Monday, February 22, 2016

Honda LPGA Thailand Preview & Pairings

A big congratulations goes out to Hara Nomura who won the ISPS LPGA Australian Open. It was her first victory on the LPGA Tour. She did it in spectacular fashion, taking down the world's #1 player Lydia Ko. Nomura birdied the 10th, 13th, 15th, 16th, and 17th hole to finish 3 strokes ahead of Ko.

Hara Nomura is all smiles as she wins her first LPGA trophy

The LPGA moves to the Thailand for the playing of the Honda LPGA Thailand. Many of you may remember last year's exciting finish when Amy Yang won this event by 2 strokes over Yani Tseng, Stacy Lewis, and Mirim Lee.

Amy Yang will be trying to defend her title this week in Thailand

This will be tournament #4 of 33 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Coarse:  Siam Country Club, Pattaya Old Course
Location:  Chonburi, Thailand
Defending Champion:  Amy Yang
Winning Score:  67-66-71-69 = 273 (-15)

Final Field:  70 Players
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,548
Purse:  $1,600,000

My strength of field is a very solid 78.50%. In spite of the fact that it is missing the #1 player in the world, most all the other top players will be there. The only reason my field rating isn't even higher than it is, is because the small field of just 70 players lacks depth. Forty-seven of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and 42 of the top 50 players from this week's Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. Those not in attendance this week include: Lydia Ko, Brooke Henderson, and Alison Lee.

Here are the pairings for round one.

Here are the television times:
GC Thursday February 25 - 1:00 a.m. - 5:00 a.m. ET
GC Friday  February 26 - 1:00 a.m. - 5:00 a.m. ET
GC Saturday February 27 - 1:00 a.m. - 5:00 a.m. ET 
GC Sunday February 28 - 1:00 a.m. - 5:00 a.m. ET
There is a 12 hour time differential between Thailand and U.S. ET. All broadcasts should be live.

Here are my Pak Picker Picks for this week's tournament:
1- Stacy Lewis (She's overdue)
2- Inbee Park (Is her back an issue?)
3- Yani Tseng (Has always had success here)
4- Ha Na Jang
5- Sei Young Kim
6- Hyo Joo Kim
7- Lexi Thompson
8- Shanshan Feng
9- Amy Yang
10- Suzann Pettersen
11- Anna Nordqvist
12- In Gee Chun
My 3 alternates are: Charley Hull, Mirim Lee, and Minjee Lee.
After the first 3 tournaments of the year, I am currently in 5th place among the 17 contestants.

Other Tidbits:
Wei-Ling Hsu missed the cut this past week for the first time in her last 14 starts.
Stephanie Kono made the cut this past week after missing her last 18.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Hara Nomura vaults up from #67 to #48, while Karrie Webb jumps from #34 to #29.

Race to the CME Globe: (1 million dollars)
Ha Na Jang leads with 705 points. She is followed by Haru Nomura with 620, and Hyo Joo Kim with 538.

Who's Hot:
Ha Na Jang and Haru Nomura are the only 2 players to finish in the top 15 in all 3 tournaments this year.

Who's Not:
Ayako Uehara and Maria McBride have missed the cut in all 3 of this year's tournaments.

Here are the final scores:

1Lexi Thompson-20F
2In Gee Chun-14F
3Jessica Korda-13F
3Amy Yang-13F
5Chella Choi-11F
5Haru Nomura-11F
5Hee Young Park-11F
8Minjee Lee-10F
8Ha-Na Jang-10F
10Xi Yu Lin-9F
11Kyu Jung Baek-8F
12Pornanong Phatlum-7F
13Angela Stanford-6F
13Kim Kaufman-6F
15Wei Ling Hsu-5F
16Carlota Ciganda-4F
16Pernilla Lindberg-4F
18Na Yeon Choi-3F
18Kris Tamulis-3F
18In-Kyung Kim-3F
18Lee-Anne Pace-3F
18Candie Kung-3F
18Anna Nordqvist-3F

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. Brooke is playing in the RACV event in Australia this week. She is playing in Singapore next week... got into field there because of her tour victory last year.

    1. Brooke wasn't eligible to play this week under entry criteria and she would have made the field next week regardless due to being in the top 20 of the World Rankings (although the win did help that)

    2. Had Brooke been eligible, I'm sure she'd be at the Honda this week.
      It's ridiculous that she is not eligible due to the LPGA's arcane rules. I wonder how Honda feels that one of the most exciting players in years wont be playing and her huge Canadian following wont be tuned into the golf channel and wont be seeing the Honda ads. You know, the ones that help pay for these events.

  2. I will be following Paula Creamer.... as she has been working HARD with her new coach, Gary Gilchrist since the first of the year, and particularly the last two plus weeks since the Coates Championship!!

  3. Tony how can Brooke Henderson and Alison Lee be skipping this event they don't even qualify to play. Henderson is #17 alternate so she wants to play Lee is probably down in the list too. Nomura could have taken up her holding spot for winning. I wouldn't be as harsh as saying Nomura took Ko down. They go out to beat the course par not each other. Whoever goes the lowest on the course over 4 rounds wins. Ko was just not quite able to shoot 63 to win how many great players can do that whenever needed?. Still a worthy effort for the defending champion....

    1. Definitely spoken as a man from New Zealand. Never heard a complaint when I write that Lydia took someone else down. :)

      Nomura is not currently on the field list, but have been told that she is playing and the list is wrong. I have to find out more about that tomorrow.

    2. Ha friendly banter Tony you know I respect all your comments really and I've been informed on Alison Lee's eligibility thanks. I must say I was impressed with Nomura's play but will see if she can continue now to back it up. Yes it's tough only having one fellow Kiwi in almost every tournament to support! Just as well she's going ok otherwise we wouldn't even see her regularly on the broadcasts.

  4. Allison could have played if she wanted but Brooke could not, it's the top 57 players on last seasons money list and sponsors exemptions. I'm not sure how long ago Brooke was put on the alternate list, but she excepted a sponsor invite to the Ladies Masters on January 26th and tees off +/- 36 hours from now. So I doubt she'd use the spot even if it was reached. Could just be coincidence (Lydia needs a break and Brooke couldn't get a sponsors invite) but both IMG's ladies young guns aren't at the event

  5. Very surprised to see your top 3 picks, but truly that's how they are at the moment. Will Lewis finally win? Hopefully Park is totally recovered. Finally see Tseng on the list. We want to see good results from them.... Or will someone totally unexpected end up winning this.