Skip to main content

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G Preview, Pairings, and More

A big congratulations goes out to Brooke Henderson for winning the Meijer LPGA Classic. Her final round 66 was good enough to finish 2 strokes better than both Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie. Madelene Sagstrom, Moriya Jutanugarn, and Su Oh all finished one stroke further back in a fourth place tie. As I stated in my preview to the tournament, the course fit Brooke's game to a tee. She has always said she loves park land courses, and she proved it once again. It was the fourth LPGA victory for the 19 year old Henderson.

Image result for walmart nw arkansas Championship logo

This week the LPGA moves to the state of Arkansas for the playing of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G. Last year this tournament was won by Lydia Ko, when she shot a final round sixty-eight to win by 3 strokes over both Morgan Pressel and Candie Kung.

Besides Ko's victory, this tournament has been won by some very big LPGA stars. They Include: Na Yeon Choi, Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park, Ai Miyazato, Yani Tseng (twice), and former LPGA star Jiyai Shin.

This tournament is just 54 holes.

Image result for Lydia ko wins walmart nw
Lydia Ko holds up her 2016 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship trophy.
This will be tournament #16 of 34 on the 2017 LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Pinnacle Country Club
Location:  Rogers, Arkansas
Defending Champion:  Lydia Ko
Winning Score: 66-62-68 = 196 (-17)

Final Field:  144 players
Par:  36/35 = 71
Yardage:  6,386
Purse: $2,000,000



Image result for walmart nw arkansas championship
The Gatorade 17th hole is considered the loudest hole on the LPGA tour.


My strength of field rating is a middle of the road 69% (down from 72% last year). Forty-one of the top 50 players from the current LPGA Priority List, and 17 of the top 25 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. Players skipping this event include: Brooke Henderson, In Gee Chun, Sei Young Kim, Charley Hull, Lexi Thompson, I.K. Kim, and Cristie Kerr.

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times:
June 23 - GC 6:30 PM-8:30 PM ET 
June 24 - GC 5:00 PM-7:00 PM ET 
June 25 - GC 5:00 PM-7:00 PM ET

Players most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
Ariya Jutanugarn - Currently #1 in the world
Lydia Ko - #2, but her A game has not shown up
So Yeon Ryu - #3, and well rested

Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
Michelle Wie - She's been knocking at the door
Sung Hyun Park - Because she can't disappear every Sunday can she?

Longshot picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
Jacqui Concolino - Because she is playing the best golf of her life
Danielle Kang - Overdue
Madelene Sagstrom - Because I want to see how many times I can mention her name this week

Other Tidbits:
Golf Canada Communications announced recently that the 2018 Canadian Pacific Women's Open will be held at the Wascana Country Club in Regina, Saskatchewan. This will be the first time that this championship will be held in the Province of Saskatchewan.

Lexi Thompson moves into the #1 spot on the 2017 LPGA money list. She also leads the tour in scoring average. 

There has not been a repeat winner on the LPGA Tour yet this year. There has been 15 different winners in 15 weeks.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Brooke Henderson moves a couple of spots from #15 to #13, while Michelle Wie continues her surge leaping up from #48 to #33. Moriya Jutanugarn rises up from # 46 to #39, and Madelene Sagstrom now becomes a part of my field ratings, catapulting from #129 all the way up to #95.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
Ariya Jutanugarn leads with 2,177 points. Lexi Thompson is closing in fast with 2,086. They are followed by So Yeon Ryu (1,695), In Gee Chun (1,515), and Cristie Kerr (1,282).

Who's Hot:
Rookie Madelene Sagstrom has been on quite a run. She finished 7th at the Kingsmill Championship, her final round 65 on Sunday at the ShopRite Classic blew her by 40 players that day, and she tied for 4th this week at the Meijer LPGA Classic. 

Who's Not:
Christina Kim has failed to register a top 30 finish in 13 starts this year. Xi Yu Lin has missed 6 cuts in her last 7 starts. 


This Week's Trivia Question:

Seven players have won LPGA Major Championships as teenagers. How many can you name?

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

Update #1 - Ariya Jutanugarn is no longer in the field.
Update #2 - Regina Plasencia (66) and Julieta Granada (67) are the Monday local qualifiers.

Here are the leaders after round 1:

1 Sung Hyun Park -8 F
2 Ally McDonald -6 F
2 Melissa Reid -6 F
2 So Yeon Ryu -6 F
5 Katherine Kirk -5 F
5 Stacy Lewis -5 F
5 Juli Inkster -5 F
5 Moriya Jutanugarn -5 F
5 Felicity Johnson -5 F
10 Lee-Anne Pace -4 F
10 Gerina Piller -4 F
10 Mi Hyang Lee -4 F
10 Austin Ernst -4 F
10 Pornanong Phatlum -4 F
10 Megan Khang -4 F
10 Jeong Eun Lee -4 F
10 Celine Herbin -4  


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.


