Sports Outside the Beltway

Domination- Jiyai Shin wins the Women’s British Open

The golfer nicknamed the ‘Final Round Queen’ lived up to her nickname today. She won the last LPGA major Championship of 2012 by 9 shots over Inbee Park. Just six days ago Shin defeated Paula Creamer in a sudden death playoff at the Kingsmill Championship.

Shin shot a 71 to open the tournament, then followed it with a course record 64 to open up a five-shot lead going in the day of play. Due to inclement weather on Friday, players who made the tournament cut, had to play 36 holes today.

No South Korean golfer other than Se Ri Pak has won more than one LPGA major. Another tidbit- No South Korean golfer other than Pak has won a double digit amount of LPGA tournaments. As I’ve written a few times, there have been a large number of South Korean golfers who started strongly on the LPGA Tour and then went into decline. Jiyai Shin, winner of the 2008 Women’s British Open, came into today with one LPGA major championship triumph and nine LPGA wins respectively. So she was looking to join Pak.

Karrie Webb shot a third round 68 to pull within 3 shots of Shin with 18 holes to go. The weather turned horrible in the short period of time between Webb and Shin finishing their 3rd rounds and teeing it up for the 4th round. Rain and gusting strong winds. The final round was going to be a matter of survival.

Shin makes a triple bogey on the opening round of her 4th round. Webb made double bogey but Shin’s lead was down to two. That is as close as it came. Shin played the final 17 holes of her 4th round in 2 under par. Webb, Inbee Park, and Mika Miyazato, all faded. The weather was bad for most of the day, in fact there was a 15 minute stoppage as the winds were just gusting too strongly. It was just incredible how Shin played after the 1st hole. She never came close to another disaster. Her final round 73 may have been just as good as Shin’s course record 64 in the second round. Only two golfers, Creamer and Alexis Thompson, shot better rounds than Shin and they each came with 72s.

I think its safe to say Shin is back. The last few weeks look to me look like her making another run at #1 in the world.


Ai Miyazato wins the Tres Marias Championship

She has won three of the five LPGA tournaments played in 2010. From AP-

Ai Miyazato of Japan won her third tournament of the LPGA season, shooting a 6-under 67 on Sunday to win the Tres Marias Championship.Ai Miyazato2

The Japanese totaled 19-under 273 to finish a shot ahead of Stacy Lewis (66) of United States and two in front of Michelle Wie (68).

Miyazato shared the spotlight with No. 1-ranked Lorena Ochoa, who played the final round of her career before stepping into retirement to raise a family and focus on her charity foundation. Ochoa shot 71 to finish on 280. She has won this event three of the past four years.

Ochoa has held the No. 1 ranking since April 2007 but she will lose it when the rankings come out Monday, with Jiyai Shin of Taiwan taking over. Shin won a tour event in Japan on Sunday.

Check out The Constructivist’s post on Shin’s victory.

The tournament belonged to the Japanese from Okinawa, who won earlier this season in Thailand and Singapore.

Miyazato deserved to win but I wouldn’t say the tournament belonged to her. She had to beat back serious challenges from Michelle Wie and Stacy Lewis on Sunday.

Note- Miyazato has four LPGA wins but has yet to win in the United States. Her one win prior to this year was in France.

In accepting the winning trophy on the 18th green, Miyazato broke down crying as she thanked Ochoa. Ochoa, a few feet away, also rubbed tears from her eyes in bright sunlight on the mountainside course. Ochoa choose Miyazato as her playing partner for the first two rounds.

“I want to say thanks to Lorena,” Miyazato said. “I really appreciate what she did for the LPGA and what she did for her country here in Mexico.”

“She is one of my best friends,” Miyazato said, beginning to cry. “I’m going to miss her.”

As she spoke, thousands surrounding the green—standing high a hillside— broke into applause.

Michelle Ellis, president of the LPGA players association, stood in a long line of players who saluted Ochoa on the 18th green.

