Staff picks: Kraft Nabisco Championship

(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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