I've been dealing with the worst cold of my life--and probably the most intense and lingering illness of my adult life, period--the last 13 days, so I've been unable to write about Catriona Matthews's great win in Guadalajara, Asako Fujimoto's defeat of Sakura Yokomine on the JLPGA, or Daisuke Takahashi's sublime performances at the NHK Cup last week. Even worse, I really don't have much to add to the fine previews of the CME Group Titleholders, which caps off the LPGA's 2011 season this week, from Hound Dog, Tony Jesselli, and Ruthless Mike (not to mention LPGA.com's own preview, pre-tournament interviews [which includes the news that the LPGA Futures Tour will become the Symetra Tour next year], and Ward Clayton's Stats and Stuff). In fact, I'll simply note how amazing it is that the likes of Cristie Kerr, In-Kyung Kim, Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, Michelle Wie, Angela Stanford, Amy Yang, Mika Miyazato, and Anna Nordqvist have 1 last chance to get their 1st LPGA win of 2011! Is there any better mark of Ya Ni Tseng's dominance this year than the fact that she's blocked so many great and very very good golfers from the winner's circle?
Tony points out in an update to his preview that Ji-Yai Shin, Momoko Ueda, Shanshan Feng, So-Yeon Ryu, Grace Park, Inbee Park, and
Juli Inkster qualified for but will not be playing in this week's event. Shin's season is over, Park is hoping she qualified for the final stage of KLPGA Q-School (it's not looking good for her), Ryu is playing on the KLPGA, Ueda, Feng, and Park stayed in Japan after the Mizuno to close out the JLPGA season there, and Inkster's elbow injury precluded her participation. Looking at the field, Hound Dog's Hot 20, and the results from last year's LPGA Tour Championship at Grand Cypress (where Maria Hjorth held off Amy Yang, In-Kyung Kim, and Na Yeon Choi, among others), here are my final picks in the 2011 PakPicker competition at Seoul Sisters.com:
1. Choi Na Yeon
3. Kim In-Kyung
4. Yang Amy
5. Miyazato Ai
Alts: Yoo; Pressel; Stanford
Here are my favorite pairings heading off the 1st tee at Grand Cypress starting in just a couple of hours or so!
10:06 am: Na Yeon Choi, Morgan Pressel, Sun Young Yoo
10:50 am: Ya Ni Tseng, Karrie Webb, Michelle Wie
10:39 am: Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome
9:00 am: Mika Miyazato, Meena Lee, Azahara Munoz
9:55 am: Ai Miyazato, Sophie Gustafson, Julieta Granada
7:43 am: In-Kyung Kim, Christina Kim, Sandra Gal
9:44 am: Catriona Matthew, Anna Nordqvist, Brittany Lang
10:17 am: Suzann Pettersen, Maria Hjorth, Song-Hee Kim
10:28 am: Stacy Lewis, Angela Stanford, Katie Futcher
9:22 am: Lexi Thompson, Tiffany Joh, Giulia Sergas
8:27 am: Hee Young Park, Ryann O'Toole, Vicky Hurst
7:10 am: Beatriz Recari, Natalie Gulbis
With Mina Harigae going off at 7:54 am, I'm hoping she gets some early tv time in Golf Channel's coverage, which starts at 1:30. And I'm hoping I'll be feeling well enough to actually do some golf blogging after I catch up with the coverage on my DVR!