Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Manulife LPGA Classic Preview, Pairings, and More

Congratulations go out to Ariya Jutanugarn for winning the Canadian Pacific Women's Open. It was Ariya's second consecutive victory, and fifth of the year. She has clearly become the most dominant player on the LPGA tour the second half of the season. With ten tournaments still remaining on the LPGA schedule, she now has to be considered the new favorite for the Rolex Player of the Year Award.

This week the LPGA moves to Ontario, Canada for the playing of the Manulife Classic. This is a tournament where you will see lots of birdies made. Many may remember last year's exciting finish, when Suzann Pettersen was victorious by one stroke over Brittany Lang. Her 22 under par total is typical for this golf course.

Suzann Pettersen will be trying to defend her title.

This will be tournament #24 of 33 on the 2016 LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Whistle Bear Golf Club
Location:  Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Defending Champion:  Suzann Pettersen
Winning Score: 66-65-66-69 = 266 (-22)

Final Field: 150 players
Par:  36/36=72
Yardage: 6,613
Purse: $1,600,000

My strength of field rating is 67% (down from 79% last year ). The top 3 players in the world rankings (Lydia Ko, Ariya Jutanugarn, and Brooke Henderson) will all be teeing it up this week. The field will include 19 of the top 25 players from the LPGA Priority List, and 15 of the top 25 players from the Rolex Rankings. Players skipping the event this week include: Lexi Thompson, Inbee Park, Amy Yang, Shanshan Feng, Anna Nordqvist, Gerina Piller, Haru Nomura, and Jessica Korda.

The first round pairings have now been posted.

Here are this week's television times:
Sept 1 - GC  3:00 PM - 6:00 PM ET
Sept 2 - GC 12.00 PM - 2:00 PM ET
Sept 3 - GC  9:00 PM - 11:00 PM ET (tape)
Sept 4 - GC  3:00 PM - 6:00 PM ET

Here are my Pak Picker picks for this week's tournament:
1- Ariya Jutanugarn
2- Lydia Ko
3- Sei Young Kim
4- Stacy Lewis
5- In Gee Chun
6- So Yeon Ryu
7- Brooke Henderson
8- Suzann Pettersen
9- Minjee Lee
10- Mirim Lee
11- Hyo Joo Kim
12- Ha Na Jang
My three alternates are: Alena Sharp, Cristie Kerr, and Gaby Lopez.
I am currently solidly in first place after the first 23 weeks of the season.

Other Tidbits:
Ariya Jutanugarn will be trying to win her 3rd consecutive tournament, for the second time this season.
Jodie Ewart Shadoff has now made 17 consecutive cuts.
Although In Gee Chun has not won this year, she has 3 second and 3 third place finishes.
Lydia Ko's huge lead in the Rolex Player of the Year award (winner gets a Hall of Fame point), has all but evaporated. Lydia has 241 points, Ariya has 236.
Ariya Jutanugarn became the second player this year to cross the 2 million dollar mark in 2016 earnings.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
In Gee Chun makes the most important move, jumping from #9 to #7. Alena Sharp jumps 24 more spots this week, leaping from #79 to #55.

Race to the CME Globe: (1 million dollars)
Lydia Ko leads with 4,104 points. Ariya Jutanugarn has now closed in with 3,856 points. Brooke Henderson is third with 2,644.

Who's Hot:
Ariya Jutanugarn has won 5 of the last 10 tournaments she has played in.

Who's Not:
Na Yeon Choi has missed the cut in her last 5 starts. Ilhee Lee has missed the cut in her last 5 starts, and ten of her last 12.

Here are the final results:

1 Caroline Masson -16
2 Karine Icher -15
2 Minjee Lee -15
2 Mi Hyang Lee -15
5 Suzann Pettersen -14
5 Lydia Ko -14
5 Ariya Jutanugarn -14
8 Austin Ernst -13
8 Nontaya Srisawang -13
8 Marina Alex -13
8 Ryann O'Toole -13
8 In Gee Chun -13
8 Hyo Joo Kim -13
14 Mi Jung Hur -12
14 So Yeon Ryu -12
16 Charley Hull -11
16 Brittany Lang -11
16 Chella Choi -11
16 Kris Tamulis -11
16 Lizette Salas -11
16 P.K. Kongkraphan -11

Links to all live scoreboards appear at the top of this page. 

