Sunday, the world’s third ranked player captured her fifth career win on the LPGA Tour at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G. With her victory, Ryu ascends to No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings for the first time in her career.
Par 4: Finding the fairway on this short par 4 will be a premium. Front pin placements are a challenge for any player hitting a second shot from the rough. Anticipate most players using irons and hybrids to keep it in the fairway.
Par 5: A 3-shot par 5 with a very challenging approach will provide a lot of entertainment. The area to the left of the green features a shaved bank sloping dramatically towards a lateral water hazard. Tee shots will be 3 woods and driver. The 2nd shot is key to this hole in that players must position their shots to the left side of the fairway 135 to 100 yards from the green. 2nd shots landing in the right rough are dead.
Par 3: Featuring an angled green positioned beyond a lake, this short hole requires a precise shot from the tee. Most players will take a par and move thankfully to the next hole. The position of the green has a tendency to catch up-drafts that impact balls more than a player can feel from the tee.
Par 4: Two fairway bunkers frame the left side of the fairway but the preferred target is the right side of the fairway adjacent to the lateral water hazard running the length of the right side of this hole. The approach shot from this position provides an angle slightly away from a shaved greenside bank sloping to the water hazards. Shot from the left side of the fairway nearest the bunkers require approach shots over a front left greenside bunker and towards the water hazard. Any shot landing on the right side of the green has a significant chance of rolling into the hazard. Players will have to weigh the option of length with driver or positioning with 3 wood resulting in a longer approach shot. A very dangerous hole.
Par 4: Going for the green in 1 is not recommended due to the difficult rough and bunkers that surround the target area. Front and middle pin settings bring the fairway bunkers into play. A back pin permits players to hit further down the fairway to provide an approach missing right greenside bunkers.
Par 3: Water lurks left and long on this lengthy, challenging par 3. A front right greenside bunker prohibits a “run-up” shot. A bunker on the left side of the putting surface will save balls from ending up in the lake. On a windy day, par becomes a valued score. Precision is required.
Par 5: A fairway bunker in the right center of the fairway calls for an exact shot. Longer hitters can carry it, but a front, greenside bunker may cause players to re-think going for the green in two. Most players will opt for a driver off the tee as par can be made from all fairway bunkers.
Par 4: This par 4 presents the most challenging tee shot on the front side. Players must carry the right side of the fairway far enough to clear the trees on the left. A deep greenside bunker stands on the right. A “middle of the green” approach shot is a good idea. Due to the length of this hole driver off the tee will be the choice club.
Par 4: A fairway bunker on the left will force players to aim to the right or short of the bunker. A well protected uphill green with a false front makes it difficult to hit the ball close. This hole will provide the greatest option of club selection for tee shots. The positioning of the fairway bunker dictates positioning of tee shots.
Par 4: This short par 4 requires an accurate short iron into the green. Roll-off areas behind and right of the green await overly-aggressive approaches. Whereas this hole offers a modest tee shot, the elevated and angled green challenges players on their approach shot.
Par 3: Target golf at it’s very best. Although short, this hole features an undulating green with 5 distinct placement areas. Precise tee shots will yield birdies. Stray too far from the hole and three-putts are a distinct possibility. Players will mainly land tee shots past the hole and take advantage of “backstops” to bring balls back to the hole for short birdie putts.
Par 4: On this hole, the green is visible from the teeing area and allows for varied shot patterns. An enlarged green features a lower right side shelf that requires considerable skill to hit it close. Look for 3 woods and hybrids to position tee shots to the left side of the landing area when the pin is on the right.
Par 4: Considerable trouble (trees and channel on either side of the fairway) awaits poorly-placed drives. The large green makes club selection a priority.
Par 5: A demanding par 5 that requires 3 quality shots. The fairway bunker on the left has been removed, which opens up opportunities from the tee. The contours of the green require an accurate 3rd shot. Expect to see mostly 3 woods off the tee as being in the fairway is a must.
Par 3: Pinnacle’s signature hole is a short, island-green par 3 that features several tee locations. When the pin is placed at the back of the green, players will be challenged to adjust for wind and elevations as any shot landing past the pin will end up in the lake.
Par 4: A fantastic par 4 features a fairway bunker on the left. The green stands near to a lateral water hazard. A back left pin will require all players to fly a ball all the way over two strategically-placed bunkers. Trees guarding the right side of the corner will require a driver off the tee.
Par 3: The front left of the green on this par 3 is open and will accept a run-up shot in a narrow slot. A big swale in the middle-back of the green can reward a properly-aimed tee shot—or create a nightmare chipping/putting situation for players who land on the wrong side. Par is a great score.
Par 5: On this long par 5, players will have to thread the needle between bunkers on either side of the fairway. A pond in front of the green significantly narrows the fairway and calls for caution when selecting a second shot. The green will reward good shots and punish anything that is not exact. This hole promises to afford an exciting finish to the course. With par possible for all fairway bunkers, look for all players to hit driver and hope to be rewarded for the gamble.