Monday, May 27, 2013

Shoprite LPGA Classic Preview & Pairings

Okay, I admit that what we saw this past week was bizarre. It certainly was not what I would want to be watching every week, but it was kind of interesting. Once again we had an exciting finish, with the winner not determined until the final hole.

I have read most of the criticism that has been posted in many of the golf forums regarding how this tournament was handled. I could not disagree more. I think the LPGA did a wonderful job in making the best of a most unfortunate situation. Many of the posts I read stated that the tournament should have been cancelled. I think that is very short sighted. We have to look at the big picture. This was an inaugural tournament, with a brand new sponsor.  Losing the Pro-Am was bad enough. Walking away would not have been in the best interest of anyone involved. With the current state of our economy, the LPGA can not afford to lose a tournament, especially one in this tropical paradise.
I say we give 3 cheers    to the decision makers over at the LPGA for getting together and finding a way to bring us golf this past week. For those complainers, you can press your remote and watch something else.
I for one was thankful that I got to see the women play.

Now that that is off my chest we can look ahead to this coming week's tournament. The LPGA moves to my home state of  New Jersey, for the playing of the Shoprite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer. This tournament is 54 holes.

This will be tournament #12 of 28 this year, and will lead into the following week's Major Championship in Rochester, N.Y.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club
Location:  Galloway, N.J.
Defending Champion:  Stacy Lewis
Winning Score:  65-65-71= 201(-12)

Final Field: 144 players
Par:  37/34=71 (2 par 5's and 1 par 3 on the front, 1 par 5 and 3 par 3's on the back)
Yardage:  6,155
Purse:  $1, 500,000

This will be a very strong field this week with 19 of the top 20 Rolex ranked players teeing it up. Seventy-four of the top 80 ranked players from the LPGA Priority List will be in attendance. Players missing from this week's event include: Amy Yang, Jessica Korda, Brittany Lincicome, Carlotta Ciganda, and Caroline Masson.

Here are the Television Times:
May 31 - GC 12:30 PM-2:30 PM EST
Jun 1 - GC 3:00 PM-6:00 PM EST
Jun 2 - GC 3:00 PM-6:00 PM EST


Here are the pairings for the first 2 rounds.

Here are my picks for this week:
1- Stacy Lewis
2- Paula Creamer
3- Na Yeon Choi
4- Ai Miyazato
5- Cristie Kerr
6- Jiyai Shin
7- Suzann Pettersen
8- Karrie Webb
9- Jennifer Johnson
10- So Yeon Ryu
11- Lizette Salas
12- Inbee Park

Other Tidbits:
While Paula Creamer has not won a tournament in a while, you could sure make a case of her being this year's most consistent player. Paula has not finished worse than 17th, in her last 8 tournaments.

Hard to Believe Fact of the Week:
Brittany Lang's top 20 finish at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, was her first of the year.

Titleholders Update:
Irene Cho, Mika Miyazato, and Mindy Kim are the latest to qualify. Azahara Munoz remains the highest ranked player on the Priority List, yet to qualify.

Rolex Movers of the Week:
Ilhee Lee took her trophy and ran from #62 to #34, but couldn't quite catch Anna Nordqvist, whose long strides took her from #31 to #24.

Who's Hot:
Anna Nordqvist has finished in the top 10 in her last 3 tournaments.
Julia Sergas has 4 top tens, and 6 top twenties, in her last 7 starts.

Who's Not:
Yani Tseng has failed to register a top 20 in her last 8 tournaments.


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.

I will be a media representative at this week's tournament. Hope to see many of you out there.


Final Results:
1Karrie Webb-4F
2Shanshan Feng-2F
3Hee Young Park-1F
4Jenny ShinEF
5Gerina Piller+1F
5Jeong Jang+1F
5In-Kyung Kim+1F
5Chie Arimura+1F
9Caroline Hedwall+2F
9Ayako Uehara+2F
9Julieta Granada+2F
9Michelle Wie+2F
13Cristie Kerr+3F
13Paula Creamer+3F
13Mika Miyazato+3F
13Amanda Blumenherst+3F
13Anna Nordqvist+3F

For the complete leaderboard see the link on the top of this page.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic Shortened to 54 Holes!

The Pure Silk Bahamas LGA Classic, has been shortened to 54 holes.

