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2021 Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play (May 26 - 30)


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She's not, but Cheyenne Knight is.

Not sure why they play for 3rd place anyway. After missing out on the finals, I can't imagine the two players are all that pumped to go out again. Split the prize money and call it a day.   

I've already heard enough of Morgan Pressel this year.  Her voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard.  Is it just me who feels this way???

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19 hours ago, PZero said:

Popov in the background during Ewing's interview lol

Did you see the Popov interview a few minutes later. She was great, she wa upset yet classy and a great sport. I thought she handled the finish like a pro. Brooks/Bryce could take a lesson, it's ok to be upset, but give some love to the person who beat you.

 

Make it a loss and your out tourney to cut down the rounds. Natalie Gulbis had no business being in this tournament. Maybe a different course next time?

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57 minutes ago, randywildman said:

Did you see the Popov interview a few minutes later. She was great, she wa upset yet classy and a great sport. I thought she handled the finish like a pro. Brooks/Bryce could take a lesson, it's ok to be upset, but give some love to the person who beat you.

 

Make it a loss and your out tourney to cut down the rounds. Natalie Gulbis had no business being in this tournament. Maybe a different course next time?

 

 

First year of the event and Gulbis is a major presence for the sponsors out there.....

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4 minutes ago, SwooshLT said:

 

 

First year of the event and Gulbis is a major presence for the sponsors out there.....

 

Generally I don't care about sponsor exemptions they foot the bill after all and in a 144 player field you don't notice and in the big picture doesn't matter.  In this event, every player plays 3 other people and those results decide who advances.  Natalie almost never makes a cut and is usually finishing 135th or worse.  So, I guess my only problem is when a sponsor exemption messes with the integrity of the event, you basically gave every player in her group a free win. 

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On 5/30/2021 at 2:49 PM, stingerfade said:

Christina Kim wins the annoying obnoxious category by a landslide....

 

I like wie, seems nice 

 

Kang comes across like a jock dude 

Yes,,,,Christina Kim is the Queen of Obnoxious.

 

In 2015 at the CWO....I was at a far corner of the course at the 8th tee. 

Coming down the fairway is Christina on the back of a golf cart driven by a volunteer...who was rolling his eyes....she was coming to see her pal Wie play.

There were maybe 20 fans at most....all was QUIET and basically dead silent being handled by 4 marshals at the tee block.

Just as Wie is ready to tee....Christina raises her hands and yells...QUIET PLEASE.

 

Wie knows when the cameras are around.

She is not that engaging with the fans.

Often scribbling her autograph and wanting to leave ASAP.

I think she's has gotten tired of the attention.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/30/2021 at 3:14 AM, KBong said:

Shanshan knows when the cameras are around and hambones it.

Not that she's rude or anything but when I saw her in 2012 & 2015..... I thought she'd be more engaging with the galleries based on what we see on TV.

 

No truer words have ever been posted here. I am amazed at Shanshan's reputation here and elsewhere. She is easily the biggest phony on tour, and equal to some of the worst male players I have ever seen in that regard, dating to attending my first PGA event as a young kid in 1968.

 

I have provided several anecdotes regarding Shanshan's boorish behavior out on course. I left out many more of them. Away from the cameras and interviews she doesn't care at all and will walk smack past anyone, including young girls asking for a ball or even a returned glance. I have seen that several times. Contrast to Michelle Wie who always goes out of her way well out onto the course to seek the young ones and give them golf balls. Often she'll walk a dozen yards or more out of her way along the rope lines to reach their location. Beaming smiles.

 

It is true that Michelle doesn't hang around after the round as much as others, and she kind of scribbles her autograph quickly.

 

I was not surprised at all that Shanshan ducked out of the third place match. She should not be so easily excused for that. That match is like an insurance policy to the networks in case the championship match is a lopsided dud and ends early. I guarantee the network executives were sweating once they realized they didn't have a backup. But Shanshan doesn't care at all about that. Tunnel vision and 100% self concerned.  

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2 hours ago, Stooch said:

 

Generally I don't care about sponsor exemptions they foot the bill after all and in a 144 player field you don't notice and in the big picture doesn't matter.  In this event, every player plays 3 other people and those results decide who advances.  Natalie almost never makes a cut and is usually finishing 135th or worse.  So, I guess my only problem is when a sponsor exemption messes with the integrity of the event, you basically gave every player in her group a free win. 

 

Almost......she gutted out a tie with solid play vs Masson but I understand your point......