“She is going to be dearly missed by the players and all member of the LPGA family,” Ellis said, with Mexican mariachis playing as Ochoa left the green.

“I think her heart and her spirit out does her golf game by 1,000 yards.”

Ochoa won 27 tournaments—including two majors, has held the No. 1 ranking for three years and won the Player of the Year title four straight years.

Ochoa did not play the ten years required for automatic qualifying for the Hall of Fame. She will be voted in, and I’m betting it will take place the first year she is eligible.

Much has been written about the LPGA losing its star(Ochoa) but right now the tour has a tug of war for #1 in the world. Shin will be ranked 1st by Rolex tomorrow but Miyazato will be close behind her and Norway’s Suzann Pettersen and Taiwan’s Yani Tseng a close 3rd and 4th*. If Miyazato wins the Salonpas Cup, the first JLPGA major of 2010, she will take #1 from Shin. Four or more players battling for the top spot in women[s professional golf. Why do golf writers insist on saying the LPGA is hurt by its lack of a dominant player when so many are contending for #1?

Maybe they hate not being able to articles and columns that take adulation to extremes fear change and the unknown. I think Brent Kelley gets it right.

So we say goodbye to Lorena Ochoa today, we wish her well, we thank her for great golf, her humanity, her humility.

And we say hello to the future of golf.

I think there is plenty of excitement ahead for Women’s professional golf.

Also blogging on Miyazato’s win- Hound Dog, Sal Johnson, Stephanie Wei, and The Constructivist.

*- That is if Ochoa is taken down since she is retired. She may linger in the top 5 for a while otherwise.


Crystal Ball Time

My annual sports predictions for the upcoming year. Due to some unknown reason, I skipped doing this a year ago. What matters is I came back, right?

1 Cleveland beats the LA Lakers for the NBA Championship
2 Indianapolis defeats Arizona in the Super Bowl Crystall ball
3 San Jose defeats Washington for the Stanley Cup
4 St. Louis beats the Los Angeles Angels in the World Series
5 Tiger Woods returns to golf, wins at least one tournament but no major championships. That is a risky prediction in light of the fact that Tiger has won majors on 3 of this year’s host courses.(Augusta National, Pebble Beach, St. Andrews)
6 Phil Mickelson wins the US Open
7 Michelle Wie wins at least two tournaments, one of which is a major championship
8 Ji Yai Shin is LPGA player of the year
9 A non-Korean golfer will be LPGA rookie of the year
10 Yu-Na Kim wins figure skating gold at the 2010 Olympics
11 The Miami Dolphins don’t make this year’s playoffs but have a winning 2010 season
12 The Miami Heat make the playoffs but lose in the 1st round
13 The Florida Marlins have a winning record but don’t make the playoffs
14 Urban Meyer doesn’t return as coach of the Florida Gators
15 Joe Paterno announces his retirement after the 2010 Penn State season is complete
16 The Florida Panthers don’t make the playoffs
17 The Florida Panthers trade Goalie Tomas Vokoun
18 Manny Pacquiao loses to Floyd Mayweather
19 Kansas defeats Purdue for the NCAA Basketball Championship
20 Texas defeats Alabama in the BCS Championship game
21 Army has a winning football season and gets a bowl invitation
22 Washington Redskins fire Coach Jim Zorn
23 Serena Williams wins at Wimbledon
24 Versus and Directv finally settle their dispute
25 A North American horse racing track closes its doors.
26 Sebastian Vettel wins the Formula World Drivers Championship
27 New York Rangers fire Coach John Tortorella
28 The New Jersey Nets don’t finish with the worst record in NBA history
29 Connecticut defeats Tennessee for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship
30 At least half these predictions are wrong

We’ll come back on December 31st 2010 and see how I did.


