Top Storylines for the ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer

Stacy Lewis
Photo Credit: Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Stacy Lewis holds the championship trophy after winning the ShopRite LPGA Classic on the Bay Course at Seaview Resort in Galloway, New Jersey.

Week of May 27, 2013
ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer
Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club
Bay Course
Galloway, New Jersey

 

Top Storylines

Lewis defends again: Rolex Rankings No. 2 Stacy Lewis returns to the Bay Course at Stockton Seaview Golf Club this week, the site of her third-career win and where she took over the spot as the top-ranked American a year ago. With her four-stroke victory, Lewis jumped from No. 7 in the world rankings to No. 3, unseating Cristie Kerr as the highest ranked U.S. player.

She’s made solid appearances during weeks as defending champion and has posted two top-10 finishes at the sites of her first two wins. At the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2012 she returned with a tie for fourth and earlier this month she finished ninth at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic.

Lewis dominated the course in New Jersey last season and was untouchable throughout the week. She was either leading or co-leading in the first two rounds and managing to take a six-shot lead heading into Sunday’s final round. She carded 65-65-71 to take a four-stroke victory over Katherine Hull-Kirk and Lexi Thompson.

 

Tight race at the top: It continues to be a tight battle for the top spots in the Rolex Rankings and the margins of points within the top five spots continue to shrink. No. 1 Inbee Park will be looking to get back on track after finishing 107th at last week’s shortened Pure Silk- Bahamas LPGA Classic, her worst finish since she missed the cut at the season-opening ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open last season. She holds a 1.29 average point lead over Stacy Lewis, who is .39 average points ahead of No. 3 Suzann Pettersen. Pettersen will be playing for her second win of the year this week and has No. 4 Na Yeon Choi on her heels, just .06 average points behind. Former world No. 1 Yani Tseng rounds out the top five and is looking to get her first win since the Kia Classic in 2012 and trails Choi by .75 average points.

Rank  Change Name Country  Events  Total Pts  Avg Pts
1 0 Inbee Park KOR 65 649.75 10.00
2 0 Stacy Lewis USA 55 479.06 8.71
3 0 Suzann Pettersen NOR 51 403.72 7.92
4 0 Na Yeon Choi KOR 55 432.47 7.86
5 0 Yani Tseng TPE 50 355.48  7.11

                                                      

Happy 20th! This week marks the 20th anniversary of the ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer and the Jersey Shore has plenty to celebrate as one of the longest-running hosts to an LPGA event. The tournament took a three-year hiatus from 2007-2009 but returned to 2010 and has settled at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club. Since 1992, ShopRite has donated more than $25 million to charities by sponsoring the event, including $1.2 million in 2012.

Six past champions are in the field this week including Juli Inkster (1986 & 1988), Se Ri Pak (1999), Angela Stanford (2003), Cristie Kerr (2004), Ai Miyazato (2010) and Stacy Lewis (2012).

 

New talent emerging: The LPGA Tour has seen two Rolex First-Time Winners the last two weeks and has several fresh faces making an impact already in the first half of the 2013 season. Jennifer Johnson (Mobile Bay LPGA Classic) and Ilhee Lee (Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic) earned their first career wins at the Tour’s last events and are joined by a group of young Tour members as players to watch for. Johnson has recorded four top-25 finishes in the past five events while Lee will be looking to get her third top-5 finish this year.

With six events left to earn Solheim Cup points, Lexi Thompson (sixth), Jessica Korda (seventh) and Lizette Salas (eighth) have played their way into contention to make their first appearance at the biennial event in August. Thompson and Korda already have one LPGA Tour win each to their names, while Salas is getting closer and closer to breaking into the winner’s circle for the first time. With her win in Mobile two weeks ago, Johnson put her name into the mix and currently ranks 10th in points.

 

Quick facts
May 31 – June 2
ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer
Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club
Bay Course
Galloway, NJ

Field: 144 (all professionals)
Par:  37-34, 71
Yardage: 6,155
Purse: $1,500,000
Winner:  $225,000
Format: 54-hole stroke play
Defending champion: Stacy Lewis

TV Times
Golf Channel
May 31 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
June 1  3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
June 2  3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
All times Eastern

 

This week’s field information: ShopRite LPGA Classic

2013 LPGA Tour rookies (18)
Marina Alex* Felicity Johnson
Chie Arimura  Sara-Maude Juneau
Julia Boland Moriya Jutanugarn
Katie Burnett Taylor Karle
Esther Choe Lisa McCloskey
Lauren Doughtie Kayla Mortellaro
Victoria Elizabeth Brooke Pancake
Austin Ernst Nicole Smith
Daniela Iacobelli Marina Stuetz
*sponsor exemption  