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Brooke Henderson and Gulbis won the same amount of points - should Henderson have been left out?

 

Sponsor exemptions dont mess with the integrity of any event. Because remember, without those sponsors, there are no events.

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4 hours ago, randywildman said:

Did you see the Popov interview a few minutes later. She was great, she wa upset yet classy and a great sport. I thought she handled the finish like a pro. Brooks/Bryce could take a lesson, it's ok to be upset, but give some love to the person who beat you.

 

Make it a loss and your out tourney to cut down the rounds. Natalie Gulbis had no business being in this tournament. Maybe a different course next time?

 

I did. It was a great interview and she was gracious in defeat.

 

I just thought it was funny seeing her in the background of the interview looking at the waterfall, then taking her shoes off, while they were talking to the winner.

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23 hours ago, Well Played said:

Sophia Popov is far more appealing than the rest of these ladies combined.

 

Agreed. Sophia is fantastic. I've heard nothing but great stories about her from friends who are close to the USC program. And if it trended the other way, trust me I'd report it. 

 

Her interviews are genuine and sharp plus she adds content instead of responding strictly to the question. 

 

Unfortunately Sophia plays a relatively conservative game and that really hurt her in the match play final. Somehow the players never account for the very real possibility that the three wood off the tee will be errant, or that the iron layup shot will be pathetic. Once you are volunteering to play from further away, and end up in a terrible spot further away, it's like hitting yourself in the mouth.

 

Sophia did that time and again yesterday. Subjectivity should be thrown away in deference to every statistical evaluation that indicates the more bold choice produces lower scores. In particular it was unbelievable Sophia down 2 didn't understand the value of playing aggressively on her second shot into the par 5 16th, with Ally in the fairway bunker. Morgan Pressel was properly miffed at that iron decision by Sophia. As others have mentioned, Morgan doesn't have a broadcaster's voice but her commentary has come along and now is perfectly acceptable. 

 

Also, once Danielle Kang showed the way on 17 in the quarterfinal I assumed every player would hit that shot to a back pin position...aiming short and right and allowing the slope to take over. Instead nobody followed suit, continuing to aim at the pin. Ridiculous. That is a vast difference from the men's game, where a strategic breakthrough would immediately be well known by every player, caddie and coach. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

* Shadow Creek is an interesting course but I've always believed there is too much sameness and therefore somewhat overrated. Augusta works because of great contrast holes like 3 and 14

 

* Danielle Kang absolutely has some tension with Ally Ewing. I'm not sure if it's strictly golf but it was fun to watch. Both players sank key late putts then glared technically at their caddie but with full intention of nearly looking smack at the opponent in stare down fashion. Danielle has always had the Patrick Reed aura of maybe I don't have the best record of anybody out here but nobody wants any part of me head to head. Now Danielle has a nemesis in that regard. She is livid about it. I loved that Danielle maintained true to herself in response to the question, ignoring any positives toward Ally while emphasizing she wants another crack at her. 

 

* Match play should never have the semifinal and final on the same day. That one flawed decision really detracted from an otherwise positive event. IMO, there should be more creativity in the group stage. Instead of 16 groups of 4 make it 8 groups of 8. Have 7 matches within a group, of 9 holes apiece. That would work much better for television purposes. Everyone would play 2 matches on 2 days and 3 matches on one day. Twice as much significance in every hole, forcing players to be ready at the outset. That could be hyped as fitting Las Vegas. Then the immense benefit is cutting the field to 8 players instead of 16 players after three days. Do it that way and it allows one round on the final day, leading to fresher players and higher quality of play

 

*  The current format was asinine on Friday, with pivotal group stage sudden death playoffs totally ignored in deference to showing covered of lopsided matches that were not in doubt at all. That aspect was bad enough. Then virtually every player I was rooting for in the group stage playoff ended up losing.

 

* The betting odds were hilarious. One ripoff price after another. Tom Abbott was the only one who seemed to understand that. Grant Boone should be strung up somewhere for at least a day or two, after shilling prices that nobody in their right mind would play into. 

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6 hours ago, Awsi Dooger said:

1) Contrast to Michelle Wie who always goes out of her way well out onto the course to seek the young ones and give them golf balls. Often she'll walk a dozen yards or more out of her way along the rope lines to reach their location. Beaming smiles.

