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ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open

After a two week break the LPGA heads to Australia for the playing of the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open.

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This tournament has had a history of very close finishes. In fact, Ha Na Jang's three shot victory last year over (then non LPGA member) Nanna Koerstz Madsen tied for the largest margin of victory in the history of this event. 

Things have certainly changed since last year, as Madsen is now a 2018 LPGA rookie and Jang is no longer a member of the LPGA Tour.

Image result for Ha na jang wins isps handa australian open
Ha Na Jang balances her winning trophy on her head.

This will be tournament #2 of 33 on this year's LPGA schedule.
Here are the key details:

Course:  Kooyonga Golf Club
Location:  Adelaide, South Australia
Defending Champion: Ha Na Jang
Winning Score: 70-73-70-69 = 282 (-10)

Final Field:  144 players

Par:  72
Yardage:  6,034
Purse:  $1,300,000

My strength of field rating is 46% (up from 44% last year). Forty-four of the top 75 players from the LPGA Priority List and 19 of the top 50 players in the Rolex Rankings will be in attendance. The field will be led this week by So Yeon Ryu, Ariya Jutanugarn, Cristie Kerr, and Lydia Ko. Star players from other tours include: Ayaka Wantanabe, Hye-Jin Choi, Ha Na Jang, and Jiyai Shin. Players skipping the event include: Sung Hyun Park, Lexi Thompson, Shanshan Feng, In Gee Chun, Amy Yang, Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wie, Jessica Korda, and Amy Yang. 

Here are the pairings for round one.

Here are the television times: (15 1/2 hour time differential between East Coast and Australia)
Wednesday Feb 14 - GC   9:00 PM - 2:00 AM ET
Thursday     Feb 15 - GC 10:00 PM - 2:00 AM ET
Friday          Feb 16 - GC 10:00 PM - 2:00 AM ET
Saturday      Feb 17 - GC   9:00 PM - 2:00 AM ET  

Players Most likely to win: (Top players in the field)
So Yeon Ryu - Current #3 player in the world could take over top spot with a win.
Ariya Jutanugarn - Ranked #7 in the world.
Cristie Kerr - Needs 5 more points to gain Hall of Fame entry.

Players to watch out for: (I'm feeling it this week)
Brooke Henderson - Her game is in tip top shape.
Jin-Young Ko - Will impress in her first start as an LPGA member.
Hye-Jin Choi - This non LPGA member is ready to win now!

Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
Nelly Korda - Because the Kordas have this thing about Australia.
Hannah Green - Would love to win one in front of her hometown fans.
Karrie Webb - Does she have one more left in the tank?

This Week's Trivia Question:
Who is the only American to ever win this tournament?

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

UPDATE #1 - It has just been announced (by Stephen Pitt- CEO Golf Australia) that this event will be staying in Adelaide for another 3 years.

Here are the final results:

Jin Young Ko
KOR -14
Hyejin Choi
KOR -11
Hannah Green
AUS -10
Katherine Kirk
AUS -9
Marina Alex
USA -7
Minjee Lee
AUS -7
Charley Hull
ENG -6
Ariya Jutanugarn
THA -6
So Yeon Ryu
KOR -6
Jiyai Shin
KOR -6
Emma Talley
USA -6
Sun Young Yoo
KOR -6
Georgia Hall
ENG -5
Tiffany Joh
USA -5
Cristie Kerr
USA -5
Nicole Broch Larsen
DNK -4
Chella Choi
KOR -4
Nasa Hataoka
JPN -4
Olivia Cowan
DEU -3
Katelyn Dambaugh
USA -3
Lindy Duncan
USA -3
Moriya Jutanugarn
THA -3
Lydia Ko
NZL -3
Mo Martin
USA -3
Ally McDonald
USA -3
Stephanie Na
AUS -3
Ha Na Jang
KOR -2
Cindy LaCrosse
USA -2
Angela Stanford
USA -2

Be sure to check back here daily for any LPGA news or updates.  They will be posted here at the bottom of this blog. Tournament results will be posted here at the end of each round. Links to all Women's Tour scoreboards can be found on the right side of this page (or on pull down menu on mobile website).


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