Sunday, February 19, 2017

Honda LPGA Thailand Preview, Pairings and More.

A big congratulations goes out to Ha Na Jang for winning the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open. Her eagle on the 17th hole, and bidie on the 18th, enabled her to blow past the rest of the field and go on to win by 3 strokes.

Image result for HONDA LPGA THAILAND 2017 logo

This week the LPGA moves to Thailand for the playing of the Honda LPGA Thailand. Last season brought us close finishes in almost every tournament.....but this was not one of them. Lexi Thompson's twenty under par total of 268 blew away the field, and was 6 strokes better than runner-up In Gee Chun and 7 strokes better than 3rd place finishers Jessica Korda and Amy Yang. It was Lexi's 7th win on the LPGA tour.

Image result for Lexi Thompson wins Honda thailand
Lexi Thompson raises her arms in victory at last year's Honda LPGA Thailand event.

This will tournament #3 of 34 on the this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Siam Country Club, Pattaya Old Course
Location:  Chonburi, Thailand
Defending Champion:  Lexi Thompson
Winning Score: 64-72-64-68 = 268 (-20)

Final Field:  69 Players
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,642
Purse:  $1,600,000

My strength of field rating is a very solid 77.5 % ( down from  78.5 last year). Forty-nine of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List will be teeing it up, with only I.K. Kim missing from that list. Thirty-six of the top 50 players will be teeing it up from the Rolex World Rankings. The reason my field rating isn't even higher than it is, is because the limited field lacks depth. Players such as Sung Hyun Park, Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie, Nelly Korda, and Ilhee Lee (to name a few), will not be teeing it up because of the small field. In fact, Inbee Park, Sandra Gal, Yani Tseng, and Ai Miyazato are only playing because they are sponsor invitees, and any prize money they will earn will not count as official earnings.

Here are the television times:
GC Thursday February 23 - 1:00 a.m. - 5:00 a.m. ET
GC Friday  February 24 - 1:00 a.m. - 5:00 a.m. ET
GC Saturday February 25 - 1:00 a.m. - 5:00 a.m. ET 
GC Sunday February 26 - 1:00 a.m. - 5:00 a.m. ET
I believe the time difference between East Coast and Thailand is 12 hours.

Other Tidbits:
Sarah Jane Smith's third place finish in Australia might have come as a big surprise to many people. Fact is, Sarah has been flying under the radar and playing well for quite some time now. She has made 23 consecutive cuts.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
The only major move this week was made by Nanna Madsen who leaps up from #110 to #68. She finished 2nd to Ha Na Jang in Australia.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
Brittany Lincicome and Ha Na Jang are tied for the lead with 500 points. Lexi Thompason is third with 300.

Who's Hot:
Pornanong Phatlum is the only player to finish in the top ten in both tournaments this year.

Who's Not:
Yani Tseng, Kris Tamulis, and highly touted rookie Madelene Sagstrom, have all missed the cut in both LPGA events this season.

This week's Trivia Question: 

  • I was A rookie in 2009.
  • I have won 5 times including a major championship.
  • In my 9 years on tour, I have only missed 9 cuts.
  • I started this season having played in 189 tournaments and have made 180 cuts. That is a rate of 92.24%. No current member on the LPGA tour who has teed it up as many times as me, has a better percentage.
Who Am I?

For the answer of this week's trivia question please 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, February 12, 2017

ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open Preview & Pairings

After a two week break the LPGA heads to Australia for the playing of the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open.

Image result for ISPS Women's Australian Open

This tournament has a history of very close and very exciting finishes. Who could ever forget 2012, when Jessica Korda won in a 6 player playoff. Or the following year when Jiyai Shin battled it out with Yani Tseng for 72 holes, with Jiyai winning by 2 strokes. In 2014, nine players finished within 3 strokes of the lead with Karrie Webb becoming the eventual winner. In 2015, Lydia Ko brought home the trophy with a two stroke win over runner up Amy Yang. Last year Haru Nomura shot a final round 65, to come out three shots ahead of Lydia Ko.

