Wednesday, September 23, 2009

CVS LPGA Challenge Preview/Predictions/Pairings

The CVS LPGA Challenge may have a new name and a reduced purse, but it returns to Blackhawk Country Club for the 4th straight year. Despite the absence of Ai Miyazato (at home prepping for the Japan Women's Open next week), Cristie Kerr (on a vision quest to find the game that's abandoned her since she reached the peak of the money list a few weeks ago), and Na Yeon Choi (recovering from last week's stomach-churning win), the field is still quite strong. Ji-Yai Shin has a chance to extend her lead on her top Player of the Year and money title competitors, while Suzann Pettersen, who won here in a 2007 playoff against Lorena Ochoa, and In-Kyung Kim, the defending champion, will be looking to gain ground on her. So who will play the short, hilly course well? Here are my guesses for this week's PakPicker:

1. Shin Ji-Yai
2. Creamer
3. Pressel
4. Kim In-Kyung
5. Lee Seon Hwa
6. Ochoa
7. Pettersen
8. Webb
9. McPherson
10. Tseng Ya Ni
11. Lang
12. Stanford

Alts: Gustafson, Pak Se Ri, Blumenherst

I've dropped down to 6th on the season, so time for a late rally!

Here are my favorite pairings:

1st tee, 12:13 PM
Juli Inkster
Seon Hwa Lee
Vicky Hurst

1st tee, 8:39 AM
Teresa Lu
Kyeong Bae
Hee Young Park

10th tee, 8:28 AM
Karrie Webb
Paula Creamer
Sophie Gustafson

10th tee, 8:06 AM
Ya Ni Tseng
Karine Icher
Inbee Park

[Update 1 (3:42 am): Jamie RS also picks Shin for the win. I'm curious to see how many greens she hits on Blackhawk CC after missing way more than usual at Torrey.]

[Update 2 (3:55 am): The AP catches non-fans up on Lorena Ochoa's quest to stay #1, while Stina Sternberg wonders if Donna Orender will be the LPGA's next Commissioner/miracle worker.]

[Update 3 (3:58 am): Randall Mell ponders the home field disadvantage in golf via a look at Paula Creamer's performance in her own backyard the last few seasons.]

[Update 4 (4:00 am): Golf Channel has its eye on the ball this week, focusing on the players trying to unseat Ochoa for #1.]

[Update 5 (4:12 am): Why does the LPGA need a dominant player? Ron Sirak gives exactly the wrong answer. Right answer: wrong question--they don't need one.]

[Update 6 (4:24 am): Maybe Sirak should stick to business reporting. I don't see him bemoaning the fact that the commissioner search has been narrowed down to a short list but that there's no clear front-runner, do you? Why can't he take the same approach to the short list of golfers in the running to replace Lorena Ochoa as the world #1?]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OOoooo - I like that Vickie Hurst is paired with Inkster for a couple of rounds. Hurst is going to learn a lot watching how Inkster works her way around the course.

Once Hurst gets the feel of the LPGA Tour, she is going to win...a lot.