Match Play Returns to the LPGA This Weekend

This week, the LPGA is shaking things up with a match-play event.  Starting on Thursday, a field of 64 of the top women golfers will be competing for $1.5 million in prizes (first place winner will pocket $375,000 of that ).

The Sybase Match Play Championship, which is being held at the Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, N.J. takes an interesting approach to setting up the initial pairings.  To start, there are four brackets which are named for the four LPGA players with the most LPGA career wins – Kathy Whitworth (88), Mickey Wright (82), Annika Sorenstam (72) and Patty Berg (60). The 64 players in the field will be given a number from 1-64 based on their Rolex Rankings. The top-32 players will be automatically seeded into the brackets. Their opponents will be determined through a blind draw.

Here are some of the pairings:

  • Jiyai Shin vs. Ai Miyazato – A battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2 with the top world ranking up for grabs. This final would assure Asia goes 7-0 in LPGA events this season.
  • Michelle Wie vs. Morgan Pressel – Two of the best young Americans, former junior rivals, power player vs. precision player, with a big boost to American golf no matter which player wins.
  • Suzann Pettersen vs. Cristie Kerr – Two warriors in golf cleats, the intensity of the heat thrown off in this final could cause the grass beneath their footsteps to turn brown.
  • Se Ri Pak vs. Karrie Webb – Hall of Fame finish with two veterans who still rank among the great ball strikers trumping each other with their shot making.

The complete list of pairings can be found here.

The last time the LPGA sanctioned an official match-play event was three years ago when Seon Hwa Lee defeated Rolex Rankings No. 2 Ai Miyazato at the 2007 HSBC Women’s Match Play Championship held at Wykagyl Country Club in New Rochelle, N.Y.

As for the course, Hamilton Farm will “flip the 9s” with the course’s front nine holes becoming the back nine holes and the back nine holes will becoming the front nine holes. For the pure golf enthusiast, the Highlands golf course has both a Parkland and Scottish links feel, with rolling terrain and undulating greens. Bent grass is featured on greens, tees and fairways, with bluegrass rough and a fine fescue secondary rough.

The Sybase Match Play Championship will be televised on The Golf Channel.


Source: and The Golf Channel.

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