Oh so close- Lorena Ochoa edges Jiyai Shin for LPGA Player of the Year

After two days of rain that caused Friday’s 2nd round to finish on Monday morning, the rain shortened LPGA Tour Championship was completed today. Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist won by two shots over Lorena Ochoa. Kristy McPherson finished in a tie for 3rd with Na Yeon Choi.

The LPGA Tour Championship was the second win of the year for Nordqvist. Nordqvist, who was a rookie at the beginning of the year, won the LPGA Championship in June. Both of Nordqvist’s wins were impressive against stellar fields. She looks to have a very bright future on the tour.Ochoa and Shin

The biggest news today, more than who won the tournament, was the determination of who would be LPGA Player of the Year for 2009. For most of the summer, Jiyai had the lead and looked posed to win POY and Rookie of the Year honors. Something only Nancy Lopez has done previously. However 2006-08 POY Lorena Ochoa after slumping through much of the summer, got hot once more starting about late to Mid-September. Coming into this week’s tournament, Shin had a 8 point lead over Ochoa.

That meant the only sure way Ochoa could be player of the year was with a win this weekend. She could also get the honor with a 2nd or 3rd place finish but she would need help from Shin.

Going into today’s final round, Shin looked to be in perfect position to be POY. She was in solo second place, one shot behind leader Kristy McPherson. Ochoa was tied for 3rd. Shin hasn’t been real sharp for the last two months, but still a top 5 looked inevitable for her.

Ochoa finished 2nd today. She did so in spite of a poor tee shot on 17(a par 3) that left her with a horrendous lie in the sand trap. A lie that caused her to not even get her 2nd shot on the green. Ochoa’s 3rd ran over ten feet past the hole but she drained the putt for bogey. Ochoa then birdied 18 which all but guaranteed her a 2nd place finish.

Shin never got it rolling today. She played the front nine in one over par and didn’t make a birdie till the 11th hole. Then Shin made five more straight pars. As she prepared to tee off on the 17th hole, Shin was in a 4-way tie for 5th. All 3 of the players Shin was tied with, were through for the day. That meant Shin needed to par the last two holes. Should she take even one bogey, Shin would fall to a tie for 8th. That would leave her with one less point than Ochoa in the POY race.

Shin, like Ochoa, hit her tee shot at 17 into a sand trap. The good news, Shin didn’t have a bad lie like Ochoa. The bad news- She had a very awkward stance. Like Ochoa, Shin didn’t get her sand shot on the green. Her 3rd shot didn’t go in the hole, but Shin didn’t have to make a lengthy bogey putt like Ochoa. Still she had bogied the hole and had fallen to a tie for 8th. A birdie at 18 would now be needed if Shin was to be POY.

It wasn’t to be. After a solid drive, Shin’s 2nd shot came up short. Shin did make par, but the tournament and POY race were over. A disappointing finish for certain, but at this point in time, I’d have to pick Shin as my favorite for 2010 POY. Ochoa is getting married next month, and she has stated in the past, that she would not have a lengthy golf career. The signs are already apparent that Ochoa is making LPGA Golf a secondary part of her life.

It was a great 2009 LPGA campaign even if it was a roller coaster at times. Now the Tour’s fans have to wait 3 months for the 2010 season opener in Thailand. Boy am I going to be suffering from withdrawal by then.

Update- Also blogging on the LPGA Tour Championship and the POY race are Ryan at Waggle Room, Sal at Golf Observer, The Constructivist, Hound Dog, and Jamie.


Jiyai Shin wins her 3rd LPGA event of 2009

She won the P&G Beauty NW Arkansas Championship in a 3-way playoff. On the second hole of sudden death, Shin rolled in a birdie putt to defeat Angela Stanford and Sun Young Yoo.

Going into today, Shin was 7 shots behind the leader Song Hee Kim. Kim had over 700,000 in earnings for the year but had yet to crack the winner’s circle. Kim was never able to gain momentum today and missed a birdie putt on 18 that would have enabled her to join the playoff. Instead Kim finished tied for 4th.

