The LPGA heads to Rancho Mirage, California for the first major championship of the year: The Kraft Nabisco Championship held at Mission Hills Country Club. Over at the golf channel you can make fantasy picks for the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Here are my picks for this week’s event.
Group number one is loaded with talent. There’s a number of different ways you can go here. You can go with the teenage sensation Lydia Ko (who finished T25 as an amateur last year); you can go with last year’s runner-up in So-Yeon Ryu; or you can go with last year’s winner and the number one golfer in the world right now, Inbee Park. But, for me, I’m going with the all time great in Karrie Webb who has won this event twice and has finished in the top 10 here 11 times in 18 tries.
Webb is having such a great year and she loves Mission Hills so much that I couldn’t pass on her. I really did struggle picking either Webb or Park. I flip flopped a few times, but I think I’m sticking with Webb.
Let’s not forget about Stacy Lewis, Paula Creamer, and Shanshan Feng. They aren’t exactly slouches either. They are also available in group 1, as well. Either way, I don’t think you can go wrong with anyone of these seven.
Some of the notables in group two include: Lexi Thompson, Cristie Kerr, Michelle Wie, and Jessica Korda, but it came down to two golfers for me. Do I take Anna Nordqvist or Hee-Young Park? It was a tough decision – and much like group 1 – another toss up, but I went with Hee-Young Park.
It’s tough not to go with Nordqvist given the fact she’s coming off a win at the Kia Classic and she has a fantastic history here at Mission Hills. She’s played this event since 2010 finishing T-10 in 2010 and 2011, a T-26 in 2012, and a T-7 last year.
With all that said, that’s one of the reasons that I took Hee-Young Park, instead of Nordqvist. Nordqvist will more than likely be the overwhelming favorite in group 2 and I believe Hee-Young Park will fly under the radar in this spot. When you look at Hee-Young Park’s history here at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, it’s very similar to Nordqvist.
In 2010, Park finished T-15, in 2011: T-70, 2012: T26, and last year T-7. Aside from 2011, Park has been right in contention and has been right there with Anna Nordqvist.
I wouldn’t sleep on Park in group 2 and she has tons of betting value as well. Over at oddschecker.com she’s getting odds of 90/1, 100/1, even as high as 125/1 at the time of this post. Those are long shot odds for a golfer that’s – more than likely – going to be in contention come Sunday.
Once again, it came down to two golfers. Hee-Kyung Seo or Jenny Shin? I’ve been back and forth on this one. I had Seo picked all this week, but when I went back and looked at the numbers I decided to go with Shin.
Both have been successful at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, in 2012 Seo finished T-4, in 2010 Shin finished T-5, but the key for me is Shin has played the better golf of late.
Shin has been consistently better this year. She’s hung around in the top 10 top 15 in every event she’s played in. Her worst finish this year is a T-22 at the HSBC Women’s Championship. While, Seo’s best finish this year was a T-29. The same tournament where Shin had her worst finish.
Shin has had the much better year, so far, and they’ve had relatively the same success at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. So, with all that said, I’ve decided to back Shin.
Last, but by no means least, is group 4. Much like the previous 3 groups there were a few golfers I was considering and then whittled it down. In group 4, I narrowed it down to the veteran Hee-Won Han, and the up and comers in Mirim Lee and Jenny Suh. I eventually went with Lee because I feel that she was the safer bet.
Lee has played well and aside from a 66th place finish at the Kia Classic she has been great. She finished T-2nd at the JTBC Founders Cup and had a T-29 at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and a T-33 at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic.
Suh I don’t think is ready to step up in a major like this and Han hasn’t performed well in majors of late. Here at Mission Hills she’s been somewhat iffy finishing 62nd last year, T-49 in 2012, 2011: MC, and in 2010 she finished T34th. So, with all that said, I’m backing Mirim Lee in group 4.