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 Anna Nordqvist calmly shot a 68 during the final round of the McDonald’s LPGA Championship to capture her first title (and obviously first major), they were a slew of questions that opened up. The biggest of all being, who is this unknown Swede, is she the next Annika, or is this a fluke?
On another important final round Nordqvist shined brightest shooting a 7-under par round of 65 to capture her 2nd title in her rookie season. To capture two titles in a year and to have them be the McDonald’s LPGA Championship & the LPGA Tour Championship is pretty impressive for anyone, especially an unheralded rookie! Anna utilized 8 birdies and a lone bogey to win two strokes up on World #1 Lorena Ochoa.
By finishing runner up today, and having points leader Jiyai Shin finish T8 Ochoa was able to capture her 4th Rolex Player of the Year title & Vare Trophy. In heartbreaking fashion Shin bogeyed the 17th hole to lose to Lorena by a mere point in the final point tally. Thus Jiyai couldn’t join Nancy Lopez as the only players to capture all four major titles in their rookie season, but being the Money List leader & Rookie of the Year is nothing to be scoffed at.
Na Yeon Choi took third place after shooting the round of the day, an 8-under 68 that left her 3 back of Anna. An eagle, 7 birdies (4 of them in the first four holes!) and a lone bogey should keep NYC’s spirits up going into 2010. With Choi’s clearly added confidence from gaining her first win, she could be someone to watch in the Player of the Year race for 2010.
Heather Bowie Young & Reilley Rankin were both unable to jump into the top 80 after Monday’s round. Bowie Young did herself proud with a season best T12, but it left her two spots outside of the top 80 at 82. Rankin struggled mightily on Monday dropping to T42 after she lead for some of the 2nd round. Rankin maintained her spot at #100 giving her some status for 2010, but certainly not what she was looking for when she started her rounds on Monday.
The cruel fate of #81 fell upon Moira Dunn who finished just under 2K behind #80 Irene Cho. While former tour winner Joo Mi Kim will be officially returning to Q-School as she finished at #101 a little under 5K behind Reilley Rankin.
Former Big Breakers Jeannie Cho-Hunicke & Kim Welch get the dubious distinction of finishing in the bottom of the money list in 2009 at 159 & 160, making $2,647 & $2,171 respectively.
@Kstupples, 2-time LPGA Winner Karen Stupples, tweeted on Wednesday: “i tee off at 12:50 and its dark here at 5:30, my chances of finishing? slim at best." Little did she or any of us know the type of foreshadowing it would spell for the LPGA Tour Championship presented by Rolex.
Instead of finding an outcome of the Rolex Player of the Year or Vare Trophy races, or seeing if Michelle Wie would continue her strong form from winning in last week, we are instead still looking to finish the second round. It’s quite an underwhelming and anticlimatic finish after the great buzz that was built up this week.
54 holes or not, we are still in for an exciting finish at the Tour Championship. American Kristy McPherson managed to finish her round on Sunday, and currently sits atop the leaderboard after a bogey free 67, and sits at 8-under. Lurking right behind the player looking for her 1st win on tour, is the 2009 Rolex Rookie of the Year, 6-time LPGA tour winner, and Player of the Year race winner, Jiyai Shin. Shin is still on the course, with two holes to play, but is 5-under on her round herself, and just a stroke behind. Shin’s strong round has allowed her to move past POY #2 Lorena Ochoa whose 3 birdie, 3 bogey effort through 17 holes has stalled her at -6. She is tied with rookie Anna Nordqvist, and Heather Bowie Young.
The other player in the thick of things for Player of the Year Cristie Kerr is 5 strokes behind Kristy at -3 after a 69. Kerr needed to win this week, and Lorena and Jiyai to not finish in the top 10 to secure her first Player of the Year title, and unless Shin and Ochoa blow up on Sunday, it appears she’ll need to wait another year.
Aside from that, the LPGA Tour Championship has the perfect scenario to finish off this 2009 season. The tour’s #1 and #2 are 2 and T3 heading into the final round. Not too shabby considering the poor weather and circumstances the LPGA had to endure this week. The other race to watch out for is the race for the top 80 and top 100 on the tour’s money list. Getting into the top 80 gives players full status for next season, while 81-100 get interspersed with Q-School qualifiers for status.Considering the sparse schedule for 2010, it’s more important then ever for players to get their category #1 status.
Reilley Rankin sits at #100 on the money list, a little more then $50,000 less then #80 Katie Futcher. Despite a pair of bogeys on 8 and 9, Rankin is still in the top 10 three strokes behind McPherson. She’ll want to look for a top 10 finish in order to retail Categoy 1 status for 2010. Rankin has 5 holes left to play in the second round.
Heather Bowie Young is a stroke better then Rankin at -6, and will want to make up the 21K deficit she has behind Futcher. Katie Futcher is -1 at T30 keeping herself in the race for the category 1 spot.
In-Kyung Kim & Christina Kim headline the players likely to miss the cut at the conclusion of tomorrow’s morning round.
For the record, Kaen Stupples has played two solid rounds and find herself at -4 currently T-9.