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Bank Of Hope Founders Cup Preview, Pairings, and More

After a one week break the LPGA resumes its schedule this week with the playing of the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. This will be the first of 3 consecutive tournaments that will be played on the west coast of the United States, and will include the year's first major championship.


Wildfire Golf Club is amongst the top courses in Phoenix.

This tournament has a reputation of yielding many birdies. In 2016, Sei Young Kim set the all-time LPGA record shooting a score of -27 under par. It also has a history of very close finishes. Last year Anna Nordqvist's score of -25 under par was 2 strokes better than In Gee Chun, Ariya Jutanugarn, and Stacy Lewis.


Image result for Anna Nordqvist wins Bank of Hope Founders Cup
Anna Nordqvist's 25 under par score in 2017 led to her first Founders Cup trophy.

This will tournament #5 of 33 on this year's LPGA schedule.


Here are the key details:
Course:  Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriot Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa
Location:  Phoenix, Arizona
Defending Champion:  Anna Nordqvist
Winning Score:  67-67-61-68 =263 (-25)


Final Field:  144 Players
Par:  72
Yardage:  6,679
Purse:  $1,500,000


History: This is the eighth year for this event.


My strength of field rating is 68% (way down from 82% last year).  Seventeen of the top twenty-five players from the LPGA Priority List, and 16 of the top 25 players from the Rolex Rankings will be in attendance. The field will be led by world #4 Sung Hyun Park, Anna Nordqvist, Ariya Jutanugarn, In Gee Chun, and Cristie Kerr.  Among the missing this week include: Shanshan Feng, Lexi Thompson, So Yeon Ryu, In Kyung Kim, Stacy Lewis, Minjee Lee, and Danielle Kang.

Here are the first round pairings

Here are the television times:
Mar 15 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Mar 16 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Mar 17 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Mar 18 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET

Players Most Likely to Win: (Top players in the field)
1- Sung Hyun Park - With the top three players sitting it out, Park becomes the top player in the field.
2- Anna Nordqvist - No. 5 ranked player and the defending champion.
3- Ariya Jutanugarn - Very streaky player who is playing well right now.

Players to Watch Out For: (I'm feeling it this week)
1- Sei Young Kim - Has won here before.
2- Jessica Korda - Playing her best golf in years.
3- Brooke Henderson - Just missed last week.

Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
1- Nelly Korda - Maybe not so much of a longshot anymore.
2- Lydia Ko - Has she now become a longshot? Always plays well here.
3- Lizette Salas - Yes, she is #2 in Solheim Cup points.

Other Tidbits:
Sydnee Michaels, who had a baby girl four months ago, returns to the LPGA this week.

UPDATE: Brittany Benvenuto and Kyung Kim are the Monday qualifiers. They both shot -4 under par.

This Week's Trivia Question:
Let's see who can go two for two.
A) Who is the only American to ever win this title?
B) Who is the only player to win this championship twice?

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

Here are the final results:

1 Inbee Park -19
2 Marina Alex -14
2 Laura Davies -14
2 Ariya Jutanugarn -14
5 In Gee Chun -13
5 Megan Khang -13
7 Erynne Lee -12
7 Ally McDonald -12
7 Chella Choi -12
7 Mariajo Uribe -12
11 Karine Icher -11
11 Amy Yang -11
11 Amy Olson -11
11 Hee Young Park -11
11 Caroline Inglis -11
16 Seon Woo Bae -10
16 Austin Ernst -10
16 Brittany Lincicome -10
16 Tiffany Joh -10
20 Eun-Hee Ji -9
20 Bronte Law -9
20 Daniela Holmqvist -9
20 Catriona Matthew -9
20 Lindy Duncan -9
20 Jodi Ewart Shadoff -9

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 on the right side of this page (or on pull down menu on mobile website).

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