Monday, July 3, 2017

Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic Preview, Pairings, and More

A BIG congratulations goes out to Danielle Kang for winning the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. It was the first victory of her LPGA career. Her -13 under par score was one stroke better than Brooke Henderson. Henderson birdied the 18th and final hole to pull even at -12 under par. Danielle, knowing she needed a birdie on the final hole to win, put her second shot on the par five to within 10 feet of the hole. She would 2 putt for the victory.

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This week the LPGA moves to the state of Wisconsin for the playing of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic. This is the inaugural season for this event. The tournament will be played on the Oneida Reservation, near Green Bay, Wisconsin.

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This will be tournament #18 of 34 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Thornberry Creek at Oneida
Location:  Oneida, Wisconsin
Defending Champion:  This is the inaugual event
Winning Score:  N/A

Final Field:  144 players
Par 36/36 = 72
Yardage: 6,599
Purse:  $2,000,000

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My strength of field rating is 37%. With this tournament being sandwiched by two Major Championships, many players are choosing to skip the event. Just 19 of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and 12 of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. However, the field will be led by some top ranked players including: Ariya Jutanugarn, In Gee Chun, Brooke Henderson, Minjee Lee, Cristie Kerr, and Suzann Pettersen.

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times:
July 6 - GC 6:00 PM-8:30 PM ET 
July 7 - GC 6:00 PM-8:30 PM ET 
July 8 - GC 5:30 PM-8:30 PM ET
July 9 - GC 5:30 PM-8:30 PM ET

Players most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
Ariya Jutanugarn - Highest ranked player in this week's field
In Gee Chun - Looking to bounce back from poor finish at KPMG
Sei Young Kim - Will be trying to follow up on her 4th place finish at KPMG

Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
Cristie Kerr - Could shine in this weak field
Minjee Lee - Ditto

Longshot picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
Madelene Sagstrom - Maybe not such a longshot anymore
Jeong Eun Lee - Solid player coming off a tough week

Other Tidbits:
The LPGA, PGA of America, and KPMG, announced a 5 year extension through 2023 for the KMPG Women's PGA Championship. The purse will increase to 3.65 million dollars in 2018.

Anna Nordqvist had her cut streak stopped at 45 straight, while Ariya Jutanugarn's was halted at 41.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Lots of important moves this week! Lexi Thompson passes Lydia Ko and moves into the #3 position. Brooke Henderson storms back into the top ten, moving from #12 to #8. Danielle Kang leaps from #43 to #18, while Chella Choi jumps from # 56 to #38. The biggest move for any LPGA player in the top 100 was made by Madelene Sagstrom who catapults from #98 to #68.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
So Yeon Ryu holds on to the lead with 2,266 points, while Lexi Thompson closes in with 2,199. Ariya Jutanugarn (2,177), Brooke Henderson (1,653), and In Gee Chun (1,536), fill out the top five.

Who's Hot:
Moriya Jutanugarn has seven consecutive top 20 finishes. Lizette Salas has finished in the top 17 in her last 4 starts. Madelene Sagstrom's strong finish at the KPMG has vaulted her into 2nd place (passing Nelly Korda and Angel Yin) amongst rookies on the LPGA's  2017 money list.

Who's Not:
Brittany Lang has failed to register a top ten finish this year. Xi Yu Lin has missed seven cuts in her last eight starts.

This Week's Trivia Question:

Who is the oldest golfer to win an LPGA event?

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

UPDATE #1 - The Monday local qualifiers are:
Louise Stahle (70)
Samantha Troyanovich (72)

Here are the final results:
1 Katherine Kirk -22
2 Ashleigh Buhai -21
3 Sei Young Kim -20
4 Pornanong Phatlum -19
5 Cristie Kerr -18
6 Tiffany Joh -17
6 Ayako Uehara -17
8 Georgia Hall -16
8 Mariah Stackhouse -16
8 Megan Khang -16
11 Moriya Jutanugarn -15
11 Yani Tseng -15
11 S. Santiwiwatthanaphong -15
11 Suzann Pettersen -15
15 Eun-Hee Ji -14
15 Candie Kung -14
15 Katherine Perry -14
15 Angel Yin -14
15 Jodi Ewart Shadoff -14
20 Caroline Hedwall -13
20 Alena Sharp -13
20 Karine Icher -13
20 Ryann O'Toole -13
20 Minjee Lee -13
20 Alejandra Llaneza -13
20 Sandra Gal -13

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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