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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cheyenne Woods Goes for Number 2

After you're done watching the final round of the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters which -- spoiler alert! -- Cheyenne Woods won, you have some "fresh" golf to look forward to. (And yes, that was sarcasm. I'm still not happy that we didn't get to see it live.) However, that doesn't mean that GC is unaware of how popular Cheyenne's win was, as she is featured prominently in their promotion of this week's event.

Cheyenne Woods

The reason we get to see it is that this week's event is co-sponsored by the LET and LPGA. The ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open has been an LPGA event since 2012, the year Jessica Korda won it for her first LPGA win. Jiyai Shin won it last year but won't be defending this time. (You'll recall that she withdrew from the LPGA earlier this year and is focusing her attention on Asian golf. Less travel, more rest.)

As usual, Tony Jesselli has done a great preview of the event which you can read here. An interesting note: Although GC has been promoting this as a "star-studded" event -- and there are a number of top players here, as there was at the Masters last week -- this is still a relatively weak field. According to Tony, "Ten of the top 25 players on the LPGA Priority List will not be in action, and 9 of the top 20 in the Rolex Rankings are skipping the event." He ranks the field strength at 51.5%.
To put that in perspective, his preview of the True Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic said, "My strength of field rating is just 52%, which would have ranked as the 4th lowest number in the 2013 season."
While that doesn't mean that a win comes easy, it does let you know that many of the big players aren't in action yet this season. However, we will see Suzann Pettersen, Stacy Lewis, Lydia Ko, and So Yeon Ryu in the field, which gives them 4 of the Top5 in the Rolex. [UPDATE: Ryu ISN'T playing -- my bad. That makes 3 of the Top5.] (Inbee Park will be back in action next week at the Honda LPGA Thailand, according to Randall Mell at GC.)

The Constructivist says that Mell is also reporting that Cheyenne intends to focus on the Symetra Tour this season. Clearly she wants to get back onto the LPGA Tour and, with last week's win locking up a two-year exemption on the LET, now's the ideal time to try.

At any rate, you can watch the first round of the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open tonight at midnight ET on GC. It's always great when we can see the women when they're actually playing, not on tape delay, and it will be interesting to see how Cheyenne deals with all the hoopla over her win. As much as she has been prepared for the attention she draws just by being a Woods, I can't believe she was ready for this. She has certainly sounded surprised in her interviews.

3 comments:

  1. 2 quibbles, Mike! Ryu is not in any field list I've seen, but Ya Ni is and I wonder if she's coming back for real this time; Woods has never been on the LPGA, so she can't really be coming back....

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  2. Thanks for the corrections, Bruce. I misread about Ryu. With Woods, I was just thinking about her failed attempt at Q-School -- I should have been clearer.

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  3. Another Foley pupil https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgIOdbd6JiU

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