Monday, February 27, 2017

HSBC Women's Champions Preview, Pairings, and More

A big congratulations goes out to Amy Yang for winning the Honda LPGA Thailand. Her final round 68 = 266 (-22), was 5 strokes better than runner up So Yeon Ryu. It was Amy's third win on the LPGA tour, and second at this event in Thailand.

Image result for 2017 hsbc women's champions logo
This week the LPGA moves to Singapore for the playing of the HSBC Women's Champions. Ha Na Jang will be trying to defend the title she won last year when she shot a final round 65, to finish four strokes better than runner up Pornanong Phatlum, and 8 strokes better than 3rd place finisher Amy Yang.

Ha Na Jang dances after winning the 2016 HSBC Women's Champions.

This will be tournament #4 of 34 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Sentosa Golf Club, The Tanjong Course
Location:  Singapore
Defending Champion:  Ha Na Jang
Winning Score:  70-66-68-65 = 269 (-19)

Final Field:  63 Players
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,600
Purse:  $1,500,000

My strength of field rating is a very solid  77.5% (down from last year's 78.5%). Forty-nine of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List (I.K. Kim is once again not teeing it up) and 38 of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be in attendance. Once again, the reason my field rating isn't higher, is that the limited field leaves out some key players that would have made the field stronger. Players such as: Pernilla Lindberg, Gaby Lopez, Xi Yu Lin, Sandra Gal, Mariajo Uribe, Ai Miyazato, and Yani Tseng are among the players who will not be there.

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times:
GC Wednesday March 1 - 10:30 pm - 2:30 a.m. ET
GC Friday  March 3 - 12:00 mid. - 2:30 a.m. ET
GC Saturday March 4 - 12 mid - 2:30 a.m. ET 
GC Sunday March 5 - 12:00 mid. - 2:30 a.m. ET
I believe the time difference between East Coast and Singapore is 13 hours.

Players Most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
  • Lydia Ko - Number one player in the world
  • Ariya Jutanugarn - #2 and playing well
  • In Gee Chun - Moves into the #3 spot this week
Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
  • Ha Na Jang - The defending champion
  • Amy Yang - Trying to make it two in a row
  • Lexi Thompson - Has 2 top five finishes
Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
  • Danielle Kang - Playing the best golf of her LPGA career
  • Jodi Ewart Shadoff - Ready to contend?
  • Moriya Jutanugarn - Can she beat her sister?

Other Tidbits:
The Symetra Tour, Road to the LPGA, announced Thursday that the first-ever Facebook Live broadcast of a women’s professional golf tournament round will take place at the season-opening event. An all-female announce team, the first ever in golf, will broadcast the final round of the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic from approximately 4:00-6:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 12. This is the first time that the Symetra Tour has ever showcased live golf. The broadcast will originate from the LPGA’s Facebook page 

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Amy Yang moves into the top 10 this week, jumping from #11 to #8. Jodi Ewart Shadoff leaps up from #56 to #44, while Danielle Kang rises from # 72 to #57.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
Brittany Lincicome jumps into the lead with 560 points, She is followed by Ha Na Jang with 539, Amy Yang with 524, and Lexi Thompson with 435.

Who's Hot:
Lexi Thompson became the first player this year to have two top 5 finishes. 
Moriya Jutanugarn and Austin Ernst are the only players to finish in the top 25 in all 3 tournaments.

Who's Not:
Na Yeon Choi picked up where she left off last season. She finished 38 strokes behind winner Amy Yang. She was able to finish better than just one player in the entire field, and that was a non LPGA sponsor invitee.

This Week's Trivia Question: 

Since the current Rolex Rankings went into effect in 2006, nine players have reached the #1 position. How many of them can you name?

For the answer of this week's trivia question please press here.

Here are the final results:
1 Inbee Park -19
2 Ariya Jutanugarn -18
3 Sung Hyun Park -16
4 Brooke Henderson -14
4 Ha-Na Jang -14
4 Michelle Wie -14
7 So Yeon Ryu -13
7 Anna Nordqvist -13
9 Mirim Lee -12
9 Chella Choi -12
9 Lydia Ko -12
12 Moriya Jutanugarn -11
12 Charley Hull -11
12 Shanshan Feng -11
15 Beatriz Recari -10
15 Jodi Ewart Shadoff -10
15 Morgan Pressel -10
15 Jessica Korda -10
15 Suzann Pettersen -10
20 Angela Stanford -9
21 Pornanong Phatlum -8
21 Mo Martin -8
21 Caroline Masson -8
21 Carlota Ciganda -8
25 Lexi Thompson -7
25 Karine Icher -7
25 Stacy Lewis -7
25 Hyo Joo Kim -7
25 Amy Yang -7

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. LPGA's statement highlights on the proposed new rules by the USGA/R&A had no mention of a ban on caddie assisted pre-shot alignment.. I feel this rule should also be expanded to preclude caddies pointing to spots on the green to assist with putting lines.

  2. I'll repeat my comment from Janary 20th...
    "I think the Olympic champion of 2016 who just beat most of the players on your list just a couple of months ago while still somewhat injured is going to be back in the top 3 to 5 again very quickly"

    "By recent reports Inbee is fit and ready for 2017 and can't wait to get back into action so perhaps you should reconsider putting her in your top 40. I would not be surprised if you asked any of your 40 who they feared most fully fit this year Inbee would be #1"