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Blue Bay LPGA Preview, Pairings, and More

Let me start out today by congratulating Nasa Hataoka for winning the Toto Japan Classic. Nasa's final round of 5 under par 67 was good enough to finish 2 strokes better than runner-ups Momiko Ueda, Carlotta Ciganda, and Saki Nagamine. For Nasa it was her second LPGA win this year.

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Beautiful Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Club
This week the LPGA heads back to China for the playing of the Blue Bay LPGA. Many of my readers may remember last year's exciting finish when Shanshan Feng came out on top by one stroke over Moriya Jutanugarn.

Image result for shanshan feng wins blue bay
Shanshan Feng will be trying to defend her Blue Bay LPGA title.

This will be tournament #31 of 32 on this year's LPGA schedule, and fifth of five events on the current LPGA Asian swing.

Here are the key details:
Course:  Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Course
Location:  Hainan Island, China
Defending Champion:  Shanshan Feng
Winning Score:  69-67-73-70 = 279 (-9)

Final Field:  81 players

Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,675
Purse:  $2,100,000

This tournament will have a Wednesday start (with the time difference it will be Tuesday night in the USA) and finish up on Saturday.

My strength of field rating is a very low 36% (down from 42% last year). Twenty of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List (not used for this event), and just 19 of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. The field will be led by top ten players Ariya Jutanugarn and Sung Hyun Park. Danielle Kang (#20), Angel Yin (#38), Jennifer Song (#48), and Amy Olson (#50), are the only American players ranked in the top 50 that are in the field.

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times:
GC   Tues.  Nov. 7,   11:00 p.m.- 3:00 a.m. ET 
GC   Wed.   Nov. 8,  11:00 p.m.- 3:00 a.m. ET
GC   Thurs. Nov. 9,   11:00 p.m.- 3:00 a.m. ET
GC   Fri.      Nov. 10, 11:00 p.m.- 3:00 a.m. ET
I believe all the above broadcasts are scheduled to be shown live.

Players most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
1- Ariya Jutanugarn - No. 1 player in the world by the narrowest of margins.
2- Sung Hyun Park - Could take back the top spot with a finish higher than Ariya.
3- Shanshan Feng - No. 11 player in the world is the third highest ranked player in this week's field. Can she defend her title?

Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
1- Sei Young Kim - Has won here before. Why not again?
2- Amy Yang - Has been playing well as of late.
3- Danielle Kang - Top American player in field has been playing well.

Longshot picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
1- Moriya Jutanugarn - Has been mostly quiet second half of season. Time for her to break out.
2- Meghan Kang - Could win in this weak field.
3- Yu Liu - Will be a crowd favorite.

Other Tidbits:
In case any of my readers were on another planet the past 2 weeks, the first LPGA Q-Series was completed on Saturday with 48 players getting their LPGA playing cards. Twenty-two of those players will be LPGA rookies in 2019 (assuming they all accept membership). The full list and a recap of this very important tournament can be found here.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Not much movement this week by LPGA players. Ariya Jutanugarn hangs on to the No.1 spot by the narrowest of margins. Nasa Hataoka makes the one big move, jumping up from #16 to #7. Carlota Ciganda continues her meteoric rise of the past month, moving up 3 more spots to #18.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
Ariya Jutanugarn is still the leader by a wide margin with 4,054 points. Minjee Lee is currently second with 3,141. Brooke Henderson's 2,649 points find her in third place.

Who's Hot:
Carlota Ciganda has finished 2nd, 4th, and 9th in her last 3 starts. Nasa Hataoka has not finished worse than 16th in her last 6 starts.

Who's Not:
Pornanong Phatlum has failed to register a top forty finish in her last seven starts.
Thidapa Suwannapura's victory in Ohio earlier this year is her only top ten finish in 26 starts this year.

This Week's Trivia Question:
How many rookies have won on the LPGA tour this year?

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

Here are the final results:
1 Gaby Lopez -8
2 Ariya Jutanugarn -7
3 Celine Boutier -6
4 Danielle Kang -5
4 Sei Young Kim -5
6 Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras -4
7 Jennifer Song -3
8 Moriya Jutanugarn -2
8 Sung Hyun Park -2
10 Shanshan Feng -1
11 Chella Choi E
12 Yu Liu 1
12 Jaye Marie Green 1
14 Xi Yu Lin 2
15 Sarah Jane Smith 3
15 Hannah Green 3
15 Madelene Sagstrom 3

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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