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LPGA Mediheal Championship

Let me start off today by giving a big congratulations to Minjee Lee for winning the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open. Lee took a 1 stroke lead into the final round and increased to five strokes at the turn. Sei Young Kim would make a run early on the back nine cutting Lee's lead to just two strokes, but Lee then took back control of the match and won this one easily. Her final score of 14 under par was four strokes better than Kim who finished in the runner-up position. For Lee it was her 5th LPGA title.
Image result for lpga mediheal championship
This week the LPGA moves to San Francisco, California for the playing of the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship. Last year was the inaugural playing of this event, and it had one of the most exciting finishes of the year. Minjee Lee came from three strokes behind to catch Lydia Ko and force a playoff. The playoff would not last long as Ko eagled the first playoff hole for the victory.

Image result for Lydia Ko wins mediheal championship
Lydia Ko won the inaugural playing of this event in 2018.

This will be tournament #11 of 33 on this year's LPGA schedule, and fourth of 4 tournaments that will be held in the state of California.

Here are the Key Details:

Course: Lake Merced Golf Club
Location:  San Francisco, California
Defending Champion: Lydia Ko
Winning Score: 68-70-67-71 = 276 (-12)
History: This is the 2nd year for this event

Final Field:  144 players

Par 36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,507
Purse:  $1,800,000
Race to the CME Globe: 500 points
Aon Risk Reward Challenge Hole: 15th (Par 5)

My strength of field rating is a very solid 74.5% (down slightly from 76% last year). Forty-two of the top fifty players from the LPGA Priority List, and 36 of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up this week. The field will be led by top ten ranked players: Minjee Lee, Ariya Jutanugarn, Inbee Park, Brooke Henderson, Lexi Thompson, So Yeon Ryu, and Carlota Ciganda. Top players skipping the event this week include: Jin-Young Ko, Sung Hyun Park, Nasa Hataoka, and Nelly Korda.

Here are the pairings for round 1:

Here are the Television Times:

May 2 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET 

May 3 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET 

May 4 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET

May 5 - GC 6:00 PM-9:00 PM ET

Players Most Likely to Win: (Top players in the field)
1- Minjee Lee - A win here would put her on top of the Rolex Rankings.
2- Ariya Jutanugarn - Dropped to #4 in the rankings this week.
3- Inbee Park - Needs to get the putter working more consistently.

Players to Watch Out For: (I'm feeling it this week)
1- Brooke Hendreson - Because she is in the mix every Sunday.
2- So Yeon Ryu - Is she coming out of her slump?
3- Danielle Kang - Is playing the the most consistent golf of her career.

Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
1- Azahara Munoz - Injury free and the results have shown that.
2- Anna Nordqvist - Because she can't be as bad as she has been playing.
3- Angel Yin - Overdue for a good one.

Other Tidbits:
The cut at the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open was not kind to some of the biggest LPGA stars. Sung Hyun Park, Lexi Thompson, Nelly Korda, Jessica Korda, and Moriya Jutanugarn, all missed the cut. For Nelly Korda it was her first missed cut in her last 20 starts.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Minjee Lee makes the most imporatnt move this week jumping up from No. 4 to No. 2 and is now in striking position of the top spot. Sei Young Kim leaps up from No. 23 to No. 15, while Annie Park rises from No. 61 to No. 43. Gabby Lopez continues her weekly advancements jumping up five more spots to No. 49.

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

Jin Young Ko continues to lead with 2,121 points. She is followed by Minjee Lee with 1,492 and Nelly Korda with 1,264. Eun-Hee Ji's 1,144 and Brooke Henderson's 884 points round out the top five.

Aon Risk Reward Challenge:   (1 million dollars)

Lee-Anne Pace leads with a score of -1.10. Carlota Ciganda and Angel Yin follow with -1.0.

Who's Hot:

Danielle Kang is the only player who has finished in the top ten four consecutive weeks.

Who's Not:

Georgia Hall has failed to finish in the top thirty in any of her last eight starts.

This Week's Trivia Question:
Since the year 2000, only one player has won the Vare Trophy (lowest scoring average) four times. She did it in four consecutive years. Can you name her?

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

Here are the Final Results:

1 Sei Young Kim -7
2 Bronte Law -7
2 Jeongeun6 Lee -7
4 Eun-Hee Ji -5
4 Amy Yang -5
4 Lexi Thompson -5
4 Charley Hull -5
8 Marina Alex -4
8 Azahara Munoz -4
8 Yu Liu -4
8 Minjee Lee -4
12 Jenny Shin -3
12 Ryann O'Toole -3
12 Kristen Gillman -3
15 Jing Yan -2
15 Shanshan Feng -2
15 Maria Torres -2
18 Celine Boutier -1
18 Megan Khang -1
18 Danielle Kang -1
18 Lizette Salas -1
18 Louise Ridderstrom -1
23 Inbee Park E
23 In Gee Chun E
23 Cristie Kerr E
23 Angela Stanford E

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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