Monday, August 10, 2015

Cambia Portland Classic Preview & Pairings

After a one week break, the LPGA moves to the state of Oregon this week for the playing of the Cambia Portland Classic. It will be very difficult to match last year's exciting finish when Austin Ernst won her first LPGA championship, defeating I.K. Kim in a playoff.

Adding to the significance of this tournament, is that with only two tournaments remaining (Cambia and the Canadian Pacific) before the the Solheim Cup team is announced, there are several players fighting to capture a spot on the team. Those players include: Angela Stanford, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lang, Lizette Salas, Gerina Piller, Jessica Korda, Mo Martin, Austin Ernst, and Alison Lee. None of the aforementioned players have wrapped up a spot as of this writing.                                          

Austin Ernst became a first time winner at the Cambia Portland Classic in 2014

This will be tournament #21 of 31 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Columbia Edgewater Country Club
Location:  Portland, Oregon
Defending Champion:  Austin Ernst
Winning Score:  69-69-69-67 = 274 (-14)

Final Field:  144 players
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,476
Purse:  $1, 300,000

My strength of field rating is 70%, and although it is missing some top players, it is significantly stronger than last year's rating of 56%.  Key players not in attendance this week include: Inbee Park, Michelle Wie, Shanshan Feng, Lexi Thompson, Brittany Lincicome, Amy Yang, Sei Young Kim, Na Yeon Choi, and Charley Hull.

Here are the pairings for the first round:

Here are the television times:
GC Aug. 13 5:00-8:00 p.m.
GC Aug. 14 5:00-8:00 p.m.
GC Aug. 15 4:00-7:00 p.m.
GC Aug. 16 4:00-7:00 p.m.

Here are my Pak Picker Picks for this week's tournament:
1- Hyo Joo Kim
2- Stacy Lewis
3- Lydia Ko
4- Suzann Pettersen
5- So Yeon Ryu
6- Anna Nordqvist
7- Minjee Lee
8- Lizette Salas
9- Austin Ernst
10- Gerina Piller
11- Alison Lee
12- Cristie Kerr
My solid picking at the British Open was good enough for 3rd place. I am currently tied for second place in the overall standings among the field of 22 players.

Other Tidbits:
Phase one of qualifying school has been completed. Not a lot of fanfare here as most of the big names will be qualifying in Stages 2 and 3. The phase 1 winner was Bertine Strauss with a score of -14 under par. Jessica Korda's younger sister Nelly Korda finished 3rd. Gabby Lopez finished in the 5th spot, while Emma Talley finished tied for 25th. All of those players will advance to phase two. For all the results:

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

UPDATE  #1 - Brooke Henderson & Doris Chen are the Monday Qualifiers. They both shot 68.

Here are the final scores:

1Brooke Mackenzie Henderson-21F
2Pornanong Phatlum-13F
2Candie Kung-13F
2Ha-Na Jang-13F
5Austin Ernst-12F
5Mo Martin-12F
5Azahara Munoz-12F
8Jaye Marie Green-11F
8Alison Lee-11F
10Cristie Kerr-10F
10Alena Sharp-10F
10Morgan Pressel-10F

Links to all live scoreboards appear at the top of this page.

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  1. Megan Khang, who won Low Amateur honors at the US Women's Open, finished one shot behind Bertine Strauss in 2nd place at Stage One. By coincidence the US Women's Amateur is also being held in Portland this week (Portland CC) but Megan is not in the field. The Rockland, MA, native will be playing her home course, Thorny Lea GC in Brockton, a a sponsor invite at the Symetra Tour's W.B. Mason Championship.

  2. Brooke Henderson has now "Monday qualified" 3 times for LPGA events this season. That must be some sort of a record. She missed by 1 shot in a 4th Monday qualifier. This 17-year-old Canadian phenom has earned over $460,000 in the 9 LPGA events in which she has played and will almost certainly earn her rookie card on the tour for the 2016 season. She has only missed 1 cut in those 9 appearances. She will also play next week in the tour's Canadian Women's Open and very likely will make it into the Evian Championship next month in France.