Power Rankings: Kraft Nabisco Championship

RSS

While the PGA Tour heads to San Antonio this week for the Valero Texas Open (whose Power Rankings can be seen here), the LPGA plays its first major of the 2013 season, as Mission Hills plays host to the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Be sure to join the Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge to test yourself against our panel of experts, including former champion Win McMurry.

Sun-Young Yoo returns to defendt the title she won in a playoff last year over I.K. Kim. here are 10 players to watch this week in the California desert:

1. Stacy Lewis: A winner last month at the RR Donnelly Founder's Cup, Lewis is equipped with both momentum and the top ranking in the world. She has a great chance this week to capture her second Kraft title in three years. 

2. Suzann Pettersen: The Norwegian has had more than her fair share of close calls at Mission Hills. Pettersen was runner-up here three times from 2007-2010, with a fifth-place finish in 2009 thrown in for good measure.

3. Cristie Kerr: Like Pettersen, Kerr has had several close finishes at the season's first major. Five of her 11 starts here since 2002 have resulted in top-5 finishes, including a runner-up in 2009.

4. Inbee Park: A winner earlier this year in Thailand, Park enters the week ranked fourth in the world. She was in contention two weeks ago at the Kia Classic before fading to T-17 after rounds of 72 and 75 over the weekend.

5. I.K. Kim: Last year's hard-luck runner-up, Kim will hope to atone for her short miss on the 72nd green. Coming off a playoff appearance at the Kia Classic last month, there's reason to think a chance for redemption will avail itself on Sunday.

6. Yani Tseng: Though she's been inside the top three here each of the last three years, including a win in 2010, she has yet to regain her former level of dominance. Nevertheless, Yani at less than full speed is still better than many players in the field.

7. Na Yeon Choi: Choi has a pair of top-10 finishes here in five career starts, including an eighth-place showing last year. A winner of the season's final event last year, she also logged a pair of top-10 finishes in Asia earlier this year.

8. Paula Creamer: The 'Pink Panther' has been consistent lately at Mission Hills, finishing no worse than 24th but no better than 15th in seven starts since 2005. With three straight top-20 finishes entering the week, including a third-place finish in Singapore, she is in position for another good performance.

9. Lydia Ko: The 15-year-old prodigy continues to raise the bar, having already won three professional tournaments. While she says she's not thinking about winning the event, don't be surprised to see her name on the leaderboard this weekend.

10. Jiyai Shin: Shin has finished outside the top 30 just once in six Kraft starts, highlighted by a fifth-place finish in 2009. A winner last year at the Women's British Open, she also won her first start of the 2013 season in Australia.