Top Storylines this week at the Kingsmill Championship

Creamer and Shin

Week of April 29, 2013
Kingsmill Championship
Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg, Va.


Top Storylines

A Finish Not Forgotten

The LPGA Tour makes its first appearance of the season on the East Coast this week when it returns to Williamsburg, Va. for the Kingsmill Championship. The River Course at Kingsmill Resort will welcome back 144 of the world’s best female golfers and is the track that staged one of the most epic finishes in LPGA Tour history a year ago. Rolex Rankings No. 7 Jiyai Shin will try to defend her title this week after she outlasted American Paula Creamer in a nine-hole sudden death playoff in 2012.

The duo replayed the 18th hole nine times over a two-day span, with play being suspended on Sunday night due to darkness. The ninth and final try came on Monday morning when Shin converted on a two-foot par putt to claim her ninth LPGA title. It was the second longest playoff in Tour history and longest that included just two players.

Park Pushing for Dominance

If there was any doubt Inbee Park was deserving of the No. 1 ranking in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, the 24-year old South Korean erased any reservations last week in Texas that she is currently the best female golfer in the world. Park clinched her sixth-career victory at the North Texas LPGA Shootout and has been spectacular so far in 2013. She has already won three events in the Tour’s first eight tournaments of the schedule and her standout start has been a surprise to few. Dating back to last July at the Evian Masters Presented by Societe Generale, Park has won over a quarter of the events she played in, earning five victories in her last 18 starts.

With her win last week in Texas, Park reached several milestones including crossing the $6 million mark in career earnings, claiming three wins in one season for the first time in her career and extending her term as No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings to four consecutive weeks. It’s no shock that Park is also dominating the Tour’s statistical ranks, currently ranked first in putts per GIR (1.707), scoring average (69.50), rounds under par (23) and rounds in the 60’s (15). The seven-year Tour member currently sits atop the Tour’s Money List as well as Rolex Player of the Year points standings and doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

Tighter Grip on No. 1

With her win in Texas, Park took a tighter grip on the top spot in the Rolex Rankings, but her pursuers seem to be playing consistently solid golf and make a case that she’s not completely safe. Current No. 2 and former No. 1 Stacy Lewis trails Park by .99 average points and has yet to finish outside the top-10 in 2013. She has said that losing the title may give her the spark she needs to get back into the winner’s circle where she’s found herself twice already this season.

No. 3 Na Yeon Choi has hit a consistent stride in 2013, posting four top-10 finishes already including a runner-up in Singapore and is coming off a T7 in Texas. Former No. 1 Yani Tseng has had struggles of late but could be a win away from returning to her dominant ways. No. 5 Suzann Pettersen rounds out the top five and could climb even higher if she continues her respectable play. Pettersen has two wins worldwide in 2013, one at the LPGA’s stop in Hawaii and the other on the LET in China, and is coming off a third place finish last week in North Texas.

Quick facts

May 2 – May 5
Kingsmill Championship
Kingsmill Resort, River Course
Williamsburg, Va.

Field: 144 (all professionals)
Par:  36-35, 71
Yardage: 6,379
Purse: $1,300,000
Winner:  $195,000
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Defending champion: Jiyai Shin

TV Times
Golf Channel
May 2   12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
May 3   12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
May 4   3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
May 5   3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
All times Eastern


This week’s field information: Kingsmill Championship

2013 LPGA Tour rookies (18)
Chie Arimura
Julia Boland
Katie Burnett*
Esther Choe
Lauren Doughtie
Victoria Elizabeth                                                                    
Austin Ernst
Daniela Iacobelli
Felicity Johnson
Sara-Maude Juneau                                          
Moriya Jutanugarn
Taylor Karle
Caroline Masson
Lisa McCloskey
Kayla Mortellaro
Brooke Pancake
Nicole Smith
Marina Stuetz
*sponsor invite

Rolex Rankings
Top 10/10
Top 22/25

2013 LPGA Official Money List
Top 10: 10/10
Top 20: 18/20
Top 50: 47/50

Past Champions
2012 Jiyai Shin 2006 Karrie Webb
2009 Cristie Kerr 2005 Cristie Kerr
2008 Annika Sorenstam 2004 Se Ri Pak
2007 Suzann Pettersen  2003 Grace Park

Press conference schedule

Tuesday, April 30

1:00 p.m. Jiyai Shin – defending champion, Rolex Rankings No. 7

2:00 p.m. Inbee Park – Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings No. 1 player & winner of last week’s North Texas LPGA Shootout

Wednesday, May 1

2:00 p.m. Stacy Lewis – top-ranked American, currently No. 2 in Rolex Rankings

2:30 p.m. Paula Creamer – 2012 Kingsmill Championship runner-up, Rolex Rankings No. 11

*Times are approximate and subject to change (all times are local in Williamsburg)


Symetra Tour current player and alum factoids

Park take headlines; Song claims third win
The LPGA Tour makes its return to Virginia this week for the Kingsmill Championship and Symetra Tour alumna Inbee Park is stealing all of the headlines. The Road to the LPGA product got her big break after recording 11 top-10 finishes in 2006 and ended the season as No. 3 in the Volvik Race for the Card standings.

A number of Symetra Tour alumnae are making appearances in the Old Dominion this week including No. 12 Cristie Kerr who is the event’s only two-time winner, claiming victories in 2005 and 2009. Fellow alum No. 10 Karrie Webb will return to Kingsmill with a win under her belt, having won back in 2006.

The Symetra Tour will enjoy an off week after closing out its third event of the season in Sarasota, Fla. last week at the Guardian Retirement Championship at Sara Bay. Christine Song (Fullerton, Calif.) outlasted Isabelle Boineau of France in a two-hole playoff. It was Song’s third-career victory and marks the third different winner on Tour this season. She joins Jaclyn Sweeney (Bradenton, Fla.) and Melissa Eaton (Port Shepstone, S. Africa) as champs in 2013. The next stop for the Road to the LPGA will be next week in Charlotte, NC for the Symetra Classic.

Current Volvik Race for the Card standings are as follows: 1. Melissa Eaton of Port Shepstone, S. Africa, $19,753; 2. Jaclyn Sweeney of Bradenton, Fla., $17,990; 3. Christine Song of Fullerton, Calif., $17,160; 4. Sue Kim of Langley, British Columbia, $15,265; 5. Amelia Lewis of Jacksonville, Fla., $12,090; 6. Isabelle Boineau of Marseille, France, $11,432; 7. Courtney Massey of Gold Coast, Australia, $10,236; 8. Alena Sharp of Hamilton, Ontario, $9,367; 9. Jaye Marie Green of Boca Raton, Fla., $9,237; 10. Marina Alex of Wayne N.J., $6,977.

Topics: Kingsmill Championship, Storylines

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