Clifton, New Jersey is the new home of the Sybase Classic Presented by Shoprite. Lorena Ochoa won last year’s event at the Wykagyl Country Club in New Rochelle, New York by two strokes over Hee-Won Han and Kyeong Bae. The tournament starts Thursday and ESPN2 begins its coverage on Friday at 2:00pm EDT.
This year they will tee it up at the Upper Montclair Country Club, just north of Newark and a couple of toll plazas west of New York City. The LPGA last played here back in 1984 when Barb Bunkowsky won the Chrysler-Plymouth Classic. Par is 72 with the yardage at 6433. The Caddy Corner reports that the fairways are lined with trees – better hit ‘em straight this week. You may recall that co-sponsor Shoprite had its own event last year which was replaced on the schedule by the Ginn Tribute, a move which prompted Shoprite to threaten legal action against the LPGA. Evidently all that got patched up.
Creamer, Prammanasudh, Kerr and Miyazato are the most prominent additions to the absentee list this week. This event and next week’s Corning Classic are two lower-paying events and with Sybase being the fourth of eight consecutive tournament weeks, you would expect some players to skip one or the other to rest up for the Ginn Tribute ($2.6 million purse) and the LPGA Championship.
Half of my indicators say “pick Ochoa again” and the other half say “don’t even pick her as CYA”. Since I’m really undecided, I’ll just stay with what I’ve been saying the last few weeks and pick Lorena Ochoa (for the sixth straight time) to win the Sybase Classic. You realize, of course, the next time I don’t pick her, she will win by ten shots. Morgan Pressel and Juli Inkster are this week’s Shot-in-the-Dark CYAs.
Stats: Winners 0-9, Top Tens 12-27.