Nearly one foot of rain fell on the golf course on Tuesday. The first and second round pairings will remain the same, but the cut will now take place after Saturday's round.

It has been said that this is the worst rain storm in Nassau in over 2 decades.

For a full report on this event, see my Pure Silk LPGA Preview & Pairings.

Update - 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.
Keep checking here for any further updates. I will keep everyone updated.

Here are the final results for this very bizzare tournament:
1- Ilhee Lee -11
2- Irene Cho -9
3- Anna Nordqvist -8
4- Paula Creamer -7
4- Mika Miyazato -7
4- Karine Icher -7
4- Mindy Kim -7
4- Cristie Kerr -7
9- Giulia Sregas -6
9- Katie Futcher -6
9- Heather Bowie Young -6
9- Julieta Granada -6

For the full results, see LPGA leaderboard link on the top of this page.






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.



Monday, May 13, 2013

Mobile Bay LPGA Classic Preview & Pairings

After a brief one week break, the LPGA resumes its schedule this week with the playing of the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic. This will be the first of four consecutive weeks that the LPGA will be staging a tournament.

This will be tournament #10 of 28 on this year's schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  RTJ Golf Trail , Magnolia Grove, The Crossings
Location:  Mobile, Alabama
Defending Champion:  Stacy Lewis
Winning Score:  68-67-67-69 = 271 (-17)

Final Field: 144 Players
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,521
Purse:  $1,200,000

Here is the official Digital Program, that the LPGA has provided.

My strength of field rating is a very low 53%, as many of the top players are sitting this one out. In fact only 9 of the top 20 players on the LPGA Priority List, and 7 of the top 20 players on the Rolex Rankings, will be participating. The list of players not playing this week, include the following:
Inbee Park, Na Yeon Choi, Yani Tseng, Ai Miyazato, So Yeon Ryu, Suzann Pettersen, Shanshan Feng, Mika Miyazato, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer, Catriona Mathhew, I.K. Kim, Candie Kung, Se Ri Pak, Juli Inkster, Natalie Gulbis, Morgan Pressel, Gerina Piller, Lizette Salas, Danielle Kang, Caroline Hedwall, Carlotta Ciganda, Jee Young Lee, Ayaka Uehara, and Karin Sjodin (whew!).

Here are the television times:
May 16 - GC 6:30 PM-8:30 PM EST (Tape Delay)
May 17 - GC 6:30 PM-8:30 PM EST (Tape Delay)
May 18 - GC 5:00 PM-7:00 PM EST
May 19 - GC 5:00 PM-7:00 PM EST

Here are the Pairings for the first two rounds.
Here are my picks for this week:
1- Stacy Lewis
2- Ariya Jutanugarn
3- Karine Icher
4- Anna Nordqvist
5- Hee Kyung Seo
6- Jiyai Shin
7- Karrie Webb
8- Azahara Munoz
9- Amy Yang
10- Lexi Thompson
11- Jessica Korda
12- Beatriz Recari
Be sure to check back here for updates after each and every round. Links to live scoreboards are always available at the top of this blog.

Other Tidbits:
Ariya Jutanugarn will be in the field as a sponsor exemption.

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.

On the Other Tours:
Lee-Anne Pace won the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open. It was her 6th L.E.T. win in the last 3 years. Lee-Ann finished one stroke ahead of Carlotta Ciganda, Charlie Hull, and Minea Bloomqvist. Christel Boeljon finished 2 strokes back.

Hiromi Mogi won the JLPGA's first major championship of the year. Lydia Ko and So Yeon Ryu, finished in a tie for 4th.  Inbee Park, who was never in contention, withdrew late in the second round. There is a full report on this event over at Mostly Harmless.

Over on the Symetra Tour, Laura Kueny was the winner of the Symetra Classic by one stroke over a trio of players which included LPGA player Alena Sharp. It was Alena's second start of the season, and second 2nd place finish.

Rolex Movers of the Week:
Hiromi Mogi moves from #77 to #52, while Lee-Anne Pace jumps up from # 104 to #79.

