Monday, October 8, 2012

Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia Preview & Pairings

The LPGA resumes its schedule this week with the playing of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia Championship. It is the first of four consecutive tournaments to be played in Asia. Tournaments in South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan will follow. All four of these tournaments will be limited-field events.

This will be tournament 22 of 27 scheduled this year. Here are the key details:

Course:  Kuala Lumpar Golf and Country Club
Where:   Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia
Defending Champion:  Na Yeon Choi
Winning Score:  66-68-67-67=269 (-18)

Final Field:  72 players
Par:  71
Yardage:  6208 yards
Purse:  $1,900,000

Here are the first round pairings.

Don't let the fact that this is a limited-field event fool you; only the major championships have had a stronger field. Hee Kyung Seo is the only top-named player who qualified and is not playing. Others not making it into the field include: Maria Hjorth, Karen Stupples, Juli Inkster, and M.J. Hur.

Here are my predictions for this week:

1- Paula Creamer
2- Na Yeon Choi
3- Jiyai Shin
4- Shanshan Feng
5- Azahara Munoz
6- Yani Tseng
7- Stacy Lewis
8- Suzann Pettersen
9- Lexi Thompson
10- Ai Miyazato
11- Hee Young Park
12- So Yeon Ryu

Here are the television times:
Oct 11 - GC 9:30 PM-11:30 PM EST
Oct 12 - GC 9:30 PM-11:30 PM EST
Oct 13 - GC 9:30 PM-11:30 PM EST
Oct 14 - GC 9:30 PM-11:30 PM EST

All the rounds will be shown on tape delay some 17 hours after the actual finish. If you are planning on watching the broadcast, I would stay away from any golf boards that might include spoilers. I will not post any results until after the broadcast.

Other Tidbits:
Michelle Wie did not earn her way into this event, but was given a sponsor exemption. There is no cut in this event, but any money she earns will not be added to her 2012 earnings. The LPGA rules stipulate that any money earned by a player entering a tournament as a sponsor exemption on foreign soil does not count as official earnings.

Round two of qualifying school will be played this week starting on Tuesday 10/9/12 and finishing on Friday 10/12/12. Top first-round qualifiers including Moriya Jutanugarn, Brooke Pancake, and Jaye Marie Green, will be joined by the likes of European stars Melissa Reid and Lee-Anne Pace. The field will be 216 players with no cut. The top 70 move on to the final phase in December.  [Update:  Check out my preview post. Other big names include Chie Arimura and Ayako Uehara from the JLPGA! --TC]


Scott Robarge said...

Nice Article! Thanks for sharing with us.
Scott Robarge

Amanda said...

Interesting to note the LPGA's rule about money earned when playing on a sponsor's exemption. Why does this rule only apply for tournaments played on foreign soil? Tony, do you know the rationale behind it?

Tony Jesselli (Tonyj5) said...

No, I do not. I always wondered about that rule myself.

Anonymous said...

I don't know the specifics of why they have the rule of not counting money earned on exemptions in foreign events as official money but I would guess that it would tend to favor the American players who are more likely to receive exemptions at U.S. events. It also provides extra incentive for the players to use their limited exemptions at U.S. based LPGA events in order for the money to count towards official winnings in tour status.

sports medic

sag said...

It's not about foreign events--it's about limited-field events. Of course, there's a correlation: domestic events tend to be full-field while foreign events are often limited-field.

The idea is that official money has to be "earned." Either you make the cut in a full-field event, or in a no-cut event you earn your official money by "earning" your way into the field in the first place and not by being gifted a sponsor exemption.

To illustrate why sponsor-exemption money in limited-field events should not count on the official money list, here's a thought experiment. Tiffany Joh is 101 on the money list. Suppose the LPGA thinks "she's American and has a great personality--let's ask a sponsor to give her an exemption. That way even if she finishes dead last she could move into the top 100 and get into a higher-priority category." How would whomever she displaced feel about the tour picking and choosing who finishes in the top 100? It wouldn't be fair.

The Constructivist said...

Yup, this rule also gives foreign sponsors an incentive to install a cut and eventually make their events full-field. Think of how Evian has upgraded over the years....