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Marathon Classic Presented by Dana Preview, Pairings, and More

Before I get started with this week's topic, I want to give a big congratulations to Shanshan Feng for winning the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic. This one was a shootout that they would have been proud of at the O.K. Corral! Through the first 50 holes, Sung Hyun Park was an amazing 23 under par and looked as if she would shatter the LPGA record of 31 under par set last year by Sei Young Kim at this tournament. That wouldn't be the case though as Shanshan Feng and Ariya Jutanugarn made it a two player race going to the final holes. When Ariya birdied the 18th hole she pulled into a tie at 28 under par. Shanshan needed a birdie on the final hole to win. Her drive split the fairway perfectly, and then she put her approach shot to within three feet of the hole. When she sank the putt she had her 10th career LPGA victory, and first since 2017. For Sung Hyun Park (who won last week) it was a very disappointing finish, as she managed to shoot just even par her last 22 holes. Yealimi Noh, a Monday qualifier playing in her first LPGA event as a professional, finished in sixth place with a score of 23 under par. A record 22 players finished 20 under par or better.
                    Image result for 2019 marathon classic
This week the LPGA travels to Ohio for the playing of the Marathon Classic Presented by Dana.
Many of you may remember last year's exciting finish when Jasmine Suwannapura was victorious in a playoff over Brittany Lincicome. It was Suwannapura's first (and only) LPGA victory.

Related image
Jasmine holds up her 2019 Marathon Classic trophy.

This will be tournament # 19 of 32 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the Key Details:
Course:  Highland Meadows Golf Club
Location:  Sylvania, Ohio
Defending Champion: Jasmine Suwannapura
Winning Score:  65-69-71-65 = 270 (-14)
History: This event began in 1984

Final Field: 144 players
Par:  34/37 = 71
Yardage:  6,550
Purse:  $1,750,000
Race to the CME Globe: 500 points
Aon Risk/Reward Hole: 17th (Par 5)

My strength of field rating is 34% (up from 33% last year). Eighteen of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and 14 of the top 50 players from this week's Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. The field will be led by top ten ranked players: Minjee Lee, Lexi Thompson, Brooke Henderson, and Jeongeun Lee6. Top players skipping the event this week include: Sung Hyun Park, Jin-Young Ko, Inbee Park, Nasa Hataoka, Ariya Jutanugarn, Danielle Kang, and both Nelly and Jessica Korda.

Here are the pairings for round 1:

Here are the television times:
July 11 - GC 7:30 PM- 9:30 PM ET (tape delay)
July 12 - GC 7:30 PM- 9:30 PM ET (tape delay)
July 13 - GC 6:00 PM- 8:00 PM ET (tape delay)
July 14 - GC 6:00 PM- 8:00 PM ET (tape delay)

Players Most Likely to Win: (Top players in the field)
1- Minjee Lee - No. 3 ranked player is top player in field this week.
2- Lexi Thompson - Well rested for this event.
3- Brooke Henderson - Will be looking for third win of the season.

Players to Watch Out For: (I'm feeling it this week)
1- Jeongeun Lee6 - Coming off of her first missed cut.
2- So Yeon Ryu - Has won here before.
3- Kristen Gillman - Coming off a top ten finish.

Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
1- Jennifer Kupcho - Played well here last year as a sponsor invitee.
2- Maria Fassi - Could shine against this weak field.
3- Brittany Altomare - Fighting to make Solheim Cup Team.

Other Tidbits:
Ariya Jutanugarn now has made the cut in each of her last fifty starts. No other player has made it to thirty.
Jeongeun Lee6 missed the cut for the first time as an LPGA member. It was her 13th start.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Not much movement this week. Ariya Jutanugarn makes the most important move this week jumping two spots to No.7. Shanshan Feng rises from No. 26 to No. 17, while much further down the list Tiffany Joh leaps up from No. 211 to No. 159. On the downside, Jeongeun Lee6 drops down from No. 7 to No. 9.

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 2,412 points. Sung Hyun Park is next with 2,055, she is followed by Brooke Henderson with 1,975.

Aon Risk Reward Challenge:   (1 million dollars)
Lee-Anne Pace is still out in front with a score of -0.800. She is followed by Hyo Joo Kim -0.750 and Ariya Jutanugarn -0.719.

Who's Hot:
Sung Hyun Park has finished 2nd, 1st, and 6th, in her last three starts.

Who's Not:
Georgia Hall has failed to record a top 25 finish in any of her last thirteen starts.
Ruixin Liu, who led the Symetra Tour in official earnings in 2018, has failed to see the weekend in ten of her 11 starts this year, and has missed the cut in her last nine. Her best finish is 55th place.

This Week's Trivia Question:
Only one player has won this tournament more than twice. That player won this tournament five times. Can you name her?

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

Here are the final results:

1 Sei Young Kim -22
2 Lexi Thompson -20
3 Stacy Lewis -16
4 Jeongeun Lee6 -14
5 Linnea Strom -11
5 Tiffany Joh -11
5 Caroline Masson -11
5 Pavarisa Yoktuan -11
5 Jennifer Kupcho -11
10 Jing Yan -10
11 Brittany Altomare -9
11 Stephanie Meadow -9
11 Ruixin Liu -9
11 Emma Talley -9
11 Mariajo Uribe -9
11 Youngin Chun -9
11 Dana Finkelstein -9
11 Brooke Henderson -9
19 Wichanee Meechai -8
19 Xi Yu Lin -8
19 Giulia Molinaro -8
19 Jodi Ewart Shadoff -8
19 Annie Park -8
19 Christina Kim -8
19 Su-Hyun Oh -8
19 Paula Creamer -8
19 Minjee Lee -8
28 Azahara Munoz -7
28 Charlotte Thomas -7
30 Gemma Dryburgh -6
30 Sarah Schmelzel -6
30 Sandra Changkija -6
30 Ashleigh Buhai -6

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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