This is my third preview of the Evian Masters, so I'll just hit the high points this time around.
There are 2 great ways to find out more about this year's field: the LPGA tells you how the players got into the 90-player event, while the tournament site allows you to find out a little bit more about who they are. The latter also provides two ways of finding out about the history of the event, in both text and video. But you'll learn more from Hound Dog's Hot 20 and Golf Observer's historical stats. As for the course, it definitely favors the precision players, but everyone will have to exercise good judgment when it comes to strategy and club/shot selection and will need a lot of touch on the tiered, undulating greens. After a short, tight, front side, the increased length of holes 10-15 will force the players to shift gears quickly, while the final 3 (a driveable par 4, a short downhill par 3, and a short downhill par 5) give them interesting choices over how aggressively to finish out their rounds.
Who do I think will respond best to these challenges? Well, here's my attempt to make a comeback in the PakPicker this week:
1. Miyazato Ai
2. Pressel, Morgan
3. Kim In-Kyung
4. Shin Ji-Yai
5. Kim Song-Hee
6. Creamer, Paula
7. McPherson, Kristy
8. Kerr, Cristie
9. Gulbis, Natalie
10. Choi Na Yeon
11. Lee Seon Hwa
12. Miyazato Mika
Alts: Ji Eun-Hee; Tseng Ya Ni; Wie, Michelle
If you're looking for dark horses, the LET's Becky Brewerton went low to win last week and become the last player to get into the field, the JLPGA's Chie Arimura won last week and Mi-Jeong Jeon won the week before, and the KLPGA's Hee Kyung Seo was the hottest player in the world earlier this season. I'm particularly curious to see how Amy Yang, who rocked the LET last season as a low-status LPGA member, and Tania Elosegui, this year's Amy Yang, will do, not to mention find out whether I made a big mistake by snubbing Lorena Ochoa, Suzann Pettersen, and Angela Stanford in this week's picks.
[Update 1 (11:01 am): Hey, check out the new Rolex Rankings page. Much more interesting than before!]
[Update 2 (1:48 pm): Here's Golf Girl's tribute to the Evian!]
[Update 3 (4:04 pm): Nice to get a comment from Jamie and then find out he's done a preview post, too!]
[Update 4 (8:50 pm): Here's Hound Dog's preview.]