Sports Outside the Beltway

The HSBC Matchplay

The men are playing the British Open this week. That doesn’t mean the women golfers have a week off.

The world of Women’s professional golf plays its only match play event of the year this week when the HSBC Women’s World Match Play Championship in New Rochelle, New York is played at the brilliant Wykagyl Country Club.

The Wykagyl Country Club was built around 1900 and is one of those courses that link us with the past, Lawrence Van Etten being the original designer, but Donald Ross, A.W. Tillinghast and more recently Arthur Hills and Crenshaw and Coore all having a role in its development over the years. It is highlighted by rolling fairways, tight fairways and small greens so typical of traditional north-eastern courses from a bygone era. The course has played host to the Sybase Classic since 1990 but that event moved to New Jersey in 2007 while the Crenshaw and Coore restorations were being completed but this fine golf course gets the ongoing exposure it deserves.

The field brings together 64 of the world’s leading players competing for a first prize of US$500,000. The defending champion is Brittany Lincicome who beat Juli Inkster in the final at the Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone New Jersey to win her first USLPGA Tour event.

Colombian Marissa Baena won in 2005 when she defeated Meena Lee by a narrow 1 up margin.

The nature of matchplay has already shown the capacity of the format to produce upsets and there is every reason to believe there might be another this year.

There certainly will be upsets. I’m going to make my predictions based on my picks for this week’s Pakpicker.(Note play is already underway. I had things to do this morning, that delayed my making this post) The Matchplay Brackets are above, but you can also click here to see them.

1st Round

Ochoa over Simon
Francella over M Lee
Prammanasudh over Johnson
Hurst over Young
Creamer over Sergas
Matthew over Hjorth
Inkster over Choi
Stanford over Bae- Stanford is playing well, but Bae finished second on this course last year. Either one of these players could be a sleeper this week
Kerr over Hung- No that’s not a bad joke.
Young Kim over IK Kim
Lincicome over Koch
Granada over Rankin
Pak over Bader
Christina Kim over Gulbis
Miyazato over Morgan
Steinhauer over Min
Webb over Mayorkas
Diaz over JM Kim
JY Lee over Sjodin
Kang over Castrale
Pettersen over IB Park
Hetherington over Ahn
MH Kim over Doolan
S Lee over Chung
Sorenstam over Hull
Wright over Lang
Jang over Baena
A Park over Cavalleri
*- B Kim over Pressel- 2005 US Open rematch. Over a dismal year and a half, Birdie has been playing pretty solid golf in 2007. Imagine if they come to 18 tied and Birdie is in the bunker……
Davies over Redman
Shin over Moodie
SH Lee over D’Alessio

*- Upset(s) of the Round

2nd Round

Ochoa over Francella- This match could have the potential for an upset. Francella is a New Yorker and has played well this year, including a playoff win over Annika Sorenstam in Mexico.
Hurst over Prammanasudh
Creamer over Matthew
Stanford over Inkster
*- Y Kim over Kerr
Lincicome over Granada
Pak over C Kim
Miyazato over Steinhauer
*- Diaz over Webb
JY Lee over Kang
*- Hetherington over Pettersen
MH Kim over S Lee
Sorenstam over Wright
Jang over A Park
Davies over B Kim
Shin over SH Lee

3rd Round

Ochoa over Hurst- Pat could surprise but she isn’t having quite as good a year as she had in 2006.
*- Stanford over Creamer

Y Kim over Lincicome
Pak over Miyazato
JY Lee over Diaz
MH Kim over Hetherington
Jang over Sorenstam- Annika is still not up to par
Shin over Davies- The pudge match as I call it. The Stocky Shin vs The Rugby like Davies.


Ochoa over Stanford
Pak over Y Kim
*- JY Lee over MH Kim
Shin over Jang


Pak over Ochoa
Shin over JY Lee. Jee Young is the most underrated of the Korean players on the LPGA. She could win this whole thing.


Pak over Shin

Se Ri beats Shin, the Korean golfer that shattered many of Se Ri’s KLPGA records in 2006. Yi Yai will come to play in the USA one day and win a tournament here in memory of her mother. As Casey Stengel may have said- “You can write that down.”

We’ll see if I’m right about my HSBC picks over the next few days.

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