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LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship Preview, Pairings, and More

A huge congratulations goes out to Moriya Jutanugarn for winning the HUGEL-JTBC LA Open. It was her first victory on the LPGA tour. Moriya and her sister Ariya, now join the Sorenstams as the only sisters to win on the LPGA tour.

Image result for lake merced golf club

This week the LPGA moves to San Francisco, California for the playing of the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship.

This is the inaugural playing of this event.

Ariel view of Lake Merced Golf Club.

This will be tournament #10 of 33 on this year's LPGA schedule, and fourth of 4 tournaments that will be held in the state of California.

Here are the Key Details:

Course: Lake Merced Golf Club
Location:  San Francisco, California
Defending Champion: This is the inaugural event
Winning Score: N/A

Final Field:  144 players

Par 36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,541
Purse:  $1,500,000

My strength of field rating is a very solid 76%. Forty-three of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and twenty of the top 25 players from the Rolex Rankings will be in attendance this week. Those skipping the event include: Sung Hyun Park, Anna Nordqvist, In Gee Chun, and Brittany Lincicome.

Here are the pairings for round 1:

Here are the television times:
Apr 26 - GC 6:30 PM-9:30 PM ET 
Apr 27 - GC 6:30 PM-9:30 PM ET 
Apr 28 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Apr 29 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET

Players Most Likely to Win: (Top players in the field)
1- Inbee Park - New #1 player needs to play well to stay there.
2- Shanshan Feng - Dropped out of top spot after 22 weeks.
3- Lexi Thompson - Has had numerous opportunities to take over the top spot.

Players to Watch Out For: (I'm feeling it this week)
1- So Yeon Ryu - Coming off a top five finish.
2- Jessica Korda - Hasn't finished worse than 26th this entire season.
3- Jin Young Ko - Contends just about every week.

Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
1- Nelly Korda - Coming off rare missed cut.
2- Bronte Law - Heating up.
3- Austin Ernst - Has been playing well all season.

Other Tidbits:
The LPGA has now played nine tournaments this season. There have been nine different winners.

Stacy Lewis missed the cut this past weekend. She had made the previous 64 consecutive cuts. Chella Choi (24) and Lexi Thompson (23) now have the longest active streaks.

Ryann O'Toole also missed the cut this past weekend, which snapped her cut streak at thirteen. That was the longest streak of her career.

Morgan Pressel's 7th place finish this past weekend was her first top ten in her last 41 starts.

Odd Statistic of the Week:
Although Austin Ernst does not have a top ten finish this year, she has seven finishes between 12th and 26th. 

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Inbee Park returns to the #1 spot this week, moving up from #3. Moriya Jutanugarn leaps up from #17 to #11, and further down the rankings, Emma Talley catapults from #244 to #149.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
In one of the closest races ever, Inbee Park leads with 1,458 points. She is followed by Moriya Jutanugarn with 1,179 and Jin Young Ko with 1,099. Brooke Henderson (1,048) and Ariya Jutanugarn (1,010) round out the top five.

Who's Hot:
Inbee Park has three consecutive top three finishes.

Who's Not:

Hyo-Joo Kim has failed to register a top 20 finish this year.

This Week's Trivia Question:  (For those who missed it earlier)
There are 29 LPGA members that currently reside in the state of California. That ranks second most on the LPGA Tour. Florida is #1. How many current LPGA players reside in the state of Florida?
A) 33       B) 48       C) 63

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

UPDATE #1 - The Monday local qualifiers are Min Lee (69) and Annie Park (70).

Here are the Final Results:

1 *Lydia Ko -12 F
2 Minjee Lee -12 F
3 Angel Yin -8 F
3 Shanshan Feng -8 F
3 Charley Hull -8 F
3 Jessica Korda -8 F
7 Caroline Masson -7 F
7 Nasa Hataoka -7 F
7 Aditi Ashok -7 F
7 Ariya Jutanugarn -7 F
11 Brittany Altomare -5 F
11 Carlota Ciganda -5 F
11 Ryann O'Toole -5 F
11 Moriya Jutanugarn -5 F
15 Jaye Marie Green -4 F
15 Celine Boutier -4 F
15 Mariajo Uribe -4 F
18 Su-Hyun Oh -3 F
18 Jenny Shin -3 F
18 So Yeon Ryu -3 F
18 Mi Hyang Lee -3 F
18 Annie Park -3 F
23 Nelly Korda -2 F
23 Caroline Hedwall -2 F
23 Jacqui Concolino -2 F
23 Michelle Wie -2 F
23 Mo Martin -2 F
* Lydia Ko wins on first playoff hole.

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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