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LPGA - Kraft Nabisco Championship Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, March 29th through Sunday, April 1st
SITE: Mission Hills Country Club (Dinah Shore Tournament Course),
         Rancho Mirage, California
COURSE ARCHITECT: Desmond Muirhead (1970)
PAR: 72
YARDAGE: 6,738
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 377 yds10 - Par 4 388 yds
2 - Par 5 521 yds11 - Par 5 536 yds
3 - Par 4 415 yds12 - Par 4 389 yds
4 - Par 4 380 yds13 - Par 4 405 yds
5 - Par 3 182 yds14 - Par 3 148 yds
6 - Par 4 391 yds15 - Par 4 387 yds
7 - Par 4 395 yds16 - Par 4 407 yds
8 - Par 3 168 yds17 - Par 3 179 yds
9 - Par 5 539 yds18 - Par 5 531 yds
--------------------------
36 3,368 yds36 3,370 yds
 
Annual:  41st
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Friday -- 12-3 p.m., 6:30-9:30 p.m. (et),
  - Saturday/Sunday -- 4:30-8:30 p.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Stacy Lewis
Runner-Up:  Yani Tseng
Tournament Record:  269 (Dottie Pepper, 1999)
54-Hole Record:  203 (Amy Alcott, 1988; Dottie Pepper, 1999)
36-Hole Record:  133 (Lorena Ochoa, 2006)
Course Record:  62 (Lorena Ochoa, 2006)
Total Purse:  $2,000,000
Shares:  1st Place - $300,000; 2nd Place - $183,814; 3rd Place - $133,344
 
2011 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Stacy Lewis275Michelle Wie285
Yani Tseng278Julieta Granada286
Angela Stanford284Mika Miyazato286
Morgan Pressel284Chie Arimura286
Katie Futcher284Three players at287
 
Past Kraft Nabisco Championship Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2011Stacy Lewis (275) -- Yani Tseng
2010Yani Tseng (275) -- Suzann Pettersen
2009Brittany Lincicome (279) -- Kristy McPherson, Cristie Kerr
2008Lorena Ochoa (277) -- Annika Sorenstam, Suzann Pettersen
2007Morgan Pressel (285) -- Brittany Lincicome, Catriona Matthew,
Suzann Pettersen
2006*Karrie Webb (279) -- Lorena Ochoa
2005Annika Sorenstam (273) -- Rosie Jones
2004Grace Park (277) -- Aree Song
2003Patricia Meunier-Lebouc (281) -- Annika Sorenstam
2002Annika Sorenstam (280) -- Liselotte Neumann
2001Annika Sorenstam (281) -- Dottie Pepper, Karrie Webb, Janice Moodie,
Akiko Fukushima, Rachel Teske
2000Karrie Webb (274) -- Dottie Pepper
1999Dottie Pepper (269) -- Meg Mallon
1998Pat Hurst (281) -- Helen Dobson
1997Betsy King (276) -- Kris Tschetter
1996Patty Sheehan (281) -- Kelly Robbins, Meg Mallon, Annika Sorenstam
1995Nanci Bowen (285) -- Susie Redman
1994Donna Andrews (276) -- Laura Davies
1993Helen Alfredsson (284) -- Amy Benz, Tina Barrett
1992*Dottie Pepper (279) -- Juli Inkster
1991Amy Alcott (273) -- Dottie Pepper
1990Betsy King (283) -- Kathy Postlewait, Shirley Furlong
1989Juli Inkster (279) -- Tammie Green, JoAnne Carner
1988Amy Alcott (274) -- Colleen Walker
1987*Betsy King (283) -- Patty Sheehan
1986Pat Bradley (280) -- Val Skinner
1985Alice Miller (275) -- Jan Stephenson
1984*Juli Inkster (280) -- Pat Bradley
1983Amy Alcott (282) -- Beth Daniel, Kathy Whitworth
1982Sally Little (278) -- Hollis Stacy, Sandra Haynie
1981Nancy Lopez (277) -- Carolyn Hill
1980Donna Caponi (275) -- Amy Alcott
1979*Sandra Post (276) -- Nancy Lopez
1978*Sandra Post (283) -- Penny Pulz
1977Kathy Whitworth (289) -- JoAnne Carner, Sally Little
1976Judy Rankin (285) -- Betty Burfeindt
1975Sandra Palmer (283) -- Kathy McMullen, Judy Rankin
1974*Jo Ann Prentice (289) -- Jane Blalock, Sandra Haynie
1973Mickey Wright (284) -- Joyce Kazmierski
1972Jane Blalock (213) -- Carol Mann, Judy Rankin

* - Won in Playoff

Note:Formerly called Colgate Dinah Shore (1972-81), Nabisco Dinah
Shore (1982-99), Nabisco Championship (2000-01).

