Mobile Bay LPGA Classic Tournament Preview

Maria Hjorth with winner's trophy 2011
Photo Credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Maria Hjorth of Sweden poses with the trophy on the 18th green after her two-stroke victory at the Avnet LPGA Classic.

The next stop on the LPGA Tour takes place this week in Mobile, Ala. at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail for the 2012 Mobile Bay LPGA Classic.

Maria Hjorth will return to Crossings Course at Magnolia Grove this week after recording her fifth-career victory last year at the 2011 Avnet LPGA Classic when she defeated Song-Hee Kim by two strokes. One of the 27 Moms on Tour, Hjorth fired back-to-back rounds of 67s during the weekend to capture the victory after starting the day three shots back of the third-round leaders. She recorded five additional top-10 finishes in 2011 including a tie for eighth at the Honda LPGA Thailand and the Wegmans LPGA Championship, solo eighth at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, ninth at the CME Group Titleholders and tied for ninth at the Evian Masters.

A few players will take a break from the Tour this week including Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng and No. 5 Ai Miyazato. Tseng recorded yet another top-10 finish last week at the LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf, taking her total to seven top-10s this season with three victories.

Miyazato jumped up to No. 5 after defeating Azahara Munoz and Meena Lee by three strokes last weekend. She earned her eighth career victory and received a $255,000 paycheck to put her second behind Tseng in the 2012 season money list with $629,783.

Both Munoz and Lee moved their way into the spotlight last week as they challenged Miyazato throughout the final round last Saturday. Munoz matched her career-best finish tie for second and jumped nine spots in the Rolex Rankings landing at No. 31. Lee also moved up in the Rolex Player of the Year race, jumping 13 spots to No. 44 Lee is a two-time LPGA winner with her last win at the 2006 Field Open in Hawaii. Both are slated to be in the field this week.

Several other well-known names finished up near the top of the leaderboard last week in Hawaii including Rolex Rankings No. 3 Suzann Pettersen, No. 4 Cristie Kerr and rookie standout No. 18 So Yeon Ryu, who won the 2011 U.S. Women's Open. With their impressive finishes in the top-10 last week, each will be in searching for their first victory in 2012 this week.

Topics: Tournament Preview, McBride, Maria, Airbus LPGA Classic

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