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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Penultimate LPGA Event of 2019

It's the last event in the LPGA's Asian Swing as well as the last event before the CME Group Tour Championship. It's the TOTO Japan Classic.

Defending champion Nasa Hataoka

The TOTO is played at the Seta Golf Club in Sjoga, Japan, it's a co-sanctioned limited-field event with the JLPGA and the defending champion is Nasa Hataoka. It's worth noting that two of the Japanese players in this week's field, Nasa and Women's British Open champion Hinako Shibuno (aka Smiling Cinderella) have also won the first three JLPGA majors of the year:
  • Hinako won the Salonpas Cup
  • Nasa won the Konica Minolta Cup and the Japan Women's Open
This season, Hinako has won a total of three events and Nasa two. I think they have to be considered favorites coming into this event.

Lexi Thompson is making her first appearance in the 2019 Asian Swing, her last event being the Indy Women in Tech Championship, where she missed her second cut in a row (and third in five events). Since she's the defending champ at the Tour Championship in two weeks, she'll be looking for some form.

Noticeably missing from the field is Jin Young Ko, with five worldwide wins this season (4 of those on the LPGA) and the Player of the Year Award already locked up. She withdrew after two rounds in Taiwan with an injury, so it will be interesting to see how she plays in Florida.

There's a lot still up for grabs this week, as this is the players' last chance to gain points in the Race to the CME Globe. GC's live coverage begins Thursday night at 10pm ET (this is only a three-round event).

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