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Thursday, September 13, 2012

My "5 to Watch" at the Ricoh

Well, I've been thinking it over -- and paying attention to the weather at Hoylake -- and I'm ready to pick my "5 to Watch" for the Ricoh Women's British Open. (That's probably a good thing since the tournament starts today!)

Let me say upfront that I like Yani Tseng's attitude coming into this week. I haven't picked her, but I think she's in the right frame of mind to possibly defend her title again.

I'm also going against the reigning opinion that the big hitters have the real advantage this week. With so much wind and the course so wet, I think the long hitters may actually be at a disadvantage. If they're too confident that their strength is an advantage, they may actually try to do too much and end up hurting their chances.

That said, here are my picks:
  1. So Yeon Ryu: I mentioned her as my favorite in yesterday's post, and I still think she'll play well. Just remember how well she played at that wet, dragged-out U.S. Open that she won back in 2011.
  2. Lydia Ko: I don't care if she is an amateur, the Kobra is playing extremely well on a limited schedule. With one major (the U.S. Women's Am is a major for amateurs, after all) and two other worldwide wins -- and she's gotten two of those three within the last month or so -- you have to figure she's at least got a chance. And again, that Canadian Open course where she won was wet also.
  3. Paula Creamer: I think the key for Paula is her putter, and she's coming off her first hot putting week in a while. The lack of time to rest may actually help her keep that streak going, and she's got something to prove after coming so close last week.
  4. Catriona Matthew: I mentioned in yesterday's post that Tony Jesselli had ranked her first on his list of best chances. She's not a long hitter, but she's won this tournament before (2009) and -- excuse me for stating an obvious, perhaps cliche strength -- she's from Scotland. She's used to this kind of weather!
  5. Laura Davies: I admit I'm taking a flier on this one, but for some reason I have a good feeling about Laura this week. With all of her experience she won't be shaken by the tough conditions, and I believe the slower wet greens will help her sometimes streaky putter. While she may not be high on the list of possible winners, I certainly won't be surprised if she wins and finally punches her ticket into the Hall of Fame.
So there they are, my "5 to Watch" this week. Remember that the broadcast starts this morning on ESPN from 9am ET until noon.

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