Tuesday, March 31, 2015

ANA Inspiration Preview & Pairings (The year's first Major Championship)

Congratulations go out to Cristie Kerr for winning the Kia Classic. Cristie shot a final round 65 to finish 2 strokes better than runner up Mirim Lee.

Cristie Kerr became the first American to ever win the Kia Classic

The LPGA moves to Rancho Mirage, California this week for the year's first major championship.
This will be the first year that this tournament (formerly the Kraft Nabisco Championship) will be sponsored by All Nippon Airways.

Mission Hills Country Club. The home of this year's first major championship.

Last year's championship was one we will all remember for a very long time, as Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie went into the final round tied for the lead. Lexi would shoot a final round 68 which was 3 strokes better than Wie's 71. Stacy Lewis finished in third place.

Lexi holds up the trophy she received for winning her first major championship

This will be tournament #8 of 32 on this year's LPGA schedule, and the first of 5 major championships.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Mission Hills Country Club: Dinah Shore Tournament Course
Location:  Rancho Mirage, California
Defending Champion:  Lexi Thompson
Winning Score:  73-64-69-68 = 274 (-14)

**Final Field: 115 players
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage: 6,769yards
Purse:  $2,500,000

My strength of field rating is a very strong 87%. With the limited field of just 115 players it lacks some depth, but the inclusion of players such as, In Gee Chun (#24 in RR), Teresa Lu (#29), Charley Hull (#33), and Yoon-Kyung Heo (#38), more than makes up for it.

Here are the first round pairings:

Here are the television times:
Apr 2 - GC 12:00 PM-3:00 PM ET
Apr 2 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Apr 3 - GC 12:00 PM-3:00 PM ET
Apr 3 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Apr 4 - GC 5:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Apr 5 - GC 5:00 PM-9:00 PM ET

Here are my picks for this week's tournament:
1- Lexi Thompson
2- Lydia Ko
3- Hyo Joo Kim
4- Stacy Lewis
5- Inbee Park
6- Shanshan Feng
7- Jessica Korda
8- Anna Nordqvist
9- Ilhee Lee
10- Mirim Lee
11- Ha Na Jang
12- Cristie Kerr
My awful picking last week was only good enough for 11th place. I am currently in 10th place among the 24 participants.

Other Tidbits:
There was an abrupt end to many LPGA cut streaks. Mina Haragae (16), Jenny Shin (15), Hee Young Park (15), and Marina Alex (13), all saw their streaks come to an end.

Lydia Ko has now shot under par in her last 28 rounds. Annika Sorenstam holds the all time record of 29. Lydia will have the chance to break that record this week in a major championship.

Hyo Joo Kim has never missed a cut in any of the 14 LPGA tournaments she has played in. Think that is impressive? Lydia Ko has never missed an LPGA cut. She has played in 48. 

Rolex Movers of the Week:
Two players entered the top ten this week. Lexi Thompson jumps up from #11 to #9, while Cristie Kerr jumps up 9 spots to the #10 position. Amy Yang and Karrie Webb fall out of the top 10. Further down the chart, Alison Lee catapults from #281 to #115.
Race to the CME Globe: (1 million dollars)
Lydia Ko continues to lead with 1,480 points. She is followed by Amy Yang (1,022), and Stacy Lewis (1,001).

Who's Hot:
Lydia Ko has not finished outside the top seven in any of the six tournaments she has played this year.

Who's Not:
Christine Song, who missed the cut last week by 20 strokes managed to top that this week. Her score of +29 missed the cut by 30 strokes. She has now missed 13 consecutive cuts.

On Other Tours:
On the Symetra Tour, Sue Kim won the Florida Natural Charity Classic by 2 strokes over sisters Brooke and Brittany Henderson.

On the JLPGA, Ritsuko Ryu defeated Bo-Mee Lee in a playoff to win the AXA Ladies Golf Tournament.

On the LET, Gwlayds Nocera defeated Melissa Reid (and 2 others), by 2 strokes to win the Lalla Meyer Cup.

Be sure to check back daily for any updates. They will be posted here at the bottom of this blog.

Here are the final results:

T1Brittany Lincicome-972687069279$375,000
T1Stacy Lewis-972696870279$231,449
3Morgan Pressel-867727170280$167,900
T4Carlota Ciganda-774716868281$106,653
T4Anna Nordqvist-771726969281$106,653
T4Sei Young Kim-772656975281$106,653
7Lexi Thompson-672697170282$71,595
T8Suzann Pettersen-576687267283$56,812
T8Mi Hyang Lee-574687071283$56,812
T8Shanshan Feng-571707072283$56,812
T11Angela Stanford-472697667284$37,606
T11Karine Icher-474727068284$37,606
T11Christina Kim-473707269284$37,606
T11Hyo Joo Kim-471747069284$37,606
T11Catriona Matthew-471697470284$37,606
T11Inbee Park-474697071284$37,606
T11Mirim Lee-471707271284$37,606
T11Moriya Jutanugarn-471707073284$37,606
T11Jenny Shin-471697173284$37,606

For complete scoreboard see link on top of this page.

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  1. Is Munoz injured? I don't see her name on the board.

  2. She had surgery done on her wrist. Will be out for awhile.