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Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Ladies Tune Up for Their First Major

Next week, just ahead of the Masters, the ladies will play their first major -- formerly the Kraft-Nabisco Championship, now called the ANA Inspiration. Their tune-up this week is the Kia Classic, which has been pretty competitive since its inception but looks to be even more interesting this time around.

First of all, according to Tony Jesselli's preview of the event, 97 of the Top98 players on the LPGA Priority List will be teeing it up. (The one exception is Azahara Munoz, who's still recovering from hand surgery. In case you didn't hear, the lump turned out to be a harmless -- albeit painful -- cyst.) If getting on form for the Inspiration wasn't enough to get their juices flowing, this event also has a fairly large purse and 500 Race to the CME Globe points up for grabs.

Player hitting out of sand

A number of players who have yet to qualify for the LPGA's first major of the year are also in the field. (Just like the men playing the two Texas events trying to get in the Masters.)

And then we have the ever-present battle between Ko, Park and Lewis. Here are the scenarios for a potential shift in the World #1, as projected at (We have these almost every week now, don't we?)
Ko retains No. 1 if:
  • She finishes in a three-way tie for second or better even if Park wins.
  • Park finishes in a tie for second or worse regardless of what Lydia does
Park can go to No. 1 if:
  • Park wins AND Ko finishes in a four-way tie for second or worse.
  • Ko misses the cut AND Park finishes in solo second or better.
No. 3 Stacy Lewis cannot go to No. 1 regardless of what happens this week but she can move up to No. 2 if she wins and Park finishes in third or worse.
So a number of things are in play this week, all of which promise to make the Kia Classic worth watching. GC will carrying LIVE coverage of every round starting at 6pm ET beginning tonight. Prime time women's golf -- you gotta love it!

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