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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The LPGA Kicks Off Its 2014 Season This Week

For the first time in several years the LPGA season kicks off in January! And they've chosen a great place to do it -- at Paradise Island in the Bahamas. (No relation to the place where superhero Wonder Woman and her Amazonian sisters come from.) The inaugural event was nearly drowned out last year in May; we'll hope for better weather this time of year.

Paula Creamer at the Pure Silk Bahamas

Tony Jesselli has posted his Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic preview at his site (just click the link to see it) so I won't duplicate his work. I think the most important thing to note is just how few of the top players are planning to make appearances. I suspect many of them plan to start their season in New Zealand at:
  • the ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open (Jan 31st - Feb 2nd), followed by
  • the Volvik Racy Australian Masters (Feb 6th - 9th), both LET events.
Then it's the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open the following, which is co-sponsored by the LET and LPGA. With several players trying to cut down on their globe-hopping schedule, this sort of thing is to be expected.

However, that means a number of players will have a chance to get a jump on the others. To me, the most notable of the missing players are (numbers in parentheses are their Rolex Rankings):
  • Inbee Park (1)
  • So Yeon Ryu (5)
  • Shanshan Feng (6)
while
  • Suzann Pettersen (2) -- UPDATE: Suzann is NOT playing because she says she's worn out
  • Stacy Lewis (3)
  • Lydia Ko (4)
  • Paula Creamer (13)
all plan to play. Paula probably sees this as a good chance to try and break her victory drought while the others are almost certainly looking to gain ground on Inbee Park. And, of course, it gives them a headstart on the new Race to the CME Globe.

GC plans to begin broadcasts at 11:30am ET Thursday, which almost certainly means live golf. Plus they plan a 3-hour broadcast, which is a nice way to get the season started. This tournament may give us a good indication of how tight the battle for #1 will be in 2014.

I don't know about you but I'm looking forward to some women's golf!

The photo came from this page at LPGA.com.

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