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Thursday, January 21, 2021

The LPGA Starts Their Season Today

With every tour getting back in action this week, I feel the need to give each a quick post about their event. Today it's the LPGA and the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions.

Defending champion Gaby Lopez

As I'm sure you all know by now -- but I'll mention just in case you don't -- the LPGA's Tournament of Champions is a pro-am event. However, we don't get a team score; it's just that the celebrity players are playing their own event alongside the LPGA pros. Or, as puts it:

The LPGA winners-only field plays for a $1.2 million purse over 72 holes with no cut. The sports and entertainment celebrities compete for a $500,000 purse of their own using a modified Stableford format.

It's an interesting twist on a champions event since you also get a separate celebrity event... but it still feels a bit like the Pebble Beach pro-am on the PGA Tour. The difference is that the pros aren't worried about how their score will affect a team score, so the strategy doesn't change from a regular event.

But it can be more fun to watch than a 'straight' tournament.

Gaby Lopez is the defending LPGA champion while baseball great John Smoltz is looking to get his third title in a row. There are 25 LPGA players and about twice that many celebs, including Annika Sorenstam among them. And since this is the only event we get until the LPGA season starts in earnest a month from now, it's definitely something we want to see.

GC's live coverage begins today at 3pm ET. I suspect it'll be something of a celebration of just surviving 2020 for everyone involved, so we'll probably see players have even more fun than normal.