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Kia Classic Preview & Pairings

Congratulations go out to Hyo Joo Kim this week for winning the JTBC LPGA Founders Cup. Stacy Lewis finished in second place, 3 strokes back. It was the third week in a row that Stacy has finished in the top 3. The three stroke margin of victory was the largest on the LPGA tour this season.

Aviara Golf Club home of the Kia Classic

The LPGA tour moves to the state of California this week for the playing of the Kia Classic.
Many of you may remember last year's finish when Anna Nordqvist defeated Lizette Salas by one stroke. Lexi Thompson finished 2 strokes back, followed by Chella Choi a stroke further back.

2014 defending champion Anna Nordqvist

This will be tournament #7 of 32 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Aviara Golf Club
Location: Carlsbad, California
Defending Champion: Anna Nordqvist
Winning Score:  73-68-67-67 = 275 (-13)

Final Field: 144 players
Par: 36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,593 yards
Purse:  $1,700,000

My strength of field rating is a very high 88.5%, making this the strongest field of the year by a big margin. Ninety-seven of the top 98 players on the LPGA Priority List, and 42 of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. The only top player missing this week from the Priority List is Azahara Munoz, who just had hand surgery.

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times:
Mar 26 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Mar 27 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Mar 28 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Mar 29 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET

Here are my Pak Picker picks for this week's tournament:
1- Hyo Joo Kim
2- Lydia Ko
3- Stacy Lewis
4- Inbee Park
5- Sei Young Kim
6- Anna Nordqvist
7- Na Yeon Choi
8- Jessica Korda
9- Lexi Thompson
10- Ariya Jutanugarn
11- Lizette Salas
12- Amy Yang
I am currently in 8th place in the overall standings among the 24 participants.

Other Tidbits:
Pernilla Lindberg (17), Cristina Kim (14), and Candie Kung, all saw their cut streaks come to an end.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Hyo Joo Kim vaults up from #8 to #4, while Pornanong Phatlum rises from #28 to #23.

Race to the CME Globe:  (1 million dollars)
Lydia Ko leads with 1,290 points. She is followed by Amy Yang (1,022), and Stacy Lewis (945).

Who's Hot:
It sure seems like every player from South Korea! They have won 5 of the first  6 tournaments.

Who's Not:
Christina Song's score of +18, missed the cut by 20 strokes. M.J. Hur has not finished better than 58th in her last 4 starts, which include 2 missed cuts. Sakura Yokomine has yet to make a cut as an LPGA member.

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

Update #1 - Becky Morgan and Jane Rah are the Monday Qualifiers.
Update #2 - Lizette Salas has dropped out of field list. She has been replaced with Karlin Beck.

Here are the final scores:
1Cristie Kerr-20F
2Mirim Lee-18F
3Lydia Ko-17F
4Alison Lee-16F
5Inbee Park-15F
6Hyo Joo Kim-14F
6Ha-Na Jang-14F
8Moriya Jutanugarn-13F
8Sakura Yokomine-13F
10Ilhee Lee-12F
10Anna Nordqvist-12F
10Lexi Thompson-12F
10Se Ri Pak-12F
10Paula Creamer-12F

For full leaderboard see link on top of this page.
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  1. You haven't mentioned Suzann Pettersen for a while, nor picked her in your top 12 list. This time, she didn't even make the cut. It was unbelievable how Ariya didn't make the cut either.

  2. Suzann hasn't played real well, but it is still early. Ariya started out great but hasn't played that well of late.

  3. Wish the LPGA would quit lying about the yardage. If they keep moving the tees up they will be teeing off from the first cut. Guess the asian sponsor have to be kept happy.


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