A quick look at this week’s North Texas LPGA Shootout:
- Park defending: Inbee Park is the defending champion this week and in the 55th week as the No. 1 player in the world. However, Park is winless this season after winning three times through this event in a stellar 2013 season. She was beset by food poisoning last week and just recently remedied a putting malady that took her through different putters and strokes before improving a couple weeks ago after developing a more upright stance at address.
- Where’s South Korea?: Even though South Korea native Lydia Ko – now a New Zealand resident – won last week, a current South Korean player hasn’t won since Amy Yang last October, a stretch of 13 tournaments.
- Thompson in the spotlight: Lexi Thompson returns to the course after a busy two weeks where she went on an extensive media tour, traveled to Germany and Italy for sponsor Puma and received congratulations from Nancy Lopez and Arnold Palmer. She also few privately with Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man and a Puma athlete, during the international visit.
- Wie’s consistency: Michelle Wie’s worst finish this year is 16th. She said her main offseason goal, discussed with instructor David Leadbetter, was consistency – “hit more fairways, hit more greens, make more putts; just overall, getting better,” she said.
- Stacy’s streak: Stacy Lewis is home in Texas this week and she’s due. Lewis has finished in the top 10 in 17 of her last 18 LPGA starts. A T40 at the HSBC Women’s Champions is the only break in that run. She has finished T2, T6, 3 and 2 in her last four starts this season.
- Golf Channel live: Golf Channel will show all four rounds live this week, culminating with 3-6 p.m. EDT air times on the weekend. Tom Abbott will handle the play by play and World Golf Hall of Famer Judy Rankin is the lead analyst.
- Las Colinas CC: The par-71 course is celebrating its 50th year as architect Joe Finger designed the course in 1964.
- Format: If players barely make the cut this week, there’s still a challenge ahead. After the first two rounds, the field is cut to the top 70 players followed by a second cut to the top 50 for Sunday’s final round.
- Another par 5 finish: This week’s finishing hole at Las Colinas CC is a par 5, marking the seventh time in 10 events this season that a three-shot hole has completed the tournament. Last year, Inbee Park birdied the 18th hole to beat Carlota Ciganda by one stroke.