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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The LPGA Is Back in Action

Welcome to the Kingsmill Championship, held in historic Williamsburg, Virginia. (That's about halfway up the East Coast of the US, for those of you unfamiliar with our geography.)

Ariya Jutanugarn with Kingsmill trophy

Tony Jesselli, in his preview of the event, notes that this is the first of a consecutive 12-event run for the LPGA, which includes three of their majors. We'll be seeing -- or perhaps it's better to say NOT seeing -- a number of the big names over the next three months as they pick and choose events, hoping to peak for those majors.

However, this week we WILL be seeing defending champ Ariya Jutanugarn, Race to the CME Globe leader So Yeon Ryu and current World #1 Lydia Ko as they battle for that Rolex #1 spot. The three are separated by a mere quarter of a point, which could be easily erased with a win.

Fans of LPGA rookies Aditi Ashok (India), Laura Gonzalez Escallon (Belgium) and Olafia Kristinsdottir (Iceland) will be pleased to know that all three are in the field this week.

One other interesting note: Only Cristie Kerr has managed to win the Kingsmill more than once. And since those wins came in 2005, 2009 and 2013 -- and since Cristie has been playing well of late -- you might make a case that it's her time again! In any case, Ariya will have to buck history if she hopes to successfully defend her title this week, a task made even more difficult by the pressure to gain that Rolex #1 spot.

To be honest, I think Lydia will finally lose the top spot this week -- but I think Ryu, not Jutanugarn, will take it. So Yeon Ryu has been playing the best of the three coming in.

The first two days of the event will be tape-delayed on GC, beginning at 9pm ET on Thursday night. The last two days will be live, starting at 5pm ET. The battle for #1 makes this a must-watch tournament.

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