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.
When Cristie Kerr became the new #1 ranked golfer in the world last week, the common theme amongst the media was the potential resurgence of American Ladies Golf. Kerr has been a consistent top 5/10 player, and it was no real shock that the she is leading the charge of Americans this year.
When journalists and bloggers alike delved deeper into the American talent they began to throw out names of other Americans who could potentially make an impact for the good of the LPGA.
Paula Creamer immediately came to mind, along with fellow top American pros Morgan Pressel and Angela Stanford. Again, no shock here as these players are some of the highest ranked and most popular girls on tour.
Missing from the conversation was former major champion Brittany Linicome. If the big hitting blonde was going to be missing from the chatter, then it’s certainly no surprise that there was no mention to the spunky Californian Christina Kim. Well CK is looking to get her name back in the mix in a big way this week.
She is only one back of Na Yeon Choi playing her best golf of 2010 by far. Kim has struggled in a big way in 2010, her best finish is a T24 way back in March at the Kia Classic presented by J Golf. Kim’s 3 rounds in the 60s so far this week matches the number of rounds in the 60s she’s had so far in 2010.
Kim hasn’t won on the LPGA in 5 years. If she can do it this week it could really capitalize on the momentum of American golf going into the biggest event of the year next week, the U.S. Women’s Open.
With the LPGA in a big transition period, many casual fans are not warming up to a leaderboard crowded with talented Koreans and other foreign born players. A win by Kim or one of the other Americans in the hunt (Kristy McPhereson is 4 back, and Stacy Prammanasudh is 6 back) could continue the momentum that Kerr gave us last week, which would be just in time as we head into the biggest event on the LPGA next week, the U.S. Women’s Open.
That would be a sweet 4th of July for the LPGA. Although having television coverage of this event would certainly make this sweeter.
In-Kyung Kim returns to Danville, CA to defend her maiden title at the CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge. Although suffering from a disappointing week last week Inky still finds herself in the top 5 on the LPGA Official Money List. Despite that she is still a whopping $500K behind Jiyai Shin who sits atop the money list. Shin has gone W-3rd in her last two events, and if history has proven us anything (winning her three events in such a short span last year) she can win in bunches, and if she continues to strike the ball well, she’ll be very difficult to beat.
Angela Stanford came into the 2008 final round just one stroke behind In-Kyung Kim, many thought she’d utilize her experience (and the phenomenal run she was having last Fall) and catch In-Kyung. Inky certainly opened the door for Angela, as she only managed a +1, 73 in the final round. Stanford struggled worse with her own overpar +3, 75. Angela has overcome a lot this season to be back in the thick of things, and if she’s in contention expect the Golf Channel to be all over it.
With the hottest player on the LPGA Ai Miyazato is back in Japan prepping for the biggest tournament on the JLPGA schedule, last week’s winner Na Yeon Choi has taken a week off to collect herself, and Cristie Kerr taking her first week off since Solheim, it’s certainly missing some marquee names, but it’s never looking to bad when you have Lorena Ochoa, Yani Tseng, Suzann Pettersen and many others of the LPGAs best joining Shin & Kim in the event.
A bit of pressure on the picks this week after the relatively easy 12 out of 20 Samsung, but here are my thoughts:
Angela Park, who’s had many struggles in the latter half of this season, is taking another week off, after failing to make a cut in her first two events back since her European layoff.
Amanda Blumenhurst, fresh off medalist honors at the first sectional LPGA Qualifying tournament has been awarded a sponsors exemption along with former Big Break contestant Kim Welch.
Kristy McPhereson, currently #14 on the money list, had to Monday qualify for this event last year (shooting a blazing 65), and finished T5 after doing so. This year Kristy qualified for the Solheim Cup, and just participated in the ultra exclusive Samsung World Championship. Sophia Sheridan and 13 year-old amateur Casie Cathrea have earned qualifying honors for this year. Casie made it to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links this summer before running into the buzzsaw that was Jennifer Song. To learn a bit more about Casie, check out this link from the WAPL Website.