Thursday, June 4, 2009

Around the World of Women's Golf in 18 Links

Daniel Wexler has one omission from his rundown of tournaments going on around the world of golf this week: the KLPGA's Woori Financial Ladies Championship. What this means is that every major tour in women's golf is holding a competition this week for the 1st time all season. In addition, local qualifying for the U.S. Women's Open is in full swing. But more on that in a later post.

First, a warm Mostly Harmless welcome to the new professionals kicking off a new phase of their careers on the Futures Tour this week and next: Amanda Blumenherst, Maria Hernandez, Pernilla Lindberg, Jennie Lee, Jane Chin, Lucy Nunn, Mallory Hetzel, Cindy LaCrosse, Stephanie Connelly, and Blair Lamb. They join Mina Harigae and Hannah Yun, currently #5 and #43 on the FT money list, who turned pro earlier this year, as the next wave of talent to try to make the quantum leap it takes to succeed against the best in the world of women's golf. We'll see if they exceed my expectations. Congrats, as well, to FT rookie Paola Moreno (currently #27 on the money list), who graduated this May from USC. Oh, and Virada Nirapathpongporn fans, take note--she returns to action this week in Iowa for the 1st time since her off-season shoulder surgery!

Next, I'm trying to find out why Melissa Reid withdrew from this week's LET tournament in the Netherlands, where Gwladys Nocera is trying for her 3rd straight win at this event. Reid's currently #2 on their money list.

On the JLPGA, the Resort Trust Ladies has Mi-Jeong Jeon trying to defend her title and Sakura Yokomine trying to make it 2 wins in a row. They're paired with Miki Saiki just before 10 am Friday. The field is packed with the JLPGA's finest, which reminds me, I'm overdue for posting my update to my end-of-2008 ranking. Coming soon!

Finally, watch out for Momoko Ueda this week on the LPGA: she just got her hair and nails done! Not quite as nice as onechan's hair cut, or onechan's, imoto's, and the Full Metal Archivist's nails (done by the FMA herself!), but still not bad. Seriously, Ueda has some interesting observations on why it's so hard to win on the LPGA. I know she emphasizes putting, but she doesn't have too many worries on that score: she ranks #21 on tour in Hound Dog's total putting stat. Given that she drives the ball well, too--she's currently #23 in his total driving stat--I have to conclude it's her iron play that's the culprit so far this season. She's averaging exactly 12 greens in regulation per round, which puts her at T44 on tour and sits T54 in birdies. Her birdie rate of 3.00 is bound to improve if she can give herself more and better chances on the greens. It's funny that she's improved on all her key stats from last season, except birdie rate. But she's headed in the right direction. Gambare, Momo-chan!

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