Skip to main content

LPGA Volvik Championship Preview, Pairings, and More

Let me start off by giving a big congratulations to Ariya Jutanugarn for winning the Kingsmill Championship. Ariya has been the most consistent player on tour this year, but coming into the Kingsmill event she did not have a victory. She changed that by defeating both In Gee Chun and Nasa Hataoka in a playoff. All three players were tied at -14 under par after the rain shortened 54 hole tournament was completed. Chun, who parred the first playoff hole, was eliminated when both Nasa and Ariya birdied it. When Ariya birdied the second playoff hole, she had her first win of the season and eighth of her career. Ariya now leads the LPGA in Official Earnings, The Race to the CME Globe, and The Rolex Player of the Year Race. She also leads the tour in top fives, top tens, and total birdies. In fact, the only major award that she is not leading is for the Vare Trophy (Jessica Korda leads there).

Image result for lpga volvik championship


This week the LPGA moves to the state of Michigan for the playing of the LPGA Volvik Championship. This is the first of two tournaments played in Michigan on the LPGA schedule (the Meijer LPGA Classic will be held next month).

This will be year #3 for this tournament. Many of my readers may remember last year's exciting finish when Shanshan Feng, in spite of bogeying 2 of the final 3 holes, held on to beat a charging Minjee Lee and Sung Hyung Park by a single stroke.

Image result for Shanshan Feng wins volvik championship
Shanshan Feng holds up her 2017 LPGA Volvik Championship trophy.

This will be tournament #13 of 33 tournaments on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Travis Pointe Country Club
Location:  Ann Arbor, Michigan
Defending Champion:  Shanshan Feng
Winning score:  68-67-66-68 = 269 (-19)

Final Field:  144 players
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,734
Purse:  $1,300,000

My strength of field rating is 54% (down. from 67% last year). Thirty-three of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and 24 of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up.
The field will be led by these Rolex Ranked top five players: Shanshan Feng, Sung Hyun Park, and Ariya Jutanugarn. Star players also teeing it up include: I.K. Kim, Jessica Korda, Moriya Jutanugarn, and Minjee Lee. Players skipping the event this week include: Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson, So Yeon Ryu, Cristie Kerr, Anna Nordqvist, In Gee Chun, Brooke Henderson, Jin Young Ko, and Lydia Ko. 

Here are the pairings for round 1:

Here are the television times:
May 24 - GC 7:00 PM-9:00 PM ET (tape delay)
May 25 - GC 7:00 PM-9:00 PM ET (tape delay)
May 26 - GC 3:00 PM-6:00 PM ET
May 27 - GC 3:00 PM-6:00 PM ET

Players Most Likely to Win: (Top players in the field)
Shanshan Feng - Former #1 player in the world is highest ranked player in field.
Sung Hyun Park - Coming off her victory in Texas.
Ariya Jutanugarn - Has most of her career victories in the month of May.

Players to Watch Out For: (I'm feeling it this week)
Jessica Korda - Hasn't had a bad tournament yet this year.
Minjee Lee - Was runner-up here last year.
Moriya Jutanugarn - Can sisters win back to back tournaments?

Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
Caroline Masson - Playing the best golf of her career.
Nasa Hataoka - Maybe not so much of a longshot anymore.
Emma Talley - Has been a winner everywhere she has played. Time for her to get into the LPGA spotlight.

Other Tidbits:
The LPGA still does not have a two time winner this year. There have been 12 different winners in the 12 tournaments that have been played.

The last five LPGA tournaments have resulted in three playoffs.

Thailand becomes the third country to have more than one player win a tournament this year. 

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Ariya Jutanugarn makes the most important move this week, jumping into the top five at #5. Nasa Hataoka continues her surge moving from #45 to #34. Megan Khang leaps up 13 spots from #89 to #76.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
Ariya Jutanugarn jumps into the lead with 1,732 points. She is followed by Inbee Park with 1,498 and Moriya Jutanugarn with 1,372. Brooke Henderson (1,259) and Jin Young Ko (1,218) fill out the top five. 

Who's Hot:
Ariya Jutanugarn's six top five finishes is two more than any other player on tour.

Caroline Masson is the only LPGA player that has finished in the top ten in her last four starts.


Nasa Hataoka has four consecutive top twenty finishes.

Who's Not:

Lexi Thompson started the the season with two consecutive top ten finishes, but has not had one since.

Karine Icher has missed the cut in six of her last seven starts, and she finished 73rd in the other one. 

Mel Reid has missed five consecutive cuts. Angela Stanford has missed her last three.

This Week's Trivia Question: 
Who are the only four players to hold the #1 spot in the Rolex Rankings on at least three different occasions?

