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Airbus LPGA Classic Preview & Pairings

Defending Champion Jennifer Johnson

Let me start by saying congratulations to Lizette Salas for winning last week's Kingsmill Championship. It was the first LPGA win for Salas, but it surely will not be her last.

It has been a great year so far for American players, as Lizette was the sixth U.S. player to win this year. No other country has had more than one player win this year. Jessica Korda, Paula Creamer, Lexi Thompson, Michelle Wie, Stacy Lewis, and Lizette Salas were all part of last year's losing Solheim Cup team, but have started this year with a vengeance.

This week the LPGA tour moves to the state of Alabama for the playing of the Airbus LPGA Classic.

This will be tournament #12 of 32 on the LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  RTJ Golf Trail, Magnolia Grove, The Crossings
Location:  Mobile, Alabama
Defending Champion:  Jennifer Johnson
Winning Score:  67-70-65-65 = 267 (-21)

Final Field:  144 players
Par: 36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,521
Purse:  $1,300,000

My strength of field rating is 66%, which is the same as last week. Thirty-one of the top 40 players on the Priority List, and 15 of the top 20 players on the Rolex Rankings will be in attendance. The biggest names skipping this week's event include: Lydia Ko, Shanshan Feng, Caroline Hedwall, Lizette Salas, Cristie Kerr, Gerina Piller, Ai Miyazato, Morgan Pressel, and Sandra Gal.

Here are the pairings for the first 2 rounds.

Here are this week's TV times:
May 22 - GC 6:30 PM-9:00 PM ET
May 23 - GC 6:30 PM-9:00 PM ET
May 24 - GC 3:00 PM-6:00 PM ET
May 25 - GC 3:00 PM-6:00 PM ET

Here are my Pak Picker Picks for this week's tournament:
1- Lexi Thompson
2- Stacy Lewis
3- Jessica Korda
4- Michelle Wie
5- Azahara Munoz
6- Suzann Pettersen
7- Pornanong Phatlum
8- Jennifer Johnson
9- Inbee Park
10- Na Yeon Choi
11- Paula Creamer
12- So Yeon Ryu
My totally inept picks last week were only good enough for 14th place. I am now in a tie for 4th place on the year among the 19 contestants.

Other Tidbits:
One of the longest cut streaks in golf history came to a halt as Paula Creamer missed the cut at the Kingsmill Championship. She had made 81 consecutive cuts. Louise Friberg, on the other hand, made the cut for the first time in her last 17 starts. Stacy Lewis now has the longest cut streak making her last 54. Reilly Rankin now leads the tour with 11 consecutive missed cuts.
Christina Song who missed the cut this week with a score of +35, is now an alarming 70 over par in her last 4 rounds. Yes, she will be teeing it up again this week.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Lizette Salas jumps into the top 10 this week moving from #16 to #10. Interestingly, she has now passed Cristie Kerr in the rankings, but will not qualify to play in the International Crown because of the earlier cutoff date. Yani Tseng rebounds from #53 to #41, while Sarah Jane Smith's second place finish hurls her past 60 players into the #89 position.

Race to the CMA Globe:
Stacy Lewis continues to have a very large lead with 2,044 points. She is followed by Michelle Wie with 1,540, and Lexi Thompson with 1,435.

Who's Hot:
Lexi Thompson has finished in the top 6 in each of her last 4 tournaments.

Who's Not:
Beatriz Recari has not finished better than 28th this year in 9 starts. She missed 4 cuts and had a WD.
Moriya Jutanugarn has 5 missed cuts and a best finish of 43rd in her last 10 starts.

Here are the final results:
1Jessica Korda-20F
2Anna Nordqvist-19F
3Charley Hull-18F
3Michelle Wie-18F
3Catriona Matthew-18F
6Jenny Shin-17F
7Lexi Thompson-16F
7Eun-Hee Ji-16F
7Jodi Ewart Shadoff-16F
10Brittany Lincicome-15F
10Belen Mozo-15F
10So Yeon Ryu-15F
10Stacy Lewis-15F
Be sure to check back here for any updates. I will post the leaders after each round.
Live scoreboards to all tournaments on all tours are available at the top of this page.

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  1. If Inbee Park does not win, and Stacy Lewis continues to get better scores than Inbee, then very soon we will see Stacy Lewis in #1 in Rolex Ranking.


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