Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ginn Tribute Preview/Predictions/Pairings

Hold onto your hats: not only will the Ginn Tribute sport one of the best fields of the season, it'll also be the site of Hound Dog's first live-blog in years. Be sure to check out his blog and the relevant Seoul Sisters discussion fora for his on-the-scene reports from Charleston.

Now, as the defending Pakpicker champion, I have added pressure to show that last week's completely fluky win was not at all fluky, so let's get right down to analyzing the pairings, starting with the primo of the prime-time ones: Lorena Eva, Annika, and Juli's (the creation of which Annika insists she had nothing to do with) at the end of the afternoon front-side quadrant.

Start Time: 12:10 PM
Leta Lindley
Stacy Prammanasudh
Nicole Castrale

Start Time: 12:21 PM
Natalie Gulbis
Suzann Pettersen
Laura Diaz

Start Time: 12:32 PM
Sophie Gustafson
Laura Davies
Pat Hurst

Start Time: 12:43 PM
Catriona Matthew
Angela Stanford
Karrie Webb

Start Time: 12:54 PM
Annika Sorenstam
Eva Dahllof
Juli Inkster

Yes, with Ochoa withdrawing due to a health emergency in her family [Update (5/29/08, 12:33 am): my condolences to the Ochoa family, who lost Lorena's uncle yesterday], it'll be up to Dahllof (the alternate who replaces her) to try to avoid her first loss and Inkster to maintain her undefeated record in head-to-head play against Annika. Those games within games are really cool to follow, which is why I really would have liked to see someone as consistently excellent this season as Jeong Jang, Karen Stupples, or Lindsey Wright in that penultimate pairing instead of Karrie Webb, who's been all over the place in 2008. If the tournament organizers wanted to honor the Hall of Famers, why is Se Ri Pak in the morning back-side quadrant instead of bumping Matthew over there?

Start Time: 8:32 AM
Lindsey Wright
Brittany Lang
Liselotte Neumann

Start Time: 8:43 AM
Karen Stupples
Ya Ni Tseng
Wendy Ward

Start Time: 8:54 AM
Christina Kim
Mi Hyun Kim
Momoko Ueda

Start Time: 9:05 AM
Cristie Kerr
Carin Koch
Jeong Jang

Start Time: 9:16 AM
Se Ri Pak
Maria Hjorth
Paula Creamer

I would have been happier if Jang and Webb had switched places--seeing as great talents and inconsistent performers this season as Kerr and Webb together would have been a treat. But what an opportunity for Momo-chan to play with such great Korean-American and Korean players as the two Kims, eh? With so much star power concentrated in this quadrant and the previous one, the other 2 don't shine quite so brightly. Let's start with the groups going off #10 in the afternoon, which feaure the top Junior Mints:

Start Time: 12:10 PM
Morgan Pressel
Grace Park
Meena Lee

Start Time: 12:21 PM
Seon Hwa Lee
Jee Young Lee
Rachel Hetherington

Start Time: 12:32 PM
Jane Park
Minea Blomqvist
Teresa Lu

Start Time: 12:43 PM
Sung Ah Yim
Allison Fouch
Helen Alfredsson

Start Time: 12:54 PM
Lorie Kane
Candie Kung
Hee-Won Han

There are other highly-ranked '06ers going off #1 in the morning, along with a couple of top rookies and Super Sophs:

Start Time: 8:32 AM
Meaghan Francella
Jin Joo Hong
Julieta Granada

Start Time: 8:43 AM
Danielle Ammaccapane
Brandie Burton
Inbee Park

Start Time: 8:54 AM
Louise Friberg
Michele Redman
Song-Hee Kim

Start Time: 9:05 AM
Brittany Lincicome
Sherri Steinhauer
Sun Young Yoo

Start Time: 9:16 AM
Young Kim
Silvia Cavalleri
Na Yeon Choi

I'm a little miffed that Ai Miyazato only got a 1:05 pm start off the 10th; if Francella and Granada, who have been playing terribly for just as long as she has, could get the nod for the prime-time pairings, why not Ai-chan, too? On the other hand, I'm pleased for Moira Dunn, who snagged the pre-prime time pairing off #10 at 8:21 am. In any case, both are paired with personable and photogenic rookies, so if they're playing well Thursday they may even get some face time on tv. After all, it's not like they're stuck in the second group off the first tee like Angela Park, who squandered a great chance to win this event last season and who's certainly been playing better than they have this one....

Without further ado, here are my picks:

1. Sorenstam
2. Creamer
3. Kim Mi Hyun
4. Jang Jeong
5. Pettersen
6. Choi Na Yeon
7. Tseng Ya Ni
8. Yoo Sun Young
9. Lu Teresa
10. Kim Song-Hee
11. Han Hee-Won
12. Lang

Alts: Stanford, Stupples, Wright

I can't help but feel the RiverTowne course favors the more consistent top players on tour, so I'm downgrading Pettersen's and Tseng's chances this week (despite the former's utter domination on the LET in a rain-shortened event last week) and leaving Jee Young Lee, Christina Kim, Inbee Park, Gustafson, Hjorth, and Blomqvist off my list completely (not to mention Webb and Kerr)--just too many chances for big numbers for players like them, what with the marshes and the lakes that impinge on so many of the holes on the course, and especially when they're all going to be dealing with rust the first 2 rounds. At the same time, I'm not sure that Jimin Kang is back for real or that Seon Hwa Lee, Morgan Pressel, or Ai-chan can be counted on to play well all 4 rounds, so I'm going with my head rather than my heart with my picks.

Since I can't have an Ochoa-Sorenstam showdown this week, what I'm really hoping for is a win by Ai-chan, Momo-chan, or Seon Hwa!

No comments: