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Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic Preview, Pairings, and More

A big congratulations goes out to Sung Hyun Park for winning the KPMG Women's PGA Championship. Park won it in a playoff over So yeon Ryu and Nasa Hataoka. Ryu seemed to have it won in regulation, as she took a two stroke lead to the 17th hole. When she put her tee shot into the water, it led to a double bogey and a three way tie for the lead. When both Park and Ryu birdied the first playoff hole, Hataoka was eliminated. Park then won it with another birdie on the second playoff hole. It was Park's second major championship win.

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This week the LPGA moves to the state of Wisconsin for the playing of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic.
This will be the second year for this tournament. Many may remember last year when Katherine Kirk won the inaugural event when she shot a spectacular -22 under par to come out on top by one stroke over runner-up Ashleigh Buhai.

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Katherine Kirk won the inaugural playing of this tournament in 2017. It was her first win in seven years.

This will be tournament #19 of 32 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Race to the CME Globe - 500 points
Course:  Thornberry Creek at Oneida
Location:  Oneida, Wisconsin
Defending Champion:  Katherine Kirk
Winning Score:  68-63-65-70 = 266 (-22)

Final Field:  144 players
Format: 72 holes
Par: 36/36 = 72
Yardage: 6,624
Purse:  $2,000,000

Image result for Thornberry creek lpga championship

My strength of field rating is 64% (way up from 37% last year). Thirty-five of the top fifty players from the LPGA Priority List, and 16 of the top 25 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. The field will be led by Sung Hyun Park, Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn, and Minjee Lee. Top players skipping the event include: So Yeon Ryu, Lexi Thompson, Shanshan Feng, Inbee Park, and Jessica Korda.

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times:
July 5 - GC  6:30 PM-8:30 PM ET 
July 6 - GC  6:30 PM-8:30 PM ET 
July 7 - GC  5:30 PM-8:30 PM ET
July 8 - GC  5:30 PM-8:30 PM ET

Players Most Likely to Win: (Top players in the field)
1- Sung Hyun Park - A win could get her to #1 in the world rankings.
2- Ariya Jutanugarn - Is also in the battle for the top spot.
3- Moriya Jutanugarn - Is the third highest ranked player in the field.

Players to Watch Out For: (I'm feeling it this week)
1- Nasa Hataoka - Currently the hottest player on tour right now.
2- Minjee Lee - Never count her out.
3- Brooke Henderson - Will be trying to put Sunday's final round collapse behind her.

Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
1- Lindy Duncan - Is playing the best golf of her career.
2- Bronte Law - Could surprise this week.
3- Brittany Altomare - Just a hunch.

Other Tidbits:
All three major championships this year have gone to a playoff. Pernilla Lindberg outlasted Inbee Park at the ANA Inspiration and Ariya Jutanugarn defeated Hyo Joo Kim at the U.S. Women's Open Championship.

Muni He was a winner this week on the Symetra Tour. She won the Prasco Charity Championship. Her -15 under par score was good enough to win by 4 strokes. She was the first wire to wire winner on the Symetra Tour this year.

Azahara Munoz had her cut streak snapped at 25 straight.

Klara Spilkova (-4) and Jimin Kang (-3) were the Monday local qualifiers for this week's tournament.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Sung Hyun Park makes the most important move this week jumping up four spots to #2. Jessica Korda jumps into the top ten this week rising up from #11 to #8. Nasa Hataoka continues her rise up the rankings, climbing up seven more spots to #12.
Angel Yin rises from #56 to #42, and Lindy Duncan leaps up from #66 to #57.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)
Ariya Jutanugarn continues to lead with 2,598 points. She is followed by her sister Moriya with 1,824 and Minjee Lee with 1,757. Nasa Hataoka (1,648) and Inbee Park 1,642 round out the top five.

Who's Hot:
So Yeon Ryu has finished inside the top 25 in seven of her last eight starts.
Lizette Salas has five consecutive top 25 finishes.

Who's Not:
Mi Hyang Lee and Kim Kaufman have both missed the cut in their last six starts.


This Week's Trivia Question: 
What college has turned out the most active LPGA Tour members?

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

Here are the final results:

1 Sei Young Kim -31
2 Carlota Ciganda -22
3 Emma Talley -20
3 Anna Nordqvist -20
3 Amy Yang -20
6 Bronte Law -18
7 Pei-Yun Chien -17
7 Georgia Hall -17
7 Daniela Holmqvist -17
7 Maria Torres -17
7 Jin Young Ko -17
7 Chella Choi -17
7 Jodi Ewart Shadoff -17
7 Brittany Marchand -17
15 Mariah Stackhouse -16
15 In Gee Chun -16
15 Sandra Gal -16
15 Ariya Jutanugarn -16
15 Nanna Madsen -16
20 Benyapa Niphatsophon -15
20 Giulia Molinaro -15
20 Katherine Kirk -15
23 Austin Ernst -14
23 Lindy Duncan -14
23 Minjee Lee -14
23 Brooke Henderson -14
23 Yu Liu -14
23 Lydia Ko -14

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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