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Showing posts from April, 2017

Volunteers of America Texas Shootout Preview, Pairings, and More.

After a one week break the LPGA resumes its schedule in the state of Texas, with the playing of the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout Presented by JTBC.

Last year Jenny Shin picked up her first (and only) LPGA victory, when her final round sixty-seven was good enough for a 2 stroke victory over Gerina Piller, Mi Jung Hur, and Amy Yang.


This will be tournament #9 of 34 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Las Colinas Country Club
Location: Irving, Texas
Defending Champion:  Jenny Shin
Winning Score: 68-70- 65-67 = 270 (-14)

Final Field: 144 players
Par:  36/35 =71
Yardage:  6,441
Purse: $1,300,000


My strength of field rating is a surprisingly high 82%. That is up significantly from 65% last year. Forty-seven of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and 22 of the top 25 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. Players skipping this event include: Carlota Ciganda, Hyo Joo Kim, and Lee-Anne Pace.

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are…

LPGA Player Profile - Natalie Gulbis

With the LPGA taking a one week break before resuming its schedule in the state of Texas, I want to take this opportunity to do my fifth player profile.

The player I have chosen this time around, may very well be in the twilight of her career, but has been a crowd favorite for many years. I have chosen:

NATALIE GULBIS


Born: 1/7/83 (34 years old)
Hometown: Sacramento Calif.
Resides: Lake, Las Vegas, Nev.
Rookie Year: 2002



Natalie has won once on the LPGA tour:

2007 Evian Masters

 Natalie has had many of her best finishes in Major Championships!

Best Finishes in Major Championships:

ANA Inspiration - Finished 3rd in 2006KPMG Women's PGA Championship - Finished 5th in 2005U.S. Women's Open - Finished 4th in 2005Ricoh British Open - Finished 9th in 2013The Evian Championship - Finished 52nd in 2013 (It was not a Major Championship when she won this event).

Career Stats:

318 career starts237 cuts made (74.5%)37 top tens (11.6%)Has $4,892,233 in career earnings through the 2016 season (57…

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Year 2017 - Part 1

Now that we have completed about 1/4 of the LPGA season, it's time to take a look at the players that have made the biggest leaps and taken the biggest falls in the Rolex Rankings this year.

The Rolex Rankings system awards points to players based on an accumulated 104-week "rolling" period, with the points awarded in the most recent 13-week period carrying a stronger value. A player is then ranked according to her average points per tournament, as determined by dividing her total number of points by the number of eligible tournaments played during the 104-week period. A minimum divisor (35) is also used. 

I have gone back to the first Rolex Rankings of the year and compared them to the current rankings. The only requirements for my list is: (1) A player must have been ranked in the top 100 at the start of the year, or be in the top 100 now. (2) A player must have started the year 2017 with a minimum rating of 0.50 (or else this chart would be filled with unknown names.)


Th…

Lotte Championship Presented by Hershey Preview, Pairings, & More

The LPGA moves to Hawaii this week for the playing of the Lotte Championship Presented by Hershey.




This will be the 6th year that this tournament is on the LPGA schedule. Many may remember last year's exciting finish, when Mingee Lee came from behind to take home the winning trophy. She shot a final 64 to finish one stroke better than both Katie Burnett and In Gee Chun.




This will be tournament #8 of 34 on this year's LPGA schedule.
Here are the key details:
Course:  Ko Olina Golf Club Location: Kapolei, Hawaii Defending Champion:  Minjee Lee Winning Score:  68-66-74-64 = 272 (-16)
Final Field:  144 players Par:  36/36=72 Yardage:  6,383 Purse:  $2,000,000
My strength of field rating is 64% (up from 59% last year). Thirty-Six of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and Fourteen of the top 25 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. The field will include the top three world ranked players: Lydia Ko, So Yeon Ryu, and Ariya Jutanugarn. Players skipping the event thi…

LPGA Player Profile : Hee Young Park

With the LPGA taking a one week break before resuming its schedule in Hawaii, I thought it would be a good time to do my fourth LPGA player profile.

The player I have chosen this time around is the very popular:


HEE YOUNG PARK

Born: 5/24/87 (29 years old)
Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
Resides: Orlando, Florida
Rookie Year: 2008
2016 Earnings:  $527,422 (34th)


She has won twice on the LPGA tour:
2011 CME Group Titleholders2013 Manulife Financial
Best Finishes in Major Championships: ANA Inspiration - Finished 7th in 2013KPMG Women's PGA Championship - Finished 14th in 2012U.S. Women's Open - Finished 9th in 2009Ricoh British Open _ Finished 2nd in 2013The Evian Championship - Finished 6th in 2008
Career Stats: 244 career starts197 cuts made (80.7%)39 top tens (16.0%)Has $4,937,200 in career earnings through the 2016 season. (55th on all time LPGA career money list)
Other Career Highlights: Carded a career low 61 in the third round of the 2013 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic.Tallied a car…

Surprises and Disappointments 2017 - Part 1

Although the LPGA has completed  only about 20% (7 of 34 tournaments) of its 2017 schedule, I don't think it is too early to take a look at some of the ladies that have been the biggest surprises and biggest disappointments of the year so far.

As I do every year, I will do this again at the halfway point of the season and again at season's end.

To further explain how I come up with my list, a player that is very highly ranked and having a great season would not make this list, as I had high expectations for that person and it wouldn't be a surprise. On the other hand, a player that had a bad season last year and is having another one now, would not make this list because expectations would have been lowered. 

With that in mind here are my early season choices:

Biggest Surprises:

1- Austin Ernst - Not many big surprises yet this year as all of the tournaments have been won by established players. The biggest surprise though has to be the consistent play of Austin Ernst. Austin h…

Lexi Thompson Receives 4 stroke Penalty, Loses Championship by 1 Stroke in Playoff

Lexi Thompson was informed that she received a four stroke penalty as she walked off the 12th hole on Sunday at the ANA Inspiration.


An email was received by LPGA officials from a viewer about a possible rules infraction during the third round.

After deliberating for two hours, they informed her that she had violated rule 20.7c when she replaced her ball an inch away from its original position one foot from the hole.

She received four strokes in penalties. Two for the rules infraction, and two strokes for signing an incorrect scorecard.

"Oh my god," said Thompson, as she broke into tears.

LPGA official Sue Witter later said she was 100-percent sure it was not intentional. "It was a hard thing to do. To be honest it made me sick."

When TV viewers were informed of the infraction, Thompson had a 2 stroke lead. When the score was adjusted she was two strokes back.

With the crowd chanting Lexi, Lexi, Lexi during the remaining holes, she birdied the 13th & 15th hole …