Hound Dog, Brent Kelley, and LPGA.com have already previewed the LPGA's opening tournament of 2011, the Honda LPGA Thailand event that Ai Miyazato won last year. So of course I'll point you to my preview from last year, where I correctly called Ai-sama's victory. Let's see if she--and I--can go 2-for-2 to kick off the new LPGA season!
1. Miyazato Ai
2. Tseng Ya Ni
8. Kim In-Kyung
Alts: Kim Song-Hee, Yang, Park Inbee
Yeah, no Wie, no Korda, no Hurst. I just don't see bombers who aren't known for their (relative) accuracy playing the Pattaya Old Course well over 72 holes. Let's see if they prove me wrong!
More on the pairings when they're announced.
In the meantime, if you're wondering what the rest of the LPGA is doing this week, check out the pairings for the 1st round of the LET and ALPG's Pegasus New Zealand Women's Open, where talented New Zealand teenage amateur Cecelia Cho gets to tee off with Laura Davies and Melissa Reid and try to outdo the likes of Lorie Kane, Karen Stupples, Guilia Sergas, Anja Monke, Linda Wessberg, Louise Stahle, Louise Friberg, Katie Futcher, Reilley Rankin, Lindsey Wright and the usual cast of top ALPGers (many of whom, like Wright, are LPGA members), and a surprising number of young LPGAers with dual LET membership including Maria Hernandez, Dewi Claire Schreefel, Alison Walshe, Belen Mozo, Caroline Hedwall, Pernilla Lindberg, Jeehae Lee, and Jaclyn Sweeney--plus Tiffany Joh and Cindy LaCrosse!
Just as I'm surprised that neither Lexi Thompson nor Sara Brown will be playing in New Zealand, I'm a little shocked that Jee Young Lee, Jeong Jang, and Hee Kyung Seo are skipping Thailand. Given how Jelly shut down her 2010 season early, I'm even more worried now that she's been injured for some time. And I'm also worried about the state of JJ's health heading into 2011.
[Update 1 (5:02 pm): Here's Armchair Golfer's preview.]
[Update 2 (5:22 pm): Here's my take on the pairings!]
[Update 3 (2/17/11, 3:26 am): Here are the pre-tournament interviews with the top 6 in the world.]