Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Samsung World Championship Preview/Predictions/Pairings

The race for the money list title, Player of the Year, and Vare Trophy heats up this week at the Samsung World Championship, where 20 of the best women golfers in the world go head-to-head for 4 rounds. I've already contrasted this elite event to the California sectional qualifier for LPGA Q-School going on opposite it this week and Juli Inkster tells you all you need to know about Torrey Pines, so let's jump right into who I think will add her name to the prestigious list of winners.

1. Pettersen, Suzann
2. Stanford, Angela
3. Shin Ji-Yai
4. Miyazato Ai
5. Kerr, Cristie
6. Tseng Ya Ni
7. Ochoa, Lorena
8. Kim Song-Hee
9. Kim In-Kyung
10. Creamer, Paula
11. Webb, Karrie
12. Choi Na Yeon

Alts: Ji Eun-Hee; Wright, Lindsey; Nordqvist, Anna

I need a good week in the PakPicker at Seoul to keep up with Hound Dog in the race for 2nd. So I'm counting on the 8 players I didn't pick--Juli Inkster, Brittany Lincicome, Sophie Gustafson, Catriona Matthew, and Kristy McPherson, among them--to help me out. I'm sure that's huge motivation for them. Seriously, I wouldn't be all that surprised if one of them walked away with the title. But I really really really want Ai-sama to put her name beside Ayako Okamoto's here at Torrey Pines. That would be historic!

As usual, the pairings are incredible:

Start Time: 11:30 AM
Kristy McPherson
Na Yeon Choi

Start Time: 11:40 AM
Song-Hee Kim
Lindsey Wright

Start Time: 11:50 AM
In-Kyung Kim
Angela Stanford

Start Time: 12:00 PM
Ji-Yai Shin
Sophie Gustafson

Start Time: 12:10 PM
Ai Miyazato
Ya Ni Tseng

Start Time: 12:20 PM
Juli Inkster
Karrie Webb

Start Time: 12:30 PM
Brittany Lincicome
Catriona Matthew

Start Time: 12:40 PM
Eun-Hee Ji
Anna Nordqvist

Start Time: 12:50 PM
Cristie Kerr
Suzann Pettersen

Start Time: 1:00 PM
Paula Creamer
Lorena Ochoa

First come the up-and-comers (along with Stanford and Gustafson!), then the Hall of Famers, then the '09 major winners, and then the LPGA's 4 best players over the last several years. I'm really happy for Ai-sama that she got paired with Ya Ni rather than Gustafson in the 1st round. Playing with the person you beat in a playoff for your 1st LPGA win might have been a little awkward. In any case, they'll all get reshuffled each round based on their scores, so it'll be very interesting to see who starts hot tomorrow!

I'm definitely hitting up my friends with TV on Sunday to catch the final-round action on NBC!

[Update 1 (5:27 pm): Here's Hound Dog's preview. He goes ahead and predicts where each player will finish!]

[Update 2 (5:31 pm): And here are Jamie RS's preview and picks.]

[Update 3 (11:02 pm): Well-timed--and well-put--release of the news that Rolex will be the presenting sponsor of the 2009 LPGA Tour Championship! Commissioner Evans sure knows how to put together quality sound bites:

“We're thrilled to showcase the game's greatest golfers in the sports-savvy city of Houston,” said Marty Evans, LPGA Acting Commissioner. “The Houston fans and those who will follow the event around the world on television will enjoy the culmination of an exciting LPGA Tour season highlighted by a close battle for the Rolex Player of the Year award and emergence of a host of new and future stars.”

And what's this? John Strege and Steve DiMeglio writing on women's golf? Can't wait for the Fed Ex Cup to finish so the big-time golf writers can quit their kvetching and start reporting on the most interesting professional golf tour in the world!]

[Update 4 (11:19 pm): Good ol' Golf Channel can't help but keep concern trolling the Americans on the LPGA. Charlie Rymer at least tries to deflate the rhetoric with some facts, but they're still making me want to see Ji-Yai Shin beat even Ai-sama if it means they have to lead with her chances of matching Nancy Lopez's 1978 feat of winning the money title, ROY, POY, and Vare Trophy from now till the end of the season.]


Anonymous said...

How did Michelle Wie get left out of this ? Not that I care - but I'm surprised.

lol - enjoyed the comment on Miyazato's pairing. ONLY in women's golf would anybody think that being paired with someone you beat weeks and weeks ago in a playoff would be awkward.

In men's golf, the talk would be about the guy who lost the playoff wanting to really beat the guy he lost to.

The Constructivist said...

Maybe it says more about my own sensibility! After all, I'm the one projecting that attitude onto Ai-sama. For all I know, she could be petitioning the organizers to switch the pairings around just so she can crush Gustafson again!