Image result for Haru nomura wins the isps australian open
Haru Nomura will be trying to defend her ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open Championship

This will be tournament #2 of 34 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  The Royal Adelaide Golf Club
Location:  Grange, South Australia
Defending Champion: Haru Nomura
Winning Score:  69-68-70-65 = 272 (-16)

Final Field: 132 players
Par:  73
Yardage:  6,681
Purse:  $1,300,000

My strength of field rating is 44% (up from 31.50% last year). Twenty-five of the top 50 players from the LPGA priority list, and 14 of the top 50 players from the current Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. The field will be led by World #1 Lydia Ko and #2 Ariya Jutanugarn. Other big names teeing it up this week include: Ha Na Jang, Brooke Henderson, Charley Hull, Minjee Lee, Carlota Ciganda, and defending champion Haru Nomura. Most of the American players are sitting this one out, with #31 Mo Martin the highest ranked American in the field.

Here are the first round pairings:

Here are the television times: (16 hour time differential between East Coast and Australia)
Feb 15 - GC   9:00 PM - 2:00 AM ET
Feb 16 - GC 11:00 PM - 2:00 AM ET
Feb 17 - GC 11:00 PM - 2:00 AM ET
Feb 18 - GC   9:00 PM - 2:00 AM ET

Players most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
  • Lydia Ko
  • Ariya Jutanugarn
  • Ha Na Jang
  • Brooke Henderson
Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
  • Carlota Ciganda
  • Charley Hull
  • Jenny Shin
Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
  • Megan Khang
  • Nelly Korda
  • Mo Martin
In the last tournament (The Pure Silk Bahamas Classic), winner Brittany Lincicome was my longshot pick.

Other Tidbits:
Stacy Lewis announced that she will be cutting down on her schedule this year to concentrate on "family." Among the tournaments she will be skipping will be the Evian Championship.

2017 will be the final year for Manulife as title sponsor of the Manulife LPGA Classic.  “We thank Manulife for being such a wonderful title sponsor and partner to the LPGA for the past six years,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. “The Waterloo Region is full of tremendous golf fans and the support shown by the community has helped to make this a very successful event both on and off the golf course. We look forward to another great Manulife LPGA Classic this June and will continue to work to bring an LPGA tournament back to this area in the future.”

This Week's Trivia Question:

Twenty-seven points are needed to become a Hall of Fame member. What four active players (who are not already in the Hall of Fame) have the most points. 

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

Here are the final results:

1 Ha-Na Jang -10
2 Nanna Madsen -7
3 Minjee Lee -6
3 Ariya Jutanugarn -6
3 Haru Nomura -6
3 Sarah Jane Smith -6
7 Beth Allen -5
7 Hannah Green -5
7 Hye Jin Choi -5
7 Marina Alex -5
7 Maude-Aimee Leblanc -5
7 Pornanong Phatlum -5
7 Lizette Salas -5
14 Chella Choi -4
14 Su-Hyun Oh -4
16 Moriya Jutanugarn -3
16 Kim Kaufman -3
16 Pei-Yun Chien -3
16 Xi Yu Lin -3
16 Alena Sharp -3

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, February 7, 2017

Solheim Cup Update - U.S. Players Fighting For Remaining Spots

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With the LPGA taking a two week break before heading to Australia and Asia, I don't think it is too early to take a look at the United States players who are fighting to gain a spot on the 2017 Solheim Cup team.

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The United States will be trying to defend their Solheim Cup title they won two years ago with a record breaking comeback.

Qualifications For Entry:
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- There will be 2 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.

With many players fighting to get into a position to make the team, let's look at where they stand.

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Captain Juli Inkster is surrounded by a very jubilant USA team

Here are the top 8 Solheim Cup point leaders as of today:
1- Lexi Thompson - 381 points
2- Stacy Lewis - 305.5
3- Gerina Piller - 286
4- Brittany Lang - 211
5- Jessica Korda - 173
6- Angela Stanford - 148
7- Brittany Lincicome - 147
8- Cristie Kerr - 145
The above 8 players would make the team on points.

9- Mo Martin - 139
10- Austin Ernst - 135
11- Alison Lee - 124
12- Danielle Kang - 99
13- Jennifer Song - 95
12- Ryann O'Toole - 90
13- Kim Kaufman - 88
14- Megan Khang - 81
14- Christina Kim - 81
16- Paula Creamer - 78
17- Sydnee Michaels - 75
The above 11 players would fail to qualify via the points sysyem.

Here are the highest Rolex Ranked players, that wouldn't have already qualified:
1- Mo Martin - #31 in current Rolex Rankings
2- Alison Lee - #36
The above 2 players would make the team via the Rolex Rankings

3- Beth Allen - #57
4- Morgan Pressel - #60
5- Jennifer Song #66
6- Danielle Kang #67
7- Lizette Salas #68
8- Megan Khang #69
9- Austin Ernst #77
10- Ryann O'Toole #82
11- Kim Kaufman #85
12- Paula Creamer #87
The above 10 players would fail to qualify via the Rolex Rankings.

