The LPGA Tour returns to regular programming this week following the completion of the Women’s PGA Championship. Who will claim the ninth instalment of the Volunteers of America Classic?
DEFENDING CHAMPION: American veteran Angela Stanford shot seven-under-par 277 here last year, defeating her countrywoman Yealimi Noh and South Korean duo So Yeon Ryu and Inbee Park by two shots.
COURSE: Old American Golf Club, designed by American golf course architect Tripp Davis and 12-time PGA Tour winner Justin Leonard, opened in 2010 and has hosted this event since 2018.
The layout utlises the lay of the land, features naturally-formed bunkers and has been crafted to honour iconic courses of the 1920s and 30s – such as Shinnecock Hills and Prairie Dunes – during what was considered by many as being the ‘Golden Age’ of golf course architecture. The par-71 will play to 5,921 metres this week.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
Many of the world’s top-ranked players – including back-to-back Tour winner Nelly Korda – have decided to skip this week’s event off the back of the Women’s PGA Championship.
World No.2 Jin Young Ko, however, will tee it up at Old American GC and will be eager to try and regain her position atop the world rankings.
The South Korean hasn’t been playing poorly by any means and had spent 100 consecutive weeks as World No.1 prior to Korda leapfrogging her. But Ko hasn’t won on Tour since claiming the Tour Championship last December and will be looking to add to her seven US Tour titles.
The 25-year-old two-time major winner will certainly be worth watching at Old American GC this week – where she has recorded two top-10s from as many starts – especially amongst this slightly weaker field.
RIGHT: Angela Stanford won her seventh LPGA Tour title here last year. PHOTO: Chuck Burton/Getty Images.
World No.24 Lizette Salas was gallant in defeat at Atlanta Athletic Club last week, finishing runner-up to Nelly Korda.
The 31-year-old Californian, who has amassed 33 career top-10s and one victory, told reporters at the Women’s PGA Championship that she had considered retirement two years ago due to ongoing mental-health struggles.
“I won in other aspects,” Salas said after the final round on Sunday. “Yeah, I didn't get that trophy, but I accomplished more than what I had expected. I think this is the start of something great.”
Salas returns to Old American GC – where she finished T32nd during her only appearance in 2019 – in terrific form, having posted back-to-back top-10s and five straight top-20s.
72-HOLE RECORD: Cheyenne Knight fired 18-under-par 266 when she defeated her American compatriots Brittany Altomare and Jaye Marie Green by two shots in 2019.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: No previous Australian winners.
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Katherine Kirk and Sarah Jane Smith.
Round 1: Friday (Fox Sports 505 LIVE 7am – 10am)
Round 2: Saturday (Fox Sports 505 LIVE 7am – 10am)
Round 3: Sunday (Fox Sports 505 LIVE 7am – 10am)
Round 4: Monday (Fox Sports 505 LIVE 7am – 10am)
*AEST, check local guides