Bienvenue! My name is Jamie and I like golf. I grew up playing tennis in eastern Massachusetts, but fell in love with the game after watching Se Ri Pak defeat Jenny Chausiriporn at the 1998 U.S. Womens Open. I studied Hospitality & Tourism Management (with a focus on Event, Tourism, and Convention Management) at the Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Tennis is my first love, but golf is a very close second. I believe style should equal substance, and the latter is nothing without the former.

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"you can't make harmony, when everyone is singing the same note."

 

Richdale Wins in Playoff, Harigae Falters

Richdale Wins Turkey Hill ClassicSamantha Richdale of British Columbia, Canada parred the first playoff hole to hold off Amanda Mathis to win her third event and second of the year at the Duramed Futures Tour Turkey Hill Classic. The event held in Pennsylvania was forced to completed the final round on Monday after rain held up play throughout the week.

Richdale’s final round 68 was capped off by three birdies in a row on holes 15-17. Mathis off set two bogies on 10-11 with three coming in to finish tied with Richdale at -10.

Just missing out on the playoff were the top two players on the DFT, Mina Harigae (70), the leader when play began, who could not find a birdie on the back 9, and her two bogeyes were one too many to get her fourth victory on tour this season. Two-time winner Jean Reynolds (68) used a birdie on the 18th to tie Harigae at T3. Joining Reynolds and Richdale for the round of the day was fellow top 10 on the money lister Christine Song, who used her four under par round got her alone in 5th.

DFTs top 4, Harigae, Reynolds, Misun Cho (who skipped this week’s event), and Samantha Richdale have separated themselves and will be finishing in the top 5 on this year’s money list. With only one event remaining this should be sweet relief for Richdale who can now rest easy going into the tour’s final event (the other three had already secured their top 5 standing by winning at least two events on the year).

With $15,000 up for grabs at the season ending event in a couple weeks in Syracuse, NY anyone in the top 15 can potentially jump up to the top 5 with a win. The entire top 40 can secure low playing privileges for next season with a win, which would get then into the top 10 for the year. Should be an exciting conclusion to a great season on the DFT!

Samantha Richdale will be participating in this week’s LPGA event in Oregon, the Safeway Classic.

Harigae Does It! So Does Song!

Mina Harigae]If anyone questioned Mina Harigae’s decision to leave Duke and focus on a professional career, it did not take Mina very long to give a resounding answer as to why she did. Mina won the Falls Auto Group Classic today on the Duramed Futures Tour to get her third win of the season, giving her a battlefield promotion to enter some LPGA tournaments this season.

Lisa Mickey’s phenomenal story isn’t up yet, but Harigae steadied herself after an early bogey and posted a steady one-under 71 to beat another Duke star Amanda Blumenherst by two strokes. Blumenherst did one better, a 70, but was never really in it. She birdied her last three to climb within 2. Yoora Kim was the only player really threatening Mina all day, but her bogey at the last dropped her to 4th tying Gerina Mendoza who had a 4 at the par 5 18th. Permila Lindberg also creeped by Yoora by virtue of an eagle at the last which gave her one of the lower rounds of the day a 66.

This day though belongs to Mina Hariage, who was one of the top juniors in the country before turning pro. She beats Jean Reynols and Misun Cho to the third win victory, and we’ll see which LPGA events she can get herself into. This promotion won’t give her a tour card, but she will secure one anyone by her top 5 finish when the DFT finishes up in a few weeks.

Mina will be one to watch for the next couple years.

Jennifer SongAnother player to watch for sure will be Jennifer Song who capped off her extraordinary summer Sunday by defeating Jennifer Johnson 3 & 1 in the finals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. Jennifer, the 2009 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Champ and the low amateur at the 2009 (and 2007) U.S. Women’s Open became only the second women to win two USGA championships in the same year, the other being Pearl Sinn-Bonnani in 1988 (which was one year before Jennifer Song was born).

This finishes off an amazing summer for Song, who has had many heartbreaking runner-ups in her amateur career. She lost to Tiffany Joh 2&1 last year at the WAPL, and finished runner-up at the SEC Championships and NCAA Championships this year. The latter with a heart breain 3-putt double bogey to finish second.

It looks like Jennifer has learned how to win, and she’s going to be very dangerous in the NCAAs and amateur championships for as long as she remains amateur. Congrats to both ladies!

Will any of the 2009 Category 9ers be a Violeta Retamoza?

I’ve made no attempts to hide my odd fascination for Violeta Retamoza’s 2008 season. Violeta earned her card by finishing in the top 5 of the 2007 Futures Tour Money list, and had exempt status for the 2008 LPGA season. She performed badly, one of the worst seasons by an exempt player in recent memory. She missed all, but one cut, and in the one cut she did make, at the Longs Drugs, she finished last, 7 strokes behind her nearest competitors, and 34 strokes worse then the winner, In-Kyung Kim.

I thought it might be interesting to see how Violeta’s 2007 stats compared to the top players from 2008, to see if any of them are likely to befall a tough 2009 campaign a la Violeta.

In 2007, Violeta Retamoza won once, finished in the top 10 six times, made 16 out of 17 cuts, and had a scoring average of 72.76.

PLAYER…………EVENTS..WINS..TOP 10..CUTS…..AVG
Vicky Hurst………..13…..4…….9….13…70.28
Mindy Kim………….17…..3……11….17…71.12
Sarah-Jane Kenyon…..10…..1…….6….10…70.97
M.J. Hur…………..17…..1…….8….16…72.16
Jin Young Pak………17…..0…….8….17…71.56

All of these ladies have better stats then Violeta, although M.J. has eerily similiar stats. Both finished 4th on the money list, made 16 out of 17 cuts, and had one win. M.J. did have two more top 10s and a scoring average 1/2 a stroke better though.

IMO, none of these ladies are the likely candidates to befall Violeta’s state. Some other FT alums from 2008 may be a better bet… such as

PLAYER…………EVENTS..WINS..TOP 10..CUTS…..AVG
Chella Choi………..17…..0…….4….16…72.47
Jeehae Lee…………16…..0…….0…..8…74.98

Note that despite Chella Choi’s 17th place finish on the DFT money list, she still had a better stroke average then Violeta.

The best bet out of all the players Category 11 or above to likely have a Retamoza type season (or a Riko Higashio type season if you go back another year) is Jeehae Lee. Jeehae broke 70 more time during the final qualifying school tournament (twice) then she did in her 16 events on the DFT in 2008 (she fired a 69 once).

It’ll be interesting to see just how well the Yale grad will fare next year.