This Week's Trivia Question: (In case you missed it earlier in the week)

What former Rolex Rankings #1 player in the world, has never won a major championship (she is 0 for 46). 

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

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Sunday, February 5, 2017

LPGA Player Profile: Brittany Lincicome

As I stated a few weeks back, I have received many requests from my readers to do LPGA profiles.

I did my first one on So Yeon Ryu a few weeks ago.  It was a huge success.

I would like to follow it up today. For my second profile I have chosen.

Brittany Lincicome

Image result for brittany Lincicome wins 2015 ana inspiration
Brittany Linicome and Dad (R) take a plunge in Poppie's Pond after her 2015 ANA Inspiration victory.

Born: 9/19/85 (31 years old)

Rookie Year: 2005

Hometown: St. Petersburg, Fla.

Resides: Seminole, Fla.

Image result for brittany Lincicome wins 2015 ana inspiration
Brittany Lincicome holds up her 2015 ANA Inspiration Trophy.

She has won 7 times on the LPGA tour:

  • 2006 HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship
  • 2007 Ginn Open
  • 2009 Kraft Nabisco Championship (major championship)
  • 2011 ShopRite LPGA Classic
  • 2011 CN Canadian Open
  • 2015 ANA Inspiration (major championship)
  • 2017 Pure Silk LPGA Classic

Best Finishes in Major Championships:

  • ANA Inspiration (formerly Kraft Nabisco Championship) - Winner in 2009 and 2015
  • KPMG Women's PGA Championship - Finished 2nd in 2014
  • U.S. Women's Open - Finished 5th in 2009
  • Ricoh Women's British Open - Finished 9th in 2010
  • The Evian Championship - Finished 8th in 2014

Brittany stopped to take a photo with me at Oakmont.

Career Stats:
  • 280 career starts
  • 226 cuts made  (80.7%)
  • 50 top tens (17.8%)
  • Has earned $7,577,097 in prize money at the end of the 2016 season (23rd on all time LPGA career money list).
Other Career Highlights:
  • Won her second career major at the 2015 ANA Inspiration defeating Stacy Lewis in a 3 hole playoff.
  • A five time member of the U.S. Solheim Cup team (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015) with a 5-11-2 overall record.
  • Carded a career low 61 in the first round of the CVS/Pharmacy LPGA Challenge.
  • Became a first time LPGA winner after winning 6 consecutive matches as the 39th seed at the 2006 HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship.
  • Qualified for the tour in her first attempt, at the 2004 LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament to earn exempt status in 2005.
This week's Trivia Question:

What former Rolex Rankings #1 player in the world, has never won a major championship (she is 0 for 46). 

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

How Good are the 2017 LPGA Rookies?

The 2017 season is sure off to an amazing start. As has been the case for the past number of years, it seems that every tournament goes down to the very last hole, or results in a playoff.

Congratulations go out to Brittany Lincicome who won the Pure Silk LPGA Bahamas Classic, the first tournament of the year, in (of course) a playoff!

It was a very fast start for some of the 2017 LPGA rookies:
  • Nelly Korda shot -21 under par in her first tournament as an LPGA member (5th place).
  • Laura Gonzalez Escallon shot a score of -18 (9th place).
  • Mel Reid -15 (13th place).
Image result for nelly korda
Nelly Korda shot a remarkable score of  21 under par in her first tournament as an LPGA member.

That brings us to today's subject. Just how good is this year's crop of LPGA rookies?

Last year was a very difficult one for LPGA rookies. Only 6 of 29 rookies finished in the top 100 on the year money list. Three more retained their playing privileges by way of their stellar Symetra tour play. This was a dramatic decrease from 2015 when we had a spectacular rookie crop, but also down substantially from 2014.
  • 2016 -  9 of 29  = 23.1%
  • 2015 - 19 of 33 = 57.6%
  • 2014 - 13 of 28 = 46.4%
Is this year's rookie crop better than the 2016 group? Yes, I think so.
Can it be as good as the 2015 group? No. That was a record breaking year, and we never see another group like that one in our lifetime. But that doesn't mean that this year's group can't still be among the best in recent years. Let's take a look: (Everything written below was put together before the Pure Silk LPGA Classic was played. I did not want to change anything based on the results in the Bahamas, as I wanted this to reflect my original thoughts before the start of the season).

