Monday, April 22, 2013

A Few Bold Predictions

Finally had a chance to look over the LPGA's stats pages, so get ready for some crazy predictions (in no particular order):

1.  Get used to fine play from Beatriz Recari, Lizette Salas, Haeji Kang, Jessica Korda, Danielle Kang, Guilia Sergas, and Pornanong Phatlum.  They aren't going away any time soon.  And they could win any given week.

2.  Look for Na Yeon Choi, In-Kyung Kim, Ai Miyazato, So Yeon Ryu, Paula Creamer, and Ya Ni Tseng to start finishing as well in tournaments as their stats suggest they should be doing.  Yes, I'm talking wins for each of them before the year is out.  Maybe in the order I listed them.  Probably not.  But wouldn't it be cool?  (Oh, and watch out for Angela Stanford, Hee Kyung Seo, and Caroline Hedwall, too.  But I'm not calling wins for them.  Just telling you not to be surprised if they do.  Cristie Kerr is closer to playing well again than it appears, too.)

3.  There is no way for Inbee Park and Stacy Lewis to keep putting as well over the next 21 events this year as they have in the LPGA's 1st 7.  NO WAY.  Or Hee Kyung Seo, for that matter.  It just is not humanly possible.

4.  Michelle Wie is showing serious signs of coming out of her slump.  She oughtta be seriously considered as an Adam Scott-style captain's pick for the Solheim Cup.  This is not a joke.

5.  Moriya Jutanugarn's ginormous lead in the Rookie of the Year race is in danger.  (She's just not making birdies at the rate an elite LPGA player should.  Right now, she's been overachieving and her top competition has been slumping.  I'm looking at you, Arimura-san!)


Anonymous said...

The top eight in the Solheim Cup points standings look like this:

Name Solheim Cup Points
1 Lewis, Stacy 716
2 Creamer, Paula 348
3 Kerr, Cristie 331
4 Stanford, Angela 271
5 Lincicome, Brittany 215
6 Thompson, Lexi 168
7 Salas, Lizette 160
7 Korda, Jessica 160

The next two highest in the Rolex Rankings are:

Name / Solheim Cup / Rolex Ranking
9 Lang, Brittany 154 36
15 Pressel, Morgan 88 55

Which leaves us to the two Captain's Picks
Name Rolex Rankings
Piller, Gerina 60
Kang, Danielle 65
Castrale, Nicole 73
Jennifer Johnson 77
Hurst, Vicky 78
Harigae, Mina 79
Wie, Michelle 90
Futcher, Katie 105

Pillar, Hurst and Fucher are all in the top twelve based on the Solheim Cup points. Pillar and Kang are 30 and 25 places ahead of Wie in the Rolex Rankings. Don't know if you can award Wie a spot on the team based upon making the cut on the number and good weekend play well off the leaderboard on one of your childhood courses. I would need to see better. Such a selection would speak more to the desires of Nike and the Golfchannel than by merit.

sports medic

The Constructivist said...

All good points, but there are a lot of events between now and the selection of the team and the gap between Wie and even Lincicome is not insurmountable, so she could still make the team on points.

While I don't think she's playing well enough to do that, take a look at her birdies per round rate (3.55), which I use as a key indicator of how well someone's playing. Yes, her driving accuracy is worse than ever (and what the heck is Ya Ni Tseng doing down there with her near 50%?!!), and her GIR rate is under 65% (somehow Tseng is close to 69%), but that makes the number of birdies she's averaging per round pretty amazing. All she needs to do is start hitting the ball a little better to improve her scoring yet further (72.5 isn't bad for someone hitting the ball as badly as she has been).

The other way to look at it is that Lang, Pressel, Hurst, and Futcher aren't playing all that well thus far this year and could easily drop further down the list. Piller, Castrale, and Kang are playing well, so it still could go either way. But if Wie starts playing and scoring better, as I expect she will, she could earn a captain's pick between now and the time of selection.

Hey, it wouldn't be a bold prediction if the conventional wisdom said "no way" and the odds were below 33%. I'm seeing signs Wie will surprise on the upside in the next few months, but it may not pan out....

Anonymous said...

Remember that in order to earn any Solheim points at all (3 points actually) you have to finish in the top-twenty. These 28th place finishes aren't going to help her make up any of her deficit.

sports medic

Anonymous said...

BTW Thank you and Tony and Bankok Bobby for the work you guys put in your blogs. I appreciate all the great info, pictures, and informed commentary.

sports medic

The Constructivist said...

Yes, I am predicting she will have multiple top 20s in the coming weeks....