Monday, June 25, 2012

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Preview & Pairings

Before I get started with this week's tournament, let me give a big congratulations to Brittany Lang for winning the Manulife Financial Classic. Brittany ended a four-way playoff with a birdie on the 3rd extra hole. This was the 3rd first-time winner in the last 4 tournaments and fourth first-time winner this year.

This week the LPGA will move to Arkansas for the playing of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.  This is a 54 hole event, that will lead us to the U.S. Women's Open the following week.

Here are some details:

Course:  Pinnacle Country Club
Location: Rogers, Arkansas
Defending Champion: Yani Tseng
Winning Score:  66-67-68-201 = (-12)                           

Final Field:  144 Players
Par: 36/35 = 71
Yardage: 6274 Yards
Purse: $2.0 Million

My strength of field rating is 66%, making it the second-strongest field of the year. The only notable players missing are the injured Jiyai Shin and Karrie Webb. This tournament will also mark the return of Juli Inkster who has been out all season with an injury.

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times:
June 29 - GC 6:30-8:30 PM EST
June 30 - GC 5:00-7:00 PM EST
July 1     - GC 5:00-7:00 PM EST

Other Tidbits
Hee-Won Han missed the cut this past weekend for the first time in 22 events. Ai Miyazato's streak of 18 consecutive cuts also ended, as her +7 score was 6 shots too many.

Izzy Beisiegel, who had missed the cut in every tournament she played in dating back to 2005, actually made the cut this past week. She had missed 20 consecutive cuts.

Titleholders Update:
Brittany Lang, Inbee Park, and Chella Choi are the latest to qualify.

Rolex Ranking Mover of the Week:
Brittany Lang moved from #35 to #24.

Who's Hot:
Stacy Lewis has now finished in the top five in five consecutive contests.

Who's Not:
Tiffany Joh missed the cut for the third consecutive time, giving her 6 missed cuts already this season.

I would also like to mention that Melissa Reid won this week on the Ladies European Tour. As some of you might have read, Melissa's mother was killed in an automobile accident three weeks ago. Her father was also badly injured. This was Melissa's first tournament back and had to be a very special win for her. As the current number 48 ranked player in the world, and one of Europe's top players, Melissa will be playing next week in the U.S. Open. 

I will not be posting here for awhile, as my wife and I will be flying to Kohler, Wisconsin at the end of the week for the Women's United States Open. I am sure that the Constructivist will keep everyone updated on the LPGA's most important event. I will update everyone on my experience upon my return.

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