A big congratulations goes out to Ai Miyazato who won the Lotte Championship in Hawaii.
Ai, who had failed to close the door in 2 other tournaments this year, was very impressive down the stretch. This was Ai's 8th LPGA victory. She now has the label that Paula Creamer had to wear for years. She is the best player who has not won a major. It will be interesting to see if Ai can follow in Paula's footsteps and make her 9th win her first major championship.
This week the tour moves to Alabama for the playing of the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic. The tournament was formally known as the Avnet LPGA Classic. Here are some of the details:
Course: RTJ Golf Trail, Magnolia Grove, The Crossings
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Defending Champion: Maria Hjorth
Winning Score: 70-74-67-67=278(-10)
Final Field: 144 players
Purse: $1.25 million
This will be the weakest field of the year so far. My strength of field rating is only 48%. Among the top name players who are skipping this event are: Yani Tseng, Ai Miyazato, Amy Yang, I.K. Kim, Jiyai Shin, Catriona Matthew, Michelle Wie, Mika Miyazato, Inbee Park, and Momoko Ueda. With the number of top-name players missing, several players low on the priority list will be getting their first starts of the year. This will be a very important week for those players, as the priority list reshuffles after this week.
Here is the Television schedule:
Apr 26 - GC 12:30-2:30 PM EST
Apr 27 - GC 12:30-2:30 PM EST
Apr 28 - GC 3:00-6:00 PM EST
Apr 29 - GC 3:00-6:00 PM EST
Here are the Pairings
Stacy Lewis missed the cut this past week. She had made her last 21 cuts.
Song Hee Kim missed the cut once again; she has not made a cut this year.
Lexi Thompson missed the cut this past week; it was her first missed cut as a member of the LPGA.
Mika Miyazato had made 18 consecutive cuts; she now has missed her last three.
Caroline Hedwall has never missed a cut in her LPGA career. She has played 12 events.
Meena Lee, Azahara Munoz, and Cristie Kerr are the latest to qualify. Suzann Pettersen remains the highest-ranked player yet to get in.
Rolex Movers of the Week:
Ai Miyazato moves from #8 to #5 and Azahara Munoz moves from #40 to #31.
Hard-to-believe Stat of the Week:
Yani Tseng is now ranked 118th in driving accuracy on the LPGA tour.
Azahara Munoz and Suzann Pettersen have 3 consecutive top-15 finishes.
Christina Kim missed her 4th cut of the year. Her best finish is a tie for 57th.
Michelle Wie, Ryann O'Toole, Kristy McPherson, Paige Mackenzie, and Jeong Jang have missed their last three cuts.
Sybase Match Play Championship Update:
The Sybase field will be set after the playing of the Mobile Classic this week. This is a limited field of just 64 players. 48 players are already in from last year's priority list. Two sponsor exemptions will be announced. The top 2 players after 2 rounds of the Mobile Classic who aren't already qualified will also be added. The field will get to 64 by adding the top 12 players from this year's money list who haven't yet qualified. This is how the fight for those 12 places are at the moment:
1- So Yeon Ryu - $259,450
2- Jenny Shin - $188,834
3- Jessica Korda - $170,974
4- Caroline Hedwall - $147,619
5- Julieta Granada - $141,627
6- Karen Sjodin - $121,390
7- Eun-Hee Ji - $91,015
The above 7 players are safe. They have done enough to qualify.
8- Mina Harigae - $83,779
9- Jodi Ewart - $82,065
10- Natalie Gulbis - $77,317
11- Haeji Kang - $76,317
12- Amanda Blumenherst - $70,457
The above 5 players may still have to make the cut, and a few more dollars, to clinch the final spots.
13- Katherine Hull - $62,007
14- Jennifer Song - $49,819
15- Jennifer Johnson - $49,819
16- Lindsey Wright - $49,468
17- Kristy McPherson - 48,861
18- Pornanong Phatlum - $47,121
19- Lexi Thompson - $44,712
The above 7 players are on the outside looking in and need a good showing this week to improve their position.