Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Honda LPGA Thailand Preview & Pairings

Moriya Jutanugarn tries to comfort her sister after a triple bogey on the final hole

2013 Champion Inbee Park






The LPGA tour moves to Thailand this week for the playing of the Honda LPGA Thailand.

Many of you may remember the startling conclusion of this tournament in 2013.

Ariya Jutanugarn had a two stroke lead going to the final hole, and triple bogeyed the par five 18th.

Inbee Park who had already completed her round, would be the beneficiary of Ariya's misfortune and take home the winner's check.

Yani Tseng was the winner of this event in 2011 and 2012. She also played well in 2013 finishing in 3rd place, just 2 shots back of the eventual winner.

This will be tournament # 3 of 32 tournaments on the 2014 LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Siam Country Club
Location:  Chonburi, Thailand
Defending Champion: Inbee Park
Winning Score:  67-71-71-67= 276 (-12)

Final Field:  70 Players
Par:  36/36=72
Yardage:  6,469
Purse:  $1,500,000

In spite of the limited amount of players teeing it up, my strength of field is a very high 79%. This is by far the strongest field of the year so far. Seventeen of the top 20 Rolex Ranked players will be teeing it up, and 23 of the top 25 players on the LPGA Priority List will be in attendance. I.K. Kim and Natalie Gulbis are the biggest names who are missing.

Lydia Ko and Ariya Jutanugarn are among the sponsor exemptions.

Here are the television times:
Feb 20 - GC 9:00 AM-12:30 PM ET
Feb 21 - GC 9:00 AM-1:30 PM ET
Feb 22 - GC 2:00 PM-6:00 PM ET
Feb 23 - GC 1:30 PM-6:00 PM ET

Here are my Pak Picker picks of the week:
1- Stacy Lewis
2- Na Yeon Choi
3- Lydia Ko
4- Jessica Korda
5- Inbee Park
6- Suzann Pettersen
7- Lexi Thompson
8- Gerina Piller
9- Shanshan Feng
10- Paula Creamer
11- Chella Choi
12- So Yeon Ryu
My poor picks last week were only good enough for 7th place. With 19 participants, I am currently tied for second place for the season.

Here are the pairings for the first two rounds.

Here are the final results:

1Anna Nordqvist-15F
2Inbee Park-13F
3Catriona Matthew-11F
4Michelle Wie-10F
5Gerina Piller-9F
5Stacy Lewis-9F
5Lexi Thompson-9F
5Yani Tseng-9F
5Julieta Granada-9F
10Suzann Pettersen-8F

For full leader board see LPGA link on top of this page.

Other Tidbits:
The wedding and engagement announcements continue. Sydnee Michaels announced her engagement on Valentine's Day. We all wish Sydnee, the youngest of 8 siblings, all the best.

Rolex Movers of the Week:
Karrie Webb moves from #8 to #7, while Paula Creamer jumps back into the top ten with a move from #12 to #10. Outside the top ten Chella Choi leaps from #28 to #23, and Gerina Piller hops over five players and lands at #31. On the downside, Yani Tseng (who finished 53rd) dropped for the 25th time in the last 27 weeks landing way down at #45.

Race to the CME Globe (1 Million Dollars)
Jessica Korda continues to lead the Race to the CME Globe with 552 points. She is followed by Karrie Webb (500), Stacy Lewis (400), and Paula Creamer (360).

Who's Hot:
Paula Creamer is the only LPGA player to finish in the top 3 in both tournaments this year.
Stacy Lewis continues her incredible streak. She now has 12 consecutive top 10 finishes.

Who's Not:
It is still very early in the season, but nobody had expected Lexi Thompson to get off to this slow of a start. She has finished T58 in her opening tournament and missed the cut this past week.





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