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ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open

A big congratulations goes out to Celine Boutier for winning the ISPS Handa Vic open. You can read my full tournament recap here.

The LPGA stays in Australia for the second consecutive week, for the playing of the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open.

This tournament has a history of very close finishes. In fact, Jin-Young Ko's 3 shot victory last year tied for the largest margin of victory in the history of this event.

This will be tournament #3 of 33 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:
Course: The Grange Golf Club
Location:  Grange, South Australia
Defending Champion: Jin-Young Ko
Winning Score: 65-69-71-69 = 274 (-14)

Final Field:  144 players
Par:  72
Yardage:  6,648
Purse:  $1,300,000

My strength of field rating is 51% (up from 46% last year). Twenty-eight of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and 20 of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. The field will be led by top ten ranked players: Ariya Jutanugarn, Minjee Lee, Ge…

LPGA Shocker: Boutier Wins and Stephenson Shines

This was the first year that the LPGA participated in the ISPS Handa Vic open, and it was won by one of its own members.

Celine Boutier is the winner of the 2019 ISPS Handa Vic Open.

Boutier started the final round two strokes behind third round leader Kim Kaufman. When Kaufman birdied the first hole, she increased her lead to three strokes. Boutier would then bogey both the 2nd and 4th holes, but that was matched by Kaufman's bogeys on 3 & 4. Things turned around on the 5th hole when Kaufman double bogeyed and Boutier birdied. They went to hole number six all tied up at seven under par.

Meanwhile, Sarah Kemp, who started earlier in the day, shot a seven under par 65 to finish at six under par. Boutier would then birdie the 6th hole to take the lead for the first time at eight under par. Boutier maintained that one shot lead until Kaufman bogeyed number 10, stretching her lead to two strokes. Both players bogeyed the thirteenth hole, and the margin was still two strokes. Kaufm…

LPGA Rookie Spotlight - Lauren Stephenson

I have gotten many requests over the past few years for information on LPGA rookies. In all honesty, most of the time I don't know that much about the first year players myself. Unless they had a big year on the Symetra Tour or they had success on another tour, information can be hard to come by.

That said, I would like to try something new. Starting this week, and continuing throughout the season, I will be spotlighting an LPGA rookie.

The 2019 rookie that I have chosen to start off with is:

Lauren Stephenson

Date of Birth: July 13, 1997 (21 years old)
Hometown:  Lexington South Carolina
Resides: Lexington, South Carolina
Rookie Year: 2019

Lauren elected to forego her final year of collegiate golf at the University of Alabama and turn pro after her top ten finish at the LPGA 2018 Q-Series.

She will be joining her University of Alabama teammate Kristen Gillman (also a rookie in 2019) on the LPGA Tour.

Lauren is making her LPGA professional debut at the ISPS Vic Open in Australia this w…

ISPS Handa Vic Open Preview. Pairings, and More.

The LPGA moves to Australia this week for the playing of the ISPS Handa Vic Open.

 LPGA players will be competing alongside the men for an equal purse at the 2019 Vic Open. The event will be held February 7-10 and be co-sanctioned by the LPGA, The European Tour (men's), The ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australia (men's), and the ALPG (women's).

This will be tournament #2 of 33 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:
Course:  13th Beach Club Links
Location:  Victoria, Australia
Defending Champion:  Inaugural event for the LPGA
Winning Score:  N/A

Final Field:  156 players (women)
Par:  73
Yardage:  6,625
Purse:  $1,100,000
Cut: The field will be cut to the top 65 and ties after the second round. It will then be cut to the top 35 and ties after round 3.

My strength of field rating is 22%. This is the second lowest full field rating since I have been giving ratings (nine years). Just nine of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and eight of the top 50 players from…

My Top Ten LPGA Blogs of All-Time

Let me start out today by saying that I am looking forward to next week when the LPGA resumes it's schedule for real this time. They will play four consecutive weeks before the next break that will take them back to the USA. 
Needless to say with all the off time, I have been running out of things to write about. 
This week is the 9th anniversary of my blogging about the LPGA!

Those of you that have been with me from the beginning will remember that the first 3 years I blogged for Mostly Harmless. I created Tony's LPGA Report in 2013.

Over that period of time I have published over 750 blogs. Most have turned out to be quite successful, some have fallen flat. But one thing that you can be sure of is that I have always tried my best to be the "go to" resource for up-to-date and accurate news about the LPGA.

I recently went back through all of my blogs and made a list of the ten most popular. The results were quite surprising. It seems like the pieces that I spend the most t…