The McDonald’s LPGA Championship, the second major of the season, begins today at Bulle Rock Golf Course in Havre de Grace, Maryland.
First of all, don’t forget to tune in today from 12:30-3:30pm EST for The Golf Channel’s coverage of the tournament -in HD, no less! If that pesky J-O-B won’t allow for it, set your DVR. The always entertaining and lovable Christina Kim will be mic’d for sound in the first round. It’ll be worth the listen if you know what I mean! To boot, she’s paired with Michelle Wie. Do you think there were politics involved when they made the pairings? I’m not complaining. Just saying.
The course is soft from the rainstorms earlier this week. As a result, it’s playing LONG. The rough is up and ridiculously thick. A prediction for players who get into the deep rough? Pain.
That said, it’ll be crucial to keep the ball in the short grass to card a low score. Ladies who hit the long ball will have an advantage. But, accuracy through the green might be more important than distance.
Without further ado, here’s who I expect to see near the top of the leaderboard:
Lorena Ochoa: She’s the women’s equivalent of Tiger. You can’t bet against her. She’s won twice already this season and gunning for her third.
Yani Tseng: The defending champion is an obvious favorite. Yani also won two weeks ago at Corning. She’s averaging 276.3 yards off the tee, leading the LPGA in driving distance. She is T5 for most greens in regulation. Not to mention, she’s my homegirl – my mother was born in Taiwan and my parents both grew up there. Just about everyday, my step-dad says, “You should interview Yani!” Relax guys, I’m working on it.
Michelle Wie: She’s thisclose to her first win on Tour. From what I saw last week at the State Farm Classic, she struck the ball much better than she scored. Wie has played well at Bulle Rock in the past, finishing 2nd in 2005 and T5 in 2006. Can you imagine the wonders it’d do for the Tour if she wins? For the love the LPGA, I hope she can pull off some sort of miracle.
Maria Hjorth: She lost in a tough playoff to Yani Tseng last year. She is T23 in driving distance on Tour and all around a solid ballstriker.
Jiyai Shin: She has two top 10s in ten starts, one of which was a win. She might not be the longest hitter, but she’s certainly the most accurate. Although this is her first appearance at Bulle Rock, she’s steady and consistent, which IMHO is more important.
Christina Kim: I’m not going to lie, I’m biased. BUT, she won the last time she was mic’ed, so that must count for something. She’s confident and striking the ball well. It’s only a matter a time for her to breakout with her third career win on Tour.
Whether or not you follow women’s golf, I recommend that you do today. Seriously. With CK wearing a mike, you won’t want to miss her lively commentary. This has the makings to go down in history as the most entertaining day to watch golf..ever. If you can’t tell, I’m pumped.
OK, your turn! Drop ‘em below.