Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Random Observations from the Kraft Nabisco Championship

To say the Kraft Nabisco Championship took me by surprise would be an understatement. Sure, I managed to finish 9th in the KNC PakPicker, but look how badly most of my picks, my faves, and other highly-ranked players finished:

1. Shin T29
2. Tseng 2nd :)
3. Webb T13
4. Creamer T19
5. Pettersen T19
6. Kerr MC
7. Choi Na Yeon T47
8. Yang T19
9. Kim In-Kyung T10 :)
10. Yoo T62
11. Wie T3
12. Lincicome T13

Alts: Hull (69th), Stanford (T3), Park Inbee (T29)

Ai Miyazato T33
Momoko Ueda T33
Mi Hyun Kim T33
Jane Park T41
Vicky Hurst T41
Seon Hwa Lee T47
Mariajo Uribe T47
Jee Young Lee MC
Mina Harigae MC

So it's worth celebrating those who did unexpectedly well, like the #12 and #10-ranked players in the Class of 2006, Katie Futcher and Julieta Granada, whose top 10s (and in Futcher's case, top 3) were completely out of the blue. Matching Stacy Lewis's 69 for best round of the day on Sunday is a fantastic feat for both of them. And even though Morgan Pressel went from very very good to horrid over and over again on Sunday, I never expected to see her even close to contention that week, plus she handled the emotional roller coaster with dignity and good grace. The way these '06ers handled Mission Hills shows the value of experience and just plain grinding.

I'm also very happy for Mika Miyazato and Chie Arimura. Despite their weak finishes on the back 9 Sunday that not only cost them tv time but kept them out of the top 3, they handled themselves well for the week on a course they don't have much experience with. And if Mika has putted as well as Chie, she would have been in contention!

I was also encouraged to see that Se Ri Pak was driving for show and putting for dough at the KNC--the only major she hasn't won in her Hall of Fame career. Too many mistakes on the weekend kept her from making a charge and putting pressure on the leaders, but it would be great to see her build on this top 10 when the LPGA returns to action at the end of the month.

I'm going to take the opportunity this long break provides to update a lot of my rankings and projections in the coming weeks. As those are pretty labor-intensive posts, I'll supplement them with smaller-change blogging, as well. Stay tuned!

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