Skip to main content

Honda LPGA Thailand Preview, Pairings, and More

A big congratulations goes out to Nelly Korda for winning the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open. Nelly started the final round with a three stroke lead, and increased it to six as she teed off on the 12th hole. It looked like she would win this one easily, but that is never the case at this tournament, which is known for its close finishes. Jin Young Ko went on a back nine birdie run and cut the deficit to two strokes, but would eventually run out of holes. When Nelly birdied the 17th hole it was all but over.

For Korda it was her second career LPGA victory, both coming in her last seven starts.

It took me three tournaments, but I correctly picked the winner and the runner-up in my preview to this event.

Image result for 2019 Honda lpga thailand

This week the LPGA moves to Thailand for the playing of the Honda LPGA Thailand. Last season brought us close finishes in almost every tournament.....but this was not one of them. Jessica Korda took a five stroke lead into the final round and breezed to an easy four shot victory. Her 25 under par score of 263 set a new tournament record.

Image result for Jessica korda wins 2018 honda thailand
Jessica holds her 2018 Honda LPGA Thailand trophy. Her 5th LPGA victory.

This will tournament #4 of 33 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Siam Country Club, Pattaya Old Course
Location:  Chonburi, Thailand
Defending Champion:  Jessica Korda
Winning Score: 66-62-68-67 = 263 (-25)

Final Field:  71 Players

Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,576
Purse:  $1,600,000
Aon Risk Reward Challenge Hole: #15

My strength of field rating is a very solid 72.5% (exactly the same as last year). Forty-five of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and 36 of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. The field rating loses some points because it is a limited field and lacks depth (just 71 players), but this is the strongest field of the year by a wide margin.

The field will be led by top players: Ariya Jutanugarn, Sung Hyun Park, So Yeon Ryu, Lexi Thompson, Nasa Hataoka, Minjee Lee, Jin-Young Ko, and Nelly Korda.Top players not teeing it up this week include: Inbee Park, Jessica Korda (Injury), I.K. Kim, and Jeongeun Lee6 (her Priority List ranking is too high for this limited field). 

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times: (12 hour time differential between East Coast and Thailand)
Wednesday Feb 20 - GC 11:00 PM - 3:00AM ET
Thursday     Feb 21 - GC 11:00 PM - 3:00AM ET
Friday          Feb 22 - GC 11:30 PM - 3:30AM ET
Saturday      Feb 23 - GC 11:30 PM - 3:30AM ET

Players Most Likely to Win: (Top players in the field)
1- Ariya Jutanugarn - Still the top ranked player in the world.
2- Sung Hyun Park - Could take back the top spot with a victory.
3- So Yeon Ryu - Is a threat every time she tees it up.

Players to Watch Out For: (I'm feeling it this week)

1- Nelly Korda - Her sister can't defend her title. So why not keep it in the family?
2- Brooke Henderson - Returns after 2 week absence (illness).
3- Minjee Lee - Underwhelmed during Australian swing. Is overdue.

Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)

1- Jodi Ewart Shadoff - Playing the best golf of her life.
2- Angel Yin - If she could only keep her drives on the fairway.
3- Amy Olson - Has come close several times since mid 2018.

Other News:

Jessica Korda, who was originally in the field, has withdrawn due to continued issues with her forearm. She will not be able to defend her title.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:

Nelly Korda breaks into the top ten this week, moving from #16 to #9. In doing so she passes her sister Jessica who sits at #12. Nelly is now the second highest ranked American player, behind only Lexi Thompson. Wei-Ling Hsu jumps up from #69 to #50. Similar to last week, all the other big jumps came from much further down the list. Haru Nomura hurdles from #164 to #125, Sara Kemp leaps from #175 to #146, Alena Sharp catapults from #206 to #160, while Marissa Steen vaults from # 522 to #312. Lauren Stephenson, who jumped up 321 spots last week, climbs past 76 more players, soaring from #492 to #416.

Race to the CME Globe:   (Top 60 point earners are eligible to compete for the $1.5 million first place prize).

Nelly Korda takes the lead this week with 690 points. She is followed by Celine Boutier with 549 and Eun-Hee Ji with 500. Mirim Lee is currently in fourth place with 392 points, followed by Sarah Kemp with 375.

Aon Risk Reward Challenge:   (1 million dollars)

Jaye Marie Green, Maria Torres, and Caroline Masson are currently tied for the lead at -1.50. Mirim Lee and Mi Hyang Lee are next with a score of -1.25.

