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Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic Preview, Pairings, and Much More

Let me start out today by congratulating Sung Hyun Park for winning the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Park has regained the No. 1 spot in the Rolex Rankings. Her birdie on the final hole on Sunday was good enough to win by one stroke over a charging Danielle Kang, Hyo Joo Kim, and Inbee Park. She now joins Brooke Henderson and Jin Young Ko as two time winners on the LPGA Tour this year.Image result for thornberry creek lpga classic
This week the LPGA moves to the state of Wisconsin for the playing of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic. Many of my readers may remember last year when Sei Young Kim set a new LPGA all-time record, when she shot an amazing 31 under par. That total was nine shots better than runner up Carlota Ciganda.

Image result for thornberry creek lpga classic
Sei Young Kim holds up her winning trophy.

This will be tournament # 18 of 32 on this year's LPGA schedule.

Here are the Key Details:
Course:  Thornberry Creek at Oneida
Location:  Oneida, Wisconsin
Defending Champion:  Sei Young Kim
Winning Score:  63-65-64-65 = 257 (-31)
History: This is the third year for this event

Final Field:  144 players
Format: 72 holes
Par: 36/36 = 72
Yardage: 6,624
Purse:  $2,000,000
Race to the CME Globe: 500 points
Aon Risk/Reward Hole: 15th (Par 5)

My strength of field rating is 44% (way down from 64% last year). Twenty-four of the top 50 players from the LPGA Priority List, and 18 of the top 50 players from the Rolex Rankings will be teeing it up. The field will be led by the new No. 1 player in the world Sung Hyun Park. Nasa Hataoka, Jeongeun Lee6, and Ariya Jutanugarn are the other top ten ranked players in the field. Marina Alex is the top American player in the field (she is currently No. 33 in the Rolex Rankings). Top players skipping the event this week include: Jin-Young Ko, Lexi Thompson, Minjee Lee, Inbee Park, Brooke Henderson, Nelly and Jessica Korda, So Yeon Ryu, and Danielle Kang.

Here are the pairings for round 1:

Here are the television times:
July 4 - GC  6:00 PM-8:30 PM ET 
July 5 - GC  6:00 PM-8:30 PM ET 
July 6 - GC  5:30 PM-8:30 PM ET
July 7 - GC  5:30 PM-8:30 PM ET

Players Most Likely to Win: (Top players in the field)
1- Sung Hyun Park - Hoping to keep the top position longer than she did the first three times. She held it for one week, ten weeks, and then five weeks. 
2- Nasa Hataoka - Is the second highest ranked player in the field.
3- Jeonguen Lee6 - Ready to go after a week off.

Players to Watch Out For: (I'm feeling it this week)
1- Sei Young Kim - Shot record 31 under par last year.
2- Carlota Ciganda - Last year's runner-up comes in playing well.
3- Hyo Joo Kim - Has been playing solid golf all year.

Longshot Picks: (Not likely, but not impossible)
1- Kristin Gillman - Will contend in this weak field.
2- Ryann O'Toole - Needs a win for Solheim Cup consideration.
3- Gaby Lopez - Maybe not such a longshot.

Other Tidbits:
Inbee Park crossed over the $15,000,000 mark in career earnings. She is fourth on the LPGA career money list. Cristie Kerr is third with $19,600,000.

Rolex Rankings Movers of the Week:
Inbee Park makes the biggest move inside the top ten jumping up from No. 9 to No. 5. Hyo Joo Kim leaps up from No. 27 to No. 20, while Gaby Lopez rises from No. 52 to No. 47. Other big moves include: Ryann O'Toole No. 68 to No. 59 and Mi Jung Hur No. 102 to No. 86.

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. She is followed by Brooke Henderson with 1,975 and Sung Hyun Park with 1,955.

Aon Risk Reward Challenge:   (1 million dollars)
Lee-Anne Pace hangs on to the lead by the narrowest of margins with a score of -0.778. She is followed closely by Ariya Jutanugarn -0.767 and Hyo Joo Kim -0.722.

Who's Hot:
Danielle Kang has now tied Nelly Korda for the most top ten finishes with eight each. Brooke Henderson is the only other player with at least seven.

Who's Not:
Eun-Hee Ji, after a blazing hot start, has missed the cut in her last three starts.

This Week's Trivia Question:
As stated above, Sei Young Kim holds the record for shooting 31 under par in this tournament last year. What two players previously held the record?

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

Here are the final results:

1 Shanshan Feng -29 F
2 Ariya Jutanugarn -28 F
3 Amy Yang -25 F
3 Tiffany Joh -25 F
5 Hyo Joo Kim -24 F
6 Yealimi Noh -23 F
6 Sung Hyun Park -23 F
8 Jing Yan -22 F
9 Alana Uriell -21 F
9 Marina Alex -21 F
9 Kristen Gillman -21 F
9 Celine Boutier -21 F
9 Eun-Hee Ji -21 F
9 Mina Harigae -21 F
15 Patty Tavatanakit -20 F
15 Ally McDonald -20 F
15 Carlota Ciganda -20 F
15 Giulia Molinaro -20 F
15 Chella Choi -20 F
15 Dottie Ardina -20 F
15 Anne Van Dam -20 F
15 Gaby Lopez -20 F
23 Pornanong Phatlum -19 F
23 Tiffany Chan -19 F
23 Alison Lee -19 F
26 Jeong Eun Lee -18 F
26 Megan Khang -18 F
26 Elizabeth Szokol -18 F
26 Caroline Masson -18 F

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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