 

I2)  was not surprised at all that Shanshan ducked out of the third place match. She should not be so easily excused for that. That match is like an insurance policy to the networks in case the championship match is a lopsided dud and ends early. I guarantee the network executives were sweating once they realized they didn't have a backup. But Shanshan doesn't care at all about that. Tunnel vision and 100% self concerned.  

1) Your observations have differed from mine....I have attended my fair share of LPGA rounds and had yet to see Wie go out of her way to engage the kids...not saying she doesn't...I just haven't seen it.

 

2) Few people watch the LPGA....and the ratings and viewing had tanked because of the final 4....and based on quite a few members here...many saw no value watching a match for 3rd or 4th place.

If the TV producers were worried that the final 2 had finished early with no consolation match ...the TV producers could have spent that 'dead time' to be filled by Tom Abbott asking Morgan about her crazy outfits for the week...that banter would have been better entertainment than watching Ariya vs. Feng...air mail it in....lol.

 

Many don't like Tom...but I like him because he can bring some good humor to an often boring LPGA broadcast.

 

Shanshan is out of shape, likely really tired and could have gotten heat stroke during the 2nd 18 on Sunday....I don't blame her for the WD or any other pro to WD for the consolation match to rest up and head to Olympic earlier.

Shanshan could have simply said she was ill and WD w/o further explanation...but she met with the media and explained her WD.

 

If anyone....it's Wie who has had some "questionable" WD's in the past.

- Rule 88 situation

- Michelle WD from the Ginn event hosted by Annika with a wrist injury and then Annika took exception as Wie was practicing 2 days later in preparation for a major, The LPGA Championship.

- At the 2013 USWO....Michelle shot 80...and through 17 holes in round 2 clearly outside the cut line....play was then called...and then she WD citing 'illness' to avoid returning the next morning.

I believe HOF Se Ri Pak was in a situation similar to Wie....but Se Ri showed up the next morning with a few holes left to finish her rd...she shot 78 & 81.

 

And many spectators and TV viewers want to see Wie play (the needle mover for the LPGA)...I can't say there are many Feng fans who would miss watching Shanshan play if she WD....especially in the US.

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-golf-lpga-wie/wies-wrist-fuels-spat-with-sorenstam-before-lpga-champs-idUSL0683283920070606

 

https://thegolfnewsnet.com/ryan_ballengee/2013/06/29/michelle-wie-withdraws-u-s-womens-open-hole-play-3473/

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I've always hated this "group play" format in match play anyway - on any of the tours. It leaves way too many matches that mean nothing when people are 0-2 and at least for me, I'm 0% interested in those matches. I dont care if it means that there could be an upset and one person might go home early, at least every match wound *mean* something. A full 64 person bracket is what, 6 matches. So schedule 2 on W, 1 each on Th/F/Sa/Su? I'm pretty sure on the PGA Tour they made the change to group play because of tv reasons - IE what if Tiger lost his first match - but it makes for awful viewing IMO. Again, on both tours.

 

And I've never been interested in "consolation" games in any sport or any tour. If its a match play format and the goal is to win the tournament - I have zero interested in seeing two losers battle it out for 3rd place. 

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23 hours ago, North Texas said:

 

"Too slow. Endless discussions between players and their caddies!"

 

This is what pro golf has become. All tours. Noticed several times that the other player and their caddie wouldn't even start discussing the shot until the other player had hit even though they could have. Happens frequently on both the LPGA and PGA. 

I noticed that too. Two players, 40 m apart on opposite sides of the fairways. No discussion with her caddie by the 2nd player until the first player had hit. It made me think they were instructed to do it - especially in the absence of the consolation final. Wait, then produce some good television!

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12 hours ago, dcmidnight said:

Brooke Henderson and Gulbis won the same amount of points - should Henderson have been left out?

 

Sponsor exemptions dont mess with the integrity of any event. Because remember, without those sponsors, there are no events.

 

If Brooke can't make it in on her own merits than absolutely.

 

This whole sponsor have rights thing goes way too far, if sponsor can decide what the competition looks like than why not allow Tiger and Phil to play at East Lake in perpetuity, because of rating and whatever.  Again I generally have no gripes about exemptions as they pay the bills but in this event I don't feel they should be given out, it like giving exemptions to WGC events on the PGA.  That's the thing with LPGA most feel they should suck this stuff up and feel lucky about it, when if you tried this stuff under similar circumstanced on the PGA, there would be an uproar and people losing their minds.

