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Friday, May 30, 2014

The Ladies Are Playing in New Jersey

This week the LPGA heads north from the southeastern state of Alabama to the northeastern state of New Jersey for the ShopRite LPGA Classic, a long-running tournament that's missed only 3 years (pre-Mike Whan, in 2007-2009) in its 29-year history. Karrie Webb is the defending champion.

Karrie Webb

Tony Jesselli has (as usual) done a preview of the event. He says this is one of the strongest fields of the year -- which is expected, as this event has always been popular. Most of the big names will be there, so you'll probably have a chance to see your favorites play at some point this week.

Of course, the big buzz continues to be Inbee Park's tenuous hold on the Rolex #1 spot. Here's how sums it up:
The battle for No. 1 is as heated as ever with Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, and Lydia Ko all within .3 points of each other in the Rolex Rankings.
The 59-week run of Inbee Park at the No. 1 spot is in more jeopardy this week than at maybe any point since it began with both Stacy Lewis and Lydia Ko nipping on Park’s heels. Ko, currently No. 3 behind Park and Lewis, has only 31 events feeding into her Rolex Rankings because of when she turned pro, so her finishes are more impactful to her ranking than Park’s and Lewis. In turn, she’s actually more of a threat to take over Park’s No. 1 than Lewis this week. If the two finish tied for second or tied for third together then Ko would actually be No. 1.
For Lewis to take over No. 1
- Solo 2nd place or a win as long as Park or Ko don’t win.
- Solo 3rd place as long as Park and Ko finish worse than 5th.
- 9th or better if both Park and Ko get cut.
For Ko to take over No. 1
- Tied for 2nd or better as long as Park or Lewis don’t win.
- Tied for 3rd as long as Park or Lewis finish tied for 3rd or worse.
- 12th or better if both Park and Lewis get cut.
It's ironic, isn't it? Lydia actually has an easier job of taking #1 than Stacy, even though she's #3 and Stacy's #2... and it's all because of how the rankings work. No wonder fans get confused!

The page at that link also details the new KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the major which will take the place of the now-defunct Wegmans LPGA Championship (since Wegmans withdrew their sponsorship). KPMG and the PGA of America (the teaching pros' organization, not the PGA Tour) are stepping in as co-sponsors with the LPGA for the new event.  What I find most interesting about the new event is that, according to this announcement, the PGA is running it and the word merger is being used to describe the new PGA-LPGA relationship. (Both have teaching professionals, after all.)

It appears this new arrangement is very popular with the LPGA, so don't be surprised if we see more joint efforts between the two coming in the future... and I don't mean just tournaments.

In the meantime, you get to watch golf. GC's coverage begins at noon ET today.


  1. You mean the soon to be defunct Wegmans LPGA Championship - its last staging will be in August. The date was made necessary by the earlier than usual US Women's Open this year, although from 2018 when that championship will be staged at Shoal Creek (also announced this week by the USGA) it will move to the first weekend of June ahead of the US Open, so the new Women's PGA will likely be in August - whether before or after the men's PGA is still unknown, but probably before.

  2. Thanks for the correction, IC. The piece says 2015 but I missed it.