After a 2-week break from LPGA action--during which I got to finish getting our house ready to go on the market (yay!) and prepare for and play in the Albany qualifier for the New York State Golf Association Mid-Amateur Championship (boo!--I missed getting to play Crag Burn in Buffalo by 2 shots on a fun course that really suited my game--long story...later)--the professionals I'm most interested in following are enjoying the Pacific Northwest and the 54-hole Safeway Classic this week. Last year was the 1st time the tournament was held on Pumpkin Ridge's Ghost Creek course and 2 of my favorite players responded by fighting to stay in contention on a Sunday of pretty darn gripping golf, in which M.J. Hur eventually prevailed in a playoff over Suzann Pettersen and Michele Redman. For this year, Hound Dog has his preview and hot 20 list up and LPGA.com updates us on the Rolex Rankings shuffle.
Me, I don't have too much to add to last year's preview, except to say that this time it's Ai Miyazato, Seon Hwa Lee, and Karen Stupples who are coming off near wins (on the JLPGA, KLPGA, and LET respectively) and sponsor exemption Jennifer Song who's coming off a win (on the Futures Tour). With that in mind, here are this week's guesses as to who among the Best of the LPGA will play the best this week, for the PakPicker competition at Seoul Sisters.com (which I'm inexplicably leading thus far this season):
1. Miyazato Ai
2. Choi Na Yeon
3. Kim In-Kyung
5. Lee Seon Hwa
6. Jang Jeong
7. Kim Song-Hee
8. Park Inbee
12. Song, Jennifer
Alts: Creamer; Munoz; Kim, Christina
There are a couple of current Futures Tour money-list leaders in the field besides Jennifer--Cindy LaCrosse and Christine Song will also be keeping active before their FT season concludes in Albany the 1st week of September (as will Paola Moreno and Libby Smith)--along with last year's leaders Mina Harigae, Jean Reynolds, Misun Cho, Samantha Richdale, Alison Walshe, and Pernilla Lindberg, so it'll be interesting to see how they stack up against each other when the dust settles. It's neat to see Aree Song, Kelli Kuehne, Gloria Park, and Belen Mozo in the field, as well. Mozo flew in from a T52 in Wales and is skipping Scotland on the LET schedule just to have a chance to compete on the LPGAS, while the rest are blasts from the more-or-less recent past whom we haven't seen much of lately on tour.
I'll have more on the field when the pairings are out!