The Very Best:
1- Sung Hyun Park - By far and away the favorite to win the 2017 Rolex Rookie of the Year Award. At the age of 23, she is a rookie in name only. She has already had 8 starts on the LPGA tour, with four top five finishes, five top tens, and 7 top twenties. She has not missed a single cut. She was a winner 7 times on the KLPGA in 2016. 

Future Stars?:
2- Madelene Sagstrom - Broke every conceivable record on the Symetra tour last year. She was the first player to make $100,000 in earnings in tour history, earning $161,064. She did it playing in just 15 events, winning 3 times, and had 11 top ten finishes. She was the 2016 Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year. She also finished #1 in Q-School in Europe, which means she qualifies for the L.E.T. also. Played 2 tournaments on the LPGA tour last year (The U.S. Women's, and Canadian Opens) and easily made the cut in both. A real bomber off the tee, she led the Symetra tour with a driving average of 278 yards (that is one more yard than Lexi Thompson averaged on the LPGA).

3- Nelly Korda - With a sister (Jessica) who has 4 LPGA victories, and parents that were tennis pros (her father Petr won the Australian Open), she probably gets put here by her name alone. Don't underestimate her though. The 18 year old got off to a miserable start on the Symetra tour the first 2/3 of the season, but then became the hottest player this side of Madelene Sagstrom. She reeled off 7 top tens, including one victory, to sneak into 9th place on that tour's money list and avoid Q-School. She qualified and made the cut last year at the U.S. Women's Open. Her category 10 playing card will guarantee her starts in all full field events.

4- Aditi Oshok - It starts to get a bit tougher now to predict, as nobody else is as clear cut as the players listed above. Aditi represented India in the 2016 Olympic games. At just 18 years of age, she has already tasted victory, winning the last two events on LET in 2016. She finished outside the top 20 in the final stage of Q-School (24th), resulting in her receiving category 17 playing privileges (top 20 finishes received category 12 cards and can play in all full field events). With a priority ranking of #156, she will have to take advantage of her early opportunities and improve that ranking with the first priority list reshuffle. 

5- Nasa Hataoka - If you believe all the hype about this 17 year old from Japan, then she may be the next Lydia Ko. She does have quite a resume of success for a player of her age. She won the 2016 Japan Women's Open Championship, becoming the first amateur and youngest champion to win a major tournament on the Japan LPGA (JLPGA). She finished 14th in the final stage of Q-School, and has earned full playing privileges with her category 12 playing card.

The Best of the Rest:
6- Mel Reid - At 30 years old, she is already a seasoned veteran. A longtime LET player (and Solheim Cup participant), she has 5 wins and 49 top ten finishes on that tour. She was the 2008 LET Rookie of the Year. Made some noise with her 9th place finish at the 2015 Ricoh Women's British Open. She finished 8th in final stage of  Q-School and earned her category 12 card. A solid, if not spectacular player, look for her to play well in 2017.

7- Nicole Broch Larsen - This 23 year old represented Denmark in the 2016 Olympic games. She has appeared in 6 LPGA events with 4 top 25 finishes. She was the 2015 LET player of the year. With a category 17 playing card, and a priority ranking of 161, she will have to make the most of her early season chances to improve thank ranking with the first reshuffle to get into more tournaments.

They Could Surprise:
8- Olafia Kristinsdottir - This 24 year old is the first player from Iceland to play on the LPGA tour. She finished 2nd (behind Jaye Marie Green) at the 2016 LPGA final Q-School. She will get plenty of opportunities with her Category 12 playing privileges.

9- Emily Pedersen - Emily was the 2015 Rookie of the Year on the LET. The 20 year has one win and 10 top ten finishes on that tour. She impressed many last year when she finished 14th at the Evian Championship. Her 28th place finish at Q-school only earned her a category 17 playing card, so it won't be easy.

10- Bronte Law - This 21 year old won the 2016 European Ladies Amateur Championship, and became the #2 ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. She holds the UCLA record for most career wins with seven. Her 24th place finish at final round Q-School earned her category 17 playing privileges, and a priority ranking of #159.

