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 I am going to highlight 3 players each tournament week on this Blog. They won't necessarily be players I am betting on. Instead these are players that I believe could possibly break out later in the season. 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 3 players that should benefit from the Aviara Golf Club course layout. All 3 players have glaring holes in their game they will have to overcome. Each Player I chose this week have a game that's perfectly suited to succeeding on the Dinah Shore Course at Mission Hills.
Currently ranked 160th in the world. Has finished in the Top 20 of this tournament in 2020 and 2021. No stats for Gabriela because she isn't a full time LPGA player.
-Greens in Regulation
-Putts per GIR
Gabriela Ruffels is not a name recognized by most LPGA fans. Don't be too hard on yourself if her name doesn't ring a bell. Gabby only turned pro in 2021 in golf. If the name does seem recognizable to you it might be because she spent years as a very successful Tennis Doubles player. Her transition to golf was surprising but she established herself as a legitimate threat early on.
Given how great her previous finishes at the ANA Inspiration, now the Chevron Championship were. I expect to see her at her best this week.
Currently ranked 10th in the world. Four Top 5 finishes plus she won the U.S. Open in 2021.
-Driving Accuracy 79th on tour
-Driving Distance 23rd on tour
-Greens in Regulation 46th on tour
-Putts per GIR 17th on tour
-Putting Average 24th on tour
Yuka is one of my 5 Season long bets, and although she has looked good at times. She finished 3rd at the Gainbridge LPGA. She hasn't putted nearly as well as she did last Season so that's what I will be watching most.
Even though she finished 50th at this tournament last Season, it was her first event. She looked great the rest of the Season. I expect a much better finish from her this time around.
Currently ranked 22nd in the world. She had 3 Top 10s in 2021, plus she won the Bank of Hope Match Play.
-Driving Accuracy 70th on tour
-Driving Distance 28th on tour
-Greens in Regulation 10th on tour
-Putts per GIR 53rd on tour
-Putting Average 120th on tour
I like Ally Ewing. Her game is pretty to watch, except on the Greens. If only she could Putt. Luckily for her the Dinah Shore Course Greens are easy to read and run true. This is a course for bombers, and players willing to take a chance. Ally Ewing is that type of player.
The first Major of the year is one of my absolute favourites on the LPGA Tour. You can change the name of the event but as long as it's held at the Mission Hills Golf Club on the Dinah Shore course, and someone jumps into Poppy's Pond at the end. It's exactly what it needs to be to me. There is talk about moving it to a new location. I hope they never do.