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Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Skirts Swing to America

If the name of this week's "new" LPGA event sounds familiar, that's because it is. Many of the LPGA members have played in the Swinging Skirts tournament for years. I've had a little trouble tracking down the official history of the event (if some of you know it, just add it in the comments), but I know it was originally an event on the Taiwan LPGA's schedule, called the Swinging Skirts TLPGA Open in 2011. I think it was an invitational event in 2012, and then it became the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters in 2013, a cosponsored event between the TLPGA and the KLPGA.

Now it's the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, and it's the first cosponsored event (between the TLPGA and the LPGA) ever on American soil.

Swinging Skirts media day

The event will be held at Lake Merced Golf Club in San Francisco. The LPGA last had an event in the Bay Area back in 2010, the CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge (Beatriz Recari's first LPGA win), so this is a return to a popular stop. And several of the players, like Paula Creamer and Juli Inkster, are from this area so they're doubly happy to be back!

This is sort of a homecoming for Michelle Wie as well, since Stanford University is nearby.

As usual, Tony Jesselli has a preview of this event at his blog. The most notable absence is Lexi Thompson while perhaps the most notable player to show up is Suzann Pettersen. Suzann has missed about a month of play while she dealt with a bad back (I heard it was a bulging disc), but Kay Cockerill on GC said that Suzann was going after her shots with full hard swings and seemed to be doing well. 

It will be interesting to see how Suzann does because Inbee has not managed to separate herself from the rest of the top players in the Rolex Rankings. Only 1.29 points separate #1 Inbee, #2 Suzann, and #3 Stacy Lewis so things could tighten up considerably this week.

Because of the time difference, we are once again treated to live golf in prime time. The 3-hour Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic broadcast starts tonight on GC at 6:30pm ET.

I suppose the only real question right now is whether it will still be an LPGA event next year. But here's a good bet: If it does move again, wherever it ends up it'll probably still be called the Swinging Skirts. The Taiwanese organization that started it -- the Swinging Skirts -- will see to that.

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