April 3 2014, Ward Clayton
A quick look at this week’s Kraft Nabisco Championship:
- Void at the top: None of the top four players in the world – No. 1 Inbee Park, No. 2 Suzann Pettersen, No. 3 Stacy Lewis and No. 4 Lydia Ko – have won on the LPGA this season. Similarly, none of the top three on the men’s side in the Official World Golf Ranking – No. 1 Tiger Woods, No. 2 Adam Scott and No. 3 Henrik Stenson – have won on the PGA Tour this year.
- No joke: Tuesday was April Fool’s Day, but it wasn’t funny for two of the top players in the world. No. 2 Suzann Pettersen withdrew from the Kraft Nabisco because of an “aggravated disc” in her back. Similarly, Tiger Woods announced he will miss next week’s Masters after undergoing back surgery on Monday.
- Only one player has repeated as the Kraft Nabisco champion, Annika Sorenstam in 2001 and 2002.
- Usually, the LPGA begins its tournament by pairing in threesomes. This week, the pairings are in twosomes. Defending champion Inbee Park and 2012 champion Sun Young Yoo, both from South Korea, are paired in the first two rounds.
- The LPGA’s only multiple winners this season, Karrie Webb and Anna Nordqvist, have some of the best Kraft Nabisco records in this week’s field. Webb has 11 top-10 finishes in 18 career starts, including two wins. Nordqvist has three top-10s in four starts.
- The United States overtook South Korea for the top seed in the International Crown last week. The U.S. also is the only country with three players ranked in the top 10 – Lewis, No. 8 Paula Creamer and No. 9 Lexi Thompson.
- Juli Inkster is in this week’s field, 30 years after winning the tournament as a rookie. She has missed the cut each of the past two weeks.
- The Golf Channel will have 20 hours of live coverage Thursday through Sunday, including bookend coverage (noon-3 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. EDT) in the first two rounds around the PGA Tour’s Shell Houston Open.
- The Kraft Nabisco field has 112 players, 10 of whom are amateurs.