Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Kapalua Classic Preview/Predictions

Storylines abound at the inaugural Kapalua Classic. We have another chance for a world #1/#1A showdown, as Lorena Ochoa plays her last LPGA tournament until mid-November (she's skipping the Asian Swing) and Annika Sorenstam looks to snag her 2nd Hawaiian win of the season, regain the #2 spot on the LPGA money list, and get closer to breaking the $2M barrier in season winnings for the 6th time in her career and 1st since 2005.

Suzanne Pettersen, Eun-Hee Ji, Angela Stanford, Angela Park, and Katherine Hull look to break or get closer to breaking the million-dollar barrier in season winnings this week. In fact, there's a decent chance for the Super Sophs to become the first LPGA class to place 3 (and maybe even 4) players in the million-dollar club in a season. When Pettersen crosses the million-dollar mark, it'll mark the 2nd straight year that the Class of 2003 has gotten a pair into the club; the Class of 2008 started its own streak last week when Na Yeon Choi joined Ya Ni Tseng.

Ji Young Oh, Shanshan Feng, Nicole Castrale, and Candie Kung look to consolidate their standing in the race to qualify for the ADT Championship (everyone from Hee Won Han on up is a lock to get in), while Ai Miyazato, Kristy McPherson, Jane Park, Giulia Sergas, Sun Young Yoo, and Stacy Prammanasudh look to move into the top 11.

As Hound Dog points out in his latest Quest for the Card update, this week means even more to the players struggling to get into the top 80 or top 100 on the money list and secure their priority status for the 2009 season.

And finally this event means a lot to Maui, Kapalua, and the LPGA.

So who do I think will handle Bay Course and ocean trade winds bound to make it even a tougher challenge?

1. Sorenstam
2. Ochoa
3. Kerr
4. Tseng
5. Stanford
6. Park Angela
7. Han
8. McPherson
9. Ji
10. Pettersen
11. Feng
12. Hull

Alts: Castrale, Lang, Webb

By the way, if you're wondering where some of the top Korean players on tour are this week, they're getting ready for the Hite Open this weekend and should rejoin the tour sometime on the Asian Swing (in Korea, at least!).

[Update 1 (11:18 pm): Here's Hound Dog's preview!]

[Update 2 (11:26 pm): Of course the big story for me is that both Ai-chan and Momo-chan are playing this week on the LPGA. With Moira Dunn fighting to stay in the top 80, this event has just about everything I need!]

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