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Hugel-Air Premia LA Open

Let me start off today by giving a big congratulations to Brooke Henderson for winning the Lotte Championship. Brooke went into the final round tied for the lead with Nelly Korda, but took control early and never looked back. Her final round score of 2 under par 70, was good enough for a four stroke victory over runner-up Eun-Hee Ji.

For Brooke it was her 8th LPGA victory in just 3 1/2 years on tour (She started in August of 2015).
Brooke certainly has had a history of winning her tournaments more easily than most. Among her eight victories she has:
  • One victory by 8 strokes
  • One victory by 5 strokes
  • Four victories by four strokes
I think we can now give her the title of  "final round queen" as once she takes the lead in round four, she very seldom ever gives it up.

Brooke also tied Sandra Post, George Knudson, and Mike Wier for tour wins by a Canadian player.

Image result for hugel-air premia la open logo

This week the LPGA moves back to the state of California for the playing of the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open. Last year was the inaugural playing of this event. It will be very difficult to match last year's excitement when Moriya Jutanugarn, in her 156th LPGA start, broke through for her first victory. Her final round 68, was good enough for a two shot victory over Inbee Park and Ji-Young Ko.

Related image
Moriya Jutanugarn holds up her winning trophy.

This will be tournament #10 of 33 on this year's LPGA schedule, and 3rd of 4 tournaments that will be held in the state of California.

Here are the Key Details:
Course: Wilshire Country Club
Location: Los Angeles, California
Defending Champion: Moriya Jutanugarn
Winning Score: 68-66-70-68 = 272 (-12)
History: This is the second year for this event

Final Field:  144 players

Par 35/36 = 71
Yardage:  6,450
Purse:  $1,500,000
Race to the CME Globe: 500 points
Aon Risk Reward Challenge Hole: 15th (Par 5)

My strength of field rating is a super solid 87% (up from 76% last year). This is the strongest non major championship field of the year by a wide margin. Ninety-six of the top 100 players from the LPGA Priority List, and twenty-three of the top 25 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. The only notable players skipping the event this week are Jeongeun Lee6 and Hyo Joo Kim.

I will post the pairings as soon as they are made available.

Here are the Television Times:
Apr 25 - GC 6:30 PM-9:30 PM ET 
Apr 26 - GC 6:30 PM-9:30 PM ET 
Apr 27 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET
Apr 28 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET

Players Most Likely to Win: (Top players in the field)
1- Jin Young Ko - Will be trying to bounce back from a rare poor showing (for her) in Hawaii.
2- Sung Hyun Park - Will be well rested after taking last week off.
3- Ariya Jutanugarn - Her game seems to be rounding into shape.

Players to Watch Out For: (I'm feeling it this week)
1- Nelly Korda - Because she challenges every week.
2- Brooke Henderson - Can she win back to back events?
3- Jessica Korda - Can she grab back the headlines from her younger sister?

Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
1- Azahara Munoz - Still looking for her first stroke-play victory.
2- Amy Olson - Must put four (not three) good rounds together.
3- Kristen Gillman - Will bounce back from missed cut in Hawaii.

Other Tidbits:
Katherine Kirk (15) and Angel Yin (14) both missed the cut and had their cut streaks snapped.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Brooke Henderson makes the most important move this week jumping up from #12 to #7.
Eun-Hee Ji continues her climb up the rankings moving up from #20 to #14. Gaby Lopez Vaults up from #65 to #54.

Race to the CME Globe:   (Top 60 point earners to compete for $1.5 million first place prize).

Jin Young Kim continues to lead with 2,011 points. Nelly Korda creeps a bit closer with 1,264, while Eun-Hee Ji takes over the 3rd spot with 1,128.

Aon Risk Reward Challenge:   (1 million dollars)

Jessica Korda leads with a score of -1.250, she is followed by Lee-Anne Pace -1.125 and Angel Yin -1.083.

Who's Hot:

Danielle Kang has finished 2nd, 6th, and 5th in her last three starts.
Nelly Korda becomes the first LPGA player to register six top ten finishes this year.

Who's Not:

Michelle Wie has only seen the weekend once this year.

This Week's Trivia Question:
The LPGA had winners from 10 different countries in 2018. How many of those countries can you name?

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

Here are the Final Results:

1 Minjee Lee -14
2 Sei Young Kim -10
3 Annie Park -9
3 Morgan Pressel -9
5 Amy Yang -8
5 Gaby Lopez -8
5 Megan Khang -8
5 Jin Young Ko -8
5 Inbee Park -8
10 Brooke Henderson -6
10 Stacy Lewis -6
10 Danielle Kang -6
13 Nanna Madsen -5
14 Daniela Holmqvist -4
14 Mariajo Uribe -4
14 Chella Choi -4
14 Lizette Salas -4
14 Hannah Green -4
19 Mi Jung Hur -3
19 So Yeon Ryu -3
19 Azahara Munoz -3
19 Carlota Ciganda -3
19 Mirim Lee -3
19 Ashleigh Buhai -3
19 Ally McDonald -3
26 Sarah Schmelzel -2
26 Christina Kim -2
26 Jenny Shin -2
26 Kristen Gillman -2

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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