If last week at the Kia Classic was any indication, the 3 Nike Golf Staff should have a big part come this weekend. Michelle and Suzann each picked up a Top 10, while Amanda Blumenherst should be full of confidence after her T12.
These athletes each have their own history with regards to this event, so let’s take a look at each of the ladies as I break down their history at the event, recent finishes and my predictions.
Rolex Ranking – 5th
If I call Suzann a monster, you may be scared… and you should. Suzann is a Top 10 machine, but hasn’t won on the LPGA Tour since 2009. She also has a major under her belt from 2007. From 2007-2010, Suzann has 7 top 10’s in the 15 majors she has played in, only missing 2 cuts. Not to mention her 3 finishes in the 2011 season are right on par with Michelle’s. SPetts has finished T8, and T10. Surprising? Hardly.
Her history at Mission Hills is unlike any other. She has 4 straight Top 10’s at this event – T2, T2, T5 and a T2 last year. Is that a joke? No. Suzann is a monster. I think she’s due and I think she will win.
Prediction :: 1st
Rolex Ranking – 9th
Michelle jumped up from 11th to 9th after her Top 10 at the Kia Classic. That’s two huge finishes for Michelle in her 3 events this year. She started the year with a solo 2nd at the Honda LPGA Thailand and followed that up with a T16 at the HSBC Women’s Champions. She’s basically averaging 8th place so far this season.
At the Kraft Nabisco Championship Michelle should feel more comfortable than any other major. Her first 4 starts here were T9, 4, T14 and T3. Those first 3 finishes were as an amateur. Since then, Michelle has been a bit of a slow starter, as she has improved on her major finishes as the season have gone on. However, with her fast start this season, expectations are high and this time, I feel like they are warranted. She finished T27 last year and I can’t predict too much better than that. I think Michelle has the game, but I know she’ll feel the pressure to win a major and maybe she will just try a bit too hard this year. I just think she’ll have a big score on one day that puts her out of contention.
Prediction :: Top 15
Rolex Ranking – 81st
This will only be Amanda’s 2nd time playing this event and her first time as a professional. However, her play has clearly improved since last year where she had 7 Top 25’s. Now that she’s got past her rookie season, I expect some bigger than’s from AB. Of her 7 Top 25’s last year, she had a streak of 3 straight Top 25’s and another pair of back-to-back ones later in the year. She’s a streaky golfer who gets confidence from good finishes. Her T12 at Kia Classic was a big boost for her so that will definitely help.
Amanda’s lone go at this event was in 2008 where she finished in solo 30th as the Low Amateur. It is her 2nd best major finish, right after her T10 at the US Women’s Open as the Low Amateur in 2007. She has had the flashes, so let’s hope she can put it together this weekend.
Prediction :: Top 30
Good luck to all three of these Nike Golf athletes this week! Keep it locked here for your round-by-round updates!
Check out the custom apparel supplied by Nike Golf for this event >>