Monday, February 24, 2014

HSBC Women's Champions Preview & Pairings

Before I get started with this week's topic, I want to give a big congratulations to Anna Nordqvist for winning last week's Honda LPGA Thailand Championship. This was Anna's first win in nearly 5 years and she did it in a very unusual fashion, winning it wire to wire.

Michelle Wie and Paula Creamer in Thailand

The LPGA moves to Singapore this week for the playing of the HSBC Women's Champions. Many of you may remember last year's exciting finish, when Stacy Lewis came out victorious by one stroke over Na Yeon Choi. Paula Creamer finished two strokes back.

Stacy Lewis the defending champion

This will be tournament #4 of 32 on this year's LPGA schedule.
Here are the Key details:

Course:  Sentosa Golf Club, The Serapong Course
Location:  Singapore
Defending Champion:  Stacy Lewis
Winning Score:  67-66-69-71=273 (-15)

Final Field:  63 Players
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,600
Purse:  $1,400,000

Although the field is very small, my strength of field rating is a very solid 77.5%. Thirty-nine of the top 40 players on the LPGA Priority List, and  18 of the top 20 players on the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up.
Jiyai Shin will be in attendance, teeing it up as a non LPGA member.

Here are the television times:
Feb 26 - GC 10:30 PM-2:30 AM ET
Feb 27 - GC 10:30 PM-2:30 AM ET
Feb 28 - GC 10:30 PM-2:30 AM ET
Mar 1 - GC 10:30 PM-2:30 AM ET

Here are my picks for this week's Pak Picker:
1- Stacy Lewis
2- Na Yeon Choi
3- Lexi Thompson
4- Paula Creamer
5- Suzann Pettersen
6- Lydia Ko
7- Catriona Matthew
8- Karrie Webb
9- Gerina Piller
10- So Yeon Ryu
11- Anna Nordqvist
12- Inbee Park
I was last week's winner as I correctly picked 6 of the top 10 finishers. I am also the overall leader after the first 3 weeks of the season.

Here are the first round pairings.
Other Tidbits:
The prize money earned by Lydia Ko last week in Thailand will not count as official earnings as she was a sponsor exemption, on foreign soil, in a tournament without a cut.
Catriona Matthew broke into the top 15 of all time in career earnings.
Stacy Lewis' fifth place finish last week was her 13th consecutive top ten finish.

Irene Choe got married and is now playing under the name of Irene Coe.
Rolex Movers of the Week:
Anna Nordqvist jumps from #27 to #14 this week. Other big movers include Catriona Matthew leaping from #13 to #10, and Michelle Wie vaulting from #60 to #48.
On the downside, if you played under the Japanese flag, things continued to go wrong, Mamiko Higa (finished 35th place), Ai Miazato (45th), Chie Arimura (55th), Ayako Uehara (64th), Mika Miyazato (65th), and Shinobu Moromizato (69th), all fell in the Rolex Rankings. There were only 70 players teeing it up. It has really been a struggle for the players from Japan for more than a full year now.
The Symetra Tour:
The Symetra Tour opened its season last week and Alena Sharp became the year's first winner. Cheyenne Woods finished 14th, nine shots back.
Race for the CME Globe (1 Million Dollars)
Jessica Korda continues to lead this race with 587 points. She is followed by Karrie Webb (552), Anna Nordqvist (526), Stacy Lewis (510), and Paula Creamer (421).
Who's Hot:
Gerina Piller has finished 10th and 5th in the last two weeks. Sandra Gal and Azahara Munoz have not finished out of the top 20 this year. Gal has finishes of 7th, 19th, and 14th, while Munoz has finished 18th, 11th, and 11th.

Who's Not:
Beatriz Recari has failed to finish in the top 25 in all 3 of her starts this year.

Here are the leaders after round 3:
1Karrie Webb-11F
2Angela Stanford-10F
3Azahara Munoz-8F
3Teresa Lu-8F
5Paula Creamer-7F
6Morgan Pressel-6F
7Suzann Pettersen-5F
8Na Yeon Choi-4F
8Caroline Hedwall-4F
10Michelle Wie-3F
10Ha-Na Jang-3F
10Inbee Park-3F

For those wanting live updates, see the LPGA link on the top of this page.I am not going to post results until the people in the U.S. have a chance to watch on TV the next day.


  1. Interesting item from the Symetra Tour event in Mesa... 2nd-year player Kendra Little averaged over 300 yards in her 4 measured drives in the event. I've seen her play a few times. She is the longest hitter I have ever seen on the women's tours. Her tee shots look and sound like the drives of PGA Tour players. The typical season-long leading average drives are in the 275 range most years. Kendra needs to improve her short game a lot to make it to the LPGA, (she missed the cut in Mesa) but she is the strongest ball striker I've ever seen on either tour.

    1. average leading drives on LPGA are 275, I meant to say.

    2. Dave there was a rookie last year named Marina Stuetz, the ball exploded off her club. She finished in the top 10 in driving distance and never made a cut. You never know.

    3. I saw Marina play... nothing like Kendra Little. Yes, you never know and Kendra needs a lot of work to even have a shot at the LPGA.

  2. I was also glad to see Yani Tseng finished in top 10 again. She was T5 in this tournament, and increased her ranking from 45 to 39. I think most of her fans usually checked her results from the bottom of the page, however, this time her results were at top.
    Tony, you usually put Yani in the "Who's Not" hot section. So glad this time I don't have to find her name there. :)