Played in honour of the 13 women who defied the odds to create the LPGA we see today, the tournament has everything one would ideally want in a major.

Legitimate history, a celebration of everything that has come before plus direct links to the pioneering women who made it possible for teenagers to now play for millions, the Founders Cup should have more standing than it does.

Things are, however, moving in the right direction after a brilliant tournament at the little known Donald Ross gem Mountain Ridge in New Jersey last year.

DEFENDING CHAMPION: Jin Young Ko defended the title she had won two years earlier (pre-pandemic) in a canter on her way to what was then a 10th LPGA title.

After opening with 63 she followed with scores of 68-69-66 to tie the record for consecutive rounds in the 60s (14, alongside Annika Sorenstam and So Yeon Ryu) and win by four.

RIGHT: Jin Young Ko is showered with bubbles by Gaby Lopez and Brooke Henderson after her 2021 victory. PHOTO: Sarah Stier/Getty Images.

Germany’s Caroline Masson made a brave charge in the final round with a 64 but Ko was not to be denied.

COURSE: Mountain Ridge received rave reviews last year and while this year’s venue at Upper Montclair Country Club is not quite the same pedigree it has some LPGA history and design cred on its side.

Originally an AW Tillinghast design, major roadworks and a Robert Trent Jones redesign in the 1950s means there is little of ‘Tilly’s’ work left.

However, the layout is not without merit having hosted the LPGA’s Sybase Classic from 2007-2009 as well as several PGA Tour and Champions Tour events dating back to the 1960s.

Among those who have won at the venue are Arnold, Palmer, Lee Trevino, Nancy Lopez and Lorena Ochoa (twice) which only adds to the course’s reputation.

Ochoa’s 2008 total of 18-under remains the lowest among LPGA players though with more than a decade and a half passed since that feat it will be interesting to note the scoring this year.

Course reviews suggest Upper Montclair lacks genuine architectural interest with an ‘up and back’ nature to the routing.

Water is in play on several holes though much of it is unlikely to feature this week.

RELATED: So-called expert golf tips for this week

PRIZEMONEY: US$3,000,000

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Seven of the world’s top-10 and more than half of the world’s top-50 tee up this week and, as always, it’s hard to go past No.1 Jin Young Ko.

The two-time defending champion came from well back in her last start in California to almost claim victory, officially ending a slump that lasted about five holes.

She will be dangerous again this week but in the interests of interest let’s cast the net a bit wider.

The LPGA returns to a familiar site in Upper Montclair this week. PHOTO: Hunter Martin/Getty Images.

The usual suspects should include the ‘other’ Ko, Lydia (who would ever have thought THAT could be a thing back in 2015?), our own Minjee Lee and the Thai teenager who has, almost unnoticed, ascended to fourth in the world, Attaya Thitikul.

Outside the better known entities Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh has been playing steady golf this season and is due a result better than mid-field.

Yet to miss a cut in 2022 she is also yet to feature in the top-10, a situation that could change this week.

Coming off back-to-back missed cuts rookie Steph Kyriacou continues to be one of the more interesting youngsters to watch.

Since her upset win as an amateur on the LET in 2020 she has played above expectations and two missed weekends will have her motivated this week.

72-HOLE RECORD: 270 (-18, Lorena Ochoa, 2008) *Sybase Classic at Upper Montclair

18-HOLE RECORD: 62 (-10, Helen Alfredsson, 2009)

PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: Karrie Webb (2011, 2014)

AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Steph Kyriacou, Minjee Lee, Katherine Kirk, Sarah Kemp.

Round 1: Friday (Fox Sports 505 12.30am –3.30am)
Round 2: Saturday (Fox Sports 505 12.30am –3.30am)
Round 3: Sunday (Fox Sports 505 6am – 9am)
Round 4: Monday (Fox Sports 505 2am –5am)
*AEST, check local guides