This week is the 30th annual LPGA Corning Classic, which will be held at Corning Country Club in Corning, New York. Not to be confused with that Jamie Farr event in Ohio which is sponsored by Owens Corning (the Pink Panther ad people), last year’s Corning was won by Young Kim – a three-shot victory over Mi Hyun Kim and Paula Creamer. The tournament will be televised for the eleventh consecutive year by Golf Channel, beginning Thursday evening (tape delayed).
Corning CC is much like Upper Montclair at the Sybase Classic with tight fairways and lots of trees to negotiate, except that it’s even shorter at 6223 yards. That length is actually 40 yards more than last year’s layout. Extending it was probably a good idea. Corning was the lowest scoring full-field event of 2007 (only Samsung was lower) at 71.49 and that has been the norm rather than the exception over the last four seasons. Even though it’s about 250 miles to the west, I’d have to assume that Corning got as much rain this past weekend as the New York metro area so I expect the greens to be receptive and give us more low numbers.
Remember that indicator I mentioned in last week’s Sybase preview where I look at who the first alternate player is to get a general idea of the field’s strength? There is no alternate player list this week. Everybody who showed up made it. The final Conditional Player is Amy Yang, who must have a pressing engagement elsewhere this week – the next-to-last CP is Brandi Jackson, and she is in the Corning field. Just in front of Brandi is May Wood-Frederikson, who is not listed in the field. I mention her because every few days, someone hits my blog with a Google search looking for May. According to a note in the Forum on her website, she is recovering from wrist surgery and hopes to play on the Futures Tour later this year.
Sorry, I got side-tracked there… One sponsor’s exemption went to Rosie Jones. Hopefully GC will pay a little attention to the two-time winner of this event. Only 10 of my brand-new Top 30 list players made the trip to southwest New York state. The way the winners have been lining up this year, I have to pick Paula Creamer to win. Assuming her bad wrist holds up, I’ll take Jeong Jang as one of my CYAs. My third choice is Choi – surprisingly not Na Yeon, but H.J. (formerly Hye Jung) Choi.
Stats: Winners 5-12 (8-12 with CYAs), Top Tens 16-36.