After being cancelled in 2020, the LPGA’s LA Open returns this week at Wilshire Country Club. Here is all you need to know about this week’s event, where Minjee Lee will defend the most recent of her five LPGA Tour titles.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: West Australian Minjee Lee took home the 2019 event with a closing round 68 delivering a four-shot win over Sei Young Kim.
COURSE: Historic Wilshire Country Club located nearby Hollywood, welcomes the LPGA Tour for the third time this week.
Origianlly designed by Englishman Norman Macbeth, the club was founded in 1919 and counted Howard Hughes among its early and most prominent members. The late industrialist’s large home still overlooks the course.
Kyle Phillips was brought in by Wilshire in 2008 to return the par-71 to its roots, with trees removed and the natural barranca playing a crucial role in the design, which will play to 6,450 yards this week.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
It is impossible to ignore Lydia Ko as the primary player to watch here following her win last week in Hawaii.
The Kiwi’s victory was the fourth top-10 of her season from five starts, that also includes two runner-up finishes, meaning she is likely to find herself in the mix in LA despite a solid if unspectacular record at Wilshire.
Over the previous two LA Opens, Ko has finished T42 and T31, however her form of late should be the main focus. Both previous results came during her time finding her game amongst a swathe of swing coach and caddie changes.
RIGHT: After her play so far in 2021 Lydia Ko is a must watch at the LA Open. PHOTO: Christian Petersen/Getty Images.
It was a very surprising missed cut for Minjee Lee last week in Hawaii at an event she had previously won, but don’t count her out of the running as she returns to the site of her last win.
Lee clearly enjoys the Wilshire layout, sharing seventh here in 2018, and prior to taking the last two rounds off last week had finished T25 and T5 in her only two previous starts on Tour for 2021.
The 24-year-old’s short game was the primary issue last week, Lee’s scrambling and putting numbers well below her best, but the course she will face this week is a very different test and if she can find something with the putter it would be no surprise to see her in the mix over the final rounds.
72-HOLE RECORD: Minjee Lee set to the tournament scoring record in 2019, her 270 (14 under) total beating the previous year’s score by two shots.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: Minjee Lee (2019).
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Hannah Green, Sarah Kemp, Katherine Kirk, Minjee Lee, Su Oh, Gabriela Ruffels and Sarah Jane Smith.
Round 1: Thursday (Fox Sports 511 LIVE 8am – 11am)
Round 2: Friday (Fox Sports 511 LIVE 8:30am –11am)
Round 3: Saturday (Fox Sports 511 LIVE 8:30am –11am)
Round 4: Sunday (Fox Sports 511 LIVE 8am – 11am)m)
*AEST, check local guides