The LPGA Tour makes its first-ever appearance in the tropical islands of the Bahamas this week with the inaugural Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. The Ocean Club Golf Course on Paradise Island will feature a star-studded field of 144 players competing over four days for a chance at a $195,000 first-place check and to be the first to etch their name on the tournament’s trophy.
Nine of the top-10 in the Rolex Rankings are slated to be in the field this week with No. 2 Stacy Lewis still seeking to move closer to taking that No. 1 spot away from South Korea’s Inbee Park. Lewis tallied her eighth top-10 finish of the season last week at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic, where she was just four strokes away from defending her title. She will be firing on all cylinders this week as she looks to grab her fifth-consecutive top-10 finish and third victory this season.
Park, along No. 3 Suzann Pettersen, No. 10 Cristie Kerr and five others in the top-10, heads to the Bahamas after taking a break from tournament play last week. While Park has claimed three victories this season, Pettersen and Kerr have one title each to their name. Kerr’s title came when she held off Pettersen ina dramatic two-hole sudden death playoff at the Kingsmill Championship earlier this month. Known to be fierce competitors on the links, Park, Lewis, Pettersen and Kerr are among the top players to watch this week.
Jennifer Johnson is also in the field this week after becoming the first Rolex First-Time Winner of the season at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic. She overcame a three-stroke deficit heading into the final round to finish one stroke ahead of Pornanong Phatlum and Jessica Korda. Johnson’s previous best-finish this season was a tie for 13th at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
The Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic will be played May 23-26 and will be featured on Golf Channel all four days. The first and second rounds will air on tape delay from 6:30-8:30 p.m. EST while Golf Channel will feature live coveragefrom 3-6 p.m. EST on Saturday and Sunday.