Sunday, June 25, 2017

KPMG Women's PGA Championship Preview, Pairings, and More

A big congratulations goes out to So Yeon Ryu for winning the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, and in doing so, becomes the new #1 player in the Rolex Rankings. Ryu is the third different player to hold the #1 ranking this month. That ranking will be up for grabs this week when no less than 4 players (Ariya Jutanugarn, Lydia Ko, and Lexi Thompson are the other three), can claim the top spot with a win.

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This week the LPGA moves to the state of Illinois for the playing of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. Many may remember last year's exciting finish when Brooke Henderson defeated Lydia Ko in a playoff.

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Brooke Henderson will be trying to defend the KPMG Women's PGA Championship she won at Sahalee last year.
This will be tournament #17 of 34 on the 2017 LPGA schedule. It is also the 2nd of five Major Championships to be played this year.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Olympia Fields Country Club
Location: Olympia Fields, IL.
Defending Champion:  Brooke Henderson
Winning Score: 67-73-73-65 = 278 (-6)

Final Field: 156 Players
Par:  36/35 = 71
Yardage:  6,581
Purse: $3,500,000

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This year this tournament will be played at beautiful Olympia Fields Country Club

My strength of field rating is a solid 85% (down from 86.5% last year when Ha Na Jang was in the field). All the stars from the LPGA tour will be teeing it up. The only reason the ANA Inspiration was higher, is that this tournament doesn't include stars from other tours (Jiyai Shin is the lone exception).

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times:
June 29 - GC 12:30 PM-3:30 PM ET 
June 30 - GC 12:30 PM-3:30 PM ET 
July  1 - NBC 3:00 PM-6:00 PM ET
July  2 - NBC 3:00 PM-6:00 PM ET

Players most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
So Yeon Ryu - Will be looking to solidify her new #1 ranking
Ariya Jutanugarn - Will be looking to regain the top spot she held for just 2 weeks
Lydia Ko - Still looking to regain the form that had her at #1 for so long

Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
Lexi Thompson - Could become #1 with a win this week
Brooke Henderson - The defending champion, and she has a history of winning on parkland courses 
Inbee Park - A three time winner of this championship

Longshot picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
Moriya Jutanugarn - Suddenly isn't referred to as Ariya's sister
Amy Yang - Has her game in great shape at the right time
Gerina Piller - What a great place to pick up that first win

Other Tidbits:
There are 26 Major Champions, owning a combined 53 major titles, in the field. They are: Na Yeon Choi, In Gee Chun, Paula Creamer, Laura Davies, Shanshan Feng, Brooke Henderson, Ariya Jutanugarn, Cristie Kerr, Hyo Joo Kim, Lydia Ko, Brittany Lang, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Catriona Matthew, Mo Martin, Anna Nordqvist, Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen, Morgan Pressel, So Yeon Ryu, Jiyai Shin, Lexi Thompson, Yani Tseng, Karrie Webb, Michelle Wie, and Sun Young Yoo.

Megan Khang is the only LPGA player to tee it up in all 16 tournaments this year.

So Yeon Ryu becomes the first repeat winner on the LPGA tour this season.

Both So Yeon Ryu and Michelle Wie picked up their 5th top 5 finish this week, Only Lexi Thompson (6) has more.

Sarah Jane Smith had her cut streak stopped at 35 straight. It had been the 4th longest streak on tour.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
So Yeon Ryu moves up to the top spot. Moriya Jutanugarn continues her surge with a move from #39 to #33, while Gaby Lopez rises up from #102 to #92.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
In the tightest race ever, So Yeon Ryu now leads with 2,195 points. She is followed very closely by Ariya Jutanugarn with 2,177, and Lexi Thompson with 2,086.

Who's Hot:
Inbee Park is the only LPGA player who has finished in the top 25 in every start this year (eleven for eleven).
Marina Alex very quietly recorded her 4th top ten finish this year.

Who's Not:
Julie Yang has missed 10 consecutive cuts.

My wife and I will be attending this tournament. I will be posting pictures in a few days.

Here are the final results:
1 Danielle Kang -13 F
2 Brooke Henderson -12 F
3 Chella Choi -10 F
4 Mi Hyang Lee -9 F
4 Sei Young Kim -9 F
4 Amy Yang -9 F
7 Inbee Park -7 F
7 Lexi Thompson -7 F
9 Kelly Shon -6 F
9 Stacy Lewis -6 F
11 Lizette Salas -5 F
11 Madelene Sagstrom -5 F
11 Jiyai Shin -5 F
14 Brittany Lincicome -4 F
14 Jessica Korda -4 F
14 Sarah Jane Smith -4 F
14 So Yeon Ryu -4 F
14 Gerina Piller -4 F
14 Sung Hyun Park -4 F
20 Carlota Ciganda -3 F
20 Nelly Korda -3 F
20 Moriya Jutanugarn -3 F
20 Michelle Wie -3 F
20 Candie Kung -3 F

This Week's Trivia Question:

Since the year 2000, 2 LPGA players over the age of 40 have won Major Championships. Can you name them?

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

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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