11- Laura Gonzalez Escallon - This 26 year old from Belgium is a long shot pick. She spent 3 year's on the Symetra tour which usually doesn't translate into success on the LPGA. But she was the big 10 player of the year in 2012, and won twice last year on the Symetra tour. Another thing she has going for her is a solid #88 ranking on the LPGA priority list, which means she will be playing regularly all year long. A late bloomer? Maybe. A long shot? Certainly.

12- Mariah Stackhouse - Mariah finished 22nd at the LPGA final stage qualifying tournament, missing out on her category 12 playing privileges by just one stroke. The Category 17 card she earned means she will have to make the most of any early season opportunities. Her priority rating of #157 isn't that bad so she should get those opportunities. Mariah, 22, was a 3 time All American at Stanford University, where she helped lead the Cardinals to the 2015 National Championship. She also played on the victorious 2014 U.S. Curtis Cup Team.

There you have it! My top rookie picks for 2017. There are 25 other rookies on the LPGA roster this year. Most of them will have to take advantage of limited playing time early in the season if they want to move up on the priority list. The LPGA has two priority list reshuffles during the season.

Other Tidbits:
Charley Hull was the only player in the top 35 of the LPGA priority list to miss the cut at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic.

Rookie Dana Finkelstein hit 100% of her fairways this week (28 for 28), and missed the cut.

It was a solid showing for defending champion Hyo Joo Kim who shot the exact score that she shot last year. Unfortunately for her, it was only good enough for a 9th place tie.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Brittany Lincicome leaps up from #48 to #33, while Pornanong Phatlum jumps up from #49 to #44. Outside the top 100, Nelly Korda catapults from # 338 to #249.

Race to the CME Globe: (1 Million Dollars)
Brittany Lincicome jumps out of the gate with 500 points. She is followed by Lexi Thompson with 300 and Stacy Lewis with 190.

Who's Hot:
Hard to say. Seemed like all the players that ended the season playing well either skipped the Bahamas or didn't play well, and all of the players who weren't playing well last year played well this week.

Who's Not:
Long time fan favorites Paula Creamer, Yani Tseng, and Michelle Wie, ( all looking to make comebacks this year) all missed the cut.

This week's Trivia Question:  (for those who haven't seen it earlier in the week).

Who was the last American player to win the Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year award?

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

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Brittany Lincicome Wins, Nelly Korda Shines!

The year 2016 was a very poor year (and that's putting it mildly) for American Golfers on the LPGA tour. They were able to win just twice in 34 official LPGA events. With the season starting this week in the Bahamas, veteran players such as: Brittany Lincicome, Stacy Lewis, Gerina Piller, and Lexi Thompson, needed to step up their game dramatically in 2017.

This week they all came through with flying colors. In a rarity, the American players finished 1 through 5, in the year's first tournament. In fact, at the turn on Sunday's final round, the four players that I mentioned above, were all tied for the lead with no other player within 6 strokes.

The lead went back and forth, with each player enjoying the lead at some point on the back nine. When Stacy Lewis triple bogeyed the 14th hole, it all but ended her chances. When Brittany Lincicome (playing ahead of the other three players) birdied the 18th hole, she tied Lexi Thompson for the lead. A birdie on the par 5 18th would win it for Thompson. But then the sky opened up, and the conditions became almost unplayable. Lexi sank a 5 footer for par, forcing a playoff. When Lincicome birdied the first playoff hole (the 18th), she became the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic champion.

Image result for Brittany lincicome wins pure silk
Brittany Lincicome holds up her 2017 Pure Silk Bahamas Classic trophy.

As exciting as this tournament was, Brittany's win was not the only big story.

Nelly Korda, younger sister of Jessica, made her debut as an LPGA member, and shot an incredible score of -21.

Image result for Nelly korda pure silk bahamas
Nelly Korda shot a -10 under 63 on Saturday

I am going to assume that that has to be an LPGA record for a debut performance.

I will be back in a couple of days with more on this year's rookies.

This week's Trivia Question:

Who was the last American player to win the Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year award?

For the answer to this week's trivia question press here.
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Monday, January 23, 2017

Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic Preview, Pairings and More.

Well.... Here We Go!

Image result for Pure silk lpga bahamas classic 2017

It is time to start the 2017 LPGA season. With 35 tournaments on the schedule (including the Solheim Cup), more prize money, and more television coverage, the 2017 season promises to be the biggest and best ever.

The season will open in the Bahamas once again this year with the playing of the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic.

Last year's event brought us a very exciting finish when Hyo Joo Kim shot a final round 66, to win by 2 strokes over Stacy Lewis, Sei Young Kim, and Anna Nordqvist.