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C'mon, literally not one person (outside of this subforum) cares if the 64th player in the world gets bounced for a sponsor invite that EVERYONE knows and recognizes her name. You think the 64th player is going to put up some huge fight in their group just because...why...because they are "ranked" and Gulbis was not and therefore its "better"?

 

I looked in the 60-70 range of the Rolex rankings and recognized one player, maybe two - and thats just *maybe* I recognized their name. So thats 8-9 that I dont. How many do you think the general public would recognize? Hint, its bordering on zero. Outside of the diehards in this forum, no one knows any of those players - but they all know Natalie Gulbis.

 

Agree to disagree.

 

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13 hours ago, KBong said:

1) Your observations have differed from mine....I have attended my fair share of LPGA rounds and had yet to see Wie go out of her way to engage the kids...not saying she doesn't...I just haven't seen it.

 

2) Few people watch the LPGA....and the ratings and viewing had tanked because of the final 4....and based on quite a few members here...many saw no value watching a match for 3rd or 4th place.

If the TV producers were worried that the final 2 had finished early with no consolation match ...the TV producers could have spent that 'dead time' to be filled by Tom Abbott asking Morgan about her crazy outfits for the week...that banter would have been better entertainment than watching Ariya vs. Feng...air mail it in....lol.

 

Many don't like Tom...but I like him because he can bring some good humor to an often boring LPGA broadcast.

 

Shanshan is out of shape, likely really tired and could have gotten heat stroke during the 2nd 18 on Sunday....I don't blame her for the WD or any other pro to WD for the consolation match to rest up and head to Olympic earlier.

Shanshan could have simply said she was ill and WD w/o further explanation...but she met with the media and explained her WD.

 

If anyone....it's Wie who has had some "questionable" WD's in the past.

- Rule 88 situation

- Michelle WD from the Ginn event hosted by Annika with a wrist injury and then Annika took exception as Wie was practicing 2 days later in preparation for a major, The LPGA Championship.

- At the 2013 USWO....Michelle shot 80...and through 17 holes in round 2 clearly outside the cut line....play was then called...and then she WD citing 'illness' to avoid returning the next morning.

I believe HOF Se Ri Pak was in a situation similar to Wie....but Se Ri showed up the next morning with a few holes left to finish her rd...she shot 78 & 81.

 

And many spectators and TV viewers want to see Wie play (the needle mover for the LPGA)...I can't say there are many Feng fans who would miss watching Shanshan play if she WD....especially in the US.

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-golf-lpga-wie/wies-wrist-fuels-spat-with-sorenstam-before-lpga-champs-idUSL0683283920070606

 

https://thegolfnewsnet.com/ryan_ballengee/2013/06/29/michelle-wie-withdraws-u-s-womens-open-hole-play-3473/

Shan Shan should have been forced to forfeit the event, not the match.  If you can't compete until the end you should lose all the money.  If it was stroke play she'd not get 4th place.  

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1 hour ago, new2g0lf said:

Shan Shan should have been forced to forfeit the event, not the match.  If you can't compete until the end you should lose all the money.  If it was stroke play she'd not get 4th place.  

 

Sounds like she was simply using the rules to her advantage.

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Guys WD from the WGC events every year and still get paid.


Sounds like people would be OK if she just lied and said she wasnt feeling well, she needed to rest up. But because she just said she needed to rest up, thats no good.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, new2g0lf said:

Shan Shan should have been forced to forfeit the event, not the match.  If you can't compete until the end you should lose all the money.  If it was stroke play she'd not get 4th place.  

 

If it was a stroke play event, she would not have played 7 rounds either.

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5 minutes ago, Stooch said:

I watch the LPGA on tape delay every 3rd event, sorry if I don't have sympathy the golf channel lost their consolation match lol

 

I do believe the lack of a second match simply gave them more commercial time. Ally hits. Sophia hits. 2:30 in commercials. 

 

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. 

 

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1 minute ago, Argonne69 said:

 

I do believe the lack of a second match simply gave them more commercial time. Ally hits. Sophia hits. 2:30 in commercials. 

 

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. 

 

 

And lets be honest they aren't shy about running commercials during the best of times.

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1 minute ago, Stooch said:

 

And lets be honest they aren't shy about running commercials during the best of times.

 

Sigh. No kidding. I watch 95 percent of the rounds time shifted. I wouldn't mind the commercials if they came back and showed the important shots that they missed. Instead, the majority of the time we see a player putting for birdie without ever seeing their approach. Pfffttt. 

