It’s Klinger time again! The ladies return to Sylvania, Ohio for the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Presented by Kroger. Mi Hyun Kim is the defending champion – she bested Natalie Gulbis in a playoff. The tournament begins Thursday with tv coverage starting Friday at 3pm EDT on ESPN2.
Highland Meadows Golf Club in suburban Toledo (a stone’s throw from the Michigan border) will again be the venue. Hopefully the local creeks will remain in their banks this year – last year, heavy rains just prior to the tournament forced the use of carts to ferry players across several washed-out areas on the course and a couple of tee boxes had to be relocated. The course is 6428 yards long (about the Tour average) with par of 71.
The final round recap of the 2006 event was my first entry on this blog (--wipes away a nostalgic tear--) and that recap was primarily focused on Natalie Gulbis failing to notch her first victory. Since that time, the Calendar Girl has started 22 events and registered only two Top 10s. Lately her back has been bothering her, forcing her to withdraw from two events. Maybe returning to the site of her last close call will send Natalie along the right track.
A few prominent names are missing from the field – Ochoa, Annika and Webb, mainly – but it’s still a fairly strong one. Can I possibly pick three winners in a row? Se Ri Pak has always played well here, and since she’s been playing well recently I’m going to pick her for the first time to win. My CYA picks are Mi Hyun Kim and Cristie Kerr.
Stats: Winners 3-15 (4-15 with CYAs), Top Tens 26-45.