   (Currently 1,542 followers)
                                     





Comments

  1. Is there a formula they use to decide which 1st alternates from the 25 qualifiers get selected to fill the remaining spots for the U S Women's Open? It looks like there could be as many as 9 this year. Also, Emily Pedersen has made the most of her limited starts this year.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Par 69?! Methinks the last 2 rounds of the Meijer should not besmirch the Race for the Vare.. and yes, Emily K. moves to #75 in Official Money in 4 events!
    --Arthur2

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bad move by Emily K. to not play this tournament but congratulations to Mina Harigae! A great final round (62) which moved her into #80 of the official money list. This should secure her the final slot in PL Category 8.
    --Arthur2

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

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…

U.S. Women's Open Photo Gallery

Here are some photos that my wife and I have taken over the last few days at the U.S. Women's Open at Trump National Golf Club, in Bedminster, N.J.
















LPGA Reshuffles 2018 Priority List

The LPGA had its first reshuffle of its Priority List this week. While most of the players moved up or down a few insignificant spots, there were some very significant moves also.

The Priority List is what is used to fill the required amount of spots for any given tournament. Without me getting into the categories, which is potentially confusing, here is a brief explanation. Most full field events have a field of 144 players. Usually 140 of the players come from the Priority List ranking. Two players are Monday qualifiers, and 2 more are sponsor exemptions. So to keep it simple, if your Priority Rating is #150, you have to hope that 10 players decide not to play, or you are probably not getting into the field.


The following players made some of the biggest jumps in this week's reshuffle (and by getting into the top 100 become part of my weekly field rating):
Bronte Law - 108 to 86
Amy Olson - 112 to 88
Nasa Hataoka - 116 to 92
Caroline Inglis - 126 to 93
Hee Young Park - 106 to 94
Mariajo…

Most Popular Photos of the Year - 2017

1/9/18 - Bonus pics added at bottom of this page!


As many of my readers know, my wife and I go to quite a few LPGA tournaments each year. Since 2010 we have gone to over 50 events, including two in Scotland (St. Andrews being our favorite), and the last 8 Canadian Opens.

I do all the writing on here (my wife who is a teacher, is my proofreader), while my wife Cindy does most of the picture taking. Neither of us are professional photographers, but once in a while we get lucky and capture a moment that is very popular with my viewers.

Below I have reposted the most popular photos of 2017. I based this on the number of website hits, and the number of comments each photo received. Some came as quite a surprise to me, as when they were taken I was not expecting such a reaction.

#18
#17
#16
#15
#14
#13
#12
#11
#10
#9

What in the World Has Happened to Yani Tseng?

The 2013 LPGA season has brought us lots of surprises. We have had first time winners. We have had winners from 7 different countries. Five Major Championships were played for the first time, with one player (Inbee Park) winning 3 of them. We have even had 4 players win multiple championships this year. However the biggest surprise to date has to be the tumble taken by Yani Tseng.



Yani started the 2013 season ranked as the #1 player in the world. In fact, at one point during the 2011 season, the #2 ranked player in the world (Na Yeon Choi), was closer to the 180th Rolex ranked player than she was to Yani at #1. It seemed Yani would be number one forever.

Let us look at some of her accomplishments:

In 2008, at the age of 19, Yani won the LPGA Championship.
In 2009, Yani became the fastest player in LPGA history to reach $2 million in career earnings. She did it in only 32 events.
In 2010 Yani won 3 times, including 2 more championships.
In 2011 Yani won 7 times, including 2 more major…

LPGA Player Profile: Sandra Gal (and much more)

Let me start off by giving a big congratulations to Brooke Henderson for winning the MCKAYSON New Zealand Women's Open. Brooke took the lead from Belen Mozo early in round four and never looked back. She shot a final round 3 under par 69 , to finish 271 (-17), which was 5 strokes better than runner-up Jing Yan.

For the 20 year old Henderson, who is in her second full year on tour, it was her fifth LPGA victory (which includes one Major Championship) and second this year.


With the LPGA having an unexpected week off (the Alisport LPGA tournament was cancelled) it gives some time to do another LPGA player profile.


The player I have chosen this week is Sandra Gal.



Born:  May 9, 1985
Hometown:  Cologne, Germany
Resides:  Orlando, Fla.
Rookie Year:  2008




Sandra has one victory on the LPGA Tour.

2011 Kia Classic



Best finishes in major championships:

ANA Inspiration - 15th in 2011KPMG Women's PGA Championship - 12th in 2015U.S. Women's Open - 3rd in 2012Ricoh Women's British Open …

LPGA Player Profile: Azahara Munoz

It has been a while since I did my last LPGA player profile.

The player I have chosen this week is the very popular:


Azahara Munoz



Born:  11/19/87 (30 years old)
Hometown:  San Pedro del Alcantara, Spain
Resides:  Jupiter, Fla.
Rookie Year: 2010
2017 Earnings:  $286,417 (63rd)

She has won once on the LPGA tour:

2012 Sybase Match Play Championship
Best finishes in Major Championships: ANA Inspiration - Finished 7th in 2014KPMG Women's PGA Championship - Finished 4th in 2014U.S. Women's Open - Finished 19th in 2010Ricoh Women's British Open - Finished 12th in 2014The Evian Championship - Finished 19th in 2013


Career Stats: 202 career starts175 cuts made (86.6%)38 top tens (18.8%)Has $4,894,331 in career earnings. (61st on the all time LPGA career money list)


Other career highlights: Posted a career high 10 top ten finishes in 2014First Spaniard to win the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award in 2010Turned professional in 2009 and qualified for the LPGA tour in her first atte…