Monday, March 27, 2017

ANA Inspiration Preview, Pairings, and Much More

Before I start with this week's subject, let me give a big congratulations to Mirim Lee for winning the Kia Classic. It was never a contest. Mirim took control towards the end of round number three, and never looked back! She won by 6 strokes over both Seo Yeon Ryu and Austin Ernst.

Image result for ana inspiration california

This week the LPGA moves to Rancho Mirage, California for the playing of the ANA Inspiration. This is the first Major Championship of the 2017 season.

Most of you will probably remember last year's exciting finish when Lydia Ko birdied the 72nd hole to finish one stroke better than both Charley Hull and In Gee Chun.

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Lydia Ko takes the traditional dive into Poppie's Pond after her ANA victory

This will be tournament #7 of 34 on this year's LPGA schedule, and the first of five Major Championships.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Mission Hills Country Club: Dinah Shore Tournament Course
Location:  Rancho Mirage, California
Defending Champion:  Lydia Ko
Winning Score:  70-68-69-69 = 276 (-12) 


Final Field:  108 players
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage: 6,769 yards
Purse:  $2,700,000


Mission Hills Country Club. The home of this year's first Major Championship

My strength of field rating is a very strong 89% (same as last year). The entire top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List will be teeing up, as will 41 of the top 50 players from the current Rolex Rankings. Although my field rating loses a couple of points because this is not a full 144 player field, it more than makes up for it by including Bo-Mee Lee (#17 in the RR) and Jin Young Ko (#34 in the RR). 

Here are the pairings for round 1.

Here are the television times:
Mar 30 - GC 12:00 PM-4:00 PM ET
Mar 30 - GC 7:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Mar 31 - GC12:00 PM-4:00 PM ET
Mar 31 - GC 7:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Apr 1 - GC 5:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Apr 2 - GC 5:00 PM-9:00 PM ET


Players Most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
Lydia Ko - Defending Champion and World's #1player.
Ariya Jutanugarn - Number 2 and gaining fast.
So Yeon Ryu - Number 3 in the Rolex Rankings and due to actually finish one.

Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
Brittany Lincicome - Playing well and has won this one twice already.
Lexi Thompson - Always plays well here.
Sung Hyun Park - Course fits her game, and she is overdue.
Ha Na Jang - Because she would be the first player to dance in Poppie's Pond.

Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
Jodi Ewart Shadoff - Has been playing well every week since mid 2016.
Karine Icher - Ditto
Moriya Juanugarn - With everyone watching her sister.........


Other Tidbits:

  • Lydia Ko had her cut streak stopped at 40 straight. It was only the second cut that she has missed in her career. Amy Yang had her streak stopped at 37.
  • The Kia Classic has been brutal to star players over the past few years, and that has been the case once again this year. Besides Ko and Amy Yang, huge stars Brooke Henderson (only her second MC as an LPGA member), Minjee Lee, Jessica Korda, and I.K. Kim also missed the cut. Sandra Gal, Hee Young Park, Mi Hyang Lee, and Lee-Anne Pace, all missed their first cut of the year.


Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
So Yeon Ryu makes the most important move this week jumping up from #5 to #3. Mirim Lee leaps from #21 to #14, while Austin Ernst vaults from #73 to #41.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)

Ariya Jutanugarn leads with 949 points, she is followed by So Yeon Ryu (800), Ha Na Jang (791), Mirim Lee (725), Anna Nordqvist (679), and Brittany Lincicome (677).

Who's Hot:


  • So Yeon Ryu has finished in the top seven in all four of her starts.
  • Moriya Jutanugarn is the only player to finish in the top 20 in all six tournaments this year.

Who's Not:

  • Lydia Ko has been winless in her last 14 events. She has had just one top five over that period, and her #1 world ranking is now in jeopardy.
  • Yani Tseng has missed the cut in all 4 tournaments that have had a cut this year.
  • Danielle Kang has already missed 3 cuts this season.


This Week's Trivia Question:

There are currently 10 active LPGA players with 10 or more wins. How many can you name?


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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Monday, March 20, 2017

Kia Classic Preview, Pairings, and More

A huge congratulations goes out to Anna Nordqvist for winning the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. Her final total of -25 under par was two shots better than runner-ups, Stacy Lewis, In Gee Chun, and Ariya Jutanugarn. For Jutanugarn, it was her second consecutive runner-up finish.

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This week the LPGA moves to the state of California for the playing of the Kia Classic. Lydia Ko will be trying to defend the title she won last year when she finished 4 strokes better than runner-up Inbee Park. Her -19 under par total was one shot off the tournament record that is held by Cristie Kerr.