Korean-American golfer Jane Park made an early Sunday. She pulled into a tie for the lead at the 5th hole. After that, Park played the next 12 holes in 8 over par and finished tied for 21st.

Shi-Hyun ‘Cinderella’ Ahn had her best finish of the 2009. Unable to birdie 18, she finished tied for 4th with Song Hee Kim. South Koreans were all over the leaderboard. They accounted for 8 of the top 13 finishers in the tournament.

The golf was on at 1 p.m. Florida time but I didn’t begin watching till almost the end of regulation play. Instead I had the Miami Dolphin game on. The less said about Atlanta’s 19-7 win over the fins, the better.

Shin shot a final round 64 to post a score of nine under par. Then Shin had to wait over two hours to see if anyone caught or beat her.

Stanford eagled the 18th hole to catch Shin and Yoo made a birdie at the closing hole.

The playoff started at the par 5 18th. Shin and Stanford came up short in their efforts to drive the green in two. Yoo hit the green but her ball came in hot and ended up in a back bunker. All three golfers hit their 3rd shots to within 5 feet of the hole and each made their birdie putts.

Next came the 15th hole, a par-3 with water in front. Yoo, named course clown by the South Korean players on tour, came dangerously close to the water but ended up on dry land short of the green. Stanford and Shin hit the green and ended up 30 and 12 feet away respectively. Yoo was the first to play and put her 2nd shot about two feet from the hole. Stanford’s birdie putt narrowly missed. Shin rolled her putt in for the victory.

As Shin was being interviewed for Golf Channel, she received the customary dousing in champagne that LPGA tournament winners get these days. Except it was not done by any of the South Korean players but Brittany Lincicome and Morgan Pressel instead.

With her 3rd win, Shin has the most of any golfer on the LPGA Tour in 2009, Shin has climbed to the top of the money list. She leads Cristie Kerr by a little over $100,000. Shin also has the most points for LPGA Player of the Year. No South Korean, not even Se Ri Pak, has ever won player of the year or been leading money winner for a year. The LPGA still has two months to go before finishing up for the year and both races have anywhere from 3-5 players competing for them. I predicted Shin to be both Rookie and Player of the Year before the season started, and I hope she pulls it off. Then I’ll have at least(but not many more if any at all) two golf precdictions right for this year. I picked Brittany Lincicome to be comeback player of the year. Lincicome has that award put away already with her Kraft Nabisco win.

Shin’s win has to lock her up the 2009 Rookie of the Year award. Yes she is eligible for it in spite of winning three LPGA events in 2008. She did that while not a tour member, so Shin is considered a rookie in 2009.


Jiyai Shin wins the Wegmans LPGA

With today’s win she overtakes Cristie Kerr at the top of the LPGA money list for 2009. From AP-

South Korea’s Jiyai Shin picked up her fifth title in 11 months with a seven-stroke victory at the Wegmans LPGA on Sunday.

The 21-year-old star from Seoul shot a 1-under 71 to finish in a downpour at 17-under 271. Kristy McPherson and Yani Tseng each shot a 66, the day’s best score, to surge into a second-place tie at 10 under. One behind were Japan’s Mika Miyazato (71) and rookies Haeji Kang (71) of South Korea and Stacy Lewis (74), the former NCAA champion from Arkansas.

First-round leader Sandra Gal (74) of Germany bogeyed the last hole to drop into a four-way tie for seventh place at 8 under with Cristie Kerr (69), Meaghan Francella (70) and Sun Young Yoo (73).

“I have a lot of tournaments” left to play this year and “maybe I try more wins,” Shin said. “Still, my goal is rookie of the year.”

Shin dedicated her victory again to her mother, who was killed in an auto accident in 2004. “I have my mother’s picture in my course book,” she said.

The Wegmans was Shin’s 2nd victory in 2009. She won in Singapore last March. It will take a major miracle for her not to be LPGA rookie of the year.

