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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The LPGA Snuck Up on Me!

The Blue Bay LPGA in China started on Tuesday night here in the US, not Wednesday as I expected. The event runs from Wednesday to Saturday -- China time, that is -- so that players have time to get back to Florida for the CME Group Tour Championship next week.

Minjee Lee

Tony Jesselli has his preview at this link, with all the background details to get you up to speed. I'll just mention that Minjee Lee is the defending champion and several of the big names have skipped the event, presumably to prepare for the Tour Championship. New #1 Sung Hyun Park, Shanshan Feng and Anna Nordqvist are the biggest names teeing it up this week.

Because of the extreme time difference between the east coast of the US and China, the first round was well underway when I began writing this. So I'll just give you a few of my initial impressions.

Lizette Salas is continuing her good play, only a shot off the lead (which is -5 as I'm writing this) although she's only nine holes in. Also notable, Ariya Jutanugarn is -4 as well after several months of mediocre play. (Hopefully this means she's figured out whatever has been wrong with her game.)

Alison Lee is at -2 after 12, as is Na Yeon Choi. Neither has had a particularly good year -- Lee has been fighting injuries (I think) and Choi's game has just been off. Even though it's early in the tournament, it's nice to see both playing better.

It's hard to write too much into a first round, especially coming so soon after last week's event -- the ladies didn't have as much time to prepare for the course, and the wind seems to be a bit of a factor. The vast majority of players are at par or over. So I feel safe saying this week will be a real challenge for players trying to make the Top12 next week.

The second round (LIVE!) airs Wednesday night on GC at 11pm ET with four hours of coverage. Should be fun!

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