
5th ($6,435)
$39,658
16. Emily Talley
$32,747
4th ($7,963)
$40,710
17. Nicole Vandermade
$31,896
4th ($7,963)
$39,859
18. Olivia Jordan-Higgins
$30,887
3rd ($10,255)
$41,142
19. Laura Gonzalez-Escallon
$28,983
2nd ($14,088)
$43,071
20. Madison Pressel
$27,909
2nd ($14,088)
$41,997

Players 21 through 39 must win the event ($22,500) in order to have a chance to get inside the top ten. A second place finish would not be  good enough for #21 Maude Aimee Leblanc.


Past players who have earned their LPGA cards after finishing in the Symetra Tour top 10 include Inbee Park and Gerina Piller.

Here are some key details to this week's event:

Course:  LPGA Internationl - Jones Course
Location:  Daytona Beach, Florida
Defending Champion:  Megan McChrystal
Winning Score: 68-71-68-68= 275 (-13)

Final Field:  120 players
Par:  72
Yardage:  6,389
Purse: $ 150,000

Check back here tomorrow for the preview of this week's LPGA tournament in Alabama.


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