The LPGA Players start their 2014 campaign in paradise this week at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. The Ocean Club Golf Course on Paradise Island is hosting the event for the second year and features 108 of LPGA’s best players. The winner will start her season off with a cool $195,000.
The tournament sponsor and the course are sure hoping to complete 4 full rounds this year. If you remember, last year was rain shortened as historic storms saturated the course making many holes unplayable. They were able to get in a total of 36 holes in over three days–only 12 holes playable a day. Illee Lee is coming back to defend her two shot victory.
Who to watch
Teen phenom, Lydia Ko, is making her debut as a full fledged LPGA Tour member and she is all the buzz now of potentially kicking it into high gear in the first tournament and never looking back. Scores of people are talking that she could break some serious records this year from most wins in a season, lowest scoring average, most winnings….the list goes on. We will wait and see, but this kid has serious game!
Stacy Lewis, Rolex World #3, took a few weeks off in December to recharge and feels that it did a world of good mentally and physically and is ready to pounce on Old Man Par and take him out. One of her many goals is to recapture #1 Ranking in the world and from what I have been hearing, she is striking the ball better that ever.
#2 Rolex World Ranked player, Suzann Petterson, is also teeing it up in the first event out of the shoot in 2014 in the hopes of starting off hot and carrying that through the year. She too took some time to recharge and is ready to go.
THE RACE TO THE CME GLOBE
There are a couple of new reasons for the players to get going early and play often.
The inaugural Race to the CME Globe officially kicks off this week at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic.
As describe by the LPGA:
Players will accumulate points at each official LPGA event from the Bahamas through the Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Banamex. The Raceto the CME Globe will then come to an exciting conclusion on Sunday at the newly renamed CME Group Tour Championship.
Two big purses and two big winner’s payouts will be on the line during the final day of the CME Group Tour Championship. The winner of the CME Group Tour Championship will take home a $500,000 first-place prize, while the player who has accumulated the most points in the season-long points competition will be announced as the Race to the CME Globe champion with a $1 million unofficial money payout – the largest in all of women’s golf.
A total of 500 points will be awarded to the winner of this week’s Pure-Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic.
The players are stoked this ‘Race’ has been put in place and are really taking a long look at their schedules to make sure they play in enough events to be competitive. It is a great thing to add to the LPGA–A bit like the FedEx Cup for the PGA but with a twist.
This will make the solid 33 tournament year very competitive. They are playing for $1,000,000 and $500,000 on top of anything they win throughout the year. I call this a total WIN-WIN and the players think the same as they prepare for a exciting season.
The LPGA has gone through some growing pains having just 23 tournaments a couple years ago. They are making great strides in every direction with LPGA Commissioner, Mike Whan, leading the charge and taking lots of risks in the hopes for big payoffs for the players.
I would have to say he is well on his way to getting the LPGA back on track and taking it to the next level.
Keep it hear and we will give you weekly wrap-ups on Sundays and keep you informed on any new and exciting LPGA stories. Bunkers Paradise’s Emma Robinson will be teaming up with me to get the news to you that matters with regards to the LPGA.
Good Luck ladies and we will be seeing who has the most hunger through the year for the $1M bonus!
‘keep smiling and always believe’