My tentative plans are for visiting Upper Montclair CC for two days ... which two I'm not sure yet. The two invitee spots are not filled yet. Monday's qualifier includes Katie Li (a), who I've seen play in person a couple of times ... she is also in the field for the Shoprite/Acer Monday qualifier ... with Megha Ganne going to Stanford, Katie is gunning to be NJ's new hotshot junior.
The order of the holes is going to be flipped and partly reshuffled compared to the last time the LPGA played here (2009 Sybase Classic Presented by Shoprite). It's still the same 18 holes, with other nine being used for a driving range and a parking lot. The course is listed at par-71, 6566 yards ... my 2009 spectator guide had it as a par-72, 6413 yards.
CLIFTON, NJ - MAY 17: Ji Young Oh of South Korea hits her tee shot on the 6th hole during the final round of the Sybase Classic presented by ShopRite at Upper Montclair Country Club on May 17, 2009 in Clifton, New Jersey. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Ping G10 iron!
CLIFTON, NJ - MAY 17: Ji Young Oh of South Korea hits her second shot on the 16th hole during the final round of the Sybase Classic presented by ShopRite at Upper Montclair Country Club on May 17, 2009 in Clifton, New Jersey. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
I don't remember this massive grandstand looking down on the 18th green, but obviously it was there. Cheeseburger Chad (next to Pepsi sign) was working Peanut's bag. I typed LOUISE FRIBERG into the LPGA website's player look-up and nothing came back.
CLIFTON, NJ - MAY 15 : Ai Miyazato of Japan hits her tee shot on the 10th hole during the second round of the Sybase Classic presented by ShopRite at Upper Montclair Country Club on May 15, 2009 in Clifton, New Jersey. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Total results from defunct LPGA tournaments fall into the tour rat hole and are never seen again. However, I found the top-10 from 2009, courtesy of a Japanese website and Google mush:
Ranking PLAYER SCORE TODAY 1R 2R 3R 4R TOTAL 1 KOR Oh Jiyoung -14 -2 66 69 69 70 274 2 NOR Susan Petersen -10 +2 65 70 69 74 278 3 USA Michelle Wee -8 +1 70 69 68 73 280 3 USA Paula Creamer -8 +1 70 69 68 73 280 5 KOR Kim In-Kyung -7 -2 68 73 70 70 281 6 KOR Park Hee Young -6 +2 67 74 67 74 282 6 USA Brittany Lincicom -6 +5 64 69 72 77 282 8 Louise Stahl -5 -2 73 68 72 70 283 8 TWN Amy Han -5 -1 70 72 70 71 283 8 TWN Candy Kun -5 +2 71 69 69 74 283
I counted 15 common players between the 2009 field and 2022 field, which could change depending on who passes the Monday qualifier.
I am doing this a bit early this week as I will be attending this tournament on Monday morning. I will be quite busy the next few weeks as I will be also attending the U.S. Women's Open in North Carolina and the KPMG Women's PGA Championahip in Maryland.
My field rating for this event is a mediocre 63%, way down from 76% last year when it was held in October in West Caldwell, N.J. My breakdown is 71% from the LPGA Priority List and 55% from the Rolex Rankings.
The field will be led by top ten players: Jin Young Ko Lydia Ko Atthaya Thitikul Minjee Lee Nasa Hataoka Lexi Thompson Si Young Kim
Noteable players not teeing it up this week include: Nelly Korda Jessica Korda Brooke Henderson Patty Tavatanikit Ariya Jutanugarn Moriya Jutanugarn Inbee Park Danielle Kang Hannah Green Hyo-Joo Kim Austin Ernst Su Oh Charley Hull Angela Stanford Hinako Shibuno Gaby Lopez
Other notes: Hannah Green joined Atthaya Thitikul, Brooke Henderson, and Danielle Kang, with four top ten finishes this year. Celine Boutier leads the tour with five. We have already had players from seven different countries win on the LPGA this year in just ten tournaments. The U.S.A becomes the first country with three wins.
Rolex Rankings Movers: Marina Alex makes the biggest and most important move this week, rising from 61-28. A Lim Kim 49-39 and Megan Khang 50-41 were also worth mentioning. There were a couple of huge moves outside the top 100 as Andrea Lee moved from 135-102, and Annie Park jumped 162-124.
There were no new leaders in any of the major statistical categories.
MHL has a 7:41 AM tee time with Dani Holmqvist and Kate Granahan (who?) ... probably has the alarm set for 4 AM ... this might really be The Last Round-up ... she has dropped to 1st alternate at stinkin' Shoprite/Acer ... I think there is a re-shuffle after this tournament ... being #145 on CME is not encouraging.
Anna Davis received one sponsor invite ... the other will go to the winner of The John Shippen Women's Shoot-out today at Mountain Ridge CC ... Sadena Parks, who I haven't seen in ages, will try to slum her way past seven other players.
