Welcome all to this years Shoprite Classic being played at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club from Galloway, New Jersey just outside of Atlantic City. The ladies are coming back from the Bahamas and now head to AC to take on this on again off again tourney. This event was actually first played here in 1986 and was off and on until it came back as a LPGA event from 1998-'06 before it was taken off the schedule and finally brought back to life once again at this course in 2010.
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A relatively short 6155 yard par 71, tricky course we can looker closer at driving accuracy over distance as well a primarily bent grass track we'll want to look at putting numbers as well as scoring. Stacy Lewis picked up her second win in three weeks here last year as she finished at -12 to win by a convincing four strokes. Other recent winners here include Brittany Lincicome '11 -11/202, Ai Miyazato '10 -16/197.
A strong field will be on hand this week with 8 of the Rolex rankings top 10 teeing it up including all of the top 5. Lewis, Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen, Cristie Kerr and Beatriz Recari. This will be a bit of a warm up week for the ladies as next week is their second major of the year, the Wegmans LPGA Championship. I'm expecting a fun, competitive event and hopefully we get to kiss the trophy on Sunday.
Stacy Lewis 8/1
Stacy Lewis will be back to defend her title in good form this week. She has been playing well this year, already has 8 top tens including 2 wins. Her game sets up very nicely for this course she should be ready win this event once again. Like Tiger on the PGA, Stacy leads her tour in many stats including, birdies, eagles, scoring avg, rounds under par, total rounds played, sub par holes etc. She ranks 3rd GIR and 2nd putts per GIR.
Suzann Pettersen 10/1
Sitting third on the Rolex Rankings, Suzann will be our next choice as she has been playing some great golf this year. Before a T32 in the Bahamas last week she rattled off four consecutive top 5 finishes including her win at the LOTTE Championship. A ten year veteran she has 11 LPGA wins in her career and has over $10 million in earnings. Last year she T18 and T4 in '10. She ranks 1st GIR, 3rd scoring avg and rounds under par 6th rounds in the 60's and 7th sub par holes.
Karrie Webb 25/1
Karrie is another tour veteran and has won an incredible 38 times on tour and has 191 top tens! She knows how to win and has played this tournament for many years. Last year she finished T23 and recorded T8 in both '11 & '10. Karrie is having another good season, she's made 9/9 cuts and has three top 6 finishes in her last 5 starts. Good tee to green player, look for the Aussie to be in contention all week. She ranks, 9th scoring avg, 4th birdies, 20th driving accuracy, 7th rounds under par, 16th GIR.
Anna Nordqvist 20/1
Anna has been playing fantastic of late and has done well here in the past. She has four top tens this year and has 3 of them in her last three starts. Coming off a solo third finish last week, she T4 at the Mobile Bay event and T9 at Kingsmill. She has played this event at this course all three years and has back to back T5 and T12 in 2010. Another solid tee to green player look for this young Swede to give Stacy and Co a run for their money. She ranks 11th GIR, 5th birdies, 23rd scoring avg., 25th rounds under par, 1st total rounds played
Eun-Hee Ji 150/1
We need to have a dark horse on the list and Ji fits the mould nicely for us this week. She is familiar with the course as she's not only played it but played well versus usually strong fields. Her last three years here have finished like this '10-22, '11-20, '12-10. Steadily improving and playing well this year I think the books have underestimated her some this week. She has made 8/9 cuts this year and carded her best finish a couple weeks ago in Alabama when she T13 at the Mobile Bay Classic. Back on course she likes we'll give her a chance and maybe surprise a few this week. She currently ranks, 5th driving accuracy, 35th putting avg., 5th total rounds played, 20th birdies & eagles.
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