Finally… it’s that time of the year. An already exciting 2018 TOUR season on the LPGA and PGA TOUR respectively has just gotten a whole lot more exciting. it’s time for the first major of the year. While everybody and their uncle are talking about what could be next week… let’s not look too far forward into the future. Instead let’s discuss this week.
It just seems like the majority of golf fans often think of the first major of the year being that little tournament that takes place down in Augusta, Georgia. The home of pimento and cheese sandwiches, Magnolia Lane, azaleas and a land where everything is meticulous and green. But The Masters isn’t the first major of the year. That honour belongs to the ANA Inspiration of the LPGA Tour.
Photo Credit: LPGA
Out in the Californian desert in Rancho Mirage, California lies the stunning Mission Hills Country Club. While the facility houses 54-holes of golf its the Dinah Shore Tournament Course that hosts the years first major. All of the best female golfers in the world descend on the Palm Springs area to play in the annual tournament that was founded in 1972 by entertainer Dinah Shore. The course is home to the popular landmark “Poppies Pond” and was named after former tournament director Terry Wilcox in 2006 (his grandchildren called him “Poppie”). Since 1994, it’s been a tradition for the winner to unceremoniously jump into the pond although the first time that it happened was in 1988.
The list of winner’s of the tournament formerly known as the Nabisco Dinah Shore and Kraft Nabisco among others is a list of superstars from the LPGA Tour. Lydia Ko, Lexi Thompson, last week’s winner Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome (twice), Lorena Ochoa, Karrie Webb (twice), Juli Inkster, Dottie Pepper and Annika Sorenstam (three times) are some of the names to have won the event. Interestingly enough the legendary Se Ri Pak never won this tournament.
Photo Credit: LPGA
The field this week seems more star-studded than usual and I really don’t know what I’m basing that on. If you look at results of tournaments thus far in 2018 on the LPGA Tour the year has been full of amazing results. Laura Davies electrified with a sensational finish at age 54 two weeks ago. Major winners Anna Nordqvist, Lydia Ko and Canadian Brooke Henderson could be poised to take the leap into the pond come Sunday. Cristie Kerr, Michelle Wie, Lexi Thompson, and Thailand’s Moriya Jutanagarn have definitely shown signs of brilliance and could be there. But then you have the Korda sister’s (Jessica and Nelly) who look like a “watered-down” LPGA version of the Williams sisters (Serena and Venus) with the way that they’ve played thus far in 2018.
Photo Credit: LPGA
The action in the desert is going to be fun, exciting and make for very compelling television Sunday evening. We’ve already seen an Ace from Iceland’s Olafia Kristinsdottir. Especially, if the scoring is similar to what’s current at the time of writing. There are 15 players within 3 strokes of the lead as the first round is being played/finished. Just because The Master’s is next week doesn’t mean that you have to sulk because these girls are good. If you haven’t followed the LPGA Tour do yourself a favor and take some time to watch this tournament. Buckle up because the Sunday finish will be as exciting as any other major the guys play.
Until The Next Tee!!
One of the things that I fully intend to do moving forward is to highlight the LPGA Tour a lot more. I feel that the LPGA Tour simply doesn’t get the credit that it fully and rightfully deserves. So how do I start such a commitment? How about this weeks tournament in Singapore.
The HSBC Women’s World Championship was held at the Sentosa Golf Club – Tanjong Course which measures at an estimated 6,800 yards. The golf course was designed by renowned architect Alister MacKenzie and is ranked 79th in the World’s Top 100 Golf Courses. The week saw an event that was absolutely star-studded. Some of these names included the likes of Major Champions Cristie Kerr, Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko and Inbee Park just to name a few.
As the weekend progressed it was Nelly Korda (sister of the winner the week before Jessica Korda) who was in the lead. As the final day of the tournament arrived the leaderboard was just saturated and at one point there were no less than ten players who could have won the event. Among them was Canadian Brooke Henderson who finished T-2 with American Danielle Kang. However, it would be a name that we haven’t seen in the “Winner’s Circle” for some time who would emerge victorious in the end.
Michelle Wie… remember her? I’ve always admired Michelle Wie and her game. In a way this week was like the clock got turned back just a little bit. Speaking of turning the clock back what most people may not realize is that Wie held the 54-hole lead at the same event in 2017 just to see her falter on Sunday. However, in 2018 it would be a much different scenario. After firing a 73 during the second round Wie found herself well back in the field. By the time the third round finished Wie had found herself right behind Kang and Henderson as she fired a 66. Talk about grinding it out and having a short memory about a not-so great round the day before. When the dust settled Wie would post a 65 and a total of 271 (-17) to claim the victory. Wie’s first since 2014.
