Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kia Classic Preview, Predictions, Pairings

The run-up to next week's Kraft Nabisco Championship, the 1st LPGA major of 2011, continues this week with the Kia Classic, which boasts a major-quality field, including defending champion and 2011 LPGA rookie Hee Kyung Seo and Monday qualifier Lee-Anne Pace, the LET's top dog from last year who's hoping to replicate the then-KLPGA star's non-member win this year. To do that, she'll have to outdo the hottest golfers on the LPGA, such as Karrie Webb, who's looking for her 3rd-straight victory, and Ya Ni Tseng, who's looking for her 4th major-tour victory of the season. From's preview and notes and interviews, it's clear the tour's return to Industry Hills, which will be playing to a par 73 of over 6700 yards, will be quite a challenge for everyone. As Hound Dog points out in his preview, the recent and forecasted rains won't make things any easier. Based on this hole-by-hole breakdown, here are my entries in this week's PakPicker at Seoul

1. Webb
2. Tseng
3. Kerr
4. Creamer
5. Yoo
6. Choi Na Yeon
7. Pettersen
8. Yang Amy
9. Stanford
10. Kim In-Kyung
11. Kim Song-Hee
12. Lincicome

Alts: Park Inbee, Wie, Pressel

Yes, even though Industry Hills is Amy Hung's home course and she's feeling healthy for the first time in a long time, I went with a mix dominated by straight shooters and bombers this week. But with most everyone in the same boat in terms of unfamiliarity with the course, the eventual winner could come from almost any of Thursday's pairings. Here are some that stand out to me:

10th tee, 8:35 am: Ya Ni Tseng, Karrie Webb, Catriona Matthew
1st tee, 12:10 pm: Ai Miyazato, Michelle Wie, Maria Hjorth
1st tee, 12:00 pm: Paula Creamer, Mika Miyazato, Juli Inkster
10th tee, 8:55 am: Cristie Kerr, In-Kyung Kim, Morgan Pressel
10th tee, 12:50 pm: Mina Harigae, Moira Dunn, Stephanie Sherlock
10th tee, 12:00 pm: Na Yeon Choi, Anna Nordqvist, Grace Park
10th tee, 12:30 pm: Seon Hwa Lee, Hee-Won Han, Beatriz Recari
1st tee, 8:25 am: Stacy Lewis, Vicky Hurst, Eun-Hee Ji
10th tee, 8:45 am: Angela Stanford, Brittany Lincicome, Kristy McPherson
10th tee, 12:10 pm: Ji-Yai Shin, Sun Young Yoo, Michele Redman
1st tee, 12:20 pm: Inbee Park, Stacy Prammanasudh, Shanshan Feng
10th tee, 11:50 am: Hee Kyung Seo, Candie Kung, Azahara Munoz
10th tee, 7:15 am: Jessica Korda, Belen Mozo, Paola Moreno

When I see how many very good golfers are playing on the Futures Tour in Florida this week, I'm even more amazed at the depth of talent on the LPGA. It'll be interesting to see who rises to the top this week--on both tours!

No comments: