Wednesday, August 30, 2006

State Farm Classic Preview

Springfield, Illinois is the locale for this week’s event, the State Farm Classic. The tournament begins Thursday at The Rail Golf Course, with TV coverage beginning Friday on ESPN2 (Saturday’s coverage will be on ESPN). Pat Hurst is the defending champion, winning by three strokes last year over Cristie Kerr. Boy, I’ve typed those two names a lot lately!

The Rail is a par-72 6649-yard course, one of the longest layouts on tour. Like Tartan Fields last week, it has wide-open fairways so I would expect to see the same folks on the leaderboard this weekend. Except that Stacy Prammanasudh, Ai Miyazato, Karrie Webb and Jeong Jang all decided to take this week off. Don’t they realize this is the final event of the State Farm Series and they have a chance to win an extra $250,000 if they play? Lorena Ochoa probably has that prize locked up anyway. And I almost forgot - Annika Sorenstam makes her first appearance since the British Open.

My picks have turned out pretty good the last couple of weeks. Although I’m only 1-for-5 in picking the outright winner, if you include CYAs I’m 3-for-5. And 11 of 16 picks have finished in the Top 10. So since I’m on somewhat of a roll, I’ll stick my neck out and pick Jee Young Lee to win the State Farm Classic. My CYA picks this time are Lorena Ochoa and Pat Hurst.