Be sure to check back here daily for any updates. They will be posted here, at the end of this blog.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Canadian Pacific Women's Open Photo Gallery

Here are some pictures that my wife and I have taken during the past few days at the Canadian Open. Keep in mind that the weather has been horrific the first couple of days. It has been cold, drizzly, and extremely windy, which affected the quality of some pictures taken later in the day. Most golfers were so heavily dressed it was hard to tell who they were, but we tried our best.

Update: The weather has gotten much better here on Wednesday....and the weekend promises to be very nice, If you're in the area come on by and see these talented young ladies.

Pernilla Lindberg shows us how strong the wind was blowing.

It's only fair that I give her a better shot.

Is Lee-Anne Pace getting ready for the winter Olympics?

Joanna Klatten

Tiffany Joh

On the 6th hole I finally got someone to look at my camera.

Allison Lee

Is Ha Na Jang doing a line dance?

Moriya and Ariya Jutanugarn

Michelle Wie

Doesn't look like Brittany Lincicome or Kim Kauffman want to start putting anytime soon.

Jaye Marie Green

Cheyenne Woods

                           It's now Wednesday and it is finally a beautiful day!

Ai Miyazato

Charley Hull

Hee Young Park

Amy Yang

Azahara Munoz

Carlota Ciganda

Katherine Kirk

In Gee Chun

Madelene Sagstrom

Danielle Kang

Mirim Lee and Haru Nomura

Minjee Lee

Haru Nomura

Gerina Piller

Sei Young Kim

Okay......  One more of Hee Young Park

Belen Mozo

I saved the star of the Canadian Open for last -  Brooke Henderson!

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Canadian Pacific Women's Open Preview & Pairings

Image result for 2016 canadian pacific women's open jpg

This week the LPGA moves to Canada for the playing of the Canadian Pacific Women's Open.

Many of you may remember last year's exciting finish when Lydia Ko defeated Stacy Lewis in a playoff. It was Lydia's third Canadian Open victory in the last four years.

Lydia Ko will be trying to win the Canadian Open for the 4th time in 5 years.

This will be tournament #23 of 33 on the 2016 LPGA schedule.

Here are the Key Details:

Course:  Priddis Greens Golf & Country Club
Location:  Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Defending Champion:  Lydia Ko
Winning Score:  67-68-69-72 = 276 (-12)

Final Field: 156 players
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage: 6,681
Purse:  $2,250,000

My strength of field rating is a very solid 80%. The field will be led by the top 3 players in the Rolex Rankings: Lydia Ko, Ariya Jutanugarn, and Brooke Henderson. Twenty-one of the top 25 players will be teeing it up. Players missing from this week's field include: Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson, Candie Kung, and Pornanong Phatlum.

I will post the first round pairings as soon as they are made available.

Here are the television times:
GC August 25 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM ET
GC August 26 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM ET
GC August 27 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM ET
GC August 28 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM ET

Here are my Pak Picker Picks for this week's tournament:
1- Lydia Ko
2- Stacy Lewis
3- Brooke Henderson
4- Ariya Jutanugarn
5- Sei Young Kim
6- Ha Na Jang
7- So Yeon Ryu
8- In Gee Chun
9- Suzann Pettersen
10- Shanshan Feng
11- Minjee Lee
12- Amy Yang
My alternates are: Haru Nomura, Anna Nordqvist, and Gerina Piller.
After the first 22 weeks of the season, I am still in first place among the 21 participants.

Other Tidbits:
This will be the first of back to back tournaments in Canada. The Manulife Classic will be held next week in Cambridge.

Here are the leaders after round 2:

1 Ariya Jutanugarn -12 F
2 In Gee Chun -9 F
2 Stephanie Meadow -9 F
4 Chella Choi -8 F
4 Mi Jung Hur -8 F
4 Hyo Joo Kim -8 F
4 Sei Young Kim -8 F
4 Lydia Ko -8 F
9 Budsabakorn Sukapan -7 F
9 Amy Yang -7 F
9 Sakura Yokomine -7 F
9 Ai Miyazato -7 F
9 Suzann Pettersen -7 F
14 Maude-Aimee Leblanc -6 F
14 Gaby Lopez -6 F
14 Alena Sharp -6 F
14 Ha-Na Jang -6 F
14 Jenny Shin -6 F
14 Mirim Lee -6 F
20 Dori Carter -5 F
20 Juli Inkster -5 F
20 Mo Martin -5 F
20 Anna Nordqvist -5 F
20 Minjee Lee -5 F
20 Karine Icher -5 F
20 Stacy Lewis -5 F
20 Jaclyn Lee -5 F
20 Min Lee -5 F

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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Saturday, August 13, 2016

2016 Olympic Women's Golf Preview

Golf will be returning to the Olympics for the first time since 1904!

