The R&A deserves all the criticism it gets for its ridiculous sexism, but you have to give their people credit for putting together some incredible pairings for the first two rounds of the Women's British Open. [Update (8/4/07): Ah, too good to be true--as my anaonymous tipster points out in comments, the Ladies Golf Union deserves the credit for the pairings, not the R&A. Way to go, LGU! Now if only your website could handle some traffic!)] Putting a player from Asia, Europe, and North America in each threesome, as they generally did, is a great way to educate fans at the course, although they deviated from this pattern just enough to make it even more interesting. Here are my favorite pairings:
1. 6:52 am/11:37 am: Paula Creamer, Momoko Ueda, Se Ri Pak
2. 11:48 am/7:03 am: Laura Davies, Karrie Webb, Juli Inkster
3. 7:03 am/11:48 am: Lorena Ochoa, Sakura Yokomine, Karen Stupples
4. 7:14 am/11:59 am: Cristie Kerr, Ai Miyazato, Natalie Gulbis
5. 11:37 am/6:52 am: Morgan Pressel, Annika Sorenstam, Ashleigh Simon
6. 1:10 pm/8:25 am: Sophie Gustafson, Eun-Hee Ji, Rachel Hetherington
7. 7:36 am/12:26 pm: Suzann Pettersen, Catriona Matthew, Shiho Oyama
8. 12:37 pm/7:47 am: Yuri Fudoh, Shi Hyun Ahn, Maria Hjorth
9. 1:54 pm/9:09 am: Angela Park, Linda Wessberg, Jimin Kang
10. 7:25 am/12:15 pm: Michelle Wie, Grace Park, Beth Daniel
My only criticism is what they did to Ji Yai Shin, the top KLPGA player--not only did they deny her big-name playing partners, they have her going off at 3:16 pm on Thursday, as well.
BTW, my friend Moira Dunn is playing with Seon Hwa Lee--here's hoping she keeps pace with the Stone Buddha! Plus, the tournament is crawling with European Super Sophs who usually play on the LET--seeing how they do head-to-head against their full-time LPGA counterparts will help me when I update my monthly rankings. And I may even get to watch some of this on Japanese tv, with onechan, imoto, and their three otokonoko cousins!
[Update 1 (10:52 am): For more in this vein, check out Ron Sirak over at Local Knowledge and Dave Allen at Golf for Women. And thanks to Geoff Shackleford for the tip!]
[Update 2 (10:26 pm): Whoops, won't be watching with the kids, after all, unless any of them wake up at midnight and can't fall back to sleep!]