Monday, May 20, 2013

Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic Preview & Pairings

A big congratulations goes out to Jennifer Johnson. Jennifer was the winner of the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic, making her the first woman on the LPGA to get her maiden victory in the 2013 season. Once again, as has been the case for just about every tournament this season, it went down to the final hole. The Constructivist has done a full recap over at Mostly Harmless.

The LPGA moves to the Bahamas this week for the  inaugural playing of the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic.

This will be tournament #11 of 28 to be played this year.

Here are the Key Details:

Important Update:
Due to almost 12 inches of rain that fell on the course, the tournament has been shortened to 54 holes. The cut will take place after Saturday's play.

Update #2 - Friday's round has now been shortened to 12 holes as some holes are still unplayable.
At least 12 holes will be played on Saturday and Sunday. If more are available, more will be played. 36 holes have to be played for the tournament to be official. The top 70 players and ties will be paid. There will be no cut.
Check back for any further updates. I will keep everyone posted.

Course:  Ocean Club Golf Course
Location:  Paradise Island, Bahamas
Defending Champion:  This is the inaugural playing of this event
Winning Score:  N/A

Final Field:  144 Players
Par:  36/37=73 (there are 3 par 5's on the back nine, 5 in all)
Yardage:  6,664
Purse:  $1, 300,000

My strength of field rating is 74%, making it the third weakest field of the year so far.
Some of the players that are sitting out this week include:
Shanshan Feng, Karrie Webb, Amy Yang, Angela Stanford, Jenny Shin, Beatrice Recari, Nicole Castrale, Jodi Ewart-Shadoff, Momoko Ueda, Michelle Wie, Carlotta Ciganda, Ayaka Uehara, and Moira Jutanugarn.

Here are the television times:
May 23 - GC 6:30 PM-8:30 PM EST (tape delay)
May 24 - GC 6:30 PM-8:30 PM EST (tape delay)
May 25 - GC 3:00 PM-6:00 PM EST
May 26 - GC 3:00 PM-6:00 PM EST

Here are the Pairings for the first 2 rounds.
With the 5 par 5's this week, I love the long hitters' chances. Here are my picks:
1- Stacy Lewis
2- Lexi Thompson
3- Jiyai Shin
4- Jessica Korda
5- Azahara Munoz
6- Paula Creamer
7- Suzann Pettersen
8- Inbee Park
9- Na Yeon Choi
10- Gerina Piller
11- Sydnee Michaels
12- Brittany Lincicome

Other Tidbits:

The LPGA announced the addition of a second tournament to be played in Alabama next year. It will be called the Alabama LPGA Classic, and played in Prattville.

Stacy Lewis continues to have quite an incredible season. Her top 10 finish this past week was her eighth of the season, no one on tour has more than five.

Jennifer Johnson's victory was the 4th this season for a U.S. player, South Korea also has four. Players from Spain and Norway have brought their countries one victory each.

Titleholders Update:
Jennifer Johnson, Karrie Webb, and Anna Nordqvist were the latest to qualify. Azahara Munoz remains the highest ranked player on the LPGA Priority List yet to qualify.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Jessica Korda continues her lightning fast rise by moving up from #46 to #36. She started the year at #78.
Jennifer Johnson's first LPGA victory vaulted her from #78 to #52. The big leap would put her on the Solheim Cup team if it was held today. She would be the #2 player to get in (behind Brittany Lang), via the Rolex Rankings. She knocked Gerina Piller (currently #59), out of that spot. Fortunately for Gerina and a few others there is still time to make their charge.

Who's Hot:
Jessica Korda now has 3 top fives, 4 top tens, and 6 top twenties, in her nine starts this year.

Who's Not:
Brittany Lincicome's missed cut this week was her 4th of the year. She has only one top 20 finish, and that was a T18.
Jennie Lee has missed 6 consecutive cuts, bringing her total to 7 for the year. No one has more.
Hee-Won Han has now missed four cuts in a row.
M.J. Hur has now missed 6 cuts this year.

Sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open, which will be held at  the Sebonack Country Club in Southhampton, N.Y., will continue this week. For results (sometimes not very timely), here is the link to the Official USGA Results Page.

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