I cover every tournament on the LPGA Tour on my Cobe Life Youtube channel. Usually I provide my Subscribers with a few Favourites, Dark Horses, and one or two Sleepers to potentially wager on. I provide them with some course history, and examples of why I selected the players I did.
In addition to that video, this week I am going to highlight 2 Groups at the tournament on this Blog. They won't necessarily have players I am betting on. Instead these are players that I believe could possibly stand out in this tournament. I am scouting them for potential bets at future LPGA events.
When scouting LPGA players there are a few key things to look for. The first and foremost is their putting ability. How accurate are they from distance? How confident is there stroke within 6 feet? Where do they finish in the Strokes Gained Putting rankings? You can't win an event if you don't Putt well so I always pay attention to their play on the Greens. Secondly how long and accurate are their Drives? What's important to note here is that a player doesn't need to be great at both. A nice balance between the two is preferable, but exceptionally great at either is fine as well. The last thing I pay attention to is their Approach play, or more specifically their proximity to Hole when they hit the Green.
If a player shows better than average ability across those 3 categories then they are poised to compete for Top finishes in future events. It's not rocket science. Those three areas of the game work in concert to produce low scores. Beginning on the Tee - a long or accurate Drive makes for an easier Approach shot. If your Approach game is on your proximity to Hole will be much smaller. Then if your average Putt is shorter you will make more 1 putts. Last season I was really high on Xiyu Lin because she was improving those 3 skills all season long. She finished the year 38th in Driving Accuracy, 52nd in Driving Distance, 20th in Greens in Regulation, 20th in Putts per GIR, and 34th in Putting Average. It was her Putting that let her down and prevented her from winning. That's why I rank it the most important. Ideally you want a player you're betting on to have a better Putting per GIR ranking compared to their Greens in Regulation, and a Putting Average no more than 50% worse.
Hopefully that has you fully versed on what to look for. This week I highlight 2 Groups that contain both bombers, and great Putters. Both Groups have players with glaring holes in their game they will have to overcome. Palos Verdes Golf Club should provide the perfect test for these particular players.
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There are two groups I will be paying close attention to this tournament. One group is in the morning swing, and the other Tees off in the afternoon. The morning swing group Tees off at 10:44am EST and includes Rookie Ayaka Furue from Japan, British veteran Charley Hull, and Danish bomber Nanna Koerstz Madsen. This group will really test the Rookie. Hull and Koerstz Madsen are two of the longest hitters on tour while Furue drives the ball 20 to 30 yards shorter on average. Ayaka will be playing a very different game then her opponents on the longer holes. Will the Palos Verdes Golf club live up to its reputation and punish the bombers? If so the Rookie could just focus on playing a clean Round, and potentially surprise the two big hitters in the first two Rounds. DRIVING DISTANCE AVERAGE Ayaka Furue - 250 yards Charley Hull - 274 yards Nanna Koerstz Madsen - 280 yards DRIVING ACCURACY Ayaka Furue - 80.54% Charley Hull - 68.65% Nanna Koerstz Madsen - 64.57%
The afternoon swing group Tees off at 4:00pm EST and includes one of the shortest drivers on tour from India Aditi Ashok, American Ally Ewing, and another Japanese Rookie Hinako Shibuno. What is going to be interesting to watch with this group is their play on the Greens. Aditi Ashok makes up for her lack of power by being lights out on the Greens. Ally and Hinako, lets just say that they have room to improve with the flat stick. Lots of room! Palos Verdes Golf club Greens are a combination of Bent Grass and Poa. Bent Grass isn't particularly difficult to putt on but Poa tend to be tricky in the afternoon. If the Greens have a lot of break. Expect Aditi to dominate on Thursday in this group. PUTTS PER ROUND AVERAGE Aditi Ashok - 28.35 Ally Ewing - 31 Hinako Shibuno - 29.96
Who do you think will lead in each of these Groups by end of play Friday? Do you expect any of them to miss the cut? Let us know in the Comments!