My field rating this week is a very low 53%. That is way down from 66% when it was last played in 2019. Just 30 of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List and 24 of the top 50 from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. My breakdown is 59% from the LPGA Priority List and just 47% from the Rolex Rankings. The field will be led by top ten players: Lydia Ko, Atthaya Thitikul, Inbee Park and Danielle Kang. Top players that will be M.I.A. this week include: Jin Young Ko Nelly Korda Patty Tavakanakit Lexi Thompson Minjee Lee Sei Young Kim Jessica Korda Jeongeun Lee 6 Lizette Salas So Yeon Ryu Ally Ewing Mina Harigae Amy Yang Nanna Koerstz Madsen Madelene Sagstrom Caroline Masson Stacy Lewis Charley Hull
There were some really big moves in the Rolex Rankings following last week's Major Championship. Jennifer Kupcho made the biggest move, leaping from #53 to #16. Jessica Korda Jumped from #27 to #15, while Lexi Thompson jumped back into the top ten at #8. Hinako Shibuno moved up 12 spots from #49 to #37, while Allison Lee moved up 13 spots from #78 to #65. Pia Babnick came roaring into the top 100 (and into my field rating) skyrocketing from #109 to #43. On the downside, Nasa Hataoka fell out of the top ten (9 to 11), Jeongeun Lee6 fell out of the top 20 (16 to 22), and Asheigh Buhai fell out of the top 100 and my field rating.
Other Stuff: Jeongeun Lee 6 had her cut streak stopped at 14 straight. We have had 4 first time winners in the first 7 tournaments of this year. After having winners from 6 different countries, the USA becomes the first country with a repeat winner.
We also have some new leaders in some key statatistical categories. Celine Boutier picked up her 4th top ten of the year. She now joins Brooke Henderson and Danielle Kang in leading the LPGA. Brooke Henderson took over the top spot in the race for the Vare trophy at 68.826. Last week's leader Jin Young Ko dropped to 9th. Patty Tavakanakit took over the putting lead at 1.664 per G.I.R. Last week's leader Danielle Kang dropped to second. Jennifer Kupcho took over the top spot in Greens in Regulation @ 78.3%. Last week's leader Jin Young Ko falls all the way down to 20th. Jennifer Kupcho takes over the money lead with $820,563, while last week's leader Danielle Kang falls to second with $545,623. I believe they were the only top spot changes this week.
Caddie list is out ... uh oh, trouble in the Latinosphere ... looks like Fassi and Ivan Galdame are splitsville ... maybe they couldn't understand each other's accents. Fassi is going with a veteran, Gary DuPlooy (Getty has a pic of him with Su Oh at the 2020 Aberdeen), while Ivan landed on his feet by getting Mirim Lee. Crusty Grrr dug up (literally) her OLD looper Worth Blackwelder ... she had someone named Tracy Blackwelder on her bag at JTBC/Aviara ... okay, who's next? Where's Mallory Blackwelder? Boy, she was easy on the eyes ... too bad she washed off the LPGA in a finger snap. Did JTibs dump Mick Seaborn already?! He's AWOL this week, while she is going with Albert Montalbo ... I don't know him.
MHL gambled a round-trip plane ticket to Hawaii and it paid off ... she replaced Lauren Hartlage in the 11:55 AM (10th hole) group for Thursday, playing with EH Ji and Ruoning Yin ... with a little lot of luck, she'll be on TV. Did she bring over Valentin Lopez again as her looper? There is no update posted on the caddie list ... they probably don't bother updating it.
Cyborg and HoJo were interviewed Tuesday ... no video, but here's the transcript:
LOTTE Championship presented by Hoakalei Tuesday, April 12, 2022 Ewa Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, USA Hoakalei Country Club Hyo Joo Kim Hye-Jin Choi Press Conference
Q. About playing this week
HYO JOO KIM: First of all, winning at the sponsor tournament itself will be an unforgettable memory to me. I think it will be a good memory if I win this tournament, and I hope I will.
Q. How's feel to enter this week as a rookie
HYE-JIN CHOI: I played some (LPGA) tournament when I was an amateur, and I participated a few times as a professional as well. At that time, I feel like just having a fun because I was not a member. So I just participated while playing on the Korean tour. But this year, I really want to do better because it is my first time participating in a sponsor tournament as a LPGA tour rookie.
Q. About the course
HYO JOO KIM: The golf course itself does not have a big tree. So I guess It will be affected by the wind a lot. And you need to consider a grain on the green when you play most of the courses in Hawaii. So you should focus on this point when putting. Anyway, Hawaii is a windy place, so it will be important to read the wind well.
HYE-JIN CHOI: Like Hyo Joo said, Hawaii is a windy place. So I think it's most important to play with caution against the wind. I've played a few rounds. And I think it's important to play on the green also. On the green, putting depends a lot by grains.
Q. About LOTTE
HYE-JIN CHOI: I've played a lot of KLPGA tournament and played a lot of LPGA tournament also. I think LOTTE has been doing great on both tour so far. It really helped a lot for me since they have held many tournaments and allowed me to experience many good tournaments when I was young.
Q. What do you like to do in Hawaii outside of golf?
HYO JOO KIM: I went to the beach and dipped my feet. The water here is so clean and pretty. It's good to take pictures, and I think there are many things to post on Instagram.
HYE-JIN CHOI: Every time I come to Hawaii, the scenery is beautiful, so I think I enjoy it well. And when I play in foreign countries, I worry a lot because the food is not right to me. But I like the food here. It's really nice.
It will be fun to see how the three KLPGAers -- So Young Lee, So Mi Lee and Min Sung Ha -- do this week. Particularly So Mi, who hasn't had much chance to play outside of Korea, and who is in decent form with a near miss last week. Sisters hwaiting!
If you have closely followed the postings of The Expert, then you were not surprised by Gemma Dryburgh opening with a 67 ... inching along onward and upward ... the little engine that could ... actually, she's not little.
I think Dryburgh shot 67 ... the LPGA online scoreboard is acting funky, going backwards and forwards in time.
MHL with a big two CME points and 1.000 sand save percentage is -1 thru two holes ... if the screwed-up scoreboard will settle down.
J. Song (75, +3) ... Crazy Bob, you doin' a heck of a job.
In other news, ANWA winner Anna Davis will try to Monday qualify for the LA Open.
Whenever I worry I'm getting too old to make a living I remember the rat-faced weasel is going strong.
GC showed Boutier roll in a birdie putt at #2 ... two holes and two birdies ... then she walked over to The Rodent, who had a yardage book in hand and a towel over his forearm, handed him her putter and started walking to the 3rd hole ... needless to say, that is the sum total he has added to her skill and success.