1 Sarah Jane Smith (AUS) AUS +1 73 2 Mariah Stackhouse (USA) USA +2 74
Failed to Qualify
3 Ssu-Chia Cheng (TPE) TPE +3 75 3 Sydnee Michaels (USA) USA +3 75 5 Haru Nomura (JPN) JPN +4 76 5 Karis Davidson (AUS) AUS +4 76 7 Kate Granahan (USA) (a) USA +5 77 7 Alena Sharp (CAN) CAN +5 77 7 Grace Kim (AUS) AUS +5 77 10 Brianna Do (USA) USA +6 78 11 Celine Herbin (FRA) FRA +7 79 11 Katie Li (USA) (a) USA +7 79 11 Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras (THA) THA +7 79 14 Samantha Wagner (USA) USA +9 81 14 Daniela Holmqvist (SWE) SWE +9 81 16 Noemie Pare (CAN) CAN +10 82 17 Ellen Ceresko (USA) USA +11 83 18 Jessica Peng (TPE) TPE +12 84 18 Lizzie Win (USA) USA +12 84 20 Rachel Jones (USA) USA +13 85 20 Linda Wang (USA) USA +13 85 20 Simone Strauss (USA) USA +13 85 23 Mi Hyang Lee (KOR) KOR WDN
I wonder if it was mud ball city ... NJ was soaked from Friday thru Sunday AM. SJ Smith also qualfied at Palos Verdes. I saw MHL's early scorecard ... made par at #1, then doubled the par-5 second, followed by bogeys at # 3 & # 4 ... made par at #5 ... I couldn't look anymore.
Lakareber Abe picked up the other invitee spot.
At least three old-timers will show up: Nancy Lopez, Patty Sheehan and Gloria Ehret.
Wednesday's pro-ams are "9 and 9" ... a group of amateurs get pro 'A' for nine holes and then pro 'B' takes over for the second nine holes. That seems to be the new pro-am process in recent years. Shoprite/Acer hasn't done that and probably won't since it has two days of pro-ams on multiple golf courses.
My main objective during practice and pro-am days is to GET THE DIRT. Unfortunately, one of my best sources won't be here (DK) and another is not scheduled for any of the pro-ams (Davies) ... well, JTibs is always interesting ... and I might want to check in on Bethany; I remember when she threw Manulife under the bus while chatting with her crew at the Seaview range a few years back.
Thursday's groupings present a challenge ... I really want to see Furue, who goes off in the first group at #1 at 7:15 AM, but The Rocket and Unlucky Five start the same time at #10. The immediate groups after them are dull, until my "Two-for-Three" group rule kicks in later in the AM:
Caddie list is out ... uh oh, trouble in paradise ... Georgia Hall did not have Prince Harry on her bag yesterday. Maybe it's just for this week, we'll know later ... some guy named Joe Miller has it this week (I don't recognize the name, but he looks like a looper). With Paphangkorn in Thailand, Jason Hamilton got picked up by JTibs. Ivan Galdame is now going witn MJ Uribe, I think that is new.
Looks like Jin Young Ko mailed one in again. Her ball striking has been inconsistent since the streaks. She hasn't played bad just not the kind of shot making she usually have. However she may bounce back with several great rounds, she is just that good.
Great round by Amy Yang at minus six.
There's probably a reason that A Lim Kim has been a really good golfer but not great. On the short par five 459 yard number two. She was in the middle of the fairway inside two hundred yards. She chose a club that left her two or more clubs short of the pin. From the front of the green it took her four shots to get in the hole. Then she went on to miss a three foot par putt on the next hole.
Sung Hyun Park hat one of her better rounds of the year. With five birdies one bogey without making birdie on any of the short par fives.
So Yeon just can't seem to put a complete round together. One part always pop up that ruins her score. Like missing only three greens, but having thirty five putts.
I didn't get any great DIRT on Wednesday, but a new Tour Turtle was discovered on Thursday, who was fortunate not to get penalty strokes added after her round ... more on that in my report.
Sung Hung had only three Attack Women following her Thursday while Dumbo had just one guy (non-Asian) tagging along wearing a Flying Dumbo cap ... it's not like the old days.
Saw MM Salmon play in the pro-am ... Callaway driver and shovels ... looked reasonably proficient at the game, but of course she played for Princeton 30+ years ago.
Jiwon Jeon lugged her own bag from the range and up the hill towards the clubhouse on Wednesday ... I was wondering if she was too broke to afford a looper every day ... but, after a 68 on Thursday, she just might break even this week. Of course, it helped that the actual course yardage was only 6,313 with little wind.
I wonder if anyone on the broadcast attempted to sell #18 (Par 4, 334 yards on Thursday) as a great finishing hole ... IT IS NOT! Players teed off with FWs and hybrids to a landing area that looked 50 yards wide from the tee... and then Rachel Rohanna teed off with a five-iron ... yes, she is a long hitter, but c'mon. The holes only defense is a false front on the elevated green ... J. Song learned this during the pro-am as her second shot spun back and down the hill; dropped another ball and got the distance right with another swing at it.
But, why is this hole the 18th when it was #9 in 2009? The 18th in 2009 was a legit three-shot par-5 with the fairway pinched in front of the green with a bunker complex on the left and a pond on the right. ANSWER: This year's pushover 18th hole has more space for corporate "pavilions", "clubs" and "chalets". This is a check-writer event ... you know that pic I posted from 2009 with the massive grandstand? There are NO grandstands now ... you don't write a check to sit on one of those. Grandstands are for non-credentialed bums like me. A pre-sold one-day grounds pass cost forty bucks (or fifty bucks at the gate) ... you must be joking ... fortunately, I know one of the vols and got in for nothing. Shoprite/Acer is still a WAY better value for REAL golf fans.
Jennifer Chang yucking it up with Stephanie Kyriacou ... they played with Pop-off ... I followed this group's last nine holes. Steph took a swig from her water ball at the 2nd tee, but it went down the wrong way and she started coughing ... it's like she's a guy on the course, but if she's if a girl off it, that works for me.