How Did the Players Qualify For the Olympics? 

1- Qualifications were based on the world rankings as of July 11, 2016, with a total of 60 players qualifying.

2- All players who were ranked in the top 15 of the Rolex Rankings as of July 11, 2016 automatically qualified. The only exception to this is that one country may not have more than 4 players.

3- The remaining spots went to the highest ranked players from countries that do not already have 2 golfers qualified.

4- The International Golf Federation has guaranteed one player from the host country of Brazil.

5- The International Golf Federation has guaranteed that at least one golfer from each geographical region ( America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Oceania) will qualify.

The format will be four rounds of stroke play. The first round will be played on Wednesday August 17, and conclude with the final round on Saturday August 20th.

The course is a par 71 (35/36), and is scheduled to play at 6,245 yards.

In the event of a tie for any of the top 3 positions, a 3 hole playoff will determine the medal winners.

There will be participants from 34 different countries (41 countries if you count the men), with South Korea leading the way with 4 players (women only). The United States with 3 players, is the only other country with more than two.

Here are the tee times for pairing (tee times) for round 1:

Golf Channel will broadcast live all four rounds from 6:30AM - 3:00PM ET.

Here is the list of participants:

1- Lydia Ko  - NZL
2- Brooke M. Henderson - CAN
3- Inbee Park - KOR
4- Lexi Thompson - USA
5- Sei Young Kim - KOR
6- Amy Yang - KOR
7- Ariya Jutanugarn - THA
8- In Gee Chun - KOR
9- Stacy Lewis - USA
10- Anna Nordqvist - SWE
11- Shanshan Feng - CHN
12- Minjee Lee - AUS
13- Gerina Piller - USA
14- Suzann Pettersen - NOR
15- Haru Nomura - JPN
16- Charley Hull - GBR
17- Teresa Lu - TPE                 
18- Candie Kung - TPE
19- Pornanong Phatlum - THA
20- Carlota Ciganda - ESP
21- Su Oh - AUS
22- Shiho Oyama - JPN
23- Azahara Munoz - ESP
24- Xi Yu Lin - CHN
25- Sandra Gal - GER
26- Karine Icher - FRA
27- Catriona Matthew - GBR
28- Caroline Masson - GER
29- Nicole Broch Larsen - DEN
30- Pernilla Lindberg - SWE
31- Alena Sharp - CAN
32- Gaby Lopez - MEX
33- Mariajo Uribe - COL
34- Nanna Koerstz Madsen - DEN
35- Paula Reto - RSA
36- Gwladys Nocera - FRA
37- Julieta Granada - PAR
38- Kelly Tan - MAS
39- Marianne Skarpnord - NOR
40- Ashleigh Simon - RSA
41- Laetitia Beck - ISR
42- Giulia Molinaro - ITA
43- Ursula Wikstrom - FIN
44- Noora Tamminen - FIN
45- Klara Spilkova - CZE
46- Christine Wolf - AUT
47- Giulia Sergas - ITA
48- Maria Verchenova - RUS
49- Leona Maguire - IRL
50- Albane - Valenzuela - SUI
51- Alejandra Llaneza - MEX
52- Chloe Leurquin - BEL
53- Fabienne In-Albon - SUI
54- Tiffany Chan - HKG
55- Michelle Koh - MAS
56- Aditi Ashok - IND
57- Miriam Nagi - BRA
58- Victoria Lovelady - BRA
59- Stephanie Meadow - IRL
60- Maha Haddioui - MAR

Here are my Pak Picker picks for this week's tournament.
1- Lydia Ko
2- Ariya Jutanugarn
3- Stacy Lewis
4- Sei Young Kim
5- Lexi Thompson
6- Brooke Henderson
7- Minjee Lee
8- Anna Nordqvist
9- Suzann Pettersen
10- Amy Yang
11- Shanshan Feng
12- In Gee Chun
My alternates are: Gerina Piller, Haru Nomura, and Charley Hull

Here are the leaders after round 3:
T2 -9
T2 -9
4 -8
T5 -5
T5 -5
T5 -5
T8 -4
T8 -4
T8 -4
T8 -4
T8 -4
T8 -4
T8 -4
T15 -3
T15 -3
T15 -3
T15 -3
T15 -3

Be sure to check back here daily for any updates. They will be posted here, at the end of this blog.
Links to all live scoreboards appear at the top of this page. 

