The wait is over. After a three month break, the LPGA season will kick off this week in Australia, with the playing of the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open.
Here are some of the details:
Course: Royal Melbourne Golf Club
Location: Victoria, Australia
Defending Champion: *Inaugural Event
2011 Winning Score: *Inaugural Event
Final Field: 157 Players
Yardage: 6505 Yards
Purse: 1.1 Million
*Although this is the first time the Australian Open is being played as an LPGA event, it was played and won last year by Yani Tseng on a different course.
This will be one of the weaker fields, if not the weakest, you will see all year.
Some of the top name players who will not be competing include:
Na Yeon Choi
Se Ri Pak
Top-rated Priority List rookies So Yeon Ryu (#84), Lexi Thompson (#85), and Kathleen Ekey (#86) will be making their debuts as LPGA members.
My strength of field rating for this tournament is a very low 48%.
Only one tournament in 2011, was rated lower.
Ten players in the Rolex Rankings top 20 are playing, at two points each = 20 points
11 players ranked 21-40 are in the field, at 1 1/2 points each = 16 1/2 points
7 players ranked 41-60 are in the field, at 1 point each = 7 points
9 players ranked 61-80 are in the field, at 1/2 point each = 4 1/2 points.
That total is 47 1/2 out of a possible 100.
For my Player of the Year rankings, the players will only get to keep 48% of points earned by their finish.
Here is the Television Schedule:
Feb 09 12:30-2:30 PM ET GC
Feb 10 12:30-2:30 PM ET GC
Feb 11 10:00-12:30 PM ET GC
Feb 12 10:00-12:30 PM ET GC
For anyone interested in watching the telecast, I would advise you not to go to the LPGA website. Australia is 16 hours ahead of us and the results will be posted long before we get to watch it. I will be certain not to post any results until after the telecast.
The big Rolex Ranking move this week belongs to Christel Boeljon, who moves from #62 to #46 as a result of winning the Australian Masters.
Paula Creamer certainly has a very unique reason for missing this week's tournament. LPGA golfer Taylor Leon is getting married Saturday, and Paula is a Bridesmaid. The wedding was scheduled before the announcement was made that the Australian Open would be an LPGA event.