The ladies are in the Charleston, South Carolina area this week for the Ginn Tribute Hosted by Annika. RiverTowne Country Club in Mount Pleasant is once again the venue. Last year’s inaugural event was won by Nicole Castrale, who defeated Lorena Ochoa in a one-hole playoff. The tournament begins Thursday with TV coverage provided by Golf Channel the first two days and by NBC over the weekend.
RiverTowne plays to par of 72 on a layout of 6459 yards. The scoring was difficult here last year but rainy weather on Saturday and 30mph winds on Sunday played a big part in that. For the record, the average of 74.19 was nearly a stroke higher than the 2007 season average. The forecast this week looks pretty good (aside from possible T-showers Thursday), which especially matters because Yours Truly and his family will be on-site bringing you an “Up Close and Personal” view of the tournament.
The Tribute being a high-dollar event as well as the week prior to the LPGA Championship, the Tour’s best are all here. I’ll get my first in-person look at Ochoa, Juli Inkster and all of those newbies who’ve entered the scene since April of 2006. This week’s field cutoff point (as of Tuesday morning) comes after Katie Futcher, who is Non-Exempt player #6. Eva Dahllof is the first player outside waiting for a spot to open up.
Not that it seems to matter lately, but I’m going to pick Lorena Ochoa to win. She came as close as you can without winning last year and she’s coming off that Sybase victory two weeks ago. Annika Sorenstam and Christina Kim are my CYA picks who won’t even finish in the Top 10 (pardon my negativity).
Stats: Winners 5-13 (8-13 with CYAs), Top Tens 17-39.