Skip to main content

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.

Image result for 2018 u.s. women's open golf
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.


Image result for Sung Hyun Park wins u.s. open at trump national
Sung Hyun Park holds up her 2017 U.S. Women's Open Championship trophy.

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


Image result for Shoal Creek
Shoal Creek Golf Clubhouse

My strength of field rating is a mighty 87% (down from 91% last year). The reason for the drop in strength is because of the absence of highly rated players Suzann Pettersen and Gerina Piller who are both out on maternity leave. Forty-eight of the top 50 players on the LPGA Priority List, and 45 of the top 50 players on this week's Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. What makes this field so extraordinarily high is the inclusion of so many high ranked players from other tours. They include: Hye Jin Choi (#11), Ai Suzuki (#20), Jeongeun Lee (#27), Teresa Lu (#38), Min Young Lee (#39), Ji Hyun Kim (#63), and Fumika Kawagishi (#66).

Here are the pairings for round 1 and 2.

Here are the television times:
May 31 - FOX Sports1 3:00 PM-8:00 PM ET 
June   1 - FOX Sports1 3:00 PM-8:00 PM ET 
June   2 - FOX 2:00 PM-7:00 PM ET 
June   3 - FOX 2:00 PM-7:00 PM ET


Players Most Likely to Win: (Top players in the field)
Inbee Park - Always one of the favorites to win.
Shanshan Feng - Never count her out in a Major Championship.
Lexi Thompson - Hasn't played well of late, but a win could vault her to the top of the Rolex Rankings.

Players to Watch Out For: (I'm feeling it this week)
Minjee Lee - I picked her last week and she came through. Why not again?
So Yeon Ryu - She will be top ten. Only question is where in the top ten?
In Gee Chun - Only knows how to win majors (has never won a non-major).

Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
Lindy Duncan - Because she is playing better every week.
Emma Talley - When was the last time a rookie won this event? Oh... it was last year!
Megan Khang - Coming off two top six finishes.

Other Tidbits:
There have been 13 tournaments played on the LPGA tour so far this season and there have been13 different winners.

In case anyone missed the news a few days ago, the LPGA announced the addition of a second tournament to be played in South Korea. BMW Group Korea will be the sponsor of the two million dollar event to be held at LPGA International in Busan in 2019 in Busan Metropolitan City. The LPGA 2019 schedule will now include at least four tournaments that are not on this year's schedule. The LPGA had previously announced new tournaments in Florida (Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions) and Michigan (Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational), and the return to the schedule in 2019 of the MCKAYSON New Zealand Women's Open. 

Hard to Believe Stat of the Week:
Six of the last seven winners on the LPGA Tour have been from countries other than the USA or South Korea. The only exception was Sung Hyun Park's rain shortened 36 hole victory.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Minjee Lee makes the most important move this week jumping up from #15 to #8. Lindy Duncan continues her recent surge, jumping up ten more spots to #65. Su Oh jumps into the top 100, moving up from #104 to #91. Candie Kung falls out of the top 100 and therefore will no longer be part of my field rating

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
Ariya Jutanugarn extends her lead with 1,825 points. She is followed by her sister Moriya with 1,562 and Inbee Park with 1,498. Minjee Lee (1,463) and Brooke Henderson (1,259) fill out the top five.

Who's Hot:
Ariya Jutanugarn's 7th place finish at the LPGA Volvik Championship was her 9th top ten finish this year. No other player has more than six.


Included in Lindy Duncan's last six starts are finishes in 6th, 2nd, 25th, and 4th place. 

Nasa Hataoka has three consecutive top ten and five consecutive top twenty finishes.

Who's Not:
After having made 24 consecutive cuts, Chella Choi has missed her last three.

Haru Nomura has not seen the weekend in her last five starts.

This Week's Trivia Question: 
Who are the youngest and oldest players to win the U.S. Women's Open?

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

Here are the final results:

1 **Ariya Jutanugarn -11 F
2 Hyo Joo Kim -11 F
3 Carlota Ciganda -7 F
4 Danielle Kang -3 F
5 Lexi Thompson -2 F
5 Patty Tavatanakit -2 F
5 Wei Ling Hsu -2 F
5 Sarah Jane Smith -2 F
9 Inbee Park -1 F
10 Michelle Wie E F
10 Charley Hull E F
10 Nasa Hataoka E F
10 Angela Stanford E F
10 Nelly Korda E F
10 Megan Khang E F
10 Ji-Hyun Kim E F
17 Jin Young Ko 1 F
17 Lizette Salas 1 F
17 Su-Hyun Oh 1 F
17 Jeongeun6 Lee 1 F
17 Eun-Hee Ji 1 F
17 Madelene Sagstrom 1 F
23 So Yeon Ryu 2 F
24 Albane Valenzuela 3 F
25 Jennifer Song 4 F
25 Brittany Lincicome 4 F
** Won in playoff


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…

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 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…

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 …

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.