Monday, October 3, 2016

Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship Preview, Pairings, and More

Congratulations go out to In-Kyung Kim for winning the 2016 Reignwood LPGA Classic. Kim shot a final round 66, to finish one stroke better than Mi Jung Hur. Hur mounted a late charge with birdies on 5 of the last 6 holes but came up just short. For Kim it was her first victory on the LPGA tour in nearly 6 years.

This week the LPGA travels to Taiwan for the playing of the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship.
Many may remember last year's tournament when Lydia Ko blew away the field and won by 9 strokes. It was the largest margin of victory on the LPGA tour the entire year.

Image result for lydia ko wins fubon
Lydia Ko holds up her 2015 Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship trophy.

This will be tournament #27 of 33 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the Key Details:

Course:  Miramar Golf Country Club
Location:  Taipei, Taiwan
Defending Champion:  Lydia Ko
Winning Score:  69-67-67-65 = 268 (-20)

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

My strength of field rating is 60% (down from 65% last year). Thirty-five of the top 50 players from the LPGA priority list (not used for this tournament), and 30 of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. The field will be led by defending champion and #1 player in the world, Lydia Ko. It will also include top 10 players Brooke Henderson and Amy Yang. Missing from this week's field include Ariya Jutanugarn, Stacy Lewis, Sei Young Kim, Lexi Thompson, In Gee Chun, Suzann Pettersen, and Gerina Piller.

Here are the first round pairings:

Here are the television times:
GC   Thurs.  Oct 6,   1:00 a.m.- 4:00 a.m. ET
GC   Friday  Oct 7,   1:00 a.m.- 4:00 a.m. ET
GC   Sat.      Oct 8,   12:00 a.m.- 4:00 a.m. ET   
GC   Sun.     Oct 9,   12:00 a.m.- 4:00 a.m. ET   

Here are my Pak Picker picks for this week's tournament:
1- Lydia Ko
2- Shanshan Feng
3- Brooke Henderson
4- Haru Nomura
5- Amy Yang
6- So Yeon Ryu
7- Mi Jung Hur
8- In Kyung Kim
9- Mirim Lee
10- Minjee Lee
11- Anna Nordqvist
12- Ha Na Jang
My alternates are: Candie Kung, Chella Choi, and Hyo Joo Kim.
Through the first 26 tournaments of the year, I remain solidly in first place.

Other Tidbits:
Ariya Jutanugarn's top 10 finish this past weekend, moves her ahead of Lydia Ko for the first time this year in the race for the Rolex Player of the Year award.

Maude-Aimee Leblanc, who missed eight of her first 10 cuts this year, has now made a career high ten in a row.

Ilhee Lee's 9th place at the Reignwood LPGA Classic, was her first top ten in her last 21 starts. Yani Tseng's 16th place finish, was her first top 20 of the year.

Brooke Henderson's 4th place finish was her 13th top ten of the year, putting her in a first place tie with Lydia Ko and Ariya Jutanugarn.

Image result for madelene sagstrom

Madelene Sagstrom capped off what is the greatest season in Symetra Tour history with her third win at the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout. The first place check of $15,000 increases Sagstrom's record setting total to $156,184. Earlier this season she became the first player to crack the $100,000 mark in tour history. She now is the first to break $150,000. She will make one more start, at the Symetra Championship later this month. In just 14 starts she has won 3 times and has 11 top tens. Sagstrom, 23, secures Symetra Player of the Year, Gaelle Truet, Rookie of the Year, and the top spot on the final Volvic Race for the Card money list, with her win. Sangstrom made the cut in both her LPGA starts this year (The U.S. Women's Open, and the Canadian Pacific Women's Open), and will be a full time player on the LPGA tour next season.

Rolex Movers of the Week:
In Kyung Kim jumps up from #42 to #29, while Mi Jung Hur leaps up from #54 to #39.

Race to the CME Globe:
Lydia Ko is still on top with 4,249 points, but Ariya Jutanugarn creeps a little closer with 4,166. Brooke Henderson is third with 2,911.

Who's Hot:
Ariya Jutanugarn has 6 consecutive top 10 finishes.

Who's Not:
Q-Baek has not registered a top 10 finish in her last 28 starts.
After finishing 2nd at the Lotte Championship, Katie Burnett has failed to finish higher than 37th, covering 14 starts.

Here are the final results:

1 Ha Na Jang   -17
2 Shanshan Feng   -16
T3 Brooke Henderson   -10
T3 Hyo Joo Kim   -10
T5 Candie Kung   -9
T5 Lee-Anne Pace   -9
T5 Hee Young Park
T8 Carlota Ciganda   -8
T8 Jodi Ewart Shadoff   -8
T10 Cristie Kerr   -7
T10 Alison Lee   -7
T12 Megan Khang   -5
T12 Amy Yang   -5
T14 Minjee Lee   -4
T14 Moriya Jutanugarn   -4
T14 Anna Nordqvist
T14 Sarah Jane Smith   -4
T14 Mika Miyazato   -4
T14 Sakura Yokomine   -4
T20 Eun-Hee Ji   -3
T20 Su-Hyun Oh   -3
T20 Lydia Ko   -3
T20 Catriona Matthew   -3
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. It will be fun to watch Sagstrom on the LPGA next year. She has a beautiful swing and seems to have all the tools to make a successful jump up to the highest level in the game. Good luck to her!!

  2. Agree. Should be a good addition to the LPGA.

  3. I just read the quote from Jean Reynolds, a three-time Symetra Tour winner: “She (Sagstrom) will be on Solheim Cup next year and I guarantee she will be top 5 or 10 in the world. 2017 is promising with her and maybe SHP, along with the Q-School Stage II group of Hannah O'Sullivan, Leona Maguire, Bronte Law and Luna Sobron. I'm already looking forward to "How Good are the 2017 Rookies!"

  4. She certainly has all the tools. A huge hitter off the tea, she averages close to 280. Time will tell. If Sun Hyung Park plays the LPGA tour in 2017, she will be the heavy favorite to win ROY.

  5. One of my favorites Na Yeon Choi has been going through some rough times she has WD this week and missed cut last week. Is she playing injured?