The LPGA Tour is set to make its long-awaited return with the inaugural three-day LPGA Drive On Championship at Inverness Club, having spent five-plus months in hibernation due to the coronavirus pandemic.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Inaugural event.
COURSE: The course at Inverness Club, in Toledo, Ohio, was designed by the world-renowned Donald Ross in 1916 and has hosted numerous major events – including four US Opens and two US PGA Championships – and will be the venue for next year’s Solheim Cup. It measures 7,068 metres (par-71) from the tips, but will this week play 5,989 metres as it welcomes its first-ever LPGA Tour event.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
With very little recent form to go off – besides events played on the LPGA of Korea Tour – Nelly Korda must be considered one of the key chances as the highest-ranked player in the field this week.
The World No.2 wasn’t overly impressive during her three starts earlier this year – which heralded finishes of 41st, 28th and 10th – but she was incredibly consistent throughout 2019 and will expect to hit the ground running at Inverness Club.
Korda, who celebrated her 22nd birthday on Tuesday, boasts an excellent all-round game that sees her ranked inside the top-10 for driving distance, top-30 for driving accuracy and top-20 for greens in regulation.
RIGHT: The LPGA Tour will return this week and was last active during the Women’s Australian Open (won by Inbee Park) at Royal Adelaide in February. PHOTO: Sue McKay/Getty Images.
World No.202 Christina Kim has been working hard on all aspects of her game and was firing on all cylinders prior to the Tour’s suspension in February.
In fact, Kim, 36, finished the Australian swing with shares of ninth and 10th at the Vic Open and Women’s Australian Open respectively.
The American hasn’t won on Tour since claiming her third career title at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in 2014 – but she is certainly trending in the right direction and her putting average (28) is currently two shots better than last season.
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Sarah Kemp, Katherine Kirk, Minjee Lee and Sarah Jane Smith.
Round 1: Friday (Fox Sports 507 LIVE 11pm – 1:30am)
Round 2: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 6:30am – 9am)
Round 3: Monday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 7am – 9am)
*AEST, check local guides