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Lydia Ko holds up her 2016 winning trophy

This will be tournament #6 of 34 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the Key Details:

Course:  Aviara Golf Club
Location: Carlsbad, California
Defending Champion: Lydia Ko
Winning Score:  68-67-67-67 = 269 (-19)

Final Field:  144 players

Par 36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,593 yards
Purse:  $1,800,000

My strength of field rating is an incredibly strong 88% (up from 84% last year), making it the strongest field of the year so far. The past two years this tournament had the strongest field of any non major championship. It will have it again this year! Every player from the top 100 LPGA Priority List (Nicole Castrale is retired) will be teeing it up. Forty of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be in attendance. The only reason that some of the upcoming major championships might have a higher field rating, is that they invite stars from other tours that are ranked high on the Rolex Rankings, therefore raising my field rating.


Here are the first round pairings;


Here are the television times:
Mar 23 - GC 8:30 PM-10:30 PM ET (Tape)
Mar 24 - GC 8:30 PM-10:30 PM ET (Tape)
Mar 25 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Mar 26 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET

Players most likely to win: (Top players in the field)

Lydia Ko - The world's #1 player.
Ariya Jutanugarn - Number 2 and gaining on Lydia.
In Gee Chun - Takes back the #3 position.

Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)

Stacy Lewis - Playing her best golf in over 2 years.
Ha Na Jang - Because she seems to be on the first page of the leaderboard every week.
Sung Hyun Park - Is this the week she gets that first win?
Jessica Korda - Has 4 top 25 finishes.

Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)

Jeong Eue Lee - Don't know who she is? You will soon.
Michelle Wie - Her game seems to have re-appeared.
Moriya Jutanugarn - Can she chase down her sister?
Nelly Korda - She is playing better now than she did on the Symetra Tour.

Other Tidbits:

Minjee Lee missed her first cut in her last twenty tournaments.
Only at the Founders Cup.... can a player (Lydia Ko) have 52 pars, 20 birdies, and 0 bogeys, and never really be in contention.
Only at the Founders Cup.....can a player (Maude-Aimee Leblanc) shoot the low round on Friday, an -8 under par 64, and miss the cut.
Only at the Founders Cup.....can players play the first 2 rounds in -4 under par (Madelene Sagstrom, Cristie Kerr, Lexi Thompson, Natalie Gulbis, among others) and not get to play the weekend.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Inbee Park moves up from #9 to #7, while Anna Nordqvist jumps from #13 to #11.
Nelly Korda, who started the year at #341, continues to impress leaping 40 more spots to #199.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)

Ariya Jutanugarn leads with 899 points, she is followed by Ha Na Jang with 784, and Anna Nordqvist with 629. Inbee Park placed 4th with 610, and Brittany Lincicome 5th with 607. Keep in mind that unlike in the past, the top 5 finishers will hold their fate completly in their own hands (A win at the CME will guarantee them the million). In the past it was the top three. 

Who's Hot:

Ariya Jutanugarn is the only player to record 4 top ten finishes this year. Her sister Moriya, is the only player to record 5 top twenties. 

Who's Not:

Hee Young Park has failed to register a top 35 finish yet this year. Karrie Webb has not finished better than 48th.


This Week's Trivia Question: 


What 3 LPGA players have the most total top ten finishes in the last five completed seasons (2012- 2016)


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



Update #1 - Margarita Ramos and Savannah Vilaubi were the Monday Qualifiers.

Update #2 - Sydnee Michaels is no longer in the field, she has been replaced with Amelia Lewis.
Update #3 - Charley Hull injured her wrist during the pro-am and was replaced with Ashleigh Buhai.

Here the final results:



1 Mirim Lee -20 F
2 So Yeon Ryu -14 F
2 Austin Ernst -14 F
4 Sung Hyun Park -12 F
4 Gerina Piller -12 F
4 Karine Icher -12 F
4 Cristie Kerr -12 F
4 Mi Jung Hur -12 F
9 Shanshan Feng -11 F
10 In Gee Chun -10 F
11 Lizette Salas -9 F
11 Lexi Thompson -9 F
11 Pei-Yun Chien -9 F
11 Caroline Hedwall -9 F
11 Moriya Jutanugarn -9 F
11 Mo Martin -9 F
11 Brittany Lincicome -9 F
18 Angela Stanford -8 F
18 Caroline Masson -8 F
18 Jackie Stoelting -8 F
21 Pornanong Phatlum -7 F
21 Beatriz Recari -7 F
21 Jodi Ewart Shadoff -7 F
21 Sarah Jane Smith -7 F
21 Anna Nordqvist -7 F
21 Sei Young Kim -7 F
21 Inbee Park -7 F
21 Carlota Ciganda -7 F
21 Ariya Jutanugarn -7 F
21 Michelle Wie -7 F

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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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Bank of Hope Founders Cup Preview, Pairings, and More


Image result for Bank of Hope Founders Cup


After a one week break, the LPGA resumes its schedule this week with the playing of the LPGA Founders Cup. This will be the first of 3 consecutive tournaments that will be played on the west coast of the United States, and will include the year's first major championship.

This will be the seventh year for this tournament which had a history of very close finishes until last year when Sei Young Kim's final round 62, was five strokes better than runner-up Lydia Ko. Kim's total of 27 under par 261, tied Annika Soremstam's record for the most strokes under par in LPGA history.


