Staff picks: Kraft Nabisco Championship

(Left to right) Cristie Kerr, Michelle Wie, Vicky Hurst and Jennifer Song

(Left to right) Cristie Kerr, Michelle Wie, Vicky Hurst and Jennifer Song

Kraft Nabisco Championship

Site: Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Courses: Mission Hills Country Club – Dinah Shore Tournament Course (6,702 yards, par 72)

Purse: $2 million

Winner’s share: $300,000

BETH ANN BALDRY

Winner: Cristie Kerr. Kerr has something to prove after tying for second last year. The 14-year veteran has four top-5 finishes at Mission Hills and is off to a hot start in ’10, finishing T-4, 2nd, T-14 in her first three starts.

Reader poll

Who will be low amateur at the Kraft?

  • Cydney Clanton 30%
  • Jennifer Johnson 5%
  • Kimberly Kim 5%
  • Jessica Korda 5%
  • Candace Schepperle 3%
  • Jennifer Song 18%
  • Alexis Thompson 34%

429 total votes.

Sleeper: Vicky Hurst. The sophomore player has created a little buzz the last two events, though she was slowed by a final round at the Kia Classic (76). Enough young players have won their first tournament at a major in recent years that it’s almost becoming a trend. Hurst, a five-time winner on the Duramed Futures Tour in ’08, has the talent to do the same.

• • •

SEAN MARTIN

Winner: Michelle Wie. This is a great opportunity for Wie to bag her first major. She’s improved with each start this year, finishing T-22, T-15 and T-6. Wie would’ve tied for second last week if not for a two-stroke penalty for grounding her club in a hazard. From 2003-06, Wie never finished worse than a tie for 14th. She was fourth as an amateur in ’04 and tied for third in ’06.

Sleeper: Jennifer Song. There’s a long tradition of amateurs contending at the Kraft, and Song could be the latest. She’s No. 2 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, won both the U.S. Women’s Amateur and Public Links last year and was low amateur at the U.S. Women’s Open (T-13).

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