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

UPDATE #1 - The local qualifiers are Min Lee and Alison Walshe.

Here are the leaders final results:

1 Minjee Lee -16
2 In-Kyung Kim -15
3 Moriya Jutanugarn -14
4 Su-Hyun Oh -13
4 Lindy Duncan -13
6 Megan Khang -12
7 Ariya Jutanugarn -11
7 Danielle Kang -11
7 Stacy Lewis -11
10 Amy Olson -10
10 Carlota Ciganda -10
10 Brittany Lincicome -10
10 Eun-Hee Ji -10
10 Nasa Hataoka -10
10 Gaby Lopez -10
10 Bronte Law -10
17 Karine Icher -9
17 Jessica Korda -9
17 Mariah Stackhouse -9
17 Jodi Ewart Shadoff -9
21 Cheyenne Woods -8
21 Shanshan Feng -8
21 Emma Talley -8
24 Maude-Aimee Leblanc -7
24 Lizette Salas -7
24 Sakura Yokomine -7
24 Katie Burnett -7
24 Nicole Broch Larsen -7
24 Wichanee Meechai -7
24 Georgia Hall -7
24 Sei Young Kim -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).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

LPGA Player Profile - Natalie Gulbis

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 (36 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:   (Updated through the 2018 season)

329 career starts238 cuts made (72.3%)37 top tens (11.2%)Has $4,898,508 in career earnings through the 2018 season (67th on the all time LPGA career money list).
Other Career Highlights: A three time U.S. Solheim Cup Team member (2005, 2…

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…

LPGA Qualifying Tournament 2018 Final Stage - The Q-Series

The final stage of the LPGA qualifying tournament, the Q-Series, will begin this week.
A field of 102 players will be teeing it up.

At the 2017 CME Group Tour Championship, the LPGA first announced that Q-Series will replace LPGA Qualifying School Final Stage, which was previously held annually in Daytona Beach, Florida. 

Instead of 90 holes like the old Final Stage, the new Q-Series will be 144 holes. Players will compete in two, four-day tournaments with cumulative scores over the eight rounds for a $150,000 purse, which will be distributed at the end of the eight rounds.

The LPGA will debut the new Q-Series at the historic Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina, which has hosted several prestigious tournaments including the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open. 
The first week of the LPGA Q-Series presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina will be played on the George and Tom Fazio-designed Pinehurst Course No. 6 from Oct. 24-27, while the Q-Series will conclude on the Rees Jon…

Most Popular Photos of the Year - 2018

1/24/19 Bonus photos added at bottom of page.

As many of my readers know, my wife and I go to quite a few LPGA tournaments each year. Since 2009 we have gone to almost 60 events, including two in Scotland (St. Andrews being our favorite), and 8 Canadian Opens.

I do all the writing on here, and my wife (who is a schoolteacher) is my proofreader and takes many of the photos. 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 2018. 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.

#17
#16
#12

LPGA Player Profile: Belen Mozo

With the LPGA taking a two 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 …

U.S. Women's Open Preview, Pairings, and More

Before I get started on this week's tournament, let me give a big congratulations to Minjee Lee for winning the LPGA Volvik Championship. Minjee's final round -4 under par 68, was good enough to win by one stroke over runner-up In Kyung Kim.


This week the LPGA travels to the state of Alabama for the playing of the U.S. Women's Open Conducted by the USGA. This is the second Major Championship of the 2018 season.

Sung Hyun Park will be trying to successfully defend the title she won last year at Trump National Golf Club by two strokes over Hye Jin Choi.



This will be tournament #14 of 33 on this year's LPGA schedule. It is also the 2nd of five Major Championships to be held this year.

Course:  Shoal Creek
Location:  Shoal Creek, Alabama
Defending Champion:  Sung Hyun Park
Winning Score:  73-70-67-67 = 277 (-11)

Final Field:  156 players
Cut: Top 60 and ties
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,732
Purse:  $5,000,000



My strength of field rating is a mighty 87% (down from 91% last year). The re…

Michelle Wie Gets Engaged!

Michelle Wie announced on Instagram last night that she is engaged to marry Jonnie West, the Golden State Warriors' director of basketball operations.





Jonnie is the son of NBA Hall of Famer Jerry West.



Wie, 29, a Punahou School and Stanford graduate, is a five-time winner on the LPGA Tour. West, 30, played basketball at West Virginia, his father’s alma mater. Wie, who has been recovering from hand surgery in October, is expected to play in the Lotte Championship, April 17-20, at Ko Olina.

This Week's Trivia Question:
Who was the only LPGA player to play in 30 events in 2018?

For the answer tothis week's trivia question press here.