The LPGA Tour travels to Rio de Janerio, Brazil this week for the fourth annual HSBC LPGA Brasil Cup 2012, the first unofficial event of the season.
The two-round, 30-player field will return to the Itanhanga Golf Club along with the 2011 champ Mariajo Uribe. Entering the second round of play, Uribe was two-strokes behind Heather Bowie-Young but quickly gained the lead after a birdie on the fifth hole. She held on to the lead and claimed the $108,000 first-place check and her first-ever unofficial money in on the LPGA Tour.
Several players will be looking to get their first victory of the year to get a set the tone for the rest of the season. Among the players in this week’s field are Rolex Rankings No. 3 Suzann Pettersen, No. 10 Paula Creamer and No. 34 Brittany Lang.
Pettersen is coming off a tie for 12th last weekend at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic, recording her seventh top-25 finish this season. She is an eight-time winner on Tour with her last victories coming in the 2011 season at the Sybase Match Play Championship and Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola.
Creamer is looking for her first win since 2010 when she recorded her first-career major at the U.S. Women’s Open. So far this year she has carded a career-best tied for 18th at the LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf and the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup.
Lang has stayed in the top-20 this season with a tie for 20th at the Kia Classic, tie for 17th at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic and a season-best tie for seventh at the LPGA LOTTE Championship. She has posted 34 top-10 finishes since her rookie season in 2006 but has yet to make it into the winner’s circle.
Other competitors likely to breakout this weekend include Karine Icher, who finished third at last week’s Mobile Bay LPGA Classic and Pornanong Phatlum who finished in the top-20 along with Anna Nordqvist, Chella Choi and Beatriz Recari who all tied for 31st last weekend.