Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Blue Bay LPGA Preview & Pairings

Congratulations go out this week to Lydia Ko for winning the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship. There was nothing dramatic or suspenseful about this one as she blew away the field by 9 strokes. It was Lydia's 5th victory of the year, and she now leads the LPGA in every statistical category that matters. She has the most wins, top fives, and top tens. She also has a huge lead in the CME Standings. On top of that she leads in Player of the Year points and is the leader for the Vare Trophy.
She also is now the #1 player in the world.

This week the LPGA tour moves to China for the playing of the Blue Bay LPGA. Last year was the inaugural playing of this event, and it was cut to 54 holes because of bad weather. Lee-Anne Pace was victorious by 3 shots over Caroline Masson.

Lee-Anne Pace will be trying to defend her Blue Bay LPGA championship

This will be tournament #28 of 31 on this year's LPGA Schedule.

Here are the Key details:

Course:  Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Course
Location:  Hainan Island, China
Defending Champion:  Lee-Anne Pace
Winning Score:  67-66-67 = 200 (-16)

Final Field:  81 Players
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  Not available on LPGA website
Purse:  $2,000,000

My strength of field rating is 59.50%. Forty-five of the top 60 players from the LPGA priority list (not used on the Asian swing), and thirty of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. Among the missing this week include:  So Yeon Ryu, Karrie Webb, Azahara Munoz, Lexi Thompson, Cristie Kerr, Angela Stanford, Paula Creamer, Charley Hull, Ha Na Jang, Mika Miyazato, and Alison Lee. Muni He, who made such a big splash this year at the U.S. Women's open in Lancaster, Pa., has received a sponsor exemption.

Muni He will be making her first LPGA appearance since the U.S. Open

Here are the pairings for round 1.

Here are the television times:
GC Thursday October 29 - 2:30 a.m. - 5:00 am ET
GC Friday October 30 - 2:30 a.m. - 5:00 am ET
GC Saturday October 31 - 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET
GC Sunday November 1 - 8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. ET

Once again Golf Channel shows no respect to the LPGA. The final round broadcast will end at midnight Sunday (Monday morning). The tournament will have been over for about 19 hours at that point. There is no way this blogger is not looking at the results for that long a period of time, to watch the broadcast.

Here are my picks for this week's tournament:
1- Lydia Ko
2- Shanshan Feng
3- Inbee Park
4- Stacy Lewis
5- Suzann Pettersen
6- Anna Nordqvist
7- Amy Yang
8- Hyo Joo Kim
9- Xi Yu Lin
10- Mirim Lee
11- Minjee Lee
12- Jessica Korda
After 27 tournaments I remain in 2nd place among the 20 contestants.

Other Tidbits:
Nellie Korda beat a field of 195 players and won phase 2 of LPGA Q-School. Because of her age, she is not allowed to go on to phase 3. She will not be 18 until next July. She will concentrate on playing the Symetra Tour next year, where she will certainly be a favorite to receive her LPGA card via that route.

Rolex Movers of the Week:
As mentioned above, Lydia Ko replaces Inbee Park as the new #1 player in the world.

Race to the CME Globe:  (1 million dollars)
Lydia Ko has now opened up a huge lead with 4,828 points. She is followed by Inbee Park (3,944), Stacy Lewis (3,110), and Lexi Thompson (2,729).

Who's Hot:
Lydia Ko (this seems to be a blog about her) has finished 1st, 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 1st in her last 5 tournaments. 

Who's Not:
Sandra Gal has failed to register a top 20 finish in her last 9 events.

Be sure to check back here daily for any LPGA news or updates.They will be posted here at the bottom of this blog.  Links to all Women's Tour scoreboards can be found at the top of this page.

Update #1 - Hyo Joo Kim withdrew after 9 holes with an injury.
Update #2 - Anna Nordqvist Withdrew before starting with an injury.

Here are the leaders after round 2:
1Sei Young Kim-2F
2Suzann Pettersen-1F
2Candie Kung-1F
2Ryann O'Toole-1F
2Austin Ernst-1F
6Minjee LeeEF
6Alena SharpEF
6Kim KaufmanEF
6Stacy LewisEF
6Jane ParkEF
6Xi Yu LinEF
12Danielle Kang+1F
13Sandra Gal+2F
13Haru Nomura+2F
13Brittany Lang+2F
16Karine Icher+3F
16Moriya Jutanugarn+3F
16Sakura Yokomine+3F
16Ariya Jutanugarn+3F
16Kyu Jung Baek+3F
16Ilhee Lee+3F
16Caroline Masson+3F
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  1. Interesting pairings to start this week. Pettersen's first pairing with a Solheim Cup opponent and Lydia who usually plays well when paired with Stacy. Jessica gets the opportunity to play with Inbee and Xi Yu Lin who played well last week. I'm also interested in the Lydia v Inbee duel this week it would not surprise to see them both in the final grouping come Sunday for an exciting finish.

    1. I agree it will be interesting to see how Lydia and Inbee respond to a change in positions. Should be a great finish to the season.

      This is the next step in the progression for Pettersen. Pairing with an American Solheim Cup member. She's been able to ease back into it in Asia. If there wasn't a potential million dollar payday in Florida she might close shop on the season early and get in some skiing. By next spring, when the tour returns to the U.S. it will be almost completely forgotten.

      sports medic

  2. Nice to see Kelly Shon in the field in China.

  3. Nelly won't be competing in the third phase of Q-school. She was just hoping to gain Symetra Tour membership for next year, for when she turns 18, so Phase II is where it ends for her.

    I'm glad the rules were crystal clear for her, so we didn't have a repeat of the unfortunate Stephanie Kono situation from a few years ago. Kono made the third phase, and I am rooting for her to make her way back on tour for 2016.

  4. For the second time in the LPGA's fall Asian swing the Tour takes a back seat to the PGA Tour as they're in Malaysia this week.

    1. That's right Kevin, and as a big LPGA fan I am sure you are as upset about this trend as I am.

    2. Ironic that the ladies were at the same venue in Malaysia the first time the PGA Tour (the Presidents Cup in Korea) forced them onto tape delay in North America. Next week when the guys are in Shanghai it won't be an issue only because the TOTO Japan event won't be on TV here AT ALL.