Thursday, May 03, 2007

SemGroup Championship Preview

The ladies make their annual visit to Oklahoma early this year, at the SemGroup Championship Presented by John Q. Hammons. Cedar Ridge Country Club in Broken Arrow (just southeast of Tulsa) is once again hosting this event. Cristie Kerr won here last September, firing a 61 on Saturday and defeating Annika Sorenstam by two shots. The tournament begins Friday with all three rounds being televised by ESPN2.

The course is par-71 6602 yards, a tad longer than last year. Most years the course plays pretty tough due to its narrow fairways but conditions were good last year and scoring was about average. Kerr’s 61 was the real deal, not some freak score under perfect conditions on an easy course with ten other players shooting 66 or better. No one else was better than 67 that day – you’d be hard-pressed to find another day on tour where one player was six shots better than everybody else. In case you were wondering, that day in 2001 when Annika shot 59, Pat Hurst carded a 64.

The field is back to normal strength – Karrie Webb is the only Top 20 player absent without a note from her doctor. As I go through my usual routine of narrowing down the candidates it becomes obvious that I again have to pick Lorena Ochoa to win. Gimme a break, guys! She’s the number one player, she keeps “almost” winning (except for the time she DID win and I DIDN’T pick her) – who YOU gonna pick? I may just keep picking her every week from here on out, just for spite - nothing else seems to work.

Anyway, picking CYAs here is a real bear. I have about a dozen players who have all played well recently and are ranked pretty high. Throwing darts, I’ll take Suzann Pettersen and Stacy Prammanasudh.

Stats: Winners 0-7, Top Tens 10-21.

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