Image result for Hyo joo kim wins pure silk
Hyo Joo Kim will be trying to defend the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic title she won last year.

This will be tournament #1 of 34 official tournaments on this year's schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Ocean Club Golf Course
Location:  Paradise Island, Bahamas
Defending Champion:  Hyo Joo Kim
*Winning Score: 70 - 70 - 68 - 66 = 274 (-18)

Final Field: 108 Players
Par: 36/37 = 73
Yardage:  6,625
Purse:  $1,400,000

*Jessica Korda holds the tournament record with a 69 - 66 - 72 - 66 = 273 (-19) that she set when she won in 2014.

My strength of field rating is 44% (down from 65%) last year. With the Coates Golf Championship no longer on the schedule (it followed this tournament last year), and 2 weeks off following this tournament, it appears that many of the players from Asia and Europe have chosen to start their season in February (many will also skip the next stop in Australia and start their season in Thailand).

Players not teeing it up this week include: Lydia Ko, In Gee Chun, Sung Hyun Park, Shanshan Feng, Anna Nordqvist, Ha Na Jang, Haru Nomura, Minjee Lee, Mirim Lee, and Suzann Pettersen.

That does not mean that this tournament will be without any stars. The field will be led by World #2 Ariya Jutanugarn, and will also include such stars as: Lexi Thompson (#5), Sei Young Kim (#6), Brooke Henderson (#8), Amy Yang (#12), Stacy Lewis (#14), and Charley Hull (#15).

Here are the pairings for round 1:

Here are the television times:
Jan 26 - GC 11:30 AM-2:30 PM ET
Jan 27 - GC 11:30 AM-2:30 PM ET
Jan 28 - GC 3:00 PM-5:00 PM ET
Jan 29 - GC 3:00 PM-5:00 PM ET

I am going to change it up a bit this year with my picks by doing the following:

Players Most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
  • Ariya Jutanugarn -Top player in the field.
  • Sei Young Kim - Has won here before.
  • Lexi Thompson - Played well with the men last week.
  • Brooke Henderson - Well rested and always dangerous.
Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
  • Charley Hull - Won the last LPGA event.
  • Hyo Joo Kim - Defending Champion.
  • Jessica Korda - Loves to win early in the year, and has won here before.
Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
  • Stacy Lewis - Hasn't played well for two years, but was runner up in 2016.
  • Brittany Lincicome - Plays well here every year without winning.
  • Megan Khang - I am ready for a big year from this lady.
Other Tidbits:
Natalie Gulbis and Georgette Rolle have received sponsor exemptions into this week's tournament.

Commissioner Michael Whan announced the following changes to the Race to the CME Globe:

  • The Top Five (5) finishers entering Naples will control their own destiny at the CME Group Tour Championship - - meaning if they win in Naples, they will also win the $1M CME Globe.
  • The Top twelve (12) finishers entering Naples will have a mathematical chance to win the $1M CME Globe.
  • Please note that previously, the Top 3 controlled their destiny and Top 9 had a mathematical chance.

This Week's Trivia Question:

There were 5 players on the LPGA tour that did not miss a single cut in 2016. How many can you name?

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

UPDATE #1: Nicole Broch Larsen and Anne-Catherine Tanguay both shot a score of 71 in very windy conditions to take the 2 Monday qualifier spots for this week's tournament.

UPDATE #2: Sydnee Michaels and Annie Park have been dropped from the original field list, and have been replaced by Sandra Changkija
 and Mina Harigae.

UPDATE #3 - Becky Morgan is out. She has been replaced by Brooke Pancake.

Here are the leaders after round 3:

1 Stacy Lewis -23
1 Lexi Thompson -23
3 Gerina Piller -22
4 Brittany Lincicome -21
5 Laetitia Beck -16
6 Nelly Korda -15
6 Pornanong Phatlum -15
6 Austin Ernst -15
9 Laura Gonzalez Escallon -14
9 Hyo Joo Kim -14
9 Xi Yu Lin -14
9 Megan Khang -14
13 Stephanie Meadow -13
13 Ayako Uehara -13
13 Simin Feng -13
13 Mariajo Uribe -13
17 Katie Burnett -12
17 Wei Ling Hsu -12
19 Amy Yang -11
19 Amy Anderson -11
19 Jing Yan -11
19 Mo Martin -11

For full scoreboard see link at top of this page.
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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