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Toto Japan Classic

Congratulations go out to Sei Young Kim for winning the Blue Bay LPGA, in what I thought was one of the most exciting finishes of the entire year. There were four players that went to the final hole tied for the lead. Kim Kaufman, who was playing in front of the other three, made par on 18. Stacy Lewis and Candie Kung missed their birdie opportunities, but Sei Young did not. It was her third victory victory of the 2015 LPGA season.

This week the LPGA moves to Japan for the playing of the Toto Japan Classic. This is the LPGA's last stop on the 2015 Asian swing. This tournament is 54 holes.

Mi Hyang Lee will be trying to defend her title this week in Japan
This will be tournament #29 of 31 on the LPGA 2015 schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club
Location:  Shima-Shi, Mie, Japan
Defending Champion: Mi Hyang Lee
Winning Score:  69-67-69 = 205 (-11)

Final Field: 78 players
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,506
Purse:  $1,500,000

My strength of field rating is a season low 44%. Just 22 of the top 50 players from the LPGA priority list (not used on the Asian swing), and 34 of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. Among the players not in action this week include: Inbee Park, Lydia Ko, So Yeon Ryu, Shanshan Feng, Anna Nordqvist, Suzann Pettersen, Jessica Korda, Sei Young Kim, Minjee Lee, and Amy Yang. The field does include quite a few highly ranked players that are not on the LPGA tour.

Here are the first round pairings:

Golf Channel is NOT broadcasting this event.

Here are my picks for this week's tournament:
1- Stacy Lewis
2- Lexi Thompson
3- Candie Kung
4- Mika Miyazato
5- Mirim Lee
6- Mi Hyang Lee
7- Ilhee Lee
8- Theresa Lu
9- Bo-Me Lee
10- Hara Nomura
11- Ayaka Wantanabe
12- Sakura Yokomine
I remain in second place after the first 28 tournaments of the year, among the 21 participants.

Other Tidbits:
Anna Nordqvist, Inbee Park, Hyo Joo Kim, and Beatriz Recari all withdrew from last week's tournament.

Rolex Movers of the Week
Sei Young Kim bursts into the top ten this week, jumping up from #11 to #7. Kim Kaufmann vaults from # 99 to #79.

Race to the CME Globe:  (1 million dollars)
Lydia Ko is still the runaway leader with 4,913 points. She is followed by Inbee Park with 3,944, and Stacy Lewis with 3,410.

Who's Hot:
Stacy Lewis has now finished 2nd in 3 of her last 6 starts.

Who's Not:
Christina Kim has gone 17 consecutive tournaments without a top 20 finish.

UPDATE #1 Azahara Munoz and Beatriz Recari are stuck in the Bali, because of the volcano eruption there. They have been replaced by Ayako Uehara and Jacqui Concolino

Here are the leaders after 36 holes:

1Jenny Shin-13F
2Ha-Neul Kim-12F
3Sun Ju Ahn-11F
3Pornanong Phatlum-11F
3Angela Stanford-11F
6Ji-Hee Lee-10F
6Ai Suzuki-10F
8Eun-Hee Ji-9F
8Yukari Nishiyama-9F
8Lexi Thompson-9F
8Caroline Masson-9F
8Jiyai Shin-9F
8Yani Tseng-9F
8Ryann O'Toole-9F
15Shiho Oyama-8F
15Danielle Kang-8F
15Hyo Joo Kim-8F
15Mirim Lee-8F
15Erina Hara-8F
15Stacy Lewis-8F
15Alena Sharp-8F

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.

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  1. It's interesting that a few players are skipping this week and next week in Mexico.

    1. The Asian Swing with its limited fields and no cuts can be lucrative but tiring. Top players might be more focused on the season ending CME event with the $500 first prize and $1M Race to the Globe bonus prize.

      Sports medic

  2. Anyone know what's up with Inbee?

    1. She does not have a cistern and her doctors have cleared her to play in Mexico at the Lorena Ochoa Invite.
      Sports medic

  3. Sei Young Kim definitely shows her ability to win on the LPGA coming from the Korean tour. Last two rookies to record three wins their rookie season are Lydia Ko and Ji Yai Shin. Both have spent significant time as the Rolex #1.

    sports medic


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