Shin could well be 2009 LPGA player of the year also. Today’s win gives Shin over a million dollars in earnings this year and a little over $160,000 lead over Cristie Kerr for leading money winner. Defending LPGA player of the year Lorena Ochoa trails Shin by almost 300,000 even though Super Mex has two wins on the year. It is my opinion that Ochoa is either distracted or uninterested in golf at present. She has skipped playing three or four LPGA tournaments since the beginning of May. The LPGA has so many open weeks, why is she not playing. If Ochoa doesn’t get into gear so far as the Player of the Year race goes, Shin doesn’t lack for challengers. Kerr, In-Kyung Kim, Angela Stanford, Yani Tseng, or even Brittany Lincicome could also come out on top.

Couple of notes about Shin

I never knew her father was a Presbyterian Minister.

Before she teed off on 18, Shin signed autographs for the tournament volunteers. The bubbly Shin is making her way into the hearts of golf fans.


Ji-Yai Shin wins HSBC Women’s Champions

It took all of three LPGA tournaments in 2009 before a South Korean took home the winner’s trophy.

South Korean star Jiyai Shin won the HSBC Women’s Champions on Sunday for her fourth LPGA Tour title in eight months, shooting her second straight 6-under 66 for a two-stroke victory over Australia’s Katherine Hull.shin4

The 20-year-old Shin, five strokes behind Hull at the start of the round and four back with nine holes to play, had an 11-under 277 total at Tanah Merah and earned $300,000 for her first victory as a member of the LPGA Tour.

“I’m very surprised and very happy,” said Shin, the Women’s British Open winner last August at Sunningdale. “I’m thinking, I had chance for top 10, not for win.”

Called the “Final-Round Queen” in South Korea, Shin birdied the first four holes — opening with 9- and 12-foot putts, chipping in from 45 feet on No. 3 and adding a 15-footer — to put herself in position to take advantage of Hull’s back-nine meltdown. -AP

Singapore was Shin’s 4th LPGA win since last August. She’s just a tour rookie, but one with over world-wide wins who could be player of the year this year. I actually predicted it.

2009 got off to a slow start for Shin, primarily due to two rounds of golf. She shot an 81 in Hawaii and missed the cut at the LPGA operner, and then followed it with a first round 75 in Thailand. She did bounce back to finish 13th there and now has posted another win. Any thoughts of last year being a fluke have to be gone.

Other notes-

Katherine Hull continues to be on a roll, which like Ji-Yai’s, began last summer. I picked Hull as one of the top 10 golfers for 2009. She should be in the winner’s circle again soon.

Brazilian born but Naturalized US citizen Angela Park finished 3rd for the second time this year.

Jane Park’s 6th place finish improves her chances of qualifying for the 2009 US Solheim Cup team. She was 12th in the points standings, and may be 11th now. The top 10 players automatically qualify for the team.

Angela Stanford has three top tens in three tournaments this year, including a win.

Also blogging on this news- The Constructivist


The 2009 LPGA season begins today

The US Women’s professional golf circuit tees it up for the first time at the SBS Open in Hawaii. The 2008 event was won by Annika Sorenstam who has since stepped away from the game. Also not in the field is World #1 ranked player Lorena Ochoa. The SBS field is strong however with Paula Creamer, Suzann Pettersen, and Ji-Yai Shin. Shin who won the final LPGA event of 2008, the ADT Championship, looks to begin where she left off.

So another LPGA season is about to underway. A slimmer one than the 2008 schedule, with the loss of quite a few tournaments. The 2010 schedule is looking rough already, with the SBS Open already down as history.

Some off the course news, the LPGA signed a 10-year deal with the Golf Channel. This is great news for the tour.

As much that news sounds interesting, I prefer talking about what goes on during tournaments than all off the course distractions. Here are my predictions for 2009

Player of the Year- Ji Yai Shin. Shin is ranked #5 in the world and has 26 professional wins at age 20. Last year she won 3 LPGA titles, including a major championship. She has a unflappable personality on course, and I personally think she’ll top Ochoa this year. Golf blogger Mulligan Stu is on board the Shin Express also.

