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ISPS Handa Vic Open Preview. Pairings, and More.

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The LPGA moves to Australia this week for the playing of the ISPS Handa Vic Open.

 LPGA players will be competing alongside the men for an equal purse at the 2019 Vic Open. The event will be held February 7-10 and be co-sanctioned by the LPGA, The European Tour (men's), The ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australia (men's), and the ALPG (women's).

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13th Beach Club Links

This will be tournament #2 of 33 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the key details:

Course:  13th Beach Club Links
Location:  Victoria, Australia
Defending Champion:  Inaugural event for the LPGA
Winning Score:  N/A

Final Field:  156 players (women)

Par:  73
Yardage:  6,625
Purse:  $1,100,000
Cut: The field will be cut to the top 65 and ties after the second round. It will then be cut to the top 35 and ties after round 3.

My strength of field rating is 22%. This is the second lowest full field rating since I have been giving ratings (nine years). Just nine of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and eight of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. That said, this is a different kind of tournament and will be attractive for different reasons (see above). The field will be led this week by top ten ranked players: Minjee Lee, Georgia Hall, and Brooke Henderson. Top ten ranked players skipping the event this week include: Ariya Jutanugarn, Sung Hyun Park, So Yeon Ryu, Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson, Nasa Hataoka, and Jin-Young Ko.

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the television times: (16 hour time differential between East Coast and Victoria)

GC Wednesday February 6, 11:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET
GC Thursday February 7, 11:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET
GC Friday February 8,  9:00 PM - 3:00 AM ET
GC Saturday February 9,  8:00 PM - 2:00 AM ET

Players Most Likely to Win: (Top players in the field)

1- Minjee Lee - Number 6 player in the world is the top player in the field.
2- Georgia Hall - She will be very comfortable on this course.
3- *Brooke Henderson - Always dangerous when she tees it up. (Has withdrawn)

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

1- Mirim Lee - Coming off 2nd place finish.
2- Charley Hull - Has to be considered a favorite here.
3- Katherine Kirk - Always plays well in Australia.

Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)

1- Su Oh - Will have home crowd behind her.
2- Bronte Law - Because I think she will win this year. Why not here?
3- Jodi Ewart Shadoff - Still looking for her first LPGA victory.

Other News:

Sarah Jane Smith will be the latest LPGA player to be taking a maternity leave. The Smiths are expecting a baby in July.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:

Eun-Hee Ji moves up from #32 to #25, while Mirim Lee leaps from #78 to #59.

Race to the CME Globe:   (1 million dollars)

Eun-Hee Ji takes a quick lead with 500 points. She is followed by Mirim Lee with 300 and Nelly Korda with 190.

Aon Risk Reward Challenge:   (1 million dollars)

Mirim Lee is the leader after the first tournament with a score of -1.5. There are 9 players tied for second at -1.

Who's Hot:

Eun- Hee Ji took home the year's first trophy.

Who's Not:

Thidapa Suwannapura finished dead last in the year's first event.

This Week's Trivia Question:

Who was the last repeat winner of the Vare Trophy?

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

UPDATE: 2/4/19 - Brooke Henderson has withdrawn due to illness.

Here are thefinal results:
Women's Scores

1 Celine Boutier -8
2 Sarah Kemp -6
2 Charlotte Thomas -6
2 Su-Hyun Oh -6
5 Azahara Munoz -5
5 Katherine Kirk -5
5 Haru Nomura -5
8 Lauren Stephenson -4
8 Jodi Ewart Shadoff -4
8 Kim Kaufman -4
11 Alison Lee -3
11 Ashleigh Buhai -3
11 Pei-Yun Chien -3
11 Marianne Skarpnord -3
11 Ayako Uehara -3
11 Olivia Cowan -3
17 Thidapa Suwannapura -2
17 Wichanee Meechai -2
17 Alena Sharp -2
17 Isi Gabsa -2
17 Jane Park -2
Men's Scores
1 David Law -18
2 Brad Kennedy -17
2 Wade Ormsby -17
4 Justin Harding -16
5 Jason Scrivener -15
5 David Drysdale -15
5 David Bransdon -15
8 Clement Sordet -14
8 Nicolas Colsaerts -14
10 Nick Flanagan -13
10 Callum Shinkwin -13
12 Ashley Chesters -11
12 Anton Karlsson -11
12 Jarryd Felton -11
12 Blake Windred -11
12 Aaron Townsend -11

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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