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Marathon Classic Preview, Pairings, and More

Before I start with this week's topic, I want to give a huge congratulations to Sei Young Kim for winning the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic. This one had to be seen to be believed. Kim took an eight stroke lead into the final round and never looked back. She won by nine strokes over runner up Carlota Ciganda. Kim broke her own LPGA record (of -27 under par) by shooting an unimaginable -31 under par. It was Kim's 7th win in four years on the LPGA Tour.

This week the LPGA travels to the state of Ohio for the playing of the Marathon Classic Presented by Owens Corning and O-I. Many of my readers may remember last year's finish when I.K. Kim's blistering final round of -8 under par 63 was good enough for a 4 stroke victory over runner-up Lexi Thompson.

I.K. Kim holds up her 2017 Marathon Classic trophy.

This will be tournament #20 of 32 on this year's LPGA schedule:

Here are the key details:

Course:  Highland Meadows Golf Club
Location:  Sylvania, Ohio
Defending Champion:  I.K. Kim
Winning Score:  65-67-68-63 = 263 (-21)

Final Field: 144 players
Par:  34/37 = 71
Yardage:  6,476
Purse:  $1,600,000

My strength of field rating is 33% (down from 44% last year). Eighteen of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and fourteen of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. The field will be led by top ten players Lexi Thompson and I.K. Kim. The field will also include star players Brooke Henderson, Sei Young Kim, and In Gee Chun. Players skipping the event this week include: Inbee Park, Sung Hyun Park, Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn, Jessie and Nelly Korda, So Yeon Ryu, Shanshan Feng, and Minjee Lee.

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times:
July 12 - GC 9:00 PM-11:00 PM ET (tape delay)
July 13 - GC 9:00 PM-11:00 PM ET (tape delay)
July 14 - GC 3:00 PM- 5:00  PM ET
July 15 - GC 3:00 PM- 5:00  PM ET

Players Most Likely to Win: (Top players in the field)
1- Lexi Thompson - She is the top ranked player in the field this week.
2- I.K. Kim - The defending champion is the second highest ranked player in this week's field.
3- Brooke Henderson - World #16 is the third highest ranked player in the field.

Players to Watch Out For: (I'm feeling it this week)
1- Sei Young Kim - If you are not feeling it, you haven't been paying attention.
2- In Gee Chun - Can still turn around what has been a disappointing year.

Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
1- Emma Talley - She is getting better every week.
2- Bronte Law - Ditto
3- Austin Ernst - She is better than most of the players in this week's field.
Other Tidbits:
It was announced today that Canadian Pacific extended its sponsorship of the CP Women's Open through 2023. It also announced that the 2019 tournament will be held at the Magna Golf Club in Aurora, (Toronto area) Ontario.

After a slow start to the season, players from South Korea have won 3 of the last four LPGA tournaments.

It has been a strange season for Sung Hyun Park. In her last nine starts she has failed to finish better than 61st seven times (with 5 missed cuts), but won the other two starts.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Sei Young Kim makes the most important move this week, jumping up from #26 to #20. Bronte Law continues her surge, rising six more spots to #69. Emma Talley makes the biggest move, leaping up from #130 all the way up to #101.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
Ariya Jutanugarn continues to have a huge lead with 2,654 points. She is followed by her sister Moriya with 1,860 points and Minjee Lee with 1,805. Nasa Hataoka (1,690) and Inbee Park (1,642) round out the top five.

Who's Hot:
Anna Nordqvist has three top ten finishes in her last four starts.

Who's Not:
Alison Lee and Ilhee Lee have both missed the cut in their last nine starts.
Sun Young Yoo has failed to finish better than 46th in her last ten starts, missing the cut seven times.

My wife an I will be attending this tournament this week. I will post some pictures in a day or two.

This Week's Trivia Question: 
Lets see who can get both questions correct.
1- What player has won this tournament five times?
2- What player broke the tournament record when she she shot a 60 in 2008?

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

Here are the final results:

1 *Thidapa Suwannapura -14
2 Brittany Lincicome -14
3 Brooke Henderson -13
4 Austin Ernst -12
5 Emma Talley -11
5 Mirim Lee -11
5 Daniela Darquea -11
5 Jacqui Concolino -11
9 Wichanee Meechai -10
9 Sandra Changkija -10
9 Caroline Hedwall -10
9 Mina Harigae -10
9 Melissa Reid -10
9 Celine Herbin -10
9 Angela Stanford -10
16 Nanna Madsen -9
16 P.K. Kongkraphan -9
16 Caroline Inglis -9
16 Jennifer Kupcho -9
20 Yu Liu -8
20 Wei Ling Hsu -8
20 Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras -8
20 Christina Kim -8
20 Katherine Perry -8
25 Chella Choi -7
25 Brianna Do -7
25 Mo Martin -7
25 Marina Alex -7
25 Charley Hull -7
25 Xi Yu Lin -7
25 In Gee Chun -7
* Won in playoff

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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