The LPGA Tour returns for the first time in 2021 this week, with the third edition of the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. Here’s everything you need to know about the no-cut event, which will feature 25 professionals and 50 celebrities.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Mexico’s Gaby Lopez reached 13-under-par 271 here last year, defeating Nasa Hataoka and Inbee Park in Monday’s extra holes.
COURSE: Tranquilo Golf Course (formerly Disney’s Osprey Ridge Golf Course) at Four Seasons Golf & Sports Club Orlando opened in 1992 and was designed by world-renowned architect Tom Fazio. The 6,076-metre par-71 was enhanced by Fazio in 2014 and has hosted this event since its inception in 2019. It meanders through wetlands and is home to an abundance of wildlife.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
Nine-time LPGA Tour winner Brooke Henderson finished T4 here last year and shared sixth place in 2019.
The 23-year-old Canadian was incredibly consistent last year – posting six top-10 finishes from her 10 starts – however she hasn’t tasted victory since she claimed the Meijer LPGA Classic in June of 2019.
Henderson, who is currently sixth in the world rankings, averages 68.5 shots per round on the Tranquilo course and will be the third-highest ranked player in the field this week, behind Nelly Korda (No.4) and Danielle Kang (No.5).
RIGHT: Gaby Lopez won her second LPGA Tour title at Four Seasons Golf & Sports Club Orlando in 2020. PHOTO: Michael Reaves/Getty Images.
South Korean Mi Jung Hur shared fourth place with Henderson here last year after storming home with the round of the day – an eight-under-par 63.
The World No.24 hasn’t played competitively since withdrawing from the US Women’s Open in December – and she only made five starts on American soil last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But Hur enjoyed an excellent 2019, winning twice and recording four additional top-10s. Can the 31-year-old recapture that sort of form this week and claim her fifth career title on the LPGA Tour?
72-HOLE RECORD: Inaugural champion Eun-Hee Ji shot 14-under-par 270 in 2019, defeating her South Korean compatriot Mirim Lee by two shots.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: No previous Australian winners.
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: No Aussies in the field.
Round 1: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 4am – 7am)
Round 2: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 4am – 7am)
Round 3: Sunday (Fox Sports 505 LIVE 5:30am – 8:30am)
Round 4: Monday (Fox Sports 505 LIVE 6am – 9am)
*AEDT, check local guides