This will be the 21st of 27 tournaments scheduled this year. Here are the key details:
Course: RTJ Golf Trail, Capitol Hill, The Senator
Where: Prattville, Alabama
Defending Champion: Lexi Thompson
Winning Score: 66-68-67-70= 268 (-17)
Final Field: 144 players
Yardage: 6,460 yards
Here are the pairings for the first two rounds.
My strength of field rating is 47%, making it the second-weakest field of the year. Some of the big names that will not be teeing it up include: Cristie Kerr, Na Yeon Choi, Ai Miyazato, Paula Creamer, I.K. Kim, Morgan Pressel, Karrie Webb, Jiyai Shin, Catriona Matthew, Mika Miyazato, Inbee Park, Shanshan Feng, Momoko Ueda, Juli Inkster, Jodi Ewart, Giulia Sergas, and Jessica Korda.
With this being the final full-field event, and so many stars not playing, it will give those players fighting to keep their playing cards a better chance for a higher finish.
Predicting my top 12 this week is really a challenge, but here goes:
1- So Yeon Ryu
2- Stacy Lewis
3- Lexi Thompson
4- Angela Stanford
5- Michelle Wie
6- Suzann Pettersen
7- Amy Yang
8- Azahara Munoz
9- Yani Tseng
Here are television times:
Sep 20 - GC 6:30 PM-8:30 PM EST
Sep 21 - GC 6:30 PM-8:30 PM EST
Sep 22 - GC 2:00 PM-5:00 PM EST
Sep 23 - GC 2:00 PM-5:00 PM EST
Stacy Lewis, who has teed it up in all 20 tournaments this year, now has a tour-leading 13 top-ten finishes.
Inbee Park has played in 18 LPGA events this year. She did not have a top ten in her first 9 tournaments. She has finished in the top ten in each of the last 9 she has played. The last 5 times she has teed it up, she has finished no worse than 3rd.
Brittany Lang missed the cut for the first time in her last 32 tournaments. Karrie Webb (41) and Paula Creamer (40) have the longest current streaks.
Hard-to-Believe Fact of the Week:
Ai Miyazato continues to be the best player on the planet to have not won a major championship. She has now gone 31 majors without a victory. She was hardly a factor this year, finishing 56th, 6th, 28th, and 26th in the four majors. Hurry up and place your bet for 2013 as this can not continue.
Julieta Granada, Katie Futcher, and Cindy LaCrosse are the latest to qualify. Sophie Gustafson remains the highest-ranked player on the priority list yet to qualify.