Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hana Bank Championship Preview, Predictions, Pairings

With Tony Jesselli, Hound Dog, and Ward Clayton already providing their previews for the Hana Bank Championship, and's pre-tournament notes and interviews providing further context, it's pretty easy for me to summarize the week's big questions (and add a few of my own):

  • can Na Yeon Choi pull off a 3-peat on her home soil?
  • can Ya Ni Tseng continue her domination over the world of women's golf?
  • can Suzann Pettersen, Se Ri Pak, Grace Park, or Candie Kung win this event for the 2nd time?
  • can So Yeon Ryu beat the top LPGAers once again?
  • can the Solheim Cuppers in the field turn the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat into extra motivation this week?
  • can the injured Cristie Kerr and Ji-Yai Shin finish this 54-hole tournament, much less be a factor in it?
  • can Ryann O'Toole make up any ground in the Rookie of the Year race on Hee Kyung Seo?
  • will this be the week a Korean member of the LPGA finally breaks through into the winner's circle in 2011?
  • will another KLPGA member join Ryu in qualifying for the LPGA's rookie class of 2012 via a non-member win in an LPGA event and follow in the footsteps of Shi Hyun Ahn, Jee Young Lee, and Jin Joo Hong, who have all done it here?
Here's my best guess when it comes to answering these questions, drawing on the tournament history, the course layout, Hound Dog's Hot 20, and the major mo' I got from finishing 1st in 2 of the 3 Yahoo Sports Fantasy Golf leagues I competed in this year (I had to settle for 3rd in the other!) right on the heels of finally winning the last PakPicker:

1. Creamer
2. Choi Na Yeon
3. Pettersen
4. Pressel
5. Lewis
6. Tseng
7. Ryu
8. Yang, Amy
9. Park Inbee
10. Seo
11. Nordqvist
12. Kim In-Kyung

Alts: Kim Song-Hee; Feng; Stanford

Pretty much all the pairings are interesting for one reason or another, but here are the ones that are most interesting to me.  I'll leave it to you to guess why!

1st tee, 10:40 am: Na Yeon Choi, Ya Ni Tseng, Cristie Kerr
1st tee, 10:18 am: Paula Creamer, Stacy Lewis, In-Kyung Kim
1st tee, 9:56 am: Se Ri Pak, Mi Hyun Kim, Grace Park
1st tee, 10:29 am: Suzann Pettersen, Ji-Yai Shin, Michelle Wie
1st tee, 9:34 am: Inbee Park, Hee Young Park, Juli Inkster
1st tee, 10:07 am: So Yeon Ryu, Angela Stanford, Brittany Lincicome
10th tee, 10:07 am: Anna Nordqvist, Maria Hjorth, Eun-Hee Ji
10th tee, 8:50 am: Song-Hee Kim, Shanshan Feng, Chella Choi
1st tee, 8:39 am: Morgan Pressel, He Yong Choi, Hyun-Hwa Sim
1st tee, 8:50 am: Ha Neul Kim, Candie Kung, Vicky Hurst
10th tee, 9:56 am: Hee Kyung Seo, Hyun-Hee Moon, Wendy Ward
10th tee, 9:01 am: Momoko Ueda, Bo-Mee Lee, Mindy Kim

With the Miyazatos taking the week off and some of my favorite young golfers the 1st through 4th alternates, I'm not as pumped for this week as I could be, but that could just be the combination of lots of grading and unexpectedly good weather forecast for the next few days talking.  I expect that to change once I catch up with the Golf Channel coverage!

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