Update - FINAL RESULTS:
1Jennifer Johnson-21F
2Pornanong Phatlum-20F
2Jessica Korda-20F
4Jiyai Shin-19F
4Ariya Jutanugarn-19F
4Karrie Webb-19F
4Anna Nordqvist-19F
4Chella Choi-19F
9Stacy Lewis-18F
10Hee Kyung Seo-17F
10Lexi Thompson-17F
12Beatriz Recari-16F
13Mo Martin-14F
13Azahara Munoz-14F
13Thidapa Suwannapura-14F
13Mariajo Uribe-14F
13Eun-Hee Ji-14F
13Sydnee Michaels-14F
19Lisa McCloskey-13F


For results of all players, see the live LPGA Scoreboard Link at the top of this page!





Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Stats & Facts - Volume 13 (Priority List Reshuffle)

First let me take this time to say, once again, that if you missed viewing last week's tournament, you missed another nail biting finish. As I said last week, it certainly seems that every tournament goes down to the last shot on the last hole. This past week was no exception as Cristie Kerr defeated Suzann Pettersen on the second playoff hole. What could these very talented ladies have in store for us next? I for one can't wait to see.

The LPGA takes a one week break this week before moving to the state of Alabama for the playing of the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic. The LPGA has now completed about 1/3 of its schedule. It is a good time to look at some of the key statistics and notes covering the first 9 tournaments.

Rolex Player of the Year Standings (winner receives a Hall of Fame point)
1- Inbee Park - 131 points
2- Stacy Lewis - 83
3- Suzann Pettersen 69
4- Beatriz Recari - 46
5- So Yeon Ryu - 43
6- Cristie Kerr - 39
7- Jiyai Shin - 37
8- Lizette Salas - 28
9- I.K. Kim - 25
9- Na Yeon Choi - 25

Vare Trophy (winner receives a Hall of Fame point)
1- Stacy Lewis - 69.417 average strokes per round
2- Inbee Park - 69.438
3- Suzann Pettersen - 69.833
4- Na Yeon Choi - 69.844
5- Lizette Salas - 70.00
6- Paula Creamer - 70.188
7- So Yeon Ryu - 70.281
8- Jiyai Shin - 70.406
9- I.K. Kim - 70.531
9- Jessica Korda - 70.531

Most Consecutive Tournaments Without a Missed Cut
1- Karrie Webb - 52
2- Paula Creamer - 51
3- Jiyai Shin - 44
4- Beatriz Recari - 42
5- Na Yeon Choi - 41
6- Inbee Park - 31
7- Stacy Lewis - 28

Most Top Tens This Year
1- Stacy Lewis - 7
2- Inbee Park - 5
3- Lizette Salas - 4
3- I.K. Kim - 4
3- Na Yeon Choi - 4
3- Suzann Pettersen - 4
3- So Yeon Ryu - 4

Most Finishes in the Top Twenty This Year
1- Stacy Lewis - 8
2- Paula Creamer - 7
3- Inbee Park - 6
4- Na Yeon Choi - 6
5- Guila Sergas - 6
6- Lizette Salas - 6

Most Wins By Country
1- South Korea - 4 (Inbee Park 3, Jiyai Shin 1)
2- United States - 3 (Stacy Lewis 2, Cristie Kerr 1)
3- Spain - 1 (Beatriz Recari)
4- Norway - 1 (Suzann Pettersen)

Other Tidbits:
Se Ri Pak's missed cut streak came to an end at 17.
Song Hee Kim has missed her last 7 cuts.

The LPGA had its first reshuffle of its Priority List this past week. While most of the players moved up or down a few insignificant spots, there were some very significant moves also.

The Priority List is what is used to fill the required amount of spots for any given tournament. Without me getting into the categories, which is potentially confusing, here is a brief explanation.
Most full field events have a field of 144 players. Usually 140 of the players come from the Priority List ranking. Two players are Monday qualifiers, and 2 more are sponsor exemptions. So to keep it simple, if your Priority Rating is #150, you have to hope that 10 players decide not to play, or you are probably not getting into the field.

