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Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic Preview, Pairings and More.

Well.... Here We Go!

Image result for Pure silk lpga bahamas classic 2017

It is time to start the 2017 LPGA season. With 35 tournaments on the schedule (including the Solheim Cup), more prize money, and more television coverage, the 2017 season promises to be the biggest and best ever.

The season will open in the Bahamas once again this year with the playing of the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic.

Last year's event brought us a very exciting finish when Hyo Joo Kim shot a final round 66, to win by 2 strokes over Stacy Lewis, Sei Young Kim, and Anna Nordqvist.

Image result for Hyo joo kim wins pure silk
Hyo Joo Kim will be trying to defend the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic title she won last year.

This will be tournament #1 of 34 official tournaments on this year's schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Ocean Club Golf Course
Location:  Paradise Island, Bahamas
Defending Champion:  Hyo Joo Kim
*Winning Score: 70 - 70 - 68 - 66 = 274 (-18)

Final Field: 108 Players
Par: 36/37 = 73
Yardage:  6,625
Purse:  $1,400,000

*Jessica Korda holds the tournament record with a 69 - 66 - 72 - 66 = 273 (-19) that she set when she won in 2014.

My strength of field rating is 44% (down from 65%) last year. With the Coates Golf Championship no longer on the schedule (it followed this tournament last year), and 2 weeks off following this tournament, it appears that many of the players from Asia and Europe have chosen to start their season in February (many will also skip the next stop in Australia and start their season in Thailand).

Players not teeing it up this week include: Lydia Ko, In Gee Chun, Sung Hyun Park, Shanshan Feng, Anna Nordqvist, Ha Na Jang, Haru Nomura, Minjee Lee, Mirim Lee, and Suzann Pettersen.

That does not mean that this tournament will be without any stars. The field will be led by World #2 Ariya Jutanugarn, and will also include such stars as: Lexi Thompson (#5), Sei Young Kim (#6), Brooke Henderson (#8), Amy Yang (#12), Stacy Lewis (#14), and Charley Hull (#15).

Here are the pairings for round 1:

Here are the television times:
Jan 26 - GC 11:30 AM-2:30 PM ET
Jan 27 - GC 11:30 AM-2:30 PM ET
Jan 28 - GC 3:00 PM-5:00 PM ET
Jan 29 - GC 3:00 PM-5:00 PM ET

I am going to change it up a bit this year with my picks by doing the following:

Players Most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
  • Ariya Jutanugarn -Top player in the field.
  • Sei Young Kim - Has won here before.
  • Lexi Thompson - Played well with the men last week.
  • Brooke Henderson - Well rested and always dangerous.
Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
  • Charley Hull - Won the last LPGA event.
  • Hyo Joo Kim - Defending Champion.
  • Jessica Korda - Loves to win early in the year, and has won here before.
Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
  • Stacy Lewis - Hasn't played well for two years, but was runner up in 2016.
  • Brittany Lincicome - Plays well here every year without winning.
  • Megan Khang - I am ready for a big year from this lady.
Other Tidbits:
Natalie Gulbis and Georgette Rolle have received sponsor exemptions into this week's tournament.

Commissioner Michael Whan announced the following changes to the Race to the CME Globe:

  • The Top Five (5) finishers entering Naples will control their own destiny at the CME Group Tour Championship - - meaning if they win in Naples, they will also win the $1M CME Globe.
  • The Top twelve (12) finishers entering Naples will have a mathematical chance to win the $1M CME Globe.
  • Please note that previously, the Top 3 controlled their destiny and Top 9 had a mathematical chance.

This Week's Trivia Question:

There were 5 players on the LPGA tour that did not miss a single cut in 2016. How many can you name?

For the answer to this week's trivia question press here.

UPDATE #1: Nicole Broch Larsen and Anne-Catherine Tanguay both shot a score of 71 in very windy conditions to take the 2 Monday qualifier spots for this week's tournament.

UPDATE #2: Sydnee Michaels and Annie Park have been dropped from the original field list, and have been replaced by Sandra Changkija
 and Mina Harigae.

UPDATE #3 - Becky Morgan is out. She has been replaced by Brooke Pancake.

Here are the leaders after round 3:

1 Stacy Lewis -23
1 Lexi Thompson -23
3 Gerina Piller -22
4 Brittany Lincicome -21
5 Laetitia Beck -16
6 Nelly Korda -15
6 Pornanong Phatlum -15
6 Austin Ernst -15
9 Laura Gonzalez Escallon -14
9 Hyo Joo Kim -14
9 Xi Yu Lin -14
9 Megan Khang -14
13 Stephanie Meadow -13
13 Ayako Uehara -13
13 Simin Feng -13
13 Mariajo Uribe -13
17 Katie Burnett -12
17 Wei Ling Hsu -12
19 Amy Yang -11
19 Amy Anderson -11
19 Jing Yan -11
19 Mo Martin -11

For full scoreboard see link at top of this page.
Be sure to check back here daily for any LPGA news or updates. They will be posted here at the bottom of this blog.  Links to all Women's Tour scoreboards can be found at the top of this page.

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