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Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Preview, Pairings and more

Congratulations go out to Ariya Jutanugarn for winning the Manulife LPGA Classic in a playoff over Lexi Thompson and In Gee Chun. For Lexi Thompson (who blew a 4 shot lead with 7 holes to play), it was her third playoff loss this year. For Ariya, it was her first victory of the 2017 season, and she did it without making a single birdie over the last 6 holes of regulation. We now have had 14 different winners in 14 tournaments this year.

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This week the LPGA moves back to the state of Michigan for the playing of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give. Many of you may remember last year's exciting finish when Sei Young Kim defeated Carlota Ciganda in a playoff. This is year number four for this tournament on the LPGA schedule. Each year it has come down to the final putt on the final hole. In 2014 the tournament was won by Mirim Lee in a playoff over Inbee Park, and in 2015 Lexi Thompson came out on top by one stroke over two players.

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Sei Young Kim holds up her 2016 Meijer LPGA Classic trophy

This will be tournament #15 of 34 on the 2017 LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  Blythefield Country Club
Location:  Grand Rapids, Michigan
Defending Champion:  Sei Young Park
Winning Score:  65-69-65-68 = 267 (-17)

Final Field:  144 players
Par:  36/35 = 71
Yardage:  6,414
Purse:  $2,000,000

My strength of field rating is 64 % (down from 69.5 last year). Thirty five of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and 20 of the top 25 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up.
The field will be led by the new #1 player in the world, Ariya Jutanugarn. It will also include Lydia Ko (#2), Lexi Thompson (#4), and In Gee Chun (#5). Key players skipping this week's event include: So Yeon Ryu, Anna Nordqvist, Amy Yang, and Minjee Lee.

Here are the pairings for round 1:

Here are the television times:
June 15 - GC 4:00 PM-7:00 PM ET 
June 16 - GC 4:00 PM-7:00 PM ET 
June 17 - GC 3:00 PM-6:00 PM ET
June 18 - GC 12:00 PM-3:00 PM ET

Players most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
Ariya Jutanugarn - The new #1 player in the world
Lydia Ko - Well rested after taking off the last 3 tournaments
Lexi Thompson - Has won here before

Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
In Gee Chun - Because she seems to be near the top every week
Brooke Henderson - This course fits her game
Mirim Lee - Has also won here before

Longshot picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
Emily Pedersen - Finally getting a chance to play, her worst finish has been 23rd
Laura Gonzalez Escallon - This rookie has been a major surprise
Danielle Kang - She is quietly having a very good year

Other Tidbits:
Congratulations to Amy Anderson on her recent marriage. She will now be known as Amy Olson.

Brittany Lang had her cut streak stopped at sixteen.

Lexi Thompson has taken over the lead for the Vare Trophy. Her 69.079 per round average has her in the lead for that Hall of Fame point.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Ariya Jutanugarn becomes the new #1 player in the world. She is the first player from Thailand to hold that ranking. Jodi Ewart Shadoff jumps up from #47 to #40.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
Ariya Jutanugarn takes over the top spot with 2,128 points. Lexi Thompson jumps up to second with 1,786. They are followed by So Yeon Ryu (1,695), In Gee Chun (1,515), and Cristie Kerr (1,233). Keep in the mind that the rule change this year now has the top five players (it was previously three) controlling their own fate for the million dollar bonus.

Who's Hot:
Ariya Jutanugarn, Lexi Thompson, and In Gee Chun all picked up their 5th top five finish this year, which leads the LPGA tour.

Who's Not:
Ssu-Chia Cheng has missed nine consecutive cuts, the most on the LPGA tour.

This Week's Trivia Question:

What player had by far and away the best rookie season in LPGA history?

Here are the Final Scores:

1 Brooke Henderson -17 F
2 Michelle Wie -15 F
2 Lexi Thompson -15 F
4 Su-Hyun Oh -14 F
4 Madelene Sagstrom -14 F
4 Moriya Jutanugarn -14 F
7 Danielle Kang -13 F
7 Carlota Ciganda -13 F
7 Hyo Joo Kim -13 F
10 Jacqui Concolino -12 F
10 Mi Jung Hur -12 F
10 Lydia Ko -12 F
13 Jane Park -11 F
13 Jenny Shin -11 F
13 Sung Hyun Park -11 F
13 Lee-Anne Pace -11 F
17 Cydney Clanton -10 F
17 Haru Nomura -10 F
17 Kim Kaufman -10 F
17 Lizette Salas -10 F
17 Shanshan Feng -10 F
22 Azahara Munoz -9 F
22 Beatriz Recari -9 F
22 Sei Young Kim -9 F
22 Inbee Park -9 F
22 In-Kyung Kim -9 F
22 Mi Hyang Lee -9 F
22 Ariya Jutanugarn -9 F
22 Emily Pedersen -9 F
22 Stacy Lewis -9 F
22 Cristie Kerr -9 F

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

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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  1. Good call on Emily K. Petersen. The Q-school T27 and priority 161 finally gets to play 3 tournaments and moves ahead of Mel Reid on the money list. Best wishes to her on the next 2 tournaments!


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