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Thursday, July 6, 2017

A New LPGA Event

Without question, the biggest story of the week is the near-miraculous return of the Greenbrier Classic after that devastating flood last year. But, simply because it's the biggest story, it's getting plenty of attention. So I'll focus instead on the LPGA's new event.

Ariya Jutanugarn

This week's Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic is an inaugural event, being held in Oneida, Wisconsin, so there's no defending champion. Which means that this could be a wide open event, with a lot of potential for another young player to break through for their first win. A new venue represents a flat playing field -- since no one knows the course, no one should have an advantage.

In addition, Tony Jesselli notes that, while this is a full field event, the field is relatively weak because this event is stuck between two majors. (You can find Tony's preview of the event at this link.) However, LPGA.com says that there are 12 major winners in the field, including Jutanugarn, Paula Creamer, Brooke Henderson, Cristie Kerr, Suzann Pettersen and Karrie Webb.

With the US Women's Open coming up next week, it's clear many of the big names are hoping a week's rest will change their fortunes. (Not Henderson, but she's probably just hoping to stay in the groove she was in last week. And Jutanugarn missed the cut, so she wants reps.) We'll see soon enough whose approach pays off.

Just a quick player note: Although she isn't getting much attention, Aditi Ashok -- the young Indian teen who played so well at the Olympics and won on the LET last season -- is playing very well as of late. She's in the field this week, so I'm watching for her to continue her good play.

The Thornberry is a four-day event, so the first broadcast is tonight at 6pm ET. Despite the past major winners in the field, I'm expecting another first-time winner to step up this week.

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