 

Rolex Rankings
Top 10/10
Top 21/25

2013 LPGA Official Money List
Top 10: 10/10
Top 20: 23/25
Top 50: 47/50

Past Champions
2012 Stacy Lewis 1997 Michelle McGann
2011 Brittany Lincicome 1996 Dottie Pepper
2010 Ai Miyazato 1995 Betsy King
2006 Seon Hwa Lee 1994 Donna Andrews
2005 Annika Sorenstam  1993 Shelley Hamlin
2004 Cristie Kerr  1992 Anne Marie Palli
2003 Angela Stanford 1991 Jane Geddes
2002 Annika Sorenstam  1990 Chris Johnson
2001 Betsy King 1989 Nancy Lopez
2000 Janice Moodie 1988 Juli Inkster
1999 Se Ri Pak 1987 Betsy King
1998 Annika Sorenstam 1986 Juli Inkster

 

Press conference & media events schedule

Wednesday, May 29

1:00 p.m. Inbee Park – three-time winner in 2013 and Rolex Rankings No. 1

Thursday, May 30

2:30 p.m. Special Olympics Announcement- Clinic at practice facility with Special Olympics athletes to follow I.K. Kim, Rolex Rankings No. 14 and Special Olympics Ambassador, Marc Edenzon, President of Special Olympics New Jersey & Consultant to 2014 USA Games, Shop Rite executives

3:00 p.m. Countdown to Solheim Cup- past and potential members of U.S. and European Solheim Cup teams to gather for discussion on the biennial team event Rolex Rankings No. 2 Stacy Lewis (ShopRite LPGA Classic defending champ), No. 18 Lizette Salas (ranked 8th in U.S. Solheim Cup points), No. 3 Suzann Pettersen (six-time European Solheim Cup Team member), No. 28 Beatriz Recari (two-time winner on LPGA Tour)

*Times are approximate and subject to change (all times are local in Galloway)

 

Symetra Tour current player and alum factoids

Kim & Alex set to play in the Garden State...As the LPGA Tour heads to a city known for its infamous boardwalk and elaborate casinos, a few players who have also compete on the Symetra Tour this season will be teeing-it-up in Atlantic City for the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

With the Symetra Tour on a brief break until the Decatur-Forsyth Classic Presented by Tate & Lyle and Decatur Parks District Info June 14-16, Birdie Kim played her way into this week’s ShopRite LPGA Classic after firing a 65 in the Monday qualifier. The 2005 U.S. Women’s Open champion has played in every event on this year’s Symetra Tour and recorded a season-best tied for seventh finish at the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic.

Also earning an entry into this week’s LPGA event is Marina Alex who was the recipient of one of two sponsor invitations. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Alex has posted two top-10 finishes this season on the Symetra Tour which was highlighted by a tied for seventh finish at the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic. After missing the most recent Friends of Mission Charity Classic, Alex fell just outside the top-10 on the Volvik Race for the Card at No. 19.

Other notable Symetra Tour members scheduled to compete this week are Alena Sharp and Tiffany Joh. Despite devoting the majority of their season to the LPGA Tour, the duo has competed in two Symetra Tour events this year. Joh currently stands No. 21 on the Volvik Race for the Card standings while Sharp finds herself inside the top-10 at No. 8.

At the conclusion of the Friends of Mission Charity Classic, players in the top-10 spots in the Volvik Race for the Card are as follows (the top-10 on the season-ending money list earn their LPGA Tour card)  1. Jaclyn Sweeney of Bradenton, Fla., $24,046; 2. Melissa Eaton of Port Shepstone, S. Africa, $21,306; 3. Giulia Molinaro of Treviso, Italy, $18,506; 4. Christine Song of Fullerton, Calif., $18,406; 5. Sue Kim of Langley, British Columbia, $16,916; 6. Courtney Massey of Gold Coast, Australia, $16,710; 7. Laura Kueny of Whitehall, Mich., $16,585; 8. Alena Sharp of Hamilton, Ontario, $16,489; 9. Caroline Westrup of Ahus, Sweden, $13,444; 10. Isabelle Boineau of Marseille, France, $13,188

Topics: Storylines, ShopRite LPGA Classic

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