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Stats & Facts Volume 29 / Ariya Rules!

With the LPGA in the middle of a one month Olympic break, it is a good time to look over some of the key player statistics through the first 22 tournaments (2/3 of the season is now completed) of the year.

I usually do this about four times a year, but very seldom do I have a change between periods as monumental as these current stats when compared to my last posting.

The main reason? Ariya Jutanugarn! When I last did this (Stats & Facts vol. 28), Ariya's name was not mentioned once in any category. Since then she has been a dominating player on the LPGA tour, winning four times, including her first major championship. Although she still has not overtaken Lydia Ko for the lead in most major categories, most are too close to call, and the final 11 tournaments will determine the winners.

Ariya Jutanugarn has dominated the second half of the season so far.

We have had winners from 8 different countries, and the expected display of dominance of South Korean and American golfers has never materialized. In fact, over the last 17 tournaments (including the International Crown), the American and South Korean golfers have only managed 4 wins between them (2 from each country). Over that period we have seen winners from Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Sweden, and Canada.

Key Player Statistics Thru Tournament #22:

Rolex Player of the Year: (Winner receives a Hall of Fame point)
1- Lydia Ko - 237 points
2- Ariya Jutanugarn - 206
3- Brooke Henderson - 131
No other player has accumulated 100 points.

Vare Trophy - (Winner receives a Hall of Fame point)
1- Lydia Ko - 69.270 strokes per round
2- Ha Na Jang 69.896
3- In Gee Chun - 70.061
Barring a complete collapse on Lydia's part (highly unlikely), this one appears to be over.

Race to the CME Globe: (1 million dollars)
1- Lydia Ko - 4,014 points
2- Ariya Jutanugarn - 3,356
3- Brooke Henderson - 2,587
Can Lydia make it 3 for 3?

Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year:
1- In Gee Chun - 792 points
2- Gaby Lopez - 400
3- Megan Khang - 333
4- Su Oh - 304
5- Lee Lopez - 225
No contest here. If In Gee plays the remaining events blindfolded, she will still win.

Most Victories:
1- Ariya Jutanugarn - 4 wins (Includes 1 major championship)
1- Lydia Ko - 4 (Includes 1 major championship)
3- Brooke Henderson - 2 (Includes a major championship)
4- Ha Na Jang, Sei Young Kim, Haru Nomura - 2 (No major championships)

Most Top Five Finishes:
1- Lydia Ko - 10
2- Ariya Jutanugarn - 8
3- Stacy Lewis - 6
3- Lexi Thompson - 6
5- Four players tied with - 5

Most Top Tens Finishes:
1- Brooke Henderson - 11
1- Lydia Ko - 11
3- Lexi Thompson - 9
3- Ariya Jutanugarn - 9
5- Stacy Lewis -8
5- Gerina Piller - 8

Most Consecutive Tournaments without a missed cut:
1- So Yeon Ryu - 55
2- Stacy Lewis - 32
3- Anna Nordqvist - 28
3- Lydia Ko - 28
5- Amy Yang - 25

Solheim Cup Standings: (Team USA)
1- Lexi Thompson - 334 points
2- Stacy Lewis - 277
3- Gerina Piller - 231
4- Brittany Lang - 180
5- Jessica Korda - 127
6- Cristie Kerr - 110
7- Mo Martin - 106
8- Angela Stanford - 98
Brittany Lincicome and Morgan Pressel would also sneak in via the Rolex Rankings.

Be sure to check back shortly for my Olympic preview.

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Paula Creamer Celebrates 30th Birthday in Las Vegas

Although the LPGA is taking a break from tournament play for a few weeks during the Olympics, the past weekend was a very busy one for some players.

I have already reported the news of Stacy Lewis getting married this past Saturday, but this past weekend also brought some of the LPGA members and staff together to celebrate another occasion.

Paula Creamer's 30th birthday!

Here are some photos of the celebration:
Paula with Morgan Pressel, Brittany Lincicome, and members of LPGA staff.
Paula with husband Derek (right).
With Sydnee Michaels
Brittany Lang (2nd from the right) makes her first appearance.

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