Monday, October 20, 2014

Blue Bay LPGA Preview & Pairings

The LPGA moves to China this week for the playing of the Blue Bay LPGA. This will be the inaugural playing of this event. This is stop number four of six consecutive tournaments to be played in Asia. After this week the tour heads to Taiwan, and then finishes up the Asian swing in Japan.
The tour will then go to Mexico and finish up with the CME Group Tour Championship to be held in Florida, where we will find out who will win the Race to the CME Globe and its 1 million dollar prize.

Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Course

This will be tournament #28 of 32 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Jian Lake Blue Bay Country Club
Location:  Hainan Island, China
Defending Champion:  This is the first time this tournament is being played.
Winning Score:  N/A

Final Field: 81 players
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  Not stated by LPGA
Purse:  $2,000,000

My strength of field rating is 55.5% ranking it 23rd of the 28 tournaments so far this year. Twenty-seven of the top 40 players on the LPGA Priority list, and 20 of the top 40 from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. Top players skipping the event this week include: Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen, SoYeon Ryu, Na Yeon Choi, Paula Creamer, Karrie Webb, Pornanong Phatlum, and Angela Stanford.

Here are the pairings for the first round.

Here are the television times:
Oct 22 - GC 11:30 PM-3:30 AM ET
Oct 23 - GC 11:30 PM-3:30 AM ET
Oct 24 - GC 11:30 PM-3:30 AM ET
Oct 25 - GC 11:30 PM-3:30 AM ET

Here are my  Pak Picker picks for this week's tournament:
1- Shanshan Feng
2- Mirim Lee
3- Chella Choi
4- Lydia Ko
5- Ilhee Lee
6- Michelle Wie
7- Brittany Lincicome
8- Cristie Kerr
9- I.K. Kim
10-Anna Nordqvist
11- Julieta Granada
12- M.J. Hur
My pretty decent picking last week has moved me up to the #2 position among the 21 Pak Picker participants.

Other Tidbits:
Stacy Lewis holds on to the #1 position by the narrowest of margins this week. In fact, you have to take their totals out to a hundredth  of a point to find a difference. Stacy's average score is 11.044, while Inbee's is 11.038. Both players are taking this week off.

As we all know, Spain won the inaugural international crown earlier this year. The team of Beatriz Recari, Azahara Munoz, Carlotta Ciganda, and Belen Mozo all play world class golf in team competitions, as we have  also witnessed  this in their Solheim Cup play. That said, it is strange that they have not won an LPGA tournament this year. In fact, Recari is the only player of the four to ever win an LPGA stroke play event. She has won three times.

Not only is Chella Choi the only player to play in all 28 LPGA events this year, she has her "Iron Woman" streak up to 104 consecutive tournaments. She played in the last 21 events in 2011, all 27 in 2012, and all 28 in 2013. I'm thinking that her father (who carries her bag) may need a rest.

Rolex Movers of the Week:
HanaBank winner Kyu Jung Baek surges up from #33 to #20. Michelle Wie jumps up two spots to #6, while Brittany Lincicome jumps from #24 to #19. Lee-Anne Pace, winner of last week's LET tournament in her home country of South Africa, leaps up from #53 to #42.

Race to the CME Globe:
With just four tournaments left before the CME Group Tour Championship, Stacy Lewis continues to have a commanding lead with 4,483 points. She is followed by Inbee Park with 3,277, and Lydia Ko with 2,991.

Who's Red Hot:
Inbee Park has seven consecutive top 10 finishes.

Who's Ice Cold:
Jennifer Johnson has failed to finish better than 32nd in her last 7 starts.

Update #1
According to the Constructivist over at Mostly Harmless, Inbee Park is playing this week on the KLPGA tour. It is the last major of the year for that tour. A good finish would have her take over the #1 spot in the world.

Update #2:
The tournament has now been shortened to 54 holes because of bad weather. The 2nd round will be completed on Saturday.

Update #3:
Round 3 has been suspended due to bad weather. It will be completed on Monday morning. If you live on the East Coast, that will be Sunday night. It will televised by Golf Channel at 8:30 PM ET.

Finally!!!! Here are the final standings:

1Lee-Anne Pace-16F
2Caroline Masson-13F
3Michelle Wie-11F
3Jessica Korda-11F
5Danielle Kang-10F
5Chella Choi-10F
7Lydia Ko-9F
7Shanshan Feng-9F
9Jenny Shin-8F
9Brittany Lang-8F

For complete scoreboard see link on top of this page.

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  1. You mentioned how close Stacy Lewis and Inbee Park are in the Rolex Rankings. Will there be any changes in the top position in their off week (assuming Lydia Ko doesn't win this week). If I recall, Inbee took the top spot before during an off week (due to a change in her event played denominator).

    Have you read or heard anything on Michelle Wie's hand? She seemed to be acting like it was a bit uncomfortable.

    Keep up the great work.

    Sports medic

    1. Inbee is playing this week on the KLPGA Tour. It is their last major championship. A good showing will put her in the #1 spot.

  2. Ryan Ballangee and Randall are reporting that Inbee Park will take over the top spot in the Rolex Rankings next Monday. Sources at the LPGA are projecting she will take over the top spot regardless of what she does this week.

    Sports medic