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Volunteers of America LPGA Texas Classic Preview, Pairings, and More.

Congratulations go out this week to Lydia Ko for winning the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship in a playoff over Minjee Lee. Lee birdied the first and final playoff hole, but it was topped by Ko's eagle. The victory was Ko's first in her last 44 starts.

Image result for Volunteers of America LPGA Texas classic

The LPGA moves to the state of Texas this week for the playing of the Volunteers of America LPGA Texas Classic. Many may remember last year's exciting finish when Haru Nomura defeated Cristie Kerr in a playoff. Both players finished 72 holes with a -3 under par total. Jessica Korda finished third, 2 strokes back, and was the only other player under par. There has been a change in venue this season (see below).

Image result for Haru Nomura wins volunteers of america
Haru Nomura will be trying to defend this title she won last year in a playoff over Cristie Kerr.

This will be tournament #11 of 33 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the Key Details:

Course:  Old American Golf Club
Location: The Colony, Texas
Defending Champion:  Haru Nomura
Winning Score: 68-65-72-76 = 281(-3)

Final Field: 144 players

Par: 71
Yardage: 6,475
Purse: $1,300,000

My strength of field rating is a very low 48% (way down from 82% last year). Forty-five of the top 75 players from the LPGA Priority List, and just twenty of the top fifty players from this week's Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. Those skipping the event this week include: Inbee Park, Shanshan Feng, Lexi Thompson, So Yeon Ryu, I.K. Kim, Jessica & Nelly Korda, Michelle Wie, Amy Yang, Danielle Kang, Lizette Salas, and Charley Hull. 

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times:
May 3 - GC 10:30 AM-1:30 PM ET 
May 4 - GC 10:30 AM-1:30 PM ET 
May 5 - GC 5:30 PM-8:00 PM ET
May 6 - GC 5:30 PM-8:00 PM ET

Players Most Likely to Win: (Top players in the field)
1- Sung Hyun Park - Number five player in the world is this week's top player.
2- Ariya Jutanugarn - Has done everything but win this year.
3- Cristie Kerr - Number 8 player in the world is the 3rd highest ranked player in this week's field.

Players to Watch Out For: (I'm feeling it this week)
1- Moriya Jutanugarn - Might we see two sisters in the final pairing this weekend?
2- In Gee Chun - Well rested and ready to go.
3- Brooke Hendersen - Can she become the year's first repeat winner?

Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
1- Brittany Altomare - Weak fields sometime produce first time winners.
2- Jenny Shin - Has been mostly invisible this year. Time to step it up.
3- Aditi Ashok - Leads the LPGA in putting. Could take advantage of this field.

Other Tidbits:
Chella Choi missed the cut this past weekend stopping her streak at 24 consecutive cuts made. Lexi Thompson increased her streak to 24, which is now the longest streak on the LPGA.

The LPGA has now completed the first ten tournaments of the year. There have been 10 different winners.

Angel Yin's 3rd place finish at the LPGA Mediheal Championship was her first top 35 finish of the year.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Jessica Korda makes the most important move this week, jumping up two spots and into the top ten at #10. Lydia Ko moves up from #18 to #13, while Angel Yin leaps up 8 spots to #47. Ryann O'Toole makes it into my field rating as she rises up from #108 to #98. 

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
Inbee Park continues to lead with 1,498 points. She is followed by Moriya Jutanugarn with 1,249, and Jin Young Ko with 1,133. Ariya Jutanugarn (1,100) and Brooke Henderson (1,076) round out the top five.

Who's Hot:
Ariya Jutanugarn's 7th place finish was her 6th top ten finish of the year, which leads the LPGA Tour.

Caroline Masson has 3 three consecutive top ten finishes.

Who's Not:
Mirim Lee has failed to register a top 25 finish in any of her 8 starts this year.

Danielle Kang has not finished inside the top 50 in her last five starts.

This Week's Trivia Question: 
In the history of this event (this is the sixth year) only one player has won it twice. Can you name her?

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

Here are the final results:
1 Sung Hyun Park -11
2 Lindy Duncan -10
3 Yu Liu -9
4 Ariya Jutanugarn -8
4 Sei Young Kim -8
6 Jenny Shin -7
6 Aditi Ashok -7
8 Jackie Stoelting -6
8 Lydia Ko -6
8 Jin Young Ko -6
8 Mi Hyang Lee -6
12 Celine Boutier -5
12 Brittany Lincicome -5
12 Jane Park -5
12 Jacqui Concolino -5
12 Nicole Broch Larsen -5
12 In Gee Chun -5
12 Mo Martin -5
19 Katie Burnett -4
19 Minjee Lee -4
19 Gaby Lopez -4
19 Benyapa Niphatsophon -4
23 Candie Kung -3
23 Emily Pedersen -3
23 Anna Nordqvist -3
23 Paula Creamer -3
23 Ayako Uehara -3
23 Ally McDonald -3
23 Brooke Henderson -3
23 Katherine Kirk -3
23 Moriya Jutanugarn -3

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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