Photo Credit: cmp.callawaygolf.com
The final round was exactly what the LPGA Tour and similar women’s professional golf tours worldwide needed (Ladies European Tour, LPGA Symetra Tour). A crammed leaderboard on the final day packed with plenty of star power. Moreover, when you see a champion win in the fashion of how Wie won the title it just further bolsters the excitement and drama. From around 40 feet away and off of the green Wie sunk a putt to win the tournament. Talk about winning in style! When looking at the event from a golf standpoint Sunday from Singapore was one of the most exciting finishes I’ve watched… ever!
But there is more to take from Wie’s victory. Actually, there are a few things but I want to focus on the most notable thing. I want to point out that if you want to play good golf… use what works best for you and your game. Who remembers when it was suddenly decided that using a 7-wood (if you’re a male golfer) was only for old men? I remember it vividly when I succumbed to that mindset and I was never really the same. I used to love my 7-wood. So how about an 11-wood? Through talking with Callaway Golf SVP of Marketing Harry Arnett and Anthony Taranto (the man is a wedge master) I found out what Michelle Wie has in her bag. Talk about a unique set-up.
Photo Credit: Marie France Asia
- Callaway Golf Rogue Driver
- Callaway Golf Epic 3 wood
- Callaway Golf Rogue 5 wood
- Callaway Golf Epic 5 hybrid
- Callaway Golf Rogue 11 wood
- Callaway Golf X Forged & Rogue irons (combo set)
- Callaway Golf MD4 Black 52* 56* 60* (Bent to 50* 55* 60*)
- Odyssey Golf Putter (basically a wider 2W)
- Callaway Golf Chrome Soft X ball
Recently, I released a press release introducing the 2017 Summer Women’s Apparel line from Antigua Sports. Last week, the team representing the United States against Europe was introduced by team captain Juli Inkster. Initially past Solheim Cup team stalwart Paula Creamer was left off of the team but has since replaced the injured Jessica Korda.
Mary Beth Lacy of golf public relations firm Mary Beth Lacy Inc shared a press release with me. In the press release below it was announced that Antigua will be the United States teams apparel provider. Please see below for more details and scripting.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2017
Antigua to Serve as Provider for Team USA’s Uniforms at the 2017 Solheim Cup
PEORIA, Ariz., August 10, 2017 – Antigua Group, Inc., one of the nation’s leading designers and marketers of lifestyle and golf apparel under the distinguished Antigua brand, has been named the provider for Team USA’s uniforms at the 2017 Solheim Cup.
The 2017 Solheim Cup will be held at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa from Aug. 18-20.
Having created Team USA’s clothing at the last three Solheim Cups, working on the 2017 uniforms presented a unique challenge for Antigua designer Danielle Dellios, who created something fresh and new using the traditional red, white and blue color scheme.
“Instead of coming up with designs that were solely ‘Americana’ in feeling, I decided to give the team a more sport-driven look,” said Dellios. The abstract prints in the new designs are a big change from the previous outfit presentation.
Team USA captain Juli Inkster has been very active with input on the uniform designs for both her winning team in 2015 in Germany and for the 2017 uniforms.
“She also loves to get American fans involved by asking them to wear red one day, white
another day, and navy blue the third day — to support the team’s efforts on the course,” said Dellios. “She has been fantastic to work with through the whole process.”
The Friday outfit for the first day of competition at the 2017 Solheim Cup features a new take on polka dots – the red and white print Ascend polo is matched with the Ascend skort and short that sport a mirrored version of the same print, in white with red dots. The gradient dotted pattern creates an optical illusion.
The team will start Saturday’s matches wearing the Prize polo and skort. The polo features a zip placket, a solid white body with contrast navy color printed insets. The print pattern is reminiscent of all-over sequins, minus the metallic effect. The coordinating skort is printed all-over with solid white welt pockets and waistband. Both the polo and skort feature a stretch jersey knit fabric.
On Sunday, the team will don mostly white with an asymmetrical engineered printed navy and red triangle. The Pyramid polo features a snap placket with front and back printed panels. The
Until The Next Tee!!