Wednesday, November 19, 2008

ADT Championship Preview/Predictions/Pairings

The ADT Championship is finally here! Be sure to check out the Hound Dog preview and the Average Golfer preview, along with the LPGA preview. And don't miss the pre-tournament interviews, where Morgan Pressel and Cristie Kerr give very detailed answers to a lot of tough questions.

The field, the format, the course, and especially the winner's share of the purse make this a very different tournament than any other. As I mentioned a few days ago, half the field is playing better than the other half heading into this week. But as Golf Observer's historical results make crystal clear, very few of the players who qualified this season have much experience with the format and even fewer have experienced much success in it, either in 2006 or 2007. If you don't believe me, check out my posts from last year and overview of '07 ADT blogging.

So while Lorena Ochoa and Paula Creamer are obvious picks in this week's PakPicker, who else to go with is another story entirely. The 4 Junior Mints in the field at least have some experience with the event, while the 6 Super Sophs have less and the 3 rookies none at all. How many of them will break through this season to the final 8? Let's just say that I'm not very optimistic for them.

1. Ochoa
2. Creamer
3. Shin
4. Tseng
5. Stanford
6. Hull
7. Kerr
8. Sorenstam
9. Jang
10. Lee Jee Young
11. Kim In-Kyung
12. Lee Seon-Hwa

Alts: Choi Na Yeon, Pettersen, Yoo

The pairings are kind of amazing: going off 1st are Shanshan Feng and Ji-Yai Shin, two of the hottest players in the world over the 2nd half of the season. Now, while the Sorenstam/Tseng and the Ochoa/Creamer pairings at the end of the morning are the obvious must-see players, the one that I think has the most entertainment value is the Christina Kim/Maria Hjorth pairing early in the day. Both are fearless players who are as capable of eagling as double bogeying any hole they play. Watch out for some real roller-coaster rounds from those 2 on Thursday and Friday.

Hopefully Verdant Garden's on-course reporting at Seoul will give us a lot of behind-the-scenes insight into the final event of the season!

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