This week the ladies play in the first major, The Kraft Nabisco Championship. In many ways this is “The Masters” for the women. I say this because it is their first major of the season (as is The Masters for the men), it has been played at the same course (Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California) since its inaugural tournament (again, The Masters is always played at Augusta National), and the winner jumps into “poppies pond” at the 18th hole as part of the tournament tradition and they are given a bathrobe when they get out of the pond. Many have said the robe is the LPGA’s version of a green jacket (o.k., it is not a green jacket but hey, it’s better than just standing in dripping wet golf clothes).
The tournament was not always a major. It started in 1972 as the Colgate – Diane Shore tournament. I remember watching it as a young girl and thinking how exciting it was that the company my dad worked for had a golf tournament. In 1983 it became a major and the sponsor was Nabisco. Amy Alcott won in 1983 and two more times. In fact, in 1991 when she won for the third time she jumped in the pond — this was the beginning of the tradition. The video below gives a great overview of the history of this tournament.
This year all the golf pundits are saying Yani Tseng will win. It seems like a “no-brainer” given she has already won 3 times this year, won last week by 5 shots, and is the number one female golfer in the world. But I’m hoping for an upset like last year. In 2011, Stacy Lewis beat Tseng by three shots. Below is a nice video for Stacy Lewis.
Don’t get me wrong. Yani Tseng is an amazing player but I want an exciting major — and that will only happen if someone can challenge Tseng. My ideal ending on Sunday would be to see Cristie Kerr go head to head with Yani Tseng and win.