The LPGA moves to China this week for the playing of the Blue Bay LPGA. This will be the inaugural playing of this event. This is stop number four of six consecutive tournaments to be played in Asia. After this week the tour heads to Taiwan, and then finishes up the Asian swing in Japan.
The tour will then go to Mexico and finish up with the CME Group Tour Championship to be held in Florida, where we will find out who will win the Race to the CME Globe and its 1 million dollar prize.
Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Course
This will be tournament #28 of 32 on this year's LPGA schedule.
Here are the key details:
Course: Jian Lake Blue Bay Country Club
Location: Hainan Island, China
Defending Champion: This is the first time this tournament is being played.
Winning Score: N/A
Final Field: 81 players
Par: 36/36 = 72
Yardage: Not stated by LPGA
My strength of field rating is 55.5% ranking it 23rd of the 28 tournaments so far this year. Twenty-seven of the top 40 players on the LPGA Priority list, and 20 of the top 40 from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. Top players skipping the event this week include: Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen, SoYeon Ryu, Na Yeon Choi, Paula Creamer, Karrie Webb, Pornanong Phatlum, and Angela Stanford.
Here are the pairings for the first round.
Here are the television times:
Oct 22 - GC 11:30 PM-3:30 AM ET
Oct 23 - GC 11:30 PM-3:30 AM ET
Oct 24 - GC 11:30 PM-3:30 AM ET
Oct 25 - GC 11:30 PM-3:30 AM ET
Here are my Pak Picker picks for this week's tournament:
1- Shanshan Feng
2- Mirim Lee
3- Chella Choi
4- Lydia Ko
5- Ilhee Lee
6- Michelle Wie
7- Brittany Lincicome
8- Cristie Kerr
9- I.K. Kim
11- Julieta Granada
12- M.J. Hur
My pretty decent picking last week has moved me up to the #2 position among the 21 Pak Picker participants.
Stacy Lewis holds on to the #1 position by the narrowest of margins this week. In fact, you have to take their totals out to a hundredth of a point to find a difference. Stacy's average score is 11.044, while Inbee's is 11.038. Both players are taking this week off.
As we all know, Spain won the inaugural international crown earlier this year. The team of Beatriz Recari, Azahara Munoz, Carlotta Ciganda, and Belen Mozo all play world class golf in team competitions, as we have also witnessed this in their Solheim Cup play. That said, it is strange that they have not won an LPGA tournament this year. In fact, Recari is the only player of the four to ever win an LPGA stroke play event. She has won three times.
Not only is Chella Choi the only player to play in all 28 LPGA events this year, she has her "Iron Woman" streak up to 104 consecutive tournaments. She played in the last 21 events in 2011, all 27 in 2012, and all 28 in 2013. I'm thinking that her father (who carries her bag) may need a rest.
Rolex Movers of the Week:
HanaBank winner Kyu Jung Baek surges up from #33 to #20. Michelle Wie jumps up two spots to #6, while Brittany Lincicome jumps from #24 to #19. Lee-Anne Pace, winner of last week's LET tournament in her home country of South Africa, leaps up from #53 to #42.
Race to the CME Globe:
With just four tournaments left before the CME Group Tour Championship, Stacy Lewis continues to have a commanding lead with 4,483 points. She is followed by Inbee Park with 3,277, and Lydia Ko with 2,991.
Who's Red Hot:
Inbee Park has seven consecutive top 10 finishes.
Who's Ice Cold:
Jennifer Johnson has failed to finish better than 32nd in her last 7 starts.
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