Sunday, July 14, 2013

Manulife Financial LPGA Classic Sunday: Hee Young Park Outlasts Angela Stanford in Playoff

Hee Young Park shot a 30 on the back 9 at Grey Silo to post a 65 and force a playoff with Angela Stanford, who went 64-64 over the weekend and still couldn't walk away from Waterloo as champion of the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, because she could only manage a par on the 3rd playoff hole.  Park's 3rd-straight playoff birdie on the short par 5 finishing hole propelled her to her 2nd career LPGA victory

With Golf Babes already pointing out that Park and Stanford matched Karen Stupples's 4-round LPGA record of 258 and ended up 1 shot shy of Annika Sorenstam's record-setting -27 total from 2001, I'll focus on their genius relative to the rest of the field this season.  16 other golfers stayed in the 60s all 4 rounds, ranging from 3rd-place Catriona Matthew (who opened 63-64 but fell 3 shots off the pace over the weekend) to Na Yeon Choi (who matched Haeji Kang's 62 today and -18 total for the week to join Stacy Lewis, Suzann Pettersen, Amy Yang, Gerina Piller, and Austin Ernst in T6) to world #1 Inbee Park (who ended up 10 shots behind the leaders in her bid for her 4th-straight LPGA victory) all the way down to Lisa McCloskey (who, at -12 and T28, earned just under $11K for her troubles).  To give you a sense of how low almost everyone was going today, Anna Nordqvist shot an uncharacteristic 73 and fell from 5th after 54 holes to T26 (with Morgan Pressel, who caught her via a 64) after 72.  How about this?  Hanna Kang matched Stanford's 64-64 finish and still couldn't make the top 10!

With only 2 tournaments left before the Solheim Cup teams are determined, Karine Icher made a strong case for her inclusion on Team Europe with a final-round 63 that vaulted her into solo 5th.  Piller's final-round 67 wasn't spectacular, but it earned her 25 points in the race to join Team USA, enough to pass Lizette Salas by a point and move into 9th with 175 points.  Given that 8th-place Brittany Lang still has 226 points after the defending champion failed to make the cut this week, Piller, Salas, Pressel, Jennifer Johnson, and Michelle Wie will most likely need to outdo each other in Sylvania, OH, and Fife, Scotland, to avoid being the odd woman out.  2 will make the team via the Rolex Rankings and 2 via captain's picks.  I'll be looking forward to reading Tony Jesselli's update of his last Solheim Cup rundown!  [Note: see the good points made in comments!]

For now, though, l'll simply point out that Hee Young Park joined the LPGA the same year as Ya Ni Tseng, Na Yeon Choi, Amy Yang, Shanshan Feng, Momoko Ueda, and Sandra Gal.  I haven't updated my ranking of their rookie class since the start of the 2012 season, so that's next on my agenda here at Mostly Harmless.  Unfortunately, the Constructivist family (plus Tomodachi-chan) were all too tired to make the drive to Waterloo today, so no live or TV-mediated observations to make here this year....


Jim C said...

Salas is Top 20 in the Rolex rankings, and there is no way she won't be an automatic qualifier. The battle will be among the other 4 players, and possibly other players.

Anonymous said...

Updated Solheim Cup Points / Rolex Rank:
(per LPGA and Rolex website)

9. Piller.........174.0..................57
9. Salas........174.0..................20
11. Pressel.....164.5.................50
12. Johnson...162.5.................54
13. Wie...........160.5.................81

sports medic

The Constructivist said...

Thanks, y'all!