*The first major of the year has arrived for the LPGA tour and undoubtedly all eyes will be focused on world No.1 Yani Tseng. The Kraft Nabisco Championship tees off this Thursday in Rancho Mirage, CA with the best players on tour. Tseng has begun the 2012 year in a blistering fashion winning three out of the five tournaments thus far. Though she lost to Stacy Lewis last year after a disappointing final round, it will take a strong field to deny Tseng her 6th career major championship. The course plays to over 6700 yards, which will favor the long hitting Taiwanese player. Tseng has taken the victory leap into Poppie’s pond once before when she won the event in 2010.
*The Golf Channel will be devoting extra time to covering the major championship as they will be airing six hours of footage on both Thursday and Friday. The weekend viewing will also feature enhanced coverage and more importantly in real time.
*16 year old Charley Hull is an amateur who was given an invite to play in the Kraft Nabisco. Ranked No. 7 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, the British player was told if she played in the tournament than she would lose her spot on the Curtis Cup representing Great Britain and Ireland. The reason given is that she would miss a mandatory team practice that took place last weekend in Scotland. After much public outcry over the loss of potentially their best player (and quite frankly the only hope to defeat the US), Hull was informed this week that an exception would be made for her. Hopefully she makes the best of her week and plays well enough to be around for the weekend.
*Liselotte Neumann was appointed the European Solheim Cup Captain this week for 2013, which will take place at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, CO. Neumann was involved in a press conference at the Kraft Nabisco Championship and said this regarding the news. “I am extremely happy and honored to have been selected as the European Solheim Cup Captain in 2013. This event has always been very special for women’s golf and it brings back wonderful memories of my years on the team. I want to thank the selection committee and the players for placing their trust in me and I look forward to the challenge of defending the title on US soil next year.”
Neumann served as a vice-captain for the European squad in 2009 and competed six times as a player. The Swedish player holds 27 worldwide victories, 2 of which are majors. On the American side Meg Mallon will lead a team that she represented eight times during her career. She has 18 career victories including 4 major championships to her name.
This won’t be the first time that Mallon and Neumann will face each other in a captain’s role. They were both the respective captains of the U.S. Ping Junior Solheim Cup in 2011. Mallon won that battle but the European team is coming off an exciting win last summer at Killeen Castle in Ireland. The U.S. however has never lost on American soil.
*Legendary golfer and now television analyst Judy Rankin made a return to the broadcasting booth this past weekend at The Kia Classic. Only last month she lost her husband of 45 years to cancer. Rankin’s return though undoubtedly difficult was great for golf fans as no one adds the poise and knowledge to the sport quite like her.
TV Coverage for Kraft Nabisco Championship:
Mar 29 12-3pm, 6-9pm EST Golf Channel
Mar 30 12-3pm, 6-9pm EST Golf Channel
Mar 31 4:30-8:30pm EST Golf Channel
Apr 1 4:30-8:30pm EST Golf Channel