Monday, October 14, 2013

LPGA KEB. Hanabank Championship preview & Pairings

Congratulations goes out to Lexi Thompson, who soundly thrashed the playing field at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia Championship. For 18 year old Lexi, it was her 2nd LPGA victory and 3rd victory overall (she has an LET victory in Dubai). If Lexi can continue putting at a reasonable rate, she will be someone to reckon with week in and week out.

The LPGA moves to South Korea this week for the playing of the LPGA HEB. Hanabank Championship. This is the third of five consecutive tournaments to be played in Asia. This is a 3 day tournament with 54 holes scheduled.

This is tournament #24 of 28 on the 2013 LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Sky 72 Golf Club, Ocean Course
Where:  Incheon, South Korea
Defending Champion:  Suzann Pettersen
Winning Score:  63-68-74 = 205 (-11)

Final Field:  78 Players
Par 36/36=72
Yardage:  6,364
Purse:  $1,900,000

My Strength of field rating is 69.5%. Only four tournaments this year have been ranked lower. Although many top name players are missing from the field, their are eleven non LPGA players from South Korea that are in the top 80 of the Rolex Rankings, which did bring the field rating up. The missing players this week include: Stacy Lewis, Ai Miyazato, Mika Miyazato, Shanshan Feng, Karrie Webb, Angela Stanford, Juli Inkster, Hee-Won Han, and Momoko Ueda.

Here are the television times:
Oct 18 - GC 11:00 AM-2:00 PM ET
Oct 19 - GC 11:00 AM-2:00 PM ET
Oct 20 - GC 11:00 AM-2:00 PM ET

South Korea is 12 hours ahead of East Coast time. I will not post results until after we have had a chance to watch the TV coverage later on in the day.
For those who want to see the scores live, the LPGA link at the top of this page will always bring you the latest scores.

Here are my picks for this week's tournament:
1- So Yeon Ryu
2- Lexi Thompson
3- Suzann Pettersen
4- Inbee Park
5- Catriona Matthew
6- Paula Creamer
7- Na Yeon Choi
8- I.K. Kim
9- Chella Choi
10- Jessica Korda
11- Amy Yang
12- Hee Young Park

Here are the first round pairings.

Other Tidbits:
Beatriz Recari's T6 finish last weekend was her 8th top ten finish this year. Only Stacy Lewis (16), Suzann Pettersen (12), and Inbee Park (9) have more.

Paula Creamer is having a very strange year. On the upside, she has made a tour high 62 consecutive cuts. On the downside, she has not won. On the upside, she has finished in the top five four times this year. Also on the upside, she has finished in the top 20 a total of 16 times this year, which is just one behind Stacy Lewis for the tour lead. On the downside, only 5 of those top twenties resulted in top  ten finishes.

Rolex Movers of the Week:
Lexi Thompson's booming drives vaulted her from #21 to #14. Ilhee Lee moves from # 39 to #30. On the downside, Yani Tseng who was #1 at the start of the year, drops 2 more spots to #22.

Titleholders Update:
Allison Walshe, Michelle Wie, and Jane Park are the latest to qualify. Azahara Munoz is still the highest ranked player yet to qualify.

Who's Hot:
Beatriz Recari's T6 this week was her 3rd consecutive top 10 finish.
Stacy Lewis' last seven finishes have resulted in top tens.
Sandra Gal's T6 finish this week was her 4th consecutive top 20 finish.

Who's Not:
Inbee Park's #1 ranking has been dwindling. She has only 1 top ten finish in her last 7 starts. In fact, she has only managed to finish in the top 30 in 3 of those 7 starts.
Cristie Kerr has finished no better than T45 in her last 3 starts.
If the Constructivist over at Mostly Harmless is reading this, you can turn away now, before you read this next statistic: Ai Miyazato (11), and Mika Miyazato (10), combined for 21 top tens in 2012. With 2013 coming to a close, they have combined for 4 top tens this year. Each of them with two.

Here are the Final Scores:
1x-Amy Yang-9F
2Hee Kyung Seo-9F
3Michelle Wie-8F
3Sei Young Kim-8F
3Suzann Pettersen-8F
6Ha-Neul Kim-6F
7Brittany Lincicome-5F
8Jane Park-4F
8Se Ri Pak-4F
8Jiyai Shin-4F
8Anna Nordqvist-4F
12Eun-Hee Ji-3F
12Jodi Ewart Shadoff-3F
12Caroline Hedwall-3F
12Chella Choi-3F
12Ju Young Park-3F
For complete scoring see link on top of page.

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