Wednesday, December 1, 2010

LPGA Tour Championship Preview, Predictions, Pairings

The LPGA Tour Championship is finally here! Between Brent Kelley's overview, Hound Dog's preview, hot 20 list, and surveys of the races for Player of the Year, the Vare Trophy, and 2011 cards,'s set-up, preview, pre-tournament interviews, and player spotlights on Ji-Yai Shin, Suzann Pettersen, Cristie Kerr, and Ya Ni Tseng (with Na Yeon Choi and Ai Miyazato's coming now here), Steve DiMeglio's tournament preview, and Jeff Shain's look at the local angle, I don't have too much to add in the way of a preview, so I'll just jump in with my predictions:

1. Miyazato Ai
2. Shin
3. Choi Na Yeon
4. Kim In-Kyung
5. Kerr
6. Pettersen
7. Kim Song-Hee
8. Tseng
9. Creamer
10. Pressel
11. Hull
12. Miyazato Mika

Alts: Lewis; Pak; Hurst, Vicky

Yup, I'm picking Ai Miyazato to win Player of the Year, Ji-Yai Shin to win the money title, and Na Yeon Choi to take the Vare Trophy. And, of course, me to win the season-long PakPicker competition over at Seoul!

I'll also be keeping a close eye on Mina Harigae and Moira Dunn as they fight to stay in the top 80 on the money list. Moira's going off the 1st tee in the early morning and Mina in the early afternoon tomorrow. But of course all eyes will be on the prime-time quadrants, starting with the 1st groups from the 2nd wave going off the 1st tee:

Start Time: 11:20 AM
Ji-Yai Shin
Paula Creamer
Cristie Kerr

Start Time: 11:30 AM
Laura Davies
Suzann Pettersen
Na Yeon Choi

Start Time: 11:40 AM
Song-Hee Kim
Seon Hwa Lee
Mika Miyazato

Start Time: 11:50 AM
Karine Icher
Brittany Lang
Eun-Hee Ji

Not quite as power-packed are the last groups in the 1st wave going off the 10th tee:

Start Time: 8:00 AM
Morgan Pressel
Ai Miyazato
Azahara Munoz

Start Time: 8:10 AM
In-Kyung Kim
Ya Ni Tseng
Anna Nordqvist

Start Time: 8:20 AM
Maria Hjorth
Eunjung Yi
Jimin Kang

Start Time: 8:30 AM
Candie Kung
Vicky Hurst
Leta Lindley

Their counterparts going off the 1st tee also feature a great mix of veterans and young stars:

Start Time: 8:00 AM
M.J. Hur
Pat Hurst
Angela Stanford

Start Time: 8:10 AM
Sun Young Yoo
Christina Kim
Sophie Gustafson

Start Time: 8:20 AM
Momoko Ueda
Beatriz Recari
Laura Diaz

Start Time: 8:30 AM
Lorie Kane
Brittany Lincicome
Stacy Lewis

As do those from the 2nd wave off the 10th tee:

Start Time: 11:20 AM
Se Ri Pak
Amy Yang
Katherine Hull

Start Time: 11:30 AM
Helen Alfredsson
Ji Young Oh
Michele Redman

Start Time: 11:40 AM
Gwladys Nocera
Juli Inkster
Louise Friberg

Start Time: 11:50 AM
Mi Hyun Kim
Kristy McPherson
Wendy Ward

With the field being cut to the top 70 and ties after 36 holes and the top 30 and ties after 54 holes, it's particularly important for the players to get off to good starts this week. Can't wait for all the action to begin!

[Update 1 (12/2/10, 6:56 am): Here's Jay Busbee's survey of what's at stake this week in Orlando.]

[Update 2 (10:20 am): Here's Stephanie Wei.]

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