The following players made significant jumps in this week's reshuffle:
Carlotta Ciganda - from 104 to 87
Moriya Jutanugarn - from 122 to 88
Jane Park - from 115 to 89
Jee Young Lee - from 110 to 90
Jacqui Concolino - 116 to 93
Caroline Masson - 137 to 94
Austin Ernst - 136 to 95
Ayaka Uehara - 123 to 96
Rebecca Lee-Bentham - 121 to 98

The following players made the most important jumps, as they went from hardly playing to now playing in all full field events:
Cristina Kim - 148 to 97
Katie Burnett - 165 to 140
Danah Bordner - 154 to 141

The players that got hurt the most are:
Alena Sharp - 145 to 153
Tiffany Joh - 143 to 148

Players that lost their medical exemptions are as follows:
Sarah Kemp - 108 to 142
Seon Hwa Lee - 77 - 143
Maude-Aimee Leblanc - 114 to 149
Pat Hurst - 53 - 152

The LPGA will reshuffle the Priority List one more time, after the U.S. Open. The Open will be held at the Sebonack Golf Club in Southhampton, N.Y.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Year - Part 1

Now that we have completed about 1/3 of the LPGA season, I would like to look at the players that have made the biggest leaps, and taken the biggest falls in the Rolex Rankings this year.

The Rolex Rankings system awards points to players based on an accumulated 104-week "rolling" period, with the points awarded in the most recent 13-week period carrying a stronger value.
A player is then ranked according to her average points per tournament, as determined by dividing her total number of points by the number of eligible tournaments played during the 104-week period. A minimum divisor (35) is also used.

I have gone back to the first Rolex Rankings of the year and compared them to the current rankings. The only requirement for my list is that a player must have been ranked in the top 100 at the start of the year, or be in the top 100 now.

The Year's Biggest Winners:

1- Ariya Jutanugarn - 0.54 to 3.98 = Gain of 3.44 (moved from #236 to #18)
2- Lizette Salas - 1.47 to 3.81 = Gain of 2.34 (move 89 to 20)
3- Inbee Park - 8.03 to 10.19 = Gain of 2.16 (move 4 to 1)
4- Beatriz Recari - 1.89 to 3.24 = Gain of 1.35 (move 57 to 26)
5- Suzann Pettersen - 7.04 to 8.31 = Gain of 1.27 (move 6 to 3)
6- Lydia Ko - 2.40 to 3.56 = Gain of 1.16 (move 43 to 22)
7- Carlotta Ciganda - 2.13 to 3.24 = Gain of 1.11 (move 50 to 27)
8- Jessica Korda - 1.61 to 2.41 = Gain of 0.80 (move 78 to 46)
9- Stacy Lewis - 8.39 to 9.10 = Gain of 0.71 (move 3 to 2)
10- Jodie Ewart Shadoff - 1.00 to 1.51 = Gain of  0.51 (move from 137 to 72)
11- Gerina Piller - 1.31 to 1.77 = Gain of 0.46 (move 95-46)

The Year's Biggest Losers:

1- Yani Tseng - 10.58 to 7.69 = Loss of 2.89 (move #1 to #5)
2- Mika Miyazato - 6.54 to 4.44 = Loss of 2.10 (move 10 to 13)
3- Sun Ju Ahn - 5.15 to 3.47 = Loss of 1.68 (move 13 to 23)
4- Brittany Lincicome - 4.60 to 3.23 = Loss of 1.37 (move 18 to 28)
5- Chi Arimura - 4.53 to 3.19 = Loss of 1.24 (move 20 to 29)
6- Shanshan Feng - 7.27 to 6.07 = Loss of 1.20 (move 5 to 8)
7- Ji-Hee Lee - 3.79 to 2.60 = Loss of 1.19 (move 25-39)
8- Sun Young Yoo - 4.08 to 2.99 = Loss of 1.09 (move 23-33)
9- Amy Yang - 5.01 to 3.98 = Loss of 1.03 (move 15-17)
10- Brittany Lang - 3.51 to 2.48 = Loss of 1.03 (move 29 to 42)
11- Azahara Munoz - 4.98 to 4.01 = Loss of 0.97 (move 16 to 16)
12- Na Yeon Choi - 9.08 to 8.12 = Loss of 0.96 (move 2 to 4)

Other Tidbits:
Ariya Jutanugarn, who is not an LPGA member, has played 4 LPGA tournaments this year and finished 2nd, 4th, 3rd, and tied for 3rd.

Titleholders Update:
Cristie Kerr, Ihlee Lee, and Gerina Piller are the latest to qualify. Azahara Munoz is the highest ranked player on the priority list, not yet qualified.

Rolex Movers of the Week:
Suzann Pettersen moved from #5 to #3. Cristie Kerr sneaks into the top ten by moving up 2 places to #10.
Ariya Jutanugarn continues her surge by moving from #23 to #18.
On the down side, Yani Tseng drops another spot to #5.