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Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship Preview, Pairings and More

Let me start out today by congratulating Danielle Kang for winning the Buick LPGA Shanghai. This was a real dogfight with no less than 10 players within two strokes of the lead coming down the stretch on the back nine. The strange part was that Danielle was not one of them. Danielle shot a front nine one over par 37, and was 3 strokes behind Ariya Jutanugarn the leader at that point. Danielle than birdied four of the final eight holes to take home the trophy. There were seven players tied for second, two strokes back.

Ta Shee Golf & Country Club

This week the LPGA travels to Taiwan for the playing of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship. Many of you may remember last year's championship when Eun-Hee Ji ran away from the field and was victorious by six strokes over runner-up Lydia Ko.

Related image
Eun-Hee Ji holds up her 2017 Swinging Skirts Championship trophy.

This will be tournament #29 of 32 on this year's LPGA schedule, and third of five tournaments on the current LPGA Asian swing.

Here are the key details:
Course:  Ta Shee Golf & Country Club
Location:  Taoyuan, Taiwan
Defending Champion:  Eun-Hee Ji
Winning Score:  66-71-66-69 = 271 (-17)

Final Field: 81 playerss
Par:  36/36=72
Yardage:  6,425
Purse:  $2,200,000

My strength of field rating is a 56.5% (down from 65% last year). Thirty-one of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List (not used in this event), and 16 of the top 25 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. Players skipping the event this week include: Ariya Jutanugarn, Lexi Thompson, Inbee Park, Georgia Hall, In Gee Chun and Jessica Korda.

Here are the first round pairings

Here are the television times: 
GC October 25   6:00 PM -  9:30  PM ET (Tape)
GC October 26   8:00 PM - 10:30 PM ET (Tape)
GC October 27   8:00 PM - 10:30 PM ET (Tape)
GC October 28   9:00 PM - 12:00 AM ET (Tape)

Players most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
1- Sung Hyun Park - Is hanging on to the top spot by the narrowist of margins and needs to play well or the idle Ariya Jutanugarn will take her spot.
2- So Yeon Ryu - Number three player in the world is due for a real good one.
3- Minjee Lee - Contends every week. This week will be no different.

Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
1- Lydia Ko - Has won here before and finished 2nd last year.
2- Shanshan Feng - Is due to come out of her season long slump.
3- Lizette Salas - Could become the 8th American player to win this year.

Longshot picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
1- Bronte Law - Has played well all year. Time to hold that first trophy.
2- Eun-Hee Ji - No player has successfully defended a title this year. Can she become the first?
3- Yani Tseng - If she is ever going to find it again, this is the place.

Other Tidbits:
Michelle Wie announced that her season is over after having surgery to repair an avulsion fracture, bone spurs and nerve entrapment in her right hand. It was an injury plagued season for Michelle who was a winner earlier this year at the HSBC Women's World Championship in Singapore.

The new Q-SERIES will be starting this week. It will consist of 8 rounds of golf over two weeks. I will have much more on this huge event coming later on in the week.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Sei Young Kim makes the most important move this week moving into the top ten. She jumps up from #15 to #10. Danielle Kang leaps up from #29 to #18. Bronte Law continues her rapid climb, leaping up nine more places to #56. Annie Park catapults from #79 all the way to #62.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
Ariya Jutanugarn continues to run away from the field in this category with 4,002 points. She is followed by Minjee Lee with 2,785 points and Brooke Henderson with 2,616.

Who's Hot:
Danielle Kang's victory this week was her 6th top five finish this year. Only Ariya Jutanugarn and Minjee Lee have more.

Who's Not:
Eun-Hee Ji does not have a top 20 finish in her last nine starts. Moriya Jutanugarn has failed to register a top 20 finish in her last eight starts.

This Week's Trivia Question:
No American player has ever won this tournament. In the seven years that this has been on the LPGA schedule it has been won (one time each) by 5 different Asian players. The only other player to win this championship won it back to back in 2012 and 2013. Can you name that player?

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

Here are the leaders after round 3:

1 Nelly Korda -9
1 Wei Ling Hsu -9
3 Bronte Law -7
3 Jin Young Ko -7
3 Megan Khang -7
3 Lydia Ko -7
3 Jodi Ewart Shadoff -7
8 Annie Park -6
9 Minjee Lee -5
9 Carlota Ciganda -5
9 Ryann O'Toole -5
9 Mirim Lee -5
13 Amy Yang -4
14 Ally McDonald -3
14 Brittany Altomare -3
16 Sei Young Kim -2
16 Chella Choi -2
16 Jeong Eun Lee -2
16 Jenny Shin -2
20 Teresa Lu -1
20 Sung Hyun Park -1
20 Eun-Hee Ji -1
20 Jacqui Concolino -1
24 Haeji Kang E
25 Ashleigh Buhai 1
25 Babe Liu 1
25 Nasa Hataoka 1
25 Brooke Henderson 1
25 Hannah Green 1
25 Aditi Ashok 1
25 Lindy Duncan 1
25 Angel Yin 1
25 Pei-Yun Chien 1
25 Azahara Munoz 1
25 Ayako Uehara 1
25 Moriya Jutanugarn 1
25 So Yeon Ryu 1

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).

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