Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wegmans LPGA Preview/Predictions/Pairings

The Wegmans is finally here, and the Constructivist family will be back in western NY in time to catch some weekend action at Locust Hills in person. I had a great time blogging the tournament last year, which started on Ai Miyazato's birthday, featured great players going in different directions Friday, a big Saturday decision for me and my family--resulting in my 1st attendance at an LPGA event since I was a kid and 1st-ever post about my kids' 1st-ever LPGA tournament--and a surprise win for Eun-Hee Ji over Suzann Pettersen on Sunday.

As usual, Hound Dog is the place to start for this year's tournament preview and list of the 20 hottest LPGA golfers coming into the event. But the local media coverage will also be excellent this year, from the Democrat and Chronicle's articles to the tournament webcast. If you're going to the tournament or playing the PakPicker this week, don't miss Sal Maiorana's tour of Locust Hill, Golf Observer's performance chart for those in the field, the Weather Channel's 10-Day Forecast for Pittsford, and the discussion at Seoul

As for me, I'm going with the precision players this week, but maybe in a different order than many might expect:

1. Shin Ji-Yai
2. Miyazato Ai
3. Kim In-Kyung
4. Wright
5. McPherson
6. Ji
7. Han
8. Kerr
9. Creamer
10. Lee Seon Hwa
11. Pressel
12. Miyazato Mika

Alts: Park Inbee, Kim Song-Hee, Kim Mi Hyun

The pairings are especially well done this week. Amanda Blumenherst is 1st off the 10th with fellow Dukie Anna Grzebien, followed by Cheyenne Woods. Central NYer Moira Dunn is going off opposite Woods on the front side. But the prime-time pairings are a sight to behold. Probably the most recognizable players are going off the 10th tee in the late morning:

Start Time: 8:32 AM
Lindsey Wright
Jeong Jang
Jane Park

Start Time: 8:43 AM
Morgan Pressel
Vicky Hurst
Kristy McPherson

Start Time: 8:54 AM
Natalie Gulbis
Brittany Lincicome
Eun-Hee Ji

Start Time: 9:05 AM
Karrie Webb
Cristie Kerr
Ya Ni Tseng

Start Time: 9:16 AM
Michelle Wie
Paula Creamer
In-Kyung Kim

I'm just hoping Jang's wrist is well enough for her to actually tee it up tomorrow. (I'm worried it's in about the same state Leta Lindley's back was in before the Corning, which she pulled out of after fulfilling all her defending champion responsibilities). If Jang does play, her pairing would be among those I'd be most interested in following if I weren't going to be crossing the Pacific during the 1st round. But the one I'm most excited about is going off the back in the early afternoon:

Start Time: 12:10 PM
Teresa Lu
Brittany Lang
Katherine Hull

Start Time: 12:21 PM
Young Kim
Meg Mallon
Lorie Kane

Start Time: 12:32 PM
Rachel Hetherington
Louise Friberg
Laura Diaz

Start Time: 12:43 PM
Jee Young Lee
Mika Miyazato
Sandra Gal

Start Time: 12:54 PM
Na Yeon Choi
Amy Yang
Ji-Yai Shin

Yup, that last trio: it might just have the 3 most talented players of Korean descent in the last 2 rookie classes. Going off the 1st tee in the late morning are 2 Korean greats they're looking to surpass someday:

Start Time: 8:32 AM
Se Ri Pak
Hee-Won Han
Stacy Lewis

Start Time: 8:43 AM
Candie Kung
Inbee Park
Sun Young Yoo

Start Time: 8:54 AM
Wendy Ward
Nicole Castrale
Anna Nordqvist

Start Time: 9:05 AM
Pat Hurst
Meena Lee
Ai Miyazato

Start Time: 9:16 AM
Kyeong Bae
Christina Kim
Soo-Yun Kang

I really like putting Lewis with Pak and Han--great learning experience for her and more American exposure for them. The last of the top Korean players of the trailblazing generation in the field (Grace Park is still recovering from hip surgery) can be found at the end of the early afternoon pairings on the front side:

Start Time: 12:10 PM
Meaghan Francella
Jimin Kang
Hee Young Park

Start Time: 12:21 PM
Stacy Prammanasudh
Ji Young Oh
Momoko Ueda

Start Time: 12:32 PM
Brandie Burton
Silvia Cavalleri
Amy Hung

Start Time: 12:43 PM
Helen Alfredsson
Michele Redman
Seon Hwa Lee

Start Time: 12:54 PM
Song-Hee Kim
Leta Lindley
Mi Hyun Kim

It's a great deal for Song-Hee Kim to be paired with such cool veterans as Mi Hyun Kim and Leta Lindley. Hopefully she can learn a few pointers about winning LPGA tournaments from them.

If anyone's going to be at the Wegmans on the weekend and wants to meet up, let me know.

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