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Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions Preview

Well.... Here We Go!

Image result for Diamond resorts tournament of champions

It is time to start the 2019 LPGA season. With 34 tournaments on the schedule (including the Solheim Cup), more prize money, and more television coverage, the 2019 season promises to be the biggest and best ever.

The season this year will kick-off with a brand new event: The Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. Presented by Insurance office of America. 

This Championship will be hosted by the Four season Golf and Sports Club, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, and held from January 17-20, 2019.

The Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions will include LPGA winners from the previous two seasons, with winners from 2017 and 2018 invited to the inaugural event. The field will also include 45 celebrity participants and 10 amateurs, who will be paired with LPGA players for all four tournament days. The LPGA players will compete for a $1.2 million purse, while the celebrities will play for a $500,000 purse. Celebrities and amateurs will play a Modified Stableford format.

This will be a 72 hole tournament with no cut.

My strength of field rating is 36%. Twenty-one of the top 50 players from the LPGA's brand new Priority List, and twenty of the top 50 players from the current Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. The field rating is very low only because there are only 27 LPGA players teeing it up. But don't be mislead, all the players teeing it up here are champions.

Here is the final field!
Marina Alex - Wayne, NJ USA 
In Gee Chun - Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea KOR 
Shanshan Feng - Guangzhou, China CHN 
Georgia Hall - Wimborne, England ENG 
Nasa Hataoka - Ibaraki, Japan JPN 
Brooke M. Henderson Smith Falls, ON CAN 
Eun-Hee Ji - Seoul, Republic of Korea KOR 
Ariya Jutanugarn - Bangkok, Thailand THA 
Moriya Jutanugarn - Bangkok, Thailand THA 
Danielle Kang - Las Vegas, NV USA 
Cristie Kerr - Scottsdale, AZ USA 
Sei Young Kim - Seoul, Republic of Korea KOR 
Katherine Kirk - Sunrise Beach, Australia AUS 
Lydia Ko - Auckland, New Zealand NZL 
Nelly Korda - Bradenton, FL USA 
Mi Hyang Lee - Seoul, Republic of Korea KOR 
Mirim Lee - Gwangju, Republic of Korea KOR 
Stacy Lewis - The Woodlands, TX USA 
Brittany Lincicome - Seminole, FL USA 
Pernilla Lindberg - Bollnas, Sweden SWE 
Gaby Lopez - Mexico City, Mexico MEX 
Anna Nordqvist - Eskilstuna, Sweden 
Annie Park - Levittown, NY USA 
Angela Stanford - Saginaw, TX USA 
Thidapa Suwannapura - Bangkok, Thailand THA 
Lexi Thompson - Delray Beach, FL USA 
Amy Yang - Republic of Korea, Republic of Korea KOR  

Here are the first round pairings.

Players that qualified, but are not teeing it up this week include:
In Kyung Kim 
Jin Young Ko
Jessica Korda
Minjee Lee
Haru Nomura
Inbee Park
Sung Hyun Park
So Yeon Ryu
Michelle Wie
Image result for Jutanugarn sisters
Both Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn will be in the field.

Here are some of the big name celebrities that will be teeing it up:
Marcus Allen - NFL
Josh Beckett - MLB
Roger Clemens - MLB
Larry Fitzgerald - NFL
Tom Glavine - MLB
Toby Keith - County Music Artist
Greg Maddux - MLB
Larry the Cable Guy - Actor & Comedian
Blair O'Neal - Model and Golf Channel Personality
Carson Palmer - NFL
John Smoltz - MLB
Jack Wagner - Actor
Michael Waltrip - 2X Daytona 500 Champion.

Here are the television times:
Thursday Jan 17 - GC  12:00  PM - 3:00 PM ET
Friday      Jan 18 - GC  12:00  PM - 3:00 PM ET
Saturday  Jan 19 - GC    2.00  PM - 3:00 PM ET
Saturday  Jan 19 - NBC  3:00  PM - 5:00 PM ET
Sunday    Jan 20 - GC    2.00  PM - 3:00 PM ET
Sunday    Jan 20 - NBC  3:00  PM - 5:00 PM ET

Players Most Likely To Win: (Top Rolex Ranked Players in the field)
1- Ariya Jutanugarn - #1 player in the world rankings.
2- Lexi Thompson - Will start the year at #5.
3- Nasa Hataoka - #7 player in the world.

Players to Watch Out For: (I'm feeling it this week)
1- Brittany Lincicome - Because she's won the year's first event the last 2 years.
2- Lexi Thompson - She won the last tournament of 2018. Why not two in a row?
3- Sei Young Kim - Has history of playing well early in season.

Longshot Picks
1- Marina Alex - She has improved every year on tour. Look for a strong start.
2- Cristie Kerr - Will be trying to bounce back from a poor 2018 season.
3- Stacy Lewis - First time playing since giving birth. Would be quite a story.

Other News:
The LPGA Priority List now lists former Symetra player and LPGA rookie Muni He, as Lily Muni He.

This Week's Trivia Question: 
Who is the highest ranked player on the new 2019 LPGA Priority List, without an LPGA victory?

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

Here are theFinal Results:

1 Eun-Hee Ji -14
2 Mirim Lee -12
3 Nelly Korda -11
4 Moriya Jutanugarn -10
4 Shanshan Feng -10
6 Stacy Lewis -8
6 Brooke Henderson -8
8 Lydia Ko -7
9 Georgia Hall -6
10 Lexi Thompson -5
10 Gaby Lopez -5
12 In Gee Chun -3
12 Annie Park -3
14 Amy Yang -2
14 Cristie Kerr -2
16 Marina Alex -1
16 Nasa Hataoka -1
18 Danielle Kang E
18 Ariya Jutanugarn E
18 Mi Hyang Lee E
21 Anna Nordqvist 1
22 Brittany Lincicome 2
22 Katherine Kirk 2
24 Pernilla Lindberg 3
25 Sei Young Kim 4
26 Thidapa Suwannapura 8

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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