Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Locust Hill on Steroids!

This year's LPGA Championship presented by Wegmans is going to produce one great golfer! At 6506 yards, it's not the longest course played for this Championship. However, given the already challenging layout of Locust Hill, the additional yardage and other tweaks to the course have turned into a bear. Ten of the fairways have been "pinched" in, or narrowed by 4 or 5 yards....that's like narrowing a bowling lane by a couple of feet. Bordering the slim fairways is 3+ inches of lush Kentucky bluegrass/rye rough and loads of trees. Superintendent Rick Slattery has the greens rolling 12-12.5 on the stimp meter. Also, the course has been lengthened by 150 yards, which doesn't seem like much on paper, but it is mostly felt on #1, 4, 9, 10, and 14 and will cause grief for the players.

Rochester has been inundated with a ton of rain in the last month, in addition to a good inch the last couple of days, so the course is dark green, lush and slow. Several players claimed that they barely advanced 8 irons more than 100 yards when hitting out of the rough. We could see some ugly scores this week, especially if the greens firm up and continue to be lightening fast. Length off the tee is always an advantage, but not at the expense of direction.

Who will win? The straight driver and best putter. My picks are: Ai Miyazato (except for the fact she's trying to win two in a row), Cristie Kerr, Karrie Webb, Suzann Pettersen, Anna Nordquist (different to defend at a new course), and dark horse Song-Hee Kim. Even though Jiyai Shin won at this course last year, she's not at 100% after her appendectomy and won't be a factor. Oh, let's not forget Yani Tseng who won the first major of the year and is the only one to have a chance to grab the first two legs....Can't wait to see what happens tomorrow!

1 comment:

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