Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sybase Match Play Championship Preview, Predictions, Brackets

LPGA.com's and Hound Dog's previews set the stage for the tour's return to Hamilton Farm, the site of the 2008 Solheim Cup, in the Sybase Match Play Championship. The field contains 18 of the hottest 20 players on tour, according to Hound Dog. The battle for the #1 spot between Ji-Yai Shin, Ai Miyazato, Suzann Pettersen, and Ya Ni Tseng will be getting a lot of attention, as it should, but I'm also quite interested in this week's implications for the Amanda Blumenherst-Azahara Munoz Rookie of the Year race. Unlike the NCAA's March Madness, the brackets in this 64-player event are not set up to pit the #1 seed vs. the #64 seed and so on, but instead there was a blind draw by the top 32 players in the Rolex Rankings to determine who they'd each play in the 1st round. You can check out the pairings or just look at the 1st-round leaderboard. I expect good things from the tournament web site, so be sure to check that out regularly, as well.

Match play is notoriously hard to predict and I only have time to go with my gut, but for what it's worth, here's how I think things will play out this week.

Whitworth Bracket

Round 1
Ji-Yai Shin (1) v. Kyeong Bae (42): SHIN
Hee-Won Han (32) v. Mika Miyazato (38): M. MIYAZATO
Brittany Lincicome (16) v. Beatriz Recari (62): LINCICOME
Se Ri Pak (17) v. Azahara Munoz (54): PAK
Michelle Wie (8) v. Stacy Prammanasudh (50): WIE
Hee Young Park (25) v. Ji Young Oh (33): H.Y. PARK
Na Yeon Choi (9) v. Karine Icher (57): N.Y. CHOI
Eun-Hee Ji (24) v. Janice Moodie (49): MOODIE

Round 2
Ji-Yai Shin (1) v. Mika Miyazato (38): SHIN
Brittany Lincicome (16) v. Se Ri Pak (17): PAK
Michelle Wie (8) v. Hee Young Park (25): WIE
Na Yeon Choi (9) v. Janice Moodie (49): N.Y. CHOI

Round 3
Ji-Yai Shin (1) v. Se Ri Pak (17): SHIN
Michelle Wie (8) v. Na Yeon Choi (9): N.Y. CHOI

Quarter-Finals: Round 4
Ji-Yai Shin (1) v. Na Yeon Choi (9): N.Y. CHOI

Berg Bracket

Round 1
Ya Ni Tseng (4) v. Wendy Ward (43): TSENG
Candie Kung (29) v. Natalie Gulbis (44): KUNG
Inbee Park (13) v. Laura Diaz (58): I. PARK
Maria Hjorth (20) v. Shanshan Feng (45): HJORTH
Cristie Kerr (5) v. Meaghan Francella (53): KERR
Sun Young Yoo (28) v. Karen Stupples (34): STUPPLES
Song-Hee Kim (12) v. Nicole Castrale (52): S.H. KIM
Momoko Ueda (21) v. Vicky Hurst (37): UEDA

Round 2
Ya Ni Tseng (4) v. Candie Kung (29): TSENG
Inbee Park (13) v. Maria Hjorth (20): I. PARK
Cristie Kerr (5) v. Karen Stupples (34): KERR
Song-Hee Kim (12) v. Momoko Ueda (21): S.H. KIM

Round 3
Ya Ni Tseng (4) v. Inbee Park (13): I. PARK
Cristie Kerr (5) v. Song-Hee Kim (12): S.H. KIM

Quarter-Finals: Round 4
Inbee Park (13) v. Song-Hee Kim (12): S.H. KIM

Wright Bracket

Round 1
Ai Miyazato (2) v. Jeong Jang (51): A. MIYAZATO
M.J. Hur (31) v. Hye Jung Choi (60): H.J. CHOI
Catriona Matthew (15) v. Grace Park (64): MATTHEW
Kristy McPherson (18) v. Meena Lee (47): MCPHERSON
Karrie Webb (7) v. Eunjung Yi (36): WEBB
Stacy Lewis (26) v. Amanda Blumenherst (55): BLUMENHERST
Angela Stanford (10) v. Amy Hung (60): STANFORD
Brittany Lang (23) v. Pat Hurst (41): LANG

Round 2
Ai Miyazato (2) v. Hye Jung Choi (60): A. MIYAZATO
Catriona Matthew (15) v. Kristy McPherson (18): MCPHERSON
Karrie Webb (7) v. Amanda Blumenherst (55): WEBB
Angela Stanford (10) v. Brittany Lang (23): STANFORD

Round 3
Ai Miyazato (2) v. Kristy McPherson (18): A. MIYAZATO
Karrie Webb (7) v. Angela Stanford (10): STANFORD

Quarter-Finals: Round 4
Ai Miyazato (2) v. Angela Stanford (10): A. MIYAZATO

Sorenstam Bracket

Round 1
Suzann Pettersen (3) v. Juli Inkster (35): PETTERSEN
Amy Yang (30) v. Michele Redman (39): YANG
Morgan Pressel (14) v. Jimin Kang (56): PRESSEL
Sophie Gustafson (19) v. Na On Min (63): GUSTAFSON
Anna Nordqvist (6) v. Shi Hyun Ahn (48): NORDQVIST
Jee Young Lee (27) v. Christina Kim (40): J.Y. LEE
In-Kyung Kim (11) v. Haeji Kang (61): I.K. KIM
Katherine Hull (24) v. Sandra Gal (46): HULL

Round 2
Suzann Pettersen (3) v. Amy Yang (30): YANG
Morgan Pressel (14) v. Sophie Gustafson (19): PRESSEL
Anna Nordqvist (6) v. Jee Young Lee (27): J.Y. LEE
In-Kyung Kim (11) v. Katherine Hull (24): I.K. KIM

Round 3
Amy Yang (30) v. Morgan Pressel (14): PRESSEL
Jee Young Lee (27) v. In-Kyung Kim (11): J.Y. LEE

Quarter-Finals: Round 4
Morgan Pressel (14) v. Jee Young Lee (27): J.Y. LEE

Semi-Finals: Round 5
Na Yeon Choi (9) v. Song-Hee Kim (12): N.Y. CHOI
Ai Miyazato (2) v. Jee Young Lee (27): A. MIYAZATO

Finals: Round 6
Na Yeon Choi (9) v. Ai Miyazato (2): N.Y. CHOI
Song-Hee Kim (12) v. Jee Young Lee (27): S.H. KIM

In short (for this week's PakPicker):

1. Choi Na Yeon
2. Miyazato Ai
3. Kim Song-Hee
4. Lee Jee Young
T5. Shin Ji-Yai, Stanford, Park Inbee, Pressel
T9. Tseng, Kerr, Webb, Wie, Kim In-Kyung, Pak, McPherson, Yang Amy

[Update 1 (8:52 am): Here are Hound Dog's predictions!]

4 comments:

Mike said...

Assuming your picks work out mostly as you think, I like Se Ri out of the Whitworth bracket. I don't know if she can win it all but, like I said over on HoundDog's post, I like her 6-0 playoff record in this format.

The Constructivist said...

I am so hoping for a Pak-Shin showdown! Part of the reason I don't have Shin going much further after beating Pak is how tough that match would be to win!

KickinFamily said...

Don't under-estimate Stacy Lewis in a match play event. She's done pretty well before... Yeah, tough draw against Blumenherst, but Stacy still has a good chance to go deep in the bracket...

The Constructivist said...

That's what makes match play so awesome! I'd say anyone can go deep. That Lewis-Blumenherst match was one of the toughest for me to make a call on....