Apr 18

All Mixed Up This Week: LPGA in Oahu!

LPGA Lotte Championship 2013

I have started this week in an annual state of confusion – I’m all mixed up. It happens every year after the Masters, but thank goodness that the LPGA is holding up its end of the bargain, and doing exactly what I would want to do after all the Augusta noise – go to Hawaii and play golf – perfect.

nugarn 3And so, we’re two rounds into the LPGA Lotte Championship, being played in Oahu, on the gorgeous Kapolei Course. That should  straighten everything out for me, right? Wrong – I hurried to find out how it was going today, and got a mishmash of reporting on all the wrong days, the wrong people and the wrong scores. Maybe everyone’s having a Masters hangover.
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One of the young women I started keeping track of recently (one of those young Thai sensations), Ariya Jutanugarn, rushed into the lead with an eight under 64.  Excited as I was for her, I must admit that another show of prodigyism on the gold course wasn’t what I was looking for. Would somebody who’s old please win something around here?

nugarn 1 Then I thought, “Wait – weren’t there two of them – Jutanugarn, Jutanugarn? Yeah, two of them.” As it turns out, I was correct. A while back, while Ariya Jutanugarn was pummeling the European Q School to get her card, sister Moriya was doing much the same to the American Q School, winning top honors. They enjoyed a brilliant amateur run in which they were often the real competition for each other. Ariya was the first to win consecutive Rolex Awards, and all of this is simply to say that they both have a winning attitude, and don’t tend to choke much. Ariya is 17. Just a year or so ago, she was denied a petition to even attend Q School – go figger. She almost won the LPGA Thailand, but tripled the final hole to surrender it to Inbee Park. Rebounding quickly, she won the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco, a European tour event. This year, she’s finished second at the Honda at -11, and fourth at the HSBC Women’s Championship, at  -10.

nugarn 2 Ah, but we’ve already moved into the future. Defending champion Ai Miyazato, also very young, but perhaps not in golf years, has recaptured the tournament lead – but wait, perhaps not. Suzann Pettersen has tied her, and is only on #13.  Hee Kyung Soo, Rookie of the Year (ah, me – more youth) is only 2 back.

Thank goodness for the leaders that Stacy Lewis isn’t playing this week. She’s in the Texas Shootout – no wait! That’s next week, and she IS here, only 3 back with two days to play! Lewis is looking a little bit like Tiger did at one point in his career. Of all the people I expect to make a winning charge on the final day, Lewis makes it happen more often than anyone, or so it seems.

Of course, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that this tournament is being played in Hawaii. The course is in prime condition, with significant water in all the right places. I’m three thousand miles away, so it’s beautiful. If I were playing it, it would be treacherous.
Winter Flight Deals - WINTER15Well, the tournament is back in the hands of the elderly stars, ranging from about 23 to 30 tops. I’m not going to pull the pictures of Ariya Jutanugarn, though, because she might be back. I sure hope for her sake that Stacy Lewis doesn’t have a sister. Then I’d get really mixed up.

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About the author

G.F. Skipworth

has spent every available moment playing golf or studying the greats since the 60s, in between world tours as a classical musician, Harvard studies in Government or as the author of a dozen novels. Nicklaus and Snead may be the statistical greats, but Skipworth is a life-long devotee of Gary Player, and considers meeting the South African at the Jeld-Wen to be an unforgettable milestone. His driving passion in golf these days is to raise viewer interest in the LPGA.