Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wegmans LPGA Preview

The ladies return to action near Rochester, New York this week for the Wegmans LPGA. Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford has hosted this event every year since its inception in 1977. Lorena Ochoa defeated In-Kyung Kim in a two-hole playoff last year. The tournament begins Thursday with TV coverage starting Friday on ESPN2. Once again, Wegmans provides a webcast with player interviews and highlights during all four days of the event.

Locust Hill is 6329 yards long and plays to par of 72. The course puts a premium on keeping the ball in the fairway. Last year’s average of 73.7 was the highest of the four years I have data (albeit just barely higher than in 2004 and 2005), putting Wegmans on the tougher side of the LPGA ledger.

Warming up for next week’s U.S. Open,
a fairly strong field is on hand. Karrie Webb, Na Yeon Choi and Se Ri Pak are the only LPGA regulars in my Top 30 not here. Michelle Wie makes her third appearance of 2008 on a sponsor’s exemption, along with fellow teen phenom Vicky Hurst. Hurst is coming off her second victory of the season this past weekend at the Michelob Ultra Futures Players Championship. The Wegmans field cut-off point as of Tuesday morning reached the Conditional players – #3 Sukjin Lee Wuestoff is the first player on the outs – so I’ll rate the strength of field an eight on a scale of 1 to 10. There’s an idea! I need a method to assign a numeric value to the strength of the field each week. I’ll see what I can come up with.

UPDATE: That was pretty easy! I assigned point values for each player currently ranked 1-40 (4 points for Top 10, 3 for 11-20, 2 for 21-30, 1 for 31-40) and subtracted points for each missing player. Wegman's field score is 89, so I should have said it was a nine on a scale of 1-to-10. Now I'm off to build a list of prior events to compare it to.

I should have plenty of time to devise that method, because I am so through with tinkering with the HD Tournament Prediction System. This week, I’m simply going to take the current Top 30 players and filter it through last year’s results. Lorena Ochoa to win with Jeong Jang and Annika Sorenstam as CYAs.

Stats: Winners 5-15 (8-15 with CYAs), Top Tens 18-45.

1 comment:

svenson said...

great to see Nancy Lopez back at the Wegman's LPGA. She's got legions of adoring fans at Locust Hill and commands one of the larger galleries even though her game is a sliver of what it once was. Great to see this legend of golf again.