Lewis set to defend her title at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic

Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Stacy Lewis poses with the trophy after winning the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic at the Crossings Course at the Robert Trent Jones Trail at Magnolia Grove on April 29, 2012 in Mobile, Alabama.

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail will serve as the backdrop for this week’s Mobile Bay LPGA Classic, where 144 LPGA Tour pros will tee off on The Crossings Course at Magnolia Grove. With the total purse sitting at $1.2 million, the winner will take away the $180,000 first-place check and etch their name next to four past champions that include Angela Stanford (2008), Se Ri Pak (2010), Maria Hjorth (2011) and Stacy Lewis (2012).

Lewis’ victory in Mobile last year was the first of four for her in 2012, which kick started her campaign for  RolexPlayer of the Year honors. She became the first winner of the 2012 season to capture a title with all four rounds in the 60s, ending the week at 17-under par and fighting off a Sunday charge from teenage standout Lexi Thompson. The Woodlands, Texas native went on to win the ShopRite LPGA Classic, the Navistar LPGA Classic and the Mizuno Classic and notched a total of 12 additional top-10 finishes. She has carried on that success this year as she leads the Tour in top-10s with seven and claimed back-to-back victories at the HSBC Women’s Champions and RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup.

Rolex Rankings No. 19 Angela Stanford enters the week after tallying her second top-5 finish of the season at the Kingsmill Championship. The inaugural winner of the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic is in her 13th season as an LPGA Tour professional and is seeking to capture her sixth career victory.

With several top competitors taking a break from the Tour this week, 28 rookies are looking to make a statement on their careers and become the first Rolex First-Time Winner this season. Leading the pack is Thailand native Moriya Jutanugarn, who is 22nd on the season money list with $157,432 and has a 141-point lead in the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year race. She will be joined in the field by her 17-year-old sister Ariya, who is competing as a sponsor invite and has four top-5 finishes in LPGA tournament play this year while competing as a non-member. Ariya is a rookie on the Ladies European Tour this season.

Katie Burnett will play her second LPGA tournament this week after making her debut on Tour with a tie for 12th at the Kingsmill Championship.

The Mobile Bay LPGA Classic will be played May 16-19 and will be featured on Golf Channel all four days. The first and second rounds will be on tape delay and will air 6:30-8:30 p.m. EST and aired live from 5-7 p.m. EST on Saturday and Sunday.

Take a look through the Digital Program.

Topics: Tournament Preview, Airbus LPGA Classic

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