The LPGA Tour returns to Highland Meadows this week for another edition of the Marathon Classic. Here’s everything you need to know about the event, including course information, TV times and players to watch.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: American Danielle Kang shot 15-under-par 269 here last year, defeating Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Lydia Ko by one shot.
COURSE: Highland Meadows Golf Club, originally designed by Sandy Alves, was founded in 1925 and has hosted this event since 1989. The 5,994-metre par-71 was recently subjected to an extensive redesign – which saw 52 of its bunkers created or rebuilt – by architecture firm Hills Forrest Smith.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
Defending champ Danielle Kang was five shots behind Lydia Ko with six holes to play here last year, before the New Zealander carded two bogies and a double bogey to hand the American her fifth LPGA Tour title.
Kang, currently 5th in the world rankings, returns to Highland Meadows in superb form, having posted consecutive shares of fifth to add to six additional top-15s from 12 starts in season 2021.
The 28-year-old has never missed the cut here since making her first appearance in 2012 and should be feeling confident about her chances of going back-to-back.
RIGHT: Kang overcame a five-shot deficit in six holes at Highland Meadows last year to defeat Lydia Ko and Jodi Ewart Shadoff. PHOTO: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images.
Finnish rookie Matilda Castren has quickly become one of the most exciting players on the LPGA Tour, having won her maiden title at the LPGA Mediheal Championship three weeks ago and finishing runner-up to Jin Young Ko at the VOA Classic last week.
The 26-year-old competed on the Symetra Tour between 2018 and 2019, before earning her LPGA Tour card for the COVID-interrupted 2020 season. She began the year ranked 211th in the world rankings and has already risen to World No.74.
Castren, whose textbook swing currently has her ranked 7th on Tour for greens in regulation, shared 25th place at Highland Meadows last year.
72-HOLE RECORD: South Korean Se Ri Pak fired 23-under-par 261 in 1998 when she defeated Lisa Hall by nine shots. Impressively, Pak would go on to win this event again in 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2007.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: Rachel Teske (2002).
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Sarah Kemp, Katherine Kirk, Su Oh and Sarah Jane Smith.
Round 1: Friday (Fox Sports 505 LIVE 5:30am – 8:30am)
Round 2: Saturday (Fox Sports 505 LIVE 5:30am – 8:30am)
Round 3: Sunday (Fox Sports 505 LIVE 3am – 5am)
Round 4: Monday (Fox Sports 505 LIVE 3am – 6am)
*AEST, check local guides