Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Honda LPGA Thailand Preview

Part Two of the Asian Swing is the second annual Honda LPGA Thailand, held this year on the Pattaya Old Course at Siam Country Club in Pattaya City, Thailand. Hee-Won Han makes her return from maternity leave to defend her title, a five-stroke victory over Diana D’Alessio. The 72-hole event begins Thursday morning (Wednesday evening in the U.S.A – Bangkok is 11 hours ahead of EDT).

The Old Course is 6469 yards long and plays to a par of 72. The course opened in 1971 but was renovated and re-opened this past spring. As The Constructivist points out at Mostly Harmless,
the tournament website has an unusual amount of good and informative features like a course layout map and a link to online TV coverage. The weather will be the polar-opposite from Korea’s – temps near 90 with humidity about the same. The scoring should be a little better this week! The field is another good one – add Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, Annika Sorenstam, Sophie Gustafson and Han while subtracting Ochoa and Mi Hyun Kim. With only 60 players total, I don’t expect there to be a cut after two rounds (there wasn’t one last year, but that event was only 54 holes), but I haven’t seen that mentioned anywhere.

Several Thai golfers will be playing due to sponsor’s exemptions and local qualifying but unlike the Korean and Japanese events on this swing, there isn’t a large influx of local talent to challenge for the win. As I said before, no Ochoa this week so I can’t rely on my usual prognosticating “crutch”. The obvious choice to win here would be Suzann Pettersen, so I shouldn’t disappoint you – Pettersen to win, with Jeong Jang and Paula Creamer as CYAs.

Stats: Winners 7-26 (10-26 with CYAs), Top Tens 40-76.

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