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Showing posts from March, 2013

Can the United States Halt Asian Dominance in the Majors?

The LPGA will be playing its first major championship this week. It will be the first of five major championships this year. The Evian Championship has been upgraded to a major this year, giving the LPGA 5 majors for the first time.

Rancho Mirage, California will be the location this week for the the LPGA's first major championship.
I will have more on this championship in the next few days, for now let's look at some recent history.

The United States has struggled mightily in recent years, as Asia has dominated the victory circle of major championships. Here is a look at major winners dating back to the year 2000.

Year Kraft NabiscoLPGA ChampionshipU.S. Open British Open
2012    Sun Young Yoo     Shanshan Feng                  Na Yeon Choi        Jiyai Shin
2011    Stacy Lewis           Yani Tseng                        So Yeon Ryu         Yani Tseng
2010    Yani Tseng             Cristie Kerr                       Paula Creamer       Yani Tseng
2009    B. Lincicome          Anna Nor…

International Crown Update

Back in January, LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan made what I think was the most important announcement of his entire tenure as Commissioner. He announced the details of a new tournament, beginning in 2014, called the International Crown. What made this so different from the several other new tournaments that he had previously announced? It gives all players, no matter what country they are from, the chance to represent their country in an Olympic type event.

Before this was announced the only competition between countries that the LPGA had on its schedule was the Solheim Cup. A competition between the United States and Europe. As a resident of the United States, it was my favorite tournament of the year. At the tournament's completion, it always made me sad that we had to wait two more years before it would be played again. But in truth, I was lucky that at least I got to see my country play. That could not be said for fans of players from South Korea, Japan, Australia, Thailand, a…

Surprises and Disappointments 2013 - Part 1

As I sit down to write this I am completely exhausted from watching the conclusion of the Kia Classic. It just doesn't get much more exciting than that.  Beatriz Recari defeated I.K. Kim on the second hole of a playoff. The 18th hole at the Avira Golf Club is one of the best finishing holes in all of golf. Your drive is threatened by water all the way up the right side. If you miss your approach shot to the green to the right, there is a water hazard. Miss it to the left and getting it up and down is nearly impossible. Landing it on the green is no sure bet for par either, as the 2 tiered green led to 3 putts all day long. Both I.K. Kim and Beatriz Recari just needed to two putt for a win in regulation, but neither one could. On to 18 they went again for the first playoff hole. They hit the green in two, but they both 3 putted once again, and on they went to play 18 for a third straight time. I.K. then hit the green in regulation, and Beatrice almost went into the hazard on the ri…

Yani Tseng Withdrawn from Kia Classic for Missing Pro-Am Tee Time

Can this week get any worse for former number one Yani Tseng?
First she saw her string of 109 weeks on top the Rolex Rankings come to an end, as Stacy Lewis replaced her as the number 1 player in the world.
Now she has been withdrawn from the Kia Classic, for missing her Pro-Am tee time.

LPGA rules state that a player has until the first player of her Pro-Am team tees off at the second hole to show up, or she is withdrawn from the tournament.

“I’m embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t feeling well last night and accidentally overslept and missed my tee time for the pro-am this morning,” Tseng said in a statement released by the LPGA. “I was extremely excited to compete this week to defend my title at the Kia Classic and to try to regain the No. 1 spot. This was an unfortunate mistake, and I want to apologize to Kia, my sponsors and all of the fans. The Kia Classic is one of my favorite tournaments and I have so many great memories in San Diego. I can’t wait to come back here next year.”

Kia Classic Preview & Pairings

After one of the most thrilling finishes that resulted in Stacy Lewis taking over the top spot in the official Rolex Rankings, it is already time to turn the page and look at this week's tournament.

The tour moves to the state of California for the playing of the Kia Classic. Most players will not only be trying to win the first place prize, but will be trying to get their game in shape for the first major championship which is next on the schedule.

This will be tournament #5 of 28 to be played this year.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Avaira Golf Club
Location:  Carlsbad, California
Defending Champion:  Yani Tseng
Winning Score: 67-68-69-70 = 274 (-14)

Final Field:  144 Players
Par:  36/36=72
Yardage:  6,593
Purse:  $1,700,000

This week's sponsor exemptions are Ha-Neul Kim and Alice Kim(a).

Here are the Pairings for the first 2 rounds.

Here are the television times:
Mar 21 - GC 6:30 PM-8:30 PM EST Mar 22 - GC 6:30 PM-8:30 PM EST Mar 23 - GC 7:00 PM-9:00 PM EST Mar 24 - G…

Stacy Lewis Moves to #1 in the World.