Who's Hot:

Nelly Korda has third and first place finishes in her only two starts. Haru Nomura is the only other player to have two top five finishes (5th and 4th). Azahara Munoz has finished 6th and 5th in her two starts. Jodi Ewart Shadoff (8th and 8th) and Sarah Kemp (2nd and 10th), are the only other players to register two top ten finishes.

Lauren Stephenson and Charlotte Thomas are the only LPGA rookies to make both cuts at the Vic Open, make the cut at the Australian Open, and have a top ten finish. 

Who's Not:

Pernilla Lindberg, Paula Creamer, and Beatriz Recari are the biggest names that missed the cut in both Australian events. 

This Week's Trivia Question:
Who is the only player to win this tournament in back to back years?

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

Here are the final results:

1 Amy Yang -22
2 Minjee Lee -21
3 Carlota Ciganda -20
4 Jenny Shin -17
5 Eun-Hee Ji -16
6 Brooke Henderson -15
7 Nelly Korda -14
8 Megan Khang -13
9 Danielle Kang -12
10 Cristie Kerr -11
10 Moriya Jutanugarn -11
10 Yu Liu -11
10 Austin Ernst -11
14 Ariya Jutanugarn -10
15 Sandra Gal -9
15 Bronte Law -9
15 Sei Young Kim -9
15 Shanshan Feng -9
19 Lydia Ko -8
19 Katherine Kirk -8
21 Charley Hull -7
21 Sung Hyun Park -7
23 Marina Alex -6
23 Mi Hyang Lee -6
23 Amy Olson -6
23 Angel Yin -6
23 Michelle Wie -6
23 Lizette Salas -6

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).


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:

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…

My Top Ten LPGA Blogs of All-Time

Let me start out today by saying that I am looking forward to next week when the LPGA resumes it's schedule for real this time. They will play four consecutive weeks before the next break that will take them back to the USA. 
Needless to say with all the off time, I have been running out of things to write about. 
This week is the 9th anniversary of my blogging about the LPGA!

Those of you that have been with me from the beginning will remember that the first 3 years I blogged for Mostly Harmless. I created Tony's LPGA Report in 2013.

Over that period of time I have published over 750 blogs. Most have turned out to be quite successful, some have fallen flat. But one thing that you can be sure of is that I have always tried my best to be the "go to" resource for up-to-date and accurate news about the LPGA.

I recently went back through all of my blogs and made a list of the ten most popular. The results were quite surprising. It seems like the pieces that I spend the most t…

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.


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…

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.

KPMG Women's PGA Championship Preview

Congratulations go out to Anna Nordqvist for successfully defending her ShopRite Classic title. She came from behind, shooting a final round 64, which turned out to be one stroke better than runner-up Haru Nomura.

This week the LPGA travels to the state of Washington for the the playing of the KMPG Women's PGA Championship. This is the second Major Championship of the season. It is also the start of an extremely important part of the 2016 LPGA schedule that will include 3 Major Championships and the UL International Crown in the next 8 weeks.

This tournament was won last year in run-away fashion, when Inbee Park smoked the field by 5 strokes. She has won this championship 3 years in a row, and will be trying for a very rare four-peat. However, a recent injury to her thumb, will make that highly unlikely.

This will be tournament #16 of 33 on the 2016 LPGA schedule.
This will also be Major Championship #2 of 5 to be played in 2016.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Sahalee Country Club

LPGA Announces its 2019 Schedule!

The LPGA officially announced its 2019 schedule today, and it well worth the wait!

Here are the highlights:
1- The schedule features 34 events (33 official + The Solheim Cup). There were 33 last year (32 + UL International Crown).

2- The season will start one week earlier than last year, and kick off with two new tournaments.

3- There are a total of four tournaments:
     a) Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions (Jan 17-20)
     b) Vic Open (Feb 7-10)
     c) Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (July 17-20)
     d) BMW Ladies Championship (October 24-27)

     Tournaments that are no longer on the LPGA schedule:
     a) Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic (Pure Silk will be sponsoring the Virginia Event)
     b) LPGA Volvic Championship
     c) LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship
     d) Blue Bay LPGA

     There will be another tournament announced at a later date, that will take place Nov 14-17.

4- Will feature a record setting $70.55 million in prize money (up from 65.35 last year).

5- There w…