 

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Posted (edited)

While on the one hand I agree with others about 3rd place matches being pointless, they do give the TV people some additional content, and that shouldn't be taken lightly.  Despite my frequent criticisms of the TV product, it is an important part of the package.

 

Not to mention, she stated would have played the final.  Well, if you're ok to play the final, you're ok to play this match.   Sign up for an event, follow through.  Being out of shape is not an excuse to concede.  Let's remember what else she caused:  Her sponsors, and more importantly, Jutanagarn's sponsors didn't get the exposure from them playing this match.  She will have to deal with her own sponsors and the consequences, but by doing this, she puts Jutanagarn in a bit of a spot.  This isn't like a normal event where people keep playing without you.  She decided two people weren't going to play golf on TV.  

 

She earned 4th place money, but a fine of nearly that same amount would not be something I would complain about.

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1 hour ago, Golf Dino said:

 

If it was a stroke play event, she would not have played 7 sounds either.

She knew what she was signing up for, she quit, she shouldn't be rewarded for quitting.  

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34 minutes ago, golfortennis said:

While on the one hand I agree with others about 3rd place matches being pointless, they do give the TV people some additional content, and that shouldn't be taken lightly.  Despite my frequent criticisms of the TV product, it is an important part of the package.

 

Not to mention, she stated would have played the final.  Well, if you're ok to play the final, you're ok to play this match.   Sign up for an event, follow through.  Being out of shape is not an excuse to concede.  Let's remember what else she caused:  Her sponsors, and more importantly, Jutanagarn's sponsors didn't the exposure from them playing this match.  She will have to deal with her own sponsors and the consequences, but by doing this, she puts Jutanagarn in a bit of a spot.  This isn't like a normal event where people keep playing without you.  She decided two people weren't going to play golf on TV.  

 

She earned 4th place money, but a fine of nearly that same amount would not be something I would complain about.

Exactly, she made a commitment, being out of shape and not caring about the money doesn't excuse the behavior.  She stated she'd have competed in the final so she wasn't injured, just out of shape.

 

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The tour pays for the airtime. The Golf Channel is paid even if no matches are broadcast. 

 

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Would people be OK if Feng dribbled one 20 yards of each tee box, conceded the hole, and lost 10 & 8?  Assuming they tee'd off before the final match, I'm guessing they could be done in an hour, hour 30 and they could have showed a bunch of walking and handshaking on the broadcast.

 

Quite frankly, the tour put this tournament in a not so great spot.  Assuming the schedule returns to historical norms, I like it before the Kia or Phoenix as the first US tournament after the Asia swing.  It would be a good way to let people play themselves into shape.  It is true that all of the players who entered knew where the tournament was on the schedule and the possibility of going 7 rounds.

 

Personally, I'm OK with what she did but don't have a strong feeling either way.  I don't suspect her sponsors are that unhappy, they likely get the situation.  The tour is probably not happy but the truth is these players are independent contractors and the tour kicks you to the curb as soon as you aren't good enough to play, so fend for yourself.  There are some players that truly want to grow the game, give back, etc.  But I'd guess that the vast majority are most concerned about growing their bank account, which is also fine.  You'd see a lot of different things if players were on camera 24 hours a day.

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3 hours ago, new2g0lf said:

Shan Shan should have been forced to forfeit the event, not the match.  If you can't compete until the end you should lose all the money.  If it was stroke play she'd not get 4th place.  

This was a match play event....not stroke play.

IMO....not many care who finishes 3rd or 4th.

 

In tennis....likely all majors.....3rd and 4th place are semi finalists....and are paid equal money...their tournament is over....I have no interest watching a 3td and 4th place match.

 

In our current world of transparency.....Shanshan was transparent....and is now facing some criticism.

I believe in less is more.

If Shanshan said she was ill....we wouldn't be talking about this....she wasn't really obligated to say more.

She faced the media and answered with honesty.

 

Did Shanshan quit?...yes....but if she said she was ill...she also quit.

This is a new event for the LPGA with a potential of 7 matches in 5 days in the heat....I don't think many might have thought about the physical drain.

Many pros might have felt obligated to show up and support Bank of Hope in this inaugural event.....I was quite shocked at the star power of the pros who did register considering the USWO the week after.

 

IMO....I think this is a learning experience.....pay semi final payouts.....cause many have no interest watching a 3rd vs 4th place match.

 

When a salaried employee who reported to me and called in sick...they would still be paid....they need not explain in detail their illness.

All I said was...... hope you feel better soon.

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