Monday, May 23, 2011

Sybase Match Play Championship Sunday: Pettersen Outputts Kerr!

By now, you've most likely read responses to Suzann Pettersen's exciting 1-up victory over Cristie Kerr in the Sybase Match Play Championship by Hound Dog and Tony Jesselli, not to mention the notes and interviews from, so I'll just add a few observations of my own.

Battle of the Bridesmaids: Suzann Pettersen is of course the best-known bridesmaid on the LPGA, but every single semi-finalist has let more than a few wins slip through her fingers. How many majors should Cristie Kerr have by now? And isn't it Kerr who has denied Angela Stanford several wins? Na Yeon Choi has 18 top 3s in 82 starts as an LPGA member, but only 4 wins.

Big-Time Turnarounds: For Kerr, it was her new irons and newly-in-play-in 2011 putter; for Pettersen, it was her new approach to putting and the mental game. For both, these changes resulted in quantum leaps. I had picked both to fall in the 3rd round--Pettersen to Stacy Lewis and Kerr to Amy Yang--going with the hot young hands over the struggling stars. But Yang exited early and Lewis couldn't get the job done. It just goes to show you can't keep world-class players down for long. Hear that, Ai-sama and Ji-Yai?

Picking My Faves: You may have noticed that I had an all-Asian final 4 and that Stacy Lewis was my only non-Asian in the quarterfinals. Part of that was based on how I thought the players would match up against each other--between the Lexus Cup and the Pinx/Kyoraku Cups, Asian players have much more experience in match play (or head-to-head stroke play in the latter) than they are often given credit for--but I have to admit that I did my picks as a fan last week. So it's no surprise that picking pretty much what I wanted to see happen netted me only 54 points in Golfweek's sweepstakes. Oh well!

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