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Lotte Championship Preview, Pairings and More.

The LPGA moves to Hawaii this week for the playing of the Lotte Championship.

Image result for 2019 lotte championship

Many of my readers will probably remember last year's event when Brooke Henderson entered the final round two strokes ahead of Inbee Park. Brooke then went on to a very easy victory, finishing four strokes ahead of runner-up Azahara Munoz.

Please take note that this is a rare Wednesday start and Saturday finish.

Related image
After her victory, Brooke showed us her golf was much better than her dance moves.

This will be tournament #9 of 33 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the Key Details:
Course:  Ko Olina Golf Club
Location: Kapolei, Hawaii 
Defending Champion:  Brooke Henderson
Winning Score:  68-66-73-69 = 276 (-12)
History: This is the 8th year for this tournament

Final Field:  144 players
Par:  36/36=72
Yardage:  6,397
Purse:  $2,000,000
Race to the CME Globe: 500 points
Aon Risk Reward Challenge hole: 13th (par 5)

My strength of field rating is 66% (up from 59% last year). Thirty-five of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List and 33 of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. The field will be led by top five players: Jin Young Ko, Ariya Jutanugarn, Minjee Lee, and Nasa Hataoka. Top players not teeing it up this week include: Sung Hyun Park, Lexi Thompson, and Jessica Korda.

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the Television Times:
Apr 17 - GC 7:00 PM-11:00 PM ET (Wednesday start)
Apr 18 - GC 7:00 PM-11:00 PM ET
Apr 19 - GC 7:00 PM-11:00 PM ET
Apr 20 - GC 7:00 PM-11:00 PM ET (Saturday finish)

Note: Actual TV times start at 1:00 PM in Hawaii. There is a six hour time differential between HST and ET.

Players Most Likely to Win: (Top players in the field)
1- Jin Young Ko - New No.1 player in the world rankings.
2- Ariya Jutanugarn - Still No. 3 in rankings but hasn't played all that well.
3- Minjee Lee - Teeing it up as the No. 4 player in the Rolex World Rankings.

Players to Watch Out For: (I'm feeling it this week)
1- Nelly Korda - Will bounce back from disappointing showing at ANA.
2- Brooke Henderson - Defending champion won this easily last year.
3- So Yeon Ryu - Needs good showing to avoid dropping out of the top ten.

Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
1- Azahara Munoz - Has never won a stroke play event. Could this be the first?
2- Jeongeun Lee6 - South Korean golfers have won five times already this year. Could it now be her turn?
3- Kristen Gillman - Has gotten better each week and finished 6th last week at the ANA.

Other Tidbits:
Thidapa Suwannapura has officially changed her LPGA golf name to Jasmine Suwannapura.

This Week's Trivia Question: 
In the previous seven years that this tournament has been held, there have been winners from six different countries. Can you name the only country to have two winners?

Here the final results:

1 Brooke Henderson -16
2 Eun-Hee Ji -12
3 Ariya Jutanugarn -11
3 Minjee Lee -11
5 Gaby Lopez -10
5 Danielle Kang -10
5 Hye Jin Choi -10
8 Nelly Korda -9
9 Haru Nomura -8
9 So Yeon Ryu -8
9 Moriya Jutanugarn -8
12 Nicole Broch Larsen -7
12 Hyo Joo Kim -7
12 Jeongeun6 Lee -7
12 Brittany Altomare -7
12 Pajaree Anannarukarn -7
17 Sakura Yokomine -6
17 Chella Choi -6
17 Emma Talley -6
17 Minami Katsu -6
17 Jin Young Ko -6
17 Carlota Ciganda -6
17 Azahara Munoz -6
24 Inbee Park -5
24 Jing Yan -5
24 P.K. Kongkraphan -5

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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