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Thursday, January 17, 2019

And Now the Women Get into the Act

The LPGA tees it up today with a new event, the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in Lake Buena Vista, FL.

Brooke Henderson, Diamond Resorts Invitational CEO Michael Flaskey and basketball legend Ray Allen

This new event is something the LPGA hasn't had in a long time -- their own equivalent of the Sentry Tournament of Champions. It will feature 26 winners from the last two years, playing alongside 49 celebrities from business, entertainment and sport.

The scoring will be different for the two groups. The LPGA pros will compete in their normal stroke play format while the celebs will play Stableford scoring. And while the LPGA plays for a $1.2mil purse, the celebs will have a $500,000 purse of their own.

And bragging rights, of course. That carries a lot of weight with the celebs. You need only watch the Pebble Beach AT&T Pro-Am to know that.

While there are fewer pros at this event than the men had at the Sentry, this should still be a good event. Bear in mind that players like Gerina Piller and Stacy Lewis are making their first appearances since becoming mothers, while several first-time winners will get a jump on the rest of the Tour with an extra week to get in competitive shape.

Get ready to veg out on the couch, as there is a lot of golf to watch today.
  • The Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions gets underway on GC at noon ET today.
  • The PGA Tour's Desert Classic follows immediately after at 3pm ET.
  • The Champions Tour tees off at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship (in Hawaii) at 7pm ET.
  • The second round of the Asian Tour's SMBC Singapore Open airs at 10pm ET.
  • And if you're in the mood to stay up all night, you can catch the third round of the ET's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at 3am ET.
I predict a lot of coffee in some of your futures!


  1. On the Seoul Sisters forum the tournament is remarkable for who has chosen NOT to take part, given that there is a three week break before the next two events in Australia:

    In Kyung Kim
    Jin Young Ko (last season's Rookie of the year)
    Jessica Korda (Nelly is in the field)
    Minjee Lee
    Haru Nomura
    Inbee Park
    Sung Hyun Park (Women's PGA Champion)
    So Yeon Ryu
    Angela Stanford (Evian Champion)
    Michelle Wie (still recovering from yet another injury)

    I also went back and counted the number of winners from the previous two seasons, the criteria for entry in the field (37 in total) vs the 36 qualified for this event according to the tournament website and noticed a glaring omission: 2017 Australian Women's Open champion Ha Na Jang, the only one among the 37 who's no longer a Tour member but is still active on the KLPGA.

    1. Some of those not playing make sense to me because they played a lot of events last year and probably wanted an extended break. Angela Stanford, for example, played 25 official events plus any other charity events.

      And for a number of them, it would be two consecutive weeks of huge time zone changes, only to play one week. I'm not sure that would necessarily serve as a good warmup anyway. I bet Ha Na fit in that category, as did some of the other Korean players.

      And let's face it, Michelle is better off getting an extra month to heal up so she can possibly make an entire year without injury. ;-)