Sei Young Kim will be trying to defend her Founders Cup championship.


This will tournament #5 of 34 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriot Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
Location:  Phoenix, Arizona
Defending Champion:  Sei Young Kim
Winning Score:  63-66-70-62 = 261  (-27)

Final Field:  144 Players

Par:  72
Yardage:  6,538
Purse:  $1,500,000

My strength of field rating is a very strong 82% (same as last year). As always this tournament will be one of the strongest non major fields of the year. Ninety five of the top 100 players from the LPGA Priority List, and twenty of the top 25 players from the Rolex Rankings will be in attendance. Among the missing this week include: Shanshan Feng (#3 in Rolex Rankings), Carlota Ciganda, and Charley Hull.


Here are the first round pairings.


Here are the television times:

Mar 16 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Mar 17 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Mar 18 - GC 7:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Mar 19 - GC 7:00 PM-9:00 PM ET

Players most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
  • Lydia Ko - Still the world #1
  • Ariya Jutanugarn - #2 and narrowing the gap
  • In Gee Chun - #4 ranked player
Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
  • Sei Young Kim - The defending champion is always dangerous
  • Stacy Lewis - Always contends here
  • Brooke Henderson - Course fits her game
  • Sung Hyun Park - Because she is always good
Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
  • Jodi Ewart Shadoff - Has been playing the best golf of her career
  • Pornanong Phatlum - Overdue
  • Jessica Korda - Has had three good finishes this year

Other Tidbits:   
Juli Inkster won the Walgreens Charity Classic, which is a 36 hole event on the Legends Tour. 

The Symetra Tour got under way this past weekend woith the playing of the Florida's Natural Charity Classic. Olivia Jordan-Higgins won the event with a 10 under par total. Christine Song and Yu Liu finished one stroke back. Lindsey Weaver finished fourth, just 2 strokes back of the winner.


UPDATE #1 - Augusta James and Kaylin Yost are the Monday local qualifiers.

UPDATE #2 - Mel Reid is no longer on field list, she has been replaced by Stephanie Meadow.
UPDATE #3 - Sydnee Michaels has dropped out. She is replaced by Casey Grice.
UPDATE #4 - Kris Tamulis has withdrawn. She was replaced with Sandra Changjkiya.

Here are the Final Results:
1 Anna Nordqvist -25
2 In Gee Chun -23
2 Stacy Lewis -23
2 Ariya Jutanugarn -23
5 Ha-Na Jang -21
5 Inbee Park -21
5 So Yeon Ryu -21
8 Moriya Jutanugarn -20
8 Lydia Ko -20
10 Jessica Korda -19
10 Lizette Salas -19
10 Caroline Masson -19
13 Brooke Henderson -18
13 Sun Young Yoo -18
13 Sandra Gal -18
13 Mirim Lee -18
13 Sung Hyun Park -18
13 Karine Icher -18

This Week's Trivia Question:

In the history of the LPGA, only two Monday qualifiers went on to win the LPGA event.  Who are they?


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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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

LPGA Player Profile: Belen Mozo

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

The player I have chosen this time around, may not be a household name like the first two were, but I have received a number of requests to do this profile.


          Belen Mozo

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Belen posed for the Sports Illustrated Body Issue, proving golfers can be sexy too.


Pronounced: (bay-LEN moh-thoh)
Born: 9/25/88 (28 years old)
Hometown: Cadiz, Spain
Resides: Cartagena, Columbia
College: USC
Rookie Year: 2011
2016 Earnings: $76,263 (104th)


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In spite of her limited success thus far on the LPGA tour, Belen has become a big fan favorite


Belen has not yet won on the LPGA tour: Here are her best finishes:
  • Finished 5th at the 2016 LPGA Volvik Championship
  • Finished 4th at the 2014 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic
  • Finished 10th at the 2014 Airbus LPGA Classic
  • Finished 5th at the 2011 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship

Best Finishes in Major Championships:
  • ANA Inspiration (formerly the Kraft Nabisco Championship) - Finished 41st in 2013
  • KPMG Women's PGA Championship - Finished 58th in 2013
  • U.S. Women's Open - Finished 55th in 2014
  • Ricoh Women's British Open - Finished 29th in 2014
  • The Evian Championship - Finished 37th in 2013
Belen stops to take a picture with my wife Cindy and me at the U.S. Women's Open in Colorado Springs.










Career Stats:
  • 129 career starts
  • 74 cuts made (57.4%)
  • 4 top tens (3.1%)
  • 14 top twenty-fives (10.9%)
  • Has earned $807,615 in prize money through the 2016 season (269th on all time career money list).

Other Career Highlights:
  • Was a member of the victorious Team Spain at the 2014 UL International Crown, recording a 2-1-1 record.
  • Won British Ameteur Golf Championship in 2006

Previous Player profiles:


This week's Trivia Question:   (For those who missed it earlier this week).

What LPGA player picked up the most Hall of Fame points during the 2016 season, and how many? 

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




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