State Farm pays out $250K to the best LPGA golfer. Who will collect on the policy...Ochoa, Hurst or Kerr?
While most people will be celebrating the “unofficial” end of summer this weekend, the top golfers on the LPGA tour will all be gunning for Pat Hurst as she defends her State Farm Classic title.
Cristie Kerr, who won this event in 2004 but narrowly succumbed to veteran Hurst in 2005, will be out “headhunting” for her.
Annika Sorenstam, who required an 18-hole playoff at the U.S. Women’s Open in order to defeat Hurst has entered the final field, her first event at the Rail Golf Course since 2001. Perhaps Sorenstam is back here not only because of a commitment to play but to secure her lead in the Rolex Rankings which is being encroached upon by Lorena Ochoa.
Ochoa, who bounces back and forth almost weekly with Karrie Webb on the ADT Official Money List certainly isn’t sitting on her laurels either. Lorena gained a bit of “insurance” when she won the State Farm sponsored Wendy’s Championship last week. The Mexican sensation currently leads the ladies in scoring average and has a chance to win the coveted “Player of the Year Award” as well as the Vare Trophy. Annika Sorenstam took the honors last year. Next goal for Ochoa? Probably the ESPY!
But Pat Hurst is no pushover…she’s tough as nails. This season has been one of her best ever. Besides the narrow miss to Sorenstam, Hurst is coming off of a win at the Safeway Classic two weeks ago and has seven top-tens this season. Perhaps the replacement of her ball marker to a luckier “Snow White” one given to Pat Hurst by her daughter a few weeks ago made the difference!
Morgan Pressel and Natalie Gulbis are still searching for their first win on the tour. I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever see either of them hoisting a professional trophy. Each comes close week after week, but the same names remain atop the leaderboard…Hurst, Kerr, Sorenstam, Webb. And poor Paula Creamer can’t seem to break out of her “middle-of-the-pack” malaise, in a slump from last year’s standout second-place finale on the ADT Money List to a disappointing 12th position.
The State Farm Bonus Pool will also be decided, earning the winner of the pool $250,000. Cristie Kerr clinched the title last year and she is again in the running this year. Currently in second place, Kerr could very well snatch that check away from current points leader (and 2004 bonus pool winner) Lorena Ochoa with a victory this week.
The State Farm Classic “nail-biter” is being televised on both ESPN and ESPN2. Check your local listings.
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My money is on Lorena Ochoa.
My prediction of Lorena Ochoa taking this tournament is coming true! I should be a psychic!
Ochoa usually makes her move by the third round, so golfers, beware!
Hurst is T99-M/C!
Annika is only 6 back... I wonder if she can make a Tigeresque charge!
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