Monday, October 19, 2015

Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship Preview & Pairings

Congratulations go out to Lexi Thompson for winning the KEB Hana Bank Championship. In one of the most exciting final rounds this year, Lexi came out on top by one stroke over both Yani Tseng and Sung Hyun Park. It was Lexi's second victory of the year. It certainly appears that Tseng is back on top of her game and will be geared up this week playing in her home country. As for Sung Hyun Park, she seems to be just one of many non-LPGA South Korean golfers who we are going to be hearing much more from very soon.

Lexi Thompson proudly holds up her Championship Trophy

This week the LPGA moves to Taiwan for the playing of the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship.
We can only hope for as exciting a finish as we had last year, when Inbee Park held off a charging Stacy Lewis and won by 2 strokes. Inbee will not be defending her title.

Defending Champion Inbee Park will not be teeing it up this week.

This will be tournament #27 of 31 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Miramar Golf Country Club
Location:  Taipei, Taiwan
Defending Champion:  Inbee Park
Winning Score:  64-62-69-71 = 266 (-21)

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

My strength of field rating is a mediocre 66%. Thirty-nine of the top 50 players from the LPGA priority list (which is not used on the Asian swing), and Thirty-three of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be in attendance. The players not teeing it up this week include: Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson, Karrie Webb, Cristie Kerr, Alison Lee, Angela Stanford, and Gerina Piller.

Here are the pairings for round 1:

Here are the television times:
GC Thursday  Oct 22 - 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET
GC Friday Oct 23 - 12:00 a.m. - 4:00 a.m. ET
GC Saturday Oct 24 - 12:00 a.m. - 4:00 a.m. ET
GC Sunday Oct 25 12:00 am - 4:00 a.m. ET

Here are my Pak Picker Picks for this week's tournament:
1- Amy Yang
2- Lydia Ko
3- Shanshan Feng
4- Stacy Lewisp
5- Yani Tseng
6- Suzann Pettersen
7- So Yeon Ryu
8- Hyo Joo Kim
9- Sei Young Kim
10- Mi Hyang Lee
11- Brittany Lincicome
12- Chella Choi
Through the first 26 tournaments, I remain in second place among the 20 current participants.

Other Tidbits:
Lydia Ko has now moved into a tie with Inbee Park for player of the year, and that all important Hall of Fame point. Another Hall of Fame point is given to the winner of the Vare trophy (lowest scoring average). Lydia Ko has now taken the lead there also.

How consistent has Inbee Park been this year? This is the first time all year that she has finished out of the top ten in back to back tournaments. 

Amy Yang birdied all 9 holes on the back nine this past Sunday, for a 9 hole score of 27. We may never see that again in our lifetime on any tour.

Rolex Movers of the Week:
Lexi Thompson makes the most important move this week as she takes over the #4 spot in the world. Non LPGA member Sung Hyun Park jumps from #54 to #36, while Yani Tseng leaps from #55 to #37.

Race to the CME Globe:  (1 million dollars)
Lydia Ko increases her lead with 4,328 points. She is followed by Inbee Park (3,944), Stacy Lewis (3,073), and Lexi Thompson (2,727).

Who's Hot:
Shanshan Feng has 3 consecutive top ten finishes, and has finished in the top 13, five consecutive tournaments. Lexi Thompson has 2 wins, a 2nd, a 4th, and a 9th place finish in her last seven starts.

Who's Not:
In spite of some very good singular rounds, So Yeon Ryu does not have a top 20 finish since the Canadian Open. Paula Creamer has failed to register a top 30 finish in her last 8 starts.

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.

Here are the Final Scores:
1Lydia Ko-20F
2So Yeon Ryu-11F
2Eun-Hee Ji-11F
4Charley Hull-10F
5Suzann Pettersen-9F
6Paula Creamer-7F
6Xi Yu Lin-7F
8Amy Yang-5F
9Brittany Lang-4F
10Lizette Salas-3F
10Minjee Lee-3F
10Anna Nordqvist-3F
10Catriona Matthew-3F
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  1. Terrific win by Lexi last week and great to see her beat all the best Koreans on their home course. I think that tournament shows by the dominance of the LPGA players why it is so much harder to win an LPGA tournament. Sure Sung Hyun Park had one outstanding round on a course she would know so well but like so many of the other so called talented Korean players could easily struggle on the LPGA with all it's demands and travel each week. I remember Ha Na Jang's caddy saying she would be world #1 by the end of this year after a T2 at the first tournament of the year. The new crop of Koreans this year have hardy dominated the LPGA and none of them would win the ROY if 18y old Lydia Ko had been a rookie this year....

