Monday, July 17, 2017

Marathon Classic Presented by Owens Corning and O-l Preview, Parings, and More

A huge congratulations goes out to Sung Hyun Park for winning the U.S. Women's Open. Park shot a final round 67 to win by 2 strokes over amateur Hye-Jin Choi. It was Park's first win on the LPGA tour, and her first Major Championship.

In case anyone missed it, here are the links to the pictures I posted during U.S. Women's Open week.
Link #2
Link #1

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This week the LPGA travels to the state of Ohio for the playing of the Marathon Classic Presented by Owens Corning and O-I. Lydia Ko will be trying to defend the title she won last year when she defeated Ariya Jutanugarn and Mirim Lee in a playoff. It was Ko's second win at this event in the last 3 years. It was also Ko's last victory on the LPGA tour.

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Lydia Ko will be trying to win this championship for the third time.

This will be tournament #20 of 34 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Highland Meadows Golf Club
Location:  Sylvania, Ohio
Defending Champion:  Lydia Ko
Winning Score:  68-66-67-69 = 270 (-14)

Final Field: 144 players
Par:  34/37 = 71
Yardage:  6,512
Purse:  $1,600,000

My strength of field rating is a very low 44% (down from 52% last year). Just 27 of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and 17 of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. Headliners in the field include: Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko, Sung Hyun Park, In Gee Chun, and Brooke Henderson. Players skipping the event this week include: Ariya Jutanugarn, Shanshan Feng, Sei Young Kim, So Yeon Ryu, Jessica Korda, Inbee Park, and Cristie Kerr.

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times:
July 20 - GC 8:00 PM-10:00 PM ET (tape delay)
July 21 - GC 8:00 PM-10:00 PM ET (tape delay)
July 22 - GC 7:00 PM- 9:00  PM ET (tape delay)
July 23 - GC 9:00 PM-11:00 PM ET (tape delay)
As you can see from the above, there will be no live broadcast of this event.

Players most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
Lexi Thompson - The top player in the field this week
Lydia Ko - Still struggling to find her "A" game 
Sung Hyun Park - Coming off her first LPGA victory

Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
In Gee Chun - Could this be her week?
Brooke Henderson - Will be there on Sunday
Stacy Lewis - Will have home field advantage

Longshot picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
Marina Alex - Fighting for a Solheim Spot and playing well
Nelly Korda - Could hang in there against this weak field

Other Tidbits:
Shanshan Feng is the first player since Helen Alfredsson in 1993 to lead after each of the first three rounds of the U.S. Women's Open, but not win.

Hye-Jin Choi's 9-under 279 is the lowest 72 hole score by an amateur in U.S. Women's Open history.

So Yeon Ryu's tie for third was her fourth top 5 finish in the U,S, Women's Open in the last five years. Ryu, the 2011 champion, has never finished outside the top 25 in her eight championship appearances.

Amy Yang's tie for eighth is her sixth top 10 finish in her last seven appearances in the U.S. Women's Open. She has yet to win a major championship, but has 17 top 10 finishes. This finiah was her fifth top ten finish in her last six majors she has played in.

While 21 players from the United States made the cut, there were no Americans in the top 10 for the first time in the championship's history.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Sung Hyun Kim makes the most important move this week jumping from #11 to #5. M.J. Hur moves from #25 to #18. Amateur and non LPGA player Hye-Jin Choi leaps up from #62 to #24. Marina Alex continues her steady climb up the rankings moving from #68 to #59.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
So Yeon Ryu widens her lead with 2,504 points. Lexi Thompson is next with 2,254 points, followed by Ariya Jutanugarn with 2,177. Sung Hyun Park (1,894) and Brooke Henderson (1,771) fill out the top five.

Who's Hot:
So Yeon Ryu's 3rd place finish this week at the U.S. Women's Open was her 10th top ten finish of the year, which leads the LPGA tour.

M.J. Hur has quietly become one of the most consistent players on the LPGA tour this season. She has 4 top fives, 5 top tens, and 11 top twenty-five finishes in her 15 starts this year.

Who's Not:
Hyo Joo Kim has missed the cut in her last 3 starts. Morgan Pressel has not seen the weekend in 4 of her last 5 starts.

This Week's Trivia Question:

Who are the oldest and youngest players to make the cut in an LPGA event?

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

Update #1 - Alison Walsh and Meghan Maclaren are the Monday local qualifiers. Both shot 67.

Here are the final results:
1 In-Kyung Kim -21
2 Lexi Thompson -17
3 Gerina Piller -15
3 Pei-Yun Chien -15
5 Sandra Changkija -14
6 Kim Kaufman -13
6 Sung Hyun Park -13
8 Angela Stanford -12
8 Angel Yin -12
8 Brittany Lincicome -12
8 Aditi Ashok -12
8 Nelly Korda -12
13 Perrine DeLacour -11
13 Hyo Joo Kim -11
13 Alena Sharp -11
13 Amy Yang -11
17 Katie Burnett -10
17 Kelly Shon -10
17 Alison Lee -10
20 Jaye Marie Green -9
20 Mirim Lee -9
20 Simin Feng -9
20 Lydia Ko -9
20 Laura Diaz -9
20 Emily Pedersen -9
20 Chella Choi -9

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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