Ochoa won’t lose the money title by much and will retain #1 ranking in the world.

Rookie of the Year- Shin. The 2009 LPGA rookie class is incredible with Shin, Vicki Hurst, Michelle Wie, Stacy Lewis, and a few more could have immediate impact. Shin however is going to win the ROY title in a runaway.

Comeback of the Year- Brittany Lincicome. If she is healthy, I see her returning to her 2007 form.

The come out of nowhere award- Amy Yang. She shouldn’t really be a contender for this, but even my LPGA golf buddies Hound Dog, The Contstructivist, and Ryan are not paying any attention to this golfer’s chances in 2009, so why would the golf media. Yang won twice on the LET last year and I’ll go out on a limb by putting her in the top 5 players for 2009. More on that later.

1st time winners for 2009- Wie, V Hurst, Yang, Angela Park

How many times will naturalized US citizen Angela Park be mislabeled as South Korean by the golf media in 2009- At least two times

The 2009 Solheim Cup matches- US wins 16-12

The 2009 US Solheim Cup qualifiers- Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Angela Stanford, Wie, Hurst, Christina Kim, Morgan Pressel, Nicole Castrale, Brittany Lang, and Stacy Prammanasudh

Beth Daniel’s Captain’s selections- Two potted plants Juli Inkster and Natalie Gulbis. Any Asian American golfer if they want to play in the matches, should only plan on making it via the points list. As I pointed out two years ago, the team’s Captains have done great gymnastic work in order to avoid selecting Asian golfers for the team, even if the criteria they used is in conflict with what they or past Captains have said or done.

So Wie, Hurst, Kim, Prammanasudh, Jane Park will have to make the team by performance. Daniel will pick potted plants for the US squad before choosing any of those talented ladies.

How many tournaments will the South Koreans win in 2009- Ten. Five by Shin. Plus at least two more from Wie, C Kim, and half Korean V Hurst.

How many members of the media will bemoan the Asian invasion- Three.

How many times will I say Carolyn Bivens should be fired before she gets fired the 2009 season ends- Three

How many LPGA writing related Knucklehead awards will I give out in 2009- Five, starting with this guy.

How many times I will be a credentialed member of the LPGA media in 2009- Zero

How many times will I apply- Zero because the LPGA has left the building so far as Florida goes.

2009 Major Champions- I hate picking way in advance, but I’ll go out on a limb. Shin(US), Ochoa(Kraft Nabisco), Creamer(LPGA), and someone else. Ok, that’s 3 out of 4. My crystal ball is not working too well at the moment. Put me down for Hee Won Han at the British Open.

Miscellaneous predictions-

Katherine Hull will take over as Australia’s #1 golfer from Karrie Webb
Se Ri Pak will win the Jamie Farr Classic for a record breaking sixth time
The Korean LPGA tour stop curse aka No winner of the tournament since 2003 has won a LPGA event afterwards, will finally be broken with Suzann Pettersen taking home a LPGA win in 2009

Now for my my top 30, I’ll put it beneath the fold


Ji Yai Shin wins the ADT Championship

The 20-year-old from South Korea won the ADT Championship today. It was Shin’s 3rd LPGA win this year without her being a LPGA member.

Shin won by one shot over Karrie Webb. It was basically a Shin-Webb battle except for a few brief moments when Seon Hwa Lee tied Shin with a birdie on 16. Lee promptly double bogied 17 and finished 3rd.

Along with that trophy she is holding, Ji Yai won a million dollars today. The ADT is the only LPGA tournament where the winner takes home that large a prize.

Suzann Pettersen shot a 79. The fiery Norwegian could be seen taking out her frustrations on her caddy. Paula Creamer was never a factor on Sunday.

