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AIG Women's British Open Preview, Pairings, and Much More

Before I get started with this week's tournament, I want to give a big congratulations to Jin Young Ko for winning the Evian Championship. Ko entered the final round three strokes behind leader and No. 1 ranked Sung Hyun Park, but quickly caught her on the front nine. When she birdied the 17th hole to take a two shot lead, it was clear no one was going to catch her. For Park (who will lose her No. 1 ranking to Ko) it was just an ugly round of golf that included five bogeys and a double bogey. She finished in a tie for sixth place. Jennifer Kupcho (a bogey free 66), Shanshan Feng, and Hyo Joo Kim would all tie for the runner-up spot, just two shots back.

For Jennifer Kupcho the second place finish was a win-win for her. The second place prize money of nearly $291,000 guarantees her full time status in 2020, in spite of starting just eight tournaments this year. Her grand total this year of $380,237 ranks 34th on the money list, ahead of such players as Lydia Ko, Jenny Shin, Mirim Lee, and Stacy Lewis, who have teed it up twice as many times as her.
Her position on the money list should now get her into all the tournaments on the Asian swing later on in the year. To top it all off she moves from No.106 to No. 46 in the Race to the CME Globe, which solidly puts her among the top 60 players that will qualify.

Image result for aig women's british open

This week the LPGA travels to England for the playing of the AIG Women's British Open. Georgia Hall (pictured below) will be trying to defend the title she won last year by two strokes over runner-up Pornanong Phatlum.

Image result for aig women's british open 2019 tickets

This will be tournament #22 of 32 on this year's LPGA schedule, and fifth of five major championships.

Here are the Key Details:
Course:  Woburn Golf Club
Location:  Milton Keynes, England
Defending Champion:  Georgia Hall
Winning Score: 67-68-69-67 = 271 (-17)

History:  This tournament was added to the LPGA schedule in 1994 and became a major championship in 2001

Final Field:  144 players
Par:  36/36 = 72
Yardage:  6,585
Purse:  $3,250,000 

Race to the CME Globe: 625 points
Aon Risk/Reward Hole: 7th (Par 5)

My strength of field rating is 86% (up from 82% last year). Forty-six of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List and 45 of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. The field loses some points because many of the players in the field are from the L.E.T Order of Merit and the majority of those players are not world ranked. On the other hand, the field gains points because there are star players from both the KLPGA and the JLPGA. They include: Hye Jin Choi (#24), Ai Suzuki (#26), Da Yeon Lee (#42), Mamiko Higa (#43), Hinako Shinbuno (#46), Momiko Ueda (#55), and Minami Katsu (#59).

Here are the first round pairings.

Here are the Television Times:
Aug 1 - GC 6:00 AM-1:00 PM ET
Aug 2 - GC 6:00 AM-1:00 PM ET 
Aug 3 - GC 7:00 AM-11.00 AM ET
Aug 3 - NBC 11:00 AM-2:00 PM ET 
Aug 4 - GC 7:00 AM-11.30 AM ET
Aug 4 - NBC 11:30 AM-2:00 PM ET
There is a 5 hour time differential between England and ET.

Players Most Likely to Win: (Top players in the field)
1- Jin Young Ko - Must play well to hang on to top spot.
2- Sung Hyun Park - Would take take back the top spot with a victory.
3- Lexi Thompson - No. 1 spot is now out of her reach.

Players to Watch Out For: (I'm feeling it this week)
1- Hyo Joo Kim - Has five consecutive top ten finishes.
2- Inbee Park - Needs to start putting like Inbee again.
3- Carlota Ciganda - Has played well all year.

Long Shot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
1- Bronte Law - Will have the backing of her fans.
2- Jennifer Kupcho - Maybe not such a long shot anymore.
3- Angel Yin - If she can keep those massive drives straight......

Other Tidbits:
The cut was not kind to many of the big stars on tour. Lexi Thompson, Minjee Lee, Jeongeun Lee6, Azahara Munoz, Lydia Ko, Danielle Kang, Angel Yin, and Nasa Hataoka were among the victims. For Munoz and Minjee Lee, it was their first missed cut of the year.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
As noted above, Jin Young Ko once again takes over the the top spot. Ariya Jutanugarn made the most important move inside the top ten, jumping up from No. 9 to No. 6. Megan Kang moves up from No. 53 to No. 44, Ally McDonald No. 69 to No. 58, and Mirim Lee No. 77 to No. 66. In one of the biggest moves in Rolex Rankings history, Jennifer Kupcho soars up from No. 320 to No. 75. 

Race to the CME Globe:   (Top 60 point earners to compete for $1.5 million first place prize)
Jin Young Ko extends her lead with 3,199 points. She is followed by Brooke Henderson with 2,190 and Sung Hyun Park with 2,180. Minjee Lee 2,091 and Lexi Thompson 2,056 round out the top five.

Aon Risk Reward Challenge:   (1 million dollars)
Lee-Anne Pace (22 rounds played) leads with a score of -0.818. She is followed by Hyo Joo Kim (22 rounds played) -0.727 and **I.K. Kim (14 rounds) with -0.714.
** I.K. Kim has played just 14 qualifying rounds and has no chance of winning the prize money. A minimum of 40 rounds is required.

Who's Hot:
Jin Young Ko recorded her eighth top five finish of the year. No other player has more than six.

Hyo Joo Kim now leads the LPGA with nine top ten finishes.

Jennifer Kupcho has finished fifth and second in her last two individual starts.

Who's Not:
Pernilla Lindberg has failed to finish in the top thirty in any of her last 12 starts.

This Week's Trivia Question:
Let's see who can go two for two.
Since becoming a major in 2001, only three Americans have won the Women's British Open Championship. Can you name them?
Two players have won this championship twice since it became a major championship. Can you name them?

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

Here are the final results:
1 Hinako Shibuno -18
2 Lizette Salas -17
3 Jin Young Ko -16
4 Morgan Pressel -15
5 Ashleigh Buhai -14
6 Celine Boutier -12
7 Carlota Ciganda -11
8 Sung Hyun Park -10
9 Nelly Korda -9
9 Jeongeun Lee6 -9
11 Minjee Lee -8
11 Moriya Jutanugarn -8
11 Ariya Jutanugarn -8
11 Caroline Masson -8
11 Anna Nordqvist -8
16 Lexi Thompson -7
16 Teresa Lu -7
16 Hannah Green -7
16 Marina Alex -7
16 Jing Yan -7
21 Su-Hyun Oh -6
21 Ayako Uehara -6
21 Ally McDonald -6
24 Maria Torres -5
24 Hyo Joo Kim -5
24 Sei Young Kim -5
24 Sakura Yokomine -5
24 Charley Hull -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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