Thursday, October 19, 2006

Honda LPGA Thailand Preview

For the first time ever, the LPGA Tour visits Thailand for the inaugural Honda LPGA Thailand 2006. The three-day event will begin Friday (9:10pm EDT Thursday – Bangkok is 11 hours ahead of EDT) at the Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi, just outside of Bangkok. Until a couple of weeks ago, there was some doubt about whether this event would be held due to the recent military coup. I’m sure the Commish has every assurance that all will be secure...

The course plays to par-72 and is 6392 yards long. According to the course website, the front nine tends to favor the longer hitter while the back puts more of a premium on accuracy. The par-3 17th has a true island green – players have to reach it by boat! The Caddy Corner reports that the weather is very hot and humid – only playing there three days may be a blessing for some.

The field consists of 60 players, about 50 of them LPGA regulars. Until Tuesday, I was considering picking names out of a hat to predict a winner. Then updated the field list showing Cristie Kerr as one of the 10 sponsor’s exemptions. SPONSOR’S EXEMPTION? I guess Cristie decided to make the trip after the entry deadline or Honda ponied up some appearance money because she shouldn’t need an exemption for any golf tournament played on this planet. Needless to say, Cristie is my choice to win this week, although with my luck she’ll be jet-lagged and her clubs will get lost in a Bangkok taxi cab. My CYA picks are Stacy Prammanasudh and Mi Hyun Kim. Stats: Winners 1-10 (7-10 with CYAs), Top Tens 23-31.

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