Thursday, August 18, 2011

Safeway Classic Preview, Predictions, Pairings

Thanks to Hound Dog, Tony Jesselli, and's Ward Clayton, who already have their Safeway Classic previews out, I'll be able to keep my focus on Blue Heron Hills, the site of the Rochester qualifier for the NYSGA's Mid-Amateur Championship, instead of having to pay too much attention to Pumpkin Ridge's Ghost Creek course, which has been toughened up for this year's competition. Yes, I know that's practically sacreligious coming from one of defending champion Ai Miyazato's biggest fans this side of the Pacific, but I'm going to lean on my previous preview posts and skip to this week's picks:

1. Miyazato Ai
2. Yang Amy
3. Kim In-Kyung
4. Choi Na Yeon
5. Tseng
6. Pettersen
7. Kerr
8. Creamer
9. Lewis
10. Miyazato Mika
11. Pressel
12. Shin Ji-Yai

Alts: Yoo, Stanford, Lang

For more clues on who in the excellent field should excel this week, check out's spectator guide, pre-tournament interviews, trivia, and tournament history pages, Golf Observer's player performance chart, and Hound Dog's Hot 20. Also of note are Mike Tokito's fantastic work at The Oregonian, along with Solheim Cup speculation from Stina Sternberg and Randall Mell.

So many great pairings, so little time! Here are my faves--love how the tournament organizers are highlighting Solheim Cuppers and other young Americans:

1st tee, 9:32 am: Ai Miyazato, Anna Nordqvist, Vicky Hurst
10th tee, 12:54 pm: Ji-Yai Shin, Amy Yang, Mika Miyazato
1st tee, 8:32 am: Na Yeon Choi, Song-Hee Kim, Ryann O'Toole
1st tee, 12:21 pm: Stacy Lewis, Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie
1st tee, 12:32 pm: Cristie Kerr, Juli Inkster, Brittany Lincicome
1st tee, 8:54 am: Ya Ni Tseng, Hee Kyung Seo, Katie Futcher
10th tee, 8:43 am: Suzann Pettersen, Morgan Pressel, Grace Park
1st tee, 12:10 pm: Angela Stanford, Mindy Kim, Michele Redman
10th tee, 9:16 am: Karrie Webb, Sandra Gal, Beatriz Recari
10th tee, 12:21 pm: Se Ri Pak, Inbee Park, Lorie Kane
10th tee, 12:43 pm: Momoko Ueda, Karen Stupples, Mi Hyun Kim
1st tee, 8:43 am: Sun Young Yoo, Maria Hjorth, Meena Lee
1st tee, 1:16 pm: Becky Morgan, Mariajo Uribe, Tiffany Joh
1st tee, 2:22 pm: Jennifer Song, Belen Mozo, Dewi Claire Schreefel

With Lexi Thompson (1st tee, 1:05 pm), Cindy LaCrosse (1st tee, 8:21 am), Mina Harigae (1st tee, 7:26 am), Jennifer Johnson (1st tee, 7:59 am), Jessica Korda (10th tee, 7:15 am), Lisa Ferrero (playing with LaCrosse), and Monday qualifier (along with Kim Welch) Erynne Lee (10th tee, 1:38 pm) in the field, there's no shortage of up-and-coming Americans playing in Oregon this week. Me, I'll be rooting for them and for veteran Moira Dunn (10th tee, 1:16 pm) to play well tomorrow and on the weekend in this 54-hole shootout!

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