Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Preview/Predictions/Pairings

The Se Ri Pak Shootout, so nicknamed after its 5-time winner--otherwise known as the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic--is the lead-in to the U.S. Women's Open this season, so the field is a particularly strong one, augmented by top college players and now new pros Amanda Blumenherst and Maria Hernandez.

Last year, Paula Creamer opened with a 60 and barely held on for a wire-to-wire win. This year, she's coming off a WD at the Wegmans due to a thumb injury and has dropped to #8 on Hound Dog's list of the hottest 20 players on the LPGA, so this week's PakPicker's going to be a challenge, especially when you consider that Lorena Ochoa hasn't played competitively in forever and is breaking in a new caddy, Cristie Kerr auditioned to play the part of a certain little girl from a Longfellow poem at the Wegmans, Suzann Pettersen is coming off a WD of her own (at the LPGA Championship) due to a virus, and Angela Stanford is playing her 1st tournament since finding out her mother has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Taking players' histories at Highland Meadows into account, then, here are my picks:

1. Shin
2. McPherson
3. Tseng
4. Miyazato Ai
5. Lewis
6. Pak Se Ri
7. Ochoa
8. Creamer
9. Wright
10. Choi Na Yeon
11. Stanford
12. Kim In-Kyung

Alts: Kerr, Castrale, Yoo

Looking at the pairings, I'm very curious to see how early-morning frontsiders Shiho Oyama (7:30 am) and Amy Yang (8:00 am) and backsiders Haeji Kang (7:40 am), Jennifer Rosales (7:50 am), and Aree Song (8:40 am) stack up against late afternoon backsiders Shanshan Feng (1:05 pm), Moira Dunn (1:15 pm), Jane Park (1:25 pm), and Christina Kim (1:55 pm). Most eyes, however, will be focused on the star-studded 10th tee late in the morning:

Start Time: 8:50 AM
Brittany Lincicome
Anna Nordqvist
Inbee Park

Start Time: 9:00 AM
Angela Stanford
Suzann Pettersen
Kristy McPherson

Start Time: 9:10 AM
Paula Creamer
Se Ri Pak
In-Kyung Kim

Start Time: 9:20 AM
Michelle Wie
Natalie Gulbis
Ji-Yai Shin

Start Time: 9:30 AM
Lorena Ochoa
Ya Ni Tseng
Morgan Pressel

Shin really belonged with the other most recent major winners, but putting her with Wie and Gulbis is a great way to ensure she gets maximum media attention. I can see why Creamer was paired with Pak, but doesn't she really belong with Ochoa and Tseng? And shouldn't the last member of the LPGA's Big 6, Cristie Kerr, be in this prime-time quadrant rather than Pressel? Just asking. Kerr's actually going off the 1st tee in the late morning:

Start Time: 8:50 AM
Cristie Kerr
Eun-Hee Ji
Hee Young Park

Start Time: 9:00 AM
Nicole Castrale
Helen Alfredsson
Silvia Cavalleri

Start Time: 9:10 AM
Pat Hurst
Ai Miyazato
Laura Diaz

Start Time: 9:20 AM
Katherine Hull
Momoko Ueda
Candie Kung

Start Time: 9:30 AM
Lindsey Wright
Soo-Yun Kang
Meaghan Francella

Yes, this quadrant seems kind of B-list-y compared to the previous one, but Diaz is the only one in it not playing well this season. The early-afternoon front-side pairings are not quite as deep or strong:

Start Time: 12:15 PM
Angela Park
Louise Friberg
Hee-Won Han

Start Time: 12:25 PM
Song-Hee Kim
Stacy Lewis
Juli Inkster

Start Time: 12:35 PM
Na Yeon Choi
Wendy Ward
Jeong Jang

Start Time: 12:45 PM
Laura Davies
Sandra Gal
Brandie Burton

Start Time: 12:55 PM
Jee Young Lee
Leta Lindley
Rachel Hetherington

Ditto for the back-wide early-afternoon quadrant, although it seems to have more players in it who are due to break out of the below-expectations-golf they've been playing for most of the season:

Start Time: 12:15 PM
Brittany Lang
Michele Redman
Sun Young Yoo

Start Time: 12:25 PM
Ji Young Oh
Carin Koch
Lorie Kane

Start Time: 12:35 PM
Meg Mallon
Sophie Gustafson
Maria Hjorth

Start Time: 12:45 PM
Vicky Hurst
Young Kim
Seon Hwa Lee

Start Time: 12:55 PM
Stacy Prammanasudh
Mika Miyazato
Kyeong Bae reminds us that this event will once again serve as the

U.S.-based qualifier for the RICOH Women's British Open. LPGA members who have registered for the final major championship of the year, but are not already in the field, will have a chance to play for a berth. The top-five players after 36 holes not already qualified will earn entry into the 2009 RICOH Women's British Open July 30 to Aug. 2.

The list of WBO entries is a long one, but I've found little information on who can avoid the pre-qualifying and final qualifying rounds. I'll try to find out which players the 1st 36 holes mean the most to ASAP.

[Update 1 (3:36 am): See IceCat's comment for the link to the LGU web site that explains everything (I can't get it to work on this ancient computer and the Full Metal Archivist is monopolizing the new laptop, so it's going to be a little while before I figure things out). Hound Dog's preview is up, too.]

[Update 2 (4:28 am): Just read the Kapalua event in October may be is dead. If the LPGA keeps losing domestic tournaments, we'll miss out on good local golf reporters like Dave Hackenberg, here doing a profile on Maria Hernandez.]

[Update 3 (12:28 pm): Brent Kelley has more on the Kapalua meltdown, while Hound Dog wonders if this is all part of the LPGA brass's master plan.]


IceCat said...

They're found on this page (scroll down to Sections 6 and 7):


The Constructivist said...

Thanks, Kevin. My browser is not cooperating right now, but I'll check it out when my wife gets off the new laptop!