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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The New LPGA Event

This week the LPGA welcomes a new event to the schedule, the HUGEL-JTBC LA Open. It's been a decade or so since the Tour was in Los Angeles, and they return to Wilshire Country Club, a historic venue that has hosted the LGPA, PGA Tour and Champions Tour.

Shanshan Feng, Inbee Park and Lexi Thompson

You can catch Tony Jesselli's preview at his website. Tony notes that this is the strongest non-major field of the year thus far, even beating out the Kia Classic which has the advantage of being the week before the ANA. He also notes that the only reason this event didn't match the majors is because the top players from other tours, who usually play majors, aren't in this event.

Clearly the ladies are excited to be back in LA!

The continuing battle for #1 in the Rolex Rankings will be in the news again this week, with Shanshan Feng maintaining a very slim (.38 point) margin over Lexi Thompson and Inbee Park. One good week -- or one bad round, as Inbee experienced last week -- could put one of them well over the top of the others. That will be worth keeping an eye on!

Natalie Gulbis is making a rare appearance this week as well, after receiving a sponsor's exemption into the event.

Here's a small bit of trivia for you: HUGEL is a South Korean company that makes beauty products -- I can't help but think that's part of the reason Natalie was chosen to receive an exemption -- and their primary product is none other than botox.

And just so you know, JTBC is the LPGA's Korean TV partner and a previous sponsor of other LPGA events.

This will be another primetime event, with coverage starting Thursday night at 6:30pm ET on GC. And since the three primary challengers for #1 in the world are teeing it up, at a brand new venue for most of the players, this could be a very compelling event.

But then again, haven't all of this year's events been compelling?

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