Monday, October 17, 2016

Blue Bay LPGA Preview, Pairings, and More

Congratulations go out to Carlota Ciganda this week for winning the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Classic. Tied at the end of regulation with Alison Lee, Carlota birdied the first playoff hole to come out victorious. It was the first LPGA win of her career. It was also the 5th playoff on the LPGA tour this season. There have been six other tournaments decided by just one shot.

This week the LPGA moves to China for the playing of the LPGA Blue Bay. Last year's tournament brought us one of the most exciting finishes of the year. Sei Young Kim birdied the final hole to finish one stroke better than Kim Kaufman, Stacy Lewis, and Candie Kung.

Image result for Sei young Kim wins blue bay
Sei Young Kim poses with her 2015 Blue Bay LPGA trophy.

This will be tournament #29 of 33 on this year's LPGA Schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Course
Location:  Hainan Island, China
Defending Champion:  Sei Young Kim
Winning Score:  70-72-74-70 = 286 (-2)

Final Field:  81 Players
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,778
Purse:  $2,100,000

My strength of field rating is an extremely low 43% (down from 59.5% last year). Just 28 of the top 50 players from the LPGA priority list (not used to determine field on Asian swing), and 18 of the top 50 from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. The field will be led by defending champion Sei Young Kim. Other top name players include: Ariya Jutanugarn, Brooke Henderson, and Amy Yang. Among the highly ranked players skipping the event this week include: Lydia Ko, In Gee Chun, Lexi Thompson, Ha Na Jang, Stacy Lewis, Shanshan Feng, So Yeon Ryu, Anna Nordqvist, Suzann Pettersen, Haru Nomura, Mirim Lee, Alison Lee, Hyo Joo Kim, I.K. Kim, and Cristie Kerr.
Michelle Wie and Yani Tseng received the two sponsor invitations.

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times:
GC Thursday October 20 - 2:30 a.m. - 6:30 a.m. ET (tape delay)
GC Friday October 21 - 2:30 a.m. - 6:30 a.m. ET (tape delay)
GC Saturday October 22 - 3:00 a.m. - to 7:00 a.m. ET (tape delay)
GC Sunday October 23 - 3:00 a.m. - to 7:00 a.m. ET (tape delay)

Once again Golf Channel shows that they don't care about their LPGA viewers. They are televising these rounds after they are already over.

Here are my Pak Picker Picks for this week's tournament:
1- Ariya Jutanugarn
2- Sei Young Kim
3- Amy Yang
4- Brooke Henderson
5- Candie Kung
6- Minjee Lee
7- Gerina Piller
8- Carlota Ciganda
9- Brittany Lang
10- Charley Hull
11- Jessica Korda
12- Ilhee Lee
My alternates are: Chella Choi, Lee-Anne Pace, and Danielle Kang.
After the first 28 weeks of the season I sit very comfortably in first place among the 20 contestants.

Other Tidbits:
Carlota Ciganda becomes the 6th first time winner on the LPGA tour this season.

Rolex Movers of the Week:
Carlota Ciganda leaps up from #37 to #23, while Alison Lee jumps from #44 to #29. Kim Kaufman soars from #97 to #88.

Race to the CME Globe: (1 million dollars)
Lydia Ko barely holds on to her lead with 4,300 points. Following close behind (and could pass the idle Ko this week) is Ariya Jutanugarn with 4,226 points. Brooke Henderson remains in that crucial 3rd spot (the top 3 control their own destiny, and win it all with a CME victory) with 3,101 points.

Who's Hot:
Shanshan Feng has four top 4 finishes in a row. M.J. Hur has 6 top 25 finishes in her last 7 starts. Two of those are top tens.

Who's Not:
Lydia Ko is in the first mini slump of her career. She has finished 44th, 20th, and 51st, in her last three starts.

Since her win in Texas, Jenny Shin has failed to register a top ten finish in 13 starts.

Here are the Final Results:

1 Minjee Lee -13 F
2 Jessica Korda -12 F
3 Ariya Jutanugarn -11 F
4 Pornanong Phatlum -6 F
4 Caroline Masson -6 F
6 Charley Hull -5 F
7 Pernilla Lindberg -4 F
8 Brooke Henderson -3 F
9 Kris Tamulis -2 F
10 Mariajo Uribe -1 F
10 Azahara Munoz -1 F
10 Carlota Ciganda -1 F
10 Michelle Wie -1 F
14 Brittany Lincicome E F
14 Austin Ernst E F
14 Xi Yu Lin E F
14 Chella Choi E F
18 Marina Alex 1 F
18 Gaby Lopez 1 F
18 Simin Feng 1 F

Be sure to check back here daily for any 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. An added tidbit, Natalie Gulbis is invited to appear in the Pro-Am on Wed.

  2. I can't see how this tournament will even start after the Island just got hit with typhoon Sarika, dumping 200+mm(8+in.)of rain with winds of 100MPH. My guess is the tournament will be cancelled.

  3. Just saw R1 pin positions so it will be interesting to see the course after the typhoon. The weather forecast for R1 is much better than last year's and if the course is setup for 6,778 yds, I'm hoping to see the driver in Ariya's hand. Also, kudos to Carlota for W1 and I feel that as the most current tournament winner, she should have been included in the lead group.