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Showing posts from September, 2014

Reignwood LPGA Classic Preview and Pairings

After a one week break the LPGA travels to Asia this week for the playing of the Reignwood LPGA Classic. This will be the first of six consecutive tournaments that will be played in Asia.

Shanshan Feng won this event in 2013 when she eagled the final hole to beat Stacy Lewis by one stroke. If you like birdies, this is the tournament to watch as four players shot -20 or better last year.
It is also a par 73, which is very unusual on any course on any tour.

This will be tournament # 25 of 32 on the LPGA schedule this year.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Reignwood Pine Valley Golf Club
Location:  Nankou, Beijing, China
Defending Champion:  Shanshan Feng
Winning Score:  70-64-64-68 = 266 (-26)

Final Field:  81 players
Par:  36/37 = 73
Yardage:  6,596
Purse:  $2,100,000

My strength of field rating is just 44%, making it the second weakest field of the year. Most American players have decided to extend their vacations and start playing next week. In fact, the only American player ranked …

LPGA Q-School Phase 2 - Cheyenne Woods Heads Field List

It will be a big week for many players as they try to earn their 2015 LPGA cards this week. LPGA Qualifying Tournament Stage 2 will take place starting Tuesday, September 30th, with the final round Friday, October 3.  There will be 192 ladies teeing it up, with the top 80 advancing to Phase 3 in December. This tournament will have no cut as all players that complete the 72 holes will receive Symetra Tour playing cards for 2015.

The field for this tournament will not be lacking big names. The phase 2 field will include:

Cheyenne Woods - Niece of Tiger Woods, who won on the Ladies European Tour in 2014.

Ariya Jutanugarn - Younger sister of LPGA 2013 rookie of the year Moriya Jutanugarn, has had several top ten finishes playing as a sponsor exemption on the LPGA Tour.

Stephanie Meadow - Shocked us all with her third place finish at the 2014 U.S. Open.

Mingee Lee - Playing in just 4 LPGA tournaments this year, she opened up all our eyes with an 11th place finish in Australia, a 22nd place…

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Year 2014 - Part 2

Now that we have completed about 3/4 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 requirements for my list are: (1) A player must have been ranked in the top 100 at the start of the year, or be in the top 100 now. (2) A player must have started the year 2014 with a minimum rating of 0.50 (or else this chart would be filled with unknown names.) Non L…

Stats & Facts - Volume 21

The LPGA is taking its final break of the 2014 season this week. Play will resume next week with a six tournament Asian swing. The season will then wind down with a tournament in Mexico followed by the CME Group Tour Championship in Florida.

I thought that this would be a good time to look at the key statistics compiled through the first 24 tournaments of the year.

Rolex Player of the Year: (winner receives a Hall of Fame point)
1- Stacy Lewis - 212 points
2- Inbee Park - 171
3- Michelle Wie - 151
4- Lydia Ko - 134
5- Lexi Thompson - 106

Vare Trophy: (winner receives a Hall of Fame point)
1- Stacy Lewis - 69.38 strokes per round
2- Michelle Wie - 69.71
3- Inbee Park - 69.74
4- Suzann Pettersen - 69.93
5- So Yeon Ryu - 69.99

Race to the CME Globe: (winner receives 1 million dollars)
1- Stacy Lewis - 4,333 points
2- Inbee Park - 3,087
3- Lydia Ko - 2,906
4- Michelle Wie - 2,588
5- Anna Nordqvist 2,325

Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year:
1- Lydia Ko - 1,306 points
2- Mirim Lee - 600
3- Line …

Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic Preview & Pairings

The LPGA moves to the state of Alabama this week for the playing of the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. This tournament was last played in 2012 when it was called the Navistar Classic.

This will be the last stop for the tour in the United States until the final tournament of the season. After a one week break, the next 7 tournaments will be played in China, Malaysia, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Japan, and Mexico. The season will then conclude in Florida with the CME Championship.

This will be tournament #24 of 32 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  RTJ Golf Trail, Capitol Hill, Senator Course
Location:  Prattville, Alabama
Defending Champion: Stacy Lewis
Winning Score:  66-70-65-69= 270 (-18)

Final Field:  144 players
Par: 36/36 = 72
Yardage:  Not shown
Purse:  $1,300,000

My strength of field rating is 37%, making it the weakest field of the year so far.
Defending Champion Stacy Lewis will be headlining a field that will also include highly ranked players: …

Symetra Tour Championship - Who will earn their LPGA Cards This Week?

UPDATE:  Here are the 10 players who received full time playing status on the LPGA Tour for 2015:

11Steen , Marissa$75,348.001622Kwak , Min Seo$69,143.001737Stoelting , Jackie$60,452.001943Parks , Sadena$57,597.001754Lee , Min$57,011.001865Hsu , Wei-Ling$53,004.001376Feng , Yueer Cindy$51,992.001288Dye , Kendall$47,684.0020915Runas , Demi$45,095.0020109Blackwelder , Mallory$41,381.0020

The Symetra Tour will complete its 2014 schedule this week with the playing of the Symetra Tour Championship. The Championship starts on Thursday, September 18th and concludes on Sunday, September 21st.

Why am I writing about this today? The answer is simple. All LPGA fans should be paying close attention to this week's Symetra Tour results.

The Symetra tour, also known as "the Road to the LPGA", will be handing out 10 LPGA tour cards to the top ten money winners at the completion of play.

Those ten players will get full tour status for the 2015 LPGA season. They will be issued a category 9…

Rating the Rookies 2014 - Part 2

Four months have passed since I last did a report card on this year's rookies.

I would like to change this up a bit this time, by strictly rating these girls on their chances of retaining LPGA cards for the 2015 season. Any successes or failures on other tours are not considered here. My only concern here is, are they safe for the upcoming season, or will they have to go back to qualifying school?

For those of you who might need some information on how the LPGA "Priority List" works, here is a brief explanation: 

If you finish in the top 80 on the 2014 money list, that will be your priority rating for 2015. In other words, if a player finishes #45 on the money list this year, she will be #45 on the priority list next year. That also means she will be eligible for all tournaments, since even limited fields have more than 45 players. It starts to get  real tricky after that as the top 10 players on the Symetra tour money list earn playing cards and are given the next ten spot…