Skip to main content

ANA Inspiration Preview, Pairings, and More

Before I start with this week's subject, let me give a big congratulations to Eun-Hee Ji for winning the Kia Classic. Ji aced the 14th hole to take a commanding 3 shot lead with just four holes to play, and coasted home to a two shot victory over Cristie Kerr and Lizette Salas. For Ji it was the fourth victory of her career, and second in her last eight starts.
                Image result for 2018 ana inspiration
This week the LPGA moves to Rancho Mirage, California for the playing of the ANA Inspiration. This is the first Major Championship of the 2018 season.

I am sure everyone remembers last year's controversial finish, where Lexi Thompson was assessed a 4 stroke penalty and was defeated by So Yeon Ryu in a playoff.

Related image
Lexi Thompson fought back tears after being told of four stroke penalty.

Related image
So Yeon Ryu jumps into Poppie's Pond after winning ANA Inspiration.

Related image
So Yeon Ryu kisses the ANA Championship trophy.

This will be tournament #7 of 33 on this year's LPGA schedule, and the first of five Major Championships.

Course:  Mission Hills Country Club: Dinah Shore Tournament Course
Location:  Rancho Mirage, California
Defending Champion:  So Yeon Ryu
Winning Score:  68-69-69-68 = 274 (-14) 

Final Field:  108 players
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage: 6,763 yards
Purse:  $2,800,000

My strength of field rating is a very strong 87.5% (down from 89% last year), making it by far the strongest field of the year so far. Forty-eight of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and forty-three of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings (including the top 24) will be teeing it up this week. Players missing from this week's field include: Gerina Piller (maternity), Suzann Pettersen, and Karrie Webb. The field will also include some top names from other tours. They include: Hyejin Choi (#10 in Rolex Rankings), Ai Suzuki (#28), Ha Na Jang (#29), Jeongeun Lee (#31), and Ji-Hyun Kim (#61).

Here are the pairings for round 1:

Here are the television times:
Mar 29 - GC 12:00 PM-4:00 PM ET
Mar 29 - GC 7:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Mar 30 - GC12:00 PM-4:00 PM ET
Mar 30 - GC 7:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Mar 31 - GC 5:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Apr 1   - GC 5:00 PM-9:00 PM ET

Players Most Likely to Win: (Top players in the field)
1- Shanshan Feng - Needs to play well here to keep the top spot in the rankings.
2- Lexi Thompson - Has won here before and a win will put her at #1.
3- So Yeon Ryu - Always plays well in majors. 

Players to Watch Out For: (I'm feeling it this week)
1- Michelle Wie - This course favors the big hitters, and she is playing well.
2- Brittany Lincicome - This course favors the big hitters, and she has won here twice.
3- Sung Hyun Park - Did I say that this course favors the big hitters?

Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
1- Angel Yin - Has been terrible so far this year, but I am sticking with the big hitters.
2- Sei Young Kim - Ditto
3- Carlota Ciganda - Playing well and long off the tee.

Other Tidbits:
Sung Hyun Park missed the cut this past weekend for the first time as an LPGA member. It stopped her cut streak at 34 straight. 

All six victories on the LPGA tour this year have been won by American (3) and South Korean (3) players.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
There was lots of movement this week. In Kyung Kim makes the most  important move jumping two spots into the top five at #5. Cristie Kerr moves back into the top ten with a move from #11 to #7. Eun-Hee Ji leaps up from #38 to #22, while Jane Park soars up from #86 to #64. On the downside, In Gee Chun falls out of the top ten, falling from #8 to #11. Ashleigh Buhai drops out of the top 100 and out of my field rating. She is replaced with Ally McDonald.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
Jin Young Ko continues to lead with 790 points. She is followed closely by Michelle Wie with 728 and Brittany Lincicome with 720. Jessica Korda (620) and Ariya Jutanugarn (604) fill out the top five.

Who's Hot:
Jin Young Ko becomes the first LPGA player to finish in the top 10 four times in 2018.

Who's Not:
Sung Hyun Park has failed to finish in the top 20 in any of her four starts this year.
Angel Yin has not finished better than 39th in her 5 starts this year.

This Week's Trivia Question: 

Since the year 2000, only 1 player has won this major championship 3 times. Two other players have won it twice over that same period. Can you name those 3 players?

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

Here are the leaders after thr final round was called for darkness:
They played 4 holes of a playoff. Song was eliminated. Inbee and Pernilla will tee it up at 11:00AM ET on Monday morning.
1 Jennifer Song -15
1 Inbee Park -15
1 Pernilla Lindberg -15
4 Ariya Jutanugarn -14
4 Jessica Korda -14
6 Charley Hull -13
6 Moriya Jutanugarn -13
8 Ayako Uehara -12
9 Caroline Masson -11
9 Sung Hyun Park -11
9 Jodi Ewart Shadoff -11
9 Amy Olson -11
13 Nelly Korda -10
13 Ryann O'Toole -10
15 Pornanong Phatlum -9
16 Hannah Green -8
16 Sun Young Yoo -8
16 Brittany Altomare -8
16 Jeongeun Lee -8
20 Angela Stanford -7
20 Lexi Thompson -7
20 Lydia Ko -7
20 Azahara Munoz -7
20 Beatriz Recari -7

Be sure to check back here daily for any LPGA news or updates.  They will be posted here at the bottom of this blog. Tournament results will be posted here at the end of each round. Links to all Women's Tour scoreboards can be found on the right side of this page (or on pull down menu on mobile website).


  1. I'm really enjoying the design and layout of your website.
    It's a very easy on the eyes which makes
    it much more enjoyable for me to come here and visit more
    often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?
    Fantastic work!

    1. Thanks. No I didn't hire out. Took some doing but did it myself.


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:


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…

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

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.


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: 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

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

Belen has not yet won on the LPGA tour: Here are her best finishes: Finished 5th at the 2016 LPGA Volvik ChampionshipFinished 4th at the 2014 Manulife Financial LPGA ClassicFinished 10th at the 2014 Airbus LPGA ClassicFinished 5th at the 2011 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship
Best Finishes in Major Championships: ANA Inspiration (formerly the Kraft Nabisco Championship) - Finished 41st in 2013KPMG Women's PGA Championship - Finished 58th in 2013U.S. Women's Open - Finished 55th in 2014Ricoh …

LPGA Player Profile: Beatriz Recari

With the start of the 2018 LPGA just a few days away, I would like to sneak in one more player profile.

The player I have chosen today is:

Beatriz Recari
Born:  4/21/87 (30 years old)
Hometown:  Pamplona, Spain
Resides:  Orlando, Fla.
Rookie Year: 2010
2017 Earnings:  $197,765 (77th)

Beatriz has won 3 times on the LPGA tour:

2010 - CVS/Pharmacy LPGA Challenge2013 - Kia Classic2013 Marathon Classic

Best finishes in major championships
ANA Inspiration - 25th in 2013KPMG Women's PGA Championship - 19th in 2013U.S. Women's Open - 27th in 2011Ricoh Women's British Open - 14th in 2016The Evian Championship -9th in 2013

Career Stats:

200 career starts144 cuts made (72%)24 top ten finishes (12%)Has $3,024,791 in career earnings (102nd on the all-time LPGA career money list)

Other career highlights:

Carded a career low 63 in the final round of the 2015 Honda LPGA Classic.In 2013, had two victories and seven additional top ten finishes as she crossed the $1 million mark in season earnings for t…