This one runs June 10 thru 12, plus two days of pro-ams ... I'll be on my usual mission there - GET THE DIRT!
Media Day was Monday, May 9
L-R: Meaghan Francella, current teaching pro at Philly Cricket Club, is 144th on the field list as a past LPGA winner; defending champ Boutier; GC's Amanda Blumenhurst, who I watched hit her first shot on the LPGA in 2006 at the Seaview's 1st hole with expert guidance from Larry the Looper ... trunk-slammed the next day.
For the first time, this event will get TV network coverage on Sunday from CBS with Bill Macatee and Mary Bryan the usual GC people, I assume.
After the reshuffle, MHL is safely in this field, but it's absolutely imperative that she makes the cut and gets a few CME points ... she is the second alternate for KPMG and they use CME points to determine the last few entrants of that field. As for Meijer in between, she's the 5th alternate, so her odds of getting into this one are not good (as of now, has not entered Meijer's Monday qualifier).
They had been at $15/$30 for daily/weekly grounds passes for a long time, but they raised it this year to $20/$40 ... but I can still get in for free with my ShopRite card. The pro-am and practice rounds are still free.
I am shocked, SHOCKED to discover that Laura Davies is not in the field. Maybe she was injured at Cognizant (82-82), because I cannot envision her passing up a chance to be near the casinos. Also, Amanda Doherty is not in the field ... she needs to change that, just go up the east coast after playing the USWO.
I received a new Burger King coupons in my junk mail, so my dinners for next week are set.
MHL has done almost nothing in weeks and moved UP to #110 in the field ... oh, and someone must have told Shibuno Fever that this is a cool event because she added her name. But, boy, look down at the bottom of the field (along with the alternates) ... the walking dead checking into the Bates Motel. Dani, Sharpy, Kwak, Gillman and Moore haven't played a lick of LPGA golf in 2022 and they got in. Somebody dredged Absecon Bay and brought up Maria McBride and Silvia Cavalleri. Mindy Kim (!) is the 12th alternate ... does she actually hang around the LPGA these days? I'll check her out at the Pines course pro-am IF she is there ... last played the Epson tour in 2019 and the LPGA tour in 2017.
In other news, MHL moved up to second alternate for Meijer, but added her name to the Monday qualifier list as a precaution ... and currently sits as the third alternate for KPMG.
Today's qualifier starts at 1 PM ... 1st alternate Pavarisa Yoktuan is in the first pairing, but I doubt she'll need to play ... the spot held open for the USWO winner won't be filled by Major League Minjee, so everyone else moves up one spot. The third and final sponsor invitee spot is still open. I also noticed that under the 'Major Winner' category in the field list, it includes the name Charlotte Thomas ... and that win was at, uh, ummmm ... oh, I know, it was for winning the 2016 NCAA championship at U-Wash.
Accuweather says Absecon will have a chance of rain Saturday and Sunday. I have a late tee time on Wednesday north of there and have a good chance of getting soaked ... Thursday might also be wet in the afternoon.
The Wednesday and Thursday pro-am groups were posted last night and MHL is not on any of them ... I don't remember that ever happening before, going back to 2014. It could be a lucky break, but she could also be on the alternate list ... a handful of players always drop out. Thursday's Bay Course groups will include Bianca, The New Ko, Six, NYC and JTibs in the AM and Dumbo, Throbbin' Robynn and Muni in the PM. Over at the Pines Course, Corpuz will be the best player BY FAR ... the rest are mostly wannabes and washouts, including Jenny Suh Thompson, Smokeshow, Gillman, Whiny Paige S., Hanule (Sky) Seo, Melissa Mabanta and Baby Dumbo. Galloway will have numerous dinosaurs ... I'm not going over there.
I also noticed that under the 'Major Winner' category in the field list, it includes the name Charlotte Thomas ... and that win was at, uh, ummmm ... oh, I know, it was for winning the 2016 NCAA championship at U-Wash.
I’ve found Thomas’ name there puzzling all season, but figured it was her placement after missing 2021 with injury, and the LPGA not creating an injured spot on the exemption list, also maybe because depending on your rank when injured your spot when you return may vary.
They posted the Bay Course Wed. & Thu. pro-am tee time lists in the LPGA press section, which include alternates and MHL is the first one for Thursday AM.
Caddie list is out ... it's blank next to MHL's name ... might be recruiting at McGettigan's as I write this. Ryu is off this week, so Michael Paterson was picked up by Karrie (they were a team in 2011, per Getty Images). Kristy McPherson has a McPherson next to her name and Vickie Hurst has a Hurst next to her name ... keeping their meager earnings in the family, I guess. Floating loops Mark Wallington, Kylie Pratt and Jeff DeCoen landed on their feet with Gina Kim, Kristen Gillman and Katie Yoo, respectively.
My field rating for this event is an embarrasing 38%, way way down from 64% last year. My breakdown is 45.5% from the LPGA Priority List and 30.5% from the Rolex Rankings. Only 6 of the top 20 players from the Rolex Rankings are teeing it up this week. The field does include the #1 player in the world Jin Young Ko...who might just win this one with her left hand tied behind her back.
The U.S. Women's Open was not kind to players that had cut streaks going. Hyo Joo Kim (35), Madelene Sagstrom (24), and Patty Tavakanakit (22), all missed the cut and ended their streaks. Lexi Thompson (27), now has the longest active streak.
Hye-Jin Choi recorded her sixth top ten at the U.S. Women's Open. She now leads the tour.
The Rookie of the Year race has gotten alot closer. Atthaya Thitikul leads with 635 points....but Hye Jin Choi now has 611.
MinJee Lee has taken a huge lead in the Player of the Year race with 111 points. Jennifer Kupcho is second with 65.
Minjee Lee Lee has also taken a huge lead for the Vare Trophy. No one is close to her 68.750 mark. Jin Young Ko is next with 69.571.
Rolex Rankings: Minjee Lee moves up to #3 in the world this week. Mina Haragae made a huge move, advancing from 52 to 22. Hye Jin Choi leaps from 38 to 27. Andrea Lee moves from 97 to 82. Bronte Law catapults into the top 100 moving from 143 to 98.
Jeongeun Lee6 had birdie four of first five holes. A double bogey on eight, bogey on par five nine. Made birdie on last two holes with a hole out for birdie on seventeen.
Jin Young Ko had a great first round with five birdies one bogey. Thanks mostly to her twenty six putts, only hit twelve greens. It showed her driving as one hundred thirty five,, probably just a fluke.