Monday, February 15, 2016

ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open Preview & Pairings

After a one week break the LPGA heads to Australia for the playing of the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open.

This tournament has a history of very close and very exciting finishes. Who could ever forget 2012, when Jessica Korda won in a 6 player playoff. Or the following year when Jiyai Shin battled it out with Yani Tseng for 72 holes, with Jiyai winning by 2 strokes. In 2013, nine players finished within 3 strokes of the lead with Karrie Webb being the eventual winner. Last year Lydia Ko brought home the trophy with a two stroke win over runner up Amy Yang.

Lydia Ko holds up her 2015 Australian Open trophy.

This will be tournament #3 of 33 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  The Grange Golf Club, West Course
Location: Grange, South Australia
Defending Champion: Lydia Ko
Winning Score:  70-70-72-69 = 283 (-9)

Final Field: 156 players
Par 36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,600
Purse: $1,300,000

My strength of field rating is a very low 31.50% (down from 48%) last year. Just 15 of the top 50 players on the LPGA Priority List, and 11 of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. Lydia Ko, Ha Na Jang, Brooke Henderson and Minjee Lee are among the top players who will be teeing it up. Mo Martin (#57 in the Rolex Rankings), is the highest ranked American in attendance.

Here are the pairings for round 1:

Here are the television times:
Wednesday February 17 - GC 11:00 PM - 2:00 AM ET
Thursday February 18 - GC 11:30 PM - 2:00 AM ET
Friday February 19 - GC 11:30 PM - 2:00 AM ET
Saturday February 20 - GC 9:00 PM - 2:00 AM ET

I believe that all the above broadcasts are live. There is a 16 hour time differential between East Coast time and Australia.

Here are my Pak Picker Picks for this week's tournament:
1- Lydia Ko
2- Minjee Lee
3- Brooke Henderson
4- Ha Na Jang
5- Charley Hull
6- Karrie Webb
7- Jiyai Shin
8- Mika Miyazato
9- Chella Choi
10- Jenny Shin
11- Hara Nomura
12- Xi Yu Lin
My 3 alternates this week are: Karine Icher, Catriona Matthew, and Gwladys Nocera
With the weak field this week, this is the first time ever that I did not pick one American player.

Other Tidbits:
The ISPS Handa New Zealand Women's Open was held this weekend, with Lydia Ko taking home the winner's trophy.

Nelly Korda will be making her debut this week as a member of the Symetra Tour.

Update #1 - The following 3 players were local qualifiers:
1- Eunwoo Choi - 69
2- Eun Jeong Seong - 69
3- Hye-Jin Choi - 70

Update #2:
Nelly Korda has just announced that she is turning pro effective immediately. This now means any part of the purse she wins in this week's Symetra event, is hers to keep. 

Here are the Final Standings 3:

1Haru Nomura-16F
2Lydia Ko-13F
3Karrie Webb-9F
4Charley Hull-8F
4Beth Allen-8F
4Min Seo Kwak-8F
4Ha-Na Jang-8F
4Danielle Kang-8F
9Brooke Mackenzie Henderson-7F
9Georgia Hall-7F
9Annie Park-7F
9Catriona Matthew-7F
9Jenny Shin-7F
14Su-Hyun Oh-6F
14Ryann O'Toole-6F
14Caroline Masson-6F
17Lindy Duncan-5F
17Gaby Lopez-5F
17Xi Yu Lin-5F
20Hannah Green-4F
20Minjee Lee-4F
20Kylie Walker-4F
20Jodi Ewart Shadoff-4F

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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.



  1. Watchers might want to look out for extra coverage this week. For Wednesday it looks like live coverage starts at 10.00pm on the GC live extra. Lots of options for viewing this week including a live stream from Golf Australia (could be slightly delayed. It was last year) JTBC Golf in HD will be my preference... Could be some catching up on sleep next week for you Tony! I will enjoy the extra hours of live coverage we get for the next few tournaments while the GC just takes the feeds.

  2. Adelaide is actually 15 and a half hours ahead of EST and the coverage (simulcast from the public broadcaster ABC in Australia) will be live.

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  4. The relatively weak field offers a good opportunity for relatively unknown young players to make their mark with the week of their lives. I have a few that I'll be rooting for.

    1. Agreed. Anyone grabbing part of the purse could benifit when the first reshuffle occurs.

  5. Let's see how tough they are on Sunday when it hits 39degC....102degF. Going to be interesting with a North wind blowing daily in the afternoon.
    I dont think Kim will get t easy second round with that wind.

  6. Your prediction was very well done.