Only two weeks ago I wrote this about Shin after her win at the Mizuno Classic-

She will be eligible for Rookie of Year, assuming Ji-Yai comes to play in the US. She has been tearing up the KLPGA, to a lesser extent the JLPGA for a few years now. You read it here first, the second South Korean LPGA golfer to qualify for the Golf Hall of Fame will be Ji-Yai Shin. Take that to the bank.

The complaints the Koreans are taking over the LPGA are about to get louder. Isn’t it about the best golfer is, not where in the world they are from?

Take this down also. If Shin plays the LPGA Tour in 2009, I predict Lorena Ochoa’s days as the #1 player in the world are numbered.


ADT Championship Sunday- 18 holes for a million dollars

At 9:30 this morning the last 8 golfers begin teeing it up in West Palm Beach. They are-

Seon Hwa Lee, Suzann Pettersen, Paula Creamer, Jeong Jang, Karrie Webb Ji Yai Shin, Angela Stanford, and Eun Hee Ji.

Under the ADT’s unique format, all eight players begin today at even par. Some comments on Saturday’s play

*- Suzann Pettersen shot a 68 in spite of scoring a triple bogey on the 4th hole.
*- Helen Alfredsson came to 18 at even par, but splashed two balls before finishing with a seven. Alfredsson scooping up her 4th shot after it crossed the hazard line but before it reached the water, caused some minor controversy.
*- Paula Creamer feeling very unwell, perhaps because of appendicitis, shot a 2 under par 70.
*- Karrie Webb finally defeats a South Korean in a playoff. Sun Young Yoo, Webb, and Ji had to go back to 17 to play for 2 spots in Sunday’s field. Yoo 3-putted from 45 feet to drop out.

Prior to yesterday, Webb had lost 4 playoffs against South Korean players. Three of them to Se Ri Pak, most famously the 2006 LPGA Championship but also the LPGA’s biggest playoff ever a 6-player affair at the Jamie Farr. Webb’s 4th playoff loss was earlier this year to Seon Hwa Lee at the Ginn Tribute.
*- If Creamer is not well enough to play, she will not be placed in the final round field. That would leave only seven players competing for the one million dollar prize.
*- All eight golfers have won at least once on the LPGA Tour. We won’t have a Julieta Granada like story this year.

Some comments on today’s finalists should they be the winner.

Paula Creamer- Would surpass Lorena Ochoa on the 2008 LPGA money list
Ji Yai Shin- Would earn her 3rd LPGA tour win without being a member of the tour yet.
Suzann Pettersen- Would break the Korean LPGA curse. No winner of the Korean LPGA tour stop, now known as the Hana Bank Kolon Championship, since 2003 has since won again on tour.
Seon Hwa Lee- A win may finally get this very underrated player nicknamed ‘Stone Buddha’ some notice. Lee has won 4 times since joining the tour in 2006 and is pretty invisible with both golf fans and media alike.
Jeong Jang- The player affectionately called ‘JJ’ or ‘The Little Giant’ has won over a million dollars this year without a win and at the same time having a painful wrist injury. Jang, the 2005 British Open Champ, is paired with Paula Creamer. Jeong joked about liking to play before a big gallery. Her 2005 British Open final round had a large crowd following JJ. That because of JJ’s playing partner, Annika Sorenstam.
Eun Hee Ji- If she wins, will she give her acceptance speech in English? It was Ji’s use of an interpreter after winning the Wegman’s that supposedly sparked the controversial English policy on the LPGA tour.
Karrie Webb- A win would keep her from being considered a 2009 Comeback player of the Year candidate
Angela Stanford- Would she be considered defending champion when Stanford Intl. takes over as sponsor of the Tour championship in 2009? Stanford defends Stanford. I can see the headline now…..

NBC televise the ADT tape delayed beginning at 3 p.m. this afternoon. A showcase unique event for Women’s golf, but it isn’t shown live. The LPGA Tour gets little respect.

Hound Dog, The Constructivist, and Geoff Shackelford are all commenting.


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