The ladies play their final full-field event of 2006 this week at the Corona Morelia Championship, at Tres Marias Residential Golf Club in Morelia, Mexico. Carin Koch is the defending champion, winning by six strokes over Karine Icher back in April 2005. There is no television coverage in the US, that I can find (grrrr….).
It’s the same course they played last year, but over a hundred yards were shaved off the distance (down to 6600) and par was moved up one to an unusual 73. I assume this was done because only seven players finished last year’s event under par (Koch must have been playing lights-out to finish -9).
The field is wide open, with only five of my Top 20 (Ochoa, Mi Hyun Kim, Creamer, Gulbis and Granada) in attendance. Personally, I’ll be paying a lot of attention to the players battling to finish in the Top 90 of the money list. I’ll detail how that’s going after Friday’s cut and report on the successes/failures at the conclusion of the tournament.
At first glance I thought Ochoa would be a slam-dunk choice to win this week, but she’s never won in Mexico. If fact, she has trouble making Top 10 there, only once in the last three events – maybe she puts too much pressure on herself. This would seem to be a good week to pick someone to get their first LPGA win. No, not Natalie Gulbis. I’m going with Morgan Pressel. She finished third at Longs two weeks ago and seems to be on the way up. I’ll take Ochoa and Mi Hyun Kim as my CYAs.
Stats: Winners 1-8 (5-8 with CYAs), Top Tens 18-25.