Monday, June 16, 2014

U.S. Women's Open Preview & Pairings

After a week off the LPGA will be moving to the state of North Carolina for the playing of the U.S Women's Open. This is the 2nd of 5 majors on the LPGA schedule.

It is also the start of the most important part of the LPGA schedule. The next ten events will bring us four major championships, the Canadian Women's Open, and the International Crown.

This week's tournament will be #15 of 32 on the 2014 LPGA schedule (the International Crown is an unofficial tournament and is not counted in the grand total).

The tee will be moved up on the par four 345 yard 13th hole, and play at only 242 yards on two of the tournament days.

Here are the Key details:

Course:  Pinehurst #2
Location:  Pinehurst NC
Defending Champion:  Inbee Park
Winning Score:  67-68-71-73 = 281 (-8)

Final Field:  156 players
Par:   35/35 = 70
Yardage:  6549 Yards (will vary on certain days)
Purse:  $3,250,000

My strength of field rating is 85.0% making it the second strongest field of the season. Only the Kraft Nabisco Championship had a slightly higher rating. The reason the field rating isn't higher is that I base my rating on how many players from the top 80 of the LPGA Priority List, and top 80 of the Rolex Rankings are teeing it up. Because there are so many non-LPGA players invited (approximately 65), the players currently ranked numbers 71 through 80 on the Priority List do not qualify. On the other hand there are many highly Rolex Ranked players in the field that are not LPGA members. They include: Ha Na Jang (RR #19 Korea), Sei Young Kim (RR #32 Korea), Teresa Lu (RR #43 Taipei), Rikako Morita (RR #42 Japan), Sakura Yokomine (RR #45 Japan), Misuza Narita (RR #61 Japan), Yumika Yushida (RR #69 Japan), Yoo Lim Choi (RR #75 Korea), Ayaka Watanabe (RR #77 Japan), Gwladys Nocera (RR #78 France), and Minjee Lee (RR #79 Australia).

Among the very many amateurs in the field will be the very popular Brooke Henderson (Canada), and 11 year old Lucy Li. Cheyenne Woods will also be teeing it up.

Here are the television times:
Jun 19 - ESPN2 3:00 PM-7:00 PM ET
Jun 20 - ESPN2 3:00 PM-7:00 PM ET
Jun 21 - NBC 3:00 PM-6:00 PM ET
Jun 22 - NBC 3:00 PM-6:00 PM ET

Here are my Pak Picker Picks for this week:
1- Stacy Lewis
2- Lydia Ko
3- Karrie Webb
4- Cristie Kerr
5- Inbee Park
6- Catriona Mathhew
7- Lexi Thompson
8- Michelle Wie
9- Paula Creamer
10- Na Yeon Choi
11- Suzann Pettersen
12- Shanshan Feng
After the first 14 weeks of the season, I am currently in 7th place among the 20 contestants.
Be sure to check back here daily for any updates. I will post the leaderboard after each round.
Live scoreboards to all women's tours are always available on the top of this page.

Here are the leaders after round 3.

T1Amy Yang-2-2F716968-208
T1Michelle Wie-2+2F686872-208
T3Juli Inkster+2-4F717566-212
T3Stephanie Meadow+2-1F717269-212
T3Na Yeon Choi+2+1F717071-212
T3Minjee Lee+2+2F697172-212
T7Pornanong Phatlum+3-1F717369-213
T7So Yeon Ryu+3EF697470-213
T7Karrie Webb+3EF707370-213
T7Sakura Yokomine+3+1F746871-213
T7Lexi Thompson+3+4F716874-213

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  1. It should be a fascinating week with this new back-to-back Opens concept. The weather has cooperated (little rain) and it looks like the women will have good conditions. I am anxious to see how the women handle those extremely tough greens. I think they will be too much for a lot of the players and there could be some ugly putting stats. We shall see. If the week goes off well, I hope the USGA makes the joint Opens at the same course a regular feature. It would be great for promoting the women's game to a larger audience. I'll be rooting hardest for my LPGA friend Rebecca Lee-Bentham. I had the pleasure of caddying for her at her Open qualifier last month and she got it done... but it took us 46 holes, 10 of a sudden-death playoff... quite a thrill.

  2. I kind of like the idea of having the women follow up the men at the same location. It reminds me of my track meet days where even though wer weren't competing against eachother, we were able to cheer eachother on, etc. As a fan, it's also fun to see which of the men and women get along, and what tips they get from eachother. The LPGA has gotten more exciting lately with Michele Wie and the other newcomers playing strong, and this can only help get them (the women players) more of the attention they deserve. Looking forward to the Women's US Open this week!