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Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Preview, Pairings, and More

Congratulations go out to Annie Park for winning the ShopRite LPGA Classic. Annie shot a final round -8 under par 63 to squeak out a one stroke victory over Sakura Yokomine, who tied the course record with a final round 61. For Park it was her first LPGA victory. 

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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. I'm sure that many of my readers will remember last year's shootout, when Brooke Henderson's winning score of -21 under par was 2 strokes better than Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson. Brooke's opening round 63 is a tournament record, as is her final score of 263.

This is the fifth year for the event.

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Brooke Henderson will be trying to defend the Meijer LPGA Championship she won in 2017.

This will be tournament #16 of 32 on the 2018 LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:
Course:  Blythefield Country Club
Location:  Grand Rapids, Michigan
Defending Champion:  Brooke Henderson
Winning Score:  63-67-67-66 = 263 (-21)

Final Field:  144 players

Par:  36/35 = 71
Yardage:  6,451
Purse:  $2,000,000

My strength of field rating is 56% (down from 64% last year). Twenty-nine of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and twenty-six of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing up. The field will led by top ten players Ariya Jutanugarn (#2in Rolex Rankings), Lexi Thompson (#3), So Yeon Ryu (#6), and Moriya Jutanugarn (#8). Other headliners in attendance this week include: Cristie Kerr, In Gee Chun, Anna Nordqvist, Michelle Wie, Lydia Ko, and defending champion Brooke Henderson.

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times:

June 14 - GC 1:30 PM-4:30 PM ET 
June 15 - GC 1:30 PM-4:30 PM ET 
June 16 - GC 1:30 PM-4:30 PM ET 
June 17 - GC 1:30 PM-4:30 PM ET

Players Most Likely to Win: (Top players in the field)
1- Ariya Jutanugarn - Will be trying to take the #1 spot away from the idle Inbee Park.
2- Lexi Thompson - Has won here before.
3- So Yeon Ryu - A top ten machine. Can she win this week?

Players to Watch Out For: (I'm feeling it this week)

1- Michelle Wie - Has come close here but has not held the winning trophy.
2- Brooke Henderson - Can she successfully defend?
3- Jin-Young Ko - Is due for a real good one.

Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
1- Megan Khang - Is it her turn to be a first time winner?
2- Madelene Sagstrom - Finished fourth here last year.
3- Lindy Duncan - Has played well all year.

Other Tidbits: 
The LPGA has confirmed that the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia is no longer on the 2018 schedule. There will now be a two week break between The Evian Championship and the U.L. International Crown. 

Annie Park's victory at the ShopRite LPGA Classic was the fourth win of the year for an American golfer (Brittany Lincicome, Michelle Wie, and Jessica Korda had won previously). That ties them with South Korea. Players from Thailand have won three.

Minjee Lee missed the cut this past weekend stopping her cut streak at 21 straight. Amy Olson had her streak stopped at 16.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Not much movement this week as most LPGA players just went up or down a place or two. Annie Park leaps up from #236 to #82. Su Oh jumps up from #87 to #80.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
Ariya Jutanugarn still leads by a huge margin with 2,450 points. She is followed by sister Moriya Jutanugarn with 1,600 points, and Inbee Park with 1,598. Minjee Lee (1,509) and Brooke Henderson (1,302) round out the top five.

Who's Hot:
Sakura Yokomine will be making a big splash in the next LPGA Priority List Reshuffle (in two weeks) because of her 24th and second place finishes in her last two starts. 

Who's Not:
Mi Hyang Lee has missed the cut in her last four starts. Sung Hyun Park has missed the last three.

This Week's Trivia Question: 
What player has finished in the top four in each of the past three years that this tournament has been played?

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

Here are thefinal results:

1 So Yeon Ryu -21
2 Caroline Masson -19
3 Lydia Ko -18
4 Jacqui Concolino -17
4 Azahara Munoz -17
4 Angela Stanford -17
4 Lee-Anne Pace -17
4 Anna Nordqvist -17
9 Nelly Korda -16
9 Lexi Thompson -16
9 Moriya Jutanugarn -16
12 Ariya Jutanugarn -15
13 Hee Young Park -14
13 Su-Hyun Oh -14
13 Jin Young Ko -14
13 Michelle Wie -14
13 Lizette Salas -14
13 Sakura Yokomine -14
13 Sophia Popov -14
20 Cristie Kerr -13
21 Jaye Marie Green -12
21 Mi Jung Hur -12
21 Jeong Eun Lee -12
21 Amy Yang -12
21 Ashleigh Buhai -12
21 Sandra Gal -12

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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