With many of the world’s top players sitting the last full field domestic event out, this week’s event could be a big breakthrough for one of the many talented ladies on tour. Some notable names not in the field include #1 on the money list Jiyai Shin, the owner of the longest top 10 streak on tour Ai Miyazato, and Suzann Pettersen who has decided to rest her foot after withdrawing from the final round last week in Danville. So, which player is likely to break through this week?
Could it be world #1 and defending champion Lorena Ochoa who with every winless week is losing grip to Shin as the LPGA’s top performer? Ochoa has been in contention the last two weeks, but has been unable to close the deal on the weekend. On the flip side, she has had top 10s in her last 3 events, and should find herself a 4th straight top 10. Can she get it done is the clutch is the bigger question, which is a strange one to be asking a world #1 and two-time winner in 2009.
Can Michelle Wie finally cash in and take home her first LPGA title. She’s had many strong finishes this year, but hasn’t been in the thick of things late on Sunday. Many expect Wie to become the face of the tour, and getting a win this week could go a long way in that. Wie who will be skipping the mini Asian circuit to continue classes at Stanford is running out of chances to join Shin, Anna Nordqvist, and M.J. Hur as rookie winners in 2009.
Sun Young Yoo is another player seeking her first title, and has a T2 and T3 in her last two events. Yoo looks poised to become another South Korean winner on tour. Yoo showed in her playoff loss to Shin at Arkansas that she can make birdies on the closing holes, but was unable to string them together on the front nine last week at the CVS. Can she prove that she can get the deal done on this week?
With the 2009 Tour Championship qualifying criteria unannounced as of yet, it’s going to be a go big or go home week for many players sitting outside the top 80 and top 100 on the money list. The Tour Championship does feature a field of 120, so perhaps we should be looking at the top 120 on the money list as a cut off point as well.
Time for my weekly picks, and after doing pretty well last week, the pressure is certainly on once again:
- Lee, Sarah
- Kim, Christina
- Kim, Song-Hee
- Lee, Seon Hwa
- Hurst, Vicky