A year ago at this time Yani Tseng's lead as the world's #1 player was so large, it appeared it would be a number of years before anyone could possibly catch her. No one could possibly have predicted she would lose it this quickly. Not that Yani didn't have a great run. She did spend 109 weeks at the top, but her inability to find the winner's circle while Stacy has won 6 more times, has led to an unlikely turnaround.

It certainly didn't appear like it was going to happen this week. Especially after she was assessed a two stroke penalty following the third round, when her caddy Travis, made an illegal move while in the bunker on the 16th hole. Instead of entering the final round 2 shots back, Stacy would be 4 shots back.

Stacy kept close most of the final round, but couldn't get closer to the lead than one shot as they went to the 16th hole. Ai had many birdie opportunities throughout the day, but couldn't seem to get them to fall.
Then disaster struck for …

Natalie Gulbis withdraws with Malaria

Natalie Gulbis has withdrawn from this week's RR Donnelly LPGA Founders Cup tournament as she recovers from Malaria.

The LPGA  and  Gulbis' management firm, announced that Gulbis became ill while playing in Singapore at the beginning of the month.

Initially it was reported that she was ill with flu-like symptoms. She was then treated and cleared to fly home.
It wasn't until her illness persisted, that she was diagnosed with Malaria.

"Natalie continues to be treated at home and is expected to be at full strength in three weeks."

Gulbis hopes to return in time for the LPGA's first major championship, the Kraft Nabisco.

The LPGA said a healthcare provider would be on site this week in Phoenix in order to draw blood and provide assistance to any players, caddies or family members who were in Singapore and wish to be screened.

Gulbis, who has struggled with back pain for a number of seasons, finally
appeared to be healthy before contacting this illness. I am sure …

RR Donnelly LPGA Founders Cup Pairings

The pairings for the RR Donnelly LPGA Founders Cup have been posted.
Here are the highlights:

Thursday Prime Time

Featured Pairing #1 -  Paula Creamer, Stacy Lewis, and Yani Tseng
Featured Pairing #2 -  Na Yeon Choi, Brittany Lincicome, and Jessica Korda
Featured Pairing #3 -  Chella Choi, Cristie Kerr, and Inbee Park
Featured Pairing #4 -  Ai Miyazato, Hee Young Park, and Jeong Jang

Friday Prime Time

Featured Pairing #1  - Jiyai Shin, Lexi Thompson, and Suzann Pettersen
Featured Pairing #2 -  Beatriz Recari, Azuhara Munuz, and Karrie Webb
Featured pairing #3 -  Brittany Lang, Hee Kyung Seo, and Vicky Hurst
Featured pairing #4 -  I.K. Kim, Julie Inkster, and Sun Young Yoo

Here are the Complete Pairings for the first 2 rounds.

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RR Donnelly Founders Cup Preview & Pairings

If you are reading this, I guess you have made it over to my brand new website. My aim is to make this the best women's golf site on the Internet. You will never see any ads here as I am not interested in advertising or making a single penny. I just want to help promote the game I love. Not enough is written about how great these women are, both on and off the golf course. In the next few weeks I will probably be tinkering a bit, as I continue to try to find ways to  improve what you see here now. I will be happy to receive any feedback or suggestions you may have regarding this site.

One of the unique things I have added to this site are live scoreboards covering not just the LPGA, but also the CLPGA, JLPGA, The Symetra Tour, the ALPG, and the L.E.T. I would like to also add the KLPGA, if they will ever put out an English version of their scoreboard.

I would suggest that anyone who is a fan of women's golf to bookmark this link, for a unique one stop visit to live scoreboar…

Stats & Facts - Volume 12

Let me start off by congratulating Stacy Lewis for winning the HSBC Women's Champions. Stacy, the defending LPGA Player of the Year, came out on top with a one stroke victory over NaYeon Choi. Paula Creamer finished two strokes back. See the Constructivist's review for the full details.

The LPGA will now take a one week break while it makes its way to the United States for the playing of the RR Donnelley Founders Cup. This is a good time to look at some statistics and notes covering the first three tournaments of the year:

Rolex Player of the Year Standings  (Winner receives a Hall of Fame point)
1-  Stacy Lewis - 39 points
2-  Jiyai Shin - 30
3-  Inbee Park - 30
4-  Yani Tseng - 21
5-  Beatriz Recari - 16
5-  Na Yeon Choi - 16
7-  Paula Creamer - 9
7-  So Yeon Ryu - 9
9-  Moriya Jutarnagarn - 7
10-Jessica Korda, Danielle Kang - 6

Vare Trophy  (Winner receives a Hall of Fame point)
1-  Na Yeon Choi - 69.125 strokes per round
2-  Stacy Lewis - 69.583
3-  Carlotta Ciganda - 70.00