  2. Hard to understand why you are so bitter. While I may advocate for many of the Korean players I don't feel the need to go negative on other players like you apparently do. You question the quality of the Korean players based on the fact that Lexi Thompson won the LPGA event played in Korea? How well does the LET do in defending their home turf at the WBO and Evian? What does it say when Korean players have won 6 of the last 8 U.S. Women's Open and 11 of the last 19 majors? I think this year's crop of Korean rookies have done very well and will play even better next year as the get to know the courses and become accustomed to the demands of playing on the LPGA. I also think In Gee Chun is the favorite for next year's LPGA ROY.

    sports medic

    1. I think you make some valid points. The Korean's do dominate the LPGA and will for some time to come by the look of it. I'm happy to watch any player playing great golf wherever they come from. I'm not bitter I just think the Korean's are getting over hyped before they have proven themselves on many different courses over a longer period of time and Sung Hyun Park was just another example last week. Her other 3 rounds were 74 - 67 - 71 lots of other players did better than that yet they were not mentioned as rising superstars.

  3. Hey Colin, have you seen the Sky 72 Golf Course? If you haven't then you know not of which you rant. It is a big, long often windy course. A bomber's paradise. It has been done in the past but it is very difficult for an average size woman to compete there, let alone win. Look at the list of champions from there and it's no surprise. Amy Yang, Suzann Petterson, Q Baek, Yani and now Lexi. Long strong women. I'm not quite sure what you are against but I hope you can enjoy the golf. Cheers.
    Mr Gee

  4. Please Colin. The young lady finished second, ahead of a lot of LPGA regulars and you are upset because she got some love from the media. What other golfer played so well last week that would you have given Ms. Park's attention to.

    Sung Hyun Park has talent and evidently she has her head on pretty straight. I think you might respect her assessment.

    Park, 22, says she had a conversation with her mother about it after taking the lead on Thursday. Park has won three KLPGA events this year.

    “I think that maybe if I were to join the LPGA Tour now, I would find it difficult to adapt to a new environment, and I still have a language barrier to work on,” Park said. “So I think I need more exposure and experience to feel ready."
    “Last year, I thought maybe three years later I'll be ready, and so for now, next year, I'm planning on focusing on the KLPGA Tour, and then maybe the year after that. But nothing's been decided or set.”

    Like I said earlier, she has talent and the KLPGA will provide a great opportunity to hone her game. Look forward to seeing her in a year or two on the LPGA tour. Maybe she'll do an In Gee Chun, Hyo Joo Kim, or So Yeon Ryu and win a major while still playing on the KLPGA.

    sports medic

  5. Tony I think you fell for that Korean one round wonder after Amy's round last week it will only rarely get you a win like Hyo Joo Kim's Major at Evian 61-72-72-68. Should have stuck with Ko to win she loves that that is TALENT....I forgive you for one minor lapse your of the best pickers out there.. never far away. Shame Lexi was not in again this week. In Bee Park just failed in Korea lets see how In Gee Chun goes on the LPGA tour next year huge step up to win consistently against the best.

    1. Edit.. Inbee Park just failed to win in Korea (T2)

  6. First, congrats to Lydia Ko. She started with a confortable lead and played lights out. A convincing victory.

    I appreciate your fandom of Lydia Ko but I don't understand why you have issues with the Korean players. You don't seem to have issues with players of other nationalities underperforming. Inbee Park takes a week off from the LPGA. Inbee goes home to Korea to play on the KLPGA. I remember Lydia Ko skipped an LPGA event this year to play in New Zealand except Lydia played against a much softer field. Inbee Park finishes second by one stroke to USWO winner In Gee Chun (Rolex #9) and you say Inbee fails while Lexi Thompson, Karrie Webb, Cristie Kerr, Alison Lee, Angela Stanford, and Gerina Piller who also didn't win this week gets a pass.

    I say enjoy the success of your favorite players but don't let hate for others make you look petty and foolish.

    sports medic

    1. I just enjoy watching the LPGA and having the worlds #1 at the moment come from my country is a bonus. I enjoy watching the best players on the hardest tour no matter where they come from. Inbee is an outstanding player and could rightly still be RR #1 and could be again at the end of this week. I don't hate any players I just made one comment about the new wave of Koreans being over hyped and I still stick by that until they can start playing/winning consistently on the LPGA. What are all the records these new Koreans are setting?