Wednesday, September 8, 2010

P&G NW Arkansas Championship Preview, Predictions, Pairings

Ji-Yai Shin is passing up the JLPGA's 2nd major, the Konica Minolta Cup, to defend her title at the P&G NW Arkansas Championship, the only tournament on the LPGA's schedule this month. The 2008 champion, Seon Hwa Lee, who also has dual LPGA-JLPGA membership this season, will be trying to jumpstart her year on a Pinnacle Country Club course that seems to favor the precision players on tour. Also headlining the field are Ai Miyazato, Inbee Park, and Mika Miyazato, who like Shin and Lee and unlike Momoko Ueda and Teresa Lu have skipped a JLPGA major to play in the heart of Walmart country. The biggest no-show is Paula Creamer, who's resting her thumb, but Jeong Jang is back and hopefully healthy again, Michelle Wie is playing her last event before the start of Stanford's fall quarter, Lexi Thompson is in on a sponsor exemption, and Futures Tour money-list winner and 3-time champion Cindy LaCrosse is in via a 69 in Monday qualifying. notes that rookie Mina Harigae is coming off her 2 best finishes of the year, as well.

In addition to past results, Hound Dog's Hot 20 list is a good place to start when thinking about who will play Pinnacle Country Club well this week. Time to get back on track in Seoul's PakPicker competition! It's a 54-hole event, so I'm giving the nod to my favorite golfer, who's won her share of such events in Japan!

1. Miyazato Ai
2. Shin Ji-Yai
3. Choi Na Yeon
4. Kim In-Kyung
5. Kim Song-Hee
6. Pressel
7. Kerr
8. Pettersen
9. Miyazato Mika
10. Lewis
11. McPherson
12. Lee Seon Hwa

Alts: Yoo; Park, Jane; Jang

I'll have more on the pairings when they're out.

[Update 1 (1:21 pm): Hound Dog rightly asks in his preview why Cindy LaCrosse had to Monday qualify when she had earned a "battlefield promotion" with her 3rd Futures Tour win last week in Albany.]

[Update 2 (9/10/10, 11:36 am): Interesting thing about the pairings: looks like they intentionally created 12 twosomes in a sea of threesomes. That's too many for late drop-outs to have caused them, right? They're last 3 groups on each side in each prime-time quadrant, after all. Is this some kind of made-for-tv thing?]

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