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2002200320042005200620072008200920102011
Stacy Lewis---------------T-5---T-64T-19Won
Yani Tseng------------------T-21T-17Won2nd
Angela Stanford---T-51mcT-58mcT-10T-15T-12T-15T-3
Morgan Pressel---------T-19T-13WonT-38T-40T-19T-3
Katie Futcher---------------------mcT-48T-3
Michelle Wie---T-94thT-14T-3------T-67T-276th
Anna Nordqvist------------------------T-10T-10
Se Ri PakT-9T-15T-16T-27T-45T-10T-10T-40T-15T-10
I.K. Kim------------------mcT-28T-44T-10
Paula Creamer------T-45T-19T-24T-15T-21T-17---T-19
Karrie Webb7thT-213rdT-44WonT-20T-13T-8T-5T-13
Brittany Lincicome---------------T-2mcWonT-21T-13
Sophie GustafsonT-25T-51T-48T-66mcT-43T-42T-64T-10T-15
Sandra Gal---------------------mcT-34T-15
Suzann PettersenT-25---------T-40T-2T-2T-52ndT-19
Jiyai Shin---------------T-15T-31T-21T-5T-29
Inbee Park------------T-62---9thT-56T-10T-29
Song-Hee Kim---------------------T-213rdT-33
Hee Kyung Seo---------------------mcT-21T-33
Ai Miyazato---------T-44T-29T-15T-3169thmcT-33
Kristy McPherson---------------------T-2T-34T-41
Na Yeon Choi------------------T-6T-40T-27T-47
Seon Hwa Lee------------T-19mc5thT-30T-56T-47
Natalie Gulbis---T-48T-58T-17T-3mcT-13T-46mcT-47
Shanshan Feng---------------------mc---T-55
Candie Kung---T-28T-8T-9T-24T-60T-21T-30T-69T-62
Sun Young Yoo---------------mc---T-12mcT-62
Cristie KerrT-3T-11T-5T-3T-35T-20T-21T-2T-5mc
Grace ParkT-9mcWonT-5T-35T-68mcmcT-10mc
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Yani Tseng
Darkhorse - Caroline Hedwall
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Na Yeon Choi) - Finished tied for 18th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Shanshan Feng) - Finished tied for 3rd
 
NOTES:
The LPGA Tour moves to California for the first major championship of the golf season, as the best players in the world compete for one of the most prestigious titles at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. There are 116 players in the field, led by world No. 1 and 2010 champion Yani Tseng.

Tseng will be trying to win her sixth major championship at the age of 23. She has already won three times on the LPGA Tour in 2012, including the last two events. Tseng has five top-10 finishes in five starts this year and leads the money list with $792,186 in earnings, over $420,000 more than Ai Miyazato in second place.

Cristie Kerr is the top American player in the field at No. 4 in the world. She has won two major titles and will be trying to win this event for the first time. Kerr has five top-five finishes in the last 10 years. She has not won a tournament since winning the LPGA Championship in 2010.

With a win this week, Se Ri Pak could complete the LPGA career Grand Slam. The only players to accomplish that feat are: Louise Suggs, Mickey Wright, Pat Bradley, Inkster, Sorenstam and Webb.

Amateurs receiving sponsor exemptions this week are: Austin Ernst, Jaye Marie Green, Charley Hull, Ariya Jutanugarn and Moriya Jutanugarn.

This tournament was designated as one of the LPGA Tour's four major championships in 1983. It was formerly called the Colgate Dinah Shore (1972-81) and the Nabisco Dinah Shore (1982-99). The Kraft Nabisco Championship is one of only two tournaments (The Masters) that has been played on the same golf course (Dinah Shore Tournament Course) since its inception in 1972.

Last year, American Stacy Lewis fired rounds of 66-69-71-69 to win her first major and first LPGA Tour title. Lewis vaulted from two strokes down after the third round to topple the world's No. 1 player and defending champion, Tseng, and finish the event at 13-under 275. Lewis won the 2007 NW Arkansas Championship as an amateur, but the tournament was shortened to just 18 holes and declared unofficial by the LPGA. Lewis became the fourth player to make this tournament her first LPGA Tour victory, joining Helen Alfredsson (1993), Nancy Bowen (1995) and Morgan Pressel (2007).

In 2009, Brittany Lincicome eagled the par-five 18th hole following a spectacular approach shot to four feet, stunning Kerr and Kristy McPherson to win her first career major. The eagle gave Lincicome a three-under 69 in the final round and a one-shot victory over Kerr and McPherson, who battled their fellow American throughout the final round. Lincicome finished at nine-under-par 279.

Lorena Ochoa closed with a flawless five-under 67 in the final round of 2008 to win by five strokes. What began as a sprint turned into a stroll, as the Mexican star finished the round with eight consecutive pars to end at 11-under 277, comfortably ahead of Annika Sorenstam and Suzann Pettersen. Ochoa, who finally broke through for her first career major at the 2007 Women's British Open, became the first woman to win back-to-back majors since Sorenstam in 2005.

In 2007, Pressel rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole in the final round and went to the range. She was still there when Pettersen all but handed her a piece of history. Pressel shot a three-under 69 on the final day and won this event by one stroke after Pettersen coughed up a three-shot lead on the last four holes of the season's first major. The win was Pressel's first on the LPGA Tour, and made her the youngest women's major champion at 18 years, 10 months and nine days old. Pressel's other notable golf victory came at the 2005 U.S. Women's Amateur. Pettersen coughed up four shots in a three- hole stretch from No. 15 to fall one behind Pressel's clubhouse number. She missed a 22-foot birdie at the 18th that could have moved her into a playoff. Pressel finished at three-under 285 overall, the highest winning score at the Kraft Nabisco in 12 years.

Webb holed out for eagle from the fairway on the 72nd hole to get into a playoff with Ochoa in 2006, where she then captured this event for the second time. It was Webb's first major title since the 2002 Women's British Open. Webb fired the low round of the day in the final round, as she posted a seven-under 65 to finish at nine-under-par 279. Ochoa, who held the lead after each of the first three rounds, also eagled the last to shoot 72 and force the playoff. Ochoa established a new course record with a 62 in the first round, breaking the mark of 63 set by Mary Beth Zimmerman in 1997. She also set a new 36-hole record of 133.

Webb's seven-stroke comeback in 2006 matched the largest come-from-behind win in the history of the LPGA Tour's modern majors. Patty Sheehan also came from seven strokes back to win the 1983 LPGA Championship. Webb has posted nine top-10s in the last 14 years of this event. When Webb won in 2000, she became the sixth wire-to-wire winner. Other players to accomplish that feat are: Amy Alcott (1991), Juli Inkster (1989), Sandra Post (1978), Sandra Palmer (1975) and Pat Hurst (1998).

When Sorenstam captured the title in 2002, she became the first player ever to win this tournament two straight years since it was designated a major in 1983. Sandra Post accomplished the feat in 1978-79 prior to the event becoming a major. Sorenstam, Betsy King and Alcott are the only three-time winners, while Post, Inkster, Dottie Pepper and Webb have won it twice.

When Pepper captured the event in 1999, she set an LPGA record for the lowest under-par score for a major when she finished at 19-under par. During the four days, Pepper had two eagles, 19 birdies and just four bogeys.

Alcott started a winner's tradition of jumping into the pond at the 18th hole after her victory in 1988. The last player to win and not enter the water was Helen Alfredsson when she won for the first time on the LPGA Tour in 1993. The pond is named "Poppie's Pond" in honor of Terry Wilcox, the longtime Tournament Director, who retired in 2008.

Pat Bradley is the all-time leader in top-10 finishes with 11, followed by Sorenstam and Webb with 10. Webb has seven top-five finishes, followed by King, Alcott, Jane Blalock, Bradley, Webb and Sorenstam with six each. Sorenstam is the all-time money leader with $1,286,979 in earnings and posted 10 top-10 finishes in 14 starts.

The LPGA Tour travels to Hawaii in three weeks for the inaugural LPGA LOTTE Championship at Ko Olina Golf Club in Honolulu.

03/27 14:17:23 ET

As of March 27, 2012, at 02:31 PM ET

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