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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Lot of Golf Early (or Is It Late?) Today

Although it's Wednesday, both the LPGA and the PGA Tour are playing in Asia this week. That means the golf telecasts begin TONIGHT.

CIMB defending champion Justin Thomas

First up is the PGA Tour's event, the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur (that's in Malaysia). Justin Thomas got his first PGA Tour victory there last year and returns as the defending champ.

If you're into the fantasy golf leagues, you'll probably want to check out the various pages the PGA Tour has at their site. If you go to this page, you'll find links to roughly five pages of fantasy picks in different categories. Just check out the photo links. But even if you don't mess with the fantasy stuff, you might be interested to know that the Top5 in the Tour's power rankings this week are:
  1. Paul Casey
  2. Hideki Matsuyama
  3. Patrick Reed
  4. Ryan Moore
  5. Justin Thomas
Given that Hideki won on the Japan Golf Tour this past weekend and didn't have to go through so many time zones, I'd think he would rank higher on this list. As much as I like how Paul's been playing, I think Hideki should probably be the favorite.

After the PGA Tour coverage tonight -- Golf Central comes on at 10pm ET, and the tournament proper is listed for 10:30pm ET -- the LPGA tees it up in China at the Blue Bay LPGA.

Blue Bay LPGA defending champion Sei Young Kim

Sei Young Kim is the defending champion there, but the biggest news may be Lydia Ko's absence. That's because Ariya Jutanugarn IS playing, and is only 74 points behind Lydia in the Race for the CME Globe. Ariya can catch her this week!

Also of interest: Both Yani Tseng and Michelle Wie received sponsor invites this week, as did amateurs Jingwen Zhang and Yifan Ji.

As usual, I'll refer you to Tony Jesselli's website for his excellent preview of the event. Tony has the field strength ranked pretty low this year -- only 43%, with only 18 of the Top50 Rolex players in the field. But with Ariya and Brooke Henderson both playing this week, along with Sei Young Kim and Carlota Ciganda (last week's winner), the golf should still be pretty good.

GC lists the LPGA event broadcast for 2:30am ET tonight -- which I know is technically Thursday morning, but it's too dark to see a clock around here at that time of the night.

If you're like me and will be visiting your bed before the LPGA broadcast begins, the re-air is listed for 2pm ET Thursday and the PGA re-air at 6pm ET Thursday. Add in the European Tour broadcast of the Portugal Masters (6am ET and 10pm ET